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/

 

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/

MK Hobby Paint Rack Review

Today we introduce the first of our guest articles. Chris Bilewicz took time to review the MK hobby paint rack as he had a lot of Army Painter paints he needed to organize.

Note: This is not a paid review

MK Hobby Paint Rack by Chris Bilewicz

After recently purchasing the Ultimate paint set form Army Painter which included 124 paints, I wanted to arrange and store them neatly on my desk rather than just keeping them all in a box out of the way. My preference as a painter is to have all my paints visible and in front of me as I paint. I also try to lay out my paints in some sort of order where similar colours and tones go together. This allows me to not only pick my highlight colours for the stage I am painting quickly but it also saves me time not having to find a specific colour as I go. So with that in mind, I needed to get myself a paint rack!
MKPaint4

My first solution (as with any) was to check on the internet to see what is out there and at what price. Luckily without too much time and effort exerted I came across a company on eBay called MK Hobby. They are a Polish company and have a large selection of paint racks on offer to choose from. For my purchase, I went for the (HDF) Paint bottles rack organiser that holds 135 paints. Originally I wasn’t a 100% sure on this purchase as the height of the rack was 40cm and I thought this may be quite imposing on my desk, as I have previously used a low lying wide organiser for a different paint range.

MKPaint2
The product is made from laser-cut hardboard and the components which there are 26 of are around 4mm thick, needless to say, it is very sturdy! As it was laser cut, everything fit to perfection. I did use some glue whilst assembling it because I wanted the final product to be firm and hold all the paints with ease. I would recommend using some glue, as it was a little bit fiddly putting together some of the elements unless you have a helping hand from someone to hold parts whilst you are assembling. It took around 20 minutes to put together and the instructions were very useful and easy to follow which always helps!

Finally, the finish of the product is aesthetically pleasing to the eye and touch. The wood is very smooth and with no jagged edges what so ever. Even the MK logo at the bottom of the rack looks nice. You can store the dropper bottles both normally, or cap down – whichever your preference is. As another option, you could certainly also lay the rack on its back whilst painting and it still looks neat and tidy. The paints won’t fall out as they are in a diagonal position whilst being displayed on the rack.

Overall I could not be happier with this purchase and I do recommend it and the company highly. Not only has it sorted my storage solution for all of my paints but it does make my painting area look professional again.

You can find MK Hobby on Facebook and Ebay or email them. Links are below

https://www.facebook.com/mkhobby/

Email: mkhobby.poland AT gmail DOT com

Wreck and Ruin Kickstarter Review

Wreck and Ruin: Vehicular Violence in a Post-Apocalyptic Wasteland Kickstarter Review

Wreck and Ruin: Vehicular Violence in a Post-Apocalyptic Wasteland by Dream Big Games

A Review by Bob Nolan

[Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with the publisher nor have I received any compensation for this review]

Product Name: Wreck and Ruin: Vehicular Violence in a Post-Apocalyptic Wasteland
Publisher: Dream Big Games
Product Type: Boardgame, Competitive, Action Point
Cost: Kickstarter base pledge: $60
Genre: Post-Apocalyptic
# of Players: 2-4
Time: 40-80 minutes
Ages: 14+

Do you have what it takes to outmaneuver and outgun your opponents in this post-apocalyptic vehicle combat boardgame?

Introduction
Wreck and Ruin is a competitive game where players control one of four factions of wasteland warriors to claim objectives and gather salvage tokens to win, while gathering salvage cards to change your battlefield strategy. Each player has an allotted amount of action points to maneuver, shoot, ram, and wreck your way to victory. In Wreck and Ruin, the action is brisk, and if you lose one of your vehicles, they can be easily repaired or return to the game next round to continue the mayhem.

Wreck and Ruin is currently on Kickstarter with a goal of $13,252, and within their first day are over 67% funded and the Kickstarter will end on Thursday, June 28, 2018.

Components and Artwork
As a preview copy, the components in this copy are not final. However, the vehicles were detailed enough for a boardgame and the components (cards, tokens, map tiles, etc) did the job of allowing us to play the game. During play there was zero confusion about the components. Since the review covers a review copy, I can’t comment on the quality of the components in final production.

The artwork is well-done and fits the theme of the game- technology that’s been lost in the wastelands, weapons, wreckage, and more. The map tiles are detailed enough to easily see the spaces your vehicles belong in and provide varied terrain since they are double sided. Artwork in the rulebook is nice and helps bring you into the game. I’d like to see more artwork throughout the rulebook, but space is at a premium and adding artwork adds to your pages. I hope the final rulebook, when the game is produced, included more visuals.

