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Subject: These ugly humans make monsters look pretty!!! rss

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Sam Leung
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Hey y'all folks!!!!!

It's been a loooong wait since the Kickstarter and while there was discontent regarding the swap in hero characters, some delay, I won't be harping on any of those things. No point at all.

Let's talk about what's great in this game and wat was sub-par.

Let start w the good stuff.

Fun options

1)There is a great variety of choices u get to make affecting your own efficiency in Killing orcs and protecting your rift. Do you buy Traps or gear or weapon upgrades? Do I deposit skulls in the rift pool now or later? Shucks! when shld you use our ultimate ability? All these decisions are nicely integrated and have a good mix of short term success vs long term strategy which is important in a game like this preventing it from becoming a mindless alpha gamers dice fest.


2)Clean and simple card effects/combat resolution.

Traps and items are really simple(I was expecting more complexity like activated traPs requiring 'cool down time' but could see why this works better) Items are usually there to do a variety of things,main difference is, items stack to the heroes existing ability and traps just affect a single tile specifically.

Combat is pretty straight forward. All characters, even heroes, have vulnerabilities represented in the form of icons that are on the dice in the game. The attacker is simply trying to roll dice to match the defenders vulnerability to deal a hit. Minions die when u do that, heroes take one hit. If there are multiple icons, u need to match them all to damage the attacker. All minions have one health regardless of size. Simple right?

3) minion movement/upkeep

This phase when too complex can be an issue and add lots of down time. Yet if it's too simple, it cld take away any purpose and variety in strategizing if the same sequence is gonna happen again and again. Right?

Here is a brief idea of wat minions phase is like.

A)Move all minions either one or two spaces. With a very few exceptions, minions move one space. After movement u spawn new minions, then spring ALL the traps and resolve damage. Minions at the rift at this point, deal damage to the rift and gets removed. Finally, all minions attack heroes in their tiles. Players get to decide whom minions attack if multiple targets are available.

b) Spawn points. Each spawn point starts with a stack of 3 'army' cards that seed your minions. U only flip one each turn. After u flip the last card of that army stack, the game difficulty increases a level (minions stats increase but u get access to new traps and gear) and depending on the map difficulty, MORE spawn points might be added. Regardless, this happens once more at level 3 and if u ar still alive that point, no more minions spawn. This is the final wave and u might have a chance to win! U win if after all minions are removed from the board and u STILL have remaining rift health.

C) there are bosses u can add into the game that spawn specifically at the start of level 2, level 3 and at the end of level 3. Meaning, u can only use up to 3 bosses per game. These do add an intersting variety. Also givn the fact that the designer has added a alternate boss card for EVERY SINGLE HERO, it's a shitload of variety for u but only if u have both sets of the game plus expansions.

In the case of OMD, I am happy to say that they managed to balance the unpredictability/difficulty of minions and book-keeping to still have you trying to build the best combo of traps and items to be an efficient Orc slayer.

Inevitably: (Big sigh......) The BAD STUFF

User interface.

The boards in this game are big. all the minion stats are printed on a big sheet of thick paper or thin board. the MOST important thing we wanna refrence are the the dice icons which are a tad too small and really makes me wonder why they bothered to make such a big board.
Man... red text on a dark brown border printed on a 43x65mm card is really... Eye straining. Especially trap cards on a board. That's just a bad choice of colors. Especially when the text says 'discard after use' right at the bottom of the card.

Ok here is just an idea of the board size. Four player boards, a rift board together with the minion stats board will take up slightly more than a third of 3x3 table(but I still have to squint to see the icons).

(Luckily, thanks to its clean design and intuitive nature, it's easy to remember most of wat the minions do after one play)

Miniatures: WARNING!!! READ THIS IF U LIKE MINIS!!!

For plastic lovers out there, lower your expectations right now. This might not be the quality u wld have been waiting so long to receive.
It's not ALL bad though, the bigger minis are really nice. The smaller ones are where my eyes hurt when I look a them (ahhh maybe that's wat the big boards are for. I need the BIG portrait on them to remember my character's face). The level of detail on some of the miniatures are terrible and a very far cry from Cthulhu wars, or zombicide or Spartacus or blood rage but still erm.... maybe slightly better than project elite's minis(which doesn't say anything) If the minions look like crap, it's fine. They are there to slaughter But when the main hero and heroine also suffer from the same lack of love, THAT I think it is really negligent!

Considering the price point and standard of quality these days, these minis are really average.
Remember, this is just isolated to all the smaller guys though. If there is ONE good thing to say about the minis, is that they use softer plastic for some of the weapons so that they won't break too easily. (This matters to me cos I just separated all these fellas into separate ziplock and squeezed them into one core box.)

Wow. That's a long one sorry for my endless rant...anyways, end of the day, DO I LIKE IT?

A light to medium game in terms of complexity with lots of thought to player scaling and having 20+ map options with 16 playable heroes AND 20 bosses, is just AWESOME. Great complexity:strategy:fun ratio. I can see even non gamers having a fun evening with OMD.

There is a 4vs4 game mode I am dying to try and that wld decide whether OMD is a true winner. Despite that, OMD surely has a placing on my shelf cos IT is a solid coop game. It's streamlined, easy to get into, has lots of options and is designed to have a very climatic ending. It represents the video game rather well.



These reasons outweigh the negatives and since I value gameplay over miniature quality on any day it's probably a keeper for me.

Thanks for reading fellas.

Sam!









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Joe Crane
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Re: This uglhumans make monsters look pretty!!!
I was afraid of the quality of the minis. Long wait for crappy minis.
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Arthur Petersen
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Re: This uglhumans make monsters look pretty!!!
The vs (rivalry) mode is amazing! The only way to play!

Thank you for the review!
 
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Sam Leung
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existoid wrote:
The vs (rivalry) mode is amazing! The only way to play!

Thank you for the review!


Thanks Arthur! I been looking at the different character powers and can imagine the synergy between many of them! Can't wait to try this!
 
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Geoff ...
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Reading that the minis are a far cry from Cthulu Wars, Zombicide etc. is disheartening. Especially so after promises that delays were due to the trademark Peterson quality control, and the "look at Cthulu Wars for an idea of the quality you should expect" type comments made during the KS to reassure backers who decried the original 3D renders.

This could be my last Peterson KS, which is a shame as they seem to be great guys with great ideas. Execution, on the other hand...

EDIT: oh wow, I hope you're exaggerating when you say the minis are only slightly better than Project: Elite.
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Sam Leung
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Geoff wrote:
Reading that the minis are a far cry from Cthulu Wars, Zombicide etc. is disheartening. Especially so after the promises that the huge delays were due to the trademark Peterson quality control, and the "look at Cthulu Wars for an idea of the quality you should expect" type comments made during the KS to reassure backers who decried the original 3D renders.

This could be my last Peterson KS, which is a shame as they seem to be great guys with great ideas. Execution, on the other hand...

EDIT: oh wow, I hope you're exaggerating when you say the minis are only slightly better than Project: Elite.


Mm... to be fair u take a look and see for yourself. Max's head is not proportional to his body? The archer lady's draw fore arm has sorta blended into her biceps, and the lady w a spell book barely has a face.

Dang... sorry man, my photos ain't that good. Hope they gave u some idea wat to expect though.
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Geoff ...
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Thanks for your efforts Sam.

The minis are not focused in those images (your finger is, just look at the skin detail!), so it's pretty difficult to tell if there are detail or quality problems.

I don't mind the head to body proportions, the OMD art style is whimsical after all.
 
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Do note that colored plastic minis always look worse than they are. Always.

I'm not saying these are great minis (I haven't seen them), but it's very likely that a spray coat of grey primer would reveal details not easily seen.

Quality of the sculpts is another issue and I think the sculpts for this project have been fairly janky from the start.
 
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Arthur Petersen
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Dormammu wrote:
Do note that colored plastic minis always look worse than they are. Always.

