Thursday, August 30, 2012

Exploding Relics In The Knight!

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned the Relic Knights Kickstarter from Soda Pop Miniatures.  At the time, they were around the $165k mark and had just unlocked casino quality cards with all of the starters.  Well, things have changed since then...
As it stands right now, for a $50 pledge you get the starter, which includes a Relic Knight (this is the leader for the faction and is typically a giant mech with pilot along with their cypher), a unique minion or two (these are more specialized then you regular grunts, such as a weapon team or elite troops), and a squad of regular minions (which are the aforementioned regular grunts), along with quick start rules, and the cards and tokens you'll use in the game.

Here's the artwork for the six different starter options.
In addition to all of this, the Kickstarter pledge will also get you a second squad of regular minions, a character for the faction, and a Questing Knight (basically a Relic Knight without the Relic).

Here's an example of the extra minis included in just one starter!
 As if this wasn't enough, they are also offering a number of special edition minis which look really sweet as well.

This is a great value just to get the miniatures which is what sold me in the first place.  They do have a gameplay intro video on their Kickstarter page as well which is worth checking out to see how the mechanics work, but even if you're not interested in it for the game, I definitely recommend giving these minis a look.  Until next time...

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Song Of Blades And Heros Battle Report: They Be Goblins! We Be Heros!

Recently there have been a number of battle reports posted on the Song of Blades yahoo group and reading them gave me an itch to play a game myself.  Conveniently enough I also have a bunch of freshly painted fantasy minis so throwing together a couple of war bands was a snap... especially because I actually used stats right out of the book!  Sure, it's a minor thing but I'm pretty sure I've gone with custom stats every time I've played so this was definitely something new.  But enough talk; its time to fight!

For this game, I decided to have a group of adventurers raiding a goblin camp, an ironic little twist that just made me smile inside.  On the adventurers side, they were led by the heroic cavalier with her stalwart companions the human barbarian, the human wizard, the human crossbow woman, the elf warrior, the dwarf crossbowman, and the gnome crossbowman.  For the goblins, the bugbear warrior was the leader, supported by the goblin shaman, the goblin archer, the troll, and goblin warriors A, B, C, D, and E.  As you can tell, I really went all out for this one, right?

The goblins deployed in the center of the board with a few of their numbers within their tents, while the adventurers were split into three groups moving onto the board.

The first turn, almost all of the adventurers moved forward.  The cavalier and the barbarian both moved to lock down two of the goblins, while the wizard and the human crossbow woman (let's call her the hunter) tried to get into position to try to get off some shots next turn.

Meanwhile, the gnome and the dwarf were busy discussing the finer points of beer making and failed to notice that the rest of the group had started the attack.

The bugbear warrior charged out of the tent and launched a devastating attack against the cavalier, driving her to the ground under his furious assault.

Meanwhile, the goblin in the wedding dress that had been charged by the barbarian swings wide and is knocked to the ground!

One of the goblins that had been herding the troll charged the barbarian and caught her by surprise, sending her crashing to the ground next to her first attacker...

...while yet another goblin surged forward and was able to inflict the killing blow on the now helpless barbarian.

On the other side of the camp, the goblin archer tries to finish off the cavalier but she is able to block the lethal blow with her shield.

With the rest of her warband stunned by the turn of events, the cavalier tries to get to her feet but she is still too shaken and can do little more than brace herself for the oncoming onslaught (you guessed it, she rolled three failures...).

Sensing victory was close at hand, the bugbear warrior bellows "And now you die hu-man!"  and slams his mace down at the cavalier.  With lightning quick reflexes, she manages to roll out of the way in the nick of time, narrowly avoiding the powerful attack!  The rest of the goblins howl in anger and frustration as they focus completely on the combat unfolding in the middle of the camp (and now it was the goblins turn to fail...).

Seeing her opening, the cavalier uses the momentum from her roll to get to her feet and launches herself at the goblin archer, slicing his body in half with the force of her attack (now that's what you call a gruesome kill!).  Shaken by having his victory stolen away from him so easily, the bugbear howls in confusion and fear and runs away from the battle, with the troll and two goblins in tow (though if I'd remembered that he was Fearless this wouldn't have happened... whoopsy!).

On the other side of the camp, the elf warrior charges only to be knocked down by her goblin target while the goblin shaman who had run out of his tent when the bugbear fled now turned and ran in the other direction as the wizard directed her magics against him.

At this point I remembered that the goblin war band never took their morale check for loosing half of their numbers, which quickly sent more of their numbers scurrying towards the edge of the table, including the shaman.

