Epic Encounters: Barrow of the Corpse Crawler Review

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Something foul stirs deep within the archives of FauxHammer.com. A carapace of spikes and bone, a many-fanged mouth, and a long, bloated body, it comes to feast upon the corpses of your D&D party’s PCs. Come and find out what this monstrosity is in our Epic Encounters: Barrow of the Corpse Crawler Review.

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Epic Encounters: Barrow of the Corpse Crawler Review – Summary

Steamforged Games smash it out of the park once again with their latest Epic Encounters Boss Box. Barrow of the Corpse Crawler is a one-stop shop for DMs after a sure-fire way of liven up their next D&D session. Complete with all the resources you need to take your encounter to the tabletop – and what fantastic resources they are, too! – Barrow of the Corpse Crawler is a must-have.

Epic Encounters: Barrow of the Corpse Crawler Review – Introduction

We’re back with more boxes, more miniatures, and more Dungeons and Dragons-related content!

Here at FauxHammer.com, we’re loving Steamforged Games’ Epic Encounters sets at the moment. For those of you who are unaware, SFG’s Epic Encounters sets are designed to add some life to your tabletop during D&D night. A coherent set designed around a single specific encounter, these boxes are intended to make your sessions truly unforgettable.

Filled with gorgeous miniatures and tons of other stuff to bring your D&D sessions to life, these boxes are invaluable resources for Dungeon Masters (or Game Masters if you prefer the term).

Epic Encounters Barrow of the Corpse Crawler Token Key Photo

So far, those we’ve seen has been excellent. How does our next box – and Steamforged Games’ latest Epic Encounters box – stack up against its progenitors?

If you haven’t done so already, you might want to check out our other Epic Encounters reviews. You can find Arena of the Undead Horde here, Tower of the Lich Empress here, our playtest of Arena of the Undead Horde here, and our playtest of Tower of the Lich Empress here.

Epic Encounters: Barrow of the Corpse Crawler Review – Unboxing

As always, we’ll take you through every part of this box to give you the most in-depth and objective look at the product that we can.

We’ll start with an unboxing.

Epic Encounters Barrow of the Corpse Crawler Unboxing 1

The box – bright, colourful, and depicting the titular villain in all its slimy glory – isn’t so large as to be cumbersome to transport. You’ll be able to pop it into a bag along with your other D&D equipment no trouble.

Lifting the lid, we have the following goods…

Epic Encounters Barrow of the Corpse Crawler Unboxing 2

So, that’s a sheet of tokens, a flyer with more information on other Epic Encounters products available, the Campaign Booklet, and the double-sided gaming mat. We’ll look at all of these in turn in a moment.

Epic Encounters Barrow of the Corpse Crawler Unboxing 3

Beneath the paper-and card-based goods, we have the miniature, carefully packed in a plastic case.

Epic Encounters Barrow of the Corpse Crawler Unboxing 4

One thing that we love about the Epic Encounters boxes is the packaging. Steamforged Games understand how important miniatures are to TTRPGers and other tabletop gaming enthusiasts. Because of this they make sure their products are packaged in carefully-designed boxes. These plastic packages ensure the miniature is safe and secure, yet not so tightly packed that they are difficult to remove.

Epic Encounters: Barrow of the Corpse Crawler Review – Contents

Here’s everything you get in the Barrow of the Corpse Crawler Epic Encounters box.

  • 1 x Corpse Crawler Miniature
  • 1 x Barrow of the Corpse Crawler Campaign Book
  • 12 x Ghoul-kin Reaver Tokens
  • 1 x Double-sided gaming mat

On the surface, this might not look like much. However, as we go through each component in turn, the true value of this box will reveal itself.

Books

There’s only one book in the Epic Encounters: Barrow of the Corpse Crawler box – and it’s a really important one.

The Barrow of the Corpse Crawler Campaign Book might seem small, but it’s possibly the most important resource in the box. This book is a key part of the box and must not be overlooked. It is positively overflowing with all the information a DM or GM would need to structure their encounter.

Epic Encounters Barrow of the Corpse Crawler Campaign Book 1

The thing that impresses us here at FauxHammer.com is how well these books are written. They are simultaneously packed with everything needed to build an exciting adventure for players, but are written in such a way to ensure they are not restrictive.

Epic Encounters Barrow of the Corpse Crawler Campaign Book 2
Epic Encounters Barrow of the Corpse Crawler Campaign Book 3

This is where the true genius of the box lies. Epic Encounters sets are designed to be either a one-shot adventure in themselves, or a part of a much larger campaign. DMs/GMs are provided with all the information they need to make a coherent one-shot-style adventure. However, said information isn’t so restrictive as to prevent the module from being inserted into a larger campaign.

