Dungeons & Dragons – Trials of Tempus Board Game – Premium Edition
Dungeons & Dragons -Trials of Tempus is a cooperative, team-based game for 2-8 players, where rival parties of Heroic adventurers battle to prove their worth and mettle in the ever-changing Battlerealms of Tempus, God of War!
Choose your Hero wisely, for the skills and allies you need to conquer each Trial are never the same, and the Guardian that awaits you all at the end will surely test the limits of your bravery… or is it your cunning? The Trial will tell.
To win, you and your party must work together to earn more Victory Points than your rivals by completing Quests and gathering Loot! Finally, you must defeat the Trial Guardian. Whichever party has the most Victory Points when the Trial Guardian falls wins the Trial!
Contents of Dungeons & Dragons -Trials of Tempus – premium edition
9 Map Tiles
25 highly-detailed plastic miniatures (FULLY PREPAINTED BY WIZKIDS)
What is Trials of Tempus?
Dungeons & Dragons: Trials of Tempus is a competitive and co-operative team-based skirmish game designed for 2-8 players. In the game, players take control of rival adventuring parties and battle it out in a constantly changing arena (known as the “Battlerealms”) which is ruled over by Tempus, the God of War from the popular Forgotten Realms
The game, however, is about more than just combat. Instead, players pick a random scenario (known as a “Trial”) and then draft the characters, classes, and subclasses they think will be most useful. The goal of the game is to earn points by completing scenario-specific challenges, gaining loot, and defeating enemies. Once a player has earned 10 points, a powerful Trial Guardian is spawned and must be defeated. The player or team with the most points when that happens is the winner.
In terms of tone and mechanics, the game is similar to the D&D Onslaught board game, but is more random and faster paced. Notably, the game’s creator WizKids has pitched it as “the sweet middle ground between a full Dungeons & Dragons campaign and a game of Munchkin.”
Both a Standard Edition and Premium Edition are available, with the Standard Edition featuring unpainted miniatures and the Premium Edition featuring hand-painted minis from the WizKids design team. Other than that, both editions are identical.
How does gameplay work in Trials of Tempus?
One thing to note right off the bat is that the game does take a bit of time to get set up. First, players choose one of the large double-sided cardboard maps (which, incidentally, would also make fantastic D&D battlemats). The rulebook then provides instructions on how to set up the board for that particular map, including the placement of monsters, loot chests and specific objectives.
Next, players pick the Trial boss they want to face and the number of quests to be completed for victory points. This is actually one of the most interesting elements of the game as the players will have knowledge of what they’ll be facing before the game begins and can quickly begin to develop tactics and strategies
In the next step of setup, players draft the characters, classes and sub-classes they want to bring into the Trial. This is incredibly flexible and fun, as it allows for a lot of customization in terms choosing combos that will have the best chance of success in a particular trial. That being said, the sheer range of options might be a bit overwhelming for first time players or those unfamiliar with skirmish games. Trials of Tempus does, however, address this by including recommended character builds to go along with specific Trials, so worse case scenario, players can simply pick those and get up and running quickly.
Once the board is set up and the player’s cards are selected, it’s time to start playing. The round begins with each player drawing two cards (with the exception of the very first round, in which players draw four cards). Each player then draws a card from the event deck, which features random events that can quickly shift the overall flow of the map. These events can range from making enemies more aggressive to giving players extra actions and adding magical effects that can cause damage or change abilities on the map.
Next, each player rolls a D20 for initiative, with the highest roll going first. Notably, monsters always have a 10 initiative, which saves time when it comes to rolling and allows players to know what number they need to beat.
On their turn, players then get two actions, which they can use to move, attack or interact with objects. A character’s class and subclass dictates how far they can move, what weapons they can use and any skill check modifiers. Players are also able to play cards from their hand to modify actions and can even chain cards together to perform more powerful combos. Players then score points based on monsters they’ve defeated, loot they’ve gathered and specific objectives they’ve completed.
Once all players have taken their turn, the round ends and – if necessary – players discard down to a maximum of five cards. Every fifth round, the board also refreshes, meaning more loot chests and monster are added to specific spawn points. At the end of any round in which any player or party has earned 10 total victory points, the Trial Guardian will be summoned and the endgame will commence. Once the Trial Guardian has been defeated whoever has the most victory points at that time is declared the winner.
What’s the art like in Trials of Tempus?
As a miniatures games, it makes sense that these plastic figures are going to be one of the primary focuses of the game. While WizKids can be hit or miss with its miniatures, for that most part what you get in Trials of Tempus are pretty decent (although some definitely look better than others). Notably, if you’re hoping for a painted version of the minis you’ll have to pick up the Premium Edition (which in our view, doesn’t seem worth the extra price tag).
In terms of the artwork featured in the game, the overall look and feel is solid. The cards are beautifully illustrated, the tokens have some real weight and depth to them, and the attention to detail in virtually all of the components is genuinely impressive. The crown jewel in the box, however, is undoubtedly the maps. Their large, hefty and wonderfully designed, and could definitely be repurposed for just about any fantasy TTRPG.
Pros and Cons of Trials of Tempus
While the game isn’t a total critical hit, there’s a lot to love with Dungeons & Dragons: Trials of Tempus, and it’s easily one of the best new D&D board games, which is something to say given the WizKids has been producing some pretty fantastic games in the past few years.
- Fast paced and relatively easy to learn
- Impressive artwork with solid battle maps
- Great balance of cooperative and competitive gameplay
- 2-8 player range offers a ton of replayability
- Character customization and random events add unique depth
- Set up can be time consuming and a bit complicated
- May be overwhelming to new players or those unfamiliar with skirmish games
- Miniatures vary in quality (some are definitely better than others)
Final review score
Ultimately, we had a blast playing Trials of Tempus. It’s relatively easy to learn (especially if you’re already a fan of D&D fifth edition) and there’s a surprising amount of customization and flexibility. If you’re a fan of skirmish games and D&D, chances are you’ll dig this monster-filled homage to mighty Tempus.