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Defenders of the Last Stand» Forums » Reviews

Subject: A Brief Review of Defenders of the Last Stand rss

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J. Chris Miller
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Utah
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Defenders of the Last Stand is a post-apocalyptic "Mad Max" themed game in which players control rangers who are defending a sanctuary from outside gangs. I'm going to describe the flow of the game, talk about components, and then give my final thoughts.

Gameplay

The game takes place on a board of 38 or so spaces, each with their own name, with The Last Stand being a sanctuary for the heroes in a section in the center of the map.

Players can spend up to 7 action tokens to do a variety of different things such as move, attack, scavenge for items, go on an adventure, complete a mission, and a few other things.

The best way to describe the mechanics of this game is Pandemic meets Eldrich Horror. The object of the game is to fight off hoards of enemies from 4 factions and make sure they don't make it to The Last Stand. If 4 minions or 1 faction leader makes it into the city, you lose the game.

At the end of your turn you draw raider cards appropriate to the stage that you are in and place raiders. Like Pandemic, if you ever need to place a minion on the board and cannot, you lose the game as well. Also like Pandemic, if you ever need to place a 4th minion on a space it causes an overrun, just like outbreaks only there aren't chain reactions.

You defeat enemies by rolling dice and making a check. Successes depend on the faction. Reds need 3+, Yellows need 4+ and Greens need 5+ to succeed. The Blue faction requires that you have a special encounter to defeat them.

So you go around fighting off minions and preventing outbreaks and go on adventures and dig up old artifacts, all the while building yourself up to take on a leader. At the end of your turn you take colored cards (Like Pandemic...I'm going to stop saying that now haha). You use these to defeat the Leaders. For each one you use you get to roll 1 or 2 dice, whatever is printed on the card. If you defeat the leader, there is an epilogue of their story and you get a bonus for their faction, making their minions much easier to defeat. As mentioned, kill all 4 Leaders to win.

Components

This game is somewhat pricey, but maybe not as much as I originally thought. When I first looked it up on CSI it had the retail at 110. But looking around it looks like you can get it for 80ish retail and 72 at CSI. For the price, you get a LOT of stuff. Lots of cards, lots of minis, and a really nice board with good art. The cards are of good quality and have great art. The chits had mediocre art that looked like a step up from clip art. Which isn't too bad because they're just chits.

Which brings us to the minis. Holy cow these are pretty bad quality. Soft plastic, and very breakable. That said, their only purpose is to represent minions, so they could've very well been cubes. The actual sculpts are cool looking and evoke the theme but yeah they skimped pretty hard on quality. They are serviceable, but you will break off pieces of them within your first playthrough.

There are a few graphic design issues. One which is pretty glaring is a piece of art that you could tell just forgot to be photoshopped out. Overall, the game really just needed a little bit more polish. I'm actually surprised companies can get away with doing that these days.

So, great cards, evocative board, crappy minis.

Final Thoughts

I had a blast playing this game. It has so many things to do and it really evokes a feeling of being out in the wasteland and surviving while trying to hold off hoards. There are 8 or so characters that you can use which all have 2-3 very unique abilities that are thematic. The bosses are mechanically thematic, and the adventures tell neat little stories.

If you like dice-chucking theme-filled games, this is a great one on par with Eldrich Horror. This one feels a lot more alive in a lot of ways because of how crazy the board becomes with minis. Pandemic is one of my favorite games and this scratches a lot of the same itch as Pandemic, though strangely it feels like a completely different experience. And that's because you have to actually roll dice to clear out areas. And the diseases, or leaders in this case all have special abilities that make them difficult to take down.

I'm just going to come out and say it. The game is long. Really long for what it is. It took us 5-6 hours to complete our second game. By this point we already knew what we were doing, and we were moving at a decent pace. And to be honest, you don't really feel the time go by. You just look back at the clock and another hour or so has passed. The box says 2-3 hours but I can't see it. The game has an extremely epic quality to it, so there's excitement throughout. Just realize you're in for a long haul. That said, it was exciting the whole time and it didn't feel like it was dragging on at any point.

Despite some of the components being mediocre, you definitely get your money's worth out of the box. There are 3 scenarios to complete and there are lots of characters, special items and adventures. One more thing I'll mention. If you end your turn in a place with radiation, you have a chance to gain a mutation. These are almost always positive, but if you collect too many (usually 3) then your character dies and spawns a monstrosity. Still, it's fun and fits the theme brilliantly.

If you're a fan of Eldrich Horror-style games, I'd highly recommend this. You just have to plan for a long, epic experience. I rate pretty high compared to most bgg readers, and I'd rate this a 9. Thanks for reading.
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steven shaw
United Kingdom
ashton under lyne
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Great review, I've fancied this quite a lot just lately and I think you have just told me all I need to know...definitely a future purchase. Cheers
 
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Rick Vinyard
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coyotemoon722 wrote:
They are serviceable, but you will break off pieces of them within your first playthrough.

I'm curious, which pieces were breaking off which minis?

They're kind of a flexible PVC which is similar to the Reaper Bones line, and I can't see any of mine actually breaking, even if thrown violently across the room into the wall. And I mean that seriously, and not just hyperbole... I can't see mine breaking even with force.

Perhaps you got a batch that the plastic was a bad mix???
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reaching out from the in-between spaces...
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Baldwin
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Yeah, no breaking of mini's here. I wasn't expecting CMON quality mini's, so I was happy with what I got in the box.

I'll also add that Scenario 1 is like a tutorial, so not as much pressure to finish the game as you have in the other scenarios. That is to say, you can finish Scenario 1 at a leisurely pace which may make it seem like a Lon game, but after you get the game down it's a 2-3 hour game. Unless of course your group spends a lot of time debating on who should do what on a turn (this can happen with any co-OP).

But, no, 5-6 hours is not a typical playtime for this title. It sounds more like a group thing. But who cares, right? As long as everyone enjoyed it and wants to get the game back to the table.

Jorune
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J. Chris Miller
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Sorry you're going to have to give me video proof of beating Scenario 2 in 2 hours.
 
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Steve Billups
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rvinyard wrote:
coyotemoon722 wrote:
They are serviceable, but you will break off pieces of them within your first playthrough.

I'm curious, which pieces were breaking off which minis?

They're kind of a flexible PVC which is similar to the Reaper Bones line, and I can't see any of mine actually breaking, even if thrown violently across the room into the wall. And I mean that seriously, and not just hyperbole... I can't see mine breaking even with force.

Perhaps you got a batch that the plastic was a bad mix???


I had limbs fall off of the Amazons and the Techies. You can just press them back on. When I first got the game I boiled everything in an attempt to improve the bent/wonky pieces and I had some arms floating around. It's not a big deal. My big issue with the game is the length as the reviewer stated.
 
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Neil Edmonds
United States
Washington
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Do you need more card ideas for the D&D Adventure System games?
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The game had a Kickstarter target of 60k and it only got into the low 80's, which is probably why the miniatures suffered a little bit. I bet they'd be awesome if we hit 200k or CMON levels of funding.

Here's my post on replacement figures.

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Rick Vinyard
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xord wrote:
rvinyard wrote:
coyotemoon722 wrote:
They are serviceable, but you will break off pieces of them within your first playthrough.

I'm curious, which pieces were breaking off which minis?

They're kind of a flexible PVC which is similar to the Reaper Bones line, and I can't see any of mine actually breaking, even if thrown violently across the room into the wall. And I mean that seriously, and not just hyperbole... I can't see mine breaking even with force.

Perhaps you got a batch that the plastic was a bad mix???


I had limbs fall off of the Amazons and the Techies. You can just press them back on. When I first got the game I boiled everything in an attempt to improve the bent/wonky pieces and I had some arms floating around. It's not a big deal. My big issue with the game is the length as the reviewer stated.

The water probably loosened the glue. I've had that happen before, which is why I generally abscond with my wife's hair dryer for thinner plastic like the Amazon's arrows.

I normally keep a bottle of Loctite Professional Super Glue for assembling resin and PVC minis. A very small drop of any Super Glue would fix them back... probably permanently or near enough permanent.

Here's the bottle I use:


Lately, for the PVC Reaper Bones I've been using Oatey PVC cement which can be found in the plumbing section of Home Depot, Lowes, et. al. The advantage is that it is a solvent cement which permanently welds the plastic together rather than an adhesive like Super Glue that is the bond between to pieces.
 
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