Thursday, November 17, 2016

Here I was, all ready to complain

So I already had some of what I wanted to say in my head.  I was all set to gripe about my kickstarter shipment going out on the LAST day AGAIN.  Lo and behold, I have to hold my tongue on that one - as it arrived after only 16 days (much better than the 5 and 4 weeks for the last two packages from Mantic), and was marked as going out on the FIRST day or shipping!

The box is more than twice as thick as the retail edition, though much less color on it.
Retail box on top of Kickstarter box
I'm only going to talk about the things in the Kickstarter edition that are not in the Retail starter set, as I already went over that here.

So of course the box is much deeper, and different art, and it says Kickstarter edition.
honestly, who hasn't seen the box by now?

Removing the lid, you of course see the plastic tray, molded to specifically fit the figures.  Having already experienced trying to fit the figures back into the tray, the very first thing I did was to take a sharpie and number all of the models so it is put them back when your games are done.  I also went through the character cards for the set, and wrote the model # in the bottom corner of the card so it would be easy to get the correct figure (because survivors like Craig and Reggie, who are not even named in the comic, are easy to get mixed up).
38 models, plus exclusive initiative marker and supply counter
Beneath the tray of models is another tray with cards, dice and terrain.  It actually has a clear plastic lid over it (though the dice bag sits on top).
The bottom tray - cards / dice / terrain
Beneath this is a sealed package, containing the rules, counters and two play mats.
The last layer
Backing up a bit (we'll get to the books/mats later) - when you take the character cards out of the bottom tray, you find eight more walkers.
More walking dead
So the cool part of the game is always the miniatures.  Rules may be good, cards interesting, but we all want to see the miniatures.

So let's start with some of the Kickstarter exclusives.  Not these aren't quite as exclusive as they might feel - as Mantic has announced a special booster pack that is the six kickstarter exclusive items (Negan, Michonne, Abraham, Walker Ronnie plus the bag of guns and sheriff's badge)
Supply counter - bag of guns, and plastic version of the initiative token 
Abraham and  Negan are both very tough survivors - they are the two most expensive characters in the set so far (at 66 and 70 points, respectively).  Not only that but they are both leaders (giving you 5 with Shane).
Abraham & Negan
A fan favorite, Michonne is a one woman walker killing machine.  This is an exclusive sculpt - they will later be releasing her in a booster with her two walkers (and maybe even a different card).

With this being a licensed product, they are pretty tight with what can be made for the set.  As such there is no Blaine at all.  They did, however, turn Ronnie Renton, the big man behind Mantic, into a walker!
Michonne and Walker Ronnie
The Walking Dead wouldn't be the same without Rick's family - and the set includes Lori.  But to make things more complicated, it has to include Shane as well.  Shane is the only survivor (so far) to also get a walker version as well.  Like Walker Ronnie, there are no special rules or anything with them, just a cool new walker.
Lori, Shane and Walker Shane
The world of the Walking Dead is full of more than walkers and good fighters - there are simply normal people that have managed to still be alive.  Donna is an example of this.  She comes with her husband Allen.  While he is capable - she is one of the cheapest (and weakest) models so far.  They can still have their uses in the game however.

Allen and Donna are more known for the fact they are Ben and Billy's parents - I won't spoil who they are if  you are not caught up with the comics however.
Allen and Donna
One of the favorite early characters, Dale is finally here.  I find it a little funny that they give you the RV token in the starter set, though Dale doesn't come along until the Days Gone By expansion.

Jim is another survivor, the only one who made it out of Atlanta alive.  (I had to look him up).  He actually could be a good model to have in a game (he gets 2 repair rolls as a single action).
Dale & Jim
If you are a fan of the tv show, you know Carol.  However she is not nearly as tough in the books and game.  She comes with Sophia - who unlike the tv show actually is still alive in the comic series.
Carol & Sophia
Another 'couple' from the series is Andrea and her sister Amy.  Amy is another cheap 'disposable' character - however in the game she actually boost Andrea (who is pretty good).
Andrea and Amy
The last two survivors are Reggie and Craig.  However when I try to look them up on the Walking Dead wiki, I can't find an entry for either of them.  Checking the kickstarter however, Reggie is the guy who shoots Rick at the beginning of the first comic, putting him in the coma.  'Craig is one of a trio of marauders who ambushed Rick, Carl and Abraham on the road to Cynthiana, KY, as they returned to visit Morgan and Duane. At gunpoint, they attempted to pillage their supplies and steal their transportation. When Rick and Abraham fought back, they changed tactics, taking Carl at knife point. Seeing his son on the brink, Rick furiously fought back...' adapted from the Survivors’ Guide. (and then stolen from the kickstarter update by me)

