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Turning the Tide Review, a look at the first expansion for Disney Sorcerer’s Arena Epic Alliances

It’s time to deep dive Disney Sorcerer’s Arena: Epic Alliances Turning the Tide, the first expansion for the Disney Sorcerer’s Arena board game from The Op.

This expansion includes three new, oceanic themed, Disney characters and new rules to go along with those characters. 

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. 

 

Turning the Tide requires a copy of Disney Sorcerer’s Arena Epic Alliances to play.

The Turning the Tide Expansion along with the rest of my Disney Sorcerer's Arena collection. Before getting our feet wet with this expansion it’s important to note that you need to own a copy of Disney Sorcerer’s Arena Epic Alliances in order to use the contents of this box. 

If you’ve come here without knowing anything about the base game I encourage you to take a moment to read our Disney Sorcerer’s Arena Epic Alliances core set review.

There I take an in depth look at this card driven skirmish battle game which my family and the members of my game group have been enjoying quite a bit lately.


What do you get with Turning The Tide for Disney Sorcerer’s Arena?

The box for Disney Sorcerer's Arena Epic Alliances Turning The TideDisney Sorcerer’s Arena: Epic Alliances Turning the Tide was designed by Sean Fletcher, the same designer as the base game, and published by The Op in late 2022. This small box expansion has an MSRP of $19.99 USD. 

The Turning the Tide expansion for Disney Sorcerer’s Arena Epic Alliances adds three new characters to your Disney and Pixar skirmish game; Stitch from Lilo and Stitch, Davy Jones from Pirates of the Caribbean and Moana from, well, Moana.

All three characters are tied together by each having the Oceanic keyword. To go with these characters there are also some new rules which include new status effects and rules for Arena Tiles. 

For a look at what you get in this box check out our Disney Sorcerer’s Arena Turning The Tide Unboxing Video on YouTube

There you will see that this expansion comes with a small single-fold rulebook, a plastic box insert that’s great for protecting the stuff inside but not great for storage, three new character standees and bases, three large sized cards for each character, a twenty card deck of standard sized cards for each character, and three cardboard punchboards with initiative trackers, status effect tiles, and water hexes. 

Component quality here matches the base game for the most part and we didn’t see anything that would make these cards stand out as different from the ones in the base game. Which is always an important thing with a card driven game. 

The only issue I had was that my Davy Jones standee refuses to stay in its base. I’ve heard this can be fixed by applying s small strip of invisible tape but haven’t actually tried this hack. 

Oh, and I still hate the plastic film on the standees in all versions of this game, but that’s a one time problem that you need to deal with the first time you go to use this expansion and not something that impacts play after that. 

 

New Rules introduced in Turning the Tide for Sorcerer’s Arena

The characters added to Sorcerer's Arena with the Turning the Tide ExpansionThree new rules are introduced in Disney Sorcerer’s Arena Epic Alliances Turning the Tide

The first is the rules for Constant Abilities. These are featured on some character cards and are abilities that are always in effect when that character is in the Arena. Note this means that the abilities stop while the character is Knocked Out. 

Next are the rules for Arena Tiles. These hexagons are placed into the arena by various cards or abilities. They must be placed on an open, unoccupied, space. Spaces with Arena Tiles and no characters are also considered unoccupied and if a tile is placed on an existing tile the new one replaces it. 

Tiles do not replace the effect of what they are placed on. For example, a VP space is still a VP space. 

Ocean Tiles from Turning the Tide in play during a game of Disney Sorcerer's ArenaThis expansion comes with one type of Arena Tile: Ocean Tiles. When an Oceanic character moves onto or through an Ocean Tile they may add one space to their movement.

If this character is the active character the tile is removed from the board. Ocean Tiles have no effect on non-Oceanic characters. 

Finally, there is a new status effect added with this expansion: No Punchbacks, which is a constant effect that prevents damage done to a rival Stitch. 

I’m sure you can guess which character gets that ability. 

