Published on December 4th, 2013 | by Gregg Miller
Gabe and Tycho versus Cthulhu
Gregg Explains: Penny Arcade The Game: Rumble In R’leyh
Expansions! What’s better than expansions? Standalone expansions! At least sort of. If you’ve been reading articles on this site, you will recall an article I did on Penny Arcade The Game. Well, an expansion has come out, and the handy thing about it is you don’t need the previous game to play it.
So, what’s new? First, there’s a complete new set of green Gamer cards, red Evil cards, bosses, Heroes, a Glob token, and the new Gold card type. Gold cards are cards that are a mix between the Gamer and Evil cards, and each one counts as both a red and green card for any and ally conditions, synergies, and mechanics. Playing a Gold card still counts as one card played, and they have victory points as if they were the red Evil cards. Another difference is that to buy a Gold card you need both Tokens and Power. In general Gold cards are better to have than either green Gamer and red Evil cards. Only in select situations would you want to buy other cards, if you can help it. Gold cards even come with their own Gold boss, Knight Gabriel.
The Glob token is a new mechanic introduced when the Glob Father is one of the stacks in the line-up. When you play the card, you have to move the token to a new stack. While the token is there, cards can’t be bought or gained from that stack. Some of the new cards introduced are mirror versions from the original set, opening different and new synergies depending on what’s randomly brought into your line-up for the game. However, it’s not required that you are use a pool of cards from both sets to make the new cards effective. The end of the game conditions are also changed in this set, which tends to make much shorter games. Instead of the original game’s six card stacks depleted condition, the expansion calls for four stacks. In addition, if anyone buys the final Gold boss loot card, the game ends.
If you use the game setup for advanced players rules in this game, and you’re planning to merge both games together, this turns the setup and breaking down of the game into a rather long process. Depending on preference, you may want to make a master collection box by putting all the cards into one of the two boxes, while using rules from Rumble in R’leyh as the priority for which rules to follow. With so many cards, this starts to resemble what happens when you start playing Dominion, or Dominion with any number of expansions together: you’re spending a lot of time sorting and tracking all the different cards. In addition, you will now have an excess amount of Cardboard Tubes, Quarter, and PAX Pox cards. I believe the game is meant to only use one full set worth of these cards, so stick with twenty PAX Pox cards for that stack.
Personally, I prefer to have the boxes separate. My friends have tinkered with and toyed with alternate rules, with mixed results. One solid recommendation, if the Head Crabs card is one of the stacks (and I recommend groups just play with the card without talking about it before play), expect an approximate doubling of play time. I have a “No Being a Jack-ass” standing rule with the card, since our preference is getting through more than one game.
There’s also an issue with the quality of the card stock used in the Heroes between versions. The Hero cards from Gamers Vs. Evil is made of a thinner card stock, while the promo Hero Ultimate PAX Fan was made of a thicker stock. This can make for some cheating, if you’re playing when that card is heftier in power. The Rumble in R’leyh Heroes are made of a thicker card stock that seems the same as the promo Hero, so mixing the Heroes together for random selection can be troublesome, if you’re wanting to keep things as fair as possible.
If you are going to buy only one of these two, I would have to recommend buying Rumble in R’leyh as the better standalone.