Mars Attack Review- By Drew Wood

I now have my shiny copy of “Mars Attacks – The Miniatures Game”- here are my initial Thoughts – the Plastic Material – not a fan, it holds the detail ‘OK’ – but not as good as Restic – I know some people have said its fine or it looks great etc – without being arrogant I have handled hundreds (perhaps thousands) of miniatures over the last four decades, and quality-wise these (though above “average” for the material they are made of) are not the best I’ve seen. Either that or perhaps my own personal standards are a lot higher than other reviewers – or maybe I can “quell” the geek in me long enough to look at things realistically LoL!

Colouring the Plastic the way they have kinda obscured the Detail to the naked eye – especially with the Red Miniatures, I know they are aiming to snag boardgamers as well with the product – but that particular shade of Red does the sculpts no favours at all.

The Martian Soldiers, however, Look Good in the Green Plastic – the detail is clearly present. But out of all the models, the Human Military look the best in the raw plastic – perhaps because of the beige colour? (Although it would have been hysterically funny for me to see them produced in the same colour plastic as the Green Army Men he, he, he . . . ).

The detail (and the VERY fine Mold Lines LoL) becomes clear when the models are Undercoated – but because the detail is very fine/shallow (especially on the Hero miniatures) I recommend a good quality Undercoat, and several fine coats when spraying.

The Card Components are nice, and I got the clear plastic stands with my set – other reviewers observations about the card standees not working with the card inserts (the bit you use to make them stand up) is correct, the die cutting of the components left the slots way too wide. The Tokens are nice and sturdy and should stand up to a good deal of use. The Card “Trackers” are clear and bright, and again quite sturdy.

People have complained the Cards themselves are thinner than Deadzone – I found them to be roughly the same thickness – plus the quality of Card used, and the quality of the printing itself is towards the high end of the Market – any concerns about wear through use are easily avoided by the use of Card Sleeves.

The play mats situation is a little “odd” – several reviewers have complained the Paper used on the play mat is flimsy – and I would agree about the one that came in the Box. The extra Loose Ones I got were much better quality, thicker paper – but (as is usual with these things) the folds are so precise and strong – even the thicker play mats are going to break apart with continued use. If I were a customer purchasing this game in a store – I would (personally) prefer to spend a little more for Card Sections that I could use for longer.

The Rulebooks are sumptuous, like reading a graphic novel – really REALLY high quality. But over three books for the Core Game and Two Expansions – not an indication of Points Costs – are we going to get them at some point? If we don’t they are severely limiting the long-term play life of the game – I know I get bored of playing set scenarios with set models quite quickly, as I generally write my own Campaigns etc – and I am sure I am not alone in that way of thinking – FORTUNATELY I have since found out that the Points system etc will be in the final Rules Booklet “The Battle Continues” which is not back from the Printers yet.

Lastly, the Terrain – what more can I say than WOW – awesome, builds like a dream etc, etc – only ONE Criticism (and it was the same with DeadZone) not enough Connectors LoL! You need way more corner connectors than they provide LoL (thankfully, I had plenty spare).

Final Thoughts – a Good Solid Set of Rules, Usable Components – what I would like to see in the future are “deluxe” versions of the Plastic Miniatures (like they did for Dungeon Saga – with the Resin editions of the Miniatures) for OCD Collectors and Hobbyists like me.

Game Play – 9/10 (No Points System in Place as of Yet)

Product Quality – 8/10 (The Material used on the Miniatures and the Paper Play Mat factored here)

Product Life – 7/10 (I can’t see casual players taking to this in a big way, future products might change this though)

Overall – 8/10

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Deadzone Miscellaneous

So, Deadzone is a new release by Mantic Games set in the Warpath universe.  Warpath is a mass combat miniature game set in a science fiction world, and Deadzone is a different game that shares the same world and universe- Meaning that the races, nations, and other things exist in the fluff in both games.

Deadzone is unique in that it’s a miniature game, but that it comes with modular scenery that can be built in many different ways.  The game board in Deadzone is based upon 3″ cubes of space, and the buildings are build in 3″ cubes as well, so you can build multiple levels or one big single level building.

The idea in Deadzone is that some ancient technology, virus, alien artifact, etc, when found, infects people and turns them into hulking brutes- some mindless and some not so mindless.  In fact, the smaller versions keep a good portion of their intelligence and can even use weapons and technology.

Once a world has been infected, it’s essentially a “dead zone” and the planet is quarantined.  However, there are a couple of other groups that want their share of the loot on this quarantined world.  Therefore, we’ve got four factions or armies wanting to duke it out- The enforcers, Plague, Rebs, and Marauders.  Mantic’s website describes them like this:

ENFORCERS

The Enforcers are the Corporation’s elite peacekeepers, dispatched to tackle threats that are beyond the scope of regular military units. Each one is a superior soldier, trained in countless forms of combat and equipped with the best technology available.

As a unit they are disciplined and fearless, ready to lay down their lives to carry out the orders of their captain without a single question.

 

 

 

 

PLAGUE

Bloodthirsty monsters created by an alien virus, the Plague exist for one thing only – to spread their contagion as far as possible. The virus affects its hosts in a variety of ways; its earliest victims become towering hulks, filled with a steadfast will which drives their lesser kin…

REBS

The free-thinkers and dissidents of the Corporation will always find a home with the Rebellion. They do not stand alone, either; the galaxy is large and most races have reasons to hold a grudge against the Corporation. Coordinating their efforts from hidden bases deep in unoccupied space, Rebs raid isolated outposts to build stocks of munitions and technology, hoping one day to have the strength to stand up against the Council of Seven.

