The Joy of Unboxing: Shadows of Brimstone Part 1

By January 5, 2015Boardgames, Videos

If you work for a living, why do you kill yourself working?

Let’s kick off the new year by opening a new game—of course! It’s Shadows of Brimstone by Flying Frog Productions.

Welcome to the year of two-thousand-and-fifteen, fellow members of the Esoteric Order of Gamers! It’s a rather impressive number, and I don’t know about you, but it feels a bit scifi to me. If you can excuse me for rambling a bit, when I was growing up many future dates had an aura of mystery about them: 1997 was the date the Jupiter 2 took off, taking the Robinson family with it, doomed to be Lost in Space. There was Moonbase Alpha in (Space) 1999; 2001, of couse, and 2010; 2012 for the whole Mayan apocalypse thing … well, 2015 feels kind of fresh and shiny to me, and it would have been an unimaginably way off in the future for my twelve-year-old self in 1978. And yet here we are, living in the future! Marking years is an arbitrary human construct, but I hope this one is a healthy and happy one for you all.

So let’s start the new year with one of my very favourite pasttimes—you guessed it—opening a brand new game! And to begin with a bang, why not make it two? Two core sets of Shadows of Brimstone arrived in the mail just before Xmas, and it’s my pleasure to share with you their joyful unboxing. Thankfully, I think I still get just as excited as that twelve year old would have back in 1975.

Part two will be posted tomorrow, and includes a look at the assembled miniatures from both sets.


  • WonderSlug WonderSlug says:

    Wow! That’s a lot of stuff. I’m not sure why, but this just didn’t grab me on Kickstarter, so I passed. I’m thinking the sheer size of the production was overwhelming to me at the time as I had only fairly recently taken up board games as a hobby.

    However, I’m looking forward to seeing future painting showcases, and perhaps battle reports? And part II of course.

    • Part 2 coming tomorrow, quick smart! It’ll be interesting to get the game on the table, and see if the sheer volume of thematic stuff outweighs the fact that at its core it’s really a pretty basic move-and-attack dice rolling exercise. We’ll see …

  • Han Han says:

    I finished painting my core sets xmas eve, I have played every day since. Can’t help myself! For my 1st game I never mixed the sets together, but did so straight after (all accept loot and scavenge, as advised by The Frog. Also house ruled: if you draw a 3rd corridor in a row, discard until you get a room card. You’ll see!), and I haven’t looked back. Get painting bud, can’t wait for the Peter & Will play through on this one, it’s going to be hilarious. The game is a riot. My only complaint would be battles are a bit static due to lack of ranged enemies, but you are having too much fun to care.

    • Excellent to hear! So you think I should mix everything in (except the Loot and Scavenge decks) right from the first game? And why the house rule, is it because the board gets too big?

      I’m busy greenstuffing all the gaps in the miniatures as we speak, and will definitely have it all ready for Will’s next visit and our next batch of battle reports.

  • wolvercote66 says:

    I would mix all the sets. I’ve played through all the City of Ancients content and I’m about to dig into the Swamps! It’s a load of fun and I’m looking forward to getting the rest of the content later in the year!

    • Very relieved to read these positive comments as I’ve read a few negative ones. It’s good to have even more stuff on the way isn’t it? A good value Kickstarter I reckon.

  • 7 says:

    Is it tomorrow yet? (It is for you being in the UK [vs me in the US]), I want to see part 2! 😀

  • Han Han says:

    Was going to say get a bucket of green stuff ready. They are only medium detail models, what I class as perfect for boardgame level painters, so a painter of your kaliber should knock them out in no time.
    There is no reason why you shouldn’t mix everything from the get go. Means you have both options when you draw to travel to another world. It makes a huge game with lots of variety, feel epic scale, with loads more to come in wave 2!
    The reason for the house rule for 3 corridors, is, corridors receive no exploration token and drive the depth chart timer on and on for no gain, also it’s anticlimactic and boring! It’s nice to have one now and again to have a breather and ping off some healing in safety, two in a row is occasionally fine if the party is really battered up, a third is very annoying, and the darkness can get hairily close to escaping the mine on a good day. See how you feel when it happens to you. I believe some folks are removing a few of the corridor doubles from their doubled up mine map decks, another solution to the same problem. Rooms and exploration tokens fuel this game and a herd of corridors in a row artificially rob you of count down time for next to no game progress. Brimstone borrows extremely heavily from Warhammer Quest, and that game suffers the same issue.
    One of the things that raises the bar on this game, isthe town portion and levelling up.
    But once you do level up up though, you are going to need to be ditching all of the supplied paraphernalia for your characters footprint, and move to a home brew D&D style character sheet. The upgrades and boosts you can get from town and levelling are not covered with tokens or cards out of the box (saw some guys on the geek attempting to create the decks of everything required to cover all eventualities, quite a project), this will be on top of the home brew XP and Gold tally chart you will be using. There is bookkeeping on an rpg level required. All said, it doesn’t detract from a great fun game!
    Just my observations so far, sorry to ramble!

    • Ahh, gotcha. I do find it strange that they released 2 core sets at once with nothing in the rules about combining them. Also I wonder if it was necessary to make another full size core set with the inevitable repetition, when one core set and an expansion would have done the job. As you point out with the corridors issue, it changes the probabilities.

      Ramble away, I really appreciate the tips.

  • Alex Alex says:

    Wow. Abgefahren. In english Language there are the best games for me. Miniature, Battles, tatics and strategy. I Hope you all enjoy this option. All My friends can’t Play with english games. *cry*. But go on with other videos, so i can Dream to Play these games.

    I Hope you Understand what i say. My english is terrible.

    We speak US soon.


    • Don’t worry Alex, you’re getting your point across just fine. I’m sure you were happy to hear that Asmodee have purchased Days of Wonder and Fantasy Flight Games, as that should result in more European language translations of their games. I can see the problem with dungeoncrawl games if they’re only in English though, as they usually have so many cards with text on them.

  • MarcellusWallace MarcellusWallace says:

    @Alex Fear not. The german distribution partner is Heidelberger Spiele if you didn’t know. So i guess they’ll be making a german version of it at some point.

    @Han The Town portion is a nice touch indeed. Although there is little to no player interaction in that part. It’s like everyone is playing their own minigame between going into the mines.

    Great video as always! And dear Peter if you mean me with negative comments, i didn’t want to take your anticipation with some rather critical points in my posts in the forum. I hope you could see that we had a lot of fun, too! And to add my two cents about mixing the sets: We only played with Swamps of Death so far, there is already so much stuff in one set to keep at it that we didn’t want to mix all together and have an overload. We plan on playing our own “campaign” in Swamps of Death and after that go into the City of Ancients with the other 4 heroes and just the stuff of that set. But as already mentioned, if you want to mix the sets it is recommended (by Flying Frog and lot of kickstarter backers) to mix everything except the Loot and Scavenge Deck (you can mix them to add more randomness) and only use one set of Mine Passage cards.

    • Not at all, I’ve just been reading around the internet and some people have really got into it and enjoyed, and others have found it a tedious dice rolling exercise. But these kind of games are always dependent on how willing players are to get immersed in the theme and have a laugh, so I have no doubt it will be right up my alley!

      Good idea to have only one set of Mine Passage cards.

  • Han Han says:

    Agreed Marcellus, Town is a kind of split up and do your own thing portion of the game. But we like to check out each others rolls as opposed to all doing our thing simultaneously. Watching your mine delving amigos gain or lose spectacularly at each store every turn, can be great fun.
    Then, next time at the mine entrance everyone cant wait to try out, and show off their new buffs and shineys on the first group of unsuspecting critters that roll into view for a whoopin’. Its all good!

What do you think?