Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Puppet Wars!

Better late than never! My Puppet Wars review. I won't be going into the rules in depth (may edit in the future) but for now will be discussing the game contents and current offerings.

I first heard of Puppet Wars back in January 2011 when I discovered Malifaux and brought the Puppet Deck but there was little information about the game. That February I was lucky enough to be involved in the Playtesting. To make my position clear from the start I love the final ruleset! I think it is an adventurous game – kind of between a board game and a minis game. I thought it might work better if it didn’t come with the minis in the core set. I feel the minis could put some people off and this would dramatically keep the cost down to boost interest. They could have made been made accessible afterwards through boosters, although I stress that the minis are fantastic and, as a mini gamer, they are a big part of it for me. The artwork around the game and through the rulebook is fantastic and the minis themselves are superb representations of that.

All components from core and boosters

Core Set
So the first thing you’re going to buy is the main box set which is a little pricey at about £60. Inside is the board, 2 Puppet Decks, some card counters, the stat cards for the models in the box, some plastic counters and 18 metal miniatures with bases. There is a very nice colourful rulebook and a Pattern book that has a guide to help introduce the rules over a few games as well as maps for gameboard layouts. The minis are going to require a little assembly. Most are one piece but a little super glue will be required on some. There was minimal flash so cleanup time for the models was kept down.

I was blown away by the minis and while I haven’t started painting yet they are all ready for it and I am looking forward to finishing my current models and getting stuck in. The board is surprisingly small, but makes it handy for carrying around and popping out when needed. The puppet decks are the standard ones available for a year or so now, but at £6 each to buy there is £12 of value with them. The counters are my main gripe though. In the gameplay you have workbenches  which are important. You also have impassable terrain and both of these are represented by small plastic discs. It’s not a huge problem but I think some kind of card marker would be a lot better.

Plastic tokens for Workbenches and Impassable Markers

Kudos to Ratty on the Wyrd forums who made a PDF with alternative tokens that could be used. Find them here:

As of now there are four additional boxes you can buy. These are not needed to play the game and have fun but introduce a large number of new models into the game. The first is a Multi-player expansion. With the core game you get two “Masters” and each player has a master and a number of other puppets. With this booster you get two more Master puppets so you can start having 3 – 4 player games and you get a few more of those plastic discs to support this. With the Master puppets you get another five puppets to add variety and choice to your games when selecting puppets for your army.

There are then another three booster boxes. Each of these brings eight more puppets to your game. If you buy all boosters and the boxset then you will have multiples, but this is allowed in game when choosing your army so there is no wastage.

It is a little pricey when you buy all boxes – around £160, but you don’t need more than the core box to play the game. You get fantastic models and board for that and the game Is very fun with a lot of diversity through the number of models and map layouts . The core box has a map booklet in it, but making up your own ones is definitely easy to do – you can even try it on the puppet wars website! Speaking of the website all the rules are on there along with puppet stat cards so you can plan your army and see ahead of time if it is something you will enjoy.

Thats a lot of painting waiting to happen!

In summary I very much recommend this game. It is quick and fun to play with lots of re-playability. I think there is plenty  of opportunity for it to grow in the future and there are lots of discussions on the Wyrd forums around this so check them out!

Lastly a note on the models. If you brought the core box during Gencon 2011 you received a “Pokey Viktoria” puppet who is an additional master. If you brought three boosters at that time you received a “Hooded rider” who is a sidekick (this means you can only have one of them in  your army). These will be available at a later date. There is also rumoured to be a Lucius puppet allegedly with the Battlefoam Toybox if you buy it but this is not confirmed. In random boosters (approx 1 in 10) there is also a Teddy puppet and there are five types of Teddy. Gencon 2011 attendees had opportunities to get a “5-pack” with all Teddies and in the Wyrd Black Friday sale of 2011 you could buy the 5-pack of Teddies for $40. Random inserts are the only way to get him at the moment.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Long Time No Speak....

