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Published on September 10th, 2013 | by Colin


Cardcore Gamer: Nyan Nyan


Hot on the heels of my Von Drakk Manor overview comes this spotlight on the limited edition (inevitable) catgirl for Super Dungeon Explore! All together now: Nyan nyan nyan…

No rainbows, no Pop Tart.

No rainbows, no Pop Tart.

First released (and quickly sold out) at Gen Con 2013, Nyan Nyan is a cheap and cheerful hero expansion for Soda Pop Miniatures’ Super Dungeon Explore. As it was my birthday at the start of the month, my lovely wife bought me one of these the instant that they hit the CMON Webstore, where a limited number are still available. Let’s kick Schrödinger in the kneecap and let the cat out of the box!

Sorry, trying to work out a 'leotard/leo-means-lion' joke

Sorry, trying to work out a ‘leotard/leopard’ joke

Nyan Nyan appears to be made of the softer, darker ‘Von Drakk‘ type plastic, but feels a tiny bit more sturdy, perhaps due to the solidity of the sculpt. I initially thought this would be a ‘catgirl’ character, but on closer look, she’s actually wearing a cat outfit, complete with kitty-ears hood! The big claw-gauntlets are vicious, riveted armoured things, giving her a convincing warrior feel that’s only *slightly* undermined by the daft, fur-trimmed leotard. Nyan Nyan continues the trend of unique-looking heroes in the SDE world and won’t be confused for any other character on the board.



Stats wise, Nyan Nyan is clearly in the ‘Rogue’ camp, with abilities stacked toward long range hit-and-run tactics, not protracted brawls. High DEX, coupled with Dodge makes her hard to hit, while Luck adds some flexibility to both her and her party. Purr is useful for drawing enemies out of formation and isolating them, while Catnip Bomb is one of the new, offensive potions to rob enemies in its AOE of their special attacks. Both these can combine to set up a strike with her ‘grandstand’ move; Teeth & Fur.

With an effective range of 12 squares (6 if she wants to hit-and-run) Nyan Nyan is shaping up to be an excellent Hero and a serious threat to any Dark Consul player’s elites, mini-bosses and even Boss characters. The problem I have is that she’s a little too good…

Power creep?

Power creep?

(Note: Pounce as written is a Fly move, but has since been altered by errata to be a teleport: “Pounce: Choose an enemy model anywhere within 5 squares, and line of sight. Place the model with Pounce adjacent to this target, then roll to attack as normal.”)

So first up, she has Dodge with a base DEX of 2red, which is none too shabby and she has an average health of 5. However, if you do manage to splat the cat, her 9 Lives ability kicks in and this is where it all goes wrong: Nyan Nyan is nigh-immortal; If Nyan Nyan dies, then she has a 66% chance of bouncing right back again, with just shy of a 17% chance of regenerating three hearts as she does so! A 50-50 split (1 blue die, maximum two hearts regained) would have felt a little fairer considering how much effort it takes to kill a Hero to begin with and I hate to imagine what Nyan Nyan and a solid healer like the Paladin would be like.

The ultimate gauntlet with which to instigate a duel!

The ultimate gauntlet with which to instigate a duel!

Nyan Nyan also comes with a unique treasure card granting +1 red die DEX and cloning the Teeth & Fur special attack – very nasty! I love how they’ve included her character portrait on the card and having character-specific weapons adds a bit of flavour to the Treasure deck.

With game expansions, the worry is always how they will affect the balance of power in the game and while Nyan Nyan is only a small addition to the SDE world, she does have the distinctly cheesy whiff of ‘power creep’ to her. She’s a great Hero to add to the team, but as a design, she still needed some tweaking before release. Nyan Nyan is a lot of fun, not necessarily ‘broken’ and for the price I would recommend buying her while stocks still exist. Just be aware that she’s a particularly strong hero that could unbalance a game if used in a similarly top-tier party – this kitten has claws!

Seriously, look at those things; they could disembowel a bear.

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