Epic Encounters Barrow of the Corpse Crawler Campaign Book 4

Absolutely everything has been thought of. Sections are dedicated to plot hooks, the environment and how it can be used, and gross things that the party may stumble upon in the lair of such a creature.

There are labelled diagrams of the map provided in the box with environmental features DMs/GMs and players can utilise in their game. The back of the book is dedicated to stat blocks – not only for the Corpse Crawler, but also for other monsters the DM/GM might want to throw at their party.

Epic Encounters Barrow of the Corpse Crawler Campaign Book 6
Epic Encounters Barrow of the Corpse Crawler Campaign Book 5

Should a DM/GM feel overwhelmed by the amount of resources on offer and be unsure where to start, there’s even a well-thought-out attack pattern for the Corpse Crawler

There’s so much in this book that cramming it all into a single encounter is near-impossible. This is great for DMs/GMs, as it means they’ll be able to run the encounter over and over again with different groups without getting bored of doing so. It’s an excellent resource, and one that DMs/GMs of all ability levels will be able to make great use of.

Wargear

In this section, we’ll have a look at all the stuff that comes in the box designed to facilitate play. Dice rulers, counters, games boards, those sorts of things.

Tokens

Epic Encounters: Barrow of the Corpse-Crawler comes with a single token board. This board boasts a dozen Ghoul-kin Reaver tokens that can be used t represent some of the minions the Corpse Crawler can call to its aid during a fight.

Epic Encounters Barrow of the Corpse Crawler Token Board 1

If you’ve got the Hive of the Ghoul-kin Epic Encounters box, you’ll be furnished with no fewer than 8 Ghoul-kin Reaver miniatures that can take the place of these tokens.

Epic Encounters Barrow of the Corpse Crawler Tokens 2

The tokens are good quality. They’re made of decent strength cardboard and push out of their board with no issues. I had no snags or tears when I removed mine, so the good-quality finish on them was not damaged.

Another shout-out to the great-quality packaging is due. See, the plastic case inside the Corpse Crawler box has two little slots for the tokens.

Epic Encounters Barrow of the Corpse Crawler Tokens 2

These little slots will ensure your tokens don’t get lost or damaged rattling around in the box. They also have space for you to get a finger underneath the tokens to remove them.

It’s nice little touches like this that show Steamforged Games really care about their product and know how much their sets will mean to their buyers. It’s good to know the manufacturer cares as much about their goods as you do as a consumer.

Double-Sided Gaming Mat

The double-sided gaming mat that comes in the Barrow of the Corpse Crawler box provides players and DMs/GMs with two alternate layouts for the encounter space.

The first is a more well-lit tomb. There’s tons of details here: the sarcophagus, the uneven floor, the walls covered in all sorts of grim slimes and other leavings that don’t bear too much thinking about.

Epic Encounters Barrow of the Corpse Crawler Gaming Mat 2

The second side shows a much darker, more atmospheric layout of the barrow. The different layouts allow DMs/GMs to shape their encounter as they wish and offers them flexibility with their own storytelling. The features of the two maps are the same, though: there are areas where dirt will fall onto any unwary adventurers, a sarcophagus that can be both a boon and a curse for the players, several statues, and sections of uneven floor.

Epic Encounters Barrow of the Corpse Crawler Gaming Mat 1

The inclusion of the map (or maps) is a great addition to the set as it provides a great deal of visual interest to the playing space. Of course, this can be supplemented with any 3D terrain pieces a group may have if the DM/GM so wishes.

The only drawback to these maps is the fold lines. Whilst the map is made of good-quality, high-grade paper with an excellent-quality print, that the map is made of paper does mean it is prone to some large fold lines, as you can see in the images above. These can be smoothed out, but repeated folding and unfolding of the map will likely lead to these areas of the print becoming worn and faded.

Miniatures

There’s only one miniature in the Corpse Crawler box (and I bet you can’t guess what it is).

The Corpse Crawler

When we first looked at Tower of the Lich Empress and Arena of the Undead Horde, I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the sculpts of the minis in the boxes.

Between then and this release – which is part of Steamforged Games’ latest Epic Encounters release – the quality of the miniatures has only increased.

Just look at this monster.

Epic Encounters Barrow of the Corpse Crawler Miniature 4

The Corpse Crawler is a massive miniature made of solid plastic. Covered in grimy details – maggot-like legs, swollen pustules, and a dripping, many-fanged maw – this figure is every bit as disgusting as you’d hope it would be.