My good intentions with this blog fell by the wayside and it has been woefully long since the last update! Anyway here is a quick summary of my gaming - pictures to follow!

Malifaux - Zoraida goes well. Not really winning still but figuring her out slowly and enjoying it. Aside from one Slurid as well the whole crew is painted. I have even running either Zoraida, Avatar, Bad Juju, 3 x Slurids, 1 Stitched and Wicked Dolls or a list dropping the Slurids and adding Collodi and 3 Marionettes.

Puppet Wars - Loving this! I intend to post a review on this soon. I have yet to start painting but I am really finding it a lot of fun.

Bushido! A new game from GCT Studios. I got the Temple of Ro-Kan starter and Aiko + Gorilla. The models are amazing and very well cast. The rules look great with a few nice twists and I am looking to get into this in a big way. I have almost finished the Gorilla, but have been quite ambitious with the bases so they are taking a bit longer than expected.

Everything Else - I recently got the Gears of War board game as well as Dreadfleet. Both are quality games with excellent components but I have no time to play all this awesomeness!

So thats the broad update. More very soon on Bushido and model pics!


Friday, August 19, 2011

Zoraida Thursday

I spent most of last nights Firestorm action painting up Zoraida - I'd say she is about 70% done now and I am feeling very pleased with things so far. Blood Bowl action is picking up at the club in preparation for the upcoming league and cup.

I also had confirmation of shipping from Wyrd for Gencon goodness! The Multiplayer expansion for Puppet Wars, Boosters 1 and 2 for Puppet Wars and the alternative Zoraida sculpt.

I uploaded some more Collodi pics last night - close ups of each model. You can check them out here:


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

25ss Collodi vs. McMourning Report

So last night after about 13 games with the Dreamer suffering clear losses I played a 25ss game with Collodi leading. What I realise now is that I "get" Collodi. I did the right things with him and found him far easier to use. I'm not sure how fun he would be to play against - my opponent got his hands on a couple of Marionettes and polished them off, but that was probably my fault for throwing them in for an attack....

Anyway here is the report:

Me: Collodi, 4 Marionettes, 3 Wicked Dolls 2 Stitched
   Strategy: Plant Evidence, Scheme: Bodyguard (Collodi) and Stake A Claim
Him: McMourning, Zombie Chihouaua; Bette Noire, 3 Necropunks, 3 dogs
   Strategy: Reconnoiter, Scheme: Stake A Claim

Note he sacrificed taking a second scheme to get 2 additional soulstones.

Outdoors - big train line in the middle of the board with two large trains, practially spiltting the board in two. Lots of height 1 and 2 cover on both board sides in the form of boxes/oil drums etc

He deployed in a flat line about midway along the edge of his deployment zone I deployed with Collodi, Marionettes and Dolls clumped together and both stitched further off to the left.

Turn 1
I got the initiative. Collodi activated, gave fast to dolls and marionettes and failed to cast Breath Life. The Marionettes then all sprang forward and dragged each other/Collodi to just behind the end of the train in the middle of the board. The stitched moved up one at either end of the train. The wicked dolls were amazing! They sucked up to Collodi and than moved twice to terrain peices in his half. I had two peices of evience planted by end of turn one.
McMourning killed his totem for the parts and McMourning and dogs ran off to the side to get the wicked dolls. The Necropunks all moved forward to behind the train a bit, opposite Collodi and his Marionettes.

Turn 2
I wanted initiative to get the dolls out of McMournings way but lost! McMourning stepped up and managed to get an attack on a doll but I managed to cheat and avoid it! The doll then missed an attack, made another and caused weak (1) damage, but got the Trigger off so poison 2! Cheeky fella then Hags Toy'd it back to Collodi! The other dolls did the same as his dogs came around to chase them. The Necropunks had moved over to near where the dolls were and the stitched on the other side of the board moved up to terrain ready to plant evidence. Collodi activated, gave fast, failed Breathe Life and a marionette moved up and dragged Collodi to near a Necropunk. The other three Marionettes all took it turn to suck up to Collodi, move and attack twice, one even got three attacks in. I only killed one Necropunk! The other stitched managed to Gamble Your Life on another Necropunk causing 3 wounds. Bette Noire popped up and killed a Marionette.