I'm not saying these are great minis (I haven't seen them), but it's very likely that a spray coat of grey primer would reveal details not easily seen.

Quality of the sculpts is another issue and I think the sculpts for this project have been fairly janky from the start.


Please take this with the grain of salt it must, but if I can offer at least a partial explanation.

First, the OP mentions that the larger sculpts are the quality you'd expect, but not the smaller ones.

Even though the larger ones are "better," there's a particular issue with ALL of these sculpts -

None of them began as 3D sculpts! They are 3D models from the Video Game - they are the actual models from Orcs Must Die!, that were exported to be 3D printed and then tooled. We did this (and said we did), to make them exactly accurate to the VG.

However, the needs for a 3D video game model and the needs for a 3D sculpt that will be physically produced are not the same. As a very simple example, models for a video game do not need very much depth, whereas something that will become physical needs a sharpening of surface detail - depth - or else it will look amateurish. Because of this, we actually took several months adjusting the models so they would tool and be manufactured to look as you'd expect. We sharpened lots of the details so they'd look better, but I suppose it was not enough. We didn't quite pull it off - though I think in many cases we did. This kind of thing is subjective, obviously.

This is also why, you can't simply ask a 3D modeler for a video game company to create 3D miniatures for a board game. In my limited understanding, it's like asking an artist who excels at sketches and drawing in black and white to do a full color oil painting. He's an artist, so he can do it, but there are skills and experience he'll be missing and his oil painting won't be perfect.

If we could go back in time, it's possible we may have used a different process, and accept the fact that the miniatures wouldn't precisely mirror the VG versions. We tried to make them match too perfectly - and that didn't work. (maybe this isn't a perfect analogy, but it may be like translating literature to film - because they are different artistic mediums, you actually have to modify it for the film, if nothing else to fit the story into 2 hrs or less).

I think this is a key failing - we should not have tried to make them perfect matches, and should have accepted "artistic" differences so that the miniatures simply look better.

I hope this helps to explain. I understand it may not be a fun answer, given our embarrassing delays, and that miniatures are a big part of this game. However, please judge in person for yourself - after all, there actually are people (more than one!) who've told us the CW minis aren't that great. Likewise, I was not impressed with any of the Zombicides (though I haven't seen Black Plague yet).








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Sam Leung
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existoid wrote:
Dormammu wrote:
Do note that colored plastic minis always look worse than they are. Always.

I'm not saying these are great minis (I haven't seen them), but it's very likely that a spray coat of grey primer would reveal details not easily seen.

Quality of the sculpts is another issue and I think the sculpts for this project have been fairly janky from the start.


Please take this with the grain of salt it must, but if I can offer at least a partial explanation.

First, the OP mentions that the larger sculpts are the quality you'd expect, but not the smaller ones.

Even though the larger ones are "better," there's a particular issue with ALL of these sculpts -

None of them began as 3D sculpts! They are 3D models from the Video Game - they are the actual models from Orcs Must Die!, that were exported to be 3D printed and then tooled. We did this (and said we did), to make them exactly accurate to the VG.

However, the needs for a 3D video game model and the needs for a 3D sculpt that will be physically produced are not the same. As a very simple example, models for a video game do not need very much depth, whereas something that will become physical needs a sharpening of surface detail - depth - or else it will look amateurish. Because of this, we actually took several months adjusting the models so they would tool and be manufactured to look as you'd expect. We sharpened lots of the details so they'd look better, but I suppose it was not enough. We didn't quite pull it off - though I think in many cases we did. This kind of thing is subjective, obviously.

This is also why, you can't simply ask a 3D modeler for a video game company to create 3D miniatures for a board game. In my limited understanding, it's like asking an artist who excels at sketches and drawing in black and white to do a full color oil painting. He's an artist, so he can do it, but there are skills and experience he'll be missing and his oil painting won't be perfect.