One interesting concept with the miniatures is that each one has spots drilled into them for damage tokens, called flame pegs, that are inserted into the vehicles to represent damage. I found the components in this regard unique and prove a dynamic way to visually represent damage on each vehicle.

Game Play
In Wreck and Ruin, players use five action points to move their models across the map tiles to reach objectives. Each faction has the same vehicles: A two wheeled scout, a buggy, a wrecker which has high armor and a ram, and the big rig. A little variety would be nice, but, for the base game having the same vehicles allows balanced play without adding complexity to the game.

The main goal of Wreck and Ruin is the raid objectives on the map tiles to gain salvage tokens. Gaining salvage tokens requires a vehicle to stay on top of an objective without taking damage- This, of course, is where the vehicular combat comes in to play. Having to sit on an objective means players are going to target your vehicle to prevent them from gaining salvage sites, and in turn, gaining additional salvage cards, which are special abilities that can be used on your turn.

Each vehicle has specific stats and skills, but, the stats are the same across each faction. Each vehicle has the following stats: size, move, attack, armour, damage points, and special skills.

To spend action points, you need to decide which vehicle to activate and what actions you will use. Each action point can be used to move, ram, or attack. Spending an action point to move

When moving, you can move, you gain all of the movement noted- moving each space reduces one movement and turning in a hex reduces one movement. The attack stat shows how many dice you roll. During an attack, you are looking to equal or roll higher the target’s armour value. A hit means your opponent places a flame peg onto the vehicle to represent damage. Of course, there are modifiers, such as an attack from the rear hex of a vehicle gains you additional bonuses. Movement and placement of your vehicles is very important and makes the tactics of the game play interesting. Ramming makes the game even more interesting. The bigger the vehicle, the harder it hits! When ramming an equal sized or smaller vehicle, not only do you get to damage it, but you get to push it too! Use this to clear enemies off sites and get you onto them. Ramming uses the armour stat as well as the vehicle’s size to determine the winner.

During a player’s turn salvage cards can be used. These cards are one-use buffs and attacks that help your faction or messes with an opponent’s faction vehicles. Players are expected to search for and draw a lot of these cards to make game-play even more unique and dynamic.

To aid in the replayability and to change up strategy, each round a new event card is drawn to change the environment, make attacks harder or easier, and generally mess with the vehicles on the board. Each event is resolved at the beginning of every player’s turn. So, a lightning storm will happen four times in a single round in a four-player game, then a new event is drawn for the following round. In addition to the event cards, each faction has a single faction card that is quite powerful. Choosing when to use it adds to the depth and strategy of the game.

Each vehicle has its own unique ability. A buggy can repair, a scout can take pot-shots, a wrecker can do the ram action more easily, and the big rig can repair itself as well as push smaller vehicles around.

During gameplay, expect your vehicles to take a lot of damage. They can be repaired and if destroyed, can return to the game by spending action points. The expectation when you first play is to save your vehicles so they last throughout the game, but, as you play, you understand the vehicles are meant to take damage, get repaired, or return to the game.

Beyond that, there are various rules for spinning out of control when wrecked, pushing your engine to the limits for additional movement, and terrain comes into play to make the game even more interesting. Furthermore, when an objective is scored, a new objective immediately and randomly pops onto the map- you’ll never know where the next objective is going to be.

Vehicles have arcs and you must attack something in the front arc of the vehicle, and if you are directly behind a target, you add +1 to the dice when rolling.

Game Design
The game design is clever and gives a nod to the genre of post-apocalyptic vehicle combat in movies such as Mad Max or other games like Car Wars. Wreck and Ruin does NOT try to emulate car wars. The game moves from player to player in quick succession, and, in my three player game with all new players, our game lasted about 90 minutes looking up rules and becoming familiar with the game. There were certain aspects of the rulebook that we found frustrating, but I consider that normal for a first time playing a new game. We came to the game cold without doing any rules reading before the game.

I believe that rules are easy enough to grasp in that each faction has the same vehicles and you will learn the stats and special abilities of each vehicle rather quickly. The action point system means each player can do the same things as well as the same amount of things. You do become familiar with the game after watching your opponents turns and then going through your own turn.

