Review: B-Sieged Sons of the Abyss – surrounded from all sides

b-sieged-45

Abyss. It appeared out of nowhere and changed all our lives. Today, we would probably have never been among the living, if brave men and women did not live in our midst. Now, they are giving their lives at risk in a bloody conflict with hordes of hell. But an even bigger fortune brought us an old sage living in the library. He maybe knows a way to close the rift and bring peace and to our hearts.

We will not become the messenger of salvation in board game : Sons of the Abyss , as it may seem at first glance, but instead, we will be left with thankless role. We must make way for the rider and then defend our home until he manages to return with instructions specifying, how to perform an exorcism ritual. At least that is, what’s written in the story of board game designed by three authors: , Victor Fernandez and and under flag of their small company . Their efforts were supported by , who became the publisher and distribution channels have been entrusted to the people of .

And again, this is a huge square box, which justifies its weight especially in the third, height, dimension. This package with a fiery battle on the lid of us has many surprises prepared for us. But first, they have but to open gates and let us in. And we need to show a valid receipt. Only then, sellers let us go along.

b-sieged-03

Indoors, you will find a map of Modhelm citadel with many buildings scattered across the board and place for the catapult in the middle. This map has company of another four equal-sized boards, that represent possible approaches to your castle, each way made of three battle lines. Fourth position on each board is place for cards. Large cardboard is also used for storing cards supplies and to provide six gaming boards with hero portraits, their morale, special abilities, but also place to watch food or resources. A list of these big plans closes by narrow seasons board with a total of twelve positions.

But there are obviously other components waiting for players and not a few. There are resource cards (which can be obtained in different places of the citadel and offer various effects), events or small cardboard tiles of advanced skills (for heroes), but also dice (five red and three special color). Single round piece of catapult must be attached to center of the citadel before your first game. And then, there are small tokens of morality, divine grace, food, gold and building damage. There also have to be enemy cards with strength based on their level, but especially numerical grades, specifying, how many will appear, according to actual gameplay season. And to top it all, there unconditionally have to be miniatures of monsters, heroes and their six colored stands.

b-sieged-09

At the beginning of the game, players create a map of the citadel and its surroundings. Rotation of double-sided boards is selected according to number of heroes. Sides vary in number of spawn points for monsters and their number should match amount of participating heroes. Players choose characters (usually two) and while miniatures should stand at the center of the citadel, board is placed in front of player and marked with defaults morality, food supplies and gold values. All cards are then simply spread on the dedicated board. Three enemy cards must be assigned randomly to each spawn point.

Marking first round on season counter starts the game. At the beginning of each round, some preparation must be performed. This includes revealing new event card, showing, what will stand in the way of heroes (may be valid for one round or longer). But then it’s time to move messenger forward. He is the only hope to rescue Modhelm. His way out of area (one of four boards) must be chosen by players in the first round based on current monsters present. Messenger can always move forward only on field, where there is no monster. But if any armed enemy surprises him there, he dies and his pilgrimage was unsuccessful.

Before heroes can act, new monsters have to appear. Each direction will have one out of three cards spawning enemies based on roll of the dice. Number of these creatures is then based on their identity card and actual season.

b-sieged-24

But then, heroes can finally get on the battlefield. Players may use their strength, but also special skills to repel the attackers. These brave warriors may also have stored some of those resources, which can be used to make surprise attacks on specified spaces on the board. But heroes are also people and they need to recharge their energy through food after each season. Otherwise, they may die of hunger. And they can also die because of wounds, if their morale drops to zero (lowered with each hit).

Throughout the struggle, heroes will always be located inside the city, where they can use skills of individual buildings and with their help acquire resources cards, gold or food. These cards can then be used by correct characters class to attack. But it is often necessary to pay some amount of money. Card can also permanently raise fighter strength. Melee attacks are allowed only to the nearest zone number one, but using magic or firearms can vanquish even monsters in distant sectors. In addition, heroes can also operate catapult, repair damaged buildings or exchange cards.

Dice are used to decide each duel and enemy defense depends not only on statistics on the card, but also distance on that attack. In total, heroes can divide three action points among their actions. When everyone takes a turn, it is time for enemy to attack. His figurines first attack units, who share position with them. Only then can those, who did not attack, move forward.

b-sieged-16

Players then go through three rounds. After end of one season, each of the heroes must pay two units of food (he can get them in one of the buildings) to keep in shape. Newcomers appear on the board, because spawn cards on all fronts change.

If the messenger was able to leave the game board, he must still return to the citadel with the response. But this time, his path will be determined by luck – players draw one compass card indicating, from which side messenger arrives. In subsequent rounds, players have to ensure his safe return. Only in this way, they can win the whole game. But at the same time, they must also defend their positions and no opponent can enter citadel. Only when messenger returns before end of twelfth round, players can celebrate a victory.

Player in can expecte some huge adventures, when playing B-Sieged. For their survival, it does not matter, how many enemies they kill. It all depends only on fragile life of a single messenger. And therein lies beauty of the game, because tower defense is only one part of the story. If you hold the city, but lose your ambassador speeding on horseback into the sunset, endless tide of enemies will overthrow you sooner or later.

b-sieged-36

All together must be careful and clear path for messenger with their limited resources. Locked inside the castle walls, players must cooperate properly and enjoy all the possibilities. But in the end, it all slips into the success or failure being dependent on chance. Luck plays vital role in B-Sieged, especially in the form of drawn cards. And here comes also the moment, when number of players interested in the game shatters. All the tactics and planning is not the only thing needed for success.

