Foreword

This is the second fan preview of the upcoming Downwood Tales expansion for Mice & Mystics. With nearly 65% of all votes, the majority of readers on PHG and BGG opted for a 'fierce and dangerous creature home to the Downwood' as today's preview topic. 

 

I hope you enjoy the second sneak-peek!

Danger lurks outside the Barksburg walls

Downwood Tales throws our Barksburg heroes into the unknown. Sure enough, the heroes' sudden transformation into castle mice offered its challenges in Sorrow and Remembrance: rats suddenly became a lethal threat, rather than an inconvenience, petting Brodie wasn’t so smart anymore, and any appreciation for the mosquito-hunting arthropods quickly diminished when faced with their venomous fangs. And yet, these challenges pale in comparison to what Prince Collin and his friends are up against in the mystical forest. In today’s preview, meet one of the most dangerous creatures calling the Downwood home: the Molox.

 

“If you see a molox, run!” – Jakobe

Molox ecology

Their fur-covered bodies, four muscular, claw-covered legs and sharp teeth suggest that molox are mammals not unlike the moles. However, molox have not been seen outside of the Downwood, which hints at the forest’s magical properties in shaping this fascinating creature.

Nothing is known about molox family life, and it is thought that molox are strictly solitary. In fact, nobody has ever seen two molox in one spot – or had a chance to report such a discovery. A molox is fiercely territorial and won’t hesitate to use its claws, teeth and ox-like temper to evict any intruders from its home. While they don’t see well, molox have an amazing sense of smell, and adventurers should be mindful of fragrances they (or any of their items) emit.

 

The molox towers over any any foes the mice have seen before (production sample)

Molox mechanics

The molox is one of the two large minions in Downwood Tales and physically belittles centipedes and spiders. If you wonder if the molox’s mechanics can live up to its intimidating looks on the gaming board, the answer is a clear ‘Yes, it can’. The molox is not a boss and only acts once per round. Nevertheless, it comes with three stacked initiative cards, which create a novel game mechanic and require careful tactical planning for our mice heroes.

When you first encounter a molox and consider its first initiative card, you might underestimate it as an oversized rat warrior. After all, attack-, defense-, and life values are not too impressive. 

 

However, once a molox is wounded, its figure remains on the board. Only the topmost initiative card is removed and the big critter becomes angered. The molox’s tactics won’t change, but it shrugs off weak hits and its own attack become more ferocious. I found that cheese sharing amongst the mice becomes really important. After all, not many rodents can take a solid hit without being captured.

 

Finally, if an angered molox receives another wound, it rages. An enraged molox hits harder than Brodie, so staying out of its path is a very good idea. I loved this progressively increasing difficulty during play testing! Tactics and teamwork are incredibly important: sharing your cheese can protect your weakened mice and focus the molox's attention on your strongest defender, careful positioning might prevent it from reaching you altogether, and saving your strongest abilities for its enraged stage can increase your chance to penetrate that tough hide and defeat the molox for good.

 

Regardless of all planning, I never found molox encounters to be a static affair. If you choose a melee combatant to engage a molox in single combat, your mouse won’t last very long – so sharing duties is of utmost importance. Similarly, saving cheese will influence your options: do you need to prevent an attack, or do you need that cheese to play a powerful ability card on your turn? If you consider fighting a molox with quick-footed ranged attackers, keep in mind that the molox’s defense value likely tops your attack potential and can contribute massively to the minion cheese wheel! Likewise, gaining cheese from attacking a molox can suddenly turn its attention towards your mouse! As such, you will appreciate some of the already available teamwork options and cherish those, which are added in Downwood Tales.

 

When it comes to mice, the sum is greater than its parts!

Battling a molox often turns into a dynamic, frantic, dangerous, unpredictable and yet very rewarding and memorable encounter that might get your heart rate close to that of the very mice you are playing. Whether this preview has piqued your curiosity about the other Downwood minions, made you wonder what could be so important to enter such a dangerous terrain or even challenged your inner mouse warrior to engage a molox in single combat, I like to rephrase Jakobe: when you see a molox, run!

 

 

Downwood Tales offers many options to break the game's general rules!

In the next preview, I will introduce you to my favourite addition in Downwood Tales: Headfall Hollow! As part thereof, I like to share my thoughts on some exciting new player cards but leave the specifics to you: let me know what you like to read about from the following options (choose one trick, one scroll and one item card).

Vote for one trick card:

*Mystic Link
*Warden’s Retribution
*Mouse Hearing

Vote for one scroll card:

*Summon Spider Ally
*Cloak of the Willow
*Part Water

Vote for one item card:

*Bed Rolls
*Pea Shooter
*Nature Blade


Comments


Obsidian commented:

I never wanted to fight moles so badly.

Mouse Hearing, Summon Spider Ally, and Bed Rolls please.

Posted on 2014-07-29.

KAM commented:

AH! The Molox, strikes fear in the heart of Mice (players). Nice Article, thanks.

Posted on 2014-07-29.

joepinion commented:

Looks like you're guaranteed to have to attack one of these at least 3 times, no matter how many would you do. That's what really makes it tough.

