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Massive Darkness boardgame base set from CoolMiniOrNot - Boardgame base set reviewimage © CoolMiniOrNot

Boardgame base set: Massive Darkness boardgame base set

Product name: Massive Darkness Board Game, Product code: MD001, Set type: Game base set, System: Massive Darkness system, Range: Massive Darkness range (Fantasy range), Company: CoolMiniOrNotGuillotine Games, Production: 2017.09.29-
Designer: Raphaël Guiton, Jean-Baptiste Lullien, Nicolas Raoult
Style: Cooperative, Solo, Miniatures, AI controlled enemies, Modular board

Players: 1-6

"In Massive Darkness, you’ll join forces with the other players to enter the underground lair of the Darkness. You’ll work together, jumping from shadow to light, engaging the enemy when the moment is right. The minions of the Darkness can be anything from orcs, to goblin warriors, to giant spiders. You’ll never know what creatures await you around every corner. Play the quests in order to follow the storyline, or create your own legends using the tokens and modular board tiles. The Lightbringers won this war once before. Now it’s your turn to add your names to the history books!"

 

Massive Darkness boardgame base set from CoolMiniOrNot - Boardgame base set reviewimage © CoolMiniOrNot

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Contents - Massive Darkness boardgame base set from CoolMiniOrNot

Massive Darkness boardgame base set from CoolMiniOrNot - Boardgame base set reviewimage © CoolMiniOrNot

System

1 Rulebook (Online version)

6 Plastic Hero Dashboards

18 Color Plastic Pegs (3x orange, 3x red, 3x blue, 3x green, 3x cyan, 3x purple)

12 Custom Dice

3x Red Attack Dice

3x Yellow Attack Dice

3x Blue Defence Dice

3x Green Defence Dice

280 Cards

213 mini-cards

20 event cards (E1 to E20)

19 Starting Equipment Cards (SE1 to SE19)

10 Door Cards 32 Level 5 (D1 to D10)

176 Treasure Cards (T1 to T176)

41 Level 1

36 Level 2

34 Level 3

33 Level 4

32 Level 5

6 Artifact Cards (A1 to A6)

50 Guard cards (G1 to G50)

10 Level 1

10 Level 2

10 Level 3

10 Level 4

10 Level 5

12 Roamining Monster cards (RM1 to RM12)

6 Lesser Roaming Monster

6 Greater Roaming Monster

6 Class Sheet Pads (20 sheets of each)

Battle Wizard x20

Bloodmoon Nightrunner x20

Nightshade Ranger x20

Paladin Of Fury x20

Pit Fighter Berserker x20

Shadow Barbarian x20

106 Tokens

10x Level Tokens

2x Level 1 Token
2x Level 2 Token
2x Level 3 Token
2x Level 4 Token
2x Level 5 Token

15x Door Token

6x Pillar Token

2x Dark Bridge Token

6x Objective Tokens

3x Lair Objective Token
2x Artifact Objective Token
1x Library Objective Token

34x Treasure Tokens

30x Treasure Token
4x Special Treasure Token

1x Starting Zone Token

1x Exit Token

1x First Player Token

20x Wound Token

10x Five Wounds Token

Miniature figures (75)

