Epic Encounters: Cove of the Dragon Turtle Review

Please Note: This site uses affiliate links. Our affiliates are shown in the sidebar on the homepage

Epic Encounters Cove of the Dragon Turtle Unboxing 1

Deep beneath the murky waters, something massive stirs. Epic Encounters: Cove of the Dragon Turtle is here, and with it comes a new battle for your D&D party – as well as a truly fantastic new miniature.

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.

Artus-Opus-FauxHammer-Starter-Set-Banner-3
Phrozen Sonic Mini 8k - Banner

15% off Phrozen with code: “22PRFHDP15

LockerToys JoyToy Banner

Our Affiliates / Hobby Stores

FauxHammer – Latest Video on YouTube

Epic Encounters: Cove of the Dragon Turtle Review – Summary

Epic Encounters: Cove of the Dragon Turtle is another worthy entrant into the Epic Encounters range. An exciting and challenging boss fight for your players that is easy for any DM/GM to run, the pinnacle of the set is its gorgeous miniature. Whilst the Boss box’s setting may make the encounter a little more difficult to insert into your campaign, with Cove of the Dragon Turtle, Steamforged Games prove that they are well and truly on the miniatures market – and have no intention of going anywhere.

Epic Encounters: Cove of the Dragon Turtle Review – Introduction

There’s no better way to round off an exciting Dungeons and Dragons campaign arc than with a boss fight. Something big, something epic, something that your party will never stop talking about for years to come, and will really annoy every subsequent Dungeon Master/Game Master (DM/GM) they ever have because they keep bringing it up.

The easiest way to do all of these things is with one of Steamforged Games’ Epic Encounters Boss boxes – and their latest addition to the range, Cove of the Dragon Turtle, promises big things.

I mean, you can’t go far wrong with this box. Everyone loves dragons, and everyone loves turtles. What’s not to like?

Steamforged Games very kindly sent us Epic Encounters: Cove of the Dragon Turtle as well as its accompanying Warband box, Island of the Crab Archon, for free in order for us to review them.

Epic Encounters: Cove of the Dragon Turtle Review – Unboxing

Let’s dive right in and get this box open.

Here it is, looking magnificent with a huge picture of the titular Dragon Turtle across its face.

Epic Encounters Cove of the Dragon Turtle Unboxing 1

Lifting the lid, we have all of our paper goods.

Epic Encounters Cove of the Dragon Turtle Unboxing 2

This is the folded Gaming Mat or map, a sheet of tokens, the Campaign Booklet, as well as some promo material.

Epic Encounters Cove of the Dragon Turtle Unboxing 3

Setting all that aside, we have our first glimpse of the Dragon Turtle itself, safe and secure in its packaging.

Epic Encounters Cove of the Dragon Turtle Unboxing 4

Steamforged Games always outdo themselves with their packaging. Not only is the plastic in which the miniature sits carefully designed to be both secure around the model, yet not so tight as to make it difficult to remove, you’ll see there are also two circular recesses in the top of the case. These are where you can keep your tokens once you’ve pushed them out of their punchboard.

Epic Encounters: Cove of the Dragon Turtle Review – Contents

Here’s a list of the stuff you get in Epic Encounters’ Dragon Turtle set:

  • 1 x Cove of the Dragon Turtle Campaign Booklet
  • 1 x Double-sided Gaming Mat
  • 1 x Punchboard of Tokens, containing 16 Tokens
  • 1 x Dragon Turtle Miniature

Now, this may not seem like much at first, but read on and you’ll begin to understand the worth in this set.

Books

Clocking in at a modest 35 pages, you’ll be amazed at the amount of stuff crammed into this slim little booklet.

Epic Encounters Cove of the Dragon Turtle Campaign Book 1

First off, there’s plenty of lore and plot hooks designed to get your characters engaged with the encounter. This can easily be worked into a wider or longer campaign if you’re planning on building everything up to this particular showdown. This, like a lot of the resources proposed in the Campaign Booklet, can be chopped-and-changed to suit your needs, or completely ignored if you’ve got ideas that you prefer.

Epic Encounters Cove of the Dragon Turtle Campaign Book 2
Epic Encounters Cove of the Dragon Turtle Campaign Book 3

Next, there’s the all-important lair: the place where the Dragon Turtle resides between its bouts of destruction. There are notes on how to build up to this, such as discovering shed dragon scales or abandoned weapons that have been heaped up in a hoard-like display.

Epic Encounters Cove of the Dragon Turtle Campaign Book 4

The encounter itself is a little more complex than some of the previous Epic Encounters we’ve looked at. Set in a large cove, the water plays a key role in this battle and poses a hazard to the players who will begin to drown if they spent too long trying to swim. The walls are also prone to collapse, so players need to consider very carefully where they stand in order to avoid the environmental hazards.

That’s not all, either. There are plenty of other ways players can exploit the environment to their benefit during the fight. The named features on the map – such as the foliage on the islands and the Dragon Turtle’s hoard – can provide advantages to the players who use them carefully.