 

A Look at the Three New Characters Introduced in Turning the Tide

The STandees for the new character introduced in Turning the Tide for Disney Sorcerer's Arena Epic AlliancesMoana: Moana is all about movement. Much of this is accomplished by placing Ocean Tiles on the Board. She synchronizes well with other Oceanic Characters due to this, which includes the other characters in this Expansion and also Ariel from the base game. 

In addition to using Ocean Tiles and other powerful movement cards to get around the board, a number of Moana’s other actions and attacks are based on how far she moves. 

Stitch: This little guy is quite the tank. If he ever takes at least 3 damage in one hit he immediately gains 2 Tough.

He can also banish cards to remove status effects and his new effect, No Punchbacks, can stop all damage from a single rival while it’s in play. 

Another interesting aspect of playing Stich is the fact that his deck has a number of cards that do different things based on whether his life is at an even or odd amount. After all, Stitch is an experimental creature and things can be a bit random with him. 

Davy Jones: Davy is all about Curses, and by that I mean not only inflicting curses on his rivals but also on his allies. The more curses that are out there the more powerful Davy Jones becomes.

This is strengthened by his Constant Ability which has him heal when his cursed allies deal damage. 

The other big thing Davy can do is summon The Kraken, one of the biggest attacks in the game. This is an upgrade ability that does a ton of damage in an area and then flips Davy back over so you have the possibility of upgrading him again. 

 

Is Turning the Tide worth picking up?

A game of Disney Sorcerer's Arena Epic Alliances with the Turning the Tide ExpansionI think it’s pretty easy to say that if you enjoy Disney Sorcerer’s Arena Epic Alliances you are going to want to pick up Turning the Tide.  Not only does it give you more options in the form of three more characters, but it also introduces some new rules that will make your future games more interesting. 

I personally love the rules for Arena Tiles as one of the complaints you see a lot about Sorcerer’s Arena is how boring the battlefield is. I can’t wait to see more tiles than just Ocean Tiles in future expansions. What I would really love to see are some Arena Tiles that aren’t tied to specific characters, like maybe some generic scenery tiles or terrain tiles. 

Of the three new characters, I found Stitch the most fun to play, especially with his cards based on his current life total. I also found that he really annoyed my opponents with that No Punchbacks ability. 

The three decks of cards you get with Turning the Tide for Disney Sorcerer's ArenaMoana is my next choice especially when you combo her with Ariel. With those two in play,  you have a healer that can really get to where they are needed as well as a bit of a heavy hitter in Moana, as long as you can get those Ocean tiles out on the board. 

My least favourite character in this set is Davy Jones and I think that’s mainly because I haven’t figured out how to play him well. His whole curse system seems very powerful but you have to find a way to balance it out. While Davy becomes very hard to kill you need to do something to keep your other characters from dying off repeatedly. 

The initiative tokens for the new characters in Turning the TideThe only real complaint I have about this expansion is that the included insert doesn’t match the quality in the base game. It’s just there to hold everything safe during shipping and to make the box look good on display. There’s no way to separate the decks, etc. On the other hand, the base game box isn’t great for holding this expansion either. While you can get it all to fit into the base box pretty easily it won’t be stored in a nice easy to access way. 

Overall this is a great expansion for a great game that we’ve been really enjoying. I really like that it isn’t just more of the same, and appreciate the way this expansion is adding new things to the base game. You aren’t just getting three new characters, you are getting some new mechanics as well. I also like that the characters in this set have abilities that key off of already existing keywords. To me, this shows that the designer is keeping in mind all characters and not just making small self-contained add on sets. 

 

I love discovering an expansion like Turning the Tide for Disney Sorcerer’s Arena. One that gives you more options and more of the game you love, but also just adds in a little bit more. 

I was surprised to find new rules when I opened up this expansion. I was only expecting three new characters and the cards to go with them. This gives me great hope that Disney Sorcerer’s Arena isn’t going to be a static game, but rather a game that will continue to evolve with each expansion.

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