What better way to pass some time on an overnight ferry crossing then to play a solo gamebook by a dim flickering light in a cramped cabin with the rain lashing down outside and a constant chorus of strange clanking and clanging noises to keep you awake…
Gangs of Rome was a game I highlighted on my list of new releases I was most excited about for 2018 and having pre-ordered it just after Christmas (and despite some shipping issues) it finally arrived this week – apart from the game mat which is still AWOL.
In this post I’ll go through all the physical components of the game and discuss how they are packaged and their production qualities. In later posts I’ll review the rules in depth, show my progress with building and painting the miniatures and scenery and provide after action game reports, but in the meantime let’s see what’s arrived in the pre-order.
Way back in July 2016 I backed a Kickstarter campaign for a 1-4 player boardgame of The Walking Dead TV series from Cryptozoic Entertainment and (rather belatedly) it arrived this week in all its shrink-wrapped glory.
I’m a huge fan of The Walking Dead so was originally very much looking forward to this release but since backing the Kickstarter, I’ve started playing the other Walking Dead game (based on the comics) by Mantic Games – The Walking Dead All Out War and very much enjoying it, not least because it’s a true miniatures game rather than a board game. Combined with the large number of Kickstarter-published board games I’ve been acquiring lately, I think that I might be selling this one off rather than keeping it but the jury is still out on that decision for the moment!
Yesterday Spanish games company Zenit Miniatures launched their latest Kickstarter campaign to expand their 32mm scale fantasy samurai game Kensei with two new factions: Wako pirates and Namban European forces.
Having backed their two most recent Kickstarters for warmachines and printed rulebooks and undead samuari, I’m familiar with the quality of their models (all cast in metal) and their reliability at delivering pledges so was happy to back them again for these interesting ranges. In addition to being used to play Kensei, the Wako pirates would fit in nicely with my Test of Honour collection and the Namban for Spain’s conquest of the New World.
The Kickstarter campaign ends early on 5th March (Australian time) and has already funded and made the first couple of stretch goals so is well worth checking out. At the time of writing, a number of slightly discounted “early bird” pledge levels were still available. I’ve been reading through the Kensei and Torii rules from Zenit and will be posting reviews of them at a later date.
Spellcaster is the official magazine of Frostgrave and Ghost Archipelago written by the author of both games (Joseph A. McCullough) and published via Wargames Vault. Issue 1 was available as a PDF only but issue 2 is available in both PDF and print on demand format and has had a fairly substantial graphic design makeover. I enjoyed the first issue so thought I would try out the print version this time as it was only slightly more expensive. Shipping for several books was fairly reasonable but did take nearly four weeks to arrive in Australia.
The print edition is A5 sized and contains 36 pages of contents with full colour photos and design elements throughout. The cover is fairly thick glossy card and the interior paper is reasonable quality but some of the internal colour has a slightly washed out approach, which I think is due to the printing technology used.
Ninjas of Iga is the most recent expansion for Test of Honour to be released by Warlord Games. The expansion contains 7x 28mm metal miniatures, a rules booklet, 10x 25mm round bases, 2x Test of Honour group bases, and 18x new cards and is priced at GBP 27.50
Having assembled and painted the models, I had a look through the new rules and cards to see how they could be used in the game.
North Star in the UK recently had a sale on the 4Ground range of pre-coloured MDF kits and since I didn’t already own any and I’m sucker for 10mm sci-fi (Dropzone Commander, Planetfall, etc.) I picked up a few before they sold out.
4Ground deservedly have a reputation for some of the most innovative and detailed MDF kits on the market and while they’re also the most expensive, being pre-coloured generally makes them pretty quick to get on the table. This particular range, named Jesseri, was designed as a direct replacement for the cardboard city sets available for Dropzone Commander.
A project which has been on the back-burner for some considerable time is my 10mm ECW armies and part of the reason the project stalled was my difficulty in finding a suitable set of rules that gave the right period flavour.
While discussing this predicament with a friend, he kindly offered to give me an introductory game of his preferred rules for the period, Baroque, using 15mm figures from his collection. Baroque are published by Dadi & Piombo from Italy and are based on their popular Impetus ancients rules (which I’d not previously played either)
Paul provided lists and figures for both armies which were approximately 600 points each (the standard size game for Baroque) and I choose Parliamentarian. Since the game was an introduction to the rules, the army lists were slightly fudged to accommodate a wider variety of troops and the Parliamentarian army had a few more points. We decided to forgo the usual pre-game procedure for terrain setup and just mutually agreed a simple and roughly symmetrical terrain layout. Photos are all from my (Parliamentarian) perspective.
Published in 1989, Dungeonbowl was an expansion for Blood Bowl 2nd Edition which included two new teams of plastic miniatures (Elf and Dwarf) and a game variant for playing matches inside a dungeon.
With the massive popularity of the most recent edition of Blood Bowl (which hasn’t significantly changed in mechanics since the second edition) Dungeonbowl is starting to make a regular appearance at the club as a lighthearted group game to play after the other games have finished for the day , particularly as by combining two sets of the game it can be played as a four player game.
Dead Man’s Hand is a set of wild west skirmish rules published by Great Escape Games in 2013. I’ve had an unread copy on my shelves for some time so when a friend mentioned it was a set he was looking at, I thought it was about time to dust it off and give it a go. I still had some wild west buildings in my collection but I’d previously sold my wild west figures so needed to order some more ahead of our game.
I knew Paul had some outlaws so I choose to order a Lawmen gang from Tabletop Empires and they arrived the day before we were due to play so we both made do with unpainted miniatures on this occasion. Over the course of an afternoon we played out one of the mini-campaigns from the rules (called a series) – “The Good, The Lead & The Ugly” which comprised of three escalating linked scenarios (called scenes).