Privateer Press has unveiled their upcoming Monsterpocalypse releases for February. They are releasing a new monster and building for the Shadow Sun Syndicate and a new monster and building for Planet Eaters.

For the Shadow Sun Syndicate-

Zor-Raiden (Metal/Resin, $21.99)

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Shadow Sun Industries (Resin, $14.99)

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According to the description, the Shadow Sun Industries building itself and allies from blast attacks as well as providing a new spawn point.

For Planet Eaters-

Rogzor (Resin, $34.99)

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Unless I’m mistaken, this is the single most expensive (money wise) for a monster-only unit/package.

Harbinger Comet Shard (Resin, $16.99)

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From the description, this building converts enemies into power for attacks and acts as a new spawn point.

These new models all, visually, seem incredibly fun. I know that the Harbinger Comet Shard is for the Planet Eaters, but I cannot help but want to paint it up like part of the Fortress of Solitude from Richard Donner’s Superman. Those are just screaming to be painted like blue crystals.

What do you all think? Will you be inching your way to a faction-pure build for Shadow Sun Syndicate and Planet Eaters with these or will you be skipping them? Sound off in the comments and let us know.

Until next time, keep your dice warm and happy gaming.

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So the other day was my birthday. One of my gifts I received was a box of Strongest! Team AL4 (VGE-V-BT02) and a copy of the Ren Suzugamori Trial Deck (VGE-V-TD04). With exception of my very first Weiss Schwartz deck for Sword Art Online, I have the worst luck imaginable when it comes to pulling awesome cards. That changed when I pulled this beauty:

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I am not one to brag, but I was so stoked to pull this! I’ve always loved Shadow Paladins. They are one of my main three clans. So to get this and it be on my birthday? What isn’t there a bit to brag about…?

Anyways, after that last sour article I wrote, I wanted to post something remotely positive.

Keep your dice warm and happy gaming!

Alright. Admittedly that headline is a bit long, but it is the truth.

A little back story before we get into the meat of this article. Since 2015, Ninja Division/Soda Pop Miniatures have launched 5 successful Kickstarters. The most successful of these campaigns was for Super Dungeon Explore: Legends. More than 6,000 backers pledged over $1.29 million dollars during the Kickstarter and who knows how much more during the pledge manager via the company’s official web store. After Super Dungeon Explore: Legends, they launched campaigns for Relic Knights 2nd Edition, Starfinder Masterclass Miniatures, Rail Raiders: Infinite, and Way of the Fighter.

To date, Rail Raiders: Infinite and Way of the Fighter have been in retail stores for more than a year while there are still backers awaiting their copies, stretch goals and more. The Starfinder miniatures have just now begun making their way to US backers, with quality control issue after quality control issue. Relic Knights 2nd Edition was supped to have been done and shipped by February 2018 but there has been only radio silence since August 2018. And, finally, Super Dungeon Explore: Legends had been shelved until Starfinder and Relic Knights had been completed.

Despite the projects’ various degrees of completion, more than $2.56 million dollars was raised by more than 17,000 backers through the Kickstarter campaigns. This does not included the undisclosed amount raised during the various pledge mangers, as there would be late backers and people who upped their pledges.

With that in mind, it brings us to the the present. As the company has been radio silent on all their Kickstarter pages (See: Ninja Division Pulling Back from Kickstarter), this had led several backers to write to their attorney generals as well as the Idaho attorney general (Ninja Division/Soda Pop Miniatures are based out of Idaho) in regards to fraud. The response from Ninja Division/Soda Pop was finally made public: Ninja Division Response to Attorney General.

While the response is worded as such to skate over many of the pressing questions backers have had, as well as give a detailed account usage of all funds raised and not just of those during the Super Dungeon Explore: Legends Kickstarter, it does have a few interesting bits of information:

  • Under their disclosure of Initial Funding, they state that approximately $343,559 was used for “annual overhead”. This included payroll, facilities and additional overhead. This funding was to cover them for the remainder of 2015, as well as all of 2016. They then state they had to deplete the funds to cover 2017 as well.
  • Also under their disclosure of Initial Funding, they state that approximately $485,679 went to “project expenses”, including license fees and marketing.
  • Funds for the game are completely ran through, leaving a deficit of $750,000 needed to bring the project to completion.
  • While the fate of their other non-SDE IPs are not disclosed, they do mention that they are in discussion with multiple outside companies for acquisition of their studio.

