Welcome to my review of the Mythos rulebook from Paranoid Miniatures. If you missed out on the guys Kickstarter don’t worry they are so close to retail its just a little….ok a lot exciting.
If you are interested click the logo and that will take you to their website where you can see fluff, art, renders and of course the rules.
That’s right the PM guys are continuing a trend in the hobby in offering free rules, they also have free stat cards (and tracking cards) as well as printable paper dolls. So you really can try before you buy.
But let’s be honest with some really stunning resin models and also a low count for each faction you may as well just buy them all.. Not that I would be doing something like that oh no I have willpower, I am strong, I am…..
Whats it about?
So the game is steeped in the feel of certain H.P.Lovecraft so has that vibe running throughout the models and also the general look of the game. It is based in the 1920s in a City in the US called Providence where the *announcer voice* THE FATE OF HUMANITY WILL BE DECIDED!!
They are shiny, they are resin and they have a feel unlike other stuff around at the moment. Where else can you get a giant crab trying to fight an Egyptian sand man?
Nice compact book rocking in at 40 page PDF. Which is nicely laid out (check out how the borders change through the book 😉 ), would have loved more fluff in the book but the website does cover this so not too bad at all.
So some quick points just so we are all on the same page, the game is based around D6 (and in most cases its 2D6). Premeasuring is allowed at any point after all if the guiding hand of Cthulhu isn’t helping you hit, then something is wrong.. Everything is in inches as well so nothing surprising here.
The game is played a 3x3ft board and it is suggested you have about a third of the board covered in terrain. So a decent amount of terrain around so plenty of cover to hide/defend is a most.
Each side brings 5 models to the game currently, which includes a Leader, a Myth (the Cult faction this is one and the same), a Familiar and then rounded out with ‘normal’ charcaters. It is a character driven game so with the odd exception everyone is a unique model. So altogether the games are pretty quick so it is easy to get a couple of games in an evening.
It’s a wargame which means we have stats for all models on the board so what are they?
- MOV – Movement – This is a 2 numbered stat, with the first number being your walk and second being your charge distance.
- COM – Combat – As with movement there is 2 numbers the first is the Attack number and the second is Defence
- RAN – Ranged – Same as combat.
- ARC – Arcane – Same as combat.
- MYT – Mythos – This is how much Mythos that a model generates to add to the crew pool (for spending by anyone during the game).
- WND – Wounds
- SAN – Sanity – This represents how quickly they go insane and is that stat for Sanity tests
All models have 2 AP to do as they wish in their activation, with the usual sort of thing you would expect. Move for 1 AP, Charge for 2 AP, attack for 1 AP etc.
Abilities on a models card do not cost AP to activate however they may have a Mythos cost associated with them. Which they can use from the crew pool generated at the start of the turn. However there is an additional cost to these abilities will we cover later.
Models also have traits that are always on effects in the game.
Now the model/stat cards for each model are double-sided but this is due to a game mechanic based around the models changing during a game (due to their sanity).
There is a normal size (a grey colouring is used) and the flipped side (red colouring is used). This means a player can end up moving across the different versions of their rules during a game (either on purpose or forced to). This regular flipping brings us to the a models, Tracker card.
These Tracker cards, are a clever way of dealing with the flipping as the tracker card does just that. It tracks wounds, how much sanity is lost as well as any conditions a model has picked up along the way. This means in the heat of battle you don’t rub off the 12 wounds you have already taken (it also means the game board isn’t swimming in tokens if you don’t want it to be)
So Sanity and Mythos deserves their own little areas on the review as they dictate so much around the game.
So first we have the Sanity stat for each model, these are for when the are expected to take a Sanity test. This can come from different sources but the most common is when a model is confronted with a Fear causing model.
As well as this each model has a section of Sanity to mark of on the Tracker card (every model has 20 pips to mark off). There are various ways you will need to mark off your Sanity during the game but there is a point things change. There is a coloured pip that is the Sanity Threshold. At the this point you need to start taking Sanity Checks, this is simply a table in the rulebook which you need to roll 2D6 and add the lost Sanity together and compare the result to said table.