The game catches the vehicle combat genre well, and the various tech upgrades and buffs from the salvage cards can create a fun narrative. The game length is varied based on the number of players- more players means more rounds. The winner is the player with the most salvage sites (objectives) collected at the end of the final round. If there is a tie, the winner is then decided by the player with the least damage points.

With a little bit of polish and watching players new to the game play, the rules can be clarified a little bit more to make coming to the game as a new player easier and allows the rules to be learned even quicker than they already do.

A three-player game set up ready to play.

Conclusion
Wreck and Ruin provides non-stop action as you and your opponents move, ram, and fire at other vehicles while collecting salvage tokens to win. You’ll find yourself making vehicle noises as you push your vehicles around on the map- something your inner-child will find fun and entertaining.

If you find the genre of post-apocalyptic vehicular mayhem fun and interesting as well as enjoy the head to head competitive play of a light miniature game , then I suggest you back and help get this game funded. If you prefer more passive play and less competition, then Wreck and Ruin probably isn’t the right game for you.

One of my opponents, Matt, had this to say about the game:

“[Wreck and Ruin is] A spectacular game of smash and grab with vehicles, a quick easy rule set with visually appealing maps and models.

Ratings:
To find this game on Kickstarter, click the image below:

Or, click your way to the Wreck and Ruin homepage and / or Facebook page here:

www.wreckandruingame.co.uk

www.facebook.com/wreckandruingame

Update: Keep in mind my preview copy is before the final production components. Rules and materials will be upgraded to production standards and game play / design / and rules will be updated as errors and any confusing word structure is found.

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

Ninja or Samurai? Find out in Daimyo’s Fall

Ninja or Samurai? Find out in Daimyo’s Fall

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Daimyo’s Fall is a deck-crafting game where players take on the roles of heroes in a land of a fallen Daimyo, or ruler. 2 to 5 players, ages 14 and up, can play a game in 60 minutes. Of course, familiarity with the game will make the game play faster.  Daimyo’s Fall comes to Kickstarter on May 9th, 2017.

The cards in Daimyo’s Fall are full of colorful and beautiful illustrations. There are hero cards, reinforcement cards, treasure cards (and a special type of treasure card, called Regalia), and lastly, Mon cards, which represent currency in the game

Hero Cards

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Hero cards have nine different pieces of information that is clearly identified. Although it may seem like a lot of information, you’ll learn them just after a few rounds of play. Heroes don’t cycle through your deck like a normal deck building game, another reason you will learn their abilities and rules quickly. In addition to the nice layout of information, you’ll notice that heroes have different frames. Ninja have purple frames and samurai have a red frame. Identifying the class enables players to see which treasure cards each hero may pick up and determines the reinforcement or treasure cards that a player can use.

Reinforcement Cards

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There are 18 different reinforcement cards, with all but two having six copies. Reinforcements allow players to get bonuses, gain skills or get victory points. There are eight different points of information on a reinforcement card.

Reinforcements are purchased to add to your deck. One unique feature of Daimyo’s Fall is the resell action. Each reinforcement card has a purchase cost as well as a value when sold. Mitsuki Sanada, above, is purchased for 10 Mon, but can be sold back for 5 Mon.

Treasure Cards

Treasure cards have two copies each and fall into two decks based on the samurai or ninja. To draw a treasure card, you must fulfill the loot condition of the active hero. Treasure cards work like reinforcements, but typically have a more powerful skill or bonus that heroes can use. Treasure is important because they give players victory points, which in turn, allow players to win the game. As mentioned above, there are some special treasure cards called Regalia and are difficult to acquire. The cost to draw one is high. However, players can also trade in treasures to draw a Regalia card.

Mon Cards

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Mon cards allow players to purchase reinforcements or heroes. They generate 1 Mon when discarded to the discard pile. An interesting limit in the game is that you can’t have more Mon cards than what you start with.  As the game progresses, they aren’t as useful, so find a way to remove them if possible.

Setup

In Daimyo’s Fall, each player starts the game with the identical decks of cards. All the heroes are shuffled into a deck and one is randomly disbursed to each player.  You can purchase more heroes, but you cannot have more than three heroes.  As in normal deckbuilders, you shuffle your starting deck and place your hero card in front of you. It is never shuffled into your deck.

