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Bestiary Playing Cards
Publisher: Alexey Aparin
by Kim L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/02/2021 04:50:20

A nice set of "monster" cards! Why?

This is a well-made standard deck of 54 playing cards with a variety of info and graphics for Fantasy gaming fans. You get the usual 4 suits found in any normal deck of cards, but there are 16 "dungeon" tiles among them and 36 "monster" cards and the Jokers are entrance or exit tiles. Each of these cards is different, none of this same monster pic in a different suit you might see with similar decks...each is an individual well drawn pic of (mostly) recognizable fantasy creatures. On each card is a "die" roll with a different number. This set looks like it was made to be "system agnostic" so that it can be played with different rulesets. There are no instructions, but I imagine an imaginitive soul could find a way to use these with whatever game they want...including all the usual card games played with a standard playing deck!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Bestiary Playing Cards
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CounterFact Issue 8
Publisher: One Small Step
by Heretica A. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/21/2020 15:09:51

This was first time buying this magazine, and I was attracted by the game included and it's strange premise. In it, designer Ty Bomba takes the idea that Bulgaria allies itself with the USSR in 1941, setting off a 2nd Winter War, this time between the USSR and Nazi Germany. A bit of a stretch but the idea intrigued me.

The game itself is an odd duck, it uses a chit pull mechanic which separates movement from combat for each nation, randomly drawn from a cup. For example you may draw the activation chit for Rumanian Combat which is great if those forces are already in contact with the enemy, because you dont get to move those troops on the same activation. Given the small combat power of most of the nations on the board...this makes most of them useless in anything other than defence or possibly making sneaky attacks against undefended objectives. Not all that useful in a game where the Nazis and Soviets are roaming the board.

The Nazis have an enormous advantage in that they call in their movement and combat chits at ANY time between the other activations. I think this is to reflect their greater organization over everyone else. The Soviets begin the game with powerful forces and get the first moves on the first turn. Their attacks can even give the Germans pause, but these units are brittle. Once lost their replacements are far weaker. This creates a strange situation wherein the Russians rampage across the board early in the game, but gradually weaken as their powerful units get ground into paste.

Yugoslavia is a "wild card" in that their forces may remain neutral, join the Allies, or fall into a civil war with each faction supporting the Russians or Germans. The British, Greeks, Italians and Turks make appearances on the southern border, and may play small roles in the fight to maintain their borders or to invade Bulgaria. None of them made much of a difference in the games I played, but its possible they could change the outcome under the right circumstances.

Victory is determined by holding key cities and oil wells.

The game components are reasonable for a print and play magazine game, the pieces use NATO symbols. THe board is supposed to be the Balkans in winter, but reminds me of Mordor without the volcano. Not bad.

I cant say the game is the best Ive ever played but it did interest me enough to play a few games back to back, and as I write this, will get it to the table again soon. (That said, I think the premise is utterly ridiculous and would only happen...in a game!) But as games go...I liked it.

The magazine you get with the game is decent. Particularly good are the articles on the Finnish Civil War and the "Salonika Front" of World War I.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
CounterFact Issue 8
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Göatter Dämmerung (Cardstock Characters™)
Publisher: Skirmisher Publishing
by Heretica A. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/20/2020 01:25:51

Well, for a dollar its definitely a five stars. I wish it had thick black borders allowing it to be cut out, rather than just as a standee. The goats themselves look good.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Göatter Dämmerung (Cardstock Characters™)
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Celtic (Gallic) house (clt011)
Publisher: WargamePrint
by Heretica A. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/18/2020 23:52:32

Just what I needed to construct a fantasy village filled with anthropomorphic mice! Its modeled on ancient Gallic houses but works well for a lot of different settings. (Like an anthropomorphic mouse village) There are options for three differnt kinds of roofs and walls making several great options from just this set.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Celtic (Gallic) house (clt011)
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Kev's Lounge Paper Minis: Blazin' Bones
Publisher: Kev's Lounge
by Heretica A. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/18/2020 23:46:06

Awesome set of FLAMING skeletons! The artist uses layers that allow a user to have 4 different levels of flames on the skeletons, from weapons only to raging inferno. Nice!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Kev's Lounge Paper Minis: Blazin' Bones
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Orcs I - Savage Tribes
Publisher: PERMES
by Heretica A. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/18/2020 23:43:10

