fredag 31 oktober 2014

Shadows of Brimstone unboxing and first look.

So on Wednesday the mailman had tried to drop something off at my place when I wasn't at home. He left a note saying I could get it at the local post office the day after on thursday. Strange, I hadn't ordered anything large, or had I? I did some thinking and thought that maybe... just maybe it could be my Shadows of Brimstone kickstarter finally being delivered. (If you have no idea what Shadows of Brimstone is about, in short it's a co-operative dungeon crawl boardgame, with a cross-over Wild West and Cthulhu theme. If you follow the link you can watch the nice intro video, then come back here.)

Maybe " B...stone... C... of the Ancients" could be a clue?
Come Thursday I rushed home from work (after picking up my wife at her work, shopping some winter clothes for the kids, shopping food for me and wifey) to get the package. It was BIG and HEAVY.

Still can't really make out the text...
And yes it was the first delivery from Flying Frog Productions! Would the games be as good and as shiney as the kickstarter promised? Click to see more, but beware, lots of pictures after the break.

The kickstarter was a much more huge success than Flying Frog Productions expected I think. They have had some production delays because of the sheer size of the project. Originally everything was to be delivered in time to Gencon 2014, but soon FFP realised that they wouldn't be able to do it, so they concentrated on getting the core games finished instead.
Both the core sets and the kickstart exclusive Outlaw... sadly only the rules and cards, the mini comes later.
The kickstarter exclusive hero, the Outlaw is also included. At least the rules and cards are, but not the miniature. This way you can still play the Outlaw although you have to find a substitute figure. It's a bit sad, but I think it's a fair compromise. The outlaw miniature will be delivered together with all the other stretch goals later. It might be for the best as there is a ton of miniatures in the core game alone. Getting another dumpload would probably turn my lead- and plastic mountain into a black hole.

The autographed artwork and the Outlaw rules summary, character card and special cards.

Turn them over and we get a skill tree and a female variant. All the heroes comes with alternate gender versions, quite nice.
Tossing the Outlaw stuff aside I grabbed the closest of the two game boxes.
Nice components on the back of the box... should sell the game pretty good in the stores.
Ripping it open reveals... stuff! And Cards! And more stuff!!!
I see tentacles. 
Character cards, monster cards, rulebooks. What's missing?

A closer look at the female Bandido and the Piano Player (which is the male version of the Saloon Girl).
I think it's nice that the character cards are double sided with alternate gender versions. Of course all that differs are the names and character portraits, but this way the game isn't excluding girls. Call me a feminist (yes please) but I think this is a nice touch. Of the minis included there are three male and one female figure in each core game, but there will be figures for the alternate gender versions included with the stretch goals. Character packs will be sold with two miniatures; a male and female version. So girls wanting to play Shadows of Brimstone are not limited to playing only Saloon Girls or Ranchers' wives but can instead go into battle as a dynamite-tossing Bandido or a kick-ass US Marshal.

Underneath all the rules and miniatures is the CD Soundtrack of the game. Still something missing... what???

I was a bit worried at first that all the lovely game boards were left out until I found them under the box insert.
Ten full size boards with gameboards and counters.
One of the boards, this one with corridors and junctions and a few counters
The map tiles are really, really really nice. The artwork is fantastic and the fact they are different on both sides make the them more versatile. (Versa-tile, see what I did there?) The mine tunnels are dark and barely lit giving an evocative feel to them.

Two more. The map pieces are double-sided, with a mine on one side and the snow-covered Ancient City on the other.
Even corrridor ends are included to show where the tunnels stop and no further exploration is possible. Some tunnels ends in portals however, leading to a different world. When playing different missions you draw cards to explore the map, showing which piece is next, and drawing exploration chits that shows how many (if any) exits lead from the tile (some which can be portals). You also draw encounter cards to see what monsters is on the tile. Both games have twelve scenarios; six basic which are common to both games and six themed to their respective world. Some scenarios have fixed maps while others use random maps.

One of the objective rooms. At first I thought it was a pile of treasure, then I realised what it was...
When you go through a portal to another world you switch the map deck and encounter decks for the appropriate world. This means that if you have more than one set (which I do since I got both core games) it's possible to travel between three different worlds.

Counters, counters, counters and then some more counters.
Later expansions will be released with new map tiles, new missions and new monsters to be added to the worlds, as well as complete world expansions with new worlds.

I couldn't resist trying to assemble the mine. This uses about half the map tiles. Note the blue portal on the left.
As far as I could see, the two core boxes have different mine tiles included in the boxes. The corridors are similar but the rooms are different. Not only do they have different themes on their backs, but their shapes are different. For example there's an underground lake tile in the Swamps of Death box. I'm not sure if you are meant to mix the mine cards from both games together or not, time will tell. 

A few of all the different counters included, and a depth track to track... well... depth!
On to the miniatures!!!

The four heroes included. Some small parts that need glueing.
The miniatures are fairly well sculpted, I suspect they are 3D-designed in a computer but that is not a drawback nowadays. However I can't say that the moulds are perfect. Some details are a bit soft and while most components have oddly shaped pegs to be fitted into similarly shaped holes, sometimes these shapes don't really match due to the mould. There are also some flash and mould lines that needs to be scraped off. Some of the bigger multi-part figures are also a bit complex to assemble without any instructions (which I couldn't find any of).

Did someone order Calamari?
That said, the miniatures are quite nice, the monsters are icky and imaginatively designed while the heroes look tough and fit with theme. In fact I will be using them for regular Wild West miniature games as well.

The common monster sprue. You get three like this, so that's 12 spiders, six tentacle thingies and three large beasts.
And what might you be? (You only get one, but I think one will be enough.)
Oh, one of those! Typical big end-boss, he's mounted on a 60mm base.
After assembling a few of the figures I started to take size comparison shots. However living in the frozen north where the sun only shines three hours a year -- not really, but it had got dark -- it was quite hard to get the camera to focus on the grey plastic but at least you get the general idea. 

The Good, the Pretty, the Bad and the Ugly.

Dispatching a tentacle beast...

Almost looks like the big guy is introducing himself... he's on a 40mm base.

A herd of tentacles. Flock? School? Grove?

The spiders and tentacles are quite big compared to the humans. Nasty things.

Maybe he's a really nice guy when you get to know him?

The spiders have mouths on the underside. Don't look behind you...

Phew... I hope you liked this preview, and that is only the contents of the FIRST box. I'm thinking of painting all the monsters in really simple colours with a few details and then dipping them in Army Painter to finish them quickly. I will do a more detailed job with the heroes of course. I'm really excited by this game, from the quick flick through the rules it seems like a very fun and immersing game. It has an XP system so you can get better and between missions you can go to town and buy more equipment. 

I can't wait to play this game!

3 kommentarer:

  1. I think this shows both the danger and allure of a kickstarter!

    How do the figures compare to, say, GW figures? They look a bit thin (i.e. normal)

    1. Height-wise they are similar size, but as you say they are more realistically proportioned. Their bases are 30mm in diameter if that helps.


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