Looming out of a semi-sculpted base covered in debris and remains, the Corpse Crawler will bring any tabletop to life. Watch your player’s eyes widen and their jaws drop when this truly horrific foe joins the field of battle.

Epic Encounters Barrow of the Corpse Crawler Miniature 2

The textures on the miniature are absolutely spot on. From the bloated, blubber-like soft underbelly of the creature, covered in weeping sores and wounds, to the spiked carapace on its back, the details are absolutely spot-on.

Epic Encounters Barrow of the Corpse Crawler Miniature 3

There are a few join lines on the miniature, as you can see in the image above. However, these have been disguised by working them into the texture of the model. A lick of paint, and no one would be any the wiser that they were there at all.

The Corpse Crawler is absolute unit, too. This guy is big. Here he is side-by-side with a trusty Space Marine.

Epic Encounters Barrow of the Corpse Crawler Miniature 5

He commands whatever table he is placed upon. When we broke him out mid-playtesting, he horrified our players. Jaws dropped, eyes widened – this is exactly the reaction you want from your players. Even the tried-and-tested staff at our venue came over to see what on earth was going on.

It’s heavy too. Were you to drop the majority of miniatures on the floor, the miniature’d likely come off worse. With the Corpse Crawler, I think the floor would be the casualty. There’s some significant heft to it.

What a fantastic figure.

Epic Encounters: Barrow of the Corpse Crawler Review – Playtesting

In order to give Barrow of the Corpse Crawler the try-out it deserves, we assembled our elite squad of D&D fans and players to see what they thought of the resources and equipment available in the box. Led in their adventure by FauxHammer.com’s Rob, we put together a quick one-shot campaign to give them the chance to fully explore everything available in the box.

Also, we love The Games Table in Norwich, so any opportunity we get to head back we do.

Epic Encounters Barrow of the Corpse Crawler Testing 7

The long and short of the matter is that, once again, the resources available to a DM/GM in the Barrow of the Corpse Crawler are excellent. Putting together a quick, exciting, and fulfilling campaign was extremely easy, and our D&Ders had an absolute blast. Another ringing endorsement from all of us.

In fact, we’d even go as far to say that it’s the best Epic Encounters box we’re reviewed so far.

Epic Encounters: Barrow of the Corpse Crawler Review – Price and Availability

You can buy Epic Encounters: Barrow of the Corpse Crawler straight from Steamforged Games’ webstore for £44.99GBP/$44.95USD/€44.95EUR.

As a Boss box, the value isn’t quite as good as the associated Crypt of the Ghoul-kin Warband box, but Barrow of the Corpse Crawler’s price does feel fair. The miniature is massive and extremely detailed, and the other resources available in the box will be very useful for any D&D party.

Epic Encounters: Barrow of the Corpse Crawler Review – Where to Next?

If Barrow of the Corpse Crawler is right up your street, then you’ll want to also grab a copy of the associated Warband box: Hive of the Ghoul-kin. You can read our review of this spectacular set here.

Epic Encounters Hive of the Ghoul-kin Review Unboxing 1

If you’re planning or currently running an undead-themed Dungeons and Dragons campaign and are looking to expand your collections of miniatures, you might also want to take a look at the Tower of the Lich Empress and Arena of the Undead Horde Epic Encounters sets.

Epic Encounters tower of the Lich Empress Unboxing 1
Epic Encounters Arena of the Undead Horde Unboxing 1 Alt

As we said at the start of our review, if you haven’t done so already, check out our other Epic Encounters reviews. You can find Arena of the Undead Horde here, Tower of the Lich Empress here, our playtest of Arena of the Undead Horde here, and our playtest of Tower of the Lich Empress here.

Epic Encounters: Barrow of the Corpse Crawler Review – Final Thoughts

ProsCons
Beautifully disgusting (disgustingly beautiful?) miniature
Plenty of resources to help with your game
Insightful and genuinely helpful Campaign Booklet
Well-made tokens
Excellent packaging
Flexibility of the set-up makes it easy to be run as a one-shot or slotted into a larger campaign
Gaming mat is prone to fold lines

When we first reviewed Steamforged Games’ Arena of the Undead Horde and Tower of the Lich Empress sets, we loved them. In fact, although we didn’t say it in our review, we were a little concerned that SFG might have set the bar for these boxes too high. How would any subsequent release be able to live up to the standard set by these boxes?

Well, quite easily, it seems.

With Barrow of the Corpse Crawler, SFG provide an absolute masterclass in how to run a D&D boss encounter. Packed with all the resources you need for an unforgettable game night – not to mention a monstrous miniature to keep your players’ eyes on the table – it is a must-have for any DM/GM.

Once again, SFG have smashed it.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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Author

  • 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 114 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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