Thunderstone: Thornwood Siege – subtle mechanics that change the game in big ways

After the last several Thunderstone expansions, I really was very interested about what new mechanics might come as part of “Thunderstone: Thornwood Siege”.  We’ve seen traps, escalating monsters, guardians, and new diseases.  What could be next?

This new set simply added two new rules:  Raid and Stalk.  These are both effects that appear on monster cards, and they make it a little more dangerous to venture into the dungeon. Both effects work in the same way.  If a monster with either effect flips, an effect happens that is listed on the card.  If it is a “Raid” effect, then the player who flipped the card immediately does what the card says.  If it is a “Stalk” effect, the player who flipped the card takes a token corresponding to the effect, and that effect happens at the beginning of their next turn.

The effects on these new cards were interesting and caused some unintended consequences.  One of the effects that was common on raid cards was “When revealed, destroy two cards from the most expensive Village Stack”.  The result of this was that we had very few buying options by the end of the game.  Everything had been destroyed, or bought up.   And before you think, “Yeah, but only the really expensive cards!”, just think:  It starts with the cards that cost 8 or 9, but before too long those are all gone and you start destroying the 5’s and 6’s, and then, the 3’s and 4’s.  The destruction trickled down and touched everything.   It really made us play some different tactics, because the expensive cards just were not there for very long.

Stalk cards also pulled some very interesting effects into the mix.  Things you might not think of, such as, on the next turn you are compelled to go to the dungeon.  Or, on your next turn, discard one card at random.  These were odd penalties that really brought a level of interest back into the game.

A look at the stalk cards and tokens.

A look at the stalk cards and tokens.

But ultimately, it wasn’t the new Raid or Stalk rules that I loved about this new expansion.  I love the new uses of Militia.  Yeah, you heard me, Militia!  Those cards that you can’t usually trash fast enough.  Those pesky little cards that take up so much room in your deck and give you so little benefit.  Militia are the cards that we usually love to hate, but in this set, I actually found myself buying Militia.  Why?  Because Militia have suddenly turned into drawing power and easy sources of XP.

Making Militia useful!

If you have a Highland Officer in your hand, suddenly those Militia aren’t just taking up room in your deck.  You can cycle past all of those while you are in the dungeon, racking up a +1 for each one along the way.  Oh, and if you’re in the village, why not grab an extra Militia while you’re there.  Free of charge.

Another great use of the Militia?  Kill them for XP!  The Drill Sargent is a hard task master, but I love him.  If you go to the village, you can draw one card for every two XP you have.  But, if you are in the Dungeon, you can destroy a Militia to draw two cards and gain 1 XP!  This makes for an awesome card drawing engine.  One turn I had 10 XP (all from killing Militia that I got for free from my Highland Officer), and I had three Drill Sargents in my hand.  I drew 15 cards, which was my entire deck.  I was able to buy anything I wanted on the table, and was able to pick up a couple more Militia for free, thanks to Highland Officers.

This was an interesting set.  While there wasn’t a slew of new rules, the cards that were present in this set were interesting and thought provoking.  The idea wasn’t:  Lets force them to play differently by adding lots of mechanics!   The idea seemed to be:  Lets force them to play different through subtle card combination that are available.  I was initially disappointed by the lack of new flashy mechanics, but I am now very happy with all the subtle mechanics.

Would you like to read the full rulebook?  Just click here to download!

This entry was posted by The_Null_Entry on Friday, November 18th, 2011 at 8:15 am and is filed under Board Game Reviews, Deck Building Games, Resource Management Games . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

115 Comments

  1. Have you ever thought about including a little bit more than just your articles?
    I mean, what you say is valuable and everything.
    However think about if you added some great graphics or video clips to give your posts more, “pop”!
    Your content is excellent but with images and clips, this site could certainly be one of the most beneficial in its field.
    Fantastic blog!

  2. You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this topic to be really something that I think I would never
    understand. It seems too complex and very broad for me. I’m
    looking forward for your next post, I’ll try to get the hang of it!

  3. Nice post. I learn something new and challenging on sites I stumbleupon every
    day. It will always be useful to read through content from
    other writers and use a little something from their web sites.

  4. Heya! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any trouble with hackers?
    My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and I ended up losing months of hard work due to no data backup.
    Do you have any solutions to stop hackers?

  5. I think this is among the so much important information for me.
    And i’m glad studying your article. However want to observation on some general things, The website style
    is great, the articles is in reality great : D. Excellent
    task, cheers

  6. Genuinely no matter if someone doesn’t be aware of after that
    its up to other people that they will help, so here it happens.

  7. code scanner says:

    This blog was… how do I say it? Relevant!!
    Finally I have found something which helped me.

    Thanks a lot!

  8. Asking questions are actually good thing if you are not
    understanding anything totally, however this piece of writing
    provides good understanding even.

  9. Hi, i read your blog occasionally and i own a similar one and i was just wondering if you get a lot of
    spam remarks? If so how do you stop it, any plugin or anything you can advise?
    I get so much lately it’s driving me mad so any assistance is very
    much appreciated.

  10. It’s great that you are getting thoughts from this
    paragraph as well as from our argument made at this time.

  11. My partner and I stumbled over here from a different page and thought I might check things out.
    I like what I see so now i am following you.

    Look forward to looking over your web page again.

  12. Hello to every , since I am genuinely eager of reading this web site’s post to be updated regularly.
    It carries fastidious information.

  13. great cars says:

    Very nice post. I simply stumbled upon your weblog and wanted to mention that I’ve really loved browsing your weblog
    posts. After all I’ll be subscribing to your feed
    and I am hoping you write again soon!

  14. Wow, marvelous blog layout! How long have you been blogging for?

    you made blogging look easy. The overall look of your website is
    great, let alone the content!

  15. of course like your website however you need to take a look at the spelling on several of your posts.
    A number of them are rife with spelling issues and I to find it very bothersome to tell the reality
    nevertheless I will surely come back again.

Leave a Reply

*