There is also several bits of blame laid at the backers’ feet that we won’t go into.

In the end, ultimately, this does not bold well for anyone connected with these games. Be it a backer, designer or what have you, it looks like the curtain is slowly falling on what was once a great company and a great stable of fantastic games.

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For full details on the four outstanding Kickstarters and some basic stats. Way of the Fighter is not included in this break down as it backers for this are waiting on miniature add-ons. While not to be cast aside or forgotten about in the least, it is hard to gage a proper number of backers effected by this as Way of the Fighter featured the least amount of backers and most have moved on from the campaign.

Relic Knights 2nd Edition

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/sodapopminiatures/relic-knights-2nd-edition/description

Originally ran on KS from Feb 27, 2017 until March 14, 2017

  • Raised $386,826 from 2,489 backers
    • Does not account for any/all additional funds raised via the Pledge Manager
  • Game/Stretch goals were to ship in 3 waves over an 8 month period
    • Wave 1 – Summer 2017: Base game and majority of stretch goals/add ons
    • Wave 2 – Winter 2017: Remaining stretch goals/add ons
    • Wave 3 – Feb. 2018: Void Break Expansion Rulebook/outstanding stretch goals

As of November 2018, zero of the game’s 2000+ backers have seen anything. Last real update on production was back in July 2018. Several comments made at GenCon by Soda Pop employees was that the game was to begin shipping at the end of August. Last comment made by John Cadice (owner of Ninja Division) was that they ran out of bases, and the comment was made via a Facebook Relic Knights fan page.

Rail Raiders: Infinite

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/sodapopminiatures/rail-raiders-infinite/description

  • Originally ran on KS from April 6, 2016 until April 22, 2016
  • Raised $339,724 from 4,649 backers
    • Does not account for any/all additional funds raised via the Pledge Manager
  • Game/Stretch goals were to ship October 2016.
  • Shipping finally began in August 2017.

As of November 2018, many of the game’s backers (primarily those out of the United States) are still awaiting their games though the game has been available at retail for months. Last update was January 2018.

Starfinder Masterclass Miniatures

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/325468910/starfinder-masterclass-miniatures/description

  • Originally ran on KS from September 27, 2017 until October 17, 207
  • Raised $457,539 from 2,294 backers
    • Does not account for any/all additional funds raised via Pledge Manager
  • Game/Stretch goals were to ship May 2018
  • Shipping began in waves in May 2018, however they have switched to a new model of shipping what they have when they are done. 
    • This could be a single miniature or multiples.

As of November 2018, Wave 1 miniatures have begun making their way to US backers. These shipments have been plagued by quality control issues and broken miniatures.

Super Dungeon Explores: Legends

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/sodapopminiatures/super-dungeon-explore-legends/comments

  • Originally ran on KS from October 21, 2015 until November 11, 2015
  • Raised $1,290,522 from 6,611 backers
    • Does not account for any/all additional funs raised via Pledge Manager
  • Game/Stretch goals were to Ship December 2016

As of November 2018, zero of the game’s backers have received anything. The last update of any type regarding fulfillment and shipping was back in March 2018.

$2,566,516 from 17,428 backers, or $148.80 per person.

 

Holy amazing looking release, Batman!

Knight Models looks to be swinging it out of the park this month in honor of the 80th birthday of everyone’s favorite vigilante, Batman. New starter boxes, new models, an amazing looking store exclusive and a new Batman that looks like he’ll be a joy to paint. Lets take a quick look:

80th Anniversary Batman-

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This may be my favorite Batman sculpt they’ve done so far.

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So it looks like this is indeed a Multiverse model, meaning it includes character cards for both the Batman Miniatures Game and DC Universe Miniatures Game. Anyone that knows me knows that this is an instant plus for me. I have always loved the idea of being able to buy a single miniature (or starter) and it works for multiple games. It just simply adds more bang for your money that way.

Clayface-

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So much nicer looking than the original Clayface model.

Another Multiverse unit. Love it! Keep them coming, please! This model looks sharp. The sculpt is very reminiscent of the animated Clayface.

Team Flash-

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I won’t lie. Ever since the started expanding the CW license for Batman, I have wanted two figures above all else. White Canary and Harrison Wells (Harry!) from Earth-2. Finally getting one of them at least!

Legion of Doom-

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I guess nothing says “speedster” like standing with your arms crossed while smirking cockily.

