Horizon Zero Dawn

What to Expect from the Fireclaw Expansion | Horizon Zero Dawn: The Board Game

Published on 17 September 2021

Fancy facing a serious challenge in your next Horizon Zero Dawn: The Board Game campaign?

You’re in luck, because the Fireclaw Expansion is about to go up for pre-order!

If you thought the Thunderjaw was bad, wait ‘til you come face-to-face with this...

Fireclaw in the Board Game

Of all the huge machines in the world of Horizon, the Fireclaw might be the most powerful. Maybe even more so than the Thunderjaw, which is saying something. 

Let’s take a look at the stats:

Fireclaw Stat Card Front

You’ll notice the Fireclaw’s hit points are around the same level as the Thunderjaw’s. So, what makes this machine tougher to beat?

The answer is in the removable components.

You see, the Fireclaw has fewer, which gives you fewer ways to chip away at the machine’s health — and makes the race to remove those components that much more tense.

Not only that, but removing Fireclaw components has less of an impact on the machine’s health than it does on other huge machines. Plus, the tear values you’ll need to reach to remove those components are higher, too. 

Fireclaw Stat Card Back

Still, that Fire Unit looks like a tempting target...

Fireclaw Attack Stances and Behaviours

In Horizon Zero Dawn: The Frozen Wilds, the Fireclaw is a bear-like, aggressive machine that shifts between two different stances. 

That’s why the Fireclaw in the board game has two behaviour decks: one for its quadruped behaviours, and one for its biped behaviours. If you think it’s bad on four legs, wait until it rears up to chase you on two! 

Of course, the tabletop miniature can’t actually rear up like the machine from Horizon Zero Dawn: The Frozen Wilds, but it’s no less of a threat.

Biped Behaviours

When the Fireclaw is on two legs, it’s all about pure damage output and aggression. Expect a lot of attacks in a short amount of time. 

Let’s take a look:

Fireclaw Biped Stance Card

See? Serious damage. Three attacks in a row, each inflicting 8 damage, and a fire condition? Ouch!

Think you can just roll out of the Fireclaw’s reach after the first attack? Think again...

Fireclaw Biped Stance Rules

Every time the Fireclaw damages a hunter with a melee attack while in the bipedal stance, it follows them as they dodge away. 

(If you look up the word ‘relentless’ in a dictionary, you’ll find a picture of a Fireclaw.) 

And if you’re not close enough to be hit? Expect to be charged for 10 bludgeoning damage instead. Double ouch!

Quadruped Behaviours

Unlike the raw aggression we see from bipedal Fireclaw, quadrupedal Fireclaw focuses on speed and movement. 

Fireclaw Quadraped Stance

Once the Fireclaw is on four legs, it’ll stay there for a while, turning from relentless aggressor to an evasive target that you’ll have to chase down.

Quadrupedal Fireclaw has fewer attacks, too, but the ones it does have are no less powerful. It’s an incendiary machine, after all. 

Fire Condition

Whichever stance the Fireclaw is in, prepare to be burned. 

Sure, the damage you suffer under the fire condition might be small and incremental, but it’ll really start to sting after a while. Even after the flames die out, there’s a good chance the machine will reignite them pretty fast. 

Of course, there are ways to fight fire with — well, not fire, but smart choices.

The Fireclaw needs its Fire Sacs to burn you with claw attacks. Destroy a Sac, and attacks from the claw it’s attached to can no longer burn.

That’s easier said than done, given the Fireclaw’s high armour. So, you’ll need to work together to make it happen. And given there’s no glory in damaging a part for someone else to finish it off… well, you might need to work on your persuasion skills. 

At least there’s one upside. Turns out you can fight fire with fire. Destroying the Fire Sacs will at least let you inflict the fire condition on the Fireclaw, something it’s usually immune to. 

Talk about poetic justice!

Pre-order the Fireclaw Expansion

The Fireclaw might be the toughest trial you’ll ever face, and there’s a good chance your hunters won’t make it back.

Still, what’s life without a little risk — or a big, flaming risk that’s dying to chase you down?

The Fireclaw Expansion pre-order opens this week, Seekers. Don’t miss it!