Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Monolith at UKGE

Monolith Board Games have successfully produced two massive miniatures games. The one is the Conan board game, and the other is Mythic Battles Pantheon.

Both games feature high quality miniatures, card components and boards. Conan aims to recreate the adventures of the barbarian, and where players take on the roles of Conan and his entourage, while another player takes on the array of minions and enemies that Conan and the others must face.

Now much like Kingdom Death, Conan has suffered from some critique of the model designs when it comes to women, the difference being Kingdom Death made models that were not part of the game and were explicitly pin up models. Conan of course aims to recreate characters from the novels, which of course were not very progressive.

Mythic Battles Pantheon, made between Monolith and Mythic Battles, lets players take the role of armies of gods and titans leading warriors of mythic Greece, and monsters of legend. Unlike other wargames, Pantheon makes use of battle mats with zones marked upon them, much like GW's game Deathwatch: Overkill.

So following on from these Monolith is developing the Batman Board Game. Knight Models of course make the skirmish wargame, so the question is, what is Monolith bringing to the game that is different?

SLA Industries and Cannibal Sector

If there is one game that sums up the visuals of hyper violence from the 90s, it is S.L.A. Industries.

In a dystopian far flung future the where S.L.A. Industries owns most if not all things in the known universe, and controlled by the mysterious "Mr. Slayer". S.L.A. Inc makes its home in Mort City, which is an overstuffed city surrounded by Cannibal Sectors, which a ruins that are home to mutants and rebels.

As Operatives, and employees of S.L.A. Inc, players are tasked with wet work jobs, crushing riots, and generally doing all the nasty jobs that, thanks to the prolific presence of cameras, makes for great TV ratings.

Currently Daruma Productions are producing a miniature game based on the world of S.L.A Industries, and so for those of you who are fans of the rpg, and need some minis to help you with complex battles, perhaps you should check them out. I know I will at UK Games Expo.

We like Cool Terrain!

UK Games Expo is not a place for games, but things that make your games look kick ass.

Battle Systems will be there, showing off their awesome card terrain system. After a number of successful Kickstarters they have a range of fantasy, scifi and modern terrain, perfect for a variety of games. I've had a chance to talk them in passing at the Beasts of War studio, but it will be good to catch up with them and see what is new.

4ground will be there too, with their excellent range of laser cut terrain, designed for different scales and genres. More recently of course their Fabled Realms terrain set is also a lead in for their upcoming wargame.

RuneQuest and Making Horror

Chaosium Inc is showing off at UK Games Expo a particular game that is making a big come back this year.


RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha will be out later in 2017, but Chaosium Inc will be making review copies of the Quickstart rules available at UKGE, and so that is definitely something we will be checking out.

I have to admit I have never played RuneQuest, and but its importance as the British answer to DnD, and also as the basis for the system used for the Call of Cthulhu rpg can not be overlooked. It will be very interesting how this new edition has been designed for the tastes of the modern gamer.

Now given we are going on the press day on the Friday, we will be missing out on the chance to go to the Chaosium talk on designing horror stories for your games. Mike Mason and Lynn Hardy will be leading this discussion, as well as talking about the gaming industry in general.

Getting back into the Games Workshop

UK Games Expo is looming on the horizon, and one of the exhibitors there is Games Workshop.

Yes you read that right. They won't just be there with a sales stand but actually interacting with the gaming community again.

This change in attitude to the gaming community has been a long time coming. For the last few years GW had shut down any interaction with their fans via social media, and were a company that was apparently (if you ask the CEO, Kirby, back then) focused on making miniatures, and that was because that is what their customers wanted first. Not games. Miniatures.

Let that sink in for a bit.

Then we had the change over, as if a different roll of film was put on the projector, and things seemed fresh and new. The new CEO, Rountree, has caused a change in direction of GW. No longer do we expect less miniatures for more money, and a diminishing quality in the games. Now we are getting back towards some of the good old days. White Dwarf magazine has proper gaming content within it, and is thick again and filled with hobby articles. Games like Gangs of Commorragh, Shadow War Armageddon, Shadespire, and Age of Sigmar skirmish, are pouring out of the GW studio. It's as if they want you to play as many games as possible with their miniatures. Shadow War even uses a system that is essentially Necromunda/Warhammer 40k 2nd ed. We have rules for Eldar and Tau using that system! It's as if GW is having their cake and getting to eat it.

For old grogs like me, these smaller games are great. I can paint small numbers of models for all these games, and I get to enjoy the variety without having to make larger armies of models just to be able to get a pick up game. For GW of course that means lots of smaller sales as players pick and mix their collection. And of course all the old fans are coming out of the woodwork.

At UKGE myself and James will be probing the guys from GW about the new skirmish expansion for Age of Sigmar, looking at Shadespire, and of course asking questions about Epic. Oh and those gigantic new Space Marines.