More speed! More League of Shadows! More magic! A solid looking group here.

Then outside the traditional single or multi-pack releases, Knight Models is rolling out a set of three brand new single player starters (350 point Bat-Boxes). These are interesting because they are comprised of most previously release models (though in the 2nd edition resin!). To make them appealing to existing player bases, it seems, is that they include a couple new models (in terms of units and themed objective markers), physical equipment cards and exclusive scenarios.

The Joker: Clowns Party-

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I am a sucker for the Clown Prince of Crime. This is probably going to be high on my priority list.

The Riddler: Quizmasters-

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The Riddler and his crew here were on my radar for a little while, if for no other reason than I think painting all that green and purple would me fun. That being said, I’ve never bought any, so this may have to be bought.

Interesting idea, however. I am curious if they would release an Arkham Asylum/City/Knight version of the Riddler and his crew as a box? A 350 point arm of those little (and not so little) quizzing mechanical monsters would be fun.

Suicide Squad-

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Alright, a little truth time. This is the only blemish to the entire month of releases. With the exception of the models being resin, this is the exact same team as the Suicide Squad 2-player box released a couple years ago. Don’t get me wrong, I find the idea of getting a new Katana (the only model from the box I never assembled) appealing. However, would it have hurt to include the Enchantress and Rick Flagg? How about an exclusive Amanda Waller?

Honestly, they probably should have released a different hero themed box. It’s Batman’s 80th. Why not a Batman and squad of Gotham Police/S.W.A.T? Oh! A Teen Titans box with exclusive Cyborg and Beast Boy? Or a Birds of Prey box with an exclusive Oracle model?

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Ultimately, this seems to be a very good month if you’re a fan of the Batman Miniatures Game. Hopefully next month, we’ll get a few more Multiverse options though.

What do you all think? What are you picking up or passing on? Sound off in the comments below and let us know.

Until next time, keep your dice warm and happy gaming!

Privateer Press has announced that the release date for their relaunch of Monsterpocalypse has been pushed back a couple weeks from September 21st until October 5th. While not much of a delay, those of you who follow The Late Night Players know that Monsterpocalypse was one of our favorite titles from GenCon this year. So the news that its being delayed, even if ever so slightly, saddens us that everyone will have to wait longer to get their hands on the game.

The reason for the delay seems to be due to a customs hold up. From what we are to understand, this is a bit of history repeating itself as the original game had a couple of their releases delayed due to custom holds and shipyard strikes. Purely coincidental mind you, but a funny observation none the less.

Privateer Press’ official statement is below:

“Privateer Press’ upcoming Monsterpocalypse Hobby Miniatures Game, scheduled for release on September 21, has been temporarily delayed. U.S. Customs held the container carrying the game and a host of items from other companies for an intensive exam. The street date has been changed to October 5, 2018.

The Monsterpocalypse tutorial guide was launched last week to further players’ knowledge and awareness of the forthcoming game. The tutorial is available at here.

The Monsterpocalypse Hobby Miniatures Game represents an updated and streamlined second edition of the original 2008 collectible game’s rules. Additionally, instead of using pre-painted collectible figures to play, the new game’s most noteworthy difference is its use of highly detailed resin and metal hobby miniatures, which players get to assemble before playing. As a hobby game, this upgrade to the Monsterpocalypse experience provides the opportunity for players to customize their armies through painting and modeling them.”

Hopefully this will not force a delay of their other planned October releases of the Shadow Sun Syndicate (Protectors) and Lords of Cthul (Destroyers).

What do you all think? Disappointed? Relieved you’ll have a couple extra weeks to get what you have primed and painted for the table top? Sound off in the comments below and let us know.

As always, keep your dice warm and happy gaming.

This past weekend was the rerelease of the eighth Dragon Ball Z movie, Dragon Ball Z: The Legendary Super Saiyan, to theaters. Much like the original Poke`mon movies one the early 2000’s, this one came with a brand new card for Bandai’s Dragon Ball Super trading card game:

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Kakarot!!

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A new Broly leader gives players an alternative to the current Broly leader. While the original Broly leader has a limitation on only being able to attack an opponent’s leader, this Broly does not. Pre-Awaken Broly does have an effect for attacking a leader with him, one that will see cycling through a player’s deck for added bonus of discarding a card in their opponent’s hand. The Awakened Broly has an once per turn ability that can shut down any Battle Card their opponent may have.

