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Tag: Dungeons & Dragons (page 1 of 4)

Castle Ravenloft Painting Guide

Castle RavenloftCastle Ravenloft is a fantastic ‘dungeoncrawling’ boardgame from Wizards of the Coast, the makers of the iconic fantasy role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons. It uses a very clever and elegantly simple ‘artifical intelligence’ system to control the monsters that your characters will encounter. Players, as fantasy adventurers, work together to explore the dungeon and achieve different objectives, depending on the scenario.

The most impressive thing that will greet you when you first open the box is 40 fantastically detailed plastic miniatures. Of course you can enjoy games of Castle Ravenloft straight away, but it really comes to life when you take the time and effort to paint these figures and make them look their best. It may seem a daunting task but actually it’s quite easy to get impressive results—especially if you use this article as your guide!

Now, as usual with all these painting guides, these are just my personal colour schemes, and you can paint your figures any way you like. I actually don’t enjoy coming up with original colour schemes much, so I tend to lean heavily on publisher’s painted examples or other gamers’ photos on places like BoardgameGeek for inspiration. But there’s an infinite number of ways to paint your figures, so get creative!

(Click on the following images if you’d like to see larger versions, and use your browser’s ‘back’ button to return. Colours referred to are Games Workshop colours, but other manufacturers make good paints too.)

Castle Ravenloft characters

First, the characters! Here you can, from left, the Dwarf Cleric, the Human Rogue, the Dragonborn Fighter, the Human Ranger, and the Eldarin Wizard. I’ve taken photos of the front and back of these figures so you can see everything. They’ll probably take you the longest to paint because of the different colours and detail, but as player figures you want them to have the best paint jobs anyway! I paint my base colours, wash with Games Workshop’s wonderful Devlan Mud wash (Gryphonne Sepia for flesh tones), then highlight.

Castle Ravenloft Spiders

On to the monsters! Starting off with those evergreen favourites, the giant spiders and the rat swarms. The red markings on the spider abdomens are a bit of homage to the Australian redback spider. Mostly however, these are just base colours with a bit of drybrushing (remove most of the paint from the brush by wiping it on a paper towel, then draw the brush across the raised areas of the figure). They take no time at all to do.

Castle Ravenloft Kobolds

Kobolds have been a D&D staple since the earliest days, and here’s a few skirmishers led by a sorceror. They’re a basic brown with Chainmail armour and Blood Red tunics. Devlan Mud works well on metallic colours to make it look a little rusty and oily as well as shade it.

Castle Ravenloft Undead

What’s a dungeon without a few moanin’ and groanin’ undead? Three zombies and three ghouls are featured above. GW’s Rotting Flesh is the colour of choice here, wth some Graveyard Earth mixed in for the ghouls. Liberal splatterings of Red Gore complete the picture of horror!

Castle Ravenloft Wolves

These wolves have found their way into the dungeons of Castle Ravenloft, accompanied by a werewolf. Easy drybrushing brings out the detail in the fur.

Castle Ravenloft Skeletons

Some classic skeletons, along with something new—blazing skeletons. The skeletons are Bleached Bone, highlighted with white. The blazing skeleton figures actually come in clear blue plastic, but I decided to wash the flame areas with Asurmen Blue wash, then highlight them for a ‘magical flame’ effect. Then I picked out and painted the sketon figure normally.

Castle Ravenloft Ghosts

A howling hag and three wraiths. The latter I left unpainted as I liked the clear effect, but I painted the bases by stippling layers of grey on them. By the way, all the other bases have some sand stuck to them with PVA glue, which is then drybrushed from a dark grey base up to white.

Castle Ravenloft Gargoyles

These stone gargoyles were easy to paint—pretty much all drybrushed in shades of grey, with some small painted white highlights. When painting red eyes, add a tiny glint of white to bring them alive!