The Domain

The Domain is the play area of Daimyo’s Fall and represents the palace of the missing Daimyo, the treasure, and the lotus tree at the top of the castle. Remember, once all petals fall from the lotus tree, the power of the daimyo is lost. Essentially, the loss of petals in Daimyo’s Fall represents a limit to the length of the game. Treasure cards, when played, release petals from the tree, so pay attention to the loss of petals throughout the game. There can be 40 or 50 petal tokens depending on the number of players.

There will be six face-down decks in the domain. You have a shuffled ninja reinforcement deck with 4 face-up cards available for purchase as well as a shuffled samurai reinforcements deck with four face-up cards available to purchase.  In addition, you’ll have a face-down hero deck, a ninja treasure deck, a samurai treasure deck, and a regalia deck. Besides the four ninja and samurai cards available for purchase, one hero card is drawn and placed face-up. This hero card forces a loss of petals based on the petal loss number displayed.  The domain is now set-up ready for play.

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Game Play

The game is played in rounds and a round is considered complete once every player has taken a turn. The oldest player gets to go first. Players, on their turns, play their Mon, reinforcement or hero cards to gain abilities and effects, to buy cards, or loot treasures. A turn has four phases. The Starting Phase has six actions that must be taken in order.

  1. Put non-exhausted cards into the discard pile. Change active heroes
  2. Move cards from your hand to the discard pile.
  3. Draw until five cards are in hand.
  4. Choose one non-exhausted hero to the active hero for this round. Active heroes can do 3 things:
  • Use loot conditions
  • Determine the skills that reinforcements and treasures can be used.
  • Duel
  1. Recovery all exhausted reinforcement, treasure, or hero cards by turning them vertically.

When choosing reinforcement or treasure cards, remember, only samurai can use samurai based cards and the same is true for ninja based reinforcements and treasures. If you have an active samurai hero, be sure to build a deck with a lot of samurai reinforcement cards.

The second phase of a player’s turn is the Main Phase. Players can take as many of the following actions as they wish, in any order. In this phase, a player can:

  • Deploy reinforcements or treasure. Deploying means to play a card and gain the bonuses immediately.
  • Purchase reinforcements or heroes. To purchase, discard Mon cards and buy the cards that you wish to put into your deck discard pile to be shuffled and drawn later.
  • Sell one or more reinforcement cards from your hand to gain Mon. Money gained this way must be spent this turn and can’t be saved or banked. An important note for gameplay is that heroes can be sold, but you must always have one hero. Also, a player’s deck can’t have less than six cards, so you can’t sell cards if your deck will go below six cards.
  • Use a Heroes’ skill. Skills are usually activated by paying a cost. Inactive heroes can use skills, but exhausted heroes cannot.
  • Return or Discard a reinforcement card from your hand. Some cards have rules that give you bonuses when you discard or when you return a card to its specific deck in the domain similar to selling a card.
  • Spend trade points. Trade points are gained through reinforcements and are special currency. You can spend trade points gained from deploying cards at any time during the turn.
  • Loot- When the actions match the active hero’s loot condition, you may draw an appropriate treasure card. Remember, this is how you score victory points and acquire better skills.

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The third phase is the End Phase of the player’s turn. Not much happens at this point, but there are some effects that may activate at this point.

The last phase is the End of the Round phase. This is sort of a clean-up phase and the top card of the hero deck is revealed and is now able to be purchased. Don’t forget to remove petal tokens when you do so!  Also, the first player must choose two reinforcement cards and discard them and reveal two new reinforcement cards.  The first player token passes to the player on the left.

The end of the game occurs when the last petal token is removed. At this point, players count their victory points from reinforcements, treasure and hero cards. Ties are broken by the person who has the most treasure cards.

Although the game follows the traditional deck building rules, there are some fun interactions. There are times you can trade out treasures by using loot points. By spending up to 3 loot points, you can have three different “trade’ effects, depending what you want to do. You can trade the same class of treasure for another, trade a class of treasure for a different class of treasure, or trade out treasure for a single Regalia card. Remember, Regalia are powerful treasures and it might be beneficial to trade those cards out.

The second interesting interaction is dueling. Active heroes can duel other heroes. The attack and defense value of the heroes are based on their purchase and sell costs, respectively. Simply compare the attack value (purchase) value against the defender’s sell value, and the higher number wins. However, you can boost your value by discarding cards in your hand. So, you may discard cards and use the purchase cost as a boost to your attack or defense. Doing so means you may not have many cards in hand, but it may guarantee a win. Heroes will have a duel condition if they win or they may gain other bonuses. A hero that loses a duel must be turned inactive.

