Confession time: i wound up posting this unboxing video a full year after filming it. In the intervening time, i played Terra Mystica a few more times and made a How to Play Terra Mystica video for it, and i have to say: i enjoyed it a lot more than thought i did. So take everything i say here with a grain of salt, which i hope you do anyway whenever i open my big yapper.

(click to view transcript)

Hi! It’s Ryan from Nights Around a Table, and this is Terra Mystica: Fire & Ice, the expansion to Terra Mystica, which was released in… 1843. i don’t know. It’s an old game, and some of you may be thinking “Well, there are how to play videos on this game, and there are probably eight million other unboxings. Why would you watch this guy do it?” and the answer is… because you like me. Presumably? i don’t know. Terra Mystica: let’s talk about it just for a brief sec. It was a game that was very complex. It’s a very complex game, and it ranked really highly on BoardGameGeek, because it had the kind of thing going that BoardGameGeek raters love, which is very little luck. It seems like whenever there’s a die roll, or you pull a random card, BoardGameGeek people are like “Grrr! No! Don’t like it!” And it had what i like to call “peekaboo powers,” which is a game mechanic that shows up in a bunch of games that are on… very high on the BoardGameGeek Top 100 list, including Scythe, and – oh! Uh… Great Western Trail. That’s it. So you have a mat, and you’ve got a bunch of powers but the powers are covered up by wood, and then through things that you do in the game, you’re able to move your pieces around, and in doing so, you uncover powers on your mat. Peekaboo! You probably hate that term, but i’m coining it, damn it, so star… better start using it, because nobody else has named it. i didn’t play a whole lot of Terra Mystica. i really like theme very much, and i found that, i mean, it was a fantasy theme – that’s fine – but the theme didn’t really sing for me in that game. It was like “Oh, i can play… nomads.” That was also really weird – you’ve got witches and ogres, and then, like, Bedouin people from the Saharan desert, and i was like “That… i don’t know if that really fits with… with fantasy.” i don’t know i don’t know if Middle Easterners are fantasy creatures. That was kind of weird. It was kind of like “Oh, i’m gonna play the the witches.” i didn’t really feel like i was playing witches. i felt like i was playing the dark green faction, or whatever color it was. It didn’t really ooze theme to me. It was a very mechanical game, and it took a very long time to teach. Much like this unboxing is taking a very long time. So – you know – it would take half an hour to explain how everything worked. Really, like all of these games, it wasn’t really that complicated once you knew what was going on, but just going over all the curb cases, and the “if you do this, then that happens,” it just took a while. So it wasn’t endeared to me, but because i am ill, i bought the expansion. This was… i picked this up a long time ago. It’s been on my shelf in shrink forever, and like most of the games i unbox, i know almost nothing about it, except that it’s gonna require a knife. So here we are, finally, after decades, unboxing Terra Mystica: Fire & Ice. i assume Fire and Ice, and we’re gonna get two new factions, which are… frost trolls, and… Irishmen(?) i don’t know what he is. Gonna make fantasy creatures out of real human beings in it, might as well go for the old Irish. Here we are! Mmm-hm hm hmmm. Silent and smooth. Box Fart-O-Meter: zero. Hmm! Ugh! The Musk of Ages! Phewf! It’s like unboxing a sarcophagus. Here we are! i really hope everything’s here, because… i was gonna say because i don’t know the company’s still around. Obviously they’re still around. It’s Z-Man. But i don’t know how many people are playing Terra Mystica, because what they did was they went and they said “Hey… you know what we can do? We can take the exact same game, and instead of, like, witches and Bedouins, we can make, like, spaceships, and we’ll call it ‘Gaia Project,’ and then everybody’ll go nuts about Gaia Project,” and everybody did, because this was a very popular game, Terra Mystica. i didn’t go nuts for Gaia Project, because i didn’t have the… it came… it came out of the gate at, like, a hundred bucks or something. It was pretty pricey, and i didn’t have the money to spend on it at the time. Plus, i wasn’t desperately in love with Terra Mystica either, so i didn’t… i didn’t jump. But what’ve we got? We got some wood. We’ll look at that in a second. A nice drawstring bag with… it looks like silk screned icon on it. That’s fine. i recently unboxed War Chest, though, and now if the… if the drawstring bag doesn’t have embroidery on it, well, forget it. i’m not playing. Cuz that was.. that was crazy. Those bags were amazing! Here we are, opening some wood. This looks like, to me, the exact same pieces that you get in the base game, just in two different colors representing new factions, probably the icy guys, and the fiery guys. Little priests there, all the little pieces… It’s been a while since i played, so don’t remember what they’re all called. The… the doom discs? i think? The cylinders of anguish? i’m not sure. Cathedrals? It’s… cathedrals. let’s go with cathedrals. Sanctuaries, i think, was one piece? Great. So – new faction colours. Instrucciones. Are these – ? Yes. This is en Fronch, as is required in Canadia, and then the instructions don’t look super thick. They… seven pages. Kind of dense text, though. So just from a cursory glance of the rulebook, it doesn’t look like a whole lot has changed. i mean, it might not be fair, because i didn’t dive deep in, but it looks like there’s new factions. So because there are new factions, they kind of have to change up some of the player boards to accommodate those new factions, and the new factions are… guy with dragons… Irishmen… the Frost Queen… ice troll… native Canadians? Huh. Mmm… i dunno, you guys. And… and… and… stretchy-face men. “Oh daddy, please! Can i play the stretchy-face men?” “Mnnm… finish your homework, Billy.” And last, some punchy stuff. Icy punchy stuff, fiery punchy stuff. A token for each faction, including the original ones in the game. A couple new boards. Oh! So maybe there are some new mechanics and some new jazz in here? And a whole new board, because of course, this is all about terraforming different hexagons on the board, and so if you have two new factions, you’re gonna need some icy/fiery stuff in there, so… there’s the new board without knowing how the game plays, i can’t comment at all, but it looks very similar to the old board. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. These are the different scoring conditions that get dealt out every round. Points track around the edge, and the “how you earn points at the end of the game” up here. So very very similar. So it looks like the key to what’s new is right here. This is the only th… right here and these two rings look like the only radically different thing from the base game that i… aHHhahhha! It’s all broken! No – we’re fine. So that’s what comes in the box! i hope it was elucidating and entertaining, uh… but i sincerely doubt it. Uh… so join me next time! Thanks so much for watching. Did you just watch that whole thing? Oh – hey! To 100% this video, click the badge to subscribe, and then click the bell to get notifications when i’ve got new stuff! [Music – Board Game Boogie by Ryan Henson Creighton]