I backed this game on Kickstarter for various reasons. One, I like the quirkiness and look of the models something different from your boring dwarves and elves found in most fantasy games. Two, the gameplay looked unique, something other than the 4 to hit 4 to save of a lot of rules and three, the campaign creator looked like a nice genuine guy who wanted to share his world with ours.
So what do we get? First off the box is huge around 12” x 15” x 6” deep and there is a good reason for that, the trays are designed to accommodate the 3 expansion packs as well as the core game contents so can hold 25 Occulites and 18 Luftles in their allocated pockets as well as all the cards and counters for play. Another ingenious idea is that the box has two cut-outs down the short sides making it easy to remove the figure tray and playing board.
The playing board is a large 91cmx76cm 6-fold board made of thick card. It’s nicely decorated and marked in hexes for play, you also have various tracks down the side for turn marking as well as others to use during scenarios.
Each tribe (two in the core box) has a rule and attribute card, again made of very high quality as are all the card components, that is double sided. One side has all the tribes and main rules for beginner play and the other for advanced. Everything you need to play is written on these so there is minimal flicking through the rulebook.
The Tribes also have a dashboard for each Occulite that have dials to keep track of its attributes that can be adjusted during play and for campaigns.
There is also a ton of card pieces for terrain tokens and a 108 deck of cards for play, everything is of high quality.
In the game you get two full tribes of 5 Occulites each and two tribes of 9 Luftles. At first I was a little disappointed with these as the plastic is quite soft and bendy but the company has managed to retain all the detail so they do look pretty good. I was unsure about painting these due to the plastic type but had a go anyway, after a soapy was and a coat of primer I took my brush to them and they came out lovely and finished with a coat of acrylic wheel lacquer to protect them. After several games, the paint has stayed on and they are still looking good - result, and they are great fun to paint
Playing the Game
You have two option to play, as one off’s or campaign mode. In campaign mode you will experience and advance each occulite with better stats and additional abilities. There are 16 scenarios to play through (with more on the way) all different with various layouts, special rules and objectives, so you will not get bored with play. Even playing the same scenario will not get boring due to the games mechanics making each game different.
I won’t go into great detail about how the game plays as it will be better to watch a video but basically each player gets a hand of 7 cards from the Natural Selection Deck. Each card shows you how many models you can activate, an Attack and Defence value and a special rule. The problem is you can normally only use one of them when you play the card, this gives great tactical decision on how and when to play each card.
Unlike a lot of games where you just roll to hit, wound and save, in Dawn you play cards to see how many dice you roll, this can then be modded with special abilities or playing duplicate value cards. Attacker and Defender both roll to see how many successes they get, but this again can be modded or apply special rules from the cards. And even after the results it’s not all over as you can still play cards to run away, steal Sungems or knock models down or back. The combat is well details and great fun to play through.
Ralph H. Anderson
Lovely review and smashing paint job. My attempts never go so well!
I also really like your photography. Using the board as a floor and backdrop makes for a great composition.
For Eagle-Gryphon Games
I'd love to see some more info about the way the game actually plays!