So two new 'bad guys' that are not named characters in the comics.  Maybe they can do more in the game :-)
Reggie and Craig
The kickstarter version had five more unique walker sculpts (bringing that total to 19).  The mohawk walker is one that has been shown in a lot of the playtest pictures.  The other walker is another female
Mohawk & walker
There are three more - including the 'crawler' without legs - and what looks, to me, to be a walker version of Reggie (plus another female)
Crawler, walker and walker reggie?
So what else is there.  One thing they seemed to make a big deal out of in the kickstarter was the 'exclusive' dice bag.  It is ok. And with all the dice needed it sounds useful.  I put the dice in it from the box, and then found there was no way to fit the full dice bag back into the box with the trays.  So the dice went back in the tray, and the dice bag will sit there.  At least until I get rid of the trays.
dice bag
One of the really awesome pieces was the 3d terrain - cars and barricades.  There are two cars (well a pair of cars and a pair of trucks).  These are simply empty shells, however they seem sturdy enough and look like they will paint up pretty well.   These aren't scale models, they are game features, and look to fulfill that role very well.
truck

car
There are also six barricades, two of each design.  These are actually a bit more detailed, and should also paint up very quickly and really improve the look of the game (since it is a miniature game after all).  I an't help but wonder if they will ever do an RV, tents or trees (or leave those to the more 'hobby' minded).
Tires and salvage

Crates against a fence

reinforced police barricades
Loot markers were also part of the 3d terrain.  There are five pairs of supply markers.  The original game has 9, and with the bag of guns you now have 11.  The Days Gone By expansion has two more  cardboard ones, so you have exactly enough either way.

I do wonder how they will work during play however - as walkers can walk over and even stand on them.  I've run into this in Kings of War, with cool 3d loot or objective counters that then failed a bit when models needed to move on them.  I can see where you will still need the cardboard counters to both track who has picked up a supply counter, and for dropping "searched" counters.
3D supply markers.
The kickstarter box comes with two paper play mats.  I saw where someone online had posted about laminating them - and I believe that is an excellent id IF you are going to use them.  Wave 2 will have the deluxe neoprene mats, that should wear better and look great as well.
Days Gone By play mat

original play mat
On the back of the Days Gone By mat is a list of all the models for wave 1 - both survivors and walkers.  This easily allows those of us who are collectors by nature a handy checklist - showing 4 survivors and 8 walkers that are not in the kickstarter box (and if you want to see those - check out my post here)
back of Days Gone By play-mat - checklist of all models
The included Days Gone By expansion has two smaller sized (same size as the rule books)  counter sheets, adding more activation and wound counters, four tents, four sets of woods, a campfire and an additional supply token.  In addition they include 10 fire tokens - because the expansion now lets you set walkers on fire (as well as other items)
Token sheet 1

back, with terrain point costs

token sheet 2

and back
Last are the expansion rules.  There are a few new rules - for fire and breaking and repairing 'stuff' (based on scenarios).  There are six story based scenarios in this expansion - five solo and the final one being Rick vs Shane.  Unfortunately, there is only two of the scenarios that play 'out of the box', #3 & #6.  Scenarios 1 & 2 require a different version of Rick - and I'm not sure where that card will be (it would be logical to me for it to be int he Rick on Horse booster).  Scenario 1 also is set with Morgan and Duane - who at least are coming out soon.  Then scenario #4 and #5 require Glenn.  I guess he was originally supposed to be in Wave 1, but got pushed back to wave 2 due to problems with the model.  Each of the scenarios can be played with other survivors (they give a point and number limit to use any survivors you want), but that misses the point of playing through the story lines.

The last section of the book has the rules for creating your own custom characters (I bet there are already a bunch of versions of 'not Daryl' floating around :-)
Expansion Rules
There are also new event cards, new equipment and supply cards.  All the survivors have stat cards, but there are even a few upgrade cards to take a different version of several of the survivors.

I haven't had a chance to actually play using any of the new parts (as opposed to the retail box), however this does seem to take care of a lot of the problems I have seen in the retail box (no scenarios, not having enough survivors to make different teams).  This just seems 'almost' like a complete game - except for the missing models / cards for the scenarios included.

The quality of the components is excellent, and so far the rules look good.

Mantic has said they want this to be a full competition game, with players bringing their own teams of survivors to struggle over supplies.  I think some people could get started with this, but while it definitely has replayability that the starter may not, but there may not yet be enough variety for a truly competitive environment.  The only team aside from 'the group' (c'mon Kirkman - they need a danm name) is the Saviors, and the only person there is Negan.  However the later expansions (the farm and the prison) do list many more to add.  I'm also curious to see what further 'retailer exclusives' will be out for wave 2 and beyond to continue to keep the game new and exciting.  A full Woodbury expansion would be a good one, especially adding more people for the Governor's group.


Looks like fun with a lot of potential.

Because it is all fun and games . . .

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