Horizon: Zero Dawn The Board Game Expansions Preview

Horizon Zero Dawn Expansions

Preview

Horizon: Zero Dawn The Board Game Expansions Preview

November 17, 2021

By: Giaco Furino

 
 

When we reviewed Horizon: Zero Dawn The Board Game by Steamforged Games, we were totally transfixed by the amount of content and flow of the game. Now, we've had the opportunity to check out four distinct expansions for the base game. Though there's tons to dig into with each expansion, we're showing off components and doing a preview breakdown for each! So join us, Hunter, and let's continue the great hunt.

Horizon: Zero Dawn The Board Game - Sacred Land Expansion

Two new hunters for the Sacred Land expansion of Horizon: Zero Dawn The Boardgame
Two new hunters included in the Sacred Land expansion of Horizon: Zero Dawn The Board Game

The Sacred Land expansion for Horizon: Zero Dawn The Board Game lets players journey to the insular and secretive world of the Nora tribe. With two new playable characters -- The Nora Trapper and The Nora Scavenger -- and five new enemy types to hunt, this expansion really shakes up and expands upon the core mechanics of the base game. Each playable character lives up to their namesake, with the Nora Trapper's deck of cards focusing on laying down traps across the battlefield, and the Nora Scavenger focusing on picking up scrap and useful components as it downs its enemies.

Machine enemies from the Sacred Land expansion of Horizon: Zero Dawn The Boardgame
Machine enemies from the Sacred Land expansion of Horizon: Zero Dawn The Board Game

And speaking of enemies, these sculpts are absolutely gorgeous looking (this will be a recurring theme in this preview). The two most impressive of the enemy miniatures are also the most deadly, with the Crocodile-esque Snapmaw able to navigate water tiles (a new addition to the game) and burst from them with furious attacks, and the immense Bellowback miniature spewing either blasting flames or freezing spray (depending on if you're facing the Fire Bellowback or the Freeze Bellowback).

The immense Bellowback from The Sacred Land expansion for Horizon: Zero Dawn The Boardgame
The immense Bellowback from The Sacred Land expansion for Horizon: Zero Dawn The Board Game

This expansion also contains a bevy of new equipment cards that can be added directly to the market deck of the core game, allowing for some fun and unique additions to everyone's favorite part of a miniature game: shopping!

 
 

The Sacred Land expansion for Horizon: Zero Dawn The Board Game includes the following components:

  • 1 Nora Trapper miniature 
  • 1 Nora Scavenger miniature
  • 4 Redeye Watcher miniatures
  • 2 Longlegs miniatures
  • 2 Stalker miniatures
  • 2 Snapmaw miniatures
  • 2 Bellowback miniatures
  • 6 Encounter tiles
  • 1 Rulebook
  • Plus all the cards you need to play

Horizon: Zero Dawn The Board Game - The Frozen Wilds Expansion

The Banuk Shaman and Banuk Veteran from the Frozen Wilds expansion of Horizon: Zero Dawn The Boardgame
The Banuk Shaman and Banuk Veteran from the Frozen Wilds expansion of Horizon: Zero Dawn The Board Game

The Frozen Wilds expansion for Horizon: Zero Dawn The Board Game takes players to the cold and unforgiving frozen realm of the Banuk tribe. Smaller than the Sacred Land expansion, this add-on to the game includes two new hunters -- the Banuk Veteran and the Banuk Shaman -- as well as four new enemy miniatures.

The Banuk Shaman is an especially interesting playable character, as it seeks to commune with the spirits of the machines. This power manifests through the ability to work through, mitigate, and generally shuffle its own attack deck. The Banuk Veteran is a skilled warrior, out for one last hunt, and as such its deck of cards plays incredibly efficiently. The enemy machine models in this expansion include the blazing Scorcher and the hulking -- yet surprisingly agile -- Frostclaw. This expansion also comes with modified enemy cards for enemies found in the core box, allowing you to adapt classic machines to the unforgiving frozen north. 

Terrifying beasts stalk the cold in the Frozen Wilds expansion of Horizon: Zero Dawn The Boardgame
Terrifying beasts stalk the cold in the Frozen Wilds expansion of Horizon: Zero Dawn The Board Game

The Frozen Wilds expansion for Horizon: Zero Dawn The Board Game includes the following components:

  • 1 Banuk Veteran miniature
  • 1 Banuk Shaman miniature
  • 2 Scorcher miniatures
  • 2 Frostclaw miniature
  • 6 Encounter tiles
  • 1 Rulebook
  • Plus all the cards you need to play

Horizon: Zero Dawn The Board Game - The Stormbird Expansion

The terrifying Stormbird swoops in from above in this expansion to Horizon: Zero Dawn The Boardgame
The terrifying Stormbird swoops in from above in this expansion to Horizon: Zero Dawn The Board Game

Screeching high above the land comes terror in the clouds as we dig into The Stormbird Expansion. Unlike the previous two expansions covered, this box is all about its single, gargantuan enemy, the Stormbird. The Stormbird can be added to any hunt campaign as the final encounter, or you can use encounter cards included with the box to focusing on facing down this terrible beast. With a huge base, an immense pool of hit points, and freezing attacks, a flying mode (where it can't be touched by melee attacks), and its Lightning Gun, the Stormbird is a true challenge for even the most seasoned hunters.

The Stormbird expansion for Horizon: Zero Dawn The Board Game includes the following components:

 
 

  • 1 Highly detailed Stormbird miniature
  • Stormbird data, behavior, and reference cards
  • 13 Tracking deck cards
  • Stormbird board
  • Rulebook

Horizon: Zero Dawn The Board Game - The Thunderjaw Expansion

The Thunderjaw stomps onto the battlefield in this expansion to Horizon: Zero Dawn The Boardgame
The Thunderjaw stomps onto the battlefield in this expansion to Horizon: Zero Dawn The Board Game

Stomping through the shrublands, few machines strike fear in the hearts of hunters like the absolutely massive Thunderjaw. In The Thunderjaw Expansion, like the Stormbird before it, the focus is on one singular huge miniature. And like the Stormbird, the Thunderjaw can either be added to a hunt campaign or tracked on its own. This miniature absolutely dominates the table with its immense base, has 50 hitpoints, and attacks with its tail, cannons, disc launcher (which can be scavenged for future use by hunters), and more. It's an absolute show-stopper of a miniature, and the sheer size of it is enough to make hunters tremble in its wake.

The Thunderjaw expansion for Horizon: Zero Dawn The Board Game includes the following components:

  • 1 Highly detailed unpainted Thunderjaw miniature (120mm base)
  • Thunderjaw data, behaviour, and Disc Launcher cards
  • 13 Tracking deck cards
  • Thunderjaw board
  • Rulebook

Each of these four expansions bring a completely new experience to the game, and in our initial playthroughs we found ourselves gravitating to different aspects of each. We loved facing off against the monsters in the Sacred Land expansion, were really drawn to the Banuk Shaman hunter, and were completely stomped and swooped upon by the Thunderjaw and Stormbird.

For more information about these expansions, and to learn more about the core game, visit Steamforged Games.

 

The Horizon: Zero Dawn The Board Game expansions used in this review were provided by Steamforged Games.

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Tabletop Editor

Giaco Furino is a screenwriter, writer, and editor living and working in Brooklyn, NY.

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