Ready for some more Unmatched goodness? To kick of 2021, Restoration Games released the Little Red Riding Hood VS Beowulf 2-pack. While we’ve covered the larger Unmatched releases in the past, we can’t ignore what we consider to be the best 2-pack released to date.
These two fighters are both tied to literary works. Little Red is the well known fairy tale that has European origins. Beowulf is the heroic character of the Old English poem by the same name. These two fighters are tough, can deal huge damage, and have very different mechanics.
Meet the Fighters
Little Red Riding Hood is dependent on her basket, which is a non-playable card that sits at the bottom of the discard pile. Each of her cards has an icon representing a knife, wolfsbane or pelt. The icon that’s present on the top card of the discard pile is the resource that Little Red has in her basket. Some cards are more powerful, offer a bonus, or give additional defense based on which resource is at the top of the basket. With her “What a Terrible Big Mouth You Have” card, she can even deal damage while defending if a pelt is at the top of the basket.
Beowulf is a brawler and definitely one of the top 3 strongest characters in Unmatched so far. Beowulf has a rage tracker which is represented by 3 triangle tokens. When Beowulf takes damage, his rage increases. Because this is tied to each time he takes damage, it’s totally possible to gain more than 1 rage token on a single turn based on card effects.
Both of the fighters in this set have something significant that sets them apart from the rest of the battlefield. Little Red requires patience and careful execution to get the most from her. Beowulf is a fighter that requires you to engage with your competitor so he can power up. This set has two of the most strategic fighters and they fit right into the already amazing Unmatched universe.
The map included in this set adds new mechanics of opening and closing doors. The Heorot is a mead-hall that has 4 ways to enter. At the start of the game, 3 of these doorways are shut, represented by cardboard door tokens. Players can spend one of their maneuver points to open the door when adjacent. Players can also close a door when adjacent at no cost.
Adding this new mechanic allows players to cut off adjacency from other players quickly. It can put your opponent in a position that forces them to maneuver at the start of their turn. I really love this little addition and definitely want to see it incorporated into future maps.
A Deadly Duo
Little Red Riding Hood VS Beowulf is such a complete package. The fighters are powerful and each have a unique feel. The map is well laid out and distinguishes itself from the maps in previous sets. Restoration Games did an excellent job making me care about these two characters that are in the common space. I find myself connecting more with these sets than any of the IP-based fighters in Unmatched so far.
At this point, I probably don’t even need to mention that the artwork from Marc Aspinall and Ian O’Toole is top-notch. The illustrations on Little Red’s cards are phenomenal and at times vicious. Red’s sidekick, The Huntsman, is a solid ranged character, while Beowulf has Wiglaf, who only exists to make Beowulf better. The 4 cards that are dedicated to Wiglaf seem limited but have a lot of value when used in the right situation.
If there was any complaint with this set, it would probably be the Little Red miniature. Red is posed in a way that shows her readiness to pounce into action while wearing the pelt of the Big Bad Wolf. When you first look at the mini, you have to figure out what’s happening. The size of the mini is small which is fitting, being LITTLE Red Riding Hood. The miniature isn’t bad, just really different.
Unmatched: Little Red Riding Hood VS Beowulf is proof that some of the most compelling fighters in this system are built from the public domain. This is a great starting point for someone who wants to jump into Unmatched. It’s also a must own for anyone who plays Unmatched.
- Both fighters feel unique and have different mechanics
- Excellent artwork throughout
- Card titles come straight from literature
- Some aren’t a fan of the Little Red miniature