A downside to the new Broly is that he does not get to benefit from the like’s of cards such as Broly’s Ring or Unstoppable Ambition Super Saiyan Caulifla, one that protects your hand while the hand protects your Battle Cards. That not with standing, this offers a bit more offensive options (being able to attack Battle Cards and not just Leaders) as well as some interesting defensive options.

All in all, for a movie give-away, this is one that I can see being a rather fun one to play around with. In a couple months, they are releasing a double feature for Dragon Ball Z: Bardock- Father of Boku and Dragon Ball Z: Fusion Reborn, which will have another give away (Gogeta!!).

That’s it for now. As always, keep your dice warm and happy gaming!

Another year, another GenCon in the bag.

In the past couple of years, GenCon has felt much too like a convention dedicated to promoting currently active or soon to be active KickStarters. Now, while there is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to promote upcoming products, there is something to be said about being able to demo a game, ask how much and take it home then and there on the spot. This year, we can happily report that, while KickStarters were still at the forefront of many companies, that wasn’t the case for the majority of the show.

By now, there are hundreds and hundreds of articles floating around online regarding the news, games and drama of this year’s festivities. Originally, I’d planned on doing daily recaps and news updates on the go this year. However, I was there as a fan and gamer first and foremost. As such, I tended to get carried away and spend more time at one booth than another, demoing something multiple times or not at all. So as opposed to a purely news article, I wanted to highlight a couple things that stood out to me this year.

Privateer Press and Monsterpocalypse

I’m going to be completely upfront and honest- I don’t remember the original game at all. My local comic/game shop had a large banner in their game room (before they demolished it for trade paperbacks) and I think I recall seeing a random booster or two in their closeout/clearance section. Beyond that, however, I don’t remember ever seeing this game new on the shelf or being played. Granted, the original ran from 2007 until cancelation in 2011, which was a roller coaster of a time for me in terms of hobby gaming.

Happily, I can say that won’t be a problem for me this time around.

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The newest edition is a hobby game, meaning the models are unpainted and unassembled. Darn Privateer Press and their amazing looking models.

Originally, we were just going to look at the game. The models were on display at the Privateer Press booth and they looked rather stunning. Demos were standing room only on Thursday, which was completely understandable. The game was just releasing and there was to be an event held that weekend for those skilled enough to build and get their starters to the table. We demoed the game on Friday, having a blast with it. Saturday morning, we demoed it for a second time with a group of friends. Later that day, we bought into it with both Agenda starter boxes and an extra blister of minions. By Sunday, we did go back and buy a second minion box as a 1v1 monster battle works best with 15 minions.

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I’ll be posting our clean up and building of the starters over the next few days.

Renegade Games and Power Rangers: Heroes of the Grid

GenCon is a nonstop whirlwind of game demoes and reveals. No sooner a game is announced, its on display in some form. Some of them are things you see coming a mile away, others are games that blindside you. Evidently this is one that decided to blindside us. We wandered over to the Renegade Games booth to check out their latest roleplaying game, Overlight, only to be surprised by this sight in the cabinet:

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While the top models are painted, the miniatures will not be. The Power Rangers, however, will be in plastic of their respective colors.

They made the announcement early on the first day of the show. As of writing this, the game’s Kickstarter is live, funded and well on their way to their fifth stretch goal. Sadly, there are zero gameplay videos yet, but hopefully we’ll see some in the coming week.

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Fantasy Flight Games and Star Wars Legion

Announced during their Flight Report on the first day, Star Wars Legion is finally adding a much needed character to the game- Chewbacca! Not only that, but we’re getting Wookie Warriors units as well! I just want to field an army of Wookie Warriors led by Chewbacca and Han Solo. Remember, always let the Wookie win!

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In all the excitement of the weekend, I forgot to get a photo from their booth of the models.

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They also showed off some Rebel and Imperial themed packs to add a bit of variety to your factions of choice.

Hasbro/Wizards of the Coast and Transformers TCG

Not going to lie, this was one I didn’t expect to actually like. I heard the comparison of “Star Wars Destiny without the random dice elements” and its not too far off. Playing with a set of oversized character cards and a small deck (featuring weapon and action cards), players take turns going back and forth battling out until one player is left standing. The transformation mechanic really sells the game for me. Plus it looks like the art is from the IDW comic line.

