JB Terrain Review

As 40K starts to explode as it always does with a new edition time, I needed some new terrain to cover the board!

There is loads of MDF terrain out there, but I need something that looks good but isn’t too mad or expensive. Step forward a chap I have used before for some other pieces of terrain. Who had exactly that, nice not overly complicated terrain at an amazing prices!!

You can check out his eBay shop here (There is also his Facebook profile as well). This time I came looking at a couple of the ruined buildings which have a decent footprint.

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As you can see I have a couple of different sets so let’s get these bad boys together..

Soooooooooo much mdf the house smells amazing at the moment 😀

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Nice big chunky pieces for my ham-fisted ways…

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The tiny windows are great for calling LoS blocking but also are easy snipped and broken to allow you to have firing areas if you wanted.

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Its big, offers plenty of cover and also allows some height to games, something I have always liked (too much 2Dness happening on my tables).

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Couple of nice details here and there with the broken windows and cracked walls and very cool and add a little something if like me you are too lazy to texture your MDF..

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This one below was the hardest part of the kits I had with the extra little edging to the building, nice touch but be careful with the thin MDF.

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So the builds on all these are realllly easy, in fact you could easily keep them as flat pack and build when you need them as the joins are really tight and as such should stay pretty robust for a while. But like all MDF the layers will split slightly eventually, so caution if you go that route.

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Big enough to hide a Knight, but enough levels that normal troops can also use it. Pretty much perfect for what I wanted.

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So overall great little (big) kits to have around at a really cheap price and these kits are easily made more in tune with some the grim dark dark of the far future by adding some plastic pieces to the walls if you wanted to for more details.

So price then well remember when I said these were cheap how about less than £10 each for a decent sized foot print of MDF? Pretty good right? Now what about if I said that if you contact John directly and say ‘Bear made me do it’

For the next 30 days, he will offer you 20% off ebay prices which lets be honest is an amazing discount! The clock is ticking…

Oh you want the link very well here it is LINKY he is adding to his range all the time so keep your eye out.

Pulp City Starter Review

Hello and welcome to another review, this time I have managed to get my hands on the 2 starter sets for Pulp City. A small skirmish game of super heroes…..sorry Supremes battling each other for no other reason heroes and villains need 🙂

Today I have both starter sets to look at, on both sides of the line, the boxes are really nice, well the models come in a white box but the sleeve is really nice..

You get colourful artwork on the back (including info on what you are getting plus the classes of the supremes in each box), while the front shows off the models themselves in some great looking studio colour schemes. Well-presented boxes all round then but now for the exciting bit.

So whats in the boxes then? Well obviously we get shiny models bit of a short review otherwise.. We also get the character cards which have all the stats and unique actions on them. Usually thing nice bright cards that fit into MtG card sleeve.

The Baddies

The Goodies

What is also nice is each box comes with a poster style version of the quick start rules which are enough for you to get on with a game or two. As you don’t need the full book unless you are going to some of the more advance stuff. The poster also works nicely as a way of looking up rules quickly in the heat of battle.

Now for the actual shiny, on the whole the models are one piece metal models, this makes a change but also pleases me. Sometimes you don’t need models to be in a million pieces to give dynamic looking models. For someone who is very adept at gluing himself to various things the less super glue flying around the better

The detail is really nice on the models, they have made sure that the art imitates the model which is nice and they have kept true a scaling of the models.

What I mean by that is each model is slightly different in size which adds to the feel of individuality you would expect from heroes and villains.

Just overall some really nice fun models, sometimes we have some very serious looking models in this hobby and there is nothing wrong with camping it up on an odd occasion.

So overall the models are easy to put together 😉 while still keeping some nice dynamic poses, do they suffer a little from the flatness of one-piece models? Maybe a little bit but the poses are done in such a way that this is not a problem and they are all pretty nice. OK, maybe Wildman is a little odd and out of proportion but that probably works in his favour.

A fun set of models that are going to be fun to paint up in suitable 80s style.

#MythosDay First Look

Happy Mythos Day everyone.

Kickstarter pledges are raining down upon the masses.

