BLACKSTONE FORTRESS: ADVANCED ARSENAL | ENDLESS PERIL / PUBLISHER: GAMES WORKSHOP / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
Blackstone Fortress is a game where a adventurers from the 40K universe team up to explore an ancient and pokey space station. A number of expansions for the core game have recently been released, including two card packs, Advanced Arsenal and Endless Peril. Though they do different things, they’re quite similar to each other so let’s review them together.
Advanced Arsenal adds 24 new resource cards to the core set. These are used during the Precipice phase of the game (it’s the bit after the desperate adventure where the explorers divvy up the spoils and attempt to get their hands on useful kit to use in future missions). These tend to be atmospheric, as different areas of precipice provide different types of tools. Each one of these cards is rather useful. We get new art (mostly) and some lovely insights into the world of the Blackstone Fortress. Some of the cards are essentially “reloads” for other types of cards. For example, there’s an arcane loud hailer that lets you get more use out of the preacher’s special prayers (which are a new kind of equipment presented in this set). It’s a nice expansion and one that will make regular players happy.
Endless Peril is a deck of 30 cards. As the name suggests, it adds more potential encounters for the quest by way of combat and encounter cards. This expansion is designed to slip into the core set, so extra tiles from the expansions aren’t considered. The new combat layouts are nice and a real effort has been made to reconfigure aspects of the game into something new. We get a sense of exactly how weird the Fortress is, with spindly areas and obvious kill zones. The extra options mean that the odds of getting two similar fights in the same session are slim.
The encounter cards tend to pick up the slack when it comes to the game’s narrative. It’s a game about peril and adventure, so typical encounters are about avoiding death or uncovering something weird. Though they lack flavour text, they do add more variety to the core game. Though some of these are just “to avoid this bad thing, roll a die”, some of these are fun mini games. The consequences are also a bit blunter with this expansion. You can get lost in the bowels of the fortress or devoured by creepy horrors.
Both decks are a little pricey for what they are, and we sort of wish they had come in one box with some extra scenarios added. Still, it’s a strong addition to the range.