So far only a two-player starter and convention exclusive booster pack (made avaliable at San Diego Comic Con and GenCon this year) are out. I think one thing that is going to be a determining factor for the success of this game is what the actual booster packs look like on the store shelf (both in terms of pricing and space). I really hope it doesn’t turn out to be a flash in the pan, money grab situation.

Stand Up My Vanguard

This was actually something I’ve been looking forward to for some time- the Drive Check Podcast Cardfight! Vanguard meet and greet. It was a very casual, laid back event were everyone got one of the new reboot starters (I had to represent my boy Kai) and a booster of Unite Team Q4. Lost first round, but it was nice to play Vanguard with a group not from our usual stomping grounds. Plus, after listening to the podcast and different Twitter/Facebook conversations, it was a treat to finally meet Will and Cole.

Sadly, in all the excitement, forgot to take any pictures of the event.

You Never Know Who You Will Run Into

Another fun thing that happened was we had run ins on the floor with two awesome superstar gamers. The first was John Manganiello, hardcore celebrity D&D gamer. We knew he was going to be there that weekend to promote his new gaming clothing line, Death Saves. Sadly, every time we went by his booth, either the line was too long or he was away from the booth. Luckily we ran into him on the show floor and he was polite enough to pause for a quick photo.

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The other quest run in we had was extremely random but it was none other than Shaggy himself, Matthew Lillard. He was there promoting a new high end Dungeons & Dragons accessory line. That in and of itself was cool, but Scream and Their13en Ghosts were a couple of my favorite horror movie guilt pleasures. Plus…he’s Shaggy!

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In the End

GenCon 2018 will definitely go down as one of the more rememberable years for us. Fitting that it was also our 5th GenCon Anniversary! With lots of new games to play and so many cool announcements for stuff on the horizon, the next year is going to be a great one for gaming. We cannot wait for GenCon 2019!

Until next time, keep your dice warm.

A new troop unit for my new favorite miniatures game is soon on the horizon! Being a primarily Imperial player, it is even better that it is for that particular faction. Introducing one of the coolest Stormtroopers to grace the silver screen in Empire Strikes Back– the Snowtrooper!

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Cool? Get it? I’m so punny.

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Included in the expansion are:

  • Five (5) standard Snowtrooper figures
  • One (1) Flametrooper heavy figure
  • One (1) T-7 Ion Snowtrooper heavy figure
  • One (1) Grappling Hook upgrade card
  • One (1) Impact Grenade upgrade card
  • One (1) Snowtrooper addition card
  • One (1) Snowtrooper stat card
  • Nine (9) various tokens

At 48 points, they base stats are 4 points more than a standard Stormtrooper unit. They offer the same stats as their standard counterparts, swapping out the Precise 1 for Steady. That is a change I’m willing to take. The idea of moving twice then hitting another unit sounds pretty worth the 4 extra points.

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The heavy weapons upgrade cards offer two very different, but very useful, attack options to the formation. The Flametrooper offers a weaker attack in general, but has the potential to increase itself heavily if you can get close enough. The T-7 Ion Snowtrooper is a larger attack but requires readying after each attack.

The other two upgrade cards offered in this expansion are the same two offered in the standard Stormtrooper expansion. Grappling Hooks grant the unit Expert Climber, while Impact Grenades offer a 1 black die attack at Range 1 with Impact 1. Impact Grenades are nice, but as more and more terrain is being officially released via Fantasy Flight and various other 3D printers/terrain makers, being able to avoid the possible damage dealt by varying heights of terrain is a a huge bonus.

All in all, this is a fantastic looking expansion that I cannot wait to get to the table. I think my ideal build with this unit would be:

  • Snowtroopers- 48 points
  • Personnel Upgrade: Snowtrooper – 12 points
  • Heavy Unit Upgrade: Flametrooper – 20 points
  • Gear Upgrade: Grappling Hooks -3 points
  • Total: 83 points

If I have the additional 5 points to spare, I’d probably add the Impact Grenades, but I don’t think they’d be all that needed.

In the end, this is a must buy for the Star Wars Legion collection.

What about you, guys and gals? Am I wrong about skipping out on the Impact Grenades? Should I be thinking the T-7 is the better Heavy Unit upgrade? Or am I wrong all together and should just be fielding a stander Stormtrooper unit? Sound off in the comments below and let us know!