Castle Ravenloft Golem

Now we’re getting to the real heavy hitters: an horrific flesh golem and a terrible zombie dragon. There’s only one of each of these figures but the photos for these (and the dracolich below) show both sides. Again, washes are your friend here to really pick out all the lovely detail. When highlighting, pick out the lower edges of gashes and stitches to make them pop (urgh!) A bit of red wash in the wounds also works well. These look complicated but actually didn’t take too long to do; you can be quite quick and ‘painterly’ in your highlighting with big figures like this, just work your way up through a few shades, getting lighter as you go.

Castle Ravenloft Dragon

The pièce de résistance of the set: the dracolich, Gravestorm. He’s huge and ’orrible, but pretty easy to paint. I decided to make him all ‘fresh’ looking, but other painters have made his flesh all grey and ancient-looking. A base coat of Bleached Bone for the bone areas, then Dwarven Flesh on the fleshy bits. Lots of red washes did the trick here, then sharp highlights to make the fleshy bits look glossy. He’s covered with blood, so you can be sloppy with your painting!

Count StrahdAnd finally here’s the Count himself, Strahd von Zarovich (shown both sides). He’s the (anti) hero of the game, so spend a little extra time on him!

Castle Ravenloft was an instant hit with gamers and a sequel was released hard on its heels: Wrath of Ashardalon, chock-full of another 42 figures! Very soon we’ll be seeing the release of the third game in this excellent ‘D&D Adventure System Cooperative Play’ series, Legend of Drizzt. We’ll be sure to announce it here as soon as it’s available!

Dungeons & Dragons Board Games

Dungeons & Dragons

Ahh, Dungeons & Dragons! What gamer—especially the older ones like me—doesn’t have a soft spot for the fantasy roleplaying game that started it all? Good ol’ D&D has been going strong for more than 35 years now, from the early TSR (Tactical Studies Rules) days of the ‘white box’ and the first Basic Set, through the amazing hardcover Advanced Dungeons & Dragons editions that were my constant companion back in my school days, through to the thousands of spin-offs, campaign worlds, miniatures, maps, adventure modules and the huge industry run by Wizards of the Coast of modern times. I discovered D&D way, way back when I was twelve in 1978, and I can safely say it changed my life, as it did many other young people back then. The games have changed and the desire to game has waxed and waned over the years, but D&D started it all.

Of course, as you get older and real life starts to intrude, you find yourself with far less time on your hands and it gets harder and harder to gather old friends around for a bit of roleplaying adventure. That’s where boardgames come in. While you can’t get quite the same total immersion in the adventure from a boardgame as you do in a roleplaying game, it’s still a great way to get that ‘fantasy fix’ with a far more practical committment of time and resources.

Luckily, Wizards of the Coast has recognised this market and has begun releasing some excellent Dungeons & Dragons-themed boardgames. There have always been ‘dungeoncrawling’ boardgames of course, and I discussed several in an earlier article. Hasbro/Wizards of the Coast released the D&D boardgame Dungeons & Dragons The Fantasy Adventure Boardgame in 2003, a game very similar to Games Workshop/Milton Bradley’s Heroquest, and aimed at younger gamers. It’s only recently however that D&D boardgames aimed at the ‘gamer’s’ market have begun to appear.

Castle RavenloftDungeons & Dragons: Castle Ravenloft hit the shelves with a bang last year, and was an instant hit. This is dungeon-delving for gamers, but gamers with limited time on their hands who want the kill-the-monsters fun of D&D without the big time investment. Packed with high-quality plastic miniatures (40 in all), heaps of cardstock dungeon floor tiles, lots of cards, magic items, abilities and weapons, and a wide variety of fun scenarios, Castle Ravenloft is the essence of dungeon-crawling distilled into a deep cardboard box. It’s a co-operative adventure experience for 1-5 players, and while the rules don’t have much in common with the roleplaying game past the ubiquitous 20-sided dice, it’s received unanimous praise for its streamlined rules and fun play.

Quick on its heals was the release of Dungeons & Dragons: Wrath of Ashardalon. Yes, it’s the same game system as Castle Ravenloft (with a few modifications and additions), and just as packed with new stuff, including 42 plastic miniatures, one of which is a great big classic red dragon.

