This time I take a look at the third, and, at the moment, final expansion for Disney Sorcerer’s Arena Epic Alliances, Leading the Charge.
This small box expansion features three new characters and one new rule. It allows you to add Scar, Buzz Lightyear and Elsa to your Disney/Pixar skirmish battles.
Disclosure: Thanks to The Op for sending us a review copy of this small box expansion. No other compensation was provided. Links in this post may be affiliate links. As an Amazon associate we earn from qualifying purchases.
|Prefer video? Here is a link to the segment from our podcast episode where we reviewed this game. I use the show notes to compose these written reviews. The content and talking points are the same, but if you prefer to watch or listen instead of reading, you can head over here: VIDEO Leading the Charge Disney Sorcerer’s Arena expansion review on YouTube|
You will need Disney Sorcerer’s Arena Epic Alliances in order to use Leading the Charge.
This expansion can be freely intermixed with the characters in the core set as well as all of the expansion characters.
If this is your first time hearing about Sorcerer’s Arena or you are just interested in learning more before jumping into this review, check out my Disney Sorcerer’s Arena Epic Alliances Core Set Review. Both my family and my extended gaming group have really been enjoying this game and all of the expansions released for it so far.
What does Leading the Charge add to Sorcerer’s Arena?
Disney Sorcerer’s Arena: Epic Alliances Leading the Charge comes from Sean Fletcher and the The Op. It was published earlier this year and has an MSRP of $19.99 USD.
As we’ve grown to expect from these Sorcerer’s Arena expansions, Leading the Charge includes three new characters plus some new rules to support these characters. In this case, the characters are Buzz Lightyear from Toy Story, Scar from The Lion King, and Elsa from Frozen. New rules include Constant Abilities and the Invulnerable status effect.
You can check out what you get in the box through our Leading the Charge Unboxing Video on YouTube.
What you will see is what we’ve come to expect from any Disney Sorcerer’s Arena Epic Alliances expansion. A short single folded page of new rules, ten cards for each character, a bigger character card for each character, some punchboards and the “collectable” character standees, which all comes in a plastic insert that’s great for getting the expansion to you in good shape but not so great for sorting and storing things once it’s open.
What was new in this particular expansion was a big, very welcome, change in regard to the standees. Starting with this expansion The OP is now packaging them in a small, very tight, bag where you will find all of the bases and characters stacked together.
The acrylic pieces now only have plastic film on one side and they are stacked so that there is one single piece of film between each piece.
I thought this was a great change as I really did have to fight to get that film off of the pieces in the previous sets.
Component wise it’s also worth noting that the quality in Leading the Charge perfectly matches that of the other sets. The cards are all the same size, there’s no minor colour differentiations or anything else that would make the expansion material stick out while playing a game.
New rules for Sorcerer’s Arena introduced in Leading the Charge
As for new rules included in Leading the Charge for Disney Sorcerer’s Arena, there’s not a lot to talk about.
To start you have the rules for Constant Abilities that have been included in every single one of the Sorcerer’s Arena expansions so far. These are character abilities that are in effect as long as that character is present in the Arena.
I fully expect that when a second print run is done for the Disney Sorcerer’s Arena Epic Alliances Core Set, this rule will be added to the core rulebook.
Then we get something new, a status effect that Elsa can generate called Invulnerable. Whenever damage would be dealt to a character with Invulnerable you prevent the damage and remove Invulnerable.
At this point, Elsa is the only character that uses this ability but I could see it coming up again in future expansions.
A look at each of the new characters introduced in Leading the Charge
As mentioned above, three new characters are included in Leading the Charge, Scar, Elsa, and Buzz Lightyear.
With Scar we have a really nasty character that, appropriately, is all about being the King of the Hill and controlling Victory Point hexes.
His skill can bump a Rival off of a VP Hex, and allows Scar to also take their spot for only the cost of any one movement card. Then when Scar is on a VP hex, all Rivals heal less.
To add to this nastiness he’s one of the few characters in the game that can cause an opponent to lose Crowns they’ve already earned.
Along with this, Scar is also a solid control character who can use his movement cards to move his allies along with him, which is great for controlling the board.
True to character, Scar also has the ability to earn Crowns by taking out one of your own characters with his Treacherous Plot card.
