Thursday, 8 January 2015

Playing with more unpainted plastic

Last monday I told you about Onus!, but it hasn't been the only game I've played this Christmas time. I've a very busy bee (well, at least for my standards!) and I've managed to play a few new games :D

The thing is, shame on me, I had not painted a single mini of any of them! :(
But let me explain. I'm afraid I didn't take enough pics of any of these games to make a proper AAR, but I didn't want to leave the opportunity of talking, though briefly, of them.

The first one is Krosmaster: Arena. Or how to play 8-bits anime on a board. Not exactly kawaii, but very close to. Though I thought this wasn't going to be my cup of tea, I must admit it's quite fun and makes a perfect choice for kids.

We were four players, each one controlling two minis
The pic above says quite it all, I believe. The board is quite moderate for any table, the minis are supplied painted and the scenery is cardboard made, so everything's pretty easy to set up.
It's likely to be a videogame set on a board; the dynamics are really easy to aprehend and the game essentially consists in hitting everyone else!

You can even hit boxes, bushes and trees for gold. 8-bits arcade power!
Each character has particular abilities that allow the tiny guys to make more hits, to heal other members of their team, etc.

I just need some retro music to play this
That's quite much the game, it hardly takes more than... half an hour? A little more maybe? to run a game, so again, perfect choice for small kids unable to concentrate more than that time! (That includes myself!)

The second game we played (that was another day!) was a real classic... Escape from Colditz.
I remember the TV series (based on actual events) when I was a child, but I've never been able to find it later :(. The game, a reedition of the original, is about escaping from a German high-security POW prison during WWII. Apparently the castle is quite more friendly nowadays.

So we prepared ourselves...

That was the Germaniest attire we were able to find. Beer on the right is German too
One of the players acts as the warden (black pawns) and the other players have to try their best to escape. Thay can team up, exchange items they find all over the castle and come up with a plan in order to get as many prisoners as possible out of the castle to the designated escape squares.
So they can forge an official document, they can make a rope out of blankets, they can steal wire cutters or even dig out a tunnel!

You can lower yourself with a rope from the windows (white circles), but some windows are higher than others!
Your strategy may involve scattering your men all over the castle and make it difficult for the wardens to follow everyone, or maybe make some players annoy the wardens in order to distract them while the others get the escape items and try to break out.

Through a bribe and a rope a prisoner gets out of the castle
The game is terribly fun and it makes you think a lot! If you ike the ambientation, this is a must have.

The third (and last) game I'm showing today is the Mansions of Madness. I had heard a lot of positive feedback and was really curious about it. I must say, just learning how to play is the first step into madness...

Millions of cards and tokens. Insanely detailed
I guess most of you are familiar with the background of this. Lovecraftian horror at its top, really environmental. The recreation of the atmosphere is superb, the investigators must go through the mansion getting the clues in order to solve the mistery, while the 'Keeper' will summon creatures or paranormal events that will affect the characters. So the game is not only a struggle with the bad guys, but with the mansion itself as well as the characters' own fears.

Fear to a maniac with an axe, for example. Quite a reasonable fear, if you ask my opinion
Corpses raising from the basement, an old power lurking in the darkness... Quite valid excuses for fear too
The cooperative nature of the game encourages the players to look for a common strategy and to share the objects they found through the mansion according to their skills and... well, as I'm writing this I believe this is pretty much the Colditz game with a horror twist! :D

The characters cannot only be hurt, but can also be literally driven crazy, by losing their sanity points. As a matter of fact that happened in this game, an investigator lost his mind, begun to see monsters where there was none, attacked his fellows and finally ended up taking his own life (yuk!)

Epic moment when one of the investigators turns against his fellows. Perfect timing, having a guy with an axe next to them
The game is kinda complex, but the details make it great. The growing horror, making each turn more and more claustrophobic, adds tension (and fun!). The game was solved by the end of the very last turn, all was on the edge, so a really fun experience.

Of course you can count on me painting the minis. When I have them finished we'll have another game and I'll make a full review of the game. In the meantime, if you have interest in any of the other games above, just let me know and we'll gladly find the time to play and make a review! :D (Ahhh, it's a hard life...)


  1. If you want to view the Colditz tv show try you tube I watched it there a while back.

    Love the game as well btw

    1. Thanks! I'll try that! The game is ace, pretty enjoyable :)

  2. Replies
    1. Totally recommended! I paid my dues with the Xmas Gaming Spirits! :D