Between the two of these games you’d have dungeon-delving adventures enough for many months, but there’s a new big box on the way: Dungeons & Dragons: Legend of Drizzt. This one will focus on the adventures of dark elf Drizzt Do’Urden, a popular heroic character from a series of novels set in the Forgotten Realms campaign setting. Take on the role of the legendary drow ranger or one of his famous adventuring companions, battle fearsome foes, and win treasure and glory.

If that wasn’t enough, all these games can be combined for a truly epic amount of variety—over 120 plastic miniatures for a start—and there are rules included to play a basic campaign.

Conquest of NerathThe latest release by Wizards of the Coast is also set in the worlds of Dungeons & Dragons, but has a different focus: that of continent-spanning conquest! Conquest of Nerath is a spectacular game of strategic empire-building in the vein of classic like Risk and the old GameMaster games. Featuring 252 plastic pieces of troops, monsters and heroes, you can even send fighters and wizards into dungeons scattered across the lands to fight guardians and obtain treasure, while your armies battle over the land above. Muster armies of footsoldiers, siege engines, monsters, and dragons to attack your enemies. Fight across the waves with fleets of warships and raging elementals. The fate of empires is in your hands!

Wizards of the Coast have more in the pipeline when it comes to bringing the Dungeons & Dragons game settings to boardgamers. The Dungeon of Dread Board Game is just an entry on their website for now, but apparently it’s going to be another co-operative dungeon experience for 2-5 players, with the more traditional style of one Dungeon Master and 1-4 heroes. Keep an eye out here for more information as it comes to hand.

So grab your 20-sided dice, prepare your heroes, and grab a Dungeons & Dragons-themed boardgame. The adventure awaits!

What’s Hot: Conquest of Nerath

Conquest of NerathWage war between empires in the Dungeons & Dragons world in the Conquest of Nerath fantasy boardgame!

In the north, the undead legions of the Dark Empire of Karkoth march against the fragile League of Nerath, determined to sweep away the human kingdoms forever. To the south, the infernal Iron Circle launches its own goblin hordes in a campaign of conquest against the elves and corsairs of Vailin. From the snowy expanse of the Winterbole Forest to the sun-warmed coasts of ancient Vailin, four great powers struggle for survival.

Conquest of Nerath is a fantasy conquest game for 2-4 players, who muster armies of foot soldiers, siege engines, monsters, warships, elementals, and dragons to attack their opponents. Players employ heroes such as knights and wizards to lead their troops and explore dungeons in the search of magical artifacts and treasures to increase their power in combat. Fight across the waves with fleets of warships and raging elementals. Plunder ancient dungeons with bands of mighty heroes, searching for magical artifacts and awesome treasures that might tip the scales of battle in your favor. The fate of empires is in your hands!

This exciting new hobby game from Wizards of the Coast brings classic Dungeons & Dragons characters, creatures and settings to a large-scale empire conquest format. Cleverly, three different lengths of game are included, so you can go for a short game or an all-in epic slugfest! The factions all have their own themed card decks which makes them unique to play, and while your forces are doing battle your heroes can explore dungeons to find gold and magic items.

Conquest of Nerath includes the following components: rulebook, dice of lots of different colours and types, a large, colourful game board, 110 cards, and 252 plastic playing pieces: a huge variety of figures representing the champions and armies of Nerath, Karkoth, the Iron Circle, and Vailin—and it all comes in a well-designed plastic box insert! It’s fantastic value for money and a winner from Wizards of the Coast!

What’s Hot: Wrath of Ashardalon

Wrath of AshardalonAt last, it’s here and ready for your group of heroes: the sequel to the incredibly popular dungeoncrawler Castle Ravenloft. The new Wrath of Ashardalon, set in the world of Dungeons & Dragons, is the cooperative game of adventure for 1-5 players that takes up the gauntlet of fast, easy-to-play dungeonbashing!