Now I will be doing full reviews of the models when I actually get home and budding. But for now some Fan boy style gushing over a box of goodies 😉

The Rulebook

So it is soft back (but with card cover) while the pages are pretty thick and good quality. The printing is also good and the artwork looks so much better in real life than the digital versions in the pdf.

Cards

We have already covered the different cards in the rules review but in reality life they are really nice.

The station cards are huge and certainly have plenty of space for nice big bold text for those blind among us.. while the tracker cards are small enough to fit in a plastic sleeve with no issue. For easy marking, although I may laminate mine.

The extra quick guide cards are also a nice touch saves flicking through the book for the sanity table.

Models

Now for what we are here for the models, on first inspection mold and flash are pretty low on these models in generally. The resin as you can see captures sooooo much detail it’s scary, so crisp and well spot on. Painters are going to have a whale of a time with these bad boys.

So I will leave you with shiny model pictures till I do my full review of the Cult and Wild born…enjoy;

Mythos Review

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!!

Models

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?

The Book

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.

Game Housekeeping

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.

Stats

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.

Model Cards

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)

Sanity

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 😉

Mythos

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.

Attack Actions

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..

Disengaging Strikes

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

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.

Scenarios

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.

Overall

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.

Pros

  • Small model count
  • Simple mechanism
  • Unique and lovely models
  • Dynamic resource management

Cons

  • 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…)

Dropfleet Commander Token Review

Hello all been a while I did a review and while my main photo editing software is still playing up figured I need some content 😉

Handily I have just the thing to hand, the great guys over at LaserForge part of the The Model Exchange site has some really nice token sets for dropfleet commander. Which can only be a good thing with all the tracking you need to do.

The do some lovely ship trackers but in this review we are going to be looking at some other shiny things.

First up the Range Finder set – £12.95

Its available in various colours as you would expect, it comes with plenty of stuff which is great for the costs.

  • 8″ Movement ruler
  • 45 and 90 deg turn keys for both small and large bases
  • Blast Radius keys for when things go BOOM
  • Place Holders for bas types

I have the nice light blue acrylics the quality is great all the lines are nice and deep (for adding colour) and the numbers/lettering are done well also.

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The turn keys fit perfectly around the bases making for nice snug turning. The only issue I have is if you want to turn a ship in the middle of lots of other ships as the are pretty chunky.

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This obviously helps with the place holder keys so you can clear the cluster so you can turn, with much less fuss.

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Altogether and great little set to make playing that little bit easier and is also cool looking.

Next we have the Asset pack – £5.95

Which has oodles of tokens that cover all your needs for the second phase of the game. You are going to be swimming in infantry, tanks, and bombers etc. in this pack, the full list is

  • 4x Defence Batteries
  • 8x Tanks
  • 4x Triple Infantry
  • 6x Single Infantry
  • 3x Torpedo
  • 7x Bomber
  • 7x Fighter

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Like all the packs you can have either MDF or acrylic my examples are MDF as I plan to do some painting on them eventually.

Obviously these are pretty large tokens which do take up more real estate on the clusters but really it helps as all the shapes are different enough to make instant spotting the board much easier.

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While the remaining tokens all look cool and are nice and functional.

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As mentioned about the size of these tokens, the only one that may cause a little problem is the triple infantry marker as you can see its a pretty big’un.

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Despite the sizing of these tokens they are great value for the number you get and well who doesn’t like adding to their painting pile by painting some tokens as well 😀

Finally we have the Sectors pack – £3.95

Again I went with the MDF ones as these will be easy to paint up to match the sector colours, the pack contains:

  • 3x Military Sectors
  • 3x Comms Station Sectors
  • 3x Power Plant Sectors
  • 4x Commercial Sectors
  • 8x Industrial Sectors

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These are spot on to replace the cardboard tokens with no issue.

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Overall, these are really nice and have easily to tell what they are from the clear picture design which is always a win! A spot of colour will further extend this.

So altogether these are great little sets for anyone wanting to dip their toy into Dropfleet Commander and well worth looking at for their quality and price.

The Roots of Magic Review

Welcome to the latest review, this time we are going to be looking at the Roots of Magic game.

This is a really interesting game as the developers are taking a very slow and steady growth for the game.

