It’s time to face the music, hunters. Or, in this case, the massive horned monster that’s barrelling in our direction!
(If you’re wondering how we got here, we’ve tracked the monster in the gathering phase and now it’s time to do battle. To see how the gathering phase works, check out this Monster Hunter World journal. There are some changes to the Iceborne gathering phase — more to be revealed soon! — but the journal will give you a good idea of the basics.)
Luckily, we’ve found some key info in the journal of Jamie Perkins that’ll help us take down this beast — and get a sneak peek at how deep snow terrain works, too!
(Psst. Not following the Kickstarter yet? Do it now so you get notified when the hunt begins on May 18! Click here to follow)
Facing Banbaro in Tabletop Combat
by Jamie Perkins
Like Ancient Forest and Wildspire Waste, Hoarfrost Reach is a standalone core box with a host of monsters you can face in either a full campaign or in single session arena quests*.
If you’re braving the frozen wilds of Hoarfrost Reach in campaign mode*, there’s one brutal monster you’ll have to take on right out of the gate.
But wait, you may be thinking, I thought it was up to me which order I hunt the monsters in?
And you’re absolutely right… with one exception.
Before you’re ready to go barrelling into the wilds, weapon swinging, you’ll need to go on one introductory quest. Just to get the hang of things.
(After all, we can’t be sending hunters out into the world totally unprepared. We’re not monsters. We just hunt them.)
And that teensy, tiny, insignificant little introductory quest… is hunting Banbaro.
Sorry, not sorry.
Lucky for you, it’s only the assigned quest. And if you’re wondering what the heck ‘assigned quest’ means, the next section is for you.
But if you’re a seasoned hunter well-versed in monster difficulty levels, you can take a quick look at the physiology card, then skip straight to the action.
*Short on time? With arena quests, you can dive straight into battle with any monster, at any difficulty level. Even an elder dragon…
Monster Physiology Cards
For a refresher on how monsters behave, check out this journal. Right now, we’re looking at what they’re made of.
Let’s use Banbaro as an example:
Every monster has three physiology cards showing their vital stats. That’s one card for each difficulty level (assigned, investigation, and tempered investigation).
You can tell by the single star that this is Banbaro’s assigned quest. In other words, the lowest level of Banbaro you can face, and — because it’s the introductory quest — the “easiest” (note the inverted commas) monster in the Iceborne board game.
Make no mistake, it will still steamroll you if you’re not careful. And if you think this is bad, wait ‘til you get to 3-star Banbaro.
But we’ll get back to that. First, let’s finish checking out the physiology card.
As you can see, physiology cards tell you the monster’s starting health (top left); elemental and status ailment resistance levels (beneath the health); any special rules (below that); and info on which body parts you can attack and break (on the right).
You read that right. Like the video game, breaking monster parts matters in the board game, and creates some interesting effects.
For one thing, breaking a part guarantees you’ll get bonus loot when you finish the quest.
For two, broken parts can actually change how the monster behaves. As an example, breaking the horns of Banbaro (‘horns’ if we’re speaking thematically; ‘head’, if we’re speaking in consistent rules language) reduces its head armour to zero.
Breaking some parts can even affect your hunter turns, but that’s a story for another time.
Before we get into the action, there’s one more thing. Make sure you check the monster’s special rule to see what extras you’ll need to watch out for!
Okay, we’ve put this off long enough.
Let’s take a sneak peek at some of the hurt Banbaro will lay on you…
Facing Banbaro is like fighting a brick wall that’s running right at you. A brick wall with horns.
Still, with 50 health, your hunter’s starting weapons and armour should give you just enough to take Banbaro down.
But don’t get too confident. This monster can pack a serious punch with behaviours like Rubble Scatter!
With this little number, Banbaro will blast hunters straight ahead and as far as three nodes away for a nasty eight damage. Rubble Scatter will really ruin your day if you’re not ready for it!
Not only that, but Banbaro has a tendency to dig into the ground while it charges, meaning it can unearth mountains of snow and even smash boulders out of its path.
The monster’s special rule, ‘Bulldozer’, is what lets it move terrain around on the game board. Speaking of which…
Hoarfrost Reach Game Board Reveal!
Just like the Ancient Forest and Wildspire Waste in the Monster Hunter World board game, the Iceborne core box, Hoarfrost Reach, comes with its own biome-appropriate game board:
Looks chilly, doesn’t it?
The eagle-eyed hunters among you might notice we’ve updated the node design a little, too. These now feature directional arrows, making it super clear which direction your hunter (or the monster) can move in.
And speaking of moving around…
Deep Snow Terrain
…what else would you expect from Hoarfrost Reach, if not deep snow?
Yes, Hoarfrost Reach introduces a whole new terrain type you won’t find in the World board game. Be careful where you step and make sure you bring some hot drinks!
As you’d imagine, deep snow is difficult to leap out of gracefully. So, when your hunter finds themself standing in deep snow, the agility value on your attack cards is reduced by 1. (To a minimum of 1 — we’re not that cruel!)
That means it will be harder for them to dodge attacks or move fast. You can walk out of deep snow, but one doesn’t simply stroll away from a rampaging monster!
~ Journal Ends ~
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