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UK Games Expo 2016 - Thoughts on Games

Started by Narric, June 03, 2016, 09:34:15 PM

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Had a good day at the 2016 Uk Games Expo today, and feel I can offer my thoughts on some of the games I played and were introduced to. Some weren't wargames, so I'll not mention them unless asked. IN no particular order...

Sentinels of the Multiverse (Card Game)
SotM is a 3-5 player Co-operate card game that puts you into the comicbook world of heroes and villains.
Closest comparisson I can make quickly are the challenge decks from the MtG theros block. The Villian plays cards automatically, with players working together to "Kill" him, all the while weathering the Environmental backlash of Dinosaurs, citylife, and the Red Planet. The decks we played are hard to describe. A support character that improved damage, Batman, the Hulk, and a religious fanatic walk into a bar. As a one shot game, it was a little difficult to pick up how to play. Its perhaps not best played for pickup games, as players probably would be best sticking to a preferred character archetype and improving their understanding of the game that way.

From a fluff perspective, every card includes flavour text that make you feel like the characters, settings, and plays are all part of a story. No actual comics exist, so its almost like a choose your own advanture game, without any way of knowing what will come next.

If you have a good number friends who enjoy comics, this would probably be a good card game to pick up and learn together. Iirc, the base game comes with 3/4 Villains, and 7/8 Unique Heroes.

Website link:

Doomstar (Cheese-like game)
Doomstar game is an in developement Fleet game. The developers describe it as a mix between Cheese and Stratego. I'd add there are elements of memory needed, as you will often not know what ships each game piece, that your opponent controls, actually is. The game mainly revolves around destroying the enemy fleet or their command ship, whilst protecting your own command ship. The game also features a literally Deathstar unit. Its more of a glass cannon. It deals a high amount of damage but cannot sustain any against itself, and does no damage if it is on the defense.
As I said, memory is a useful factor. I may be considerted to have cheated, as I won the game by remembering where my opponent placed his command ship, and quickly through a disposable fighter craft around to flank it. This forced my opponent to try a one turn dash to pot-shot my own command ship.

With the use of Blacholes to help slingshot your faster ships, and provide additional movement for larger ships, as well as possible future ships that will add additional elements to the game. IT does seem like it will provide a good outlet for tactical minded players, and/or players who enjoy space combat.

They are also planning on releasing a PC-based version of the game as well, which will likely have all the same components as the physical game.

Website Link:

Afterlife (Wargame)
I've mentioned Afterlife before on separate occaisions, but today I managed to finally have a proper play of the game against its developers.

The game uses the increasingly common alternating turn strucker based on unit activation as opposed to the familiar Warhammer style of Player turns. These means that you can potentially get the drop on an enemy unit, and obliterate them before they have a chance to reactively fire back at you. Or if your opponent rolls poorly you can activate your previously targeted unit to open fire on their aggressors to wipe the floor with them. Snipers are useful at picking off human/squishy targets, and can make it so they can't react at all for the rest of the turn. Mechs and Exo-suits provide greater mobility and durability, and can surprisingly be hard to hit in the first place.

The two current factions essentially have units which epitomise the aspect that army utilises best. For the council, their Spectre troops are increadibly versatile and work best when hidden, whereas Pulse Mechs and Goliath Mechs represent the Republics hardy, in your face with big guns nature. New factions are in development as well, two being a Corporation trying to become independent of the Council, and Rebels who see all Corporate forces as the enemy (Council and Republic are both Corporate entities in a way). The game is light on vehicles, but those will also be added later on.

The game is at V1.3 right now, with further improvements likely coming over the comings months/years, depending on how regularly Anvil will print the Rulebook.

I also snagged myself a unit of Pulse MEchs, so will be assembling and painting them over the coming weeks :3

Website Link:

The King is Dead (Board game)
KiD takes place after the great King Arthur dies, with what now is Great Briton divided by the Scots, the Welsh and the English. your objective is to either be supported by the majority rules of the land, or have enough sway across all three factions to unit the land against Saxon invaders.

You're limited to only 8/9 cards in your hand from the start of the game with no replenishment between regions becoming conquered or thrown into conflict, meaning playing fast in one region in the early game can severely reduce your chances of victory in the late game. The games can be quick between two players, or see fapid changes of the political landscape when more players are involved.

Probably best for more historically preferring gamers, but a good game to play if you're wanting something different.

Website Link:

Dropzone Commander (Wargame)
Another Unit Activation based game at 10mm scale. Dropping in anti-aircraft and Anti-armour tanks into the battlefield whilst stil dealing damage in the sky allows for some close calls and rapidly changing tactics. Landing your dropship to act as a literal meatshield for your tanks may seem wise, until your opponent spots the gap they can shoot through.

I played as the Scourge against the UCM, and thanks to good and bad rolls for myself and my opponent, nearly won by boardwipe. Destroying buildings occupied and surrounded by enemy forces is a viable tactic to prevent the enemy from capturing objectives, and keeping your units mobile to avoid destruction is advise, and is effective depending of which faction you choose.

I will say one thing, and that is that the models are pretty gorgeous for near enough all the actions, each in the own way which also helps emphasis the different tactics each faction favours. UCM is all about using Jack of all trades units that are survivable, Scourge are specialised and fast, PHR using powerful laser weapons, Shaltari are excellent at redeployment (and their models looks sexy AF, in my opinion), and the Resistance have a fantastic rugged look to them that is in a way endearing. In terms of painting, for most the advice is paint a block colour then Drybrush. Some factions have a good mix of flat armour and fidly innerds that works well to highlight the different designs of pretty much every unit from eachother.

Website link:

I also was introduced to Bushido and Mafia.
Bushido Is about Ninjas infiltrating a location to fulfill their hidden objectives, while the Defending player must move guards to deter infiltration attempts.
Mafia seems to be a good game for larger groups of friends. Perhaps more fun when you have good bullshiters in the group.