torsdag 22. februar 2018

BonesCon 2018: Four Miniature Game Demos

After the Friday Regional Cup I was signed up for a tournament on Saturday as well. I had two decisive losses, and a headache that was getting steadily worse (not why I lost, I got totally outplayed!). I decided to drop from the Saturday tournament and get better instead.

I took some headache pills, got some rest and food, and when I was feeling well again I decided to try out some of the miniature games being demoed.


The first one I checked out was Godtear from Steamforged. It was an early alpha version.

You had a couple of champions with associated minions that moved around on a hex grid, where they could move and bash the other player's dudes. The main ways of scoring was planting flags or beating up enemy models.

The game was pretty complicated. You had two different phases, where one was each player taking his turn, and the other one had each model take his turn. The cards were flipped an abilities changed between each phase. Also, there were 5 different special dice, and the dice types you rolled changed based on the number of models in a hex as well.

A bunch of good looking models fighting over some rather plain looking hexes.

In addition, you could apply statuses, which were dice on the board. There was no real room for these dice, so at times it was unclear which dice belonged to which model.

Overall the early alpha prototype felt like an early alpha prototype. It was overly complicated, without any clear benefit gained. I had no inclination to giving it another go after the first game. The rules need to be simpler, less fiddly and more streamlined. Also, blocking off and killing banners is not a very exciting mechanic.

Well, it's early days, I guess, I'd be happy to try it again some time in the future. The models were pretty nice,. I especially liked the big golem and demon.


The next game was Gaslands, a crazy Mad Max inspired racing game using Matchbox cars instead of miniatures. The movement was done in X-Wing style, placing a movement template, moving your car, and rolling dice to see how well (or, quite often, totally disastrous) it went.

It was hilarious. Fast play, great risk/reward mechanics as higher speeds changed your movement options and made things harder, but allowed you to do more moves and get further in a turn.

A super enthusiastic guy was holding the demos.
Cars flipped and crashed and spun around, but sometimes you could take the negative effects and turn them into something positive, like trying to spin and slide into better positions. There was a very thematic rule that if you were in a situation where you were not sure if (say) two cars were colliding, whatever would cause the most damage would be the result!


I don't think it would work well as a competitive game, since you would have effects like a longer car model actually going faster. But for a crazy and not so serious beer-and-pretzels game, it seemed perfect. I can only imagine the mayhem if you were playing a handful of players. Definitely the best and most original of the new games I tried out over the weekend!


There was one single table which was busy all of Saturday, and that was Mythos from Paranoid Miniatures. On Sunday morning I went straight there to get a demo game. I am a big Lovecraft fan, so I was looking forward to this one.

My squad of brave investigators

I picked the good guys in the Priory: One mad professor and his cat, a guy with a flamethrower and a crush on his fellow archeologist spellcaster, and a golem.

The professor and his cat

It was a well executed game, I think. Typical X-Com style play, where each models gets two activations that can be used for anything. Abilities were opposed dice rolls, so you could for example attack someone in melee, and if the defender won, the attacker would take damage.

Of course, there was insanity involved! When characters go mad and flip out their cards are flipped, changing the character stats and abilities. Also, they then start to roll for whether they go limp with fear, or maybe even run away. I felt that the insanity effects were a bit bland, mostly a status effect. It worked fine mechanically, but perhaps adding a card deck of all kinds of phobias would be more thematic and fun!

Very nice looking board that they had built
There was also a pool of Myth you could use to fire special abilities, but it did not seem to prevent you from doing anything. It seemed like a lot of bookkeeping for little in game effect, I think it could just be removed.

All in all a decent game, good flow, well designed. I would be happy to play it again!

Some Mage Duel Game That I Forget What Was Called

The game was intended to simulate epic mage combat, but it felt more like epic bookkeeping. You had one or two models a side, that did some damage, applied some debuffs, or moved the opponent around a bit. Few models meant few positioning options, and many of the spells did fairly similar things (I had 4 spells that would cause the opponent's activation to cost more actions, for example).

Very nice looking game board!

When I thought it was over, it turned out that my opponent had a 60% death save, for some inexplicable reason. I had to kill him six times before he finally rolled a 7+ on a D10... I mean, come on, really, some luck is fine, but don't have mechanics like that.

Not sure if a 1vs1 Wizard battle is really a good idea for a miniatures game, it seems like something that might be better as a card game.

The miniatures were good looking, and they had made a beautiful board to play on.


Great to see so many new games being demoed! There were more games as well, but these four demos where what I had time for.

A photo of the Infinity tables, because Infinity tables are always awesome.

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