We recently looked at Osprey Games' Wildlands in our On The Tabletop feature. Wildlands got a new expansion this week, so we decided to preview it along with its first expansion. The Adventuring Party and The Unquiet Dead both add an extra faction that can replace one of the base game factions and an additional game mode.
In this Off The Shelf article we'll look at what both expansions add to Wildlands and we'll follow up with an On The Tabletop feature using these two factions.
Off The Shelf articles are unboxing and preview articles and shouldn't be taken as a full review of the product.
The Unquiet Dead
The Unquiet Dead was the first Wildlands expansion to be released and offered a great new force in the game. If a player wishes to use The Unquiet Dead, they replace one of the original factions. The Unquiet Dead bring 6 fighters in their band, 1 more than the original warbands, which gives you a bit more flexibility and board control.
The best thing about The Unquiet Dead is that they only have 2 icon types, the skull and the grasping hand, across all 6 warriors. This means that their cards are always useable by at least half of your faction (as long as they're all still alive). None of your band are particularly durable, but this extra flexibility balances it out.
Their wild cards also work a little differently, and rather than a single wild card giving access to several abilities, the abilities are spread throughout their cards.
[gallery columns="2" size="large" ids="281464,281466"]
If The Unquiet Dead aren't being used by a player, then a new game mode can be added to the game. They Won't Stay Down is a new Encounter rule that means that whenever a player's character is knocked out of the game, they are replaced by one of The Unquiet Dead. Any player can then use the Undead character to move around and attack by using action cards as normal. Undead characters can't collect shards though, or earn points for knocking out enemy characters.
Undead characters also don't earn you a point for removing them, so there's an interesting balance of using actions towards points, or stopping your opponent attacking you with the Undead by moving them away. You can also enter into some scenarios in game where players will use cards to move the Undead away, only to have the next player use a card to move them back which can bring about some great gamble and bluff situations, with neither player wanting to use too many cards, but also not wanting the Undead that close to them. Do you move the Undead away, or do you save the card for defence?
Because of the extra miniature in The Unquiet Dead, the expansion includes an extra clip on base.
The Adventuring Party
The Adventuring Party are the second and latest Wildlands expansion to be released. As with The Unquiet Dead, it offers a new force and another extra play mode. If one of the players wishes to use The Adventuring Party, they replace one of the original factions. The Adventuring Party bring only 4 fighters in their band, 1 less than the original warbands, but they have a lot more flexibility in terms of board setup.
With only 4 fighters, The Adventuring Party lose out a little in terms of board control, but they deploy slightly differently to the other warbands. During standard deployment, each character is assigned a deployment card, locking them to that numbered location. The Adventuring Party don't assign individual characters to the numbered locations and can instead decide which character will go to that location as they reveal the cards. This means that with some tactical card choices, you can react to the other players deployments.
They also have access to a new action, Heal, where they can remove damage from themselves or each other allowing you to keep key characters on the board if required.
[gallery columns="2" size="large" ids="281469,281470"]
As with The Unquiet Dead, a new Encounter rule is available if no players are using The Adventuring Party as their chosen faction. Looters! is a fun encounter that places The Adventuring Party on the map by randomly assigning the remaining map cards to them after deployment.
At the end of every player's turn, they reveal the top card of The Adventuring Party's deck and the character who's art is displayed takes an action as described in the booklet. The Adventuring Party will usually attack if near a player's character, or move towards the nearest shard. If they ever reach a shard, they steal it and then have to be knocked out in order to be able to claim the shard.
It adds an interesting dynamic to the game, having an unpredictable presence on the board.
Both expansions add a unique experience with the payable warbands, each with its own style of play, but the extra Encounter rules are great fun and add a new dynamic to how you approach games.
We haven't tried it yet, but we're going to try having 4 players, plus use both encounter rules to see what carnage we can muster.
These copies of The Unquiet Dead and The Adventuring Party were provided by Asmodee UK.
Have you played Wildlands? What do you think? Have you used either of the expansions? Which is your favourite faction? Let us know in the comments below.