I noticed the last review was over a year ago, and now with the rulebook out, and a lot more miniatures I thought it would be a good time to post another review.
I bought this game about a year ago with a friend. Both of us had played various war games over the years. Mainly 40k. After three years of 40k, I hated it. I was looking for a game that required a small investment so I could get new players in, and not a lot of miniatures so I could play casually.
Anima Tactics was one of the games I picked up.
Anima Tactics is a small scale miniature game. For a normal size game, you'll use 4-5 miniatures per side. There's an RPG and a card game in the same theme. I've played the card game, it's alright. Nothing special.
Players alternate back and forth, activating their units, moving, shooting and using special abilities. The main part of the game is the counters though. Each unit has a number of counters they regenerate every turn, and a number that they can have max. Every action (except free movement) requires a number of these counters to be payed.
example Card, energy counters are at the bottom left
The game breaks down into managing these. You want to have enough to move and attack, but you also need enough to dodge attacks on your turn. Do you want to use that devastating special attack? If you do, you might not have enough to dodge their attack next turn. An enemy you're about to rush has three tokens on it? Well they can use those to counter attack you if your attack isn't successful.
Characters have hit points, so when they are gone the character is dead.
There are extra scenarios, but for the most part you'll play straight up "kill everything".
Collecting and Building your army
Like any miniature game, you collect models and build them. The investment is fairly small. If your friends want to try it out, simply buying three miniatures each is more then enough to have a full game.
When putting together your army, you first decided if you are going to play a faction or organization. Factions are "Light" or "Dark". This means you can select any model from any organization, as long as they are from your faction. You can also pick neutral characters no matter what faction you are. Organizations are more specialized lists, but you can pick any member from the organization (Light, dark or neutral).
If you play as a faction, you have access to more units. But if you play as an organization, you can have a mix of light/dark as well as a bonus power specific to your organization. They are extremely powerful, but being able to pick from all organizations has it's perks too.
Miniatures are fairly cheap ($9 each except for the larger ones) and are great sculpts. You can take a look and see easily enough if they are your thing. A standard game is 250 levels (Points), and each character ranges from 35-80 points.
Each character comes with a card too (which is a great reference). It has their stats and special abilities listed. The idea is, when they release miniatures not listed in the rulebook, you won't have to buy another book to get the stats. This is extremely helpful in my opinion.
The easiest way to get into this, and see if it's something you'll dig is to just buy some minis and play. The rules and web supplements are available online for free, and since the miniatures come with character cards you won't need the rulebook to try it.
That being said, there is a rulebook which is great. It lists all the characters available at the time, some fluff, and some clarifications for the rules. If you're friends are really enjoying the game, the rulebook is a good buy.
I would say make sure you have at least three mini's per side. There are starters available that come with starter rules and two minis, but just playing those against each other isn't that much fun.
I enjoy Anima Tactics. I can set up and play a game in less then an hour, the rules are simple and clear, but still require strategy. It filled the niche I needed. If you're looking for a cheap but fun wargame and the theme catches your eye, give it a try. It was a great way for me to get back into miniature gaming without spending weeks buying, assembling and building an army. Plus I can generally get in 3-4 games in the time it takes someone to play a game of Warhammer is a huge bonus.
There are a few problems. For one, a lack of campaign rules seems like a huge oversight. The game seems to be perfect for it. Another problem some people might have is the fact that this game will never be huge and epic. It plays best with 5-6 miniatures, in short bursts. If you are looking to have some epic collection of miniatures then look somewhere else. Also, some people might not like the theme. It's very anime, from the art to the powers the characters use. I don't care for anime at all but, I enjoyed the theme and art style. And finally, I don't see a lot of player support online or in stores, so finding an opponent might be difficult.
- Simple and fun
- Great miniatures
- Perfect for casual players
- Can never do larger battles
- Theme might put off some
- No campaign rules
About the campaign rules, there are none at the moment, but they are planned (but this may still take some time).
Good review - succinct, but gets all the points across clearly for what I need to know. thanks for sharing!
Thanks. I keep starring at this game thinking it might be worth a try out.