For those who are already familiar with the Rise of the Necromancers game, the Undead Sea expansion is THE big attraction in the Gamefound campaign. This expansion is totally fresh. It was developed by Thorbjørn H. Christensen and Christoffer Kyst of Sore Loser Games.
Taking place after the Dawn & Demons expansion, Undead Sea continues the storyline of the Rise of the Necromancers world setting. It will transport you across oceans to the lands of the necromancers’ enemies, the land of the forces of Light, cursed though they may be!
The Necromancers defeated the Archbishop of Light and regained the unholy knowledge of Demonology in the previous expansion. But every war takes its toll. The cursed island of the Necromancers is partly under water, ravaged by the magical and terrestrial battles that took place there. Eager for revenge but also for available land, the Necromancers turn their gaze to the West and the lands of the Light, more accessible now that the powerful Archbishop is no longer there to protect his kingdom!
The dash westward won’t go smoothly, as the optional rule in the core game that makes clashes between necromancers possible becomes a mandatory rule. That said, with an all-new large map and extensive sea travel, you’ll find that these direct player-versus-player clashes will remain rare.
Ahoy to the raft… sorry, the boat!
Cresting the fresh content wave is a new game board. To the East, we find the remains of the ancient cursed island of the necromancers. The Valley of Souls is still one of the few remaining areas and remains the starting point for the necromancers at the beginning of the game. And to the West are the green shores of the lands of the forces of Light… with beautiful cities to conquer.
The goal of the game remains the same: be the first to place your 13 Dominion counters. But this time, you’ll also have to conquer one of your mortal enemies’ cities. It’s impossible to play it safe by optimizing your control of the old continent. You’ll have to get wet and cross the ocean to the West.
There’s a fresh style for your necromancer minis, the tunic and hood look is gone! From now on, you’ll have to dress up like a sea wolf to get on the board: jacket, pirate boots and harpoon are where it’s at. The Dominion counters also get a Naval make over, the gravestone replaced by the evilest anchor ever!
The first few rounds of the game will be spent on the remains of the cursed island, but you’ll need to get on the water quickly. Like the novice pirates of Black Cannon (Reaching right back into our childhood memories here!) the necromancers begin their career as sailors aboard a simple raft that has the enormous advantage of not sinking.
The powerful necromancer that you aspire to become will not be able to settle for such a poor skiff for long. Very soon, he will move to a special area with reefs and a ship’s graveyard. On this reef field, he can perform a new action that allows him to draw 3 ship cards from the deck and choose one to keep in his hand. This vessel, the soul ship, can be summoned (in reality, the necromancer transfers part of his soul to the raft) by paying the resource cost indicated on the card, as you would for an item. The summoned ship replaces the basic raft and is obviously much more interesting. There are 8 different Soul Ships, each with its own movement stat (with special dice that correspond to the colors of necromancy), hull stat (life points) and a special effect described on the card. When the necromancer binds his soul to a ship, it is for the whole game, so the initial choice is very important. If the ship sinks, the necromancer can bring it back (by paying the resources of the card again), but without being able to change it.
The Soul Ship allows the necromancer to crew his ship with all his minions for the future invasion of the lands of Light. During the movement phase, your necromancer miniature will move from the game board to your ship’s card as you embark and disembark. The Soul Ship is primarily used as a new starting point when your wizard is killed in battle or while exploring dungeons. Thanks to this ship, the resurrection is no longer occurs in the Valley of Souls, which may be quite far away as the game progresses and you sail westward.
The great crossing, free the kraken!
Once aboard their ship, each player will have to cross the ocean, but the journey will be punctuated with stops. Multiple islands contain cities, dungeons, workshops and libraries to upgrade your necromancers. Most of the sea areas are empty, depriving you of the opportunity to perform an action during the journey. However, some dangerous areas contain sea monsters that you can choose to fight, including the iconic Kraken. There are nine sea monsters: mermaids, great white sharks, sperm whales, serpents, deep sea monsters, they come in all shapes and sizes. Once defeated, the sea creature does not simply sink back into the abyss. It would be a pity for those who believe in life after death to do without such monsterous power. The monster is immediately resurrected as undead and joins your army with a dominion marker placed on the sea monster token (thus a step towards victory).
Sea monsters are associated with a color of necromancy and its academy. In addition to a significant attack strength (and often comparable to that of skeletal dragons), they can also provide resources (which type of resource they give up is described on their card) when you roll the special navigation dice and get a result containing their Necromantic color. The risk of spending a turn at sea becalmed is greatly reduced thanks to these monsters who in turn can provide you with precious corpses or resources ever so useful in the game.
Land Ho, my captain!
The fringes of the Lands of Light contain three unique places, three particularly interesting islands: The Great Library (a library), The Forge of Light (a workshop), The Hall of Kings (a dungeon). These places give an advantage to the first necromancer who lands there and in a definitive way (arriving second will be useless): the player immediately recovers the token (or the miniature if that Stretch Goal is unlocked!) for this location and will be able to draw more cards than the other players in each place of the same type: 5 spell cards instead of three for libraries, 5 item cards instead of three for workshops, and finally, 2 dungeon cards instead of one when delving. This is a great advantage for mitigating randomness (especially for dungeons) and for swiftly completing your spell or item collection .
The shores of the Continent of Light contain plenty of land to continue equipping your necromancer and grow their army. And you’ll have to because the cities of Light are so heavily defended! You could lose everything with a badly prepared assault.
For the sake of completeness, this expansion also contains 4 new necromancers and 4 new apprentices with sea legs and more thematic context, as well as 4 new items resistant to sea water.
Fans of custom versions will find 3D versions of new necromancers, sea monsters and even special buildings in the add-on The Foul & The Wicked, to enhance your immersion and gameplay experience.
Now you know everything about this new title in our Phoenix Line. Join us during the GameFound crowdfunding campaign, which starts on Tuesday, January 11! The necromancers are counting on you! Mouahahaha!!!
Rise of the Necromancers
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