Friday, October 