Until next time, keep your dice warm and happy gaming!

Its been a while since I did a new edition to Kickstarter Watch. Actually, its been so long since I did one of these, is that what I called it? I digress as that is what we are calling it now. There have been a couple games to pop up on Kickstarter the last few months that we went crazy for here at Late Night Players. Academy Games launched Agents of Mayhem: Pride of Babylon, followed by Monolith Board Games launched the impressive Batman: Gotham City Chronicles. For the record, while I did not comment on the message feed for it or approve of any of their bullying, I am Team Batcow all the way.

But we aren’t here to talk about those games. No, of course. It is spring time which means its time for another CMoN Kickstarter. This time, we’re talking an interstellar journey in a futuristic update to their classic Zombicide franchise- Zombicide: Invader.

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Look at all the pretty new plastic…(insert Homer Simpson drooling sound effect)

From their Kickstarter page:

“Zombicide: Invader is a standalone cooperative board game for 1 to 6 players, taking the trademark Zombicide action into the far reaches of space! Players control a group of Survivors trying to defend their remote mining outpost from a swarm of infected aliens controlled by the game itself. The more experience and power the Survivors earn, the more Xenos invade the facility!

This sci-fi interpretation of Zombicide is as sleek as ever, playing fast and furious. The rules have been optimized to reduce setup time and make the game flow quickly, focusing the action on the struggle between the Survivors and the Xenos.”

If the idea of Zombicide in space wasn’t enough to get people excited, looking at these minis:

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I wish my painting skills were half as good as this!

The classic Zombicide dashboard even got a bit of a futuristic upgrade:

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Taking a cue from Black Plaque, the new plastic dashboards are beautifully laid out.

At the time of this write up, the game is already funded multiple times over. Originally seeking $250,000 for production, the game is sitting at $1,182,662. This means they’ve unlocked a plethora of stretch goals, as well. With 24 stretch goals unlocked, they are sitting on a 25th goal of $1,240,00.

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The 25th stretch goal and a face only a mother could love.

Currently, there are only two pledge levels: Civilian and Soldier. The Civilian pledge is $100, and includes the core game, exclusive miniature and all applicable stretch goals. The Soldier pledge is $150, and it includes the core game, Black Ops expansion, two exclusive miniatures and all applicable stretch goals.

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The Black Ops expansion includes 6 new survivors, a new abomination and 3 new tiles. It also includes 6 additional dashboards for 12 player games.

So here is where I am going to have to be a little negative, and I really, truly do not want to be.

The game, for all intents and purposes, looks like it should be a fun and exciting addition to the Zombicide family. However, as has become the tradition with all CMoN products, its honestly about what the add after the fact that make these campaigns exciting and worth participating in. Zombicide Black Plaque: The Greene Horde had some of the most amazing miniature stretch goals and add-ons one could possibly ask for. Each miniature was a work of art, amazing homage and made unlocking it a celebration. I don’t get that feeling with this campaign. At least so far.

Every other survivor is a parody/homage, while the in-betweens are original characters. The art style, while beautiful and inspiring, does not translate well to showing off the parody in figure form. The original survivors, minus possibly one or two, are boring and lack any real character. This does not go for the aliens, however. The creatures are beautiful and if I could swap out the original design survivors for more of the creatures, I   probably would if I weren’t such a completist.

To top it off, especially after such a quick and amazing first 30 minutes the campaign was live, things are slowing down. I don’t know if it is just Zombicide fatigue, easy considering that Greene Horde hasn’t even completely shipped yet, or if others are finding aspects of the game as uninspiring as me, but the pace is a crawl at this point. I am left wondering if it wouldn’t have served them better to have called the game something else and treated it as a totally new and original IP as opposed to a sequel in a long running series. Plus, Xenocide would have made for a killer title!

In the end though, regardless of how much I am concerned or left underwhelmed, they have me for a Soldier pledge. I learnt a long time ago that if I want a CMoN game, get it via Kickstarter or else my collector’s OCD will kick in. I’m looking at you, Arcadia Quest. Hopefully we’ll see some sort of cool and amazing add-ons to get the stretch goals running again.

Until next time, keep your dice warm and happy gaming!

Everyone knows about my on-again-off-again relationship with Magic The Gathering. I spent most of my middle school and high school days bouncing back and forth between Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh!, but every once in a while Magic would slip in. The last time we actively tried to really get into Magic would have been around Core Set 2010 and the Divine vs Demonic two-player deck, then again when Dragons of Tarkir dropped in 2015.

