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garbetsp

Hellboy

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I've been getting a lot of table time with Hellboy. First of all it passes the wife test, my wife loves co-op and does not like head-to-head competitive. The rules are incredibly streamlined and easy in play to figure out (although the typos manage to make it difficult at times). In the core box you get a lot of really well sculpted miniatures that are a joy to paint. Setup and tear down are surprisingly quick. It plays like a dungeon crawler with a scenario deck driving setup, which has randomized encounters. These encounters fill a room with scenery, furniture, fires, swarms, and minions "A, B, C, and D" and may have a special rule for them. We even replay scenarios multiple times just because they are so fun and the randomization can create surprisingly different challenges.  Each scenario deck maps A, B, C & D to minion cards that change depending on the scenarios. You always get three dice, and they upgrade or downgrade depending on circumstances, making it quick to figure out just what you get to roll. Each character sheet has special abilities, like Hellboy's "Big Right Hook", +3 damage and if it damages target is hurled and stunned. Allowing for Hellboy to throw a figure into another square and damage more enemies with a well placed hurl--or at least break some furniture with some minions head. What's really incredible is how well these mechanics end up recreating the pacing and flow from the comics. Like when Hellboy fires his big gun and manages to miss everything, or Lobster Johnson gets left behind dealing with a minion only to mysteriously reappear back with the group. Each turn the deck of doom flips driving a timer towards the final confrontation or creating some additional disability--like Hellboy gets angry and only wants to fight.  At some point the game triggers the boss fight and he gets a special deck and the final confrontation begins. If the group has found enough clues, the final confrontation is usually not too difficult, but there will probably be a casualty or two before it's over. If the group hasn't gotten enough clues, then well it was nice knowing you. The only downside we've seen is that the scenarios are poorly scaled for 2 players and you pretty much have to play with 4 heroes unless you really like near impossible challenges and defeat. Also, the core box focuses on frog monsters. You will become familiar with frog monsters. The expansions are pretty much a must if you want something besides frog monsters. Also, it's the first game I know of that has a Krampus demon that can make a guest appearance and he comes to punish the naughty. I know what I'm playing on christmas. I might even make a Conan scenario deck for it, it would be a "Conan-lite" game.

 

I've started painting the minis for it. Here's my first. It still has some touch up to go and basing.

 

hellboy-rough.jpg

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