At first, there may seem to be large amounts of information on some of the cards. However, you don’t need all the information at once and you’ll learn what the icons mean rather quickly.  The text on the cards are also color coded- for example, we mentioned the colors associated with the samurai and ninja earlier. Text that matches a specific class is also color-coded for easy identification. In addition, words in bold print call out loot conditions so you always have a clear understanding of what must be done to gain those treasure cards.

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The rulebook identifies some confusing interactions with cards and clarifies weird or strange situations. The examples are well thought out and identified in the rules. In addition, there is a summary of the gameplay, index of terms, a list of symbols and their meanings, and some clarifications.

If you like anime inspired games as well as deck building games, Daimyo’s Fall gives enough unique qualities that it’s a no brainer to back and support. Kickstarter is to help creators with new projects, and this is exactly that. A new project from Axis Mundo and their design team.

Will you choose samurai or ninja to claim the great daimyo’s treasure before the last petal on the lotus tree falls? Find out on May 9th on Kickstarter, play it on Tabletop Simulator through Steam, or download the print and play from the website.

Daimyo’s Fall- A deck building game

Designed by Enrica Fincati and Francesco Simioni

Published by Axis Mundo

2-5 players

60 minutes

Ages 14+

Find Daimyo’s Fall can be found in the following locations:

On the web: http://www.daimyosfall.com/site/index.php

On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/daimyosfall/

Boardgame Geek: https://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/192891/daimyos-fall

DF mock up

Ulfsark Games Machined Dice Review

Ulfsark Games is a Danish game accessory company that produces coins, dice, and more, eventually hoping for a new miniature game soon. You can find them on the web and on Facebook. Ulfsark Games’ Alex Atkinson sent along a sample of their metal dice, one of each die type, A D4, D6, D8, D10, D00, D12, and D20, for review. The dice arrived in a padded envelope in a single baggie. I’m not sure what their normal shipments are like when ordering from them, but they did come well protected. However, having one baggie meant that I wasn’t able to identify what each die was called without the included note. The dice belong to a line called Dragon Scales which has a variety of sub-types within it.

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The D4 comes from the Celtic line and is black.

The D6 is pipped and is brass is color. The die is described at only available in the D6 variety and is limited in number. The pips are indented with no coloring.

The D8 comes from the Celtic line of dice and is light green.

The D10 is part of Ulfsark’s Techno line and is gold.

The percentile, or D00 die, belongs to the Elven line and is red.

The D12 is part of the Gearpunk line and is light red.

Lastly, the D20, belonging to the Dwarven line, is dark blue.

The dice felt great in my hand and make a pleasing sound when rolling on a wooden table or desk.

Listen to the dice: D6, D10, D12 and D20, and lastly, all of the dice at once.

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Each model line has a unique theme and the images go well with the theme. For the Celtic line, the dice have chains linked together around the numbers. The Techno line looks like a form of binary surrounding the numbers, while the Elven and Dwarven are consistent with their themes as well, with scrollwork or symbols. The symbols don’t change on each die type, but the patterns do change. Some circle the numbers, while others are above and below the numbers. A good thing about the dice is that the numbers and designs are etched or milled into the sides and inked so that the designs will not rub off or flake away over time. Some abuse may occur if you store them in a bag, but the hardiness and make-up of the aluminum means wear and tear shouldn’t be an issue.

As a gamer, I find that the weight of the dice, as well as the sound they make, are incredible. This is the first time I’ve actually held metal machined dice and rolled them, and I find the weight to be extremely satisfying. One of the current downsides of the D12 and D20 I received, though, is the size of the dice. They are 16mm and when compared to other dice from other companies, they look small in comparison to the well-known 20mm sizes.  However, with the current Kickstarter, the plan is a bump in size from 16mm to 20mm to fit in with other well-known brands of dice.  I look forward to the 20mm size as they will look right at home with my all of my other dice.

 

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Above you can see how the size differences look compared to the new 20mm dice. The first photo is a stock photo from Ulfsark Games, while the second (below) is a photo on my dining room table. Again, the most recent Kickstarter is to update the dice size and replenish stock levels.

Here you can see the size of the 16mm VS the 20mm yellow dice.

Here you can see the size of the 16mm VS the 20mm yellow dice.

Ulfsark Games is on their third Kickstarter and you view the current and previous campaigns below.

