Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Mail Call

Ohmygoshyouguys!!!  When the doorbell rang today, I was not expecting the mailman to bring me a present from Privateer Press!!!  Look at it!

A surprise package from PP!
Okay, so maybe it's not a present... but close enough!  I funded the Widower's Wood kickstarter last year.  This is their Hordes counterpart to their successful Undercity board game.  Not wanting to do things half way, I funded at the middle level (I wanted to fund the highest level, but it was just a little too rich for my wallet), which means that I got the "premium chest", which will hold not only all of the elements for Widowers wood and all the unlocked stretch goals, but will also hold all elements for the Undercity, should I choose to buy it... who am I kidding, I'll get it eventually... and the Dead Men Walking expansion which also came with my fund level.

Shiny!  Premium Chest looks nice!
That is a good looking chest!  The sides are actually made to look like, I'm assuming, Gatorman skin! 
What detail!  Made of a Gatorman Bokor.
Excellent attention to detail.. Look at the skin!

It's all in the details
Even the metal fittings have detailing... all of them.  I can't explain how much I'm geeking out right now! But enough basking in the glory of the chest itself, now for the fun!  Time to open her up and check out all the great swag!

Widower's Wood goodies
Three boxes awaited me.  First of course was the Widower's Wood game itself.  It comes with a game board, a stack of terrain features, tokens to represent everything from dangers that the characters may face in the Wood to health tokens, a bag of models to represent the villains and heroes, cards for events, side quests, character stats, and villain activation, a campaign guide, rule book, and feats and abilities for the four heroes.

The game looks like a lot of fun.  It chronicles the adventures of four adventures in the Widower's Wood, a wild track of swampland outside of Corvis.  (Corvis is also the location of the Undercity game... Coincidence?)  Olo, a croak hunter new to the Widower's Wood, Agata, a Farrow Slaughterhouser whose tribe has been destroyed, Vaskis the Knotkeeper, a Druid of the Circle Oroboros trying to protect the wood, and Skarg the Voracious, a Tharn warrior seeking a mighty offering for the Devourer Worm, find themselves working together to stop the designs of a mad Gatorman bokor before he can complete his goal... which may destroy the Widower's Wood and all who live there!  Or... something like that, at least.

The Campaign for Widower's Wood comes in seven chapters.  In each, a new episode of the story is revealed as the characters continue their fight against Sheldon, the Gatorman bokor.  Okay, his name isn't really Sheldon, but the Gatorman language is somewhat difficult for Croaks, and that's what Olo calls him.  Chapters do not have to be won to continue the campaign, but there are benefits for the characters if they can complete each chapter.  Experience is earned through game play, and new abilities can be purchased after each chapter to help in the next.  And just in case you don't want to play a full campaign, the rule book comes complete with hints on how to play each chapter as a stand alone game.

Dead Man Walkin', here!
The second box in the chest was the Dead Man Walking expansion that works with both Widower's Wood and the Undercity.  It is centered around, as you might expect from the name, necromancers, undead hordes and Thamarites!  The game comes with a campaign book detailing two new, three chapter stories, one that can be played with each of the core games or as stand alone games, new character models with plenty of undead goodness like boneswarms, thralls and risen, terrain features like crumbling old ruins and Thamarite altars, and some new tokens for runes, epic heroes, and Helstrom (with the Undercity story).

Woot!  Stretch goals are a joy!
Finally, the best part... Stretch goals!!!  For those of you who have never used Kickstarter, the more people that pledge money for an item, the more bonus items are usually made available.  Widower's Wood had a lot of people pledge a lot of money, and so we were able to get our hands on a LOT of stretch goals.  An extra set of terrain features and tokens, extra cards for events and villain actions, more villain models, 5 exclusive missions (three for the main game, two for Dead Men Walking), and the best part, four new heroes that can be used in all the games (Viktor Pendrake, a wandering professor from Corvis, Lanyssa Ryssyl, a Nyss sorceress mercenary, and Crede and Jagger, a Circle Oroboros wolf sworn team ).  Swag, swag, swag!!!
Viktor, Lanyssa, Crede and Jagger
Boss Villans (Swamp Horror, Ironback Spitter, Gatorman and Blackhide Wrastler
It all fits so nice!
And because Privateer Press is an amazing company, they included these lovely wooden trays that fit perfectly in the chest, and have enough space to hold all of the goodies I've already mentioned, and everything from Undercity game as well.  They required a little assembly, a little sandpaper, and a little glue, but they are great little trays.  Plus, PP also put in a few foam strips to protect the inside of the chest.  I love it!  And because we all love dice, they threw in a set of Hordes dice too... just for fun!

Starting set up for Widowers Wood
We're going to try out the first chapter at our next group meeting on July 16th, but I couldn't wait to set everything up and just take a look at it.  So, here it is.  This is the layout for Chapter One: It Takes A Village.  The Campaign Guide lays out all the necessary information for terrain features, spawning sites, villian locations, etc.  The small numbered areas are villain spawning locations, and in the far left corner, you can see one of the Side Quests set up in case the hero's have a chance to grab it.

And finally a prep'd character sheet, ready for action.  All stats and starting abilities are recorded, along with a "second wind" ability to help with things start going... well, the way things so often go... "ploin shaped", if you will.  Each character starts with a restorative draught, and heart markers for their health score.  As they take damage, you flip the hearts over to their black side.

Oh man!  I can't wait to play next week!  I imagine that this game has a great deal to offer, both as a campaign, and also as a set of one off sessions if you don't want to devote yourself to the full story.  But above all, I want to give a shout out to Privateer Press for the delivery of the Premium Chest... it exceeded all of my expectations, and I had a great time just opening everything up and taking a look at it all.  Everything was well thought out, expertely designed, and just fun fun fun!

Stay tuned!  Our first attempt to play through Widower's Wood will be coming soon!

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