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Unmatched Dr Sattler vs T-Rex Review

Dr Sattler vs T-Rex

After the release of Unmatched: Jurassic Park - InGen vs Raptors in 2020, fans have been itching for more sets from the prehistoric franchise. Finally, the fix people have been after is here in the form of Dr Sattler vs T-Rex. While the set was delayed by the pandemic, this highly anticipated head-to-head is finally within our reach. I managed to snag my copy from UKGE, but it should be more widely available later this year. With a new behemoth of a figure and other new fun mechanics, let’s see how this set stacks up against the others.

Life Finds A Way

The big shake up to mechanics is the T-Rex, which counts as a ‘large fighter’. This is because the player piece itself is pretty damn big, but it also affects how the T-Rex interacts with certain boards, namely from Cobble and Fog. Given her size, the T-Rex is unable to use any secret passageways from the Victorian board, allowing opponents slip away.

There are some other new rules that come with this colossal carnivore. As she takes up two spaces, the T-Rex in Dr Sattler vs T-Rex can attack any space adjacent to its base, giving it a terrifying reach when it comes to the number of spaces she can attack. The T-Rex also has a unique ability of being able to attack up to two spaces away. However, due to her size she can only move one space at a time, so boosting movement is a must if you want to devour the competition, especially when going up against fast movers like Medusa or Bloody Mary.

As you’d expect, the T-Rex has some pretty impressive health, over double many other Unmatched fighters in fact. With her high health and stunted movement, the T-Rex is a novel character to fight with, forcing you to consider new ways to play if you want to succeed. When put up against other fighters, the T-Rex will always draw attention due to her size and so she is best against opponents with high board presence, such as Robin Hood. Also, with her slow movement she can struggle slightly on the larger four-player boards.

Going up against the T-Rex is, of course, the palaeobotanist Dr Ellie Sattler and Dr Ian Malcom. While neither have the T-Rex’s immense health or imposing fighter, both can pack a real punch, especially Dr Sattler with her Insight tokens. These tokens are placed after any movement and can help power up attacks. While these attacks won’t be enough to one-hit KO the T-Rex, they can lead to some devastating attacks that will help whittle down her health. When put up against other fighters from the Unmatched series, Dr Sattler’s insight tokens do fall a little flat thematically. While they make sense going against a prehistoric predator, they don’t fit quite as nicely against Achilles, for example.

We Need More Teeth

As usual, the components included in this Dr Sattler vs T-Rex set are fantastic. Both minis are gorgeously sculpted and the artwork on the cards is really fun, while being distinct from the other sets. The only gripe I have is that you now only get one board instead of two, with the reverse of the board being a map of Isla Nublar. In addition, the board itself is quite dark, and doesn’t quite pop like some of the others. I understand this is thematic, replicating one of the franchise’s most iconic scenes, but it feels a little disappointing given how exciting the rest of the set is.

All in all, this set is worth the wait, bringing two exciting new fighters to pit against each other or your favourite Unmatched foes. However, Dr Sattler and her Insight doesn’t fit thematically against many of the other fighters, it doesn’t make much sense for her to be analysing her human opponent’s DNA. As the mix-and-match nature of the Unmatched system is what makes it so playable and collectible, this is an issue for me. However, she is still a strong fighter and can easily be pitted against either the T-Rex or the Raptors, from the other Jurassic Park set InGen vs Raptors. While the board isn’t my favourite from the Unmatched family, the cards are still interesting and unique, bringing both fighters to life in a colourful comic style. Overall, despite the thematic issues with Dr Sattler, this set is a great follow on from the Raptors. The T-Rex encourages new styles of play, and her figure is just to die for.