There is absolutely no chance for players to killed all the monsters, that march on citadel. This is simply another type of cooperative game, where you need to think differently. You need to focus only on those places, that are really hot. And it is not easy to get used to this tactic, because it goes in a different direction, than we are used to in similar cooperative games.

Cards are a nice bonus to fighting skills, but major tactic is to use melee and range combat and also absolutely unique catapult. This is a weapon, that can reverse results of many wars and our battle could be one of them. Fundamental option is to raise level of your hero and gain access to many interesting improvements.

b-sieged-17

Still, defense Mondhelmu is pretty tough and winning the game is not easy. It may end even during the first few rounds. Fortunately, there is a second messenger ready in Citadel, to replace the first dead one. But it costs time and that’s the main thing, that you really do not have. Journey to the edge and back takes at least four and four turns, if everything goes well. But also losing is fun in its own way and provides motivation for future matches. So if you are looking for a challenge, B-Sieged is definitely for you.

In more participants, players block buildings by standing their miniatures on them. That is the way, how game tries to balance experience for all player counts. And it quite succeeds. Finally, gameplay is reasonable in all the numbers, because amount of heroes does not differ so much. Game time definitely exceeds an hour at all times and you should rather count with one hundred and twenty minutes to complete.

In the description of the rules, we pretty simplified things. Game contains a number of other improvements and not just abilities of buildings (for example smuggler giving god favor), but also two levels of enemy units, different card types of resources or basic / advanced hero skills.

b-sieged-41

But now the rules are the main place, where the game gets lost. Basic manual is not sufficient, and all candidates will have to find a set of frequently asked questions on Internet https://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/128464/faqs-v1. Only this additional document  brings a real possibility for adjustment difficulty, which is truly missing in the original box, although it should be included there.

Conversely, a large and undisputed asset of the game is in processing. Beautiful miniatures are simply adorable and the game looks absolutely fantastic. Its then hard to even think about negative experience. Fortunately, there is not enough of them to spoil the overall impression and atmosphere of the match.

b-sieged-38

Not everything worked out this time up to one hundred percent. Head of the problems with B-Sieged is clarity of rules, but we must also appoint luck, which significantly affects the development (but this is not necessarily a negative characteristic, it only depends on your perspective). But we already tried on pattern of Zombicide, that if there is a quality game hidden somewhere inside, it will dig up to light eventually, despite initially not-well-done rules. B-Sieged makes on first gameplays a promise to be an excellent and exciting entertainment, just do right out of the box. But FAQ already correct many of those complaints.

<br><br>

DesignerVíctor Fernández, Gorka Mata, Sergi Solé Pascual
ArtistEnrique Fernández Peláez
PublisherCool Mini Or Not
Year Published2016
# of Players1 - 6
User Suggested # of Players Best with 4 players
Recommended with 2, 3, 4 players
(6 voters)
Playing Time90
Mfg Suggested Ages13 and up
User Suggested Ages12 and up
(1 voters)
Language DependenceSome necessary text - easily memorized or small crib sheet
(3 voters)
CategoryFantasy, Miniatures
MechanicCooperative Game, Dice Rolling, Grid Movement
ExpansionB-Sieged: Darkness & Fury, B-Sieged: Darkness & Fury Exclusive Promo Miniatures, B-Sieged: Encampment Tile Set, B-Sieged: Heroes Set 1, B-Sieged: Heroes Set 2, B-Sieged: Sons of the Abyss – Defender Level Kickstarter Rewards, B-Sieged: Sons of the Abyss – Promo Heroes: Dahlia the Peasant, Viggo the Captain, and Astrid the Princess, B-Sieged: Sons of the Abyss – Promo Heroes: Eivor the Knoble, Thorlak the Barbarian, and Donatto the Cook, B-Sieged: Sons of the Abyss – Promo Pack 2016, Cool Mini Or Not Promo Pack 2016
FamilyCategory: Tower Defense, Components: Miniatures, Crowdfunding: Kickstarter
Primary NameB-Sieged: Sons of the Abyss

Infos courtesy of boardgamegeek.com. More Infos.

Review: B-Sieged Sons of the Abyss – surrounded from all sides
Final word
B-Sieged is a new addition to tower-defense games type, but its fortunately not the same. It offers plenty of new features, especially efforts to protect the life of a defenseless messenger. Players must not blindly focus on destroying any invaders, but they must choose carefully, which one to kill. Each match is pretty difficult and no victory is free. With that is thankfully also linked excellent experience, that you will have. It can be spoil only by rulebook, that do not contain everything. But if you download the FAQ, then you should be much happier. It is not easy to bring this article to a clear assessment. Game is exactly on the virge of two grades: good / excellent. Only on the basis of personal preferences, we finally opted for higher mark, but stars still remain to represent our ambivalence. B-Sieged is certainly marching towards grade marked „great fun“.
Reader Rating0 Votes
Pros
true challenge even in repeated play
you can not kill every monster
messenger mechanic
sufficiently variable (heroes, monsters, equipment)
entertaining in two
awesome processing
Cons
unfinished rules (FAQ needed)
luck can decide on victory
no difficulty settings (without FAQ)
3.5
More Stories
Review: Letnisko – the right place for your vacation
%d bloggers like this: