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Subject: A Review After Two Games At Gencon rss

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randall fischer

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I was fortunate enough to sit down for two games of this at Gencon this past weekend. Midway through our play session, after the first game, two players had to leave, so we started and finished a second game with two Mythic personnel (one on each side). It was an amazing game! I'll just get that out there. Below I'll get into the details, but words will not adequately express how much I enjoyed this game.

Premise: Hera, in a fit of rage and jealousy, destroys Olympus and sends the Gods crashing to the ground. As a result, they must fight to reclaim their divinity and place in the post-apocalyptic world they find themselves in. Armed with incredible powers, fearsome monsters from legend, and heroes of the great epics, they wage epic battles across a war torn world. I simply loved the theme. It ties in to gameplay for reasons that I will get into in a minute, and it takes the classics, which I love, and turns them on their heads by adding a healthy dose of the Apocalypse.

Type of Game: This is a miniatures based game at its heart. However, it differs in so many ways from other miniature games like War Machine, Warhammer, and Malifaux.

First, is the time commitment. We played two games with explanation in less than two hours. Each was a tug of war of hard choices and filled with epic moments. At no point did this feel like a light and easy game, although the rules couldn't have been easier to follow and more intuitive to play. This was a refreshing break from many of the other mini games out there that take hours to play.

Second, the miniatures do not have to be assembled. They are incredibly beautiful (we did play with the resin masters, but they did have some of the Conan plastics which looked amazing) hard plastic minis that a person playing this game can paint if they wish, or not, and they still look incredible. From what I saw, these are top tier minis that would look amazing on any collector's shelf.

Third, the ruleset is much easier to understand and far less fiddly than other game systems. Measurement is not done with rulers. Units move from one zone on the map to the other. Line of sight is easy to calculate, and although terrain does have an effect on units, the rules are intuitive, make sense, and are very easy to remember. This is a game that you could teach children and non-gaming persons (NGPs) and have them ready to play in about ten minutes.

Finally, unlike the constructed format of the games I listed above, there isn't list building like in most miniature games. The army selection is done via a draft. Roll dice, highest picks what god they want to play. The next player picks their god, and then army selection starts. We played with 4 players, with each selecting one of the 4 gods in the base game (Zeus, Athena, Ares, or Hades). Following that, you draft heroes and monsters. You have 8 points to spend. Monsters ranged from 4 points for the mighty Hydra and Cerberus, to 2 points for the medusa. Heroes also ranged from 2-4 points. Troops, like the Spartans, Centaurs, and Hell Hounds all cost 1 point. It was a fast process and we were ready to play in less than 5 minutes.

So how does it play? As each creature, hero, and god is drafted, the player takes a small deck of cards that is unique to each model or group of models. Slower monsters have less cards, and therefore less activations, and troops and more agile monsters have more cards. In addition to the creature cards, the player will take 3 Art of war cards (or more if creatures or gods give them more)and shuffle all the cards together to create that players action deck. Determine a start order, and get to playing. Each player will draw up a hand of cards, and play will start. On a player's turn, they will draw a card and play a card to activate a unit. Since everything starts off of the board, generally the first turn or two, cards are spent bringing units onto the board. Activating a unit generally means bringing it onto the board or moving it up to it's movement value. That unit can then attack by rolling dice equal to its attack value provided a target is in range. I wont get into the dice mechanic in this brief review, but for each hit that makes it through a target's defense, that target rotates its wheel to the right, or if it is a troop, one troop is removed for each hit. As the wheel gets lower, stats can change, and troops can lose abilities if they are not a full strength.

If any player runs out of cards, they reshuffle their discard...and so does everyone else.

So...those Art of War cards I mentioned? Those are really powerful cards that have multiple effects. They can mitigate a bad draw by allowing a player to search through his deck to find a particular unit that he really needs to activate soon (though playing it right away would require another art of war card). They can also be used to allow a second unit to activate on a player's turn. The same unit cannot activate twice (unless they are Ares, who has frenzy, and likes to murder everything in his space). Art of war cards can also be used to activate a unit's special attack such as Cerberus' hellfire breath or medusa's petrifying gaze. These attacks are nasty, and using them at the right time can have a massive impact on play.

The game is won when a god falls or absorbs enough divinity (crystals on the map).

Opinion: This game is incredible. I loved the models. I loved the theme. I loved the streamlined gameplay. I have been playing minis games for 20 years, and I have not had nearly as much fun compressed into a 45 minute session as I did playing this game. I simply cannot recommend it enough. This game will be on kickstarter in the fall according to the Mythic folks, and if I landed a review copy somehow (wink wink), I'd have videos up showing off the amazing gameplay. I'll happily answer any questions I can regarding my time with the game.

Amazing moments of note from two games:


Ares killing several Spartans, then throwing the king of Sparta across the map, and then charging and severely wounding and throwing Athena right into range of a Hades/Cerberus charge.

Watching Ares battle for his life against a Hydra and Achilles in a race against time to see if Hades could chase down Athena and kill her before the god of war was dragged down.

watching Zeus fall after several rounds of sustained arrow fire from a group of hard to reach amazons led by Atalanta.

Hades continually regenerating as things around him died...oh, and setting things on fire.

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Dennis Engilis
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I'm going to have to check this puppy out. I have, I believe, the original version of this game with both expansions except that the version I have did not use figures but tokens instead. The game is great but I almost immediately wished it included figures. If this is the same game I'll be buying it in a heartbeat. Thanks for sharing!
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Trent Y.
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Kythrid wrote:
I'm going to have to check this puppy out. I have, I believe, the original version of this game with both expansions except that the version I have did not use figures but tokens instead. The game is great but I almost immediately wished it included figures. If this is the same game I'll be buying it in a heartbeat. Thanks for sharing!


It is the same game. I think they change publishers. And are going to minis over pogs.

So buy it! Buy 2 copies! It'll be awesome.
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randall fischer

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Yeah, I think, and I could be a bit off here, that the KS will come with 32 minis plus stretch goals
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Nick Johnson
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I love that they've teased other Pantheons as future expansions\base games. I want to see Thor square off against Ares.
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Chris O
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Great review! Im fairly certain that I was the other player whom played both games for that demo session lol.
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Hestis
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I've got to agree with everything you've said here. We played two games as well, a 2v2 on Friday, and then came back with another friend that wanted to play on Sunday and played a 1v1v1.

It's jut like you said, easy to learn lots of fun, not a major time commitment, and some amazing looking minis (just look at the designs on the shields). The Mythic guys were super friendly, and knew the game backwards and forwards. I love the fact that there's a lot of room for expansion just within the Greek mythology, and the thought of maybe expanding to Egyptian, Asian, Norse, etc... there's a ton of potential here.

I do have one major concern with the game, though... The effect it's going to have on my wallet. I seriously think this might be my first all-in KS pledge.
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Hild Thegreat
France
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Hey guys,

As a french, I also was fortunate to play the game during an event called 'Mythic Tour" when the game designers go throughout France with a proxy of the game and present it. If you are as eager as me to get more information aout the game, the mini quality, artwork (somes are mind blowing), I warmly recommend you to check Mythic game web site : http://us.mythicgames.net/ and also to check Mythic battle Facebook : https://fr-fr.facebook.com/MythicBattles/ (by the way they talk about your review there ).

Thanks for the review



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PAC PAC
France
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Nice review.
I am not a big fan of skirmish type of game but I did play several time the proto version and I must agree with you : it's fun.

Fast setup, simple rules (no need for ruler, checking the rule book ..), fast game very dynamic.
If you like mini (big mini..) you will love it.
The game mechanic is easy to understand and offer plenty of strategy (movement and combat).
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Andy Cahard
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ChaplainCassius wrote:
Yeah, I think, and I could be a bit off here, that the KS will come with 32 minis plus stretch goals


I think it's 38 minis with 20 different sculpts... And, I hope, with everyone's help, a ton of stretch goals !!!
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Geoff ...
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ChaplainCassius wrote:
I wont get into the dice mechanic in this brief review

Why not? I appreciate your review, but avoiding the dice mechanic in a miniatures game with dice-based combat seems a strange decision...

Is it really that complicated to explain?

Thanks again!
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Hestis
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When you roll the dice you can get results from a blank to a 5.
Blanks count as zero, but can sometimes be used for a character's special ability.
If you get a 5, you re-roll that die, and add this result to 5.
If you get a result from 1-4, you can use those to bump another roll up to 5, or hold them in reserve to bump your re-rolls up.

So, say you roll 6 dice, and get the following: 5,5,4,3,2,blank

The blank is zero, unless you have a hero with a special ability that uses it (ie, mighty throw, which lets you move opponent into a different space, or Achilles (I think) who can count blanks as a blank or a 1).
You could use the 2 to bump the 4 to a 5 (I believe it's a one point bump per die, and not the face value, but I could be remembering incorrectly). Alternatively, if your opponent's defense score was 7, you could use two dice from the 2,3, or 4 to bump up one of your 5s for a guaranteed hit.

So let's say you use the 2. Discard the blank and the 2. You now have 5,5,5, and a 3 in reserve.

You re-roll your 5s, and get blank,2,4

The blank is discarded. Special abilities can only use a blank on the first roll, not on a re-roll. the 2 and 4 get added to the 5s, and you can use the 3 to bump up the remaining 5 (again, I believe by one point, but not 100% positive).

Your final totals are 6 (5+1point bump from the 3), 7(5+2), 9(5+4). You then compare these values to your opponent's defense score to see if you hit. You do know this score ahead of time, which could influence how you use the dice.

I hope I explained this well enough. The OP might be able to do a better job. I just can't for the life of me remember if using a die to bump up another is face value or 1 point per die.
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Trent Y.
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Hestis did a fine job explaining the rolls. (And the way it works is each die discarded can be used to raise another die up by a point. Doesn't matter what value was on the discarded die).

So that explained the mechanics. To put it into perspective I will relate some of my experiences in the original version (same dice mechanic) and explain why it is so awesome.

Attack rolls are made vs a Defense. Each time you match or beat that defence results in a wound to the target. In the original game wounds were tracked via cards, now it sounds like it'll be a dial. The point is, as wounds are inflicted, the target's stats will lower and weaken.

Now the Defence of units in the original game were between 5-7 on average and IIRC the highest was a 9.

--So let's take a 5 Defense. Each 5 you rolled on your dice results in a wound.

--Now consider a 7 Defense. Say you roll a 4, 4, 2. Sacrifice the 2 to change the 4 to a 5. Now it explodes and you roll...a 1. 5+1=6. Not enough to wound, unless you sacrifice that 2nd original 4. That converts the 6 to a 7 and boom, you've got a wound.

The strength of the dice mechanic is constistincy. You will not always get fantastic or poor results, but you will OFTEN get solid results. Basically not every attack will inflict brutal damage but any hit can inflict some damage. Even weak units have their place.

The original game played out with 100 points. I had the gymnists units which is a 1 pt unit. The weakest in the game. They have a 3 dice attack and are otherwise just a speed bump for enemy armies. That being said, I used that attack to attack a very weak monster (can't remember which one) that had 1 wound left and a 7 Defense. Rolled a 4, 4 and 2. Victory was mine from the weakest unit in the game!

So keep in mind that the die mechanic, while a bit strange on the surface, seems designed to generate nice, consistent results throughout the game.
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Ben Johnson

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I did a session at Gencon, and yeah, it was a lot of fun, and the minis are probably the best I've seen. I'll definitely be keeping my eyes peeled for it.
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randall fischer

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I just wanted to get into the general game play. I didn't want to bog down an already lengthy review with combat examples and stats. It's a dice based minis wargame, which I figured would suffice for a written review. I also figured if anyone had any additional questions, I'd just answer them in the discussion portion. It looks like some fellow gamers did a great job of delving into the dice mechanics!
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Denis Maddalena
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HP are tracked by dials? Did stats modify as damage was taken? The first edition of the game was kind of like HeroClix, except with cards instead of clicks... so your characters changed stats as they went. They might have also gained or lost abilities, not sure.
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pierre-alexandre vigor
France
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eypyeash wrote:
HP are tracked by dials? Did stats modify as damage was taken? The first edition of the game was kind of like HeroClix, except with cards instead of clicks... so your characters changed stats as they went. They might have also gained or lost abilities, not sure.


note that the dials will not be used in the final version of the game, we have replaced them with Dashboards that operate on the same principle but show more information on the same side.
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