Epic Encounters Cove of the Dragon Turtle Campaign Book 6
Epic Encounters Cove of the Dragon Turtle Campaign Book 5

Finally, we arrive at the Dragon Turtle itself. SFG have provided DMs/GMs with a rotation to help guide the boss’ attacks and actions in order to ensure players get a real taste of what the foe has to offer. There are pages of special abilities available, as well as several cinematic moments – one off events that can take place during the course of the fight to up the tension.

One issue we’ve found with the Cove of the Dragon Turtle Campaign Book (which we mentioned in our Island of the Crab Archon Review) is that it is a little limited by setting. The encounter requires you and your party to be on a coastline or near a large body of water in order to be able to get the most out of this set. This does make this particular boss box a bit more difficult to slot into your campaign – which is a real shame, because there’s a lot to love here.

However, there’s so much in there – more than you’ll be able to fit into a single encounter. This is great, as it means you’ll be able to use this encounter again and again with other groups and not grow tired of doing so, as there’ll always be something new you can try out.

Wargear

Next up, let’s take a look at some of the additional resources that come in the box: the tokens and the double-sided Gaming Mat.

Tokens

There are sixteen tokens in Epic Encounters’ Dragon Turtle box: 9 Karkinos Infantry tokens (which you could replace with real miniatures if you happen to have the Island of the Crab Archon set), and seven Dragon Turtle Hatchlings.

Epic Encounters Cove of the Dragon Turtle Tokens 1

These push out of their boards very easily and are clearly distinguishable from each other.

Epic Encounters Cove of the Dragon Turtle Tokens 2

They also slot into two little holes in the packaging that we pointed out during the unboxing, so you’ve no chance of losing them. Nice.

Double-Sided Gaming Mat

Next, here’s the surface you can conduct your encounter upon. I do apologise for the first photo, the map really did not want to be this way up – hence the upwards curling in the top left corner!

Epic Encounters Cove of the Dragon Turtle Map 1

It was much happier the other way up.

Epic Encounters Cove of the Dragon Turtle Map 2

What we have here are two alternate map layouts for the same boss fight. They contain the same features, but just in slightly different setups. You can choose whichever you wish to use in your encounter.

The paper the mat is printed on is good quality and will survive all but the most disastrous and deliberate rips. The images are interesting and dynamic, but the map itself is actually very dark in person, so it’s quite difficult to pick out all of the detail. This may impact your game, as players and the DM/GM may struggle to make out particular terrain features, which may mean that things are missed or used incorrectly.

Miniatures

Finally, we arrive at the really good bit. Let’s not hang about, and instead take a good look at the figure that comes in the Epic Encounters: Cove of the Dragon Turtle box.

The Dragon Turtle

And here it is.

This miniature, a hybrid of traditional dragon and massive turtle, is something else. Just look at it!

A huge amount of care and attention to detail has gone into the design and production of this miniature. From how it looms over the raised part of its base to the coral and barnacles studding its weathered and cracked shell, this figure is absolutely dripping with personality and character.

And the Dragon Turtle is not small, either: here it is side-by-side with a Primaris Assault Intercessor Space Marine to give you a sense of just how large it is.

Epic Encounters Cove of the Dragon Turtle Miniature 5

Aside from looking phenomenal on the tabletop – which it most certainly will – this model will also be a delight to paint. There are loads of textures and plenty of interesting details for you to get a brush around in order to really make this thing your own.

It also comes fully assembled, so you don’t need to build anything either!

Epic Encounters: Cove of the Dragon Turtle Review – Playtesting

Unfortunately, due to changing personal circumstances and unavailability, we’ve had to scale down our playtesting of Cove of the Dragon Turtle. This is a real shame, as we were hoping to give the entire encounter a thorough playthrough with our D&D team.

As such, this is something of a DM/GM’s playtest undertaken in a fairly closed climate. There’s an enormous amount of stuff that DMs/GMs can really get stuck into with the Cove of the Dragon Turtle’s encounter, so let’s get cracking.

Epic Encounters Cove of the Dragon Turtle Playtesting 1

Beginning with the environmental aspects, the option to snatch control away from your players is right there from the get-go: the deep water that makes up the Dragon Turtle’s cove will drown players who spend too long swimming in it, and the crumbling walls of the arena will force players to consider their positioning very carefully.

It gets worse, too. The islands scattered around the cove are also covered in water, mud and seaweed. As such, moving across them is going to be difficult, and players who fail standard DC Dexterity or Strength checks risk falling and sliding into the water. There are also other traps lurking in the dark places of the cove that players will need to be extremely careful of.

Epic Encounters Cove of the Dragon Turtle Playtesting 3

However, clever players will be able to use these features of the terrain to their advantage. Without saying too much, there are many ways players can exploit features of the arena against the Dragon Turtle to aid them in their battle. There’s even a clever way players can increase their AC – and, perhaps, not in the most obvious way.

