I received my copy of The Frozen Wastes...it was worth the wait!
Given that everyone here has probably read the rules that are already online, I will confine my post to describing the component quality-
New Characters(stats: R=Ranged, M=Melee, Ma=Magic, L=Life, F=Fatigue)-note: I did not list special abilities some of which are very substantial.
Arvel Worldwalker: R=4/2,M=2/1,Ma=3/1, L=4,= F=5, Skills: Climb+2, Hide+2, Endure +2
Zyla: R=3/1,M=0/0,Ma=3/2, L=4,= F=4, Skills: Climb+2, Hide+2, Sneak +2
Karmon: R=0/1,M=5/2,Ma=2/1, L=5,= F=5, Skills: Endure+4, Resist+4
Laughin Buldar: R=3/1,M=4/2,Ma=2/1, L=4,= F=3, Skills: Diplomacy+2,Resist+2
Okaluk and Rakash: R=1/1,M=3/1,Ma=4/1, L=4,= F=4, Skills: Jump+2,Tinker+2,Spot+2
Shiver: R=1/1,M=3/0,Ma=4/2, L=5,= F=2, Skills: Lore+2,Resist+2,Endure+2
Aside from the great, ecletic mix of characters, the figure sculpts are beautiful...the most detailed and exciting Runebound releases so far without a doubt. For you figure painters, I know you'll love these.
Before specifics- let me say that all of the artwork shows great care and attention to detail. They inspire the imagination and the styles used to depict mechanized items/characthaters are such that they fit the Runebound "culture" seamlessly.
Allies: Great mix of different cost support troops including mechanized allies(as you might have suspected) and an enchanted wolf.
Items: The legendary items are worth the cost of admission, especially the 15g "Armor of the Ancients" which absorbs all damage beyond 1 pt. Various armor, weapons, artificats and a rune(Twisted Symbol) comprise the set.
Encounters: The "villains" are wonderfully chosen and fitting the environment. From the magically-enchanted mechanized foes(Ancient Enforcer), to the arctic beasts(Raging Mastadon), to the various barbarian challengers, the set fits the theme.
Now I haven't played the expansion yet as I am in the middle of an Island of Dread game right now, so I did not look at the Event Cards(I like to be surprised and play through the tale). There are no quest cards, but given that the game itself has "built in" quests such as searching for legendary items and the Princess via "clue cards", they would prove redundant anyways in my opinion.
Yes, these are the Frozen Wastes. I get cold just looking at the board(and don't take that lightly as I live in Upstate New York- having just shoveled my driveway the last few days). FFG could have given us "whitewashed" Runebound terrain but all of the artwork is original and inspired. The forest spaces show trees bending under the weight of snow. The mountain spaces truly look like frozen, unforgiving spires. The artwork for the Inuit villages and city of Lagart are up the Runebound standard(high).The ice and snowdrift spaces- they solidify the mood of the terrain(cold!).
Tokens, Counters and Bits:
The rumor tokens, frost counters and weather tiles are sturdy and vibrant. Everything comes in plentiful supply(there are two sheets of counters). The survuval gear counters are large and well-illustrated.
Overall-yes this is a Fantasy Flight Game-I opened the box and found the promised, quality components. The new characters, allies, items and encounters are very "Runebound". For the worryers about this being a sci fi game- I don't get that feel from the components. All of the mechanical items, allies and foes appear to be magically enchanted metallic devices rather than "robots". This is what I was hoping for, and this is what was delivered.
I hope everyone gets a copy soon!