The Dark War has infected the kingdom of Aughmoore. The invading evil horde couldn't be thwarted at the borders. Villages and homesteads are left in ruins. Refugees huddle in caravans to flee for protection of Edenmoore. Aughmoore is dire need of Defenders to help them protect the refugees and protect the kingdom.
The Dark War is a new expansion of Tiny Epic Defenders 2nd edition. It came out last year after a successful Kickstarter campaign. It is not a standalone expansion and requires you have Tiny Epic Defenders 2nd Edition.
It comes with:
- 5 new Heroes,
- 4 Experience cards,
- 7 double-sided Dark Wars Region Cards (they replace the base games region cards),
- 6 new Epic Foes,
- 6 new Artifact cards and Artifact items to add to your Meeples
- 6 General cards,
- 16 Skill cards
- 4 XP tokens
- 6 new Dire Enemy cards
- and Dark War Region Components (will discuss later)
And not only that but you can choose to play the Campaign or a single Great Battle game. I didn't play the Campaign, I played the single game mode. It was fun, but I will try out the Campaign mode next.
It took me some time to assemble some of the Dark War Region Components. These are placed on the different regions like the Great Tree is placed on the Forest and will have an ability or liability. The 3 pink Storm tokens are placed in the Desert. The 6 caravans are a goal where at the beginning of each round, you place a caravan on a region which is revealed on the bottom of the caravan (shown above). A Defender would have to escort the caravan to the Capital City. All 6 must be in the capital City and the Epic Foe must be defeated in order to win.
A new concept is Experience and Skills. Each player or character receives an Experience Card. Now you can gain experience by using an action, defending against enemy, and defeating a General. You also start with a skill from the new Skill deck. When you reach 8 experience, you can gain a level and an additional Skill. Skills give your character an additional ability to use. Also you can spend an experience point to escort a Caravan to another region and eventually to the Capital City.
The Regions are new. You still have the Coast, Desert, Forest, Mountains, Plains, and Ruins. But there are two sides. One side with Friendly with a useful ability that uses a new component. But the other side is Hostile where you have a liability to make things more difficult like you have to be in the Great Tree in order to secure the Region from threats. Only one Region will be randomly selected to be Hostile and one would be selected to be Friendly. The rest of the Regions will still be the originals from the base game.
This is how the table is set up.
Look at the new heroes!
When you play the Campaign, you play 3 games called Battles. In the first two Battles you must defeat a General at the end to win as well as escort 6 caravans to Capital City. After each Battle, your characters keep their Experience, Skills, and Artifacts. Then on the third game, you ultimately fight the Epic Foe.
But you can just play the single Game mode called the Great Battle for a shorter game. I did that to try it out. The Dark War did bring some new mechanics that were refreshing like the Skills and Experience and Caravans, but I felt some of the others were redundant or made in more fiddly like there is a small deck of Soldier cards on the Plains. If the Plains is Friendly, you can use the Plains ability to add a Soldier card to the Turn Deck and when revealed it will have a benefit. But if the Plains is hostile and a character lands on the Plains, then a Soldier card is added to the Turn Deck, but this time a bad effect happens when it is revealed.
Overall, I enjoyed the new Expansion. However, I could do without some of the new components and Soldier Cards. This should have been a standalone expansion with its own Meeples and enemy Deck. They could have done it by removing the fiddly components.