I played Shadows of Brimstone until the wheels fell off. While I still considered the game to be one of my all time favorites, my excitement to play it waned over time, even as I acquired more content, and it wasn't until the release of the amazing Frontier Town Expansion that my love for the game was reignited. The game is a table devouring behemoth at this point, especially if you add in multiple enemy packs and expansions like I have, and so I was cautiously excited for the Trederra Deluxe Otherworld Expansion. The alternate reality World War I theme had me intrigued, but can this sprawling behemoth of a game really handle that much more content without being crushed under its own weight? Yes. Yes it can.
Trederra oozes theme. The unique World War I aesthetic really stands out next to the more generic snow, swamp, and lava themed Otherworlds of the base games and the Caverns of Cynder expansion. Dangers lurk around every corner in Trederra, and there is a generous pile of new equipment to be looted by adventurous Posses who brave its eerie, blasted landscape. From rubble strewn battlefields that can be searched multiple times, harsh weather that can be avoided by moving on to tiles that represent the interior of buildings, to physical terrain that can be hidden behind, deadly landmines and roving bands of enemies, Trederra feels alive and immersive.
Trederra also brings a nice dose of difficulty and complexity to combat. There are three new enemy types included, and they fit the theme perfectly. They feel like they belong and, in a world that is plagued by constant war, they also feel like they know how to fight. Weapons of War and Faction cards spice things up nicely as well, adding a nice amount of variety to the new enemy types, keeping things interesting and fresh, and the level of risk/reward feels really well-balanced. It can be a scary prospect, even for a higher leveled party, to run into a group of Trederran enemies who are led by a Lieutenant shouting Battlefield Orders and are packing a deadly Weapon of War, while constantly throwing armor reducing Shatter Grenades at the Posse. Ducking behind cover is a fun tactic, yet cover quickly morphs into a scary obstacle when the enemies use it.
Even though Trederra isn't as game changing as Frontier Town, it is a step up from the other Otherworlds, and if it's any indication of the quality of future expansions, then my interest is going to stay piqued for quite some time. The included missions are fun and interesting and work well both interspersed with other missions and when played back to back. Trederra feels deluxe both via the sheer volume of content included in the box and via the quality of that content. The only real complaint that I can level at Trederra's content is that it diminishes the existing Otherworld content in comparison, and that's a good problem to have.
A note on “chrome”: Trederra's Box is chock full of goodies, from 24 new miniatures, to a pile of new cards and a mound of new chits. The miniatures themselves are a step up for Shadows of Brimstone, especially the customizable Mutants and the fact that Legionnaires come in two different sculpts. Shadows of Brimstone is already a sprawling beast, and Trederra only increases that sprawl, but the additions are good quality and worthwhile.
The bottom line:
Trederra is great, and it truly does feel deluxe, especially when compared to the ho-hum Caverns of Cynder Otherworld. Everything about Trederra feels thematic, and while it essentially is a "more stuff" expansion, the content that it adds is varied and interesting. The new Trederran enemies are tough and provide a fun challenge, and the Otherworld is fun to explore and feels especially unique and alive compared to the other current Otherworlds and their more generic themes. While it doesn't bring as much game-changing goodness to the game as the Frontier Town Expansion, Trederra is another must have for any Shadows of Brimstone fan.
The copy of Shadows of Brimstone: Trederra Otherworld Expansion used for this review was provided by Flying Frog Productions.