Header AD

Expedition: The Horror Expansion

Quick Look:

Designer: Scott Martin, Todd Medema 
Artist: Chris Gebhart
Publisher: Fabricate.IO
Year Published: 2017
No. of Players: 1-6
Ages: 10+
Playing Time: 20+ minutes

Find more info on BoardGameGeek.com

WARNING: This is a preview of Expedition: The Horror, an expansion to Expedition: The Roleplaying Card Game. My review of the base game can be found here. All components and rules are prototype and subject to change.

Your group of adventurers has returned to the blacksmith who sent you on your first adventure. He seems anxious, but he sends you out to deal with a group of bandits in the woods. Only when you arrive at the abandoned camp, you're met by horrible sights that shake you to your core - unimaginable monsters that defy logic and reason. After escaping with your life, you return to confront the blacksmith, only to find an empty workshop with a hastily scrawled note that reads, "I'm so sorry." It appears this may not be over yet...

The first expansion to the breakout roleplaying card game, Expedition: The Horror brings with it new elements, enemies, and opportunities. Persona cards add an extra touch of characterization and allow for additional bonuses and penalties, while the new Influence ability cards affect gameplay by using your persona as bargaining chips. But beware - the horrifying abominations that you'll face will use your persona against you in an effort to destroy your spirit and take your life.

The expansion brings 51 new cards to the table, and the box has plenty of space for them!


Rules and Setup:

The rules and setup are the same as the core game; using the app, players are led through a campaign wherein they encounter enemies, gain loot, and level up. The only major difference in terms of rules and setup has to do with Persona cards, which I'll dive into further later on. As always, the companion app dutifully guides players on what cards to draw and how to manage them during gamelay.

The expansion includes five types of cards, one of which is a new type (Personas).

Theme and Mechanics:

Obviously, the expansion adds more of a horror theme to the game, and it pulls this off surprisingly well. I've always had an issue with RPGs that market themselves as "horror games," because more often than not, they confuse gore, perversion, and impossible consequences with horror. Expedition: The Horror gets it right. The prologue mission introduces the new concepts well, with the enemies turning your persona against you, and the subtle story cues game me genuine chills down my spine.

Enemies range from the lowly Acolyte up to things like Shoggoths and Deep Ones.

The major mechanics are identical to the core game, with one major addition: personas. Each character gains a unique Persona card, each of which is based around a unique personality trait, such as innocence, paranoia, or greed. Each player's persona starts at its base level, but it can be lowered or raised during gameplay. At its max level, a player's persona grants them a bonus during combat; at its minimum, it forces a negative consequence on you. After either of the persona modifiers take effect, a player's persona resets to its baseline. The new Loot and Influence ability cards included in the expansion also can modify your persona to give you an advantage against the new Horror enemies, all of whose surge abilities either affect your persona or cause damage based on your persona score.

Each persona is also considered "dark" or "light," adding an extra layer to roleplaying opportunities.

Game Play:

Gameplay during the horror prologue was very similar to other Expedition quests, but it became apparent pretty quickly how important keeping an eye on your persona was. The bonuses were very helpful in taking out the threat, but trying to avoid letting it get too low was just as important. The new adventurers each have Influence abilities as part of their starting abilities, giving them an extra advantage over regular adventurers when it comes to horror. (However, each adventurer gets one extra Influence card when playing expansion games, so even adventurers from the core game can still hold their own.)

Who doesn't love the occasional pop culture reference?

Artwork and Components:

The expansion has largely done well to stick to the core's design elements, so it doesn't feel like the core is outdated all of a sudden. However, there are two design elements worth mentioning that I liked. Each of the Horror enemy cards has its own unique design, which is exactly what I'd hoped for with the core game. It's great that they've implemented it here, and the designs are equally beautiful and haunting. Each card also has a small symbol on it to mark its inclusion in the expansion, meaning that there's no worry of getting the cards mixed up and having difficulty separating them up later on.

Personas are the major focus of the expansion, but there are still plenty of ways to take on your enemies.

The 51-card expansion contains new Influence ability and Horror enemy cards, each of which contain as many as the core's different types of ability and enemy cards (twenty and ten, respectively). Twelve new Persona cards, five Adventurer cards, and four Loot cards round out the deck, and the cards maintain the same physical quality of the cards in the core game. There's also ten new plastic clips included, which is useful if you're running low, but their potential to bend the cards is still an unfortunate side-effect.

The Good:

Expedition: The Horror adds new and interesting mechanics to an already-fun game, cool new artwork to accompany the Cthulhu-like entities, and expands upon the roleplay opportunities by giving characters unique personalities through their personas. The app has also been updated since I reviewed the core game, adding music to combat for an added bit of intensity.

The Bad:

Aside from the plastic clips, which I fully understand are a necessary evil, the only thing that I disliked was the lack of more horror missions. Aside from the prologue, there didn't seem to be any other official expansion missions. Thankfully, the fan support had plenty of opportunities for us, and the expansion's cards can still be used with the original quests, but more expansion-specific quests would have been a cool addition.

[Addendum 1/18/2018: It seems that I may have been hasty in my criticism of their "lack of more horror missions," as the developers have released SIX expansion-specific missions, all of which can be found under "More Quests" on the selection screen. They never cease to impress me!]

Final Thoughts:

A fitting expansion to an already-expansive game. I'm excited to see what expansion they come up with next!

Players Who Like:

Fans of the original Expedition game or of horror RPGs like Call of Cthulhu will want to pick this up.

Check out Expedition: The Horror Expansion on:

https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/232990/expedition-horror   https://expeditiongame.com/   https://www.facebook.com/expeditionrpg   https://twitter.com/expeditionrpg?lang=en   https://www.instagram.com/expeditionrpg/   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Q-eEEamigc

About the Author:
David Jensen has tried his hand at everything from warehouse work and washing dishes to delivering pizza. Now, he writes reviews, edits a literary magazine, and works in a chocolate shop. When not busy procrastinating, he's playing tabletop games with friends and writing fiction.

Expedition: The Horror Expansion Expedition: The Horror Expansion Reviewed by David J. on January 10, 2018 Rating: 5

No comments


Champions Coliseum