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Admit it, Ojutai was dropping the sickest mixtape of 2015.

This relationship came to a head in 2017 when, after many attempts to get us into the format and several trips to GenCon, we finally broke into the Commander (or EDH) format. I went with the Arcane Wizardry deck, while Rob went with Feline Ferocity. The other two decks were chosen by two others in our main group. Laster that year, we’d add the Commander Anthology to our collection.

Since then, I think I’ve played more games of Magic in nine months than I have in the last ten years. Things got really bad when Ixalan/Rivals of Ixalan came out. Dinosaurs and pirates are a volatile combination. We attended actual prerelease events, even buying a full box of Rivals. The bug is pretty bad, though we’ve kept ourselves contempt with Commander. I think in large part to it being the only format the majority of our play group will only play.

This all brings me to the point of this post: I finally sat down and built my first from-scratch Commander deck. We have six decks prior, but they were all pre-constructed decks to which we’ve made modest modifications to over the last several months. The most edited deck probably being the Heavenly Inferno (featuring Kaalia) from the Anthology collection. For my first original build, I decided to go with one of the reasons I’m so big into Magic again – dinosaurs!

Aside from dinosaurs being one of the big reasons I loved Ixalan so much, they seemed like one of the easier modern types to go with. I was always a fan of aggro decks in the past and the dinosaurs introduced fit that bill perfectly. There are some nice little combos hidden in some of them, but for the most part they hit hard and hit hard fast. The first thing I had to decide on, however, was which dinosaur to use for my Commander. I narrowed it down to two:

These are the two baddest dinosaurs in the Ixalan schoolyard, with Gishath hailing from Ixalan and Zacama from Rivals of Ixalan. They both offer a tremendous amount of power for their costs, yet both offer completely different play styles. Zacama blocks anything and everything while untapping all the resources to call him out. Gishath, on the other hand, can attack the turn summoned and potentially flood the board with dinosaurs to give your opponent a headache.

Ultimately, I decided to run the tri-headed terror and Primal Calamity, Zacama. Gishath’s ability to swarm the board is nice, but if he gets destroyed and goes back to the Command Zone, it’ll cost you resources better spent elsewhere. If Zacama gets destroyed, send it back to your command zone with no worries. Why? Next turn, summon it again and then untap. Once you have enough mana on the board to bring Zacama out the first time, it is basically a free 9/9 slaughter house whenever you need it. To add insult to injury, the mana you untapped can then be used for three amazing effects.

The rest of the build I went with is a bit…unique. As I stated before, my on-again-off-again relationship with Magic over the years has left me with a unique collection. I have cards from several different sets, but not complete access to the must have cards for 99% of Commander builds. As such, you improvise until you go to something like GenCon or you hit up TCGPlayer and single out what you need.

I don’t want to brag, but I think the deck comes out fairly well. Over the weekend, it was played 6 times. With the exception of one game where it stalled, it performed extremely well the remaining five times. Each game was multiplayer with 3 or more players. I can say with some fine tuning it could be a great contender. A big MVP of the deck is:

azor

So much potential…

With Zacama, as well as a couple other cards in my build, I have a decent amount of life gain. In one game, the deck was able to build up to 98 life. Tapping Sanctum of the Sun for anything over base life is amazing in a deck that doesn’t have an infinite mana build. Better yet is that Sanctum is a land, which means if Zacama somehow gets destroyed, it can untap it for even more land! Rob managed to pull that off, tapping it the first time for 60 red and then 60 white. Just using it for Zacama’s abilities, that’s +60 life and 60 points of damage across all of our creatures. That’s an opponents’ board wiped plus setting up for even more mana for the next turn.

Of course, the cost is losing five cards exiled with Azor specifically. That’s five turns of a major target on that Artifact.

I’m super excited to see Dominaria on the horizon. The spoilers have been making me drool a little, mainly for what it could possibly add to my Wizard deck. I’m not sure what could or could not be making their way into this deck, but I’m definitely looking to see what older cards I could possibly add to the dinosaur deck.

So, for long time Commander players, what are some need to have cards I should be on the look out for? Have you ever tried a dinosaur deck yet? What worked well and what kept you from having fun? Sign off in the comments below and let us know!

Until next time, keep your dice warm and happy gaming.