Review – Warhammer Quest: Silver Tower

ThrowerThe Silver Tower is the abode of a mad wizard, designed to chew up and spit out heroic interlopers by the dozen. Yet its first victim was small and personal: my finger.

After looking in the box, I pulled the sheath off my craft knife for the first time in a decade and immediately slit a digit open. It didn’t bode well for the three-hour assembly time I’d heard boasted of on the internet.

What you get in this box is a literal plastic kit with assembly instructions, like scale models of tanks and planes. There is even a dwarf with a multi-part beard to glue together. But I was swayed by the fond memory of twisting whole plastics off sprues in my Warhammer days, so I figured I could handle it. Plaster on finger, I dusted off my other modelling tools and set to work with one simple question in my mind. Could this board game be worth it?

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SU&SD Play… Infinity!

We delight in throwing curveballs, so here’s a video you’d never have expected. A fat Let’s Play of fantastic miniatures game Infinity, with scenery provided by the excellent people at Battle Systems!

The truth is that ever since our spirited review of this game last year, Matt and Quinns have been collecting Infinity together with a few of their friends, and anything we’re interested in, we want to show you why. So we ended up making the above heartfelt half-hour, demonstrating just how tense and dangerous this game is. Enjoy, everybody.

NOTE: There’s about 45 seconds of insane strobing in this video, especially during the final interview segment. Rest assured that Quinns is working on a fix.

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How to Play Imperial Assault’s Campaign!

Today we’re teaching one of the big boys! Imperial Assault (see our review here) is an epic box containing your very own Star Wars adventure. One person plays the dastardly forces of the Imperium and is given control of a never-ending hosepipe of henchmen, while up to four more players steer a pack of heroes through a fantastic campaign.

It’s not the simplest thing to play, though, so we put together this primer video for the hero team. Step one, invite heroes over. Step two, tell them to watch this. Step three, sit ’em down and start playing!

(Oh, and if anyone want’s to replace the Bothan Sniper with something a little more Matt Lees-y, they can do so using this fan art from game designer Jonathan Ying!)

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Review: Arena Rex

Arena Rex

[We were so happy with Eric Tonjes’ work introducing us to miniatures games with his reviews of Infinity, Dropzone Commander, Warmachine, Malifaux and the Batman Miniatures Game that when we heard about a new, very special minis game we had to get him back.]

Eric: I’ve spent the last few months working those pectorals and drenching myself in olive oil. Why? So that I can now sit shirtless at my computer for a proper review of Arena Rex.

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Review: Blood Rage

Blood Rage

Quinns: Ooh, hold on to your helms! Today we’re looking at Blood Rage. That’s exciting because (a) this box gathered positive reviews last year like a corpse gathers flies, and (b) it’s called BLOOD RAGE. If you were thinking of buying this miniature-stuffed box, read on! If you were hoping to find out what a blood rage is, I warn you: I still have absolutely no idea.

2-4 players in Blood Rage control viking clans, fighting for glory in the final moments before Ragnorok shatters the world and drowns it beneath the sea. Your goal is to pillage the board’s villages, undo your friends’ plans and lay claim to the prestigious central area containing the great tree Yggdrasil which connects the 9 worlds of Norse mythology. Then you pillage that, too.

Once again: I have absolutely no idea.

On to the miniatures!

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Review: Batman Miniature Game

Review: Batman Miniature Game

[Today we end our fascinating tour of 2015’s best and brightest miniatures games! If you missed Eric Tonjes’ previous, excellent reviews, do check out Infinity, Warmahordes, Dropzone Commander and Malifaux! And don’t worry. We’ll be bringing Eric back for any future miniatures reviews.]

Eric: Batman, Batman, Batman.

Do I have your interest? Eric here, and today we are finishing up our survey of some major miniatures games on the market. It’s been a fun trip, and I’ll still stick my head in occasionally, but I wanted to finish things off with a personal pick that, while perhaps not as popular as some of the big boys, is a newer offering that has something unique to present those interested in miniatures games.

That being, of course, Batman.

The Batman Miniatures Game by Knight Models (the only site it has is an official forum, astonishingly) is a small skirmish game which seeks to lovingly translate the universe of street level DC comics heroes and villains to the tabletop. You will form a gang of 4-10 miniatures and fight to both take out enemy models and score objectives. And you get to do this with Batman, the Joker, and dozens of other iconic characters.

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Miniatures Game Review: Malifaux

Game: Malifaux

[Our tour of the most popular miniatures games is almost at an end! If you missed Eric Tonjes’ first few delightful and accessible reviews, do check out Infinity, Warmachine and Dropzone Commander.]

