Welcome to the Fifth Fleet, hunters! In April this year, we’ll be embarking on a journey to a new world. Together, we’ll experience the land of Astera like never before—on the tabletop.
And who knows what we’ll face when we get there?
Well, as luck would have it, we stumbled across the journal of someone who calls himself ‘Lead Developer’ of the board game. A journal filled with details of the monsters you’ll encounter.
In the coming weeks, we’ll be sharing excerpts from that journal to help you prepare for the ultimate tabletop hunting experience.
Starting, of course, with the basics: how hunters work in the board game.
(P.S. Don’t miss the launch! Hit ‘Notify Me’ on Kickstarter.)
Hunter Mechanics in Monster Hunter World: The Board Game
From the journal of Jamie Perkins, Lead Developer
Whether you’re playing the video game or the board game, choosing your hunter is a key part of any Monster Hunter experience.
You could say this choice is even more crucial in the board game. Unlike the video game, where you can swap weapons at will, the hunter you choose at the start of your tabletop campaign will determine what paths are open to you for the rest of the game.
Each board game hunter has a different fighting style, different weapons, and different upgrades. With a wide variety of hunters to choose from, it's important to understand the basics so you can make a choice that best suits the way you want to play.
This board game has three phases: the gathering phase, the hunting phase, and the HQ phase. To understand the basics of hunters, we’re heading straight into the hunting phase.
Hope you’re ready for battle, because the hunting phase is where it’s at. In this phase, you’ll attempt to slay the monster in dynamic combat that makes full use of the board space.
Before you can face a monster, though, you need to know how your hunter works. So, for now let’s focus on how to take a turn with a hunter. (We’ll talk more about combat in a future journal entry.)
Hunter Cards and Stamina Board
You’re at the table. In front of you is your hunter’s stamina board, which you’ll use to manage your cards and equipment, and to make attacks.
Your hunter’s unique attack deck sits at the top left of their stamina board. In it, you’ll find their attacks and special moves. As you craft new weapons, you’ll replace these cards with more powerful ones.
In the middle of your stamina board is a yellow stamina bar with card slots. During your turn, you’ll play attack cards from your hand onto this bar, representing your hunter making the attack and using stamina in the process.
Even monster hunting pros get tired. You can only whale on a monster for so long before you have to take a break. Once your board is full, your hunter’s stamina is depleted, and you can’t make any more attacks until they recover.
At the top right of your stamina board is your hunter’s damage deck. As you might expect, the contents of that deck depend on what weapon your hunter is wielding. Different weapons use different combinations of cards. The stronger the weapon, the more powerful the damage deck.
When you make an attack, you’ll often draw one or more damage cards to determine how much damage you’ve inflicted on the monster.
Your weapons aren’t infinitely powerful, mind you. Like any object that’s repeatedly hitting tough monster hide, they can wear down over time. When your damage deck runs out, your weapon is blunt, and won’t cause any more damage until you sharpen it (which, as luck would have it, resets and shuffles your damage deck).
Now we’ve got a basic understanding of the hunter cards, let’s look at an attack!
Here’s one I borrowed from the Great Sword hunter’s deck (I’m sure they won’t mind):
You read attack cards from left to right. Using Tackle as an example, the first symbol we can see is a movement symbol featuring the number ‘1’. This means the hunter can move up to 1 node on the game board when making this attack.
The next symbol, a damage symbol, also features a ‘1’. So, when you play that card, you’ll draw one damage card to find out how much damage the attack does to the monster.
If the damage symbol featured a ‘2’, you’d draw two damage cards instead, and so on.
Finally, we have a stun symbol. That’s right! As well as dealing damage, Tackle will hit the monster with a stun token, potentially making your life a little easier during the monster’s next turn.
Of course, whether it actually stuns them or not will depend on how resistant the monster is. Some monsters can withstand several tokens before the stun takes effect.
Okay, with the basics of how to read an attack card covered, let’s talk through the symbols we haven’t yet touched.
Here’s our example card again:
The symbol in the top left corner shows which weapon the attack card belongs to. In this case, the great sword.
(Shocking that the Great Sword hunter would use the great sword, I know.)
The symbol in the bottom left shows the range of the attack. Tackle is a range 1 attack, meaning you’ll need to be up close and personal with the monster for this to land!
Finally, the symbol found in the top right corner is the agility symbol.
This symbol can be used for a few things but the one we’re interested in right now is movement. Find yourself in a sticky spot? Well, with this symbol, you can spend an attack card to move!
To do it, place the attack card face down on your stamina board and move your hunter any number of nodes on the game board up to the number in the agility symbol.
You won’t be able to use this card to attack, but you will be able to high-tail it out of harm’s way—or set yourself up for an awesome take down next turn. Are you feeling brave, hunter?
Hunters with attacks featuring higher agility numbers will have an easier time moving around, which is something to bear in mind if you like zipping around the board.
There are other symbols on the attack cards, but that’s all you need to know at the moment. We’ll cover the rest in a future journal entry. For now, I’d better sign off—the Scoutflies are looking excited…
~ Journal Ends ~
Now, It’s Up To You…
...because you’re going to choose which hunter will join our party first!
Head over to the board game Gathering Hub on Facebook to cast your vote.