A heavy shadow falls across the land, cast by a dark spire that belches smoke and oozes fiery lava. A cave mouth leads to a maze of tunnels and chambers, and deep within this monster-infested labyrinth lurks the most terrifying creature of all: a red dragon!

This exciting new set features rules for doorways and campaign sessions, adds non-player characters that accompany your adventurers during some of the adventures, Boon cards to add tactical challenges for the heroes, Chambers that need to be cleared of monsters, plus a great selection of new treasures.

The Wrath of Ashardalon boardgame features multiple scenarios, challenging quests, and cooperative game play. When you open up this big box you’ll find it stuffed to the brim with goodies: 42 spectacular plastic miniatures (5 hero figures, 30 monster figures, and 7 villain figures; including a spectacular giant red dragon), 41 illustrated, interlocking dungeon tiles, 9 illustrated Hero and Villain tiles, rulebook, adventure book, 200 cards (50 power cards, 53 encounter cards, 30 monster cards, 33 treasure cards, and 6 boon cards), 192 markers and tokens, plus that essential 20-sided die!

Eat Laser, Mutie! Gamma World is Back!

The new 4th edition D&D Gamma World Roleplaying Game has just hit the shelves, and I had to write an article on the early days of this venerable roleplaying game setting.

Way back in the 80s Gamma World was one of our gaming favourites, along with Empire of the Petal Throne, Advanced D&D, Star Frontiers and Call of Cthulhu. Gamma World is roleplaying in the post-apocalyptic wastelands of a future Earth, and one of the most fun and fascinating roleplaying game settings every created. The game has seen a lot of editions over the years, but the setting is just too good to go away, and it’s great to see this new (stand-alone) version using the D&D 4th edition rules.

If you’re a fan of the computer game Fallout, you’ll feel right at home here in Gamma World; in fact I wouldn’t be surprised if the makers of that game took a lot of inspiration from it. The original game was released by TSR (Tactical Studies Rules)—the company that originally published Dungeons & Dragons—way back in 1978 (I still have two of those original sets). The rules weren’t too different from the boundaries set by original D&D, but this was only the second science-fiction roleplaying setting (after Metamorphosis Alpha, a game set on a huge starship), and really started to show that the roleplaying concept could be applied to any genre that you cared to name.

In the game, players took on the roles of mutants, mutanted animals, or ‘pure strain’ (ie, non-mutated) humans. Crazy mutated animals were one of the game’s memorable features—things like giant bunnies carrying shotguns were par for the course in this post-apocalyptic world—and rolling up a series of weird mutations (physical and mental) for your character was always fun. Another feature of the game were the so-called Cryptic Alliances. These were bands of non-player characters who shared a common goal in the future world, for example the Knights of Genetic Purity, who wanted to exterminate all mutant humans; or the Followers of the Voice, who worshipped computers.

Another unique feature of the game was the collection of flowcharts that players had to navigate when they encountered technological items from Earth’s past; flowcharts that could lead to being able to figure out how the laser rifle worked, for example, or having it explode in your face. One of the challenges of game mastering a Gamma World campaign was describing items in such a way so the players would, like their characters, not be aware of the item’s use. So when the character found that funny metal object, you as game master might have known it was just a can opener, but the player might convince himself it was a sonic blaster!

Unlike D&D games, which tended to be set in dungeons or castles, with only the occasional wilderness jaunt, Gamma World really featured the wilderness, with players travelling over radioactive wastelands or ruined cities, encountering the remains of old spaceports or shopping malls, interacting with groups of survivors all with their own weird survival agendas. It really opened out the possibilities of roleplaying.

Gamma World went on to see six more editions by various publishers and using various different game systems—this new edition is the seventh! When it comes to roleplaying settings this one is definitely a survivor, and just a brief time in the post-apocalytic wastelands of Gamma World will show you why. If you love roleplaying and haven’t yet discovered the Gamma World, now is the perfect time to roll up a few mutations, grab that battered laser rifle and hunt some mutie!