Current campaign

 

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As it’s hard to tell exactly what the dice are like while rolling in blog post, so I uploaded a couple different videos showing how they roll.dice4

Dice Rolling on Youtube:

Dice Roll 2:

Dice Roll 1:

I want to sincerely thank Alex Atkinson, owner at Ulfsark, for the opportunity to do a review over the sample dice he sent along. I highly recommend these dice from Ulfsark Games, and if you get the chance, grab some from their current Kickstarter.

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SDE: Forgotten King Capsule Review

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I took some time and did a short capsule review of Super Dungeon Explore: Forgotten King for Board Game Geek. Please click the link and let me know your thoughts.

via SDE: Forgotten King Capsule Review | Super Dungeon Explore: Forgotten King | BoardGameGeek.

Secret Weapon Sack O’ Corpses Review

Company: Secret Weapon Miniatures
Product: Sack O’ Corpses
Price: $19.99

Secret Weapon Miniatures sent along a free sample of their Sack O’ Corpses for me to look over and give my thoughts on.

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Packaging

The product arrived with the display cubes I reviewed earlier, which can be found HERE.  The Sack O’ Corpses come in a sealed back with the label stapled to the top.  See the image below.

Sack O' Corpses Product Bag

Sack O’ Corpses Product Bag

The display package is appropriate, but in some cases may not protect the product adequately.  Although there was no damage to my product, some of the actual bits of corpses had fallen off of the sprue.  Understandable as the pieces themselves are so much smaller than the piece of sprue they came on and can be easily forced off of the sprue with enough banging around.  As you can see in the image below, there were four parts that fell off of the sprue.  Not a big deal, but something to be aware of in case the sack splits open or something happens during shipping.

Pieces as they came out of the bag

Pieces as they came out of the bag

Contents

The sack contains 13 pieces that can be used for a variety of purposes.  The sack includes 4 torsos, 1 loose head, 2 hands, 2 feet, 2 legs, and 2 arms cast out of resin.

The pieces represent the human form in size and shape and you can easily tell where from the body they came from.  The image below shows them on a cutting mat with grid lines in inches and centimeter to help you approximate size of each part.

Parts on a Grid

Parts on a Grid

Details

Each part has very little to no visible flash, but may require some light sanding.  As these are corpses, they are significantly mauled and mangled, so even if they had mold lines, the parts wouldn’t necessarily need a steady hand to remove them; any mistakes could be attributed to the dismembered and mangled body parts themselves.

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The detail on each piece finely represents the damage you’d expect from dismembered, disemboweled, and cut up corpses.  There is enough detail showing broken bones, guts, etc, that modelers who strive for tabletop quality wont need to add any additional details.  Painting the pieces in a variety of ways can show the corpses in different stages of decomposition- lots of blood and no bruises to show a recent death, little blood but some blue, purple and black can show a body in a later stage of decomposition, or, add some yellow and green to show some serious decomposition in the body parts.

Practical Uses

The Sack O’ Corpses can be used for a variety of things, including adding details for bases in games like Hell Dorado, corpse tokens themselves in differing games and genres of games such as Sedition Wars, Warmachine, and others.  The parts would make excellent body counters or tokens for zombie games as well.  I plan to use them myself for different tokens in different games as well as use them to add some needed details to a couple of my painted models for Hell Dorado.  With a lot of people doing conversions and the like, these individual pieces may be exactly what you need.

SWM Painted Corpse Samples

Pricing and Final Thoughts

At a retail price of $19.99, I’m not sure the product is in everybody’s budget.  For a frugal gamer like myself, the price is a little steep.  Of course, the project you use them in as well as your own expendable income makes price a subjective discussion.

To summarize, the Sack O’ Corpses by Secret Weapon Miniatures are finely detailed with enough variety in parts that you can use them for a variety of purposes.  Resin parts mean they hold detail more than plastic or metal counterparts so modelers should be happy in that department.

The variety of parts, the number of parts, and the details means that this product can be used for a wide variety of used and projects.  In this regard, the Sack O’ Corpses is nice to have for many uses.

However, for me, the price just doesn’t seem to fit the piece, but I can see that the product is a niche product in a niche hobby, so I can’t see SWM mass producing them to help keep costs down for us gamers and hobby modelers.   If you break it down by price per piece it comes out to $1.54 per part.  Again, it’s subjective to discuss price and how the product is worth the money or not for each person.

Please let me know what you think of the product- whether you’ve used it before or how you might use the product in your hobby.  Also, what are your thoughts in general about subjective topic of pricing?