Valeria: Card Kingdoms – Shadowvale Expansion Review

Valeria: Card Kingdoms – Shadowvale is an expansion for Valeria: Card Kingdoms by Isaias Vallejo, published by Daily Magic Games. It is for 1-5 players. This expansion adds a bunch of new cards for the game, including new Event cards.

For more information on Valeria: Card Kingdoms and how to play the game, please check out the link below.

https://jlnelson73.wordpress.com/2017/11/10/valeria-card-kingdoms-review/

In many ways, the setup for this expansion follows the basic setup rules from the main game, with just a few changes. When using the expansion, 1 Exhausted card per player and 1 facedown Event card per player are shuffled together. The shuffled cards are then placed in a stack above the Monster row. The remaining Exhaustion and Event cards are returned to the box. Players have the option of choosing a specific Event card that they’d like to play with as one of the Event cards used instead of random selection.

When playing the game, there is another change to the basic rules. During the Action phase, after an Event card is revealed, the instructions on the card must be followed before moving on to the next action or phase. Actions taken due to an Event cards effects, do not count as an action for the player’s turn. If the Event affects multiple players, then the actions are taken in turn order beginning with the active player.

As far as this expansion goes, there’s not a whole lot of new changes. As with the previous Flames & Frost expansion, there are Event cards as well as cards with the Wild and Banish Card icons. Wild icons count as any other resource, either strength, gold or magic, and can be used in place of one of them. Banish icons mean that a card of the player’s choice must be removed from the game. It should be noted however that a player may not banish a Starter card.

On top of what’s already been mentioned, this expansion adds 5 new Monster Areas and a new Monster type. The new Monster Areas are the Sewer, Necropolis, Woods, Den and Crypt. These can be interchanged with the other stacks of the main game. The new Monster type is the Warden. These new monsters belong to the Monster Area shown on their card. When setting up the game, the Warden is placed above the Boss Monster in it’s Monster Area stack. As you can see, these new areas and monsters work well with the theme of this expansion.

COMPONENTS
This expansion consists of a bunch of new cards, as well as some dividers for keeping them separated when placed inside the core box with all the others. Each card goes along quite well with the new theme. The shadowy creatures are really emphasized in this. There are zombies, banshees, werewolves and vampires, along with some other creepy and gruesome creatures. There are also new Domains that fit in with the theme as well. Many of these have a little tip of the hat to some very familiar monsters, authors or other well known figures; places like Karloff Castle, Stoker’s Pass, Shelley Commons and Vin’pryce Barrens. There are also a few new Dukes like Pas’cal the Gray Hunter and Gurira the Guardian, as well as new Event cards that capitalize on the dark theme. Finally there are all the new Citizen cards like the Exorcist, Hunter and Necromancer which also work well with the theme. As you can see, the theme is fairly heavy here. The artwork on each of the cards really pushes that point as well. I love how cool each design looks and the quality of the cards themselves. These really look amazing. Overall, the theme is great and works well with the game and the cards are top notch. I’m very happy with the look and feel of this expansion.
9 out of 10

RULEBOOK
The rulebook for this expansion isn’t all that big. It’s only a couple of pages without any pictures or examples of gameplay. One page covers the backstory behind the expansion and tells you how to set up and play the game with the expansion. The next page covers the new icons and card types. The back cover goes over several of the cards in detail, clarifying how each of them work. Other than that, there’s really nothing else to the rules. Like with previous expansions, there wasn’t a lot that changed so there wasn’t much need for anything more. Since a copy of the base game is required to play this, there was no need for any of the basic game rules. Needless to say, it gets the job done, quickly and efficiently. No flash or sizzle needed.
8 out of 10

GAMEPLAY
If you’ve read my previous reviews of the base game or the Flames & Frost expansion, you already know my feelings toward the game. If not, then let me reiterate, I really like it a lot. This expansion adds a lot more cards to an already great game. On top of that, the theme is one that I really love. As an erstwhile DM for the Ravenloft RPG, I really enjoy the darker and shadowy monsters and places. As a fan of classic horror, like Dracula, the Wolfman and Frankenstein as well as being a huge fan of Vincent Price, this expansion really hits on every cylinder for me. I like how the new events, citizens and dukes play. I also enjoy fighting all the new monster types. Those players that already enjoy the base game will absolutely love this and should definitely add it to their collection, especially if they have a love for classic horror or the darker side of fantasy gaming. As mentioned in previous reviews, fans of Machi Koro will enjoy how the game plays so this expansion will also be a hit for them as well. This is one expansion that I highly recommend. For me, it’s a must own. It definitely reminds me of all those fun times playing Ravenloft, as the PCs stood against the hordes of darkness. Needless to say, this one will see a lot of replay at my house.
9 out of 10

OVERALL
Valeria: Card Kingdoms – Shadowvale is an expansion for Valeria: Card Kingdoms that adds new cards with a darker and more sinister theme to the base game. This expansion doesn’t really add anything as far as play time goes. It can still be played in around 30 minutes or so. The cards look really great and fit quite well with the dark and shadowy theme. Fans of the Valeria Card Kingdoms and the previous expansion should find lots to love about this one. The new locations and monsters add some added flavor and fun to the game, especially for those of us that like the darker side of fantasy in our games. For players like me, this is a must own. Fans of games like Machi Koro will also enjoy the mechanics of the game and this expansion. This is one that I highly recommend. Don’t be left in the dark, get yourself a copy today.
9 out of 10

 

For more information about this and other great games, please check out  Daily Magic Games at their site.

https://www.dailymagicgames.com/

 

 

About Gaming Bits - Jonathan Nelson

I'm a happily married man with 2 wonderful kids. I love my family very much. I'm a big fan of board, card and RPG games and have been playing for over 20 years. As a board and card game reviewer, I'm hoping that this blog will inform, educate and entertain you. If you like it, please tell your friends and have them join in on the conversations. Thanks and GAME ON!!
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