Waaaay back in October last year I received the Conan game from Monolith games which was part of a Kickstarter that was funded in Feb 15, was due to arrive in October 15 and eventually arrived on the back of a lorry a year overdue. To be fair the delay was mainly due to the huge amount of extra bits and pieces that the producers introduced during the Kickstarter campaign which netted them a staggering $3,327,757.
|The 2 boxes which came with the basic pledge|
I blogged about the game itself here, back in October.
Since then I've painted a few of the figures...the game came with a huge amount of miniatures including a number of major heroes and villains from the books as well as assorted Picts, pirates, guards and monsters to fight against (including an impressive giant snake and a hideous tentacled thing...with extra tentacles thrown in for free!). I think it's safe to say I won't be needing any fantasy figures for a while! I hadn't actually managed to play a game though (I'd hoped to have a go over xmas but we got distracted by Twilight Struggle)
|Some of the heroes|
|...and a giant snake|
The game mechanics are nicely managed...each player has a character sheet on which he/she places a number of gems. These are then allocated to actions such as movement, attacks, re-rolls etc. A sensible player also hangs on to a few gems to aid defence when it's the Overlord's turn to attack. The drawback is that you only get a limited number of gems back each turn and they are lost permanently when a hero is wounded so careful planning is necessary.
The Overlord has a similar set up using an arrangement called 'The Book of Skelos'...I can't help thinking that should be written in capitals and accompanied by a roll of thunder...
The Book of Skelos is a plastic tray that is set up for each scenario. Units are shown in the bottom row: the cost to activate a unit increases from left to right but once a unit has acted it is moved to the right hand side and everything slides along to the left. This means you can, in theory, keep reactivating a unit but the costs will be very high and you'll run out of gems. The tile with the Raven on it is an event tile which is scenario dependent. In our first game the result of activating it varied depending how many priests Conan had interrogated (or killed...it amounted to much the same thing!)...either bringing in more guards, giving some a bonus move or unleashing Thak!
The mechanics worked well and were all pretty straightforward. There has been some criticism of the 2 rulebooks and I'd agree they could be better laid out but a good read-through and watching some of the helpful playthroughs on YouTube made it all pretty clear.
|The guards have clip on coloured bases to distinguish groups|
|Damn...another Magic Hand Grenade!!|
The gem allocation system is pretty neat and forces the player to carefully look after their dwindling supply of gems. As this was a single-hero scenario we didn't get a feel for how it would play with multiple players but I suspect this would add a lot as players don't take individual turns to act but can coordinate and switch between actions. It would be good to try this next time.