This just in…
Chatu, The former Wambesi prince, now known as the notorious terrorist “The Python” has been spotted in Bangalla, along with a number of his followers. It is believed that he crossed the border from Rhodia on the night of April 6th. Chatu has been sentenced to death in absentia for murder in a dozen nations.
If you encounter Chatu, please… keep your distance and notify the authorities immediately, because if he spots you… you won’t have a ghost of a chance…
And thus the premise for the recently released expansion pack for Games by Lyck’s critically acclaimed 2021 release, The Phantom The Card Game is laid.
Not only does the expansion pack include the brand new mission “Terror in Mawitaan” based on the 2003 De Paul/ Nolan Sunday story of the same name, but also 3 new side missions that can be played along with any of the adventures of the base game as well as “Terror in Mawitaan”.
These side missions include Devil, Miss Mist and, thanks to Kickstarter reaching its stretch goal, “Stamus Contra Malum”. Each side mission can only be played when another side mission is not in play ie. You can’t play more than 1 side mission at the same time.
These side missions provide the player with an opportunity to expand their deck with some very useful cards but it is definitely not a shoo in that you will be successful. The Miss Mist mission in particular requires a fair amount of luck, in hand with your skill, to complete. However, if you do complete it the rewards are very beneficial. I ended up with a Sarah Cartwright card which had an incredible effect on the way that I approached conflicts.
Stamus Contra Malum is a Jungle Patrol themed side mission so I found playing this side mission alongside the Diana in the Jungle Patrol adventure very satisfying.
Stamus Contra Malum, for those unaware, is the Latin motto of the Jungle Patrol featured in The Phantom comics and translates to “We Stand against Evil”.
Completing the requirements of the side mission rewards you with a number of Jungle Patrol allies who I found invaluable when I took on The Python in “Terror in Mawitaan”. These allies provide the player with a number of different additional actions such us reviving exhausted or discarded cards, allowing extra cards in your hand and providing you with much needed resource tokens.
The new adventure, Terror in Mawitaan, pits The Phantom against one of his most challenging and deadliest foes ever. If you are a phan of the comic you may already know who The Python is and what his future holds for The Phantom, but if this is your first introduction to him you will soon discover that he is an extremely tough and resourceful enemy.
Unlike the other adventures, where there is a heavy reliance on initiating combat in order to progress, Terror in Mawitaan forces the player to think more strategically. Yes, you’ll still have your combat but you will also need to do some secret reconnaissance to take out suspicious vehicles and persons, and not every “surveil” will provide you with a lead.
There is also a new enemy class- Tough- who can only take a limited amount of damage with each initiated combat. If one of these fellas turns up, you better hope you’ve got a few combat tokens up your sleeve, otherwise you will be copping a nasty injury.
I had a lot of fun playing this game. I would call myself a casual gamer, particularly video games such as the Assassin's Creed series, the Arkham series and I’ve just played Far Cry 6.
For someone who was a newbie at deck building card games, I found bringing the video game mentality, where as you complete missions or tasks you level up with new skills, very useful when getting my head around the mechanics of The Phantom The Card Game.
For those of you who are experienced adventure card gamers this won’t be an issue. The game also has 4 levels of difficulty. I mainly played on Normal, but as I got more confident, and my deck began to look nice and healthy I ramped up my difficulty setting on a couple of adventures, which unlocked bonus stages in the adventure that you don’t get playing on the lower difficulty levels.
Overall this is a very enjoyable game that makes the player feel like they are right in the middle of one of The Phantom’s epic adventures, where every choice can have serious repercussions. With over 80 years of Phantom adventures to draw upon, I certainly hope that Games by Lyck can continue bringing out more expansion packs in the future.
What adventure would you like to play out? A classic Falk adventure? A Scandinavian epic? Another modern De Paul? Or maybe something from one of the more recent Australian authors? Let us know in the comments, and as always…