Greywind- A Song of Ice & Fire

I spent some holiday time working on Greywind for A Song of Ice & Fire miniature game from Cool Mini or Not.

I enjoyed working on him and doing the basing.

If you play ASoI&F and or paint, let me know!

Zenithal Highlighting on 3d Printed Terrain

I believe that my Ender 3 is printing better than it ever has and I am printing terrain as much as I can.At the same time, I’d love to have several painted buildings for a small town when playing fantasy war games.Zenithal highlighting will help me reach that goal.

Zenithal highlighting is primering a model with an airbrush, or in my case, rattle can spray paint using varying shades. What I do is spray the entire model in black paint. Second, I then spray a grey from the side with a slight down angle. 

Lastly, I use a white and spray directly from the top.

When I paint the terrain, I use thinned down paint. In so doing, the pre-shaded highlights I did with the zenithal technique makes the dark areas darker and the lighter areas lighter, requiring only one layer of paint to get a good look. You can see how it turns out in the images below.

The building shown below come from Black Scroll Games found HERE.

Rone 2nd Edition Review

Rone: Races of a New Era Review

Rone 2nd edition: Races of a New Era

A Review by Bob Nolan

[Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with the publisher but I have received a promotional copy of the game for this review.]

Product Name: Rone: Races of a New Era
Publisher: GREIFERISTO Games
Mechanics: Versus, Competitive, Card
Cost: $??
Genre: Post-apocalyptic
# of Players: 2-4

Time: 30-45 minutes
Ages: 14+
Designer: Stepan Stefanik

Rone: Races of a New Era is a strategic card game set in a bleak and dark future world. Players recruit survivors, warmachines, hybrids and mutants into your army to gain control of the new world. Use technology to your benefit by upgrading your armies and machines to be the new leader of the new order.

Introduction

Rone was Kickstarted and funded at 120% with 324 total supporters after the pledge manager ended in 2018. You can find the campaign for the 2nd edition and expansions here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/bonjour/rone-2nd-edition-rone-new-forces-expansion-relaunc

Rone is a competitive player VS player card game (battle card game) where players build various combos from the different cards. There is a large variety of cards, and the enormity of the choices may be overwhelming at times. For some, this is a good thing but for others it can mean slow learning.

In Rone, players will build a deck, either randomly, or through other means, such as drafting, before the game starts. A deck is composed of no more than 24 cards, which also represents your chosen hero’s health in the game. Players then, over a series of rounds and phases, play cards to create various combos to reduce the opposing player’s health (cards) to zero.

Components and Artwork

The core game includes a rulebook, 4 water dials, 10 damage and health tokens, 6 melee attack tokens, 6 ranged attack tokens and 360 cards. With a post-apocalyptic setting, artwork is important to draw players in. There are a wide variety and sundry different pieces of art and it does well to immerse players. The artwork is not distracting and this allows the important information to stay front-and-center.

The components feel good and should stand up to many games. The dials that track resources work well and do a great job of keeping your water resource visible.

I would be a happy post-apocalyptic survivor to have this game in my possession based on component quality and artwork alone.

Game Play

As a new player to Rone, it took a few games before I started to become familiar with the cards and how they all interact. However, let’s look at set up and how the game is played.

Every player first chooses a hero from the many available choices. A hero has three levels and is placed in a stack. When levels change in the game, the appropriate card is used.

For your first game, you will prepare your player decks by randomly drawing 24 cards per player, plus the hero. The technology deck includes 5 random cards from the available technology cards. For your first game, this step is optional as it adds more complexity and interactions with the cards. The first player is chosen randomly. To offset the first player advantage, the second player begins with two water tokens while the first player begins with zero. Players draw a hand of six cards and may mulligan if they are not happy with this draw. The mulligan rule may be used once per game.

 

 

The main resource needed to activate various abilities and powers is water. As mentioned, the first player starts with zero water and the second player gets to start with two.

A game is played in rounds with five phases and players alternate turns following the phases. Those phases are, in order:

  1. Refresh phase
  2. Start of turn phase
  3. Income phase
  4. Main phase
  5. End of turn phase

Let’s look at a basic overview of each of the phases. The player following the steps of the phases is considered the active player.

First, the active player resets the cards that are in play- meaning they are rotated (when a card is used, it is rotated to track whether it is useable or not) and are then useable in the upcoming phases.

Next, some cards may activate at the “start of the turn,” and are triggered in phase 2. The active player makes sure to plan these triggered effects in any order they wish. When playing, be sure to trigger effects so that each works upon the effects created by the previous card. Finding potential combos here is fun and rewarding.

The third phase is income and this is where the active player gains more water resources as well as being able to draw more cards. Gain water tokens equal to the resource number on your hero card as well as cards as listed on the same hero card.

