Welcome back, hunters!
We’re getting close to the Kickstarter launch now. So close that we’ve already hunted all the Hoarfrost Reach core box monsters, and are moving on to the first expansion!
That’s right. The Absolute Power expansion contains four more massive monsters for you to hunt, either as part of a mega campaign or in one-shot arena quests.
We’ll reveal exactly how you can get your hands on Absolute Power soon.
For now, let’s talk about how this monster box fits into your Iceborne campaigns (and meet the first monster…).
Monster Expansions & Coral Pukei-Pukei
from the journal of lead designer, Jamie Perkins
Survived the core box and already back for more? We’ve got plenty where that came from!
Let’s start with campaigns.
Monster Expansions in Campaign Mode
Here’s some good news to sink your teeth into:
When you’re playing a campaign, you can throw in as many expansion monsters as you like, including elder dragons.
To keep things simple, I’d recommend you add a full expansion’s worth of monsters at a time. That way, the rulebook will tell you exactly how many days to add to your campaign.
(That’s campaign days, not actual days. Like it does in video games, time moves faster in board game world.)
The more expansions you stack, the more days you’ll add. Each monster expansion will add 15-20 days to your campaign timer, giving you plenty of time to hunt them all down.
(Yes, there are more expansions to be revealed. No spoilers!)
Once you’ve picked your monster roster, simply complete the Banbaro introductory quest, then you’re free to hunt whatever monster you like from your chosen roster, in any order.
It’s up to you how you play it, but I do have some advice:
Start by choosing which 4-star monster will be your final hunt for this campaign. The one beast that decides it all. You’ll have a few to choose from, so this part should be fun.
Next, plot a ‘route’ through the monsters to reach your biggest challenge. Think about which hunters are in your party, and what weapons and armour might help you take down your final enemy.
Or, you could go straight for the 4-star monster. It’s totally your choice. We won’t stop you.
We will bring popcorn, though.
Monster Expansions in One-Shot Mode
Of course, campaign mode isn’t the only way to play Monster Hunter World Iceborne: The Board Game.
Just like the Hoarfrost Reach core box, each Iceborne expansion will have arena quests for you to face any monster, with any combination of hunters, in a single session battle.
Want to dive straight into combat with Coral Pukei-Pukei? Just find the arena quest, equip your hunters with the recommended loadouts, and jump in!
Speaking of which…
Facing Coral Pukei-Pukei in Tabletop Combat
While not native to Hoarfrost Reach, Coral Pukei-Pukei was one of the monsters added to the Monster Hunter World video game as part of Iceborne.
So, we were obligated to add it to the board game. We practically had to. I mean, just look at that face!
World board game or video game vets might recognise this delightful creature as a subspecies of Pukei-Pukei, a poisonous monster we encountered in the Wildspire Waste.
Well, Coral Pukei-Pukei is here to make it loud and clear that it’s no imitation. This monster has its own identity, mini, move set, and special rules. It’s also got the business end of a powerful water cannon for anyone who says otherwise!
Coral Pukei-Pukei Physiology
Like all monsters, Coral Pukei-Pukei has three different difficulty levels measured in stars.
Given it’s our first Absolute Power hunt, we’ll start things off easy with the 1-star version:
If we’re comparing the levels of core box and Absolute Power monsters, Coral Pukei-Pukei is about as difficult as Beotodus — but that’s where the similarities end.
The two monsters have distinct behaviours, special rules, resistance levels, and break rules, so you’re in for a very different experience either way.
If we’re comparing monsters to household items, then Coral Pukei-Pukei is somewhere between a water gun and a high-powered pressure washer. Less fun at parties than the former, but just as likely as the latter to blast you clean off the board.
To support these super soaking abilities, every time Coral Pukei-Pukei starts its turn near a pond, it takes in water. This is represented by geyser tokens.
If the monster starts a turn with four geyser tokens, it ignores its own behaviour deck and blasts you with water instead.
While you’re sad and dripping in a cart on the way back to HQ, the geyser tokens are removed and the process starts again.
In short, this is a sneaky little behaviour that could catch you off guard if you’re not equipped with water elemental resistance. And dodge 5 is a big ask if you’re not packing upgraded equipment.
As you’ve probably worked out, battles with Coral Pukei-Pukei will come with the bonus mini-game of trying to keep the monster away from pond nodes so it doesn’t blast you in the face.
Don’t say we don’t treat you well.
Of course, Water Geyser isn’t the only attack you’ll face.
Coral Pukei-Pukei’s got a versatile tail and it’s not afraid to use it. Watch out for Water Spray!
Okay, okay, you’ve endured enough. Time to dry off. You settle by the fire and get warm, because there’s something else I need to tell you.
New Mechanic: Track Tokens!
Before you can battle a monster, you’ll need to hunt it down. That hunt takes place in the gathering phase, where you’ll make choices on which route to take and collect track tokens on the way.
Track tokens represent the clues you’re following to find your quarry. Footprints, nests, ahem, droppings — you get the idea.
In the Monster Hunter World board game, track tokens affect which behaviour will be shuffled into the monster’s deck in the fight ahead. But in Iceborne, they work differently.
Instead of affecting the monster’s behaviour, the track tokens will give you special bonuses for the battle ahead!
Once you’ve found the monster, you’ll flip the track tokens you’ve found to reveal which bonuses you’ve gained. Whatever they are — extra break damage, agility boost, even an extra hunter turn — you can then spend them during the hunt to use the one-time effects.
Spending a key track token at the right moment could mean the difference between success and failure. So, collect as many as you can, and be smart when you spend them!
That’s all for now, hunters. Whoa, I never realised Coral Pukei-Pukei left waterlogged footprints behind, but it makes so much sense…
~ Journal Ends ~