If we could go back in time, it's possible we may have used a different process, and accept the fact that the miniatures wouldn't precisely mirror the VG versions. We tried to make them match too perfectly - and that didn't work. (maybe this isn't a perfect analogy, but it may be like translating literature to film - because they are different artistic mediums, you actually have to modify it for the film, if nothing else to fit the story into 2 hrs or less).

I think this is a key failing - we should not have tried to make them perfect matches, and should have accepted "artistic" differences so that the miniatures simply look better.

I hope this helps to explain. I understand it may not be a fun answer, given our embarrassing delays, and that miniatures are a big part of this game. However, please judge in person for yourself - after all, there actually are people (more than one!) who've told us the CW minis aren't that great. Likewise, I was not impressed with any of the Zombicides (though I haven't seen Black Plague yet).


Hey Arthur, thanks for the explanation. This is my third time in two days playing the game. I totally can't be bothered with the details anymore. The game is really fun and hopefully I conveyed that msg strongly enough in my my review. Didn't mean to take a knock on the minis so hard but it's just an opinion. I guess there were really high expectations for the bits and pieces for this game nevertheless, it's got it where it counts.

Thanks
Sam





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Arthur Petersen
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Sam,

Thank you tons for your reply and your review! Don't take *my* reply as anything other than my obligatory make explanations for things people may want to know (it's what I do!).

I'm delighted to hear that after only a few plays you can't be bothered - I agree, the game is super fun! Your reply did make it sound like I was saying your reply to me at the bottom - may want to fix where your "[q]" ends.
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Thank you for the praise of the gameplay, which of course was my #1 concern. On production quality, I have just a few facts, with no other commentary.

1) the plastic used in the OMD figures is the same as used in the Cthulhu Wars expansions, which in turn is slightly better than that in the core game.

2) the art style is what it is. Yes they are not proportioned realistically, but that was the intent for better or worse.

3) as far as the detail goes, here are two figures, in fairly clear closeups, compared to zombicide figures of comparable size.



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Those zombicide minis are the old ones, from almost 4 years ago and made 5 years. Compare them to the black plague minis if you want a current comparison.
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Agree, you're comparing your latest KS to minis from a 5 year old game. The older Zombicides are a poor yardstick. The Ratbomination or Troll from Zombicide Black Plague are a better comparison for the larger OMD minis.

I think the problem is your manufacturer. MegaCon tried in vain to get satisfactory detail from Panda for Recon, but after multiple attempts they wrote them off and went back to higher quality Zibo (who did Myth for them). Scythe suffers similar buttery detail, again produced by Panda. It matters less for that game as the minis are not a huge focus, unlike OMD. Nova Aetas decided to move from Panda to (I believe) Ludo Fact, citing quality.

Oh well. At least the game is good, so there's that.
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Arthur Petersen
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Geoff wrote:
Agree, you're comparing your latest KS to minis from a 5 year old game. The older Zombicides are a poor yardstick. The Ratbomination or Troll from Zombicide Black Plague are a better comparison for the larger OMD minis.

I think the problem is your manufacturer. MegaCon tried in vain to get satisfactory detail from Panda for Recon, but after multiple attempts they wrote them off and went back to higher quality Zibo (who did Myth for them). Scythe suffers similar buttery detail, again produced by Panda. It matters less for that game as the minis are not a huge focus, unlike OMD. Nova Aetas decided to move from Panda to (I believe) Ludo Fact, citing quality.

Oh well. At least the game is good, so there's that.


OMD was not manufactured by Panda. We only used them once - for the CW core game (none of the expansions).

The issue is NOT the manufacturer, actually. It is the art style, and the way we used direct VG 3D models, meant for use in a VG, and never meant or created (initially) for physical representations. As I explained above.

The plastic pieces themselves are high quality - it's the art, derived from VG files, that is the issue.






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existoid wrote:
The issue is NOT the manufacturer, actually. As I explained above.

Thank you for correcting my post, albeit perhaps curtly. I thought that during the KS you said Panda was making the game, my mistake. But it seems you liked the figures back in July, yet now they're subpar?