Unit Cards

The fourth stage is the main phase where card abilities take effect. There are two main categories of abilities, slow and fast. The main phase is where things start to get really exciting, and, depending on what cards you have in play, you can get several abilities working together. Slow effects can only be used during the active player’s main phase and can include things like playing unit or technology cards, declaring an attack, leveling up a hero, and more. Fast effects can be played as reactions to an opponent’s turn or during any other phase (except the Refresh phase). The fast effects come from reacting to a tactic card being played or an opponent executing an activated ability, and more.

Played cards in this phase are placed into a “stack” which can be reacted to. Once all cards are placed into this “stack,” they are activated in reverse order, from the top of the stack down. Since reactions are important and the actions from the “stack” can trigger reactions, it’s important to follow the rulebook and activate / trigger effects in the proper order. The idea from this wasn’t confusing, but, players have to be sure to follow the order of operations and make sure the triggers and reactions happen in the appropriate order.

In this phase, the orders players must follow are detailed as followed:

  1. Announce the action
  2. Attempt to cancel the action
  3. Activate the action
  4. Place the action onto the stack
  5. React
  6. Execute the action

The rulebook does a good job of making this part clear and concise and it’s handy to keep this section of the rulebook handy when learning the game.

As players play cards, they must pay for those cards by spending water, which is equal to the water cost as shown on the card. In addition, the hero chosen by the player has to be at the same level or higher than the card being played.

One thing to keep in mind is that a player can only ever have three technology cards on the table at any given time.

In addition to paying water to play cards, leveling up your hero requires water. When you level up, simply use the next appropriate card keeping the new card oriented the same way as the old card. If your hero was exhausted then the new card is exhausted.

In order to win a game of Rone, players need to attack the opponent’s forces and hero. Units are the only types of cards that can attack. Players can choose multiple units to attack, but order must be maintained.

First, a player announces the attack and from which unit the attack is coming from. The opponent may then react (by moving cards or preventing an attack). Next, the target of the attack is chosen. Combat then happens, but, that combat can be turned around so that the opponent now has the upper hand. Increasing or decreasing stats of various units is the usual way to do this and only fast effects can be played during this time. Next, damage is dealt starting with ranged attack damage and then melee attack damage. Next, the defender is exhausted if it survives the attack, then clean up is done.

Unit Cards

At this point, the main phase is done and the end of turn is declared. The end of turn phase may activate more cards and the active player then follows all of those effects in any order chosen.

Although there are several phases and order is very important in Rone, the rulebook does spell out when and how to activate and use the different cards. The idea is simple, but, the concept provides some tactical depth and strategy is abundant based on cards in play and in your hand.

Game Design

The design is reminiscent of other strategy / tactical VS card games and turning the cards to exhaust them to use their abilities and spending resources to get cards into play is not a new concept. The process will be familiar to players who enjoy this type of game. Magic: the Gathering may come to mind when reading the rules and playing the game; however, this is a good thing because a lot of players understand how tapping and using requirements to play cards is used.

Even with the familiarity of the design, the types of cards and variety of units available in a deck keeps the game fresh. Replayability is good and additional card packs can be added to the game for even more choices throughout the game.

This type of game is not unique, but, the artwork, the various abilities and effects, are. Having reactions helps separate this game from other VS card games. In addition, the “stack” mentioned earlier also keeps this game fresh and exciting.

 

The current Kickstarter is looking to fund so they can create a delux or complete version of the game with updated rules and all previous expansions included. Backing the game would give players many, many games with a wide variety of experiences. Replayability, already great, increases.

Conclusion

RONE: Races of a New Era is not a new concept. However, the wide variety of cards and how you use them is. Having reactions and building the “stack” during the main phase with that stacks execution is.

The rulebook is done well and provides rules and alternative play styles to include multiple people into the game. The second edition game supports two, three, and four-player variants including a 2 v 2 mode.

The artwork is gorgeous and builds the verisimilitude to immerse players into the post-apocalyptic world that the designer Stepan Stefanik has created. If you are a player who enjoys working card combos to devastating effect and playing games where you attack your opponent, then Rone is a great game to consider. Some players may not enjoy the targeting of the opponent to whittle their deck down. Whichever type of player you are, you will enjoy the artwork and some of the unique twists, reactions, and “stack” building that goes on in Rone. If you can support this indie publisher on Kickstarter, please do so.

To find this game on Kickstarter, visit: Kickstarter HERE

To find this game on Board Game Geek, click HERE.

https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/256122/rone-second-edition

To find Rone on Facebook, visit here:

https://www.facebook.com/RacesOfNewEra/

 

Tabletop Analytics Kickstarter Top Grossing Trending

via Kickstarter Top Grossing Trending – Tabletop Analytics

Tabletop Analytics takes a look at the top-grossing live game projects on Kickstarter right, with the following in the top five:

The Baron’s War set in the years of 1215-1217 of the Magna Carta conflict, this miniature game features 28mm miniatures.