Eric: I’ll start with a confession. Every month, as I sit down to write this column, I feel a dilemma. Miniatures games are, of course, games. Part of the goal of these columns is to expose you to clever or innovative gaming ideas being developed in the miniatures world. Thanks to limits on space and the amount of time I’m comfortable demanding, I end up exploring the gamishness of the game and have little space for anything else.

Yet miniatures games are also more than simple games, and none exemplify this better than Malifaux, our pick for this month. They are, in a real sense, about style. You don’t spend outrageous amounts of time and money on little models just for the act of gaming – you could use cardboard tokens and cereal boxes with their rules. You buy and assemble and paint the models and build the terrain and read the lore for the same reason I own aviators and a (fake) leather jacket – because you want to feel cool. You want some panache and style with your dice rolls and movement decisions.

If that is true, then Malifaux by Wyrd miniatures is the coolest of the cool kids. It drips theme – a theme that is something like Western-Gothic-Industrial-Steampunk-Horror.

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Miniatures Game Review: Dropzone Commander

Miniatures Game Review: Dropzone Commander

Eric: If you’re like me, some days you want something small and cozy, an intimate exploration of a few characters. Other days, you want something big and brassy.

Some days, though, you just want to flatten a building with your opponent’s soldiers still inside it.

Today I’m talking about the sweeping Dropzone Commander by Hawk Wargames. DzC (as we’ll abbreviate it for time and acronyminal sexiness) is a large-scale science fiction game set in the 27th century. As you all know, in the 25th century humanity was driven from its core worlds, including Earth, by the invasion of the parasitic Scourge. Now, 160 years later, it is time to TAKE THEM BACK!

DzC is a game about combined arms – the necessity of diverse units fulfilling specialized roles. On a given turn, you will have squads of infantry searching high rises for precious objectives and engaging in running close combats through their halls. You will field tanks and walkers unleashing massive firepower into each other and those high rises, causing them to collapse. Your aircraft will zip across the whole table at supersonic speeds while blowing up said tanks and bombing high rises as well (in the 27th century you really don’t want to be a footsoldier) and your anti-air firepower will hunt down these aircraft.

And you will have dropships – lots of dropships. We’ll come back to them in a minute.

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Miniatures Game Review: Warmachine & Hordes

Miniatures Game Review: Warmachine & Hordes

[We’re thrilled to welcome back Eric Tonjes, SU&SD company Nebraskan and miniatures gaming expert, for a second review! If you missed his first column click here, and if you missed why a review of Warmachine is topical this week have a peek at the news.]

Eric: Welcome back to our survey of the world of miniatures wargames. This week, our game is Warmachine and Hordes. “But wait,” you might be thinking. “Eric, aren’t those two games?”

Well, my imaginary interlocutor, sort of. Warmachine is a game about steam powered robots with smokestacks bigger than their legs, where wizards shoot spells out of pistols and your “warcaster” channels their willpower to bend the battlefield to their plans. Hordes, by contrast, is a game about lumbering monsters with fists bigger than their heads, where wizards shoot spells out of staffs and your “warlock” channels their rage to bend the battlefield to their plans.

Other than their different resource systems and specific units, they use exactly the same rules and setting and can be played against each other. Indeed, Hordes is often referred to under the umbrella of “Warmachine” (a convention I will continue here), or the grammatically monstrous “Warmahordes” (which I will hopefully never type again).

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Miniatures Game Review: Infinity

Miniatures Game Review: Infinity

[Introducing another new series of articles! Eric Tonjes is professional Nebraskan and miniatures gamer who’s agreed to review some of 2015’s most popular miniatures games. You guys were so sweet to Hilary yesterday, so please give Eric the same welcome!]

Eric: So you’ve played a lot of games. You’ve gone from the simple family stuff to the weightiest Euro, and it still isn’t satisfying. You’re looking for something more. Lately, maybe you’ve been eyeing those hunched figures in the back of the game shop, pushing around their armies of painted men and orcs and arguing about byzantine rules. You’re looking, and you’re wondering… Has it perhaps come to this? Dare I become a *gulp* miniatures gamer?

Or maybe you’ve just noticed those boxes with gloriously painted figurines on the covers and wondered what they’re all about.

In the coming months I’ll be serving as your guide to the dark world of tabletop miniatures gaming. More than that, I’ll be trying to tell you what makes the very best ones sing – what about each one makes them unique, and why people spend huge amounts of money and even larger amounts of time assembling and painting little soldiers.

Up first, let’s take a gander at Infinity, the phenomenal flagship game of Corvus Belli.

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