SDE is a very tactical game with RPG elements. The players start with minimal resources and equip themselves with loot from vanquished monsters and treasures from the single treasure chest on each board. The monsters outnumber them to start with and each spawning point can re-spawn from it's dead pool up to three times. As each spawn points is destroyed it spawns a tough mini-boss, and the lesser monsters still on the board gain "leveling up" bonuses to keep them tough as the players improve their equipment. The final boss is very tough. Nevertheless I was only able to take out one of the adventurers--albeit the same one twice--but then that little hero (they respawn at the entrance) finished off the big boss in epic single combat.
|The players enter to find the dungeon swarming with monsters.|
|Quickly clearing the first room the storm into the next!|
|The defenders do a respawn as the players maneuver against the first wave.|
|The first mini-boss spawns, but the players get to summon a rooster.|
|Battling on as the final room monsters move up to reinforce.|
|The big boss teleports to safety as his "time out" frogknight||spawns attack.|
So what are the pros and cons of SDE?
Pros: great miniatures, high quality components, plenty of replay value with just the basic set, good tactical gameplay
Cons: game boards almost too busy and cluttered to make out key features, a few rules require a lot of hunting around in the rulebook to figure out; took a bit long to play
One thing I wasn't happy with was how long it took to play. Granted we were doing a lot of reading and re-reading of the rules as we went but it still took about six hours to play a 3-hero/3-board game. At that rate a really big game with all the heroes and more boards would take a full day to play through.