There are already expansions on the way: Famine in Far-Go and The Legion of Gold are the names of two original modules, so it looks like that the new system is really appealing to old fans.

The D&D Gamma World Roleplaying Game offers hours of rollicking entertainment in a savage land of adventure, where the survivors of some mythical future disaster must contend with radioactive wastes, ravaged cities, and rampant lawlessness. Against a nuclear backdrop, heroic scavengers search crumbled ruins for lost artifacts while battling mutants and other perils.

This product is a complete, stand-alone roleplaying game that uses the 4th Edition D&D roleplaying game system as its foundation.

Contents:
160-page book with rules for character creation, game rules, and an adventure
2 sheets of die-cut character and monster tokens
2 double-sided battle maps
Cardstock character sheets and mutation power cards
Mutation power card deck
Loot power card deck

New Campaign for Claustrophobia

For those of you who play the excellent dungeoncrawling game from Asmodee, Claustrophobia, check out this brand new PDF download. Deliver Us From Evil is a four-scenario campaign that let’s players gain experience and skills.

Great to see this fantastic game being supported so well online!

Halloween Favourites

Trick or treating is all very well, but if you ask me the best way to pass the time on the night of All Hallow’s Eve is with some good friends and a creepy boardgame! Over the next few weeks I’ll be looking at some boardgame favourites that are perfect for conjuring up the Halloween atmosphere.

In fact gaming is a time-honoured part of Halloween celebrations; for example bobbing for apples, or old semi-witchcraft rites to try to discover the name of one’s future spouse. Getting friends together to tell ghost stories is traditional, and would be an excellent accompaniment to a boardgame. Why not make a night of it and prepare some Halloween-themed food and drinks, and put up some decorations. Just don’t get the spider webs too close to the candle flames!

A great place to start your gaming would be with the Flying Frog game A Touch of Evil: the Supernatural Game (2008). If you’re a fan of the Tim Burton film Sleepy Hollow you’ll especially enjoy this atmospheric game. Set in the early 19th century in the small village of Shadowbrook, players take on the roles of unique heroes—perhaps Katarina, the outlaw, Victor Danforth, the playwright, or Cooke, the police inspector—trying to hunt down and destroy the villain, which could be either a vampire, scarecrow, werewolf or even the classic spectral headless horseman. You’ll be exploring the environs of Shadowbrook trying to build up your strength for the final confrontation and collect items to help you, and uncovering the hidden secrets of the town elders, who may help or hinder you in your battle with the supernatural villain.

A Touch of Evil can be played co-operatively and competitively, and the variety of villains, each with special powers and themed minions to do their evil bidding, makes for a different game every time. Things get even better if you add the expansion set,  Something Wicked. Not only does this add more heroes and more villains (the bog fiend, gargoyle, banshee and the Unspeakable Horror), but there’s also an additional board, a slew of new variants, and even solo rules.

Both games come with beautifully sculpted plastic figures for the heroes, which I highly recommend painting for the full experience.

While we’re looking at Flying Frog games, we can’t go past their debut game (and another perfect Halloween indulgence), Last Night on Earth: The Zombie Game (2007). As well all know, zombies and Halloween go together like toffee and apples, and this game can’t be beat for the authentic B-movie zombie experience. The game is similar in many ways to A Touch of Evil: players are characters straight out of a zombie movie—Sally the high school sweetheart, Jenny the farmer’s daughter, Sheriff Anderson the small town law man, Father Joseph the man of the cloth—and depending on the game scenario, must survive the depredations of hordes of shuffling undead! Whether you’re trying to escape in the truck (“where are those keys!?”) or defend the manor house (“hold them off!”), you can guarantee that some of the players are going to get munched on before the night is over. It’s a hilarious game and perfect for Halloween laughs.

Of course, there are expansions—the big box Growing Hunger, which adds more heroes, zombies and scenarios, variants and special rules; and a series of small packs that add more figures: the Hero Pack, Survival of the Fittest, and Zombies with Grave Weapons. If you go the Flying Frog website here, you’ll even find a downloadable All Hallows Eve scenario. Perfect!

