Miniature Skirmish Game

Warhammer: Age of Sigmar was released three years ago to the pleasure of some, and disdain of others, but has been going strong as THE fantasy skirmish game set in the Warhammer universe.  Now three years later the game has grown and changed, and so to clean things up Games Workshop is going to be doing a new edition of Age of Sigmar Core Rulebook.  In this new edition will be an expanded narrative and lore, cramming lots of new background and history to the many places and times you have heard about in the game.  Also they have managed to add in one thing players have been asking for, maps, lots and lots of maps of all the different locales you can take your armies.  Plus they have refined the rules of the game to play faster and cleaner while somehow making it more fun to play.  They have even teamed up with tournament organizers and champions to create some of the best competition rules for the game to date.  So whether you are a veteran or a new comer, this new core book will be everything you need to drive headline into the Age of Sigmar universe.

You can find out more information on the Warhammer Community website, and look for this jam packed core book on store shelves in June of this year.

Osprey Games announces its first miniature board game, Martin Wallace’s Wildlands. 

In Wildlands, each player controls a faction to competing for power in the ruins of a once-great kingdom now known as the Wildlands.  In each skirmish, players score points by defeating enemy characters and collecting treasure. With variable faction powers, adaptability is key as a semi-randomized set-up and double-sided board changes each game.

Martin Wallace has over 70 game designs to his credit such as Steam, Brass, Discworld Ankh Morpork, and A Few Acres of Snow.  He describes Wildlands as, “an opportunity for me to do something off the beaten track: a fast-moving, tactical combat game with asymmetric special powers.”

Duncan Molloy, Games Developer at Osprey Games, describes the design goal in Wildlands:

“Our aim with Wildlands is to bring the excitement of skirmish games to the masses, offering approachable mechanics without sacrificing the drama or strategic decision-making so integral to the genre.”

The game comes with 20 unique miniatures sculpted by Bobby Jackson and Tim Prow.  Bobby Jackson  is a 20-year miniature sculpting veteran now working with Cool Mini or Not.  Tim Prow has sculpted many miniatures for expansions to Cthulhu Wars. The miniatures will represent powerful wizards and cunning gnomes to hulking beasts and mighty warriors in the unique art style of Wildlands.

Osprey Game plans continued support of Wildlands, following its release with additional factions, maps, and mechanics in the future.  The game plays two to four players and is set to released in late 2018.

Hopefully your wallets haven’t taken too much of a beating, because here are some more interesting Kickstarters to check out.

ELO Darkness is the first game I want to mention, and it’s another entry in the quickly growing MOBA style games category.  Right off the bat what makes this game different is that out of the box it is a 2-player game, with each player controlling their whole team.  A team will be made up of five heroes, each with their own specific tasks like support, being a front line fighter, or a roamer who attacks when it is least expected.  The game is definitely steeped in the MOBA game style as many similar terms and ideas are used in the game, making it an easy transition from video game to board game.  Also, to capture the frantic pace of a live game, the actions in the game are resolved simultaneously so you will have to plan well while still being flexible enough to respond to your opponent’s actions.  So if you are looking for a new type of MOBA game to play, check out it’s Kickstarter page.

Next is Clash of Rage, a new minis skirmish type game from La boite de jeu where the point is to annihilate your opponents.  There are four armies in the base box as well as four heroes, allowing you to mix and match the hero to the army.  Also each army plays very differently , giving an asymmetrical feel to the game and forcing you to think on your feet.  Some other interesting aspects include a combat system where what types of units you bring effects the outcome more than just the number of units you bring.  Also tactic cards will be what determine reinforcements and income, and that income you get will allow you to buy upgrades for your units.  Plan well and equip your units right, and you just might win the game.  If this game sounds interesting to you, head on over to the Kickstarter page.