Aeon Trespass: Odyssey is a 1-4 campaign game that includes giant monsters. They’ve easily surpassed their $50,000 goal.

Board Royale: The Island Survival Card Game is almost 3x its funding goal of $30,000

The Forbidden Lands RPG has an expansion called the Bitter Reach Campaign and Reprist that is 965% funded.

Lastly, is Gugong: Panjun Deluxe expansion that included four expansion modules and a big box for Gugong.

 

Pen and Lead At Gen Con Con 2019

Pen and Lead will be at Gen Con 2019 this year and Bob would love to say, “Hello” to anyone who will also be there!GCLogo

Bob is volunteering with Ares Games either doing events in the event hall or doing demos at the booth, #341.

AresLogo

If you are there, please send a message and let’s say, “Hello!”

via Gen Con LLC | Gen Con 2019

Review of Starlight Stage from Japanime Games

A Review of Starlight Stage by Japanime Games

A Review by Chris Page

[Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with the publisher but I have received a promotional copy of the game for this review.]

Product Name: Starlight Stage
Publisher: Japanime Games
Mechanics: Card Game, Competitive, Set Collection
Cost: $24.99
Genre: Anime, Pop Culture, Music, Pop Idol
# of Players: 3-4
Time: 30-60 minutes
Ages: 10+
Designer: Hironatsu Yamada

Starlight Stage is a 3 to 4 player game (3-5 with the upcoming Shining Star expansion) for ages 10+ where you are recruiting idols for your talent agency. You win by having the most fame points at the end of the game. This is done by recruiting stronger idols to your agency and sending them out to do different types of work for you, called assignments, which range from a drama appearance (1 fame point) all the way to the Starlight Stage (the only nonidol 5 fame point card currently in the game).


The game is similar to a deck-building game where you draft cards to a pool with your resources in hand. However, instead of the cards going to your discard and then slowing filtering into your hand, only idols that you purchase go to the discard pile, the rest go face up in front of you, either granting you fame points in the case of the fame cards or granting you medallions, which they call achievements, in the case of some event cards. The currency, which they call talent, takes the form of musical notes (Music), hearts (Charm), and diamonds (Acting), while the achievements use the same symbols but look like they are on a coin.

There are three different pools of cards; Idols, Fame, and Events.

The idols are the cards that give you talents to use to buy and are the cards where you will spend both your talents and your medallions. You can only ever use 1 idol card at a time except to buy event cards where you can use multiple idol cards to buy a single card. Also, you can only ever buy a single card each time you take a turn.

To play, each player starts with 1 each of the 3 starting idols. On their turn, they must play an idol to do something if they have an idol in hand, otherwise, you are required to pass. There are 4 different assignments you can take each turn: Acquire an Event Card, Reinvent an Idol Card, Acquire a Fame Card, and lastly Take a Lesson. The first three actions are fairly simple to understand. The last action, while still simple, can change what you are able to do down the road. For the assignment Take a Lesson, you send an idol you have in hand to gain a token that is used just like a talent from an idol. The talent that you pick however does not have to be the same as the talent of the idol you used. This can allow you to play a starting idol which only has one talent on the card and then use your talent tokens to buy bigger cards that you normally wouldn’t be able to buy with a starting idol.

The group that I played the game with so I could write this review are anime fans so they really enjoyed the art on the cards. The game played simple enough that it would be easy to break out and teach a new player/players but still have enough strategy in how you play your cards and which actions you take that it wouldn’t be boring for returning players that have already played the game a couple of times. I look forward to seeing what the upcoming expansion will bring to the game besides the 5th player and hope that I can get the group to play this again soon.

Find the game at Japanime Games’ website here:

Starlight Stage

On Boardgame Geek here:

https://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/247790/starlight-stage

Review of SAS Interactive’s Carthage

Carthage Review

Carthage by SAS Interactive

A Review by Bob Nolan

[Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with the publisher but I have received a promotional copy of the game for this review.]

Product Name: Carthage

Publisher: SAS Interactive

Mechanics: Boardgame, Competitive, Deck Building, Miniatures

Cost: $49.99, Amazon

Genre: Historical, Roman

# of Players: 1-5

Time: 30-60 minutes

Ages: 13+

Designer: Luke Sienen

Can you survive the Carthage theater and gain enough glory and survive the day? Find out in Carthage the miniatures board game from SAS Interactive.

Introduction

Carthage, is, at its core, a deck-building game. The cards in your deck (and in hand) are action cards that allow your gladiator to move, attack, or gain favor to help defend against other actions on a hex-based map of a small arena. It’s a take-that game where players try to attack their opponent’s models while gathering glory to buy new cards. The winner is the player who has the last model standing.

