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Munchkin Review: Munchkin 8 - Half Horse, Will Travel
This is the seventh and currently final expansion to the original Munchkin fantasy deck (there are other decks that are made to be mixed, but for purposes of chronicling these expansions, this is the last in this line). However, this might be the worst expansion yet, since it simply adds more of the same to what already exists, doing nothing to fix the oversaturation issue of the game. Completionists will grab this expansion, everyone else should probably stay away.
It boasts two new race cards and a few class and race enhancers. Lizard Guys are kind of lame since they focus on helping you get away from dangerous monsters with which your Cheat! cards, Steeds, and Hirelings you'll probably be too buff to care, and you have a tiny bonus to using one-shot items to screw over other people fighting monsters, which they can escape by sacrificing a Steed or Hireling or any other number of powerful cards already present in the deck. The Centaurs are only a little bit better, unless you have a Centaur Ranger who can basically have unlimited steeds! Turn every monster into a Steed and pildrive your way through the Door deck without any kind of worry whatsoever. There’s a few extra Steeds and Hirelings in this deck, but none that are particularly interesting or revolutionary.
There is usually a Curse! Change Sex card in every expansion, not so in this one. Instead, there’s a Curse card that completely erases your gender, which is kinda different. It ignores the perks of the Dungeon of Gender Bending and the Freudian Slippers.
There’s also the strongest monster thus far for the original Munchkin deck called the Knight Mare Level 20. What makes it interesting is it’s +4 against Centaurs, but +2 against everything else. I guess that’s the owners’ of Munchkin way of not creating a monster naturally stronger than Level 20 (with a deck this heavy with expansions, why not make an actual monster at Level 25 or 30?). There’s also the Level 10 Neanderthal, which doesn’t need a Wandering Monster card to join another monster in combat.
The Treasure cards are more interesting this time around, however. There’s the Bow of Grossly Unbalanced Combat +3, usable only by Rangers. It has an effect that allows the Ranger to Run Away whenever he needs to without ever having to roll the die. It's funny because the game has referred to just how powerful the Ranger already is, and they give them a bow that would normally be ridiculous (it still kinda is) but the use for it is greatly diminished in an overly saturated game.
A personal favorite of mine is the Spear and Magic Helmet +4. It automatically kills any rabbits or bunnies in the deck, which doesn't really mean much of anything at all since there's maybe two rabbit creatures. However, it does calls to mind the episode of Looney Toons with Elmer Fudd as a Viking trying to kill Bugs Bunny, sincing in mock opera about his 'spear and magic helmet!.' There’s also the interesting but dismal Matching Equipment Set +12. How can a +12 be so bad? You can’t equip anything else at all (if it's Headgear, Armor, Footgear, etc.). If it’s in your initial draw, it’s excellent! Otherwise, even a standard combination of mismatched items will be more useful than this Treasure card, unless you have a Cheat! card to hold the Matching Equipment Set in place. If you have a Cheat! card though, this is ridiculous, even if it's an overly obvious target for Curses and the like.
I can’t advocate this expansion to anyone who’s not looking to collect all of the expansions. It doesn't add any new perks to the game, only adding to the considerable deck size where most cards will never be seen in a game. Maybe the creators don’t want to add new features to this deck, and that’s fine, but don’t keep adding more of the same; it drowns out the more enjoyable cards of the game. If you liked specific cards in previous expansions or the core deck, you will see them substantially less. Was this expansion only made as a money grab? It's just not worth the price, especially when compared to the other expansions by its singular merit alone.
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That's it for this thematic Munchkin bit! I'll talk up Star Munchkin next, thankfully restoring my focus to something back to the basics.