From Update #60:

 euansmith  on July 23
Oh, dear, I'm really hoping that these are just poor quality photos. I backed the game because I really like the art style in the PC game, and the stuff released during the campaign looked really on the nail. These minis, though, look to be smudgy and lacking in crisp detail. Is photo #29 really the Warmage? What the heck is up with him?

  Arthur   on July 25
I think it is the photos, not the figures that are the problem. how about this: you tell me which ones you want a closer up pic of, and I will take those shots and post them. FURTHERMORE - pick a tabletop board game that has plastic minis that has minis you particular think look swell (e.g., Zombicide, etc.), and I will show close up pics of ones you select, next to some of the ones from OMD. I will post those pics so you can directly compare. We are proud of our figures for this game, so I'd love to show them off better for you.


So what changed between July, when you were proud of the figures, and now, where you're explaining why the figures shave problems? We're your samples superior to the final mass-produced product that we're getting?

Thanks.
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I got my pledge today and already played through a round with the wifey - seems promising so far! We've played a lot of the first two games on PC, so we were excited to finally get the board game to the table.

Regarding the minis, they didn't necessarily wow me like the ones from CW and many CMoN games have, but I think they're adequate for this kind of game. My main complaint with them is that I think it's weird how each mini seems to have a long, skinny, rectangular base that fits imperfectly into a larger base; I don't think I have any other minis like that, and it isn't particularly pleasing, aesthetically speaking. Also, among the minis I've handled so far, some have glue residue on the top of the base, presumably from gluing the mini to the base.
 
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I love Arthur's reply earlier where he explained what happened.

He admits it didn't work out perfectly, but explains what they were trying for.

This is someone replying honestly and explaining to the best of his ability without the usual BS or defensiveness that i've come to expect when people complain about some part of a product.

Arthur - I give you an A+ for honesty.

I don't think the figures are crisp and amazing like some other games out there, but in this case I am going to accept your explanation and just make the best of what we have.

If the gameplay is good then I can forgive a lot on the component front.

So maybe some of the small ones are B- figures. I'd rather have that than A+ figures and a crappy game.
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glookose wrote:
If the gameplay is good... I'd rather have that than A+ figures and a crappy game.

For the price paid and promises made, I'd rather have A+ figures and an A+ game.
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Geoff wrote:
existoid wrote:
The issue is NOT the manufacturer, actually. As I explained above.

Thank you for correcting my post, albeit perhaps curtly. I thought that during the KS you said Panda was making the game, my mistake. But it seems you liked the figures back in July, yet now they're subpar?

From Update #60:

 euansmith  on July 23
Oh, dear, I'm really hoping that these are just poor quality photos. I backed the game because I really like the art style in the PC game, and the stuff released during the campaign looked really on the nail. These minis, though, look to be smudgy and lacking in crisp detail. Is photo #29 really the Warmage? What the heck is up with him?

  Arthur   on July 25
I think it is the photos, not the figures that are the problem. how about this: you tell me which ones you want a closer up pic of, and I will take those shots and post them. FURTHERMORE - pick a tabletop board game that has plastic minis that has minis you particular think look swell (e.g., Zombicide, etc.), and I will show close up pics of ones you select, next to some of the ones from OMD. I will post those pics so you can directly compare. We are proud of our figures for this game, so I'd love to show them off better for you.


So what changed between July, when you were proud of the figures, and now, where you're explaining why the figures shave problems? We're your samples superior to the final mass-produced product that we're getting?

Thanks.


I was replying fast, I didnt' mean it to sound curt - tone is hard on the internet.

I am and we ARE proud of these figures! The game is great, and if you've seen Sandy's unboxing video I think you'll notice his enthusiasm for all the products as a whole - that's how we feel.

That said, I can understand and believe someone who says that some of the smaller figures (recall, there was no criticism of the larger ones), don't have quite as much detail as [insert a particular game x you find to be well done and want to directly compare]. Does that make sense?

