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Terrors of London

Quick Look: Terrors of London

Designer: Brad Pye 
Artist: Brad Pye 
Publisher: Kolossal Games 
Year Published: 2019 
No. of Players: 2 
Ages: 14+ 
Playing Time: 20–40 minutes

Find more info on BoardGameGeek.com

With night falling on London a lamplighter hurriedly makes his way streetlamp to streetlamp. The pools of light are meant to keep the people safe, but those small islands of light make a greater sea of darkness. The shadows where another group of London denizens make their way.
Terrors of London is a deck building game where overlords of the night battle for control of the Victorian landscape. We sat down with a prototype of Terrors of London and had a little bit of a rough start, but once we were able to get into the play of the game we enjoyed some of the strategic uniqueness the game provides.

I first watched 2 friends play Terrors of London, then played a game against 1 of them. We enjoyed Terrors of London and the additional structure of building Hordes. This mechanic tied with having an unlimited hand size, allowed a different level of planning and strategy.
Terrors of London has four faction overlords to choose from: Methuselah (Undead), Fenris (Beast), Lilith (Mortal), or Azazael (Spirit). Once you have made your choices you are ready to set up and battle until only one remains.

As you have probably noticed by the name and the introduction of the horror theme, there are some who will consider Terrors of London inappropriate for younger players. Younger players, especially those who’ve played deck building games, would be able to comprehend the strategy and be able to compete.

Players start with a deck of 10 cards. At least 8 cards of the deck are the same. To the base deck of 8 cards, each player chooses 2 out of the 4 influence cards of the overlord they are playing to complete their starting deck. This allows for some variation from the beginning. These choices can influence what the player actions and what cards they purchase from the Market.

Between the players is the Market. It is made up of a pile of 8 Acolyte cards and the shuffled up deck of the rest which include creatures, characters, and relics. From the top of the shuffled deck 5 cards are placed face up to create the Street. A player can purchase an Acolyte or one of the five cards on the Street to add to their personal deck.
The first player starts with a hand of 4 cards, and the second starts with 5.

Terrors of London moves through 3 phases: The Action Phase, The Cleanup Phase, and the Draw Phase. The Cleanup and Draw Phases each have only one action, whereas the Action Phase has 8 actions to choose from.
During the Action Phase the player of choosing actions in any order, as many times as allowed until the Pass Action is taken, ending their turn. There are 3 actions that are particular to Terrors of London.
Each overlord has a unique ability that can be played once per turn. For example, Methuselah (undead) allow to draw 1 card, then discard a card. If choosing overlords, instead of random selection consider the ability and how you would like to play it.

When playing cards from your hand, you can create hordes. Hordes are created by matching emblems near the bottom of the cards. Creating hordes allows additional actions to be taken. Hordes can be added to as long as you can match the correct symbol on the outside of the cards already played. Terrors of London doesn’t have a hand size limit, and with some planning, a horde of considerable size to be brought in play during a turn.

The last one is Haunt. Haunt has some restrictions to be able to use, but allows the card to be used in a later turn. I recommend you read the rules for haunt thoroughly before starting. We found that it wasn’t as complex as first thought.

Theme and Mechanics
Terrors of London is a Victorian horror themed deck building game set London. It has the additional mechanics of horde building and unlimited hand size.

Artwork and Components
The art in Terrors of London is from Ryan Pye. The art is fitting to the theme. Fans of horror, especially from the Victorian era, will enjoy the work.
I was working on this review while attending a writing conference. I write some horror and know other horror writers and artists. They were all intrigued by the artwork on the cover and wanted to see more of the game.

The Good
  • Hordes and hand size

The Bad
  • 2-player game

Final Thoughts
Terrors of London has features that set it apart for us. These strategic additions give it a replay ability based on the combinations that can be created during play allowing additional abilities to come into play. These additional affects created unexpected twists during play.

Players Who Like
  • Deck building games
  • 1-on-1 games
  • Horror based games

Check out Terrors of London on

Daniel Yocom - Reviewer

Daniel Yocom does geeky things by night because his day job won’t let him. This dates back to the 1960s through games, books, movies, and stranger things better shared in small groups. He’s written hundreds of articles about these topics for his own blog, other websites, and magazines along with stories, after extensive research. His research includes attending conventions, sharing on panels and presentations, and road-tripping with his wife. Join in the geeky fun at guildmastergaming@blogspot.com.

See Daniel's reviews HERE.
Terrors of London Terrors of London Reviewed by Guild Master Gaming on June 26, 2019 Rating: 5

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