Finally we have Sine Tempore, a cooperative sci-fi game from Ludu Magnus Studio.  In this game you are space explorers looking for an inhabitable planet, and after nearly giving up you finally found one.  The bad news is that the planet is being used by aliens as a holy site for their customs and don’t take kindly to you moving in, so now you have to fight for your new home.  Missions in the game are card created so you won’t be doing the same ones over and over, and even the enemy will have missions, allowing for a win were you are still alive.  The game also comes with a campaign that doesn’t have a static end, as you make choices and proceed through the campaign you can arrive at one of three different endings.  Add in to that an adaptive AI for the enemies and an innovative momentum action wheel for turns, and you have a unique game on your hands.  Check out this mini heavy co-op game on Kickstarter now.

Reforged and Ninja Division are partnering to Kickstart a new game called Warforged: First Contact.  Warforged bills itself as a skirmish level exploration game, similar to games like Descent or Shadows of Brimstone, but still very different.  This is a one vs many game where one person controls the Mantra, an alien race that is invading through a portal at the center of a shrine.  The many play as the Iron Legion, the military force sent to investigate the portal, with each player leading their own squad.  Play is simple in that on your turn you have two actions to take, and your available options are move or shoot.  Player order though is the interesting thing, as every figure has a card, and all the cards are shuffled into a deck, and drawing from that deck determines who moves.  This means you will need to coordinate very well, because luck may fall to where the enemy gets all their turns before you, making your job that much harder.  The map is also modular and hex based instead of square, allowing for more varied and eclectic map layouts.  Will the Iron Legion be able to stem the tide of aliens and reach the portal, or will the Mantra horde overrun them?

The game has some excellent art and some nice sculpts for the minis included in the game.  Gameplay is easy with all information on the characters contained on the turn order cards, and several scenarios ready to play right out of the box.  You can head over to the Kickstarter page to check out more, and you can even see a gameplay video produced by the folks at Let’s Play.

mech deck

From Kickstarter and designer Patrick Fahy, comes a new, unique take on the tactical miniatures genre: Mech Deck. Mech Deck is a “light skirmish that focuses on building customizable Mechs.” Customizable is the word here, damage is tracked not only with stats but by removing different parts from the Mech miniatures. The hex terrain is modular too, each game taking place on a “randomly-generated battlefield.”

mech deck comp

The game comes with 24 different plastic components that can be combined to produce truly devastating mech designs, promising that each game of this will play out differently. The various components are drafting during the pregame, making players take turns, one part at a time to try to create a bot that will become the King of the Hill. The game also provides 52 Deck cards which further varies up the customizability of the game. Each Deck card provides various powers which allows your Mech to perform in totally unique ways.

The game combines resource management, tactical movement, dice combat, deck (mech) building, and special powers to create one of the most exciting skirmish miniatures games that I have seen advertised in some time. If this game succeeds, I see it as being a trend setter for upcoming games in this genre. You can click here to visit and fund the campaign.

tail feathers banner

Plaid Hat Games is expanding their highly popular – and always adorable – Mice and Mystics universe with the upcoming tactical miniatures game Tail Feathers. Tail Feathers is a game for 2-4 players who must battle for aerial superiority over Downwood Forest. Defend your nest, outfly your enemies and always spend your cheese wisely.

Check out part 1 of Plaid Hat’s special Tail Feathers preview here, to learn about the basic setup of the game and see a brief overview of the four phases of each game round: choosing missions, changing tilt, taking actions and resolving effects.

Here is part 2, which will introduce you briefly to the Story of Tail Feathers, as you accompany Taphi the elf in accomplishing a task of the utmost importance.

tail feathers path

Finally, part 3 of the Tail Feathers preview will tell you all you need to know about that most important aspect of the game: flight! Check out the simple yet versatile flight templates, learn about the game’s unique tilt mechanism that determines the direction your bird will fly and find out how to build your flight path through the forest.

Be sure to check Plaid Hat Games regularly for more previews in the coming weeks. And if you can’t wait that long, you can download a pdf file of the Tail Feathers rulebook from either of the gameplay preview pages linked above!