Come back next time for some more creepy Halloween gaming options; by the time October 31st comes around, you’ll be spoilt for choice!

by Universal Head

For more information about Flying Frog games, visit their website and BoardgameGeek. You can also find rules summaries and reference sheets for both of these games at Headless Hollow.


Universal Head, has been designing for clients across the globe for more than twenty years, and playing games for much longer than that. He’s responsible for the graphic design of several boardgames, notably ‘Tales of the Arabian Nights’ by Z-Man Games, and once spent an entire year recreating the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza in 3D for a computer game. In between he’s designed just about every form of visual communication: corporate identities, websites, packaging, brochures, even postage stamps. He also created the game websites www.tekumel.com and www.battleloremaster.com. His blog site www.headlesshollow.com is an obsessive repository of professionally designed rules summaries and reference sheets for popular boardgames.

Descending into the Darkness

Most gamers love a good dungeon delve, especially those older gamers who were brought up on roleplaying games like Dungeons and Dragons, but no longer seem to find the time to prepare and play regular sessions in between paying a mortgage and bringing up children! Boardgame dungeon-crawls are a good way to scratch that roleplaying itch in a relatively short time. I’ve discussed the range of dungeoncrawling boardgames before, and the recent release of Castle Ravenloft is a worthy addition to the genre; but one game has now become so comprehensive that it really deserves an article all of its own. That game is Descent: Journeys in the Dark.

Descent was first released in the big ‘coffin-box’ format back in 2005 by—you guessed it—Fantasy Flight Games. It was an instant hit; a box chock-full of high quality plastic miniatures (20 heroes and 60 monsters, including big demon and dragon figures), a set of dungeon tiles, lots of cards and counters, and a book of adventure scenarios, all designed in inimitable style by a company who really has taken on the mantle of the ‘Games Workshop of the 21st century’ when it comes to boardgames. For the gamers shuddering at the high prices demanded for old copies of Warhammer Quest on Ebay, it was their dungeon-crawling prayers answered.

Descent is heavily based on the earlier licenced sci-fi game Doom, which was the first to use the ingenious device of specially printed dice to deliver range, hit chance, ammo and damage all in one roll. Doom is a fantastic, fast-moving and very tense game that I highly recommend checking out if you never tried it.Descent took the dice system and developed it further; adding a bit of complexity, and a huge range of options and variants in the form of decks of magic items, weapons, armour, spells—all the classic ingredients of your typical dungeon delving expedition. The game is semi-cooperative: one player is the Overlord, and controls the dungeon and the monsters and the various threats that the heroes must overcome, and the other players cooperate as heroes to defeat the Overlord’s schemes.

A word of warning however, a game of Descent takes time. So much time that a good gaming buddy and I have a running joke after a long exhausting evening of boardgaming (and several beers), and one of us is usually facing some work meeting early the next morning. Inevitably, someone will pipe up with “fancy a quick game of Descent?” You probably need to set aside four or five hours to play this complex game, though of course it depends on your players, how quickly they work together, and how experienced you are with the game. There are lots of decisions to be made; some people find the complexity a bit high for what is supposed to be a good monster-bashing, others love the huge range of options and wealth of items. Regardless, Descent a game for the gamer who loves a long, involved game experience.

There’s a further challenge if you’re getting into this mother of all dungeon-crawlers—do you paint the figures or not? There’s no denying it’s a daunting challenge, especially if you made the mistake, as I did, of waiting until you bought several expansion sets before tackling that big pile of unpainted figures. There is also no denying that there’s nothing like playing the game with fully painted figures; it really is a visual feast. I recommend a production-line approach, and don’t forget to make good use of those excellent Games Workshop washes. With a base coat, wash and a quick highlighting pass, you can get that horde of plastic painted and on the table in no time.

