Monsters & Minions is the first expansion to Thunderworks Games
' critically-acclaimed Roll Player
. The expansion adds several new modules to the base game, including new market cards and dice. It also allows players to use their constructed characters to fight a boss monster. The boss monster doesn't come alone, he brings a horde of minions with him. Each minion gives the heroes a new challenge to face, as well as new rewards. In this review I will only be covering the expansion. For more information on the base game, please read Martyn Poole's review
What does the expansion include?
Let's start with the namesake modules. Monsters & Minions' centrepiece module adds one of six monsters to the game, as well as a deck of minion cards. Instead of purchasing or discarding a market card, a player may instead fight a minion. Players roll at least one combat dice, but may roll more depending on the abilities of the minion itself. For instance, the Goblin grants an extra combat die for every three gold you've horded. Depending on how well a player does, a player might gain certain rewards. Honour points grant a bonus against the monster, while injuries hamper your chances. Minions also grant XP points which players can spend to mitigate poor rolls. Given enough XP, they can even spend them to use their attribute abilities. If you fight a minion well enough, you may also keep it as a trophy for use against the monster later. At the end of the game, all players will fight the same monster. Each monster has its own threshold to meet through using combat dice. Each monster also has its own set of three Adventure cards. Remember those trophies you earned from defeating minions? Well, each trophy you earn lets you look at one of the three adventure cards in turn. Each Adventure card grants its own benefit, providing you've earned enough trophies beforehand. Players use their earned combat dice against the boss as they would against a minion. Each player then gains reputation stars based on how well they fared. This could provide a massive swing in points if you're prepared for it. Another new addition to the game comes in the form of Boost dice. Though they don't contribute to backstory goals, Boost dice offer a different advantage. With face values of 3-8, these dice make lofty Class goals a breeze. It also ensures that goals are attainable if you get a poor Race and Class pairing. Speaking of which, the expansion also adds five race boards and six new class cards for added variety. Whether you're using the feline Bastja or the Construct, there is plenty here to differentiate Roll Player from other games. There are also a slew of new market cards available to buy. The Unholy Flail grants extra combat dice, while the Backpack lets you store drafted dice. The Market deck also contains a new card type. Scroll cards grant an instantaneous effect, often with a huge upside. Dispel grants three gold for every Skill card you have. Don't count on a Scroll only being useful once, as some cards can bring them back for a second time! We also get access to new Skill and Trait cards. Haggle gives you the opportunity to buy several cards in a turn, while Valiant grants Reputation stars for your minion trophies. Finally, there are materials for a fifth player to play the game. This is a welcome addition for those who love the drafting element of Roll Player. Adding more player interaction is welcome, especially when it's one of the high points of the game.