Top 10 – Best Epic Encounters Sets 2022

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Epic Encounters Arena of the Undead Horde Unboxing 1

Last updated on December 16th, 2022 at 05:47 pm

We’re pretty sure that Steamforged Games’ Epic Encounters range is one of the best things to happen to Dungeons and Dragons in quite a while. Easy to use and bursting with more ideas than you could ever possibly pump into one D&D night, let Steamforged Games take the stress out of planning your next Dungeon & Dragons session for you. Check out our Top 10 Epic Encounters Sets 2022 for our current favourites from the range!

Click this link & buy your hobby stuff from Element Games for the UK & Europe to support FauxHammer.com – Use Code “FAUX2768” at the checkout for double reward points.

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Top 10 Epic Encounters Sets – Introduction

We love Steamforged Games’ Epic Encounters. We’ve made no secret of it in the reviews we’ve done of the Epic Encounters sets they’ve very kindly provided us with. Heck, we think they’re so great that we revolutionised how we test products here at FauxHammer.com, on-boarding a whole new team of gamers dedicated to testing D&D-related products in the process.

But as of the latter quarter of 2022, there are now quite a few Epic Encounters sets for would-be DMs to choose from. So, should you be planning your next epic journey into an enchanted kingdom, allow our top-ten list below to guide your choice.

The Epic Encounters miniatures should also be a huge draw for any would-be Dungeon Master/Game Master (DM/GM) or buddying hobbyist. Whilst the quality of the miniatures has improved since some of the earliest boxes, this isn’t to say their quality was ever poor. It’s just gone from “good” to “great”.

We’d also like to say a huge thanks to our friends at Steamforged Games who have very kindly been provided us with Epic Encounters set for this top 10 – and all of those we’ve looked at in our review!

Top 10 Epic Encounters Sets – What’s in the Boxes?

As you may suspect, with Epic Encounters 5E is their thing. For the uninitiated, Steamforged’s Epic Encounters sets are designed to use the Fifth Edition (5E) Dungeons and Dragons ruleset. As a DM/GM, you will need a basic familiarity with these rules in order to be able to make the most out of these boxes.

Next, a note on Epic Encounter types. Steamforged Games’ Epic Encounters come in one of two flavours: warband boxes or boss boxes. Warband boxes are “plot-driven adventures that include minions and a boss enemy” (or enemies, as we’ve seen in some of our reviews). Boss boxes, however, are ” are standalone, set-piece encounters that make for a BIG cinematic finish.”

Epic Encounters Barrow of the Corpse Crawler Token Key Photo
Epic Encounters Barrow of the Corpse Crawler Testing 25

As regular readers will know from our various reviews and playtests, the contents of an Epic Encounters box is fairly formulaic.

First off, we have a campaign book.

Epic Encounters Hive of the Ghoul-kin Review Campaign Booklet 1

This little booklet is worth its weight in gold dust: it’s a pre-made, robust, and yet extremely unrestrictive DM-GM-friendly guide to everything in the box. All the details for the encounter are there, as well as stats for your enemies, ways to use the terrain features on the maps, and “cinematic moments” to make your session all the more mind-blowingly awesome.

Epic Encounters Arena of the Undead Horde Book 7
Epic Encounters Hive of the Ghoul-kin Review Campaign Booklet 3

Next up, maps. Epic Encounters boxes may not come with any encounter terrain per se, but each box comes with its own double-sided battlemap. These are good-quality prints on decent card that won’t break easily.

Epic Encounters Hive of the Ghoul-kin Review Gaming Mat 2

The areas displayed on each warband box battlemap pertains to two distinctly separate areas players can visit during the encounter.

However, the boss box battlemaps provide two alternate scenes/layouts for your epic showdown.

Epic Encounters tower of the Lich Empress Play Mat 1
Epic Encounters tower of the Lich Empress Play Mat 2

Finally, each box also contains a selection of miniatures to help bring your game to like in three dimensions.

Epic Encounters Arena of the Undead Horde Minis Ironskull Skeleton Archer v2
Epic Encounters Arena of the Undead Horde Minis Ironskull Knight v2
Epic Encounters Arena of the Undead Horde Minis Ironskull Executioner v2

Warband boxes contain the most miniatures. You’ll get somewhere in the region of 20 highly-detailed, ready-to-paint plastic figures that require no assembly and can be taken straight from the box and used during your encounters.

They aren’t small, either, and are all made of solid plastic. There’s always a huge amount of variation between figures, too. Whilst all the, for example, Ghoul-kin Ravagers will share the same pose, there will be plenty of other weird and wonderful miniatures in the box to help bring your table to life.

Epic Encounters Hive of the Ghoul-kin Review Miniatures Size Comparison

Boss boxes, however, only ever contain one miniature. But, boy, they tend to be really impressive.