6x Hero miniatures

1x Bjorn

1x Elias

1x Owen

1x Sibyl

1x Siegfried

1x Whisper

69x Enemy miniatures

21 Dwarf

1x Dwarf Agent

1x Dwarf Defender Boss

6x Dwarf Defender Minion

1x Dwarf Warrior Boss

12x Dwarf Warrior Minion

27 Goblin

1x Goblin Agent

1x Goblin Archer Boss

12x Goblin Archer Minion

1x Goblin Warrior Boss

12x Goblin Warrior Minion

15 Orc

1x Orc Agent

1x Orc Enforcer Boss

6x Orc Enforcer Minion

1x Orc Flayer Boss

6x Orc Flayer Minion

6 Roaming Monster figures 

1x Abyssal Demon

1x Giant Spider

1x Hellhound

1x High Troll

1x Liliarch

1x Ogre Mage

Miniature accessories

6 Color Plastic Bases (orange, red, blue, green, cyan, purple)

Miniature scenery

9 Massive Darkness base set game tiles - double-sided game tiles

Human warrior in 1/50 scale - Bjorn for Massive Darkness from CoolMiniOrNot, 2017 - Miniature figure reviewimage © Nagy Gábor (Nagual) Human warrior in 1/50 scale - Elias for Massive Darkness from CoolMiniOrNot, 2017 - Miniature figure reviewimage © Nagy Gábor (Nagual) Human warrior in 1/50 scale - Owen for Massive Darkness from CoolMiniOrNot, 2017 - Miniature figure reviewimage © Nagy Gábor (Nagual) Human warrior in 1/50 scale - Sibyl for Massive Darkness from CoolMiniOrNot, 2017 - Miniature figure reviewimage © Nagy Gábor (Nagual) Human warrior in 1/50 scale - Siegfried for Massive Darkness from CoolMiniOrNot, 2017 - Miniature figure reviewimage © Nagy Gábor (Nagual) Human warrior in 1/50 scale - Whisper for Massive Darkness from CoolMiniOrNot, 2017 - Miniature figure reviewimage © Nagy Gábor (Nagual)
Bjorn Elias Owen Sibyl Siegfried Whisper

 

Human warrior in 1/50 scale - Abyssal Demon for Massive Darkness from CoolMiniOrNot, 2017 - Miniature figure reviewimage © Nagy Gábor (Nagual) Giant arachnid in 1/50 scale - Giant Spider for Massive Darkness from CoolMiniOrNot, 2017 - Miniature creature reviewimage © Nagy Gábor (Nagual) Giant canid in 1/50 scale - Hellhound for Massive Darkness from CoolMiniOrNot, 2017 - Miniature creature reviewimage © Nagy Gábor (Nagual) Humanoid warrior in 1/50 scale - High Troll for Massive Darkness from CoolMiniOrNot, 2017 - Miniature figure reviewimage © Nagy Gábor (Nagual) Serpentine humanoid with multiple arms in 1/50 scale - Liliarch for Massive Darkness from CoolMiniOrNot, 2017 - Miniature creature reviewimage © Nagy Gábor (Nagual) Humanoid warrior in 1/50 scale - Ogre Mage for Massive Darkness from CoolMiniOrNot, 2017 - Miniature figure reviewimage © CoolMiniOrNot
Abyssal Demon Giant Spider Hellhound High Troll Liliarch Ogre Mage

 

Humanoid warrior in 1/50 scale - Dwarf Agent for Massive Darkness from CoolMiniOrNot, 2017 - Miniature figure reviewimage © CoolMiniOrNot Humanoid warrior in 1/50 scale - Dwarf Defender Minion for Massive Darkness from CoolMiniOrNot, 2017 - Miniature figure reviewimage © CoolMiniOrNot Humanoid warrior in 1/50 scale - Dwarf Defender Boss for Massive Darkness from CoolMiniOrNot, 2017 - Miniature figure reviewimage © CoolMiniOrNot Humanoid warrior in 1/50 scale - Dwarf Warrior Minion for Massive Darkness from CoolMiniOrNot, 2017 - Miniature figure reviewimage © CoolMiniOrNot Humanoid warrior in 1/50 scale - Dwarf Warrior Boss for Massive Darkness from CoolMiniOrNot, 2017 - Miniature figure reviewimage © CoolMiniOrNot
Dwarf Agent Dwarf Defender Minion Dwarf Defender Boss Dwarf Warrior Minion Dwarf Warrior Boss

 

