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.

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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.

UlfsarkLogo

 

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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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.

SW Logo

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?

Genius Factory Games Primary and Secondary Counter Review

Genius Factory Games sent along a sampling of their Primary and Secondary mission counters for review.

Primary Mission Counter Pack 1 from Genius Factory Games

Primary Mission Counter Pack 1 from Genius Factory Games

Secondary Mission Counters from Genius Factory Games

Secondary Mission Counters from Genius Factory

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Games

The product arrived in a first class USPS envelope and each product was inside its own labelled self-closing baggie for easy identification.  The mission counters are 40mm across and match a 40mm beveled base as expected.  The counters themselves are very sturdy without any noticeable defects in production nor in the etching of the images.  Furthermore, they are sturdy enough that they wont break if you put your elbow on one accidentally while on the table, nor should they break should you drop on on a hard floor. You can compare them to the images below:

Size Comparison to 40mm base

Size Comparison to 40mm base

The Primary Mission Pack contains ten tokens to track differing point values of missions on the tabletop.  In the package, you will receive the following numbered tokens

  • 1x Four-point objective
  • 5x Three-point objectives
  • 2x Two-point objectives
  • 1x One-point objective
  • 1x “Priceless artifact”

I accidentally left the “Priceless artifact” out of the image seen here on:

Genius Factory Games Primary Mission Pack Counters

Genius Factory Games Primary Mission Pack Counters

They look nice next to 28-32 mm models like these American AE-WWII models from Darkson Designs/Blackball Games:

Next to models

Next to models

The next set of tokens are the secondary mission counters. They are made from the same dark/smoked acrylic as the primary mission counters but come with different designs to designate different locations on the battlefield:

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The secondary mission counters contain the following tokens:

  • 2x “Breakthrough” counters
  • 2x “Leader Slain” counters
  • 1x “First Kill” counter

I took several photographs from different angles to get a feel of them on the game board.  They are easily distinguished and readable from any spot on the board.

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As you can see from the photos, the tokens stand out very well on a game board and are easy to identify.  I took some pictures from different angles and locations just so you can see how easily you can identify objective locations on the game board.

A great feature of the designs and numbers on these tokens are that they designs are etched onto the acrylic- not painted or printed on.  This means that the images wont scrape off with repeated use as the image sits below the surface of the counter.  Great move and simple way to solve that problem.

Another feature I like of the secondary mission counters is the generic imagery on the tokens.  This allows you to lay the tokens down for just about any mission or objective.  Since they aren’t labeled, you can utilize them for a wide variety of spots on the game board.

A couple of problems I see with counters like this, as nice as they are.  The first is that they don’t quite fit the theme of the game board that they will be used on.  If you are looking for counters that blend into the scenery and look like they belong, then these counters wont work for you.  The next problem is that overhead lights will glare and reflect off of these counters so in some cases you’ll have to move or change your vantage point to see what the counter is.

Beyond those two simple issues, the counters can be used for a wide variety of purposes.  They work especially well for games that have missions and objectives that need to be captured. A game like AE-Bounty or AE-WWII that have primary, seondary and tertiary missions/objectives can utilize these counters quite well.

The Primary Mission Counter pack retails for $9.00 while the secondary mission pack retails for $5.00.  I find the prices for these tokens to be quite reasonable.

If you are looking for tokens for your gaming table, I highly recommend those done by Genius Factory Games, because in addition to these counters reviewed here, GFG makes some other options for your gaming table.

Cruise on over to their website and check them out.  Let them know that you heard about their products on Pen and Lead.

GFG Logo

GFG Logo

Creative Gamescapes Spaceship X Tiles Review

Last fall in 2011 I was able to pick up two kits worth of Creative Gamescapes Spaceship X basic tiles at a gaming convention called Recruits Con.

The kit, as described by the manufacturer, has been pasted below:

Spacecraft X introduces ship to ship combat battlefields to tabletop gaming. The modular design allows for a broad range of board configurations maximizing replayability for both measurement and tile based gaming systems in either 15mm or 28mm scale.

The kit comes in a sealed bag with four sprues containing several spaceship corridors, walls, tiles, and doors, as well as an instruction sheet.

The sprues are made from hard plastic and require a hobby knife, sprue clipper/nippers, and some patience in order to get the pieces off of the sprue.  After getting the pieces off the sprure, they require some trimming and possible shaving/sanding in order to remove the plastic mold lines and injection markings.  For someone just entering the hobby who doesn’t have these tools, it may seem a little daunting to get all of your pieces looking good.

Four Sprues with Instructions

Below you’ll see all of the available parts after cutting and trimming from the sprues.

All the X-tiles from all four sprues

I found that there did appear to be a lot of pieces and a little confusion on what to do with them.  However, the instructions helped explain what parts went where and exactly which parts needed to be glued.  The “L” piece is made up of three single squares that need to be glued together in order to be used.  Furthermore, the instructions show the walls being glued to the floors as well.

