Archive for April, 2018

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!

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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:

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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.