Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battles – The Monster Box of Monsters cooperative game review

Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle Monster Box of Monsters board game

What does The Monster Box of Monsters have in store?

One of our favorite cooperative board games from last year is Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle.

We were first introduced to it at Gen Con 2016 and quickly got a copy from USAopoly to play as a family.

Since we love Harry Potter and cooperative games, it seemed like a perfect fit even before we sat down. The best part though is that it lived up to our high hopes!

We really enjoy working together as Hogwarts heroes to defeat the Villains before they can take control of Potter-world locations.

So when we heard USAopoly was publishing an expansion called The Monster Box of Monsters, we were anxious to give it a go.

Again, the good news is that it’s a great expansion to a fun family game!

Now to give you the scoop…

 

How to play Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle – The Monster Box of Monsters

Since the game flow is unchanged from the original, we’re just going to share what The Monster Box of Monsters adds.

The objective of the game is still for the players/heroes to defeat all the Villains before the Villains control 3 Locations. Only now, the Villain deck also includes a bunch of Creatures as well. In addition, players also have Encounters they must face along the way.

So now in order to win, players must complete all Encounters and defeat all Villains and Creatures.

To get a full rundown of how to play, see our full review of Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle.

Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle Monster Box of Monsters board game

Can our Heroes win the battle?

Note: To keep the fun of discovery of the Boxes in the game, we’re only going to share photos of items included in Box 1.

 

New Elements

On the cover of The Monster Box of Monsters rule book it says, “This game will play best if you combine it with all the Hogwarts Battle game content after you complete Game 7.”

While I’d generally follow that advice, we haven’t yet successfully completed Book 7 of the original game. Oh, we’ve played more than 7 games of Hogwarts Battle. We just haven’t been so lucky to win them all yet. We’ve had some tough goes on some of our games and still look forward to successful completion.

Frankly, that’s one thing we like about the game – that you don’t always win. The introductory Books (games) start out with successful wins as players learn the flow. However, once you hit Book 4, the game gets some teeth.

Anyway, we were too anxious to try out The Monster Box of Monsters to wait. So we dove right in and mixed it in with what we’ve already uncovered in the original.

Our advice is to at least get to Book 6 before playing with The Monster Box of Monsters. That’s mainly because Box 1 of the expansion includes a card type that’s introduced in Book 6 – Proficiency.

 

Proficiency

Proficiency cards are special abilities that heroes combine with their unique hero abilities.

Now players place both their Character card and chosen Proficiency card above their player board at the start of the game. Unless otherwise noted, the Proficiency ability can only be used on a player’s turn.

The Proficiency card added in Box 1 of The Monster Box of Monsters is “Care of Magical Creatures”.

Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle Monster Box of Monsters board game

The Care of Magical Creatures Proficiency card comes with a nice ability.

 

New Hero – Luna Lovegood

That’s right. We all missed Luna in the original game. Sure she was available as an Ally card in the Hogwarts cards deck, but we all knew she belonged as a true hero.

Well, now she is!

The rule book recommends that if you choose to play as Luna as a hero, remove Luna’s card from the Hogwarts cards deck.

In addition to Luna, there’s also a new card for each Hero in the game. Players can choose to use whichever version of the Hero cards they prefer.

Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle Monster Box of Monsters board game

Luna Lovegood now joins the other Heroes!

 

Encounters

Since players have to face Encounters throughout a game now, this new addition is a big deal.

Like the Location cards, Encounters need to be completed in order. The cards are placed in numerical order and at the start of each player’s turn, they must check the Encounter card in addition to revealing Dark Arts cards.

When a player completes an Encounter, they claim the card and can use the stated ability from then on.

Encounter cards also list a Creature/Villain in the top area of the card. When using Encounter cards, those Creatures/Villains must be added to the Villain deck. Then players randomly choose enough other Creatures/Villains to bring the total to 12, including a Lord Voldemort card to make the Villain deck.

Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle Monster Box of Monsters board game

The Encounters add another fun twist.

 

Creatures and Villains

Speaking of Creatures and Villains, I’m sure you already guessed there were plenty more to come.

But in addition to adding a bunch of Creatures to battle, a couple of the cards from the original game are now both Villains and Creatures!

Before starting their first game, players need to replace the Basilisk and Dementor cards with their new cards in this expansion game. That’s because some cards/abilities specify Villain or Creature. And these two evil-doers are both a Villain and a Creature.

Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle Monster Box of Monsters board game

The Basilisk and Dementor cards are now both Villains and Creatures.

 

More of all cards

Just like each Book in the original game added more Dark Arts, Location, and Hogwarts cards, The Monster Box of Monster boxes do the same.

Players begin by opening Box 1 and adding all the new cards into the game.

All the cards in the expansion also have an icon in their bottom left corner to show they’re part of the expansion in case you want to separate them out later.

However, there is one new card we’ll talk specifically about…

Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle Monster Box of Monsters board game

Of course there are more Dark Arts events to face as well.

 

Detention

Box 1 introduces players to Detention!

The 20 Detention cards are stacked separately next to the game board at the start of every game. As the name implies, these are bad cards that heroes may acquire during the game (like through Dark Arts events). They go in a player’s deck like other Hogwarts cards, but they don’t do anything good. They just take up space.

And if a player discards this useless card in response to a Dark Arts event or Villain or Creature ability, that player loses 2 hearts. Ouch!

Which leads us to another element that we’re so happy was added…

Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle Monster Box of Monsters board game

Box 1 Hogwarts cards also introduce Detention cards!

 

Banishing

One of the features of deck-building games that players love is the ability to get back cards out of their deck permanently.

The original Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle didn’t have that ability. And frankly, that’s pretty much the only thing we didn’t like about the original. We couldn’t get rid of our starting cards once we’d acquired better cards.

Well now players have a way to get cards our of their deck – Banishing!

Some of the new Hogwarts cards allow players the option to Banish a card from their deck.

Oh, how we love this addition!

 

Combine Everything

As soon as you open Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle – The Monster Box of Monsters expansion, you’ll know you’re in for a treat.

First of all, you’ll recognize the story element to how you’ll discover these new game elements and cards. Just like the original, there are Boxes to open with new content as you progress in the game.

You may also notice there’s a space in the insert for a die.

Just looking at the size of Box 2, you may quickly assume there’s going to be a die in that box to make use of the space in the insert. So I guess it’s not a spoiler to say that, Yes, there’s also a new die coming into play.

But we won’t tell you what else is included in Box 2, 3, and 4. You’ll get to discover that on your own.

The good news is that the original game box easily holds everything from this expansion!

There’s no need to keep both boxes taking up space on your game shelves. (At least, once you’ve played through all 4 Boxes.)

Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle Monster Box of Monsters board game

The Monster Box of Monsters has 4 boxes of content to discover. And it all fits nicely back in the original game box too.

 

How does Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle – The Monster Box of Monsters score on our “Let’s Play Again” game meter?

Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle card gameIt won’t come as any surprise that the game continues to score high on our “let’s play again” game meter. Not only that, but we think the expansion actually pushes the score even higher.

Not only do we get to add even more variety into the game, we also get the ability to Banish cards along the way.

These additions mean we have lots of Hogwarts Battling fun ahead of us!

If you love Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle, we highly recommend you grab a copy of The Monster Box of Monsters.

And if you haven’t yet played the original, now’s a great time to grab them both!




We’d like to thank USAopoly for a review copy of Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle – The Monster Box of Monsters

 

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