With most of their warband dead or fleeing, it was just a case of the adventurers mopping up the stragglers before they burned down the goblin camp, leaving nothing but ashes.  Victory for the... good guys?

Sure there were some serious mistakes in there that might have changed the course of the battle (forgetting about Fearless, forgetting about the morale check...) but honestly it was so much fun it just doesn't matter to me.  It was a chance to get my new models to the table and play a fun game which is a perfect combination in my book, and definitely makes me want to get this game back into the rotation, even if it is just for a few solo games.  Of course looking at the Relic Knights Kickstarter also has me wondering about adding some anime flavor to Song of Blades but more on that later.  Until next time...

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Digging Into The Depths Of The Earth To Reveal The Bones Within!

Well, the Reaper Bones Kickstarter is in the homestretch now and if you still haven't checked it out, you really should take a few minutes to take a look.  This is an incredible deal for some amazing miniatures, not to mention giving you a chance to help Reaper Miniatures take their products and your gaming experience to an entirely new level.

As of this post, the Kickstarter is now over 1.7 million dollars, so far beyond it's meager goal of $30,000 that its absolutely ridiculous.  The $100 Vampire level pledge has grown from its original 67 minitures to an astounding 209 miniatures with a ton of options that let you add some truly massive figures to the mix for mere dollars.

Time is running out though.  The Kickstarter end this Saturday so if you have been sitting on the fence, its time to make a decision.  The good news is even if you decide to pass up on this option, you should still be able to get most if not all of these figures at retail stores in the future, though they will cost you more if you go that route.  Either way, the only bad news is we'll have to wait until March next year to see just how well these turned out.  Just think of it as a late Christmas present and you should be all set.  Until next time...

Friday, August 17, 2012

Taking A Closer Look At The Relics... Updated!

I mentioned about week ago that Soda Pop Miniatures had launched and successfully funded their Relic Knights Kickstarter after just one day but I had mentioned a couple of concerns that I had about it.  Namely game play after hearing about some serious issues in the original playtesting and complexity of the models.

Since then I had my friend watch a demo of the game that was run at GenCon 2011 (you can find the videos of that here...) and he said that the mechanics look much better now.  I also found on their forums that they're aware of how fiddly some the minis can be and they are addressing that as well, so this just keeps getting better and better!

Currently the Relic Knights Kickstarter stands just over $165,000 so in addition to the casino quality cards that I'd mentioned before, they are also going to include plastic tokens in the starters!  To draw a comparison, a Warmachine battlegroup contains a core to an army and comes with three to five models, depending on which faction you choose.  The Relic Knights starters come with five to seven models, plus the deck you need to play the game, plastic tokens, and a playmat (I'm assuming this is the dashboard which is basically used in game to show activation sequence...), all for the same price which sounds like a pretty good bargain to me.  Double that up to the $100 pledge and you can get two starters of your choice, a hardcover rulebook, and two special addition minis that are going to be playable in the game and you are looking at getting $75 worth of product for free!

Personally, I'm really excited that this Kickstarter is funded because this is a great way to get some really sweet miniatures for a bargain price.  Most of the Relic Knights run at least $50 by themselves so being able to get an entire crew for this price is just amazing so if you haven't taken a look, I'd definitely recommend checking them out!

Edit: I just found out about this gameplay introduction that was put together by Soda Pop to give you an overview of the how it plays.  Definitely worth checking out if you want more information!

That's it for now but there's more on the way, and I'm not just talking about more Kickstarter posts either!  After painting a slew of minis for our Dungeons and Dragons game, I decided to break some of them out for a good, old Song of Blades smackdown featuring a group of adventurers against a goblin warband!  Who won?  You'll just have to come back next week and find out!  Plus there are more battle reports coming soon, not to mention katana schoolgirls vs. zombie furries!  Yes, you did read that right but more on that soon!  Until next time...

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Soda Poppin' Onto Kickstarter!

I was checking out the Reaper Kickstarter when what should I find but the Soda Pop Miniatures Relic Knights Kickstarter!  For those of you that are not familiar with them, Soda Pop Miniatures makes a line of very anime inspired miniatures which look absolutely amazing... at least from what I've seen anyway.  Though I've toyed with the idea of picking up a few of these figures, its never been a pressing thing for me in part because I'm just not sure what I'd do with them besides paint them up and say "Man this looks sweet!"

With their Kickstarter, Soda Pop is going to take these figures to the next level and is releasing a sci-fi skirmish game.  Notice that I say "is going to" because this Kickstarter has already been successful.  In fact they were over $100,000 with a goal of $20,000 on the first day!