These have different effects in the game from doing nothing to increasing your AP, to just outright killing you. So your sanity is precious as you can suddenly die if you burn through it too quickly. To give you an idea losing 7 Sanity means you have reached a point that a spiked roll of those dice could kill you!!!
As well as this threshold we also have in some cases an F (which is usually on the Sanity Threshold pip anyway). This is the indicator for your models forced Flip to their Flipped version, there is also come conditional flips available to models who can change between their versions. However some models don’t have this so once they Flip that’s it for the game they are in crazy mode 😉
As mentioned each model in the game adds their Mythos stat to a shared pool which can be spent by any model during their activation. This is a finite resource that although refills each turn, when models die your pool will also reduce.
The main use of Mythos is 2 different things to activate a critical hit or to use an ability that is on their card (cost is noted on the models card).
Whenever you spend Mythos you also lose the same amount of Sanity which takes you closer to the threshold we have already discussed.
So between Mythos and Sanity we have 2 different resource management areas to the game. One affects the whole crew while the other is on the individual and balancing the 2 is going to get more important as the game goes on as you either lose models or start to lose your sanity. A fun little mechanic that makes you plan your activations out and not just burn all the Mythos possible on one model.
Now onto the meat of the game the smacking/shooting/zapping people dead.
First up we will cover both the Range and Arcane attacks as they both generally happen at distance. The usual pick your target in range and LoS as you would expect is there.
Then the attack and defender both roll 2D6 and add their appropriate stat to the total plus any modifiers like if attacker is engaged or cover etc.
Then we look at the difference if it is a draw nothing happens, if the defender wins they get a free 2” dodge.
Now if the attacker wins (or the defender wins and is also engaging the attacker) then you deal damage equal to the difference in the totals and then they may activate a critical effect.
A critical hit is if you roll a double 6 or you may spend a point of Mythos to activate the critical on a successful hit. Criticals are an additional condition applied to the hit model on top of the damage they suffer.
Combat actions work in a very similar way, you must be in base contact with the model you are hitting and both players roll 2D6 adding the combat stat and any modifiers (additional models involved in the same combat).
However this time there is no dodge if the defender wins, now it is whoever wins the roll does that amount of damage (and triggers criticals) equal to the difference in the totals.
So here we have a system that means both players are involved in the combat outcome but also that the attacker could actually die in their own activation if the dice decide it.
Now the way the wounds are set for normal models, even on a spike dice scenario no-one can one-shot some else. It is very much a game of chipping away at each other to start with but later game when people have taken wounds suddenly the risk/reward increases as you have to gauge if charging into a target may result in you getting squashed.
Generally the attacker stats are higher than the defenders but this is a dice game and nothing is certain..
Now continuing the nastiness of this mechanic if a model wants to run away/tactical retreat, then the enemy models get a free attack. Where if the activate model wins (as a defender) they get to walk away, if the attacker wins the defender has to stay still. But here is the nasty bit the loser still takes damage as if it was a normal combat action.
Conditions are pretty important in the game as they have various effects and the majority come from critical hits and easily tracked on the tracker card 😉
- Vigour – Grants additional AP to the model to use during current or next activation.
- Haemorrhage – When the model next activates it suffers 2 wounds and this remains in play till it is removed (spend AP to Recover). It does not stack instead when a model suffers the same conditional gain it takes 2 wounds at that point.
- Paralysed – A model has it AP reduced to 0 for current/next activation. However it still gets to make defensive rolls (and dodges if it wins).
- Bleed – The next time the model activates it takes 2 wounds then is removed. Like Haemorrhage further bleed conditions added result in additional 2 wounds at that point.
- Blind – A model suffering Blind may not make Disengaging Strikes, RAN attacks, ARC attacks or gain Charge bonuses until the end of its next activation.
- Fatigue – Opposite of Vigour it loses an AP (minimum of 1) during its current/next activation.
- Burn – A model with Burn suffers -1/-1 to its COM, RAN & ARC. This will remain in play like haemorrhage and any additional burn conditions will instead cause an additional 2 wounds.
- Drain – A model may not spend Mythos until the end of their next activation.
- Fear – If a model wants to charge a Fear causing model they must take a Sanity test. If they fail they fail the charge, lose an AP and a point of Sanity. If being charged by a Fear causing model the defender needs to take a Sanity check and on a fail loses a point of Sanity.