The Dragon Turtle itself is also an unpredictable and varied fight. With the ability to summon additional enemies, such as the Karkinos infantry from the Island of the Crab Archon box amongst others – it has a vast array of single target and area of effect abilities that will punish even the most prepared, levelled, and well-healed parties. For example, the dragon can do a particular trick with its breath attack that will certainly catch players off-guard.

Epic Encounters Cove of the Dragon Turtle Playtesting 2

The spread of different abilities and the dangerous terrain makes Cove of the Dragon Turtle a uniquely challenging encounter. There are almost no safe zones on the map, and those that are usually come with traps and ability check caveats. Environmental hazards abound, and the Dragon Turtle’s exciting mix of abilities (which also include the ability to just dive down into the water and re-appear somewhere else entirely) will really force players to engage with their characters, consider their strengths and weaknesses, and keep their attention on the table.

It’s a clever, exciting, and well-rounded challenge – if potentially extremely punishing. But then again, what did you expect from the guys who made the Dark Souls board game?

Epic Encounters: Cove of the Dragon Turtle Review – Price and Availability

Epic Encounters: Cove of the Dragon Turtle is available straight from Steamforged Games’ webstore for £49.99GBP/$49.95USD/€49.95EUR. Normally, a miniature of this size alone would set you back a similar price to this – if not more. That you get an entire encounter you can use your miniature with makes this a very reasonable asking price.

Epic Encounters: Cove of the Dragon Turtle Review – Where to Next?

Wanting to extend your D&D adventuring party’s watery plight? If you haven’t already done so, you’ll want to grab yourself a copy of Island of the Crab Archon. After that, the limits of your campaign are set by your imagination and creativity.

…But sometimes it can be difficult to think up something new and exciting for your Dungeons and Dragons group – especially if you’re doing it last minute. As such, why not take a look at the rest of Steamforged Games’ Epic Encounters range, which you can find on Steamforged Games’ webstore, and let the pros take the stress out of the process for you.

Epic Encounters: Cove of the Dragon Turtle Review – Final Thoughts

ProsCons
Really exciting, varied boss fight.
The encounter itself is very well-written, with loads of resources for any DM/GM to use – you won’t want for inspiration here!
Fabulous miniature.
Setting requires your party to be near an ocean or other large body of water, which makes getting this box into your campaign a bit more difficult when compared to other Epic Encounters.
Artwork on the gaming mat is quite dark so can be a bit more difficult to see.

For those regular readers who had a look at our Island of the Crab Archon review, the following round-up might seem a little bit familiar. That’s because, whilst Cove of the Dragon Turtle is an excellent resource for DMs/GMs and will delight your party, there are one or two things to be aware of.

First, the trip hazards. The map is a bit on the dark and slightly difficult to discern side. You or some members of your party might find it a little bit more challenging to look at than some other Epic Encounters maps, which tend towards being brighter-coloured and a little clearer.

Also, the setting. One of the wonderful things about Epic Encounters set sis they’re so easy to just drop into any campaign: Barrow of the Corpse Crawler, for example, takes place in a barrow. Hive of the Ghoul-kin takes place in a crypt. You can chuck a barrow or crypt into any zone and any location no matter where your party may be in their adventure. They’re extraordinarily easy to work in. However, Cove of the Dragon Turtle requires water – and quite a lot of water, in fact. Your campaign will need to be tending towards an ocean or sea in order to be able to get the most out of this box. It won’t make much sense if your party, currently three-hundred miles inland, are suddenly attacked by a giant sea monster.

However, this isn’t the end of the world. DMs will be able to find use for this set – and that it is so geared towards a campaign set along a coastline or at sea actually makes it quite unique and will really help turn this leg of your campaign up to eleven.

And there are some really awesome bits to this set. The encounter itself is massive and creative. There’s so much for both players and DMs/GMs to engage with in the Campaign Booklet that you’re unlikely to find a way to use it all in a single session. This means you can take other bits for future use, or run the encounter again with a whole host of new features and abilities.

Finally, there’s the big hitter: that model. The Dragon Turtle is definitely one of the best miniatures Steamforged Games have produced for their Epic Encounters sets. Between this and Island of the Crab Archon, SFG are making a statement about just how serious they are about their minis – and they’re definitely a brand to watch.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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.

Artus-Opus-FauxHammer-Starter-Set-Banner-3
Phrozen Sonic Mini 8k - Banner

15% off Phrozen with code: “22PRFHDP15

LockerToys JoyToy Banner

Our Affiliates / Hobby Stores

FauxHammer – Latest Video on YouTube

What did you think of this Review? please let us know in the comments.

If you like what we’re doing here you could really help encourage more content with a share on any social media platform.

Click the share links at the bottom of this screen (or on the left for computers and tablets)

Want to keep updated with the site? You can subscribe in the sidebar for RSS or by email below

(Sidebar is below the article on Mobile Devices)

Author

  • 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.

Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Epic Encounters: Cove of the Dragon Turtle
Author Rating
41star1star1star1stargray
Product Name
Epic Encounters: Cove of the Dragon Turtle
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.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.