Elsa is one of the most thematic characters we’ve seen, and the way her deck highlights her hatred of her own magic is extremely well done.
This comes out through her ability to draw cards from her deck and keep any non-magical cards she draws as well as her ability to banish her own magic cards to make her Invulnerable.
In addition, that ability to become Invulnerable, combined with many cards that Immobilise rivals by encasing them in ice, makes her a solid defensive character.
She combos particularly well with characters who also dig into your deck. Especially ones that go digging looking for magic cards.
Finally, we have Buzz Lightyear who is one of the best ranged damage dealers in the game.
His core skill is one that you are going to want to use every turn. It lets you do one damage to an opponent already damaged that turn that is exactly two squares away. This means that playing Buzz well is all about being in the right place at the right time and making sure that your rivals are exactly where you want them.
This combos well with his ranged and melee damage cards, including one that hits opponents one, two and three squares away.
As for getting into that perfect spot, his deck also has a number of powerful movement cards, including one that lets him bring an ally with him while covering up to half of the board in one move and an ability that lets him move through rivals and draw cards in the process.
Should you pick up Leading the Charge for Disney Sorcerer’s Arena?
Let’s start off by taking a look at each of the characters in Disney Sorcerer’s Arena Leading the Charge and covering what we thought of them.
Of the three new characters introduced in Leading the Charge, Scar is the most interesting. I love playing with him and hate playing against him.
With Scar in the arena, your whole strategy has to change. Particularly if you usually focus on controlling victory point spots. This is especially true if you like to play a character that needs you to use those spots to be effective. For example, if my opponent drafts Scar there’s no way I’m taking The Horned King.
Next up I really enjoyed playing Buzz Lightyear and I also like playing against him. The big focus in both cases is his skill to damage an already damaged rivel who is “exactly two hexes away”.
When facing Buzz, I’m always watching exactly where all of my characters are standing and trying to end my turns next to him where possible as well as using abilities like Immobilise or Afraid to my advantage. When playing Buzz myself, I’m focused on trying to make sure that I get his skill to go off every round and I’m trying to upgrade him as quickly as possible for even more damage. More than most characters, where Buzz Lightyear is in the initiative order can make a big impact on how effective he is.
I also enjoyed playing Elsa in the few games I’ve used her in. I’ve yet to find a perfect combo for her but I do love how frustrated my opponents get when that Invulnerable status comes up. In the future, I want to experiment with using her with characters like Sorcerer’s Apprentice Mickey or Dr. Fusilier that let you reveal the top card of your deck. I feel there’s a potentially very powerful combo there.
In the end, I found that enjoy all three of the characters included in Leading the Charge and will happily draft any of them. I enjoy what each brings to the game.
My only real disappointment with this expansion is that we didn’t get any cool new rules in this set. Looking at the previous two expansions we had Terrain Tiles introduced in Turning the Tide and Character Tokens introduced in Thrills & Chills which lead me to hope that there would be another cool new element added to the game with Leading the Charge.
I would also have liked it if any of the characters in this set used the new rules introduced in the other expansion. Instead, we just get three new characters (which I liked), and nothing that really changes the feel of the game in the way the previous expansions did.
Now the opposite side of this is that, of the three expansions already out for Sorcerer’s Arena, this is the one set to integrate with the core game. There isn’t much new to learn here. It’s just three new characters and a simple to understand status effect. Due to this, I think this expansion may be a good first buy if you’re looking to expand your copy of Disney Sorcerer’s Arena Epic Alliances.
Overall, yet again, The Op has provided us with a great expansion for a great game. With Leading the Charge you get three new characters for Sorcerer’s Arena that are a lot of fun to play and quite challenging to face. The lack of new rules makes this particular expansion the most accessible of the three released so far. Though this was the most recently released expansion I can see a good argument for it being the first one you pick up when looking for more.
Finally, I want to give thanks to The Op for listening to complaints from fans about the film on the standees and doing something about it.
Of the three expansions released for Sorcerer’s Arena so far, this is the one I would recommend people pick up first as it’s the easiest to integrate with the core set and doesn’t add any game changing abilities that both players have to deal with.
If you play Sorcerer’s Arena we would love to hear your thoughts on all of the expansions so far, as well as what your favourite is team to play!
Let us know about it in the comments below or head on over to the Tabletop Bellhop Discord and start a discussion.