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These mopnstrous figures command the attention of your players. Got a particular player who’s a bit shy or seems disinterested? See their eyes light up when you slam a huge boss miniature down on the table in front of them.

Epic Encounters Barrow of the Corpse Crawler Miniature 1

Boss boxes will often contain tokens, too. These will represent minions the boss can summon to the fight – though these minions can always be found in plastic form in the adjoining warband box.

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Epic Encounters Hive of the Ghoul-kin Review Ghoul-kin Reaver

What’s more, every Epic Encounters set comes with some careful, well-thought-out packaging to ensure all your new miniatures and other resources are packed safely and won’t rattle around during transit.

Top 10 Epic Encounters Sets – Epic Encounters Best Sets

So, let’s get on to the good stuff. Of all the sets currently available, which do we here at FauxHammer.com consider to be the best of the bunch?

Read on to see our Epic Encounters best picks!

10. Island of the Crab Archon

Epic Encounters Island of the Crab Archon takes your party to the shores of a particularly dismal island with some odd inhabitants.

Epic Encounters Island of the Crab Archon All

Epic Encounters’ Crab Archon sees your adventuring party brought face-to-face with an eclectic collection of monsters. Vicious sea creatures great and small lie in wait for the unsuspecting party, so prepare for pincers and spines aplenty in this adventure.

The miniatures in this one are superb and wonderfully unique, but the box’s setting isn’t quite as universally applicable as some of Steamforged Games’ other Epic Encounters offerings. Its setting is a little bit situational – but should your party find themselves lost along the shores of some forgotten peninsula, Island of the Crab Archon will fire their adventure right up.

Read all about it on our review.

9. Caverns of the Frost Giant

Epic Encounters Caverns of the Frost Giant pits your part against an iconic enemy that’s brought the end to many, many adventuring parties: the legendary Frost Giant.

Epic Encounters Top 10 Caverns of the Frost Giant 1

Running an Icewind Dale campaign and wanting to give your players a challenge they’ll never forget? Set them against Epic Encounters’ Frost Giant.

This set has one huge trump card up its sleeve in particular: and that’s the phenomenal miniature.

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And we really can’t emphasise just how much of a giant he really is. Look at him next to this Space Marine Primaris Assault Intercessor.

Epic Encounters Top 10 Caverns of the Frost Giant 2

Give your players an unforgettable session – or set yourself a real painting challenge! – with this awesome set.

8. Labyrinth of the Goblin Tsar

No selection of D&D-based, 5E-compatible products would be complete without a goblin or two. And Epic Encounters’ goblin stuff is both varied and plentiful.

Epic Encounters Top 10 Labyrinth of the Goblin Tsar 3

Epic Encounters Labyrinth of the Goblin Tsar (not to be confused with the earlier Epic Encounters Village of the Goblin Chief box) will have any Warhammer Gitz fan drooling. This wonderful box is filled with arachnophilic goblins who can’t wait to set their hideous pets on your party.

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Epic Encounters Goblin Tsar is accompanied by the Epic Encounters Web of the Spider Tyrant boss box, which sees parties face off against a huge, eight-legged, poison-spitting arachnid monster.

Epic Encounters Top 10 Labyrinth of the Goblin Tsar 1

And don’t forget: should you want more goblins, you can always grab Epic Encounters Village of the Goblin Chief, which was mentioned above.

7. Cove of the Dragon Turtle

Epic Encounters Cove of the Dragon Turtle is the boss box that accompanied Island of the Crab Archon. Again, it suffers from being a little situational as its setting is definitely sea-related. If your party are adventuring inland, this is going to be a tough one to shoehorn in.

However, much like the Frost Giant before it, Epic Encounters’ dragon turtle looks like the one that got away from Games Workshop’s stunning Idoneth Deepkin range.

This miniature is a phenomenal piece of plastic and will delight both D&Ders and miniature painters the world over. It is, perhaps, one of the best miniatures SFG have ever produced.

Want more info? Take a look at our review.

6. Hall of the Orc King

The warband box that accompanies Epic Encounters Frost Giant – which sits in our number 9 spot – Epic Encounters Hall of the Orc King is an easy must-have.

Epic Encounters Top 10 Hall of the Orc King 3

The miniatures are awesome in this one, and no adventure can be considered complete without at least one run-in with a rampaging pack of orcs who are after your players’ hard-won loot.

Epic Encounters Top 10 Hall of the Orc King 2

Much like the Frost Giant whom they accompany, Epic Encounters’ orc king himself is a menacing but seriously impressive miniature – as are the rest of his heavily armoured posse.

Epic Encounters Top 10 Hall of the Orc King 1

The figures in this set take the tried-and-tested trope of the fantasy orc and make them larger than life with huge weapons, grizzly features, and, of course, plenty of spikes. You want these little guys charging across your tabletop.