Fantasy Flight was quick to capitalise on the success of the game and the following year we saw the first expansion: The Well of Darkness (2006). Six more heroes, 27 new monsters (including stone golems), more skills, treasure, counters and map tiles, and some expanded rules such as allowing the Overlord (the player who controls the monsters) to customise his deck of Threats.

Another year, another expansion. 2007 saw the release of The Altar of Despair (2007) and another 6 heroes and 21 monsters—love those Chaos Spawn—and vicious things like spiked crushing walls and dark relics for the Overlord to inflict on the hero players.

The next year there was something different; The Road to Legend (2008), a campaign system that put a whole new spin on the game. This came with an overland map of Terrinoth, FFG’s fantasy world and the setting for Descent, and for the first time you could play an interconnected series of adventures and bring your heroes out into the wilderness to travel between cities and dungeons, slowly building the strength to defeat the schemes of one of a choice of evil Overlords. You’ll need some dedication to play a campaign right through; perhaps something like 20 long sessions of play—but this is as close as you can get to a roleplaying campaign without the roleplaying game. The dungeons tend to be smaller and shorter, but both the players and the Overlord can accumulate experience and upgrade their abilities. The game even comes with several illustrated cardboard boxes to store your components in between sessions. Be careful though; there are quite a few changes from ‘normal’ Descent, and I recommend checking out the latest FAQ (not to mention my own rules summary and reference sheets) to head off those rule ambiguities at the pass. For those with the time and commitment however, this is a dungeon delving experience par excellence!

But the expansions hadn’t stopped coming! Next was Tomb of Ice (2008), adding some snow and ice-themed tiles and beasties (21 monsters and another 6 heroes) and some new elements such as Feat cards.

For those who prefer the long haul campaign, the latest expansion to be released was Sea of Blood (2009). Much like Road to Legend, but this time set on the islands and high seas of Terrinoth, Sea of Blood really expands your games of Descent into a completely new melieu. There are even ship’s deck tiles so you can battle at sea, play through boarding actions, fire cannons and assault islands (and don’t forget the ocean map board expansion). And who doesn’t love a bit of pirating with their fantasy?

Finally, the Quest Compendium is a hard cover book chock-full of Descent sceanrios by some of the best known personalities in fantasy gaming.

So there you have it, a quick overview of the dungeon/wilderness/sea-crawling behemoth that is Descent: Journeys in the Dark. All the talk at the moment might be about it’s much newer and simpler cousin Castle Ravenloft, but for shear weight of stuff, Descent can’t be beat. Brush off your copy, buy some expansions, and descend once again into the darkness!

by Universal Head

For more information about Descent in this article, visit Fantasy Flight Games (www.fantasyflightgames.com)

and BoardgameGeek (www.boardgamegeek.com). You can also find rules summaries and reference sheets for Descent at Headless Hollow (www.headlesshollow.com/freebies_games.html).

Universal Head (www.universalhead.com), has been designing for clients across the globe for more than twenty years, and playing games for much longer than that. He’s responsible for the graphic design of several boardgames, notably ‘Tales of the Arabian Nights’ by Z-Man Games, and once spent an entire year recreating the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza in 3D for a computer game. In between he’s designed just about every form of visual communication: corporate identities, websites, packaging, brochures, even postage stamps. He also created the game websites www.tekumel.com andwww.battleloremaster.com. His blog site www.headlesshollow.com is an obsessive repository of professionally designed rules summaries and reference sheets for popular boardgames.

What’s Hot: Castle Ravenloft Board Game

Evil lurks in the towers and dungeons of Castle Ravenloft, and only heroes of exceptional bravery can survive the horrors within. Designed for 1-5 players, this boardgame features multiple scenarios, challenging quests, and cooperative game play.

D&D Players Handbook Races: Tieflings

New options and character hooks for tiefling characters.

This expansion of the Player’s Handbook core rulebook explores the infernal secrets of the tieflings. It presents D&D players with exciting new options for their tiefling characters, including unique racial feats, powers, paragon paths, and epic destinies. This book also includes ways to flesh out your tiefling character’s background and personality.

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