Humanoid warrior in 1/50 scale - Goblin Agent for Massive Darkness from CoolMiniOrNot, 2017 - Miniature figure reviewimage © CoolMiniOrNot Humanoid warrior in 1/50 scale - Goblin Archer Minion for Massive Darkness from CoolMiniOrNot, 2017 - Miniature figure reviewimage © CoolMiniOrNot Humanoid warrior in 1/50 scale - Goblin Archer Boss for Massive Darkness from CoolMiniOrNot, 2017 - Miniature figure reviewimage © CoolMiniOrNot Humanoid warrior in 1/50 scale - Goblin Warrior Minion for Massive Darkness from CoolMiniOrNot, 2017 - Miniature figure reviewimage © CoolMiniOrNot Humanoid warrior in 1/50 scale - Goblin Warrior Boss for Massive Darkness from CoolMiniOrNot, 2017 - Miniature figure reviewimage © CoolMiniOrNot
Goblin Agent Goblin Archer Minion Goblin Archer Boss Goblin Warrior Minion Goblin Warrior Boss

 

Humanoid warrior in 1/50 scale - Orc Agent for Massive Darkness from CoolMiniOrNot, 2017 - Miniature figure reviewimage © CoolMiniOrNot Humanoid warrior in 1/50 scale - Orc Enforcer Minion for Massive Darkness from CoolMiniOrNot, 2017 - Miniature figure reviewimage © CoolMiniOrNot Humanoid warrior in 1/50 scale - Orc Enforcer Boss for Massive Darkness from CoolMiniOrNot, 2017 - Miniature figure reviewimage © CoolMiniOrNot Humanoid warrior in 1/50 scale - Orc Flayer Minion for Massive Darkness from CoolMiniOrNot, 2017 - Miniature figure reviewimage © CoolMiniOrNot Humanoid warrior in 1/50 scale - Orc Flayer Boss for Massive Darkness from CoolMiniOrNot, 2017 - Miniature figure reviewimage © CoolMiniOrNot
Orc Agent Orc Enforcer Minion Orc Enforcer Boss Orc Flayer Minion Orc Flayer Boss

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Review - Massive Darkness boardgame base set from CoolMiniOrNot

System: It is based on the Zombicide system, designed by the same people who made Zombicide.

The weapon selection is good. It was nice to see all of them have some advantage over the other, and there is no over-powered one among them.

The dashboard has a sliding edge for easy removal of cards. This is an excellent addition to previous implementations.

Changes to Zombicide:

  • Special dice instead of target numbers: This make it easier to read the rolls, but cumbersome to know which dice you need to roll.
  • Spawn points instead of sewers: Enemies don't come from the edges of the board, but from the indicated spawn points.
  • The difficulty of enemies is tied to the progress on the map: Instead of using the XP of the characters, you have to check how far they have reached.
  • When you open a door, you draw one Door card: Instead of drawing spawn cards individually for each room, you draw one Door card that shows which rooms have spawns and which rooms have treasure.
  • When you choose a character, you have to choose a hero card and a class for him: While this makes the game a bit more difficult to play, it gives more choices and abilities.
  • Increasing threat: You have decks of cards for each level of difficulty. When you run out of cards for a level, instead of shuffling it, you start to draw from the next lower level deck. This gives you harder to beat enemies even if you remain on the same difficulty level.
  • Unlimited inventory: There is no limit on how many cards your character can carry.
  • Automatically opening doors: You don't need special equipment or dice rolls to open a door.
  • Shadow and Light zones: There are some Shadow zones on the map that modify the abilities of characters.
  • Line of sight into rooms: There is no limit of line of sight for seeing into rooms unless there is a wall that blocks it.
  • Move: For every movement action you can move 2 zones instead of 1.
  • No double weapon use: You don't have weapons you can use in both hands.