Posted on 2014-07-29.

ledigeine commented:

Mouse Hearing
Cloak of the Willow
Pea Shooter

Posted on 2014-07-29.

jouster07 commented:

Battle Assist could have used some more realistic flavor. If i attack with a ranged attack, all across the tile, in what way can i get the assistance of the warrior next to me ? Really would have wanted this to work defensively (like in the artwork) and add the warriors defense to my own when guarding from a ranged or melee attack.

Posted on 2014-07-29.

Grungebob commented:

The warrior can help you spot/choose target priorities and maximize your battlefield impact with your shot.

Posted on 2014-07-29.

Classicsmiley commented:

Thanks for the preview!

Mouse Hearing
Summon Spider Ally
Pea Shooter

(Oh, and I think it should be "piqued", not "peaked.")

Posted on 2014-07-29.

Spqr commented:

*Mystic Link
*Summon Spider Ally
*Pea Shooter

Posted on 2014-07-29.

LadyAmaryllis commented:

This new monster looks like it will be interesting to fight. Can't wait to play this.

Mouse Hearing, Cloak of the Willow and Nature Blade.

Posted on 2014-07-29.

BTBAM commented:

I LOVE THIS GAME. Sooooooo pumped for people to get their hands on the Downwood.

Posted on 2014-07-29.

Odie commented:

Mouse Hearing, Summon Spider Ally, Pea Shooter

Posted on 2014-07-29.

blitzdrake commented:

Mystic Link, Summon Spider Ally, Pea Shooter! ^_^

Posted on 2014-07-29.

Atsur commented:

Fantastic article, as usual! Looking forward to working with the whole team and putting the smack down on this devilish foe!

The cards I would love to see are:
- Warden's Retribution
- Cloak of the Willow
- Nature Blade

Can't wait for DWT - Hey Jerry, use some of your Mice Magic to bring them to store sooner!

Posted on 2014-07-29.

TomoRobo commented:

It's definitely no pushover. LOVE its mechanic!! Can't wait to pre-order.

Warden's Retribution, Summon Spider Ally, Nature Blade

Posted on 2014-07-29.

Dens commented:

Fantastic article!! Congratulations

* Mystic Link
* Cloak of the Willow
* Nature Blade


Posted on 2014-07-29.

Jakobe commented:

Thanks for voting, everybody. Jouster07, regarding battle assist, hopefully this interpretation will also help with the realism: Imagine Lily spotting the rat leader and wanting to launch an arrow at him. Surrounded by minions, there's no way she can focus as if she was on a target range. Suddenly, Ansel steps in. With a nod he's saying "I hold them off.". Lily can now relax, take a deep breath, aim and let fly. Her chances to hit certainly increased thanks to Ansel. Kind of an offensive defensive bonus. ;)

Posted on 2014-07-29.

pendragonstn commented:

Can't wait for the expansion!

*Warden’s Retribution
*Cloak of the Willow
*Nature Blade

Posted on 2014-07-29.

freezinpee commented:

*mystic link
*summon spider ally
*nature blade

All great stuff. From what I hear from podcasts, the tree top levels and the rest of the new stuff sounds very exciting. 5 stars mouse guy and crew

Posted on 2014-07-29.

jouster07 commented:

Thank you for the thematic imagery guys. It's like the theme was there but hidden from me :)

Posted on 2014-07-29.

Jakobe commented:

No worries! Many things are hidden the Downwood. :)

Posted on 2014-07-30.

FacelessYouth commented:

Warden's Retribution, Summon Spider Ally, Pea Shooter

Posted on 2014-07-30.

Shr1k13 commented:

Mystic Link, Cloak of the Willow, Pea Shooter

Posted on 2014-07-30.

Roderic_Cliche commented:

Just saw this post. It will teach me to look at PHG more often!

Mouse Hearing, Part Water, and Bed Rolls, if you please. :)

Rules question, though: if you have a mouse with the most cheese in the party, but that mouse is at the bottom of the initiative track, what happens? That mouse becomes the target/victim of the Molox?

Related question: If you have two mice who share the same amount of cheese, then it goes after the higher mouse on the track?

Unrelated question! When referencing "nightfall" on a card, is this a game state, or does this reference real world night time? Thanks!

Posted on 2014-08-01.

Jakobe commented:

That's exactly how it works, Roderic: the molox chases after the mouse with the most cheese, regardless of initiative (unless it starts adjacent to a viable target). In a tie for the most cheese, initiative decides the target.
Nightfall is a state in the game with plenty of cool mechanics - might warrant a preview by itself. :)

Posted on 2014-08-01.

Nafmi commented:

Nice overview getting more and more pumped!!

I like the sound of:
*Mystic Link
*Summon Spider Ally
*Nature Blade


Posted on 2014-08-04.

tofpher85 commented:

*Mystic Link
*Summon Spider Ally
*Nature Blade
and i am also so excited i just cant hide it. im about to lose control and i think i like it

Posted on 2014-08-18.

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