Geeking Out – Hellboy: BPRD against the Tide of Evil!

The B.P.R.D. has got a whole lot bigger, and a whole lot more evil, with the latest and upcoming expansions for Mantic’s fantastic Hellboy game (which we reviewed HERE).

Yes, this month (just in time for a truly epic nerdy Xmas gift) we’re looking at The Wild Hunt expansion, as well as the upcoming Hellboy in Mexico and Darkness Calling, collected in the Kickstarter “Box Full of Evil” (also available from some 3rd party retailers, both as one set or separately).

The Wild Hunt is interesting as it’s the first non-KS expansion. I was initially a little wary as I like choice, and this set comes with only 2 new agents, Hellboy with mahoosive sword and a new back-up agent, Alice Monaghan. However, I’m also acutely aware of the paralysis of choice that can plague games – it’s one of my niggles with The Walking Dead, in fact, as there’s now almost too many characters to pick from.

You get:

1 hero miniature (Enraged Hellboy)
1 backup agent miniature (Alice)
1 agent card
Alice backup agent card
5 enemy cards
40 case file cards
7 requisition / starting cards
19 deck of doom cards
13 encounter cards
4 boss behavior cards
7 scenery/furniture tokens
7 double-sided game tiles
1 boss (Eligos)
12 enemies

This is a fantastic buy for the Hellboy fan in your life. What The Wild Hunt adds is playability and longevity in spades, with a raft of new monsters and, more importantly, 3 brand-new Case Files (scenarios). Eligos is the new boss, and there’s a dozen new minions for him to bother agents with – I especially like the giants, which are seriously chunky as well as really evocative, dynamic scuplts.

As always, the art and aesthetic is spot on, with Mignola’s endorsement and oversight ringing through. These are, in my opinion, the best sculpts Mantic have ever produced, and given that I’m a bit of a fanboy, that’s saying something.

The Box Full of Evil – if you can track one down – is well… full!

That’s vampires, giant bats, undead mounted Knights and a friendly wolf. Oh, and Vladimir Giurescu, who’ll be available at a later date for £14.99 as a boss expansion.

And that’s Luchador Hellboy and the gang from Hellboy in Mexico, Oni, floating heads, loads of undead Knights and conquistadors, and 3 more bosses, from Darkness Calls.

Individually, the expansions include:

Darkness Calls
1 New Hero – Henry Hood, ghost Witchfinder
1 Backup Agent (wolf)
1 Boss – Koschei the Deathless
2 Mini Bosses – Undead Witches
1 New Agent Card
1 Backup Agent Card
2 New Case Files
New Requisition Cards
New Enemy Cards
New Deck of Doom Cards
New Encounter Cards
New Double Sided Game Tiles
15 Undead Minions

Now I freely admit I’ve not had a chance to play through Darkness Calls yet, so I’m just going on looking through the physical content – and it looks like being hard graft, in a really good way. I’m particularly excited about the mini-bosses: because this game is not challenging enough. This looks great for the experienced player of Hellboy looking for a set of fresh new challenges to get tied up in knots with.

Hellboy in Mexico
4 Heroes
1 Boss – Camazotz
4 New Agent Cards
2 New Case Files
New Requisition Cards
New Deck of Doom Cards
New Enemy Cards
New Encounter Cards
6 New Double Sided Game Tiles
15 Minions

Whilst originally the latter expansion was supposed to be KS only, I’ve seen out there in the wild (may the elder gods bless the giant new Forbidden Planet in Glasgow). The biggest selling point about Hellboy in Mexico as an Expansion is – of course – the Luchadors, but not just because they’re wrestlers. It’s because, whilst they can be used like any other agents, they play together as a team, adding a level of synergy that really complements the game’s co-operative play style. It’s actually a great expansion to play with the kids, as the learning curve is not too steep (the scenarios are rated Easy/Medium/Medium) and it’s genuinely fun to play as the Luchador family together. If someone in your life has the Hellboy game, I would highly recommend picking this up if you spot a copy out there.

On a more general note, I’m very impressed with all of the casting: hard plastic, but almost no flash/mould lines. Great sculpts, really high production values; likewise, good, heavy cardstock on the cards, tiles and tokens. It’s most encouraging to see how far Mantic have come, not only from their own early castings but compared to a lot of what else is out there within the price range: £50 might seem on the steep side for an expansion, but you consider a comparable game such as the 2nd ed of FFG’s Mansions of Madness, expansions run to similar for a lot less physical content (for examples, Streets of Arkham contains 3 scenarios, 4 tiles, 4 investigators and 4 creatures – and even then, the models, whilst evocative, are nowhere near the same physical quality as Mantic’s).

So in summary: if you have a Hellboy fan, or a horror/co-op board game fan in your life – and they don’t already have the game (seriously? Why NOT?!), absolutely grab them an expansion. For the fan who’s been working through the basic game, and wants a similar challenge, absolutely go for The Wild Hunt. If you can find the others out there, lucky you! Hellboy in Mexico is a bit more family-fun, whilst Darkness Calls ramps the difficulty up for the experienced gamer.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to sacrifice a goat and attempt to summon the Conqueror Worm.

SAMDAVThe Writer of this piece was: Sam Graven
Article Archive: Geeking Out
You can follow Sam on Twitter

Comment On This Article

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: