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Assassinorum: Execution Force» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Suppose price is no object... rss

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Mark
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Found this game recently, through this very forum. Understand, I'm a recovering 40K addict (I've been clean for nearly a decade). But, still get my occasional fix from 40K spinoffs, like Space Hulk and Necromunda.

The animosity here directed towards A:EF is surprising. Cost. Content. Rules vagaries. And, of course, the "Gall Dang Games Workshop!" factor. I get all that! But, maybe I have a unique perspective on some of these "issues."

To begin with, A:EF's miniatures looked very familiar to me. Wait! I have long-forgotten, fully painted assassin miniatures left over from my old 40K era. True, they haven't seen the light of day in 0.01 Millennia.


You know, those Chaos Cultists are also very familiar. I have the same Dark Vengeance figs, painted up as a Chaos Cult, currently running rampant in Necromunda's seedy Underhive.


And, of course, I have painted Chaos Terminators for Space Hulk (who doesn't, right?).


I my have to use my imagination for come up with a Chaos Familiar (that is only a glorified turn counter, anyway)!


Hmmm...that's just enough fully painted miniatures to play the dang game!

A quick ebay scan found me a new A:EF set, without miniatures. For a whopping $20, total! Holy Eversor!

"Honey, I bought the Assassinorum!"

"The Ass-uh what?"

Why should you care? Don't you see...I come to the game without financial regrets, or any trepidation's about building and painting the mini's (mine were pre-painted by me back when my aging eyes could still see). And, I'm fully versed in the Dark Millennium background, so can judge the game's adherence to 40K Lore. Also, my feelings about Games Workshop fall soundly between antipathy and apathy. No GW agenda here.

As has been documented here, the cardboard contents (boards, counters, cards, rulebook) are great. Absolutely no regrets on that score.

After one single game, let me respectfully address some BGG forum concerns. Mostly, the rules are easy and clear. We didn't find anything we couldn't find quickly in the well-written, well-illustrated rulebook. There's no problem playing without a mythic FAQ.

And, the infamous LOS rules are easy to implement, on these convoluted and congested gameboards. They are different, maybe not perfect. But, the nature of the gameboards means you don't sweat the small stuff anyway. They play a bit better than they read. Besides, think about if LOS was not straight ahead, and was more wide-angle, instead. The Renegade AI rules would be more complex, and so would be their play. It's almost as if these unique LOS rules were specifically designed for these gameboards and this game. OK, I'm being facetious, but the unconventional LOS rules really are clever and functional.

The game system's clever control of the bad guys is not bad, either. I really like how "On Patrol" and "On Alert" work. Bad guys are also dangerous. They can force the good guys to take bad chances. True to theme, the assassins are deadly, but by no means invincible. The good guys are good to play with, with a bunch of interesting options. Our first game came down to the last turn, with one last chance to kill Ole Whats-His-Name. Note to the Officio Assassinorum: Chaos Sorcerer Lord Drask's Combi-Melta is 2xDeadly+2.

Is there really one Grand Strategy? Will I get tired of just one scenario? Even with a ton of random happenings each game? I dunno. I don't care. I am fully capable of adjusting and adding things to make things different or tougher. I have only myself to please, and only myself to blame.

Yup, a really serious review of gameplay probably requires playing ten games with various opponents. OK, no problem. If I clear my schedule, and divorce my wife, and abandon my kids, I know I can get in five games. In like the next five years. So, replay is aspirational to me, not a realistic requirement.

No, it ain't Space Hulk. Don't...even...go there! Space Hulk is my Jam, Man! I have every version of Space Hulk, and more than one copy of a couple of SH editions (GW, I can't quit you...).

Bottom line is I feel I got some real good value for my solitary Sawbuck (Don't hate me because I'm thrifty, my wife and daughter spend MUCH more on haircuts, nails, and eyebrows than my son and I do on gaming).

A:EF scratches a different itch, strokes different folks, is a hand in a different bush. For my minuscule money, the game is very 40K evocative. Has great components. Plays fast and furious. And, is grim, dark fun.

To paraphrase The Bard, "Seriously, it's all good, ya'll!"
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Gregg Lewis
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I did something similar ... I bought a brand new copy when it came out and recouped my money by selling off the new assassins (I have my metal ones from '97ish) and the cultists (I picked up those back when dark vengeance came out for a necromunda gang) I kept the terminator lord

I also picked up some no-minis sets for about 25 for some friends ... one of the uses coins for playing pieces and the other uses Lego figs

I've enjoyed it ... it does play different from Space/Hulk/Crusade/etc.

The thing I have learned from many plays is that the 'game within the game' is managing the amount of on alert renegades (drowning in 4 event cards/turn is deadly) and trying your best to manage the room draws ... its nice when the two objective room cards come early and are close together

Glad you're enjoying it. Since this one didn't sell like space hulk, we might see a few FULL sets discounted in a few months

-G
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Bryce K. Nielsen
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The only complaint I've had about the game was the price. $125 is a lot for any, let alone this one...

-shnar
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Mark
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In our first (and only game, so far), the first room we revealed had 3 Cultists. Between that and Event Cards, we realized that revealing too many rooms too close together can fill the board with too many Cultists. This reminded me of another favorite game, All Things Zombie: The Boardgame (notice my Avatar), where searching houses too quickly and too close together, and shooting weapons too often can quickly attract too many zombies. Too many to be easily handled. In both games, player's actions or inaction's can influence the number of enemies on the board. In our game, we clodded around a bit and pretty much filled the Sanctum with cultists. Made enough noise to Alert most of them. shake

The Cultists that get placed when rooms are revealed become a royal pain in the patootie. True, they are initially stunned. But, then they recover to "On Alert" status and come a'gun'n for the assassins.

Because it's another GW boardgame on a similar "scale," A:EF invariably gets compared to Space Hulk. That's a bit unfair. Not because Space Hulk is so superior (OK, SH is pretty much superior to most games), but because SH has such a legacy, such nostalgia, and it's latest editions are Chock Full'O high quality components. A:EF is new, but no slacker. It has quality components, good gameplay, and 40K caché. The real elephant in the room is A:EF's price. One can almost recoup the price of the game by selling just the four assassin figs. By the same token, I bought me some extra Space Hulk sets without miniatures for bargain prices. That is simply the nature of this GW beast. Their high demand stuff demands high prices. Rail against it if you will. But, you are really railing against other GW gamers. GW sells products to meet demand, it's not a charity.

Yep, they could have made different design choices with A:EF. Mixing unique collector's edition assassin models with starter set Chaos models is ever-so-clever. And, the natives here on BBG, a boardgame oriented website, don't always get the Games Workshop miniatures thing. Don't get that to the wider Games Workshop audience, the GW miniatures are not just boardgame pieces. It used to be that GW made boardgames to introduce people to their miniatures and their 40K Universe. Now, the miniatures and the 40K Universe can sell the boardgames. The A:EF price is heavily influenced by the desirability of the assassin figs and their tie-in with 40K. Another A:EF review cleverly called it a "40K tax." I'm not saying this was the right way to go. At least, at the very least, what you get is a high quality game.
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Bryce K. Nielsen
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Oh, I like the game, it just feels like my a $75 or so game than a $125 game. So getting it for $20 is a steal

-shnar
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Mark
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If I can only control my insidious assassin envy. shake
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Andy Dunks
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I got a copy without models on Ebay for $35, and thought it was money well spent. Perhaps there are more still available.

The game is quite good, and unlike anything else on the market. I only hope that there will be expansions, though I'm not holding my breath.
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Bryce K. Nielsen
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Heh, expansion. Most likely in 3 years GW will release a new version, exact same game with one more mission for $150...

-shnar
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Mark
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Not before I get my Advanced Space Crusade 'spansion, if'n I have any say in't! I mean, A:EF's system could be used to search the innards of a Tyranid Hive Ship, right? After all, it's been 24 years since ASC came out. OH, wait, back then I split that game with a guy who wanted the boards, and I wanted the miniatures. So, yeah, nevermind.

My highly uninformed question is: Does the quality of the A:EF's components inhibit the ease and expense of making an expansion?
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Gregg Lewis
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This is my one complaint: I wish they had made the boards double sided, uniformly shaped with a more modular design (Space Crusade/Zone Mortalis)

The Unit cards, event cards and room cards are easily reproducible/customizable ... would have to come up with a way to disperse spawn points (easy 'nuff)

The unit stats are REALLY similar to the rules in the space hulk bible I think that you could adapt 40k units pretty easily with the SH bible as a guide.
 
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Don Johnson
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Got the game without the assassins for 34 € and really like it.

Very cool style and the gameplay is very smooth, although you got quite some meaningfull choices with the assasins skills etc.

A mustbuy for every 40k fan imo.


PS:Expansions in WD arent unlikely.
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Gregg Lewis
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My son and I have been testing our own. We've done 'Nids, Orks and Tau against a 5 man Marine squad. We added door rules, becuase we've been using old space crusade boards.

works fairly well, so far.

dosto wrote:
Got the game without the assassins for 34 € and really like it.

Very cool style and the gameplay is very smooth, although you got quite some meaningfull choices with the assasins skills etc.

A mustbuy for every 40k fan imo.


PS:Expansions in WD arent unlikely.
 
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Mark
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A:EF's basic structure should easily accommodate other races, other places, other objectives. Tweaking stats would be easy enough. Changing abilities should be fun for the whole family. Even if one doesn't change a thing, a Dawn of War type scenario with four Space Marine Scouts sent to kill an Ork Warlord who is accompanied by Slugga and Shoota boyz, and some Nobz would work just fine. Of course, a Gretchin for a turn counter.

A tactical difference between E:AF and Space Hulk's game play is models in SH can shoot or fight up to 4-to-10 times per phase. So, SH is a good horde vs elites game. E:AF assassins only have one shoot or fight action (plus a limited number of tactics). This makes it better for a game where both opponents have guns. They wont completely destroy each other side in one round of shooting. But, it would be less good for accommodating a board full of Genestealers, or their like. On the other hand, models are more mobile in A:EF, as movement is not action point dependent. A blend of the two systems could be the best of both worlds. Possibly combining SH's action points with A:EF's Patrol/Alert mechanics.
 
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