Elder Sign Omens of the Deep Expansion unboxing and Review from Fantasy flight Games

I love the game Elder Sign its fast paced, great to look at and of course, set deep in the Cthulhu mythos from FFG so its dripping in theme.  This one again takes the original Elder Sign, and adds a new way to explore it.  For a brief overview of the kind of mechanics and new card style go take a look at INSERT LINKY  to get an idea.

“But although They no longer lived, They would never really die. They all lay in stone houses in Their great city of R’lyeh, preserved by the spells of mighty Cthulhu for a glorious resurrection when the stars and earth might once more be ready for Them. But at that time some force from outside must serve to liberate Their bodies.”
    –H.P. Lovecraft, The Call of Cthulhu 

Scraps of text that tell of a great evil hidden beneath the waves of the Pacific have long fascinated your old friend, Dr. Mason Phillips. For a time, it seemed that he had put his obsession to rest, but, as those immersed in the struggles against the Elder Gods know, that which slumbers may one day awaken anew.

So whats in the box? and what does it add?

 Its an FFG game after all, so tokens.. and cards, but the art is beautiful on these cards
 New investigaros join the fray, including some from Arkham Horror the Card Game like Roland and Zoey.  Again these can be used with the main game, or any of its expansison so always nice to get new ones.
And 3 new old one are in the pack, including dread Cthulhu himself... he is not easy to defeat at all, so i must keep trying.  Dagon makes an appearance, as does Hydra.

Dr. Phillips has now come into possession of a strangely alluring amulet. It is the sole surviving artifact of a previous expedition into a remote region of the Pacific Ocean that had met with a disastrous end, and Mason has written to you that the odd trinket “calls” him to once again take up his search for the sunken metropolis. The good doctor has enlisted a crew to follow the amulet’s clues, and he has asked you to join him in his mad oceanic quest. Though the legend of R’lyeh has never gripped you as it had Mason, the combination of certainty and intense fear in the tone of his letters has convinced you to join him on this dangerous expedition. Let’s hope you don’t regret leaving the confines of the museum...
The murky waters hide untold horrors in Elder Sign: Omens of the Deep, an expansion for Elder Sign, the cooperative dice game steeped in the lore of H.P. Lovecraft’s terrifying mythos. Omens of the Deep adds the Pacific Adventure decks, new Mythos cards, The Ultima Thule entrance card, eight brave new investigators, and three horrifying Ancient Ones. The addition of mission markers and an array of new spells, skills, allies, and items will help you arm yourself for this voyage into long forsaken waters. Based on the popular The Call of Cthulhu expansion for the Elder Sign: Omens app, players can now venture forth from the within the familiar walls of the museum and board The Ultima Thule to combat the Ancient Ones that have begun to stir in the depths of the Pacific.

The Slumbering City Stirs

As the weird glow of the amulet pulses and shines, resonating with an unknown source, your crew is drawn further and further into the unexplored reaches of the Pacific Ocean. Your steady progress will reveal new challenges as The Ultima Thule chases down the location of the lost city of R’lyeh. The Omens of the Deep expansion explores this through two stages of the R’lyeh Rising mode.
The R’lyeh Rising mode of gameplay features two stages, each with their own risks and rewards. In the first stage, you and your fellow investigators will navigate the Dark Waters track to explore the remote location to which the amulet has drawn The Ultima Thule. In the second phase, your team will assemble the Amulet of R’lyeh and collect Elder Signs to seal away the evils that inhabit the sunken city of R’lyeh, in an attempt to defeat the slumbering Ancient One. However, savvy investigators should beware of lingering too long in the dark waters or plunging too eagerly into the amulet’s mysteries! Each stage is fraught with fresh horrors, so tread with care as you seek out the secrets of the deep.

A Fresh Fear of The Unknown

The dark waters of the Pacific Ocean conceal countless mysteries, and these terrifying perils lurk just beneath these frigid waves. Only by balancing calculated risk with careful exploration can the investigators hope to seal away the deeper darkness that stirs in the lost city.