During my review and examination of the pieces I found that they were quite sturdy and the actual floor pieces were heavy.  They sit roughly half an inch above the table, raising it some and giving the viewer a better feel of a “hallway” or spaceship itself.

A possible layout from one X-tile package.

The walls of the X-tiles are reversible, so you can decide which pattern you’d like to have on the outside or inside of the rooms and hallways, adding for a nice touch of detail.  If you actually glue the walls into place, you’ll need to decide which pattern you want on the outside/inside and keep that in mind as you make your pieces.   Otherwise, the pieces have the same floor and wall design.  The large 9×9 square room is missing the center tile and the kit comes with three version you can put there to break up the tedium of the same pattern.

Another nice detail are the doors.  Each entrance/exit of the rooms and hallways has a space for a door.  The door s simply slide into grooves on each side and can be removed just as easily to represent a sealed or blocked passageway or room.

I found that connecting all the tiles takes some rearranging to get them lined up and I had to cut one wall section to make a smaller part to fit one of the rooms.  It’s not required, but it allowed for more flexability in the layout.

If you own Space Hulk or other sci-fi type tile based games, Spaceship X-tiles might make a great product to add some dimensions to your game if you can get the the right amount of pieces and sizes/shapes.  Otherwise, you’ll be making your own scenarios to fit the Spaceship X-tiles that you own.

I’m thinking I”m going to make my own board and use my kits for some 15mm sci-fi games as well as for some 28mm gaming- Possibly Tomorrow’s War by Ambush Alley, Infinity from Corvus Belli, or AE: Bounty by Blackball Games

A single package will set you back $34.99, but you can order multiple of the same pack for cheaper discounts.  I found the $34.99 to be a decent deal for what you get, but I didn’t have to pay for shipping.

I haven’t tried painting my tiles, walls, and bits yet, so I can’t comment on how well it takes paint.  However, I’ve seen some painted examples in person  and they did look nice

All in all, it’s a nice kit, but small, so you’ll be wanting additional kits to make bigger and better maps.

Pros:

  • Good construction
  • Will make your gaming table attract attention
  • Customizable layouts
  • Removable doors to create sealed hallways and rooms
  • Decent price point
  • Look great painted up

Cons:

  • Removing the pieces from the sprues requires some work
  • Filing and sanding the sprue points and mold lines requires some extra work as well
  • Not enough pieces in a single kit to create many layouts
  • Same design over and over on the floors and walls
  • No additional kits for specific rooms or locations available from the manufacturer as of yet

Here is a sample image from the manufacturer showing all the pieces glued and painted up:

Manufacturers image of all the pieces in a single kit.

Check out Creative Gamescapes for more details and a small gallery.

Carnevale by Vesper-on Games Playthrough First Thoughts

I was able to play a very basic game of Carnevale this afternoon before I got too busy.  A buddy of mine came over for a couple of hours and we muddled our way through a small starter box game.  From the free  downloads on Vesper-on’s website, we had access to the Doctors of the Ospedale and the Patricians.

Quick Summary: The game, as expected, is a miniature game, so you must have some basic stats like movement, attack, defense and/or armor, magic of some sort, command, and abilities and equipment.  Nothing surprising there.  Carnevale has all that of course, to keep your models moving, taking hits, attacking, and casting spells.  However, the small aspect that is different is that you roll a pool of dice (based on a stat like shooting or combat), and try to hit a target number.  One of your dice in your die pool represents the fumbles and criticals, so it will need to be a different size or color to distinguish it.  So, in a lot of miniatures games, you roll dice+ stat.  Here, your dice are equal to a stat, and you try to hit a target number.  The number of dice that reach the target number equals your damage, minus any armor the target may have.

The most interesting and fun thing about the game we played were the advanced move options.  Most of the miniatures have options to do a wall run, jump, attack from above, swim, climb, rappel, and more.  The game that I played had models jumping over the canal only to do an “attack from above.”  That was very epic and great fun.

In addition, there are some neat attacks like aiming, or doing roundhouse attacks, or low blows.  I was able to get a roundhouse off in one situation- it didn’t help me as my opponent had too high of armor for the hits to get damage through, but the action was very scenic and fun to do.

I’m going to do a bit more research into the game before doing a real review.  However, my main goal here was to simply get some thoughts down and out there for you to read.

So, if you’ve had a read through of the rules, which are free off of Vesper-on’s website, let me know your thoughts.  If you’ve played a game or two, what did you think?  Let me know in the comments section of this post.

If I hadn’t been busy this afternoon/evening, I would have played one or two more games.  However, one will suffice for now.

Up-Coming Interview with Vesper-on Games and Review of Carnevale

I sent an email off to Vesper-on Games requesting permission to interview them as well as do a review of their new game, Carnevale.  If there is something unique you’d like me to send along with my interview questions, please let me know.

Vesper On Games

I plan on sending off the questions by the end of the weekend, so please post by then if there is anything specific I should ask about.