There are 5 different scenarios in the rulebook, so this should keep you going for a while. But I would expect more to come soon and it is easy enough to come up with your own.
This is a great little game, that wont need a major outlays to get you going. With a low model count and standard board for a skirmish game means you can get going easy.
The mechanic is simple and effective will also brings a lot of potential brutality to the game while also keeping both players involved in the game regardless of who actually has activation at any point.
- Small model count
- Simple mechanism
- Unique and lovely models
- Dynamic resource management
- It isn’t at retail yet
- Could be too easy to have all the factions..
P.S. I will be doing model reviews as and when I get them in the future (only one faction…)
The first Seasoned player of the game and they chose Brisket! They are stealing my bad puns dammit!!
She is pretty fast not fish fast but she is not bad. Her TAC is average as is her DEF (with some ARM) and average captain INF generation. She has a decent KICK as well. So overall pretty average for a captain but it’s her abilities that make her tasty.
Worthy Sacrifice – Interesting legendary, you can place (which is incredibly powerful before anything else) Brisket into base contact with a friendly model. The model then gets to make a large dodge, this has many possibilities that we couldn’t flag them up here but some obvious ones is allowing her to get a friendly model into a nice snap shot position but you could just as easy move a model that is in a spot of bother from being taken out, to just increasing a friendly model threat range. Imagine Fangtooth being 6” up the board in a position you opponent is not going to like.
Unpredictable Movement – Great defensive tech available to any model but be wary she only has 1” melee so anything with 2” will eat her up and spit her out!
Scores for Fun – Reduces her target number for goals during her activation. Which means if she gets near the goal for a tap-in she is laughing.
Goal of the Month – Allows her to get a Screamer if she gets any 2 successful dice rather than just 6s. Which makes going for bonus time shots MP neutral for her which is pretty powerful.
Decent playbook for her with good MP generation (4/5 columns although that 1 is in at the 1 position which is frustration when the dice fail). She does bring a little bit of damage from her butcher days but as a goal scorer she needs those dodges and she gets plenty of them. While a low momentous tackle (with dodge) is going to be very strong for her.
I’m Open – Costs 2 INF, She can make a friendly model pass her the ball for no INF cost. This is pretty strong as someone can collect the ball and not have enough INF to do anything with it. Along comes Brisket to get the ball from them and is it is a pass she can use teamwork plays from the generated momentum helping increase her threat range.
Route One – Costs 2 INF, This can make her incredibly fast as it grants a free jog towards and enemy with the ball. Can give her a huge threat range (which is non-linear), people wont want to hold the ball anywhere near her to slow her down. Which is going to be tricky with a 12” bubble around her.
With Aplomb – Costs 2 Guild Balls (4 hits), the next time she scores a goal you gain an additional VP. This is huge and very powerful, although the dream is to get this in her activation for the easier chance of a goal. Although as it isn’t activation only she can become pretty powerful for snap shots as well. 5 VP goals are something that are going to terrify your opponent use this to your advantage as they try to play around when this is up.
A goal-scoring machine, that doesn’t grant much for her team outside a legendary push and access to some team work pushes if they pass the ball to her. Her goal threat is scary and allows potential turn 1 goals, she is as scary as Shark. She allows for a pretty balanced Union team in that herself and one or two models can deal with the ball with the others smash face or just slow the opposition down.
A selfish captain but one that can more or less win the game single-handed. A scary prospect to deal with.
Make sure you check out Leodis Games for all your Guild Ball Goodness.
I feel with the engineers we need to focus on one spot….Say hello to Locus
He is slow, normal big guy slow, his TAC is average. His DEF is meh but he does bring 2 ARM which is good and his INF is average. His standout stat is his healthy KICK for a big guy although like all engineers the distance is not amazing but he should succeed most of the time.
Gravity Well – An unusual ability when an enemy ends an advance engaging him, he can push them towards him. This does allow you to mess slightly with your opponent’s location. However a canny opponent can use this against Locus so be weary of it.
Reanimate – Seen on plenty of the Engineers, just means he is that little bit harder to take out and a little bit more of an INF sink against the hitty teams.
