Moon over Thelgrim
Introducing over 100 new disks, spells and rules to the Diskwars-Game, Moon over Thelgrim can be qualified as a major expansion set. One of the most interesting new features is the newly introduced use of terrain-disks, thus bringing Diskwars even closer to a traditional tabletop wargame. The players now have the possibility to chose 6 different terrains which they can place on their battle area: Lakes, Forrests, Mountains, Ruins and other terrains may now form distinct landmarks of the battlefield, and clever placement of these terrains may influence the outcome of the battle. Each of the terrains has its own special functions from which each player's units may possibly benefit. So, for example the Ruins-terrain will increase the Defense-value of any unit occupying that disk by 2 and furthermore any missile-disk within the ruins will get its range increased by 15 cm. Another quite interesting terrain is the Mountain. It is impassable for non-flying disks, flzing disks within the Mountain-range may not be attacked by non-flyers and furthermore it forms a barrier to any missile fire. The possibilities to use these terrains in the game are nearly unlimited: The already mentioned ruins are pretty good strongholds, Lakes and Mountains limit the movement options on the Battlefield, Temples may provide decisive combat-bonuses etc.
Even more important however are the new units which are introduced into the game. For each of the 8 known races, a starter pack exists, containing 4 fixed flats and 4 flats with random disks. The flats with random disks however feature a 9th race: The Mahkim. These are four-armed, lizard-like swamp-creatures of good strength and combat abilities. Trying to evaluate the balance and usefulness of the new disks, it is my overall impression that the new expansion is mostly well balanced and and a great addition to the game. Each of the races receives a number of new disks whith new skills which greatly enhance the combat capabilities of each race. A few examples:
In most cases, the new disks supplement the already existing armies rather well balancing a bit the strength-differences which the starting-edition of Diskwars left open. However, an object of criticism actually is the overall distribution of the flats into the 8 boxed sets. First off, the new sets are totally unsuitable to be used as independent starters. Unlike the starting-edition, the fixed flats contained in each expansion-set are very different from each other, and so no player can suspect to play a good game with only two Moon over Thelhrim sets. Also, the fact that each expansion contains 4 fixed flats is definately not well-chosen. Apart from the flat with counters which is included in every set, 6 Armies only get 2 fixed flats with units and 1 flat with a terrain-disk, whereas the other 2 armies get 3 flats with units and no terrain-disk. Value and variety of the fixed flats of each race varies considerably. The Dwarves, for example, only get 4 Blacksmiths and 4 Miners, whereas the Knights get 4 different types of disks: Warhorse, Groman Beastrider, Swordsmaidens and Wardogs. Many of these fixed-disks are useful at the beginning, but they are not very attractive in large numbers, so the buying of additional sets automatically will produce a stockpile of not useful, trade-unworthy disks. Furthermore, several of the random-flats may best be qualified as being useless. To get a greater variety of flats into the boxes, a few flats have been included which contain only very common units which are mostly already contained in the fixed flats. Thus, in order to get a well-sized army, a player will have to buy quite a few boxes and also will have to trade considerably to get everything he desires.
Leaving these criticisms apart, Moon over Thelgrim still can be recommended without limitations to all Diskwars players. The graphics of most disks are outstanding, and the introduction of all the new disks greatly increases the tactical choices available to each player. Furthermore, special appluse must be given to the german edition of Moon over Thelgrim. AMIGO did not only correct the errata made in th american edition, but they went further and enhanced a few features. So the german terrain-disks now contain instructions on their functions, and the counter-sheet contains number-counters and other counters which may prove valuable for the game. The only two positions where the german edition could possibly be improved are the printing of the flats (many disks are far from centered - this sometimes is not very pretty to look at) and the distribution of the flats (from talks with players I know that often whole expanion-sets are identical: fixed and non-fixed flats !).
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Copyright © 2001 Frank Schulte-Kulkmann, Trier, Germany