What’s that thing racing over the ice like it’s nothing?
Whatever it is, it’s coming this way fast!
Quick! Follow the Kickstarter now, while you still can…
Facing Barioth in the Board Game
By Jamie Perkins, lead designer
Gird your loins, hunters. You’re about to come face-to-tooth with Barioth!
This flying wyvern has every advantage on its home turf. Not only do its huge tusks and spiked scales help it move across the ice, but its powerful forelegs and tail are designed to push through snow.
In short, don’t expect a walk in a winter wonderland when you take on this beast.
Let’s take a look at what we’re up against.
Barioth Physiology Card
As you can see, this is the 2-star or ‘investigation quest’ version of the monster. Like every monster in the game, you won’t be facing Barioth just once. There are two more difficulty levels for facing this beast.
(You can even choose to take on any monster an extra two times, if you’re a glutton for punishment.)
As if the tusks and teeth weren’t enough, Barioth also has a fondness for razor sharp winds that stop hunters dead in their tracks.
Thanks to its special rule, ‘whirlwind’ — or ‘icy whirlwind’, in the case of the 2-star monster — some nodes will temporarily become swirling coldspots you’ll want to steer well clear of.
Why? Because even if you do manage to battle your way through the biting wind, anyone standing too close when the microstorm finally abates will find themselves hit with iceblight. See the Beotodus journal for a reminder on how bad that can be.
So, make sure you keep one eye on where Barioth is, another on where it’s going next (using the hint on the back of its next behaviour card), and the third on where the whirlwind token is, to make sure you’re not caught off guard.
You’ve got three eyes, right?
And if that’s not enough, here’s something you can really chew on:
When performing the cold snap behaviour, Barioth can inflict iceblight, ice elemental damage, and leave a whirlwind token behind as a souvenir!
Speaking of behaviours that are Just Too Much, it’s time I introduce you to a whole new type of threat.
Say hello to wind up behaviours.
Monster Wind Up Behaviours
Sometimes, in battles, there are moments when you know exactly what’s about to happen.
Moments when you’re about to get hit with an attack so punishing that the monster has to take a moment to summon all its strength.
Now, thanks to wind up behaviours, you can experience those wonderful “Oh, god, why” moments on your tabletop!
The good news is, you have more time than normal to react. The bad news is, if these behaviours catch you out, you’re probably getting carted back to HQ. We’re talking one-shot KO.
As you can see, there’s an extra hunter turn and attack symbol on the left hand side of the example above. That means one hunter can take their turn before Barioth unleashes a monstrous ice elemental attack for 10 damage.
One hunter turn might not seem like a lot, but it could be the crucial edge you need to stun the monster or even get out of range altogether.
Of course, if you do get hit, there’s a good chance you’ll need a health potion to get back into the action. So, let’s take a look at how to use them.
This is a little different to how potions worked in Monster Hunter World: The Board Game, so even if you’re a vet, you’ll still want to check this out.
Potions & Whetstones
If you find yourself wielding a blunt weapon or low on health in the video games, the monster isn’t going to wait while you casually break out your whetstone or crack open a cold potion to sip.
You’ve got to pick your moment carefully to sharpen or heal — and if you get interrupted, you’re out of luck.
To represent that on the tabletop, we’ve devised a new way for whetstones and potions to work in the Iceborne board game.
To use a potion, you take one potion card from the shared deck and place it on your stamina board as you would an attack card.
This starts your potion drinking ‘animation’. If the potion card is still on your board at the start of your next turn, congrats! You completed the animation uninterrupted and get the benefit, whether that’s recovering stamina or health.
But if the monster manages to damage your hunter during that time, you’re interrupted, and you’ll have to return the potion to the communal deck to try again later. (Assuming you don’t faint in the meantime.)
Pro tip: Pick a moment when the monster is distracted by the other hunters in your party.
One key thing to note is that a potion card does count as one of the face-up attack cards you’re allowed to play in a turn.
Oh, and potions aren’t limitless, either. Most of the time, your group will have a maximum of three health potion cards, so use them wisely.
That’s potions covered. What about whetstones?
Well, sharpening your weapon works the same way as drinking a potion. The only difference is, there’s no limit to the amount of times you can use a whetstone card.
So if you’re laying down heavy hits and making those damage cards rain, no problem! Just sharpen up and get right back to whaling on the monster.
Now, I’ve stalled long enough. Time to go get crushed by Barioth.
Stay frosty, hunters! Perkins out.
~ Journal Ends ~
Make sure you keep checking the journals, because we’ve got another five monsters (including Rajang) to meet before the Kickstarter launch on May 18!