Friday, 20 September 2013

Review: Iron Kingdoms - Kings, Nations and Gods

I've just got the latest source book for the Iron Kingdoms RPG, and boy is it awesome.

This is only going to be a quick overview, as I haven't had enough time to read in depth, but a full review will appear in time.

The book is produced the same way as the core book, being a full colour hardback. While I haven't counted the pages yet, it has roughly the same page count as the core book, while containing much more fluff over rules!

The book is divided into 6 sections, covering the major kingdoms of Western Immorean. Not only does each section have a map and an outline of the kingdom's history, but it also includes geographic information, as well as the major mover's and shakers.

Each section also includes a players section which provides new careers, abilities, spells, gear and warjacks relevant to the nation. Anyone who wanted to play as one of the units from the wargame now has everything they need.

Overall this looks to be another excellent book. Only one gripe so far, and that their is a players section at the end of each nation, which while I understand works well layout wise, but is a pain for referencing. Especially as some of the abilities and spells are available to other careers.

However, I'm really looking forward to devouring the book, and will give a fuller review once I have.

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Kickstarter - 404: Law Not Found

In a great exercise in willpower, I've managed not to back any Kickstarters since Warmachine:Tactics, however when this game came along I couldn't help support. Read on to find out why you too should be backing 404: Law Not Found.

404: Law Not Found is the first board game from 3DTotal Games, a small company based in Worcester. Mixing humour and with simple to learn but strategicly deep game mechanics, it looks to be a game both novice and veteran gamers can enjoy.

You control a robot on the starship Clarion who's base set of directives have been changed. Instead of "Protect all Humans", you may now be directed to "Empower War", or "Improvise Cloning". These being your directives, they are good directives, and you will follow them. By being the first robot to complete your 3, perhaps odd, directives, you win the game.
While you are trying to complete your directives, you will have to deal with your fellow robots trying to follow their own directives, the human crew trying to complete their mission and a monkey.

The parent company, 3DTotal has a background in art and producing art books, and this shows in the look of the game. From the box art to the game components, the look is evocative while not being overly complicated. I love the design of the robot who manages to seem retro and modern at the same time.

If you don't want to go in blind, by just going to the Kickstarter page you can download a copy of the prototype rules. For just a £1 pledge, you can get a copy of the Print and Play demo kit, so you can start playing right now!

Looking through the prototype rules, they look well thought out, with enough examples and diagrams to help new players understand the rules. I like the drafting mechanic by which players get their directives. It means that, having an idea what other players may be doing means you can actively act against players, or if you are really clever, get them to help you with your directives.

404: Law Not Found looks to be a clever, fun and engaging board game that is an absolute steal at £28 (free UK and US postage!). Currently it is over 50% funded with 28 days to go, so with your support it can easily fund and get some of the fantastic looking stretch goals as well.

Finally, if the above hasn't gotten you a little interested, perhaps the personal touch might. I'll admit, this isn't just a project I've ran across by accident. I have the pleasure of knowing the game designer for many years now, and have enjoy gaming alongside him. He has one of those minds that seems to just summon up fun ideas, and he is definitely someone who should be creating board games.
I missed the opportunity to play test this game, due to me and my life, but I know most of the people on the play test credits and they have all raved about this game.

This is not just loyalty to a friend talking. I know Greg is working hard to make this the best game it can be, and from everything I've seen it will be awesome. Go, back it now. The monkey demands it!