Jul 22, 2015

[Games] Last Night on Earth: Blood in the Forest

So after the fun that was the Timber Peak expansion for Last Night on Earth, we get another expansion somewhat more tired to that story with Blood in the Forest. I had already liked what Timber Peak had added to the game more than other expansions, Blood in the Forest is probably one of the more visually striking additions to the game. Plus it's a heck of a lot of fun.

But now we're all used to how Flying Frog Productions has been handling this franchise in terms of its expansions. We get 2 or more new hero characters and we get more cards and some other bell or whistle. But this expansion really added something distinct to the game in terms of the new zombies and the new board pieces that really shake things up. And we're all the better for it. It's harder to go back to just the base game once you've played this particular expansion.

Synopsis: Last Night on Earth: Blood in the Future is an expansion for Last Night on Earth with stronger ties to Timber Peak for obvious reasons. It was published by Flying Frog Productions in 2013.

The biggest change that comes with Blood in the Forest is the addition of new forest game boards that are added to the existing base set. This more than doubles the overall size of the play board and adds new elements to the game. The forest area involves larger movement tiles but also includes a trees that disrupt line of sight as needed for using firearms. The forest provides advantages for both zombie and human players so things ultimately even out in a rather interesting manner.

The game also adds two new hero characters - Sister Ophelia and FB Agent Carter. Sister Ophelia is a surprisingly useful character in combat given her abilities Redemption and Dark Past, which allow her to cancel fights or heal wounds when rolling a 6 during a fight respectively. Carter can potentially gain more cards while searching, but he also thins the Hero deck to do so. Both work nicely with the overall narrative of the game and do hold promise for some interesting gameplay.

And of course the game continues to support the experience system introduced in Timber Peak by providing additional upgrade cards for both heroes and zombies. The game also comes with three more scenarios that take advantages of the more unique quirks of the game.

But the heroes aren't the only ones with special upgrades - apart from new Zombie upgrade cards, Zombie players also get new Zombie Champions like the Feral Dead and the massive Behemoths. Feral Dead are Relentless and will trigger a second fight with a Hero anytime they win a fight. The Behemoths are notoriously difficult to kill given his Tough ability allows him to shake off wounds and the fact that it's armed with a Chainsaw and thus can do additional wound damage whenever the player rolls a natural 6. I find these champions are a lot more compelling than those introduced earlier in Growing Hunger. It's a little tricky determining when to bring them into play but they can certainly make a difference for Zombie players when played well.

The sight of the full game board together with the forest tiles all around the main board. I know table real estate can be pretty precious, but the overall effect is pretty stunning no matter how you look at it. Games do feel a tad longer since you now have all this extra movement space to play around in, but then such is the nature of any expansion added into a game to make things more interesting.

The blue zombie champions here are certainly more useful than the special zombies in Growing Hunger, but getting them out onto the board is still a little tricky. I know this was done for game balance issues, but it can get a little frustrating for the zombie player during key moments in the game.

Last Night on Earth: Blood in the Forest is a great expansion for the game and it really pushes your Timber Peak experience as you go through things. There's not much that I can complain about in this game and so on the whole I'm a happy camper. Thus the game gets 4 dangerous blue zombies out of a possible 5.

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