Reprinted with permission from the DEC 2005 issue of Fictional Reality
Dungeon Clash NG008 $39.95
Dungeon Clash is Adiken's introductory or starter version of their game Nin-Gonost. In Dungeon Clash you get everything to get you started in dungeon adventuring without the $150 price tag that Nin-Gonost carries. Of course, you're not getting as much as in the larger/full version of the game.
The large blister pack contains a double-sided rule sheet, a fold-out map, 25 dice, 9 stat cards and 9 figures. The set is quite compact and could easily fit into a small miniature case once you're done painting the figures.
The figures are all standard Adiken faire and you get five orcs (1 sergeant with whip and sword, two bowmen and two melee fighters), one Half-Troll and three heroes (dwarf, knight and archer). All of the figures needed some cleaning, but I found no defects. The orcs remind me a lot of LOTR orcs (ugly and brutish) but a bit thinner in build. They all wear plate armor. Of the heroes, the dwarf is in the most dynamic pose. The knight is tall, but seems a bit thin to me for wearing all that heavy plate armor. The Half-Troll is really the star of the group. He carries a trident and chain and doesn't have a plastic base to stand on like the others. I'd drop him on to a large round or plastic base just to add some stability. All of the figures should paint up easily for a novice or advanced painter.
The dice are all d6's and have their numbers printed on them. I haven't played with them a whole lot yet so I can't say how well the printing will hold up under significant use. Of course, I can't say that they won't hold up well either yet.
I won't go over the whole review from Nin-Gonost (see Fictional Reality 19) but the introductory rule sheet is definitely enough to get you started. It begins with a plug for the magnetic boards that come in Nin-Gonost, which I think are truly marvelous and one of the best things to come out in a long time. We use them in our D&D games and they can easily add a dungeon to any tabletop game that you might be playing. They are versatile almost beyond words. In Dungeon Clash you get a color map sheet that details a small dungeon section and it fills the role of the magnetic/plastic pieces but just to get you started. It's completely functional to teach you the game, but after that you'll either need to pick up the magnetic/plastic pieces or resort to drawing out your dungeon corridors and rooms on paper.
The stat cards are then gone over, explaining what each characteristic is used for and the point value of the model represented on the card. The back side of the rule sheet explains how each characteristic is used in the game. Each model has a number of actions which can be used to move, shoot or fight. All of the models in Dungeon Clash have four actions, except the Half-Troll which only has three. In general, moving takes one action per move but you might have to use additional actions for complete U-turns or side-steps. Melee Combat takes a single action, but shooting takes two per shot. When it comes to combat, melee or shooting, you'll select the die color that corresponds to your model's FIGHT stat. You can be directed to select a different die based on modifiers. Both characters roll their combat die, along with a FATE die that can give you an automatic hit or automatic block. Unless fate intervenes the character that rolled highest strikes his opponent. Once you hit someone you add how much you beat your opponent's roll by to your damage. If that is over your target's Resistance they are dead. Ranged combat is similar except the target does not roll anything but the FATE die. The rules of engagement are easy enough to learn and you should be playing right after gluing figures down to the bases. Being an introductory version of the full game there are some things missing. Magic is not discussed at all and special abilities or equipment (that are shown on the cards) are not discussed in this rule set. Also, creatures having multiple wounds is not part of the basic game.
At $39.95 Dungeon Clash is significantly less expensive than Nin-Gonost, but you're still getting a good value when comparing its cost to the individual components. The figs alone would run you $41.55 and the dice retail for another $24.95. The game is easy to learn and quick to play but after a game or two of the basic game you'll probably want more depth. The Nin-Gonost rule book is available separately so you don't have to grab the Nin-Gonost suitcase if you've already picked up Dungeon Clash. If you're in the market for a simple dungeon stomping game then Dungeon Clash will get you started, but you'll probably want to add the Nin-Gonost rule book and additional figure pretty soon.