13 September 2015

Weekend Gaming - Relic Knights and X-Wing

I got in some gaming this weekend. Saturday evening I (finally) had a chance to try out Relic Knights, a sci-fi anime-influenced game I'd bought last Christmas, primarily to paint the minis. After a very lengthy painting process, routinely derailed by other painting projects, the minis were all complete less than a week ago. My buddy Dennis came over last evening and we figured out how to play RK.

RK is night-and-day different from every other miniatures game I've ever played. For starters, it's diceless. I just got the chills just typing that word. I love dice. RK is card-driven and uses its own proprietary deck of cards. For your models to perform actions, they require Esper, the energy that charges the Relic Knights universe. Models are activated, then based on the cards in your hand, perform the specific actions available to them, such as melee attacks, weapons fire, psychic attacks, healing, etc. Each model or squad has a corresponding card detailing all of their game information.

The card portion of Relic Knights (75% of the game) reminds me strongly of Magic the Gathering or Pokemon. It is very much a luck-of-the-draw hand management game. Certainly, where the models are on the table matters, but when the rubber hits the road, having the proper cards when you need them makes all the difference.

Once we got the basics sorted out, the game progressed with only a few hundred trips back to the rules to see how a specific action was supposed to work.

Relic Knights is played on a 36 X 36 battlefield. Our setup was a little smaller than that, but with the small groups it made little difference. We used my LTO tape cases and retired Jenga blocks to create a symmetrical battlefield with a good vertical element. Be both drew the exact same mission orders and had to either A) destroy the opponent's primary objective or both secondaries or B) assassinate a particular model in the opponent's warband. Dennis need to kill my Librarian, the hulking guy with the red spot on his back. My target was a little tank Dennis kept hidden all game behind that beige tower in his backfield.

The Librarian is a tough son of a gun, so I figured he'd be OK by himself on the right flank. My Novitiates and Questing Knight and her Cypher (think magical familiar) went left. Dennis sent a squad of Diamond Corps thugs to my right and his Knight advanced to meet my group on the left.

Dennis learns quickly that "Push" abilities are awesome with this much vertical terrain. My Knight, the girl in the cloak, gets knocked back off the platform and takes additional damage from the fall. Grr.

Meanwhile, big-un prepares to greet the Diamond Corps squad.

The powerful Leopold Magnus again blasts Delphyne. This is getting old.

A couple of turns later. Delphyne had blasted a grunt, but Leo got a bead on her and blasted her yet again. A terrible hand of cards meant that the writing was on the wall for ol' girl.She and Ekhis, her wolf-Cypher went to the sidelines.

The Librarian enjoyed smashing the Diamond Corps mercenaries for a bit. We called the game because it was late and we'd accomplished our goal of figuring out how the game works.

Thoughts? It's different. I like it. I'm sure there is some strategic hand management that can be done, but my only real trouble with the system is the nature of the cards. They're randomizers, I get it. Same as dice. I get it. So why do card games give me the feeling that the odds are against me? I definitely want to put RK back on the table. Now that I'm more comfortable with how the game works, it'd be a much better game, rather than a staccato delve through the book.

So, that was Saturday. Sunday, Junior and I met up with David and his son Anson for a round of X-Wing. It was fathers versus sons, and as usual, the kids took the Imperials. I used my Scum and David used the Rebels. Each player took 100 points worth of ships. My Scum were allied with the Rebels today.

Our setup. Orange are my Scum, Green are the Rebels and the Red is the Imperial group. The Punisher and K-Wing were newly purchased today and were being field-tested for the first time.

David Solo.

The Punisher dropped a massive minefield ahead of most of our ships. My group to the top of the frame was to overwhelm and destroy the Interceptor, then join the rest of the group. Our larger group was to focus fire on the best target and kill it.

Joy, as the Phantom gets hemmed up on an asteroid and can't cloak. It gets shot to shreds and my Y-Wing finishes it off.

Some random driving around... In the end, the dads gave the kids what for. Most of our ships had lost some shields, but none had been damaged. We'd killed the TIE, the Phantom, Bomber and Punisher. Woooooo!

Good gaming weekend! Have a great week ahead everyone!

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