Improvements to Zombicide:

  • Bonus activation at spawning: During spawning, if you don't have enough miniatures to spawn all of them, you don't put any on the board, just activate that kind of enemy once. As bonus activation is powerful enough, you don't make the enemy max out its numbers before the activation is taken.
  • Limited search: You can only search on the indicated zones. When you search the zone once, the treasure markers are removed so you can't search there again. (I used the same house rule for Zombicide, so for me this is an improvement.)
  • There are no dead characters: If a character would die permanently, the game ends and you lose. This means there is no lost time for the players who lose their characters.
  • Limited choice of balanced items: There are not many item types in the game, but all of them have advantages over others. Of course the magical levels make them more useful at higher levels.
  • Enemies get different powers each time: When you spawn an enemy, you draw an item card it can use. This way you won't get the same enemy twice.
  • Signature moves: You have a special resource (XP, collected by killing enemies) you can spend to power special moves. This gives an additional choice for the player.

Theme: Dungeon crawling fantasy

Contents: It's massive, and also heavy. The price is accordingly high, but the box is stuffed with content.

When you open the box of the miniatures, take a good look which miniature goes where, and put them in their right place. For example, if the Giant Spider is not turned to face forward, the monster shelf won't fit under the hero shelf, and you won't be able to stuff everything back.

Havind a dedicated space for every figure is good if you bring the game around, as you'll be able to see immediately if something is missing, not just when you play your next game. If you only play at home, or you don't mind a couple of lost minis, you can pour all of the minis in the box, so you won't have problems with packaging. I suppose finding the right figure that comes up during events will still be just as slow.

Problems

It can be hard to track which card belongs to which mob. You could use coloured tokens to indicate this.

The dashboard is a great addition for the game. However, you need an additional class sheet and a place for your item inventory to play the game. It would have been nice to have a place to include those too.

I find flipping the level markers a bit cumbersome. It would be easier to just have a place to record the "highest level reached", and you could always check that, without having to check the level markers on the map. A single dice is a perfect solution for this.

I think there's too much bookkeeping, and it's hard to follow what abilities you and your teammates have.

It's not easy to differentiate on the map boards between walls and open spaces.

There is no quest that builds on the Ogre Mage or Liliarch. These monsters could have been left out of the game.

The quest do not build on the separate enemy types included in the game - dwarfs, goblins, and orcs. There's not much difference in them in the game. I feel they could have just gone with only one species of enemies, or maybe with goblins for level 1-2, and orcs for level 3-5.

Problem - Rules

The movement rules seem a bit too fiddly. When you spend an action for Move, you get 2 Movement points to spend, and a list of options to spend them on. I would have preferred if the movement rules were just a part of the action rules, as if you would get only 1 Movement point.

After killing the boss, the killer takes their items, even if the boss was killed in a ranged attack.

You can have an unlimited number of items on your character. I find this unrealistic, and there is no explanation for this.

Everything is scaled to the number of characters in the game, except the number of treasure cards you can find. This is balanced by the ability to transmute, so you can discard cards you don't need for potentially more powerful and useful cards. If you start to house rule either treasure or transmute, keep their connection in mind.

There is no limit to the number of minis you should be able to fit into a zone. They are, however, limited in space, so you can have problems placing your minis.

If you have expansions, you can add those cards to this set. However there are no rules for building enemy decks, and it has a huge effect on gameplay. The more low level enemy cards you have in the decks, the easier the game gets. That means if you include every enemy card from every expansion, you'll only encounter enemies from the current level. If you use only cards from the base set, you can run out of enemies from a level, so higher level enemies will start to arrive.

The wording of the Enemy Phase made me think for a while that the enemy figures get attack, move, attack, move, just like runner zombies in Zombicide. It took me a while when I've read someone explaining this is not the case.

There are some ideas I've written about optional rules: Massive Darkness - House rules

Problems - Quests

Quest 3: The team must choose a character. When you gather the 3 pieces of the artifact, the chosen character gets it, even if it far away from any of those pieces.

Quest 5, Quest 6, Quest 10: There is no indication of any use for the Exit.