Stoic – Allows him to ignore the first push he suffers each turn, has it uses but more effective against certain models.
He has plenty of momentum generating choices (all columns have MP), easy access to knock down as well as lots and lots of pushes, he can also cause some damage although it will not be picked often if you want momentum. He also has access to a momentous tackle (with a push) which could be very handy to get the ball and then stop all retaliation.
Destructive Impulse – Costs 2 INF, The target suffers some damage and also a push. A nice way of freeing up Locus or just messing with enemies location. While the damage is a nice little bonus.
Remote Control – Costs 2 INF, Allows you to target a free ball and make a kick from the point of the ball. This is such an interesting play as the ball could be free from kick-off or after a goal. This makes him a nice choice to dealing with this play (and your opponent will need to play round it).
An amazing looking model, who certainly brings plenty of MP generation to the team and of course more knock downs and pushes (for when minefield is up). What really stands out for him is Gravity Well which although situation has the potential to mess just a little with opponents positioning and in a game where positioning is king it could be big.
His plays are really nice although Remote Control is not going to happen too often unfortunately. While Destructive Impulse is better when Gravity Well has done its job. Although situational it is always worth remembering that a certain other team member can borrow these plays to make the possible utility much greater.
Make sure you check out Leodis Games for all your Guild Ball Goodness.
Well the hobbit decided to have a social life, which means we are without our Napoleon.. So come join the train wreck that is what happens when an exhausted new dad, a grumpy GW Fan Boy and Ryan try to stay on track and talk about hobby…
Also Ryan is going to get killed by his wife…
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I need to come up with some decent snooker pun for this one but I have been black balled…. Welcome to the world of Crucible.
Reasonably fast she can keep up with most of the team, her TAC is average as is her DEF (no ARM though). Her INF is also average while her KICK is ok nice dice poll but not striker distance.
Incensed – At the start of her activation she gains either the burning or poison condition, why we shall see next.
Chemical admixture – When she damages a model they also gain the same condition she has. Which means you have to decide between her doing damage or dodging around during her activation.
Covalence – An aura around her which is a momentum sink for your opponent as they need to spend an extra MP to shift conditions if they are suffering one of the ones she hands out. Incredibly powerful when you consider what the alchemists can do against models with conditions. This can quickly hurt opponents momentum as it is always on.
Reactive Solution – We have seen something similar with the return shadows trait, if an enemy is suffering poison/burning near her at the end of her activation she gets a free 4” dodge.
She has plenty of access to momentum (4/5) and a lot of this is dodges and some pushes. She does have momentous damage but it is so high you will usually only get it on the charge. Her most interesting choices are at the low end with her play and tackle and dodge to keep her moving..
Nimble – Costs 1 INF, boosts her DEF up to good, but obviously she needs to go early in the turn to get the most out of it.
Sling past – Costs 1 INF or 1 Guild Ball (2 hits), allows her to ‘jump over’ an enemy she is engaged with. Actually makes her a little bit faster in an odd way as she can just engage a model and be moved to any point around the model staying in her engagement zone. This means against a 30mm based model it is almost an extra 3” of movement. If she manages to get a wraparound she can also move out of engagement as well making her movement possibilities interesting in the right situation.
She is a really interesting choice of team member for the alchemists, she brings an unusual condition game. Particularly in that she needs to be suffering the condition to hand it out. This means with burning you actually slow her down as she doesn’t have the same trait as vKataylst.
On top of this she is a bit tricky about when to active her (in the same vein as Venin) as she will get more out of Nimble she needs to go early but to ensure she gets the most out of the condition game she needs to go later in the turn.
Sling past is an interesting play that will work well if she goes on a goal run as if she has the ball already on the charge she has the chance to have a decent threat range which is always worth keeping in your head when looking for those lanes.
So really she can achieve a few things for you but when getting the most out of her during a turn is going to be a very delicate balance between her abilities/plays. Sometimes you are going to get it wrong, but she is naturally going to want to appear in a list that is strong on the condition game so keep that in mind (but still competing with Calculus, Venin and Mercury).
Make sure you check out Leodis Games for all your Guild Ball Goodness.