Tag: Weird West

Themes in Board Games

Themes in Board Games

I’ve talked a lot about theme in board game before and how I like board games with a good theme on them. Instead of talking so much about why I like themes in board games, I think I’ve covered that decently well, I’m going to […]

Not Your Normal Fantasy – Concept Article

Not Your Normal Fantasy – Concept Article

We all know fantasy pretty well, at least I’m assuming that we do. We’ve seen and/or read Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings. We might have read the Shanara Chronicles, Wheel of Time, Mistborn, or so many other epic fantasy series or watched shows […]

TableTopTakes: Shadows of Brimstone

TableTopTakes: Shadows of Brimstone

What, no D&D or food for two weeks in a row? Nope, I’m going with another board game review, so many of them coming out right now, but I’ve been able to play more/new to me games as of late, so I get to tell you all about them.

Imagine yourself in the wild west, you’re in a small town with a saloon, sheriff’s office, a blacksmith, and it’s a mining town. The mine itself produces a mysterious magical stone, but as you dig deeper into the mine, you come across some crazy creatures that you’ve never seen before. They have tentacles and look like the things from your nightmares, but you kill them or run away from them and push deeper into the mine until you see a shimmer up ahead, what is that up there? You turn to the US Marshall with you and say, “Well, we’ve come this far, there’s no going back now.” You plunge through the shimmer and find yourself in a mysterious land that is like nothing you’ve seen before and there is a giant monster standing in front of you, larger than any others that you’ve seen. “Maybe this was a bad idea.” And you draw your six shooter.

Image Source: Board Game Geek

This is Shadows of Brimstone. It’s a cooperative dungeon (or in this case mine) crawl game that is set in the weird west. You can take one of four archetypal roles from the Wild West and you form a band that heads down into the mines to try and keep the darkness and the monsters from escaping. I’d describe this game as D&D lite. There’s still plenty of dice chucking to be done, and you have a chance of facing off against monsters in every room of the mine, but you don’t need a dungeon master to tell the story. In fact, you don’t even have to use one of the adventures that the game comes with, you could simply go down into the mine and battle, or you could play it as a campaign and keep your characters from game to game. Shadows of Brimstone has a great look and theme to it where what you do does seem to fit into the game not that the theme was put around what you are doing.

So, now after saying all of that, let me say that I’ve played this game once thus far, but I do want to play it more, and ideally a lot more.

Image Source: Kickstarter

This game, to me, was a nice way to be able to do combat and kind of mess around in a dungeon/mine type environment as compared to normally running a game. When I played we didn’t get too heavily into the role playing aspect of it (though you definitely can), instead we were learning the rules and figuring out how all the mechanics work. I think in future playing of this we’ll start to dig into more of the story aspect to it. And that is actually how the game wants to be played. In the core rules (there is a separate book with the adventures) it gives you a little adventure to go on, this allows you to figure out the mechanics without really jumping too far into the game. I’m excited to take a deeper dive into the game once I get the minis glued back together again (glue gun does not work, get model glue for model airplanes/cars) and we can find a consistent group of people to try it with (or even a semi-consistent group). Besides being able to play in an RPG type of game (or dungeon crawl really), I also really enjoy the theme, all of the characters are thematic, the weird monsters thing is something I always love, and the game feels the right weight. By that I mean that it doesn’t seem like too much of a slog to play, but it doesn’t seem like there isn’t any strategy to it, which we figured out when we died at the end of the game.

Talking about components/quality wise, it seems like it’s good quality, and all of the card board pieces seem like they are solidly made. The cards are nice, which is great because there are a ton of them. The one complaint I would have is with the minis, they actually went together quite quickly, but now with so many minis being 3d printed or coming in a single piece, I just wish this game were a bit newer so that they could have done that. Still, it wasn’t hard to get the models out of the die cast sheets and gluing them went fast and will go fast again, if only I had used the right glue to start out with. Another thing about this game is that I wish it had come with about 10 plastic bags, no real reason not to just drop them into each game. We have sandwich bags so it’s easy enough for me to get all of the cardboard pieces into their own bags for now, but I’ll probably end up getting a cross stitch thread plastic box to store and sort them in, but those things are cheap and really nice, it would have just been nice to have it’s own bag.

Overall, I like this game. While the rules seem daunting and I’m sure we weren’t playing all of the rules correctly, they actually read quickly and they make a lot of sense. It allows everyone to play and not have to have someone who is running the game. It’s cool to look at and it’s cool that the mine doesn’t always come out the same way each time. There are plenty of other fun mechanics that make the game harder as you go. I don’t know that this game would be for everyone, it has so many pieces that it seems intimidating just looking at the box.

Overall Grade: B+

Casual Grade: C+

Gamer Grade: B

(So, I know that doesn’t average out to B+, but I think this game kind of hits that curve where it’s probably fine for everyone to play and that if you’re super serious and play with other super serious players, it might be a little light for you strategy wise, if you are casual, it might be intimidating, but it’s a good game to blend groups.)

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