Using Skill & Hazard Cards – The Umbrella Academy Board Game

February 28, 2022 by fcostin

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Last week, Ben wrote up an article on The Umbrella Academy preview for the upcoming card miniatures hybrid game (which makes a board game). Designed by Mantic Games teaming up with River Horse Games, players utilise their cards to head out to different locations on the map. As they head off into missions and scuffles with well-known franchise villains.

The Umbrella Academy - The Board Game - Mantic Games

The Umbrella Academy: The Board Game // Mantic Games

The preview was a brief outline of what we can expect from the title, and as Mantic approaches the Kickstarter date, we are seeing more and more information surrounding the core mechanics of the game.

Given the nature of the game being card-heavy, one particular mechanic that was released on the preview was the usage of Skill and Hazard Cards.

Skill Cards were described as 'using an action' in the preview: whether that be moving or using abilities. Hazard Cards create different experiences in each playthrough, keeping players on their toes to what might come up next.

Kickstarter Campaign Banner - The Umbrella Academy The Board Game

Kickstarter Campaign Banner // The Umbrella Academy The Board Game

As we all know the nature of a Kickstarter, and want to know as much as possible about the title before backing (whilst telling myself, to stop looking at the gorgeous resources and shiny miniatures before anything else!), Mantic have taken a deeper look at Skill and Hazard Cards! So, what can we expect from these core mechanics?

To describe the Skill Cards, Mantic has placed Spaceboy into the limelight describing how he can tackle the upcoming board game. To help intrigued players get their head around what these cards can do.

Improvisation Skill - Spaceboy

Improvisation Skill // Spaceboy

Strength Skill - Spaceboy

Strength Skill // Spaceboy

Juggernaut Skill - Spaceboy

Juggernaut Skill // Spaceboy

Skill Cards have many different purposes, one that is pulled may affect the player using it or it could even affect a teammate. The right time here is crucial to the success of the mission. If players flex their skills at the wrong time, they could be the cause of failure for the whole team.

Along with the obvious use of "Skill" in "Skill Point" if players do want to head around to different places on the board - they can discard one to ensure they are at the right place. Especially to avoid villainous activity and thwart hazards. But if you are a card hoarder, you will need to learn how to sacrifice what's best for the rest of the team.

As each character has different abilities, as these cards need to be used with strategy in mind - I wonder the combinations that can be created with the varied skills across players. I imagine if this is something you can get right - the game will become a lot easier. Working like a well-oiled machine!

Mantic have also released the role of Hazard Cards in more detail. Explaining how these effects will hope to put heroes on the backburner, cause chaos around the map until the heroes are ready to take action. There will be a series of Hazards to encounter across the map, and players will need to collaboratively rush to defeat them or risk part of the map being destroyed and incoming peril to the heroes.

Missile Strike - Hazard Card

Missile Strike & Meteor // Hazard Cards

Across the board, players will find several different chaotic uprisings across the map. Each Hazard will have an entry point to be able to destroy. This comes in the form of Battle Tokens, who if you can match or beat the requirement - you can take it off of the map and move on to the next dramatic scenario.

Villain Hazards - The Umbrella Academy Board Game

Villain Hazards // The Umbrella Academy Board Game

Each game will be played different, as each playthrough will change depending on where the Hazard Cards are erected. These may come in the form of meteor strikes, but that's nothing that these characters cannot handle. The villains however will have their own Hazards to test the strength of the player. Adding more chaotic cards to the mix depending on the villain who is challenging. This will describe their behaviour and the battle tokens required to take them down.

I am really intrigued by this title. Collaborative games are really up my street, and I am a massive fan of The Umbrella Academy franchise! If you are interested in the upcoming Kickstarter, be sure to tick the box to be notified here.

Think you have a team that can collaborate well, or do you all squabble like brothers and sisters? Oh wait... 

"Each game will be played different, as each playthrough will change depending on where the Hazard Cards are erected..."

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