The specific contents of Pacific Adventure cards are hidden until some brave soul ventures into that region, though the cards hint at just how daunting the perils within the region may be. The investigators will encounter a variety of Entry effects that trigger when they reach a new destination, and must contend with difficult choices as they encounter split penalties and rewards for failing or surviving an adventure.

An Army Beneath the Surface

While R’lyeh sleeps, other denizens of the deep have already begun to stir and will stop at nothing to bring the Ancient One back to a waking state. The Deep One Legion is particularly tenacious. Even when defeated, these creatures will just slither to a new adventure and wait for another chance to strike unless extraordinary measures are taken to dispose of them. These formidable foes can also overrun The Ultima Thule, destroying the investigators’ only safe haven.
Though The Ultima Thule’s charted course is perilous and these foes are many, all hope is not lost for the sanity and safety of the those who seek the Elder Signs. Completing the challenges on the new mission tokens provides an additional way to spend trophies for extra rewards. The Omens of the Deep expansion also comes with new items, investigators, allies, and spells to be leveraged against the coming of the Ancient One. The depths of the Pacific are filled with fresh terrors that only the bravest can attempt to seal with the power of the Elder Signs in the Omens of the Deep expansion for Elder Sign!

The Amulet’s Purpose

The strange force that pulses in the broken amulet has grown stronger since arriving on the outskirts of where it had first been assembled. When the investigators advance to the second stage of the R’lyeh Rising mode, the scenario card is flipped from the Dark Waters track to the Amulet of R’lyeh track. The amulet’s surge in power can both help and hinder the beleaguered investigators as they face a power completely beyond their comprehension.
When the omen token would advance, a member of the Deep One Legion is repelled by the amulet’s power, removing it from the game. If the omen token would retreat, then the amulet calls out to the city’s inhabitants, and a monster appears. Savvy investigators will quickly learn to choose their adventures wisely, wielding the amulet with skill to keep the Deep One Legion at bay.
At the outset of the game, the investigators are granted one broken amulet token. When the Amulet of R’lyeh track is first revealed, it will not only lock one green die, but also the powerful red and yellow dice.The only way to regain their power is to acquire the extremely rare broken amulet tokens and use them to free your dice.And if that weren’t enough motivation for the investigators to pursue the remaining fragments of the amulet with all due haste, if they  tarry too long and the Ancient One wakes, any of the amulet’s locked dice will be removed from the game.

The amulet’s fragments are scattered throughout the fallen city, and reassembling them will be no easy task. However, there are ways to mitigate this extensive search. If the investigators travel to R’lyeh in the second stage of the game by completing the Echoes of the Dream Special Adventure card, they’ll gain a major advantage by starting the second phase of their mission with an additional fragment in hand. If they arrive at R’lyeh by any other means, they’ll need to hunt down any remaining fragments in the second stage’s more difficult Pacific Adventures, get a lucky break with a Mythos card, or perhaps require a brave investigator from their team to sacrifice themselves at The Citadel to gain one of the precious fragments.

Even with the mounting threats in the risen city, R’lyeh also holds the investigator’s only hope of sealing away the threat: Elder Signs! Elder Signs appear with much greater frequency in the second stage of the game, giving your bold investigators a fighting chance against the might of the Ancient One.
Of course, you get plenty of new allies, and equipment and relevant mythos decks too, so you can really  add to your main game by carrying these over to other expansions. 

All in all, with so many new bits its almost like a re-inventing of the game, its a new scenario, and new investigators to use in other scenarios to.  The way FFG can just come up with something that feels different, and fresh is amazing without taking away from the core elements of the game, and it looks beautiful too! So its well worth picking up, as you will love it if you are a fan of Elder Sign, or if you have not played it before, grab a copy of Elder Sign and dive into the world.This set is not easy though, but it is a great experience!

It comes in with an RRP of £24.99,and once more gives you a new way to play an already excellent game! so head on over to your local game store and grab yourself a pack.

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