Turn 3
I lost initiative again. Bette killed another Marionette. Collodi activated, raised a new Marionette from scrap and then him and 2 Marionettes shifted about 18" to safety on the other side of the board! The new Marionette got left behind a bit as I hadn't thought it all through properly! The dogs ran up to the midway point near the stitched and the necropunks jumped up to the straggling Maironette. The stitched planted evidence and then mvoed to intercept the chasing punks. The Dogs however had got a corpse counter and McMourning summon a Flesh Golum! The Golum proceeded to move to the Marionette the punks were chasing and smited him! The Dolls all Hags Toy'd over to Collodi and planted the fourth evidence.

Turn 4
The dogs moved up to threaten the stitched on the left. He activated and killed two of the three through Gamble Your Life. McMourning came up and finished him off, but his Does Not Die reactivated him. He killed the last dog with Gamble and failed to hit it on Bette.The other stitched stood up to the punks and golum that caught him. He managed to Gamble and finish off another punk, but was down to one wound. Collodi took his dolls and marionettes into McMournings deployment zone ready to achieve stake a claim.

At this point the FLGS was kicking out so we had to stop! I had my strategy and both schemes. Chances of killing Collodi were incredibly slim if we continued and my Stake a Claim couldn't really have been stopped. He hadn't yet, but could of got the stake a claim scheme, but with only four models left (McMourning, Flesh Golum, Bette and one punk) chances of getting Reconnoiter were slim. My last stitched would have had four potential go's to Gamble his last punk to death and I had 3 dolls, 2 Marionnettees and Collodi running around, plus two scrap counters I could use on the field to replace Marionettes with.

I love Collodi! All fustration I had felt with the Dreamer peeled away ;-) I hope it doesn't suck too much to play against. At 35ss games I am bringing in Zoraida and hopefully a bit hitter like JuJu or KillJoy for fun. I have no idea how to get rid of Bette and if I had to kill off McMourning I would have been in trouble. I made a mistake using Collodi and all Maironettes to take down one Necropunk, but is was lack of numbers on his part that put his strategy out of reach so it may have been the right thing to do. The stitched lost a few Gambles but who cares - when it works it is glorious! Must have high cards in hand ready when I plan to hit hard with it.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Collodi Crew Pics

So I finished painting up my 25 SoulStone Collodi led crew. It is comprised of Collodi, 4 x Marionettes, 3 x Wicked Dolls and 2 x Stitched. Here is a group shot - more pics coming tomorrow - along with a battle report from my first scrap! Getting ready for the Bristol tournament on the 27th...

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Painting, Bloodbowl & Helldorado Book!

So it's been a busy painting period recently. With the Bristol Malifaux one day tournament in two weeks I have been getting my Collodi crew ready for action. Only a couple of Wicked Dolls to go!! The Marionettes, Collodi and Stitched are ready. After that I need to get Zoraida ready for the 35ss league at Firestorm.

Before Zoraida though I am also in this years W.A.N.C Bloodbowl tournament hosted by the Viet Taff. Not expecting a win though as I am rolling with Halflings! The reason for this is that I had a nifty idea to use the Nightware Edition Teddy (left) as Treemen and Puppets War model, Plaguebears (right), as the Halflings to create a teddy themed team. League starts in October and I am starting from scratch....more on this later.

As a last point I obtained the much anticipated HellDorado book this week. I will post a full review soon, but it is very nicely presented, good bit of fluff and the models presented look nice so thumbs up so far!