Components and Artwork

The artwork in the game is very thematic. Player cards have unique artwork on them and evoke a feeling of being in a gladiatorial arena. The cards also fit the theme and although nice, don’t distract you from gameplay. The artwork on the board is nice, and the hexes and other bits are easily distinguishable. As a color-blind gamer, I did find the red line two hexes in from the outside edge of the arena hard to find, although, that small issue didn’t bother me in the gameplay at all.

 

The components are nice and have a good tactile feel. You have cards in hand, you can buy cards, the cubes are nice as ways to track armor and glory. I find all the components of good quality. Although subjective, I didn’t grab any of the pieces and think there were shortcuts made in production.

The miniatures are made of plastic and come with colored hex bases so you can distinguish which character is yours in the arena. Although they won’t be winning any awards, they are detailed and interesting enough that the casual gamer should be satisfied while a more discerning hobbyist might find interest in painting their models.

 

The tokens used are good, thick, cut and punch out without ripping or tearing. The game board itself is durable and will stand enough use and normal wear and tear.

Game Play

Each player controls a gladiator that must survive the arena in order to win. Gladiators have their own decks of unique cards which are used to perform actions. However, the decks for each gladiator are the same. I think the designer lost a chance of interest at the point by not making each deck unique to the specific gladiator. Although all the decks are the same, the deckbuilding mechanic helps alleviate this issue to a small degree. I think, though, that it was a lost chance at making the game more interesting. Although there was this lost chance, players can choose to play with the unique equipment rules, which are unique to each gladiator. This does help, but, although it adds some depth to the game, adds an aspect that isn’t needed if the gladiators had their own unique decks.

The gladiators have their player boards that show armor, which is essentially their health, and the amount of glory they earned and spent. In addition, the player board has a spot for your deck and discard pile. Each gladiator starts at 20 armor, and once they lose all 20 points of armor, they are eliminated.

There are three main phases in Carthage:

  1. A theater phase
  2. An action phase
  3. Favor phase

In the theater phase, the top card of the theater deck is flipped and sets the mood,

the scene, or theme for the current phase. Some examples of the events on the theater card include “Bellows for Blood” which immediately grants all players +2 glory, “The Will of Hannibal” which says that the players with the most armor lose 2 armor. All theater cards affect players in the arena and can cause some surprisingly interesting situations to occur- Especially, if, in the middle of a game, one player has a lot of armor and has to lose some armor, or, a card causes characters to gain extra movement. The theater deck (event deck) has become a standard part of a lot of modern games and provides appropriate tension during the game.

The action phase is where players draw five cards from their respective decks and plan

which cards to play. These cards are important as they tell you what your gladiator can do- from moving, attacking, or gaining glory, you have to decide which cards to play and when. The first player will play their first card and move their miniature, doing damage or moving hexes, then the next player can play their first card, activating their miniature, and so on, until every player has played one card and activated their miniature. Every player gets a chance to play all five of their cards.

Although every player will play their five cards, you will not be able to use each card. Sometimes, you’ll have fewer cards with movement so you’ll have to keep your gladiator in one place while your opponents move around the arena. Timing is important so you have to plan your card in reaction to what other players play. The cards are supposed to mimic the actions your gladiator performs in the arena, but, you can’t always anticipate or react to your opponent’s exact moves.

The action cards make the game very tactical and strategy is key- Learn to use the right action card at the right time to destroy your opponent’s armor for the win.

In addition to moving, attacking, and gaining armor, the action cards can also gain you Favor. In phase 3, the Favor phase, you use the favor you earned in the Action phase to buy new cards to your deck. This is an opportunity to make your deck special and unique. As stated before, all of the decks for each gladiator are the same, but, the deckbuilding and purchase of cards will make the game more interesting and challenging, not only for you but for your opponent.

Game Design

The design feels as if the deck-building part was tacked on to an arena combat game. With only a few rounds before one of the gladiators is killed, the players do not have much time to modify their deck.

The game does play smoothly and it appears care was taken to get the gameplay right, the phases and stages flowing, and a feeling for gladiator combat.

The deckbuilding does not get in the way of the gladiator combat.

Conclusion

I played the game several times and although I did feel the deckbuilding aspect was tacked on, I recommend the game for those who like the verses of gladiator combat. The miniatures look good on the board, and the players in my group enjoyed the aesthetic, the gameplay, and the design.

To find this game on Kickstarter, visit: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/sascreative/carthage-easy-to-learn-easy-to-die

To find this game on Board Game Geek, visit: https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/224403/carthage

Or, click your way to the Carthage homepage here: http://www.carthagegame.com/

Sword and Sorcery Ancient Chronicles Preview

The Sword and Sorcery Facebook group has published an image of some of the new miniatures found in the ancient Chronicles sword & sorcery expansion.

Ancient Chronicles resin miniatures

What do you think, are they cool enough?

Click the image to be taken to the Facebook group.