While I really like to be able to show off things that most people haven't yet seen, sometimes fate (and my own dumbassery (yes, I just made that up (why? because I was a dumb ass)) conspires against you, and instead of being one of the first to get a copy of the new board game from Mantic, I am one of the last (and I won't have more for a few more months because somehow I managed to not be able to actually complete my pledge manager (has not been a problem for any of the others, but this time I was a dumbass). Anyway, that is all sorted and it will be coming (though on the NEXT slow boat from china).
However I do hope that I'm able to give a bit of an honest review of the game and components, and do one of the few that isn't a video (while I have no problem with youtube, I don't like it for a lot of things, such as being able to see a product. I like to be able to go at my own pace - which this is a blog and not a vlog (besides, you have to endure reading my comments - think how much more painful it would be if you actually had to listen to my voice, or even see my ugly face). I also want to be able to show a lot of the detail in the models - because that is something I would want to see if I were trying to decide if I wanted to purchase this game.
So, I got the retail version of Dungeon Saga: Dwarf Kings Quest. Beautiful box
|Awesome art for the box, it actually wraps around on the left|
As a pathfinder, I had seen a prototype of the book-box back at Adepticon, though I was not allowed at the time to mention it. I really liked the idea - something that would look awesome on the shelf and make you want to pick it up. So I turned the box to the open end of the sleeve, and saw this
|not very impressive|
Removing the cardboard reveals the pages of the book
|Nice, but still not what you should see|
|Big heavy book|
|I think this really achieves the look of an old book|
|List of everything you need to get started I like how it shows exactly what you need for the first scenario ('A'). I did not catch it until later that it indicates that all the tokens and tiles you will need have a red border in the cutout sheets.|
|Book of the Rules|
|Quests of the Dwarf King|
Beneath the quest book is the Overlord panel - a full size card with all the stats and special rules for all the monsters in the game. This is on thin glossy card stock - and I can see it easily getting banged up from just normal play - but also with sticky fingered kids (though mine are grown, I do remember) I'm thinking that it would be best to laminate it (simple sticky sheet laminates, available in the stationery section of any office supply store). (and gamers have been known to have food and drinks at the game table, and eventually (not if but when) something WILL get knocked over. If you do however, you won't want to leave an edge on it as this just fits into the box exactly.
|All your minions at a glance|
There are also two huge sheet size baggies, and two small baggies included for later storage. This is a nice feature, as there are so many loose pieces. Being able to keep them contained is crucial, and having the bags to do that included is just a nice feature. Now anyone with any experience with games like this will very quickly see that the few bags provided are not enough - and in fact a small plastic divided box will do a much better job. But for a first game for someone this is perfect.
|So much cool stuff|
The cards also have a very nice drawing of the character to make it easy to identify it, and it can also provide a color guideline for those who are just getting started and have not painted miniatures before. More experienced modelers can usually come up with their own palettes.
I find it unfortunate that the back sides of the card did not have these illustrations, just the big blank space where it would go. The cardstock is the same as the Overlord card
|The art is very nice on these|
|The single biggest tile in the set|
|Some of the grid marks are a little hard to see on a few tiles|
|Part of me wonders if there is a layout where all the art flows from one to the next|
|some interesting 'shapes'|
|Lots of tokens|
|nice throne room|
|and the last one, with the range rulers on it.|
There are a lot of tokens used - I put them into piles so you can get an idea of how many. It is nice that in the rule book they have a page that identifies each separate type of token, and they do have a couple of zip lock bags to hold them.
|All the tokens|
|Tokens in 8 section divider. Dice will fit in top right (with room for 4 more)|
|What can you really say about dice?|
|Hard to see - I did not count them.|
Finding a way to connect the tiles such that any two can go together any way is actually a difficult problem. They remind me a bit of the original Mars Attacks! cardboard standee, where they had small cardboard semi-circles that would fit on the base to hold them up. Simple idea that didn't work, so they ended up adding plastic holders (which fit tight enough and work quite well). If these were a bit tighter they would at least accomplish their job, but then they also might damage the tiles going on and off. It feels a bit like a no win situation (So loose they don't hold, or tight enough to hold but they mark and damage the tiles).
|You had one job!|
And they are beautiful. These are full, hard plastic doors. 2 double and 4 designs of single doors (I had three of the round only one of the pointy door - I'm not sure if it is an error (it would make more sense to have two of each kind), but the different designs really don't change the functionality at all. Molded in hard brown plastic, these almost don't need paint. They make a very satisfying clinking in the bag when you get them out or put them away.
In order to make things cooler, you need furniture. There are three bags of dungeon furniture in the set - the first has two bookcases, a throne, a tomb, a book and stand, a weapon rack and a well. These are made from softer plastic than the doors - I'm guess the same as for the rest of the models. Very clean, with few visible mold lines. They don't have the satisfying clink that the doors do (did I mention DOORS!) but are not bad at all. I do have to wonder how long it takes families with children to lose that tiny book?
|tables and chests|
|barrels and chest lids|
This looks to me like it could be a huge hit if Mantic gets the word out on it. Anyone doing role playing trying to make 3d dungeons could use these (and at only $17.99 MSRP a set quite a bargain). Years ago I picked up a couple of packs of Mage Knight : Dungeons terrain packs for just that reason - and were I still running RPG campaigns I would definitely get one of more of these. Even if the pack does not include any doors!
|chests with lids on|
One very nice thing is each type (hero, boss, minion) of miniature is in a distinct color - so very easy to tell them apart at a glance. Bone white is undead, grey is a big bad guy, blue is the heroes. Simple.
|the four bags of minis|
|before and after|
So first up are the heroes of course. While I liked the concept of the different colored plastic for the various types of figures, the execution wasn't quite as strong. The blue plastic especially is actually very hard to see. There is a slight inherent shine to the models, and such a dark blue does not allow you to easily see all the details.
|Orlaf and Rordin front|
|Orlaf and Rordin back|
|Danor and Madriga front|
|Danor and Madriga back|
|Elshara and Grund front|
|Elshara and Grund back|
|Mortibris and Hoggar front|
|Mortibris and Hoggar back|
|Skeleton warrior - in rotted pants and cape|
|Skeleton warrior that was raised so quickly he forgot his pants!|
|It is amazing how they can still shoot with their bowstring rotted away.|
|Classic fantasy 'nekid' zombie with a bone or club|
|Zombie with clothes. This could almost be used as a 'modern' zombie|
|If they only looked as good in life as in death|
|There is even chain mail under the hole in the cape|
|This is a great model|
|All 26 miniatures in the box|
|All the plastic crack in the box - a lot of stuff!|
|Legen - wait for it - dery!|
|Original and Legendary Mortibris|
One thing that will help a game to continue to grow is options - the ability to make it different each time you play. Of course there are dice, but cards are also used for this. The overlord has a set deck of cards to draw one from each turn, and if there are none left to draw then the adventurers have run out of time and they lose. The smaller deck is for the first two limited adventurers, which basically teach you how to play.
|two sets of cards|
|Mantic points are on the "open these first" card|
|cards for initial quests|
|rest of the cards|
But that's not all, there's more. Well, not component wise. But how are the books, and how does the game play? Well I think this is big enough for now, so that my friend will have to wait until next time.
Because it is all fun and games . . .