Yes, eventually we are going to see a skirmish game emerge but at the moment we have a very small game which is going to be great to round out a gaming night when you have some spare time or just fancy something quick! Why this is, well we are going to be doing some Wizard duelling . Yep its time for some one on one fireballing 😉

Fluff

The fluff is based around a world of magic (go figure) in which the power that Wizards can use is drawn from the roots of the World Tree. These ‘roots’ are everywhere on the world (called Mellorian). With each of these roots being a different type of magic, this means we have different  magics and as such different houses of magic (the factions).

If you want to read more there is plenty on the website.

Miniatures

They look amazing and you can go to town on them as you only have 1 wizard 🙂 stay tuned for model reviews coming soon.

Rulebook

Only a pdf at the moment but it wont be too heavy to print out as it only comes in at a super light 30 pages. It is well laid and as a bonus it is a living rulebook, so changes are going to be easy to keep on top of but most important its FREE!!!! 🙂

Quick Lowdown

There are ranks in the game but currently we only care about Wizard level. Check out the Kickstarter which introduces the Acolyte level, which also increases the model count to 2. Premeasuring is allowed, which is very much the norm these days and makes sense you don’t see many wizards guessing how far to throw a spell!

The game is played on a 2×2 board but as part of that there is a duelling circle (12”) in centre of the board. Where I would imagine is going to see a good chunk of the action. Unusually the game uses D10s which is something I haven’t seen too much off, but more dice isn’t a problem.

Stats

The stats of a character are spread a couple of headers, we have the character cards then action cards which hold abilities/attacks for the model.

So what stats do we have then?

  • Affiliation – Which faction the model is from.
  • Rank – Mentioned above.
  • Keywords – These are generic rules to keep the front of the card cleaner (all Wizards have Magic as keyword for instance, which you read about on the back of the card).
  • Move – Distance in inches they can move.
  • Defence – How hard it is to hit the model, number is associated to the dice roll that needs to be rolled to hit the model, with the usual equal or above needed.
  • Will – the leadership/willpower stats used for initiative rolls it is also used to see if a model actually dies when they reach 0 wounds.

Rolling under the models Will minus 2 then they keep fighting on 1 wound, which is great idea as lets face it who hasn’t met a wizard who refuses to admit they got beaten.

  • Sovereign Cost – Most games have a cost for models, this is It for Roots of Magic.
  • Artefact Limit – This is the number of artefacts allowed to be attached to the model.
  • Power Limit – Maximum number of Power Tokens (see later) that a model can store.

All models have a Zone of Control (ZoC) which is 1” around the model anyone can enter this but if an enemy leaves the ZoC then you get a free attack against them as they leave. (As expected you can’t charge while in an enemies ZoC). You may also make ranged attacks in the ZoC but suffer a penalty for doing so, but you can’t target an enemy while a friendly model is in their ZoC.

Action Points/Power Tokens

Before going into the action cards a quick look at how you go about doing them, models generate Mundane Action Points (MAPs) and Power Tokens (PTs) that you can spend during their activation.

All models get 3 MAPs per activation and this is standard for all models, while Power tokens are variables and can vary from turn to turn but only to a maximum allowed on the model (Power Limit).

During a models activation the MAPs must be spent before PTs can be spent. This means that as you go through your activation you can do up to your 3 MAPs and whatever PTs the model is storing, you can however spend a mix of these if you don’t have enough MAP to cover the cost.

The type of actions are what we would expect really;

  • Walk – move your MOV value
  • Charge – Double MOV towards target with free swing at the end. (costs 2 AP)
  • Interact – Depends on the scenario what the cost is.
  • Concentration – Gain a concentration token (different number of tokens allowed depending on rank). These tokens allow you to add 2 extra dice to an action you are about to do (once per action) for a boost to get the action to occur.
  • Attacks/Abilities – Variable as we will see.

Action Cards.

These contain the abilities/attacks for a model both types follow the same layout for ease of use. So what do we see with either of these action types?

  • Name – Name of the action
  • Cost – This is the cost in MAPs/PTs to do the action, there are 2 variations of cost.

A single number [2] is the cost of points be it MAPs or PTs to use.

