Saturday, 8 February 2014

Review: Dreadball Azure Forest expansion part .

This week a package arrived on my doorstep labelled up Mantic games. Inside I found my Azure Forest expansion pack. As with all orders I've had from mantic I have been kept informed of everything they are doing with my order. The Azure Forest pack is essentially an expiation for dread ball, you need the main rules and all the usual items to play. The MVP within is only usable in official leagues for 2014 only, but this doesn't stop you using him in your own leagues and exhibition matches at any point.
As with a lot of Mantic products the Azure Forest expansion comes in the trademark white plastic cases, the front photograph was done as if it was a still mid game with a Forest background which showcased the new MVP. Upon opening the box you get a set of cards, a hex base, the expansion rules, the MVP and a bubble wrapped item. Once the bubble wrap was removed I discovered it contained a cast metal trophy which was a very nice touch.

First thing I did was to check the trophy and MVP figure for any miscast or problems, and I have to say that both were flawless with only a single piece of flash on the front of the trophy. The figure is posed as if he is mid throw or mid catch depending on your perspective. The Dreadball armour he wears is of a more rustic design, adorned with feathers and made of wood to further tie him into the Forest look.

Also contained within the box is a set of 16 cards, 1 reference and 15 playing cards to alter a dread ball deck for the Azure Forest setting. The reference card gives you the weather table in brief with the relevant dice rolls. That's right I said weather conditions, weather will play a large part in Azure Forest games, with all forest/jungle conditions catered for. You'll get rain storms and scorching heat which can impact on your players directly, or perhaps even a heat haze that affects the ref. a All will make your games different and provide you with a new challenge to overcome. The remaining 15 cards will offer you a variety of effects and events, from letting you play a card to change the weather , making one of your players 'Roid Rage for a strength test to jungle sickness and insect swarms affecting players. A lot of these cards are aimed at your opponent or both of you with a small number for use on your team.

Lastly contained within the box is the expansion rules. This 32 page time gives you everything you need to move your games from the arena to the jungle. Laid out in Mantics usual fashion, the rule book is easy to navigate, full of extra back ground information and additional rules. Everything is colourful and easily read to boot. What I was surprised with was that the book also contained rules for 3 extra MVP's that were done for kick starter that have recently been released on general sale. Also contained within is a full set of rules for running a one day tournament, which I can say work really well from recent experiences. No space has been wasted in the book with additional materials for event organisers to photocopy.

The price of the box was £15 from Mantic direct, which after taking the average £5 price for an MVP out you pay £10 for a decent set of rules, a set of expansion cards and a metal cast trophy. The set can be used as and when you like and I expect many people will like to use the rules to bring a difference to many games they play.  The down side is our new MVP is only official use for 2014, personally I won't object to any other people wanting to use him outside of 2014 and I would encourage the use of the rules to add an extra dimension to all games. This set shows a lot of promise from Mantic, and if rumour serves true we will be seeing a lot more expansion sets for us to enjoy. Come back at a similar time next week once I've had chance to properly trial the rules for my presentation of the finding's, and I promise no pie charts.

As usual all comments and feedback are welcome, and you can also follow other goings on via the Talking Wall facebook page where you can find out about my other various bits and pieces before they appear here.

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