5. Tower of the Lich Empress

Epic Encounters Tower of the Lich Empress is an amazing experience – and one that our FauxHammer.com playtesters will never forget. After scaling her titular tower, adventurers much face off against Epic Encounters’ Lich Empress. And boy, is she quite something.

Epic Encounters tower of the Lich Empress Miniatures 10

The Lich Empress is an exciting, unpredictable, and cerebral fight. With a dizzying array of reality-altering spells (not to mention a magical and mechanical throne surrounded by the spirits of her most loyal subjects) the lich empress is an exciting and punishing challenge for any adventuring party. She is exciting, dangerous, and suitably epic.

Tempted by the Empress? Have a look at our Epic Encounters review for this set here. Ascend the cursed tower alongside our playtesters in this How to Play!

4. Hive of the Ghoul-kin

Epic Encounters Hive of the Ghoul-kin is a claustrophobic, stifling nightmare inside an ancient tomb that’s been given a good splash of gore- and body-horror. Overwhelm your party with endless hordes of savage, fanged and clawed ghouls as they try and escape this nightmarish labyrinth.

Epic Encounters Hive of the Ghoul-kin Review Ghoul-kin Reaver
Epic Encounters Hive of the Ghoul-kin Review Ghoul-kin Stalker

Epic Encounters’ ghouls are horrible, too. Long-time fantasy fans will expect the decayed, zombified flesh of Warcraft-esque ghouls, or something similar to the rampaging, vampiric Flesh Eater Courts of the Warhammer universe. Hive of the Ghoul-kin, however, reinvents the wheel with an array of savage, flesh-stitched, quasi-undead monsters that will leave your players’ eyes wide with horror.

Epic Encounters Hive of the Ghoul-kin Review Ghoul-kin Bulwark

What sets Hive of the Ghoul-kin out, however, is the way it runs. The ghouls are a low-hitpoint, high-damage swarm of teeth and talons that will overwhelm and dismember any unprepared parties. But that’s not all: there are a host of distinct and deadly foes in this box – as well as the ruthlessly tough Brood-Sire.

Epic Encounters Hive of the Ghoul-kin Review Ghoul-kin Hive Warden and Corpse Chewer
Epic Encounters Hive of the Ghoul-kin Review Ghoul-kin Brood-Sire

Take a look at out our Epic Encounters review for this set here. How did our adventurers fare against the Brood-sire and his minions? Find out here!

3. Lair of the Red Dragon

Epic Encounters Lair of the Red Dragon is a must-have for every DM out there. Why? Because it’s got a dragon in it, duh.

Epic Encounters Top 10 Lair of the Red Dragon 4

Every D&D campaign needs at least one dragon in it at some point – and Epic Encounters’ Red Dragon miniature is gorgeous. The Boss box to Epic Encounters Shrine of the Kobold Queen, Lair of the Red Dragon is a ferocious finish – or mighty standalone – that will turn any Dungeons and Dragons session up to 11.

Epic Encounters Top 10 Lair of the Red Dragon 1

Epic Encounters kobolds, just like their official D&D sourcebook brethren (and us here at FauxHammer.com), are very easily impressed by a gorgeous dragon figure, it seems.

Epic Encounters Top 10 Lair of the Red Dragon 2

Epic Encounters’ dragon is everything you want it to be. A large miniature resplendent in detail, sitting atop a hoard of gold. Bring your party’s epic showdown with a dragon to life with this phenomenal set.

2. Barrow of the Corpse Crawler

Epic Encounters Barrow of the Corpse Crawler is the boss box to Hive of the Ghoul-kin. And if you thought the Brood-Sire was tough, you’ve got another thing coming.

The monstrous Corpse Crawler is our all-time favourite of all the Epic Encounters boss boxes we’ve looked at for a couple of reasons. The first, it’s a terrifying monster: the miniature is beautiful and captures every last detail of this colossal, grotesque foe in perfect detail.

Epic Encounters Barrow of the Corpse Crawler Miniature 4

The second: the fight is seriously challenging: the Corpse Crawler crushes its way through parties like a wrecking ball through dry sticks, dividing and conquering even the most prepared of players until there’s nothing left but a few smears on the floor of its lair.

Third, it’s setting: the party face off against the Corpse Crawler in a barrow. Your adventurers may have strayed into an ancient barrow looking for undead monsters to face off against – why not throw them a curveball with a gigantic, flesh-hungry maggot?

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Finally, it’s extremely rewarding: having faced off against such a brutal foe, the moment it finally falls is one that will elicit jubilation from your party.

Want some more worm? Check out our Epic Encounters review for this set here, and read about how this monstrous beastie tore through out adventurous playtesters here!