Each of the faction starters will include everything you need; the minis, cards (as I understand this is a diceless system like Malifaux), tokens, even a playmat!  All of this for $50, which is a heck of a deal.  Add in the fact that the minis look really sweet (provided you like that anime feel) and it sounds like a sure thing.

So what's holding me back?  Two things.

I know someone who was involved in the initial playtesting of the game and after attempting to play it several times, him and his friends told them that the game was basically unworkable.  Using the two factions that they were given, they were actually not able to end a game.  One faction was insanely fast and impossible to hit while the other was ridiculously armored and impossible to damage.  This was a while back and it must have been worked out by now but it still lurks in the back of my mind.

Calico Kate, leader of the Star Nebula Corsairs
The other thing is the miniatures themselves.  They look incredible.  The detail looks crisp, the poses are dynamic, just all around really sweet looking figures.  I've also heard that some of them are absolute bears to assemble because of their detail and the fact that they're not heroic scale.  The new sets in the Kickstarter are going to be plastic so I would think that this would be addressed as well but again, it lurks in the back of my mind.

Codifier Kisa of the Doctrine
 Even with these concerns, I'm still really tempted to get this.  The minis look awesome and the starter set that they are offering is a great deal and with the stretch goals it looks like its just going to keep getting better.  This is definitely one that I'm going to be keeping my eye on in the weeks to come.  Oh, and if any of you happen to be going to GenCon and have a chance to demo the game, please post in the comments!  I'd love to hear the game plays out now that the bugs are (hopefully) worked out.  Until next time...

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Diggin' For More Bones...

A couple of weeks ago, I posted about the Reaper Miniatures Bones project on Kickstarter and I thought I'd pass along an update about how its doing.  When I first posted, the project was already fully funded and heading towards its first stretch goal.  As of right now, the project is at over $305,000 with sixteen days left to go which is absolutely amazing!

So what exactly do you get?  Well, that depends on what you donate to the cause but the best option by far is the Vampire level of $100.  Sound like a lot?  Not when you realize that you get over 100 Reaper miniatures for that, plus access to some absolutely insane options as well.

Among the options available are fire giants, ice giants, a dragon and a collection of big, nasty brutes to add to your collection as well, all at an incredible savings..

If you haven't checked this out yet, I really think you should hop on over and give it a look.  Reaper makes some of the best miniatures out there and this is an opportunity to get your hands on an absolutely massive collection for a miniature price.  Until next time...

Saturday, August 4, 2012

It's Like Dumpster Diving For A Fantasy Apartment!

While I was laying out my group's new 4e adventure I got to thinking about miniature terrain for dungeons.  There's actually a few different sources for this kind of thing out there but I think one of the companies with a better selection is actually Mega Miniatures USA.  Actually they have a good assortment of pretty much all the genres when it comes to furniture or even just odd figures.  Not the best sculpts in the world but if you're looking for a bunch of filler minis it looks like they'd do in a pinch.

So there was a place to order them from but I was lacking was funds.  Having already bought a bunch of minis for various monsters along with a Gale Force 9 battle mat for one of the encounters, it seemed like trying to explain buying a couple of miniature bookcases to my wife would be a bad idea.

Having resigned myself to furnishing the dungeon the old fashioned way (meaning drawing it in on the battle mat) I stumbled across a my old copy of Heroquest.  Published by Milton Bradley way back in 1990, this was actually a collaboration with Games Workshop of Warhammer fame.  Talk about just a bizarre combination, right?  Well, one of the great things about this game was the furniture that was included with it!  I cracked open the box to see what I could use only to be reminded that I actually had two sets of furniture, not just one!  Sweet!

The only downside is there are no beds in the mix so it looks like my goblins are going to have to break out the sleeping bags.  Ah well, suck it up boyos!  Roughing it builds character!  Until next time...

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Welcome To The End Time

Back in 1997, Pagan Publishing released a modern source book for Call Of C'thulhu.  Focusing on a secret organization dedicated to fighting the horrors of the Mythos, this book won the Origins award for best roleplaying supplement and more awards for the setting that was introduced therein.  Unfortunately even all of this acclaim was not enough to keep the original book in print and for years people have been force to search eBay and the like if they wanted to find a copy for themselves... but no longer.  Fifteen years later and the End Time has come again.

Delta Green is back.

Now available from Drive Thru RPG in PDF, softcover, and even hardcover format, its great to see this icon of the Call of C'thulhu RPG return.  I've never had the chance to look through this massive tome before but I've already put it onto my wishlist.  Now I just need to decide whether to get the hardcover or soft....  Until next time...