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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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.

Hell Dorado Cipher Rule Book Quick and Dirty Preview

I was comped a preview copy of the new Hell Dorado rulebook by Cipher for doing some readability and editing on some of the fluff within the book.   Keep in mind, this is a comped, preview copy.

I was happily surprised on the 6th of June when I came home and found this in my mailbox:

Hell Dorado Rulebook by Cipher

The book is softcover with 224 pages.  The back insert includes templates and counters for bidding on terrain.

The rulebook is complete and includes the new releases that Cipher has released since January.

Within the covers, you’ll find a lot of background story and fluff for each faction, rules and game play, faction specific information, terrain and scenario play, and full color inserts at the beginning of each section of the book.  Some of the newer artwork doesn’t “mesh” with the older artwork simply because it appears Cipher was pushed to the breaking point in regards to time- Players wanted this book yesterday.

I was not one of the players of the French rules, but it seems that nothing in regards to rules was tweaked or changed.  The statlines appear to be updated to the 1635 addition, and just some slight changes in one or two points for model’s army points calculations were done.

No bias here, but it seems to be a tidy book.  I haven’t done a complete look through, and for me, being a new player, it’s hard to make any comparisons between the original Asmodee edition and the new Cipher edition.

Players will be happy once this book reaches their FLGS within the next few weeks.

If you have any questions, please let me know.  I’ll try to a little better review in the future.