This set contains green skinned orcs in a 1940s comic book style, not really good or bad, but not quite my cup of tea. The set includes 4 different tints for each figure, perhaps to distinguish them on the table.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Orcs I - Savage Tribes
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Darkfast Classic Fantasy Bonus Set One: Fae is Fowl
Publisher: Okumarts Games
by Heretica A. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/18/2020 23:40:21

Great set, especially as its FREE! There are a few chickens in here that look like Foghorn Leghorn on a bad day. Fun!



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Darkfast Classic Fantasy Bonus Set One: Fae is Fowl
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Kev's Lounge Paper Minis: The Brotherhood
Publisher: Kev's Lounge
by Heretica A. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/29/2019 06:40:18

I bought this because I needed some monkish types for the game I am running. After I downloaded this I realized just how customizable this set is. The color of robes, belts, skin can be adusted on the fly as well as adding hoods, symbols etc. I am very impressed with this, for a few bucks this mini set can create so many different combinations...Im going to be looking through this artists other products...it looks like so much can be done. Also the style is what I am looking for , not campy or cartoony...



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Kev's Lounge Paper Minis: The Brotherhood
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In the Trenches: Devil Dogs
Publisher: Tiny Battle Publishing
by Kim L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/19/2017 21:11:07
"In The Trenches: Devil Dogs" is a game of WW I tactical combat. Its a hex and counter game, set in the last year of the war between U.S. Marines and the German Army on the Western Front. It is one of two "Base Sets" for the game system. There are 4 other "Batttle Packs" with additional scenarios at this writing. In order to play any of the other expansions you will need this base set or "In The Trenches: Doughboys".

What you get: 3 great looking maps, one for each of the scenarios included. One of a hill with entrenchments, a forest with entrenchments, and what looks like the same forest, blasted all to hell. The counters are clean and functional, using NATO symbols for infantry and silhouettes for machine guns and mortars. A 20 page rulebook, a turn record sheet and a quick reference sheet.

How it plays: The three scenarios included involve US marines assaulting the Germans in entrenched positions. Turns are made of "rounds" in which players roll 2 d6 to determine who goes first. The difference between these rolls determines how many orders may be given during that round. This creates a lot of variability and randomness typical of any battlefield.

Orders can be given to individual platoons, or to entire formations made up of four platoons. Ordering a formation has the drawback of one less movement point for all of the platoons within it. This can be important when assaulting a position, particularly if one has few orders that round. Moving or firing, exhausts units with two commitment levels: "Engaged" or "spent". A fresh unit that moves or fires (cant do both in the same round) becomes "engaged" and can only fire or engage in close combat thereafter. "Engaged" units may fire at half strength, but are "spent" afterwards and can do nothing but engage in close combat.

A single turn is composed of a random number of rounds and ends when both players roll the same initiative roll or when both players are out of options. At the end of the turn all units return to "Free" status and may start over.

In any round the player who isnt moving may use "reaction" fire against any enemy moving within range. This increases their commitment level by one (either "engaged" or "spent") but can be deadly to anyone trying to close in for close combat.

My opinion The game is about medium complexity, anyone familiar with hex and counter wargames will have no problem picking this up quickly. The scenarios all play in about 30-90 minutes. The game captures WW I infantry fighting without a lot of rules, but what is there is very nuanced, and will take a few plays to fully appreciate. My only complaint is a small one, this game gives you three scenarios which always pit the far more numerous marines vs the defending Germans in different positions. The marines do not have any support equipment, (mortars or machine guns). although the rules cover things like Cavalry charges, tanks and barbed wire, they play no role in this game. Also there are tons of counters which just aren't used. These rules and additional counters do get used in the additional expansions.

Its hard to fault a game with an admission price of $12, but to fully appreciate the system, one will need to buy one of the expansions. What you get with this base set is a bit of a tease, for potentially better things to come. I can't comment on that since I havent played any of them yet. But since I bought all of them, I'll be playing them and offering reviews here. What I see in this game looks very promising.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
In the Trenches: Devil Dogs
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