MARAUDERS

The Marauders were trained by the Corporation as shock troops and guards, but that’s in the past – since the Mandrake Rebellion they’ve become the terror of the shipping lanes.

They strike out at the GCPS with the very weapons with which they were outfitted, combining well-honed battle drill with brute force and low cunning.

I had my first game last weekend and it was interesting to say the least.  Needless to say, we played the game completely wrong.

Below is an image of the board set up for our first game.  I was playing the Enforcers, the humans, and my friend Chris was playing the Plague.

Below is an image of the board that I played my first game on:

Deadzone Terrain

Deadzone Terrain

You can easily see the 3″ cubes.  This will look great if I ever paint it up.

Speaking of painting, I took some of my Enforcers and primed them and started painting.  Here are some work in progress shots:

Hopefully I’ll be able to get more games in in my busy schedule, but that’s the challenge.

If you have any Deadzone stories so far, or links to some cool Deadzone paintjobs or terrain, let me know in the comments below.

DreadBall – New Rules For Launching The Ball |

Jake, designer of Dreadball, by Mantic Games, has updated the ball launching rules which a lot of players have been hoping for.

DreadBall – New Rules For Launching The Ball |.

In the past, when a ball was launched, a player could be hit and the person could lose a rush because their player couldn’t catch the ball, making it an auto turnover.

This annoyed many players, so Jake worked up a new fix.

Jake says it like this, “Basically it just says that you can’t catch it till it scatters, and so players that are in the way get hit instead.”

Hope you enjoy and that this makes people happy.  I certainly look forward to the change in Dreadball Season 3.

Dreadball Season 3 Kickstarter Survey and Update on Ball Launching

Mantic Games just sent out a new update in regards to the Season 3 Kickstarter survey, as well as a new change in rules in regards to the ball being launched.

Below is the text of the update:

The Season 3 survey has been really popular, and we’re working as fast as we can to answer all the queries that come in. If we haven’t answered your question yet, don’t worry – we’ll get to you! We’ve had a few requests for photos of things that haven’t been seen yet, so we’re working to get them all snapped and edited. We should get them all out before the end of the survey next week. In the meantime, here’s one to keep you going!

That’s Wyn Greth’zki and the DreadBall Mech, facing off against Ludwig and his insect buddies!

In other news, the DreadBall Season 3 book is nearly finished! We’re just pulling the final pieces together and getting it all laid out nicely. One of the exciting new rules is a subtle change in the way the ball is fired into the arena. It’s now fired out at a much higher speed, meaning that standing on the launch line no longer means you can try to catch it! Instead, you become the target of a Thrown Ball, with more dice being rolled for the Throw the closer you are to the launcher. This was great fun during playtesting – in a recent game, one of my Goblins took a high-speed ball to the back of the head as the result of a The Ball Shatters card… That’s the joy of DreadBall!

So, with the change in the rule about losing your rush when you can’t grab that ball on launch, it seems things are changing and will make players, and the game, that much more interesting and fun to play.

So, what’s your favorite part of Dreadball?  The teams, the rules, the strategy?

TALK DREADBALL – the Intergalactic Dreadball Cast

TALK DREADBALL – the Intergalactic Dreadball Cast.

I just listened to this pod cast that talks, well, solely about Dreadball.  The quality isn’t the best, like the audio was done over a phone, but I enjoyed the narrative of the ‘cast as well as the length.

First off, NS and Dick, the announcers, go in it as if they are in the Warpath universe, as designed by Mantic Games.  NS talks to Dick, who is a retired Dreadball player who travels to various locales talking about events and teams.

In this inaugural episode, Dick travels to four places across the universe to visit the up-coming season two teams.

Finally, the ‘cast is concluded with a summary of the three big Dreadball events held by Mantic and mentions the standings.

I enjoyed this podcast and will do my best to continue listening.

Mantic Games Previews New Chess-like Game: Loka

Mantic Games has previewed a new chess-like game called Loka.

Developed by Alessio Cavatore and River Horse, Loka is a fantasy chess game with elemental armies.

Below are just some of the current images available:

 

I suggest visiting the link above for just a bit more information.  Mantic says more information is coming next week.

Dreadball- Keeping the Ball from Falling off the Ball Carrier’s Base

So, after playing a few games of Dreadball by Mantic Games, I’ve become annoyed at how the ball doesn’t sit well on the base of the ball carrier- it falls off whenever you move the model.

I remedied this by drilling a hole in a base using a 3/32″ drill bit and inserting the same size rare earth magnet in the hole. Can only drill in the recessed area (close to a point of the base) of the underside.

Magnet, base, paperclip bit, and dreadball ball.

Magnet, base, paperclip bit, and dreadball ball.

Simply drill your hole, add a drop of super glue, insert the magnet, and the base is done.

Next, I used a piece of paperclip (a big one) and after drilling a hole in the bottom of the ball, glued the bit of paper clip into the base of the ball on the underside out of sight.

Base, magnet, paperclip bit, and dread ball ball

Base, magnet, paperclip bit, and dread ball ball

Now, the ball sits on the base without falling off and being annoying.  Easy fix!

 

 

The ball now sits without falling off.

The ball now sits without falling off.

 

EDIT:  As another poster on the Mantic forum pointed out, magnets in the bases could cause attraction between models when they are all bunched together.  An easy solution would be to magnetize the ball and put the paperclip in the base.  Something I didn’t think about!