1. Arena of the Undead Horde

Epic Encounters Arena of the Undead Horde swipes the top spot. It may be a predictable choice, but we believe Arena of the Undead Horde is one of the best Epic Encounters available to purchase.

Epic Encounters Arena of the Undead Horde Unboxing 3

First off, every D&D campaign that has ever been run in the history of ever has involved at least one brush with some angry undead monsters. This makes Arena of the Undead Horde super easy to slip in to just about every campaign out there.

Epic Encounters Arena of the Undead Horde Minis Ironskull Skeleton Archer v2
Epic Encounters Arena of the Undead Horde Minis Ironskull Knight v2
Epic Encounters Arena of the Undead Horde Minis Ironskull Executioner v2

Secondly, there is no better foe. Shambling undead are the go-to, obvious, tried-and-trusted enemy for just about every fantasy RPG setting since time began. What’s more unsettling than making your party face off against a harrowing reflection of themselves?

Epic Encounters Arena of the Undead Horde Minis Ironskull Leonite v2

Thirdly, the miniatures are great. The amount of variation and characterisation achieved across a selection of what are ultimately just human skeletons is seriously impressive. There’s an awesome spread of different models and a host of units all designed to fulfil a different battlefield function.

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Epic Encounters Arena of the Undead Horde Minis Ironskull Andabata v2
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Finally, it captures that essential D&D night vibe perfectly. The fights are tough, the foes are varied, and there’s so much for a DM and a party to engage with in the campaign booklet. Whether you’re behind the DM/GM screen or clutching your character sheet, Epic Encounters’ undead horde are everything you want them to be.

This is D&D at its finest.

Check out our Epic Encounters review for this set here, and see how our intrepid playtesters got on with their adventure here!

Top 10 Epic Encounters Sets – Where to Next?

Once you’ve got your Epic Encounters set, you’re ready to go!

(Assuming, of course, you’ve got a set of polyhedral dice and at least one friend to play with.)

But if you want more D&D-related products, there’s the new Dungeons & Dragons partworks magazine from Hachette (which, as of October 2022, we’re pretty sure is still a trial – but looks promising).

There’s also Epic Encounters Local Legends Kickstarter. Whilst this ended not so long ago, you can still late pledge! Promising to be one of the largest, most complete and varied Epic Encounters sets to date, Local Legends takes age-old DM/GM favourite phrase “you all meet in a tavern” and pumps some serious substance into it. Steamforged Games tend to announce and fund a lot of their projects this way, so keep an eye out for their next Epic Encounters Kickstarter.

Top 10 Epic Encounters Sets – Price and Availability

How much are you prepared to pay to make your encounter epic? Is “epic” worth it? We sure think so. The majority of the Epic Encounters sets available are priced at £54.99GBP, $54.95USD, and €54.95EUR straight from Steamforged Games’ webstore. However, a couple – such as Caverns of the Frost Giant, Tower of the Lich Empress, and Temple of the Snake God – clock in a few bob cheaper.

You may also be able to get some cash off at your friendly local gaming store, so make sure you check with your independent providers before buying.

Top 10 Epic Encounters Sets – Final Thoughts

Picking a top 10 from the range of products currently available for the Epic Encounters range is hard. There are no bad boxes amongst those available, and there’s plenty more on offer for those who need that dash of special something to add more excitement to their next D&D night.

Running a jungle-based campaign, need some Ras Nsi-like figures for your Tomb of Annihilation campaign, or maybe a suitable Saja N’baza mini? Take a look at Epic Encounters Chamber of the Serpent Folk and Epic Encounters Temple of the Snake God. Can’t get enough serpentine action? Try Epic Encounters Swamp of the Hydra. In fact, Epic Encounters’ hydra is such an awesome miniature it only just missed out being included on our list above – as is Epic Encounters’ Spider Tyrant.

There are no fewer than 16 Epic Encounters sets currently available to purchase either from Steamforged Games’ webstore or from your favourite hobby and games supplier. If you are at all tempted by Epic Encounters, board games are also likely your thing. Make sure to do a full sweep of Steamforged Games’ other products – and be sure to check out our Horizon Zero Dawn and Dark Souls board game reviews, too!

Are you a D&D fan? What was your most epic encounter of 2022? Let’s hear your stories in the comments below!

Click this link & buy your hobby stuff from Element Games for the UK & Europe to support FauxHammer.com – Use Code “FAUX2768” at the checkout for double reward points.

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  • VoltorRWH

    Rob has spent most of the last 15 years playing World of Warcraft and writing stories set in made-up worlds. At some point, he also managed to get a Master's degree by writing about Medieval zombies.

About VoltorRWH 125 Articles
Rob has spent most of the last 15 years playing World of Warcraft and writing stories set in made-up worlds. At some point, he also managed to get a Master's degree by writing about Medieval zombies.

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