Problems - Miniatures

There are tons of miniatures in the game, and it's hard to know what are they, as they look pretty similar. In Rum & Bones there were different bases assigned to different roles, but here the bosses look just like the minions. And the bosses don't indicate what minions belong to them - the goblin archer boss doesn't even have a bow.  The goblin and dwarf agents have two weapons, that could be a good symbol to make them different, however the orc agent only has one, and the orc with two weapons is a simple minion.

It would make it easier to run the game if you had the minions on a different base, for example a rectangular one, and there could be cloak on the agents of darkness to show they are hiding in the shadows. I'd keep the round base on the bosses so i could put coloured rings on them.

Possibilities of improvement

Use the coloured rings to indicate the bosses, and you'll be able to track this way which card belongs to which boss.

Use a dashboard for characters abilities, so you could use pegs or markers to show you've reached them. This way you wouldn't have to check both your dashboard and the class sheet.

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Size comparison of the miniatures from the Massive Darkness base set. From left to right: Bjorn, High Troll, Abyssal Demon, Ogre Mage, Liliarch, Hellhound.image © CoolMiniOrNot
Size comparison of the miniatures from the Massive Darkness base set. From left to right: Bjorn, High Troll, Abyssal Demon, Ogre Mage, Liliarch, Hellhound.

 

Size comparison of the 3D rendered miniatures from the Massive Darkness base set. From left to right: Whisper, Ogre Mage, Hellhound, Giant Spider, Abyssal Demon, High Troll, Liliarch.image © CoolMiniOrNot
Size comparison of the 3D rendered miniatures from the Massive Darkness base set. From left to right: Whisper, Ogre Mage, Hellhound, Giant Spider, Abyssal Demon, High Troll, Liliarch.

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Resources - Massive Darkness boardgame base set from CoolMiniOrNot

CoolMiniOrNot: Massive Darkness Board Game: Official webpage.

CoolMiniOrNot Shop: Massive Darkness Board Game: Official webpage.

Massive Darkness Rulebook

Kickstarter: Massive Darkness: The crowdfunding campaign for the boardgame.

Preview

CoolMiniOrNot: Massive Darkness: Attacking the Darkness: Preview article.

Rules overview

Kickstarter: Massive Darkness: Bjorn, and the savage ways of the Shadow Barbarian!: Player's guide article about Bjorn and the Shadow Barbarian class.

Kickstarter: Massive Darkness: Owen, and the stalwart ways of the Paladin of Fury!: Player's guide article about Owen and the Paladin of Fury class.

Kickstarter: Massive Darkness: Elias, and the arcane ways of the Battle Wizard!: Player's guide article about Elias and the Battle Wizard class.

Kickstarter: Massive Darkness: Siegfried, and the fearless ways of the Pit Fighter Berserker!: Player's guide article about Siegfried and the Pit Fighter Berserker class.

Kickstarter: Massive Darkness: Sybil, and the agile ways of the Nightshade Ranger!: Player's guide article about Sybil and the Nightshade Ranger class.

Kickstarter: Massive Darkness: Whisper, and the sneaky ways of the Bloodmoon Nightrunner!: Player's guide article about Whisper and the Bloodmoon Nightrunner class.

 

Review

Anthony Karcz (from GeekDad): ‘Massive Darkness’ Is Gorgeous, Brutal, Dungeon Crawling Fun: Review article.

Toucan Play that Game: Massive Darkness Review: Review video.

William Niebling (from ICv2): REVIEW: 'MASSIVE DARKNESS' (BOARD GAME): Review article.

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Buying the product - Massive Darkness boardgame base set from CoolMiniOrNot

Base price (Massive Darkness boardgame base set)(2017): 120 USD

Where can you buy it?

CoolMiniOrNot Shop: Massive Darkness Board Game: Official webpage.

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Do you have Massive Darkness boardgame base set from CoolMiniOrNot? How do you like it? Would you recommend them to others? Tell your opinion in the comments!

 

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