To focus on my explanation and clarify a particular part - is that the deepening of the surface detail - the very thing that would make them "look" better as physical features, is the very same thing that would most modify their faithfulness to the VG. We had to walk a fine line, and our judgment to make them closer to the VG, rather than more differentiated was a choice we had to make, and as with many things like this, there are downsides to both sides!



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Geoff wrote:
glookose wrote:
If the gameplay is good... I'd rather have that than A+ figures and a crappy game.

For the price paid and promises made, I'd rather have A+ figures and an A+ game.


We agree!

Here's an example of one of the Bosses next to something from Cthulhu Wars Onslaught 2. Notice how the surface detail of the earth lord is just fine, as compared to the hand sculpted red mini from CW. The original VG model of that earth lord had a much smoother surface, but it was easy to deepen AND keep faithful, because the cracks were evident:



Now look at this Boss, next to the Dhole (also hand sculpted from CW O2). There's no doubt the Dhole's surface texture is more defined. But that doesn't make the OMD Boss (Veyatality) a bad miniature - I think he looks great for what he is! See those pock marks on the helmet? iirc, those were on the 3D model in the game (probably colored spots, not physical), so our modelers could easily match and deepen them. However, if you see the left hand's forearm shield, between the two straps it's mostly smooth. That's how the VG was, and we kept it mostly the same. Again, I think Veyetality is great! But we had to make judgment calls about everything. But, for example, his face is fine, it works, it's accurate (it may be hard to tell in that pic, but his single eye is totally visible).


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Picked up my pledge from Aetherworks this arvo and played one game. Good gameplay, simple mechanics and fairly light, yet enough decisions for things to be interesting. Some great king hits when things got desperate with Maximilian going suicidal on 2 health but managing to wipe out a small army.

So far so good. Everything oozes quality.

Even the minis were quite good, and hero faces are so tiny it's not really an issue that the details don't pop.

My only real disappointment is the boss pack, whose minis are tiny vs what I was expecting.
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Geoff wrote:
Picked up my pledge from Aetherworks this arvo and played one game. Good gameplay, simple mechanics and fairly light, yet enough decisions for things to be interesting. Some great king hits when things got desperate with Maximilian going suicidal on 2 health but managing to wipe out a small army.

So far so good. Everything oozes quality.

Even the minis were quite good, and hero faces are so tiny it's not really an issue that the details don't pop.

My only real disappointment is the boss pack, whose minis are tiny vs what I was expecting.


I'm so glad you like it, to the point of saying "Everything oozes quality."



Thank you for the feedback.

Yeah, the Bosses are not CW sized, but are certainly larger than the average monster. One thing to note - we tried to size everything according, once again, to the VG itself. Robot provided a relative sizing chart we followed, and I believe we did that - the bosses are larger than regular minions, but not by a great deal.




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Sandy Petersen
United States
Rockwall
Texas
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Geoff wrote:
Picked up my pledge from Aetherworks this arvo and played one game. Good gameplay, simple mechanics and fairly light, yet enough decisions for things to be interesting. Some great king hits when things got desperate with Maximilian going suicidal on 2 health but managing to wipe out a small army.

So far so good. Everything oozes quality.

Even the minis were quite good, and hero faces are so tiny it's not really an issue that the details don't pop.

My only real disappointment is the boss pack, whose minis are tiny vs what I was expecting.


"Oozes quality" is as good praise as any designer can expect. I hope you're reconsidering your statement about never backing Petersen Games again!
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Sam Leung
Singapore
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Geoff wrote:
Picked up my pledge from Aetherworks this arvo and played one game. Good gameplay, simple mechanics and fairly light, yet enough decisions for things to be interesting. Some great king hits when things got desperate with Maximilian going suicidal on 2 health but managing to wipe out a small army.

So far so good. Everything oozes quality.

Even the minis were quite good, and hero faces are so tiny it's not really an issue that the details don't pop.

My only real disappointment is the boss pack, whose minis are tiny vs what I was expecting.


Somehow I feel relieved about this! Glad u had fun!
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