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Subject: A first look at the physical quality rss

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Steve Carroll
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Denton
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I have posted several pictures that go along with this. There is a pic with figure size comparisons to other games you may be familiar with.

Note that I have not played this yet, although I have read the rules. It really looks like it will be a great game. Conquest has put out some good games/rules before, and this is quite an effort with a great result. According to some things I have read, this was a "labor of love" by the designers/publishers, and their interest and work certainly show.

The box is heavy and sturdy, with color illustrations and a standard box bottom with pix of components and description of the game. I love the little "age range" icon on the side, as well as the range listed: 12 to 120! When you open this game you are wonderfully surprised to see just what a game ought to have.

The four-section mounted board is very nice and all of the playing areas are nice and big for placement of pieces during play. The colors of areas are quite different and discernible, but subdued enough not to be distracting. The mountains and other graphic elements are all well-rendered.

There is a little "extra" in the game, a component list on a sheet of paper. Maybe this was added because it was not included in the full-color instruction book; maybe the exact component mix was not determined until after the book was printed. Anyway, it's nice to have. There is one error - there are 16 "X" coins, not 15 as on the manifest.

So, on to the coins and other counters: these are all on nice heavy die-cut stock. They literally drop from the sheet when you unwrap it, they are so well cut. BTW, the board, all the counter sheets, and other pieces are all in their own sealed bags. There is nothing small and loose in the box. If I had to nitpick the counters, it is that the "X" and "XX" coins are the same size and color; possibly a bit difficult to tell apart. The right-angle castle construction markers are a nice touch; they are removed as a castle is finished, thus leaving more room on the space for units that will then be added.

The figures are extremely nice. They are a semi-rigid plastic, still pliable enough to bend slightly without damage. I found no miscast figures. The foot figures are about 19mm high, a bit smaller than 1/72 scale. The knight is just a bit smaller scale, so the piece is about the same size as the foot figures; this is no problem for me, since the pieces are tokens and do not represent individual men. The knight still "looks right" with the other pieces. The figures come separated by color in their own bags. All the bags are heat-sealed; you will have to provide your own Ziploc-style bags if you want them; I have no problem with that.

A minor complaint about the figures would be the proportion of the sculpting. The foot figures are just a bit long-waisted or short-legged. This is most noticeable in the swordsman. I also would have preferred some different color than black for an army, maybe blue. The armies come in black, red, green, and tan. The warlords, always with an army of an identifying color, are gray for everyone.

There are a dozen dice. They are pretty standard, except the 10-sided and 12-sided dice have painted-on numbers, not etched/engraved at all. I hope they will last. Most of us have other dice if these happen to wear out.

You get 15 black chips and 100 gray ones, for indicating additional armies. I got 101 gray chips. (Edit on 26 Feb 10: They are compatible with the Axis and Allies 1942 and A&A Pacific 1940 chips. The Warlords chips are barely thicker, and the Warlords gray is ever-so-slightly greener.) Anyway, I think you can have a HUGE number of units indicated with the chips included.

I hope to be able to play this very soon. My first impression, though, is FABULOUS!
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Barry Kendall
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Tex, thanks for the scouting report.

I appreciate your taking the time to arrange and submit the comparative-scale pic. VERY helpful--as is the description of the plastic composition.

I'm with you--the black bits are VERY black--I'm thinking serousl of dry-brushing them in gray so they're more visible. It's tempting to paint everything, but I have too much bare lead waiting for paint in the miniatues department.

I really like the rules--clear, concise, and well-organized. The design concepts seem very rational, reflecting the era without bogging down in minutiae, and the cards add just the right amount of variety and period flavor.

One gets the sense that the initial expansion is a bit chess-like in that certain expansion moves are almost essential to carry out in order to keep up with competitors' recruiting, but after that, things look to get medievally wild and woolly.

While the game as-designed looks quite entertaining, there also seems to be ample room for house-rules customizing if players wish, as with good old A&A.

Mine's preordered from my flgs. I hope these guys have a winner on their hands, they seem like a happy, enthusiastic best-foot-forward group of designer/publishers. Thanks again for the report. Give us another when Europe's been fought over!
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Russ Rupe
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Texas gamer wrote:
I have posted several pictures that go along with this. There is a pic with figure size comparisons to other games you may be familiar with.

Very nicely done!

Quote:
According to some things I have read, this was a "labor of love" by the designers/publishers,
QFT



Thanks for noticing the subtleties, both good and bad (a "warts and all" review is much more credible), such as the colors/elements on the map adding coolness/flavor but not distracting (this was 100% intentional), and such as the dice not all being engraved (100% not intentional, but also not worth delaying any further at the factory...7 months beyond our estimates as it was).

Barry Kendall wrote:
... reflecting the era without bogging down in minutiae, and the cards add just the right amount of variety and period flavor.

Again, this was exactly what we were shooting for; thanks for noticing, and I hope others agree with your assessment.
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myles
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I actually like the sculpt of the figures. They're not finely detailed, but as game pieces they're fine. The proportions on the knights, though obviously more dynamic, remind me of the isle of lewis chess knight for some reason.

I did have three miscast red swordsmen (very stumpy swords), and had one red archer missing. That's a relatively minor quibble for so many plastic bits.

The only real disappointing component for me were the cards. They feel like a cost cutting measure. I worry a little about their longevity.
 
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Christopher Bartlett
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Short component review upon box opening:

-Army minis are better than expected - they are actually quite well done and have a nice, classical look and feel to them. The plastic itself is nice, and the colors are a nice change of pace, while still having a "RED" option. Huzzah!

-Will likely paint the warlords.

-I LOVE the castles. They are great, great sculpts.

-The map is wwwwwaaayyy cool. Love it. What a great look. It really is the map I wished I was playing "knights and archers" on back in the GM days of Shogun (yes, Shogun) every weekend.

-Rule layout is a bit odd. The rules are simple and clear, so it isn't a game breaker, but the order of learning in the manual was, let's say, "different."

-There are too few dice. I will have to supplement from my collection. I think six of each may have been better, but I understand the cost considerations, so I am happy to take that one for the team.

-The coins are fine. No issues. Will probably use mini poker chips anyway, but I do like the art on these. Nice, thick tiles, too.

-The cards are a mixed bag - I like that they are clear and colorful, but all of mine have the same card backs, and I don't care for that. At first, I thought they may have been misprinted but then I figured it was a cost consideration. Again, small price to pay for the game, so I'll live with them.

-I think this game is cool enough to steal a night or two away from Runewars. High praise.





 
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myles
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I think the card backs being the same might have as much if not more to do with not revealing to opponents which types of cards you have in hand.
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Russ Rupe
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Great_Mazinga wrote:
I think the card backs being the same might have as much if not more to do with not revealing to opponents which types of cards you have in hand.

Yep.

That's also why the deck tokens exist, so you can tell which deck is which until you have created discard piles.
 
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