While [2/3] means that you most spend 2 points to activate the action but you most also have at least 3 points left on the model after the initial spend as a ‘store’. This is a way of showing a wizard storing energy to keep the action going

  • Type – Some additional Keywords for the action
  • Number of Allowed Dice – the number of dice you will roll *shock* there are some effects which may change this number, you can’t take an action that the dice number is 0.
  • If an attack then you need to beat the opponents defence, OR..
  • Target Number – This is seen for abilities and is the dice roll needed to succeed.
  • Requirements – Things that need to be met to allow the action to happen, be it LoS, Range etc.
  • Effects and Description – This could be damage if an attack or a condition, basically the outcome of a success of the action.

Applying Damage

In Roots of Magic you can aim an attack at an opponent and it could range from a tickle to taking an arm off this is based on the number of successful hits that are generated. There are 4 levels of damage from attacks so the level of damage is capped in the game so even when dice spike it wont change the game on a single roll.

So each attack does a set amount of damage seen in the description of the attack, we then get bonus damage based on the number of hits.

  • 1 Hit – causes Stun which gives the model hit the Burdened condition (so everything costs more 1ap to do than normal).
  • 2 Hits – causes a Light wound – 1 damage.
  • 3 Hits – causes a Medium wound – 2 damage.
  • 4+ Hits – cause a Severe wound – 3 damage.

So you roll really well you can a decent bonus but you are not going to evaporate a model on one attack.

Turn Phases

Are what you expect in a game:

  • Ready phase – Reset your MAPs and gain PTs based on Nexus Points and Source Stones (see later)
  • Focus phase – If you have acolytes on the board the wizard can take PTs off the acolyte for themselves.
  • Initiative phase – Highest roll wins initiative for the turn (draws the highest Will stat wins)
  • Activation phase – Do battle things
  • Maintenance phase – clear up time for conditions etc.
  • Tally phase – Scenario scoring.

Nothing to stressful here and all makes sense.

Terrain

Terrain features in the game are you would expect in any game (not broken don’t fix). So we have the usual broken (rough) ground  to dangerous and also hazardous ground.

While we have Levels of terrain for cover and LoS purposes and the terrain offers the usual effects we see such as cover being harder to hit and slowing down on the broken ground.

What is interesting is this is the handling of cover as it grants a condition to the model. This ties everything up into a set of rules which I sort of like. I havent seen this sort of thing before but feels pretty intuitive.

Power Token generation

So Power Tokens we have seen are important as they are a variable in the game resourcing of what a model can do BUT how do we get them?

Nexus Points – These 40mm markers are placed depending on scenario. They block movement (unless you can fly) for models and count as terrain for placement of in-game effects. Basically we are talking big magic rocks

The models then have Source Stones, about their person (except House Qing and the Diabolists, they have other means) which are really just amulets/rings etc.

These allow the models to access the Nexus points, Wizards and Acolytes can use Greater stones while all over model types are stuck with the standard less shiny ones.
What this means in-game is a model gains a power token a turn regardless of position on the board. However if near a Nexus point they can draw additional PTs from it depending on the scenario (standard is 2).
The standard stones can also do what greater ones can do but the model needs to be base contact with the Nexus point to gain the additional PTs.

So you have this balancing point leave your Nexus Point to go smash face BUT then the next turn you are going to maybe not be as productive as you have less PTs or if you can push an enemy away from their point to mess their plans up. It’s an interesting rule and will be another layer of tactical placement of models.

Conditions

Lots of attacks/abilities can hand out Conditions onto the target; all these conditions are cumulative IF applied several times.

There are the usual debuffs and buffs you would expect from slowing models down to making them re-roll etc. there is even a transmute condition which I want to see in action 🙂

There are a few options but I wont go into them, could talk for days..

Overall

A great little game that nicely sits in a place that would be held for a quick card game.

Pros

  • The model count is low 😉
  • The rules are free
  • Very quick to pick up and then play
  • Spiking dice (lucky buggers) are not going to run away with the game

Cons

  • Over to quickly
  • D10s are not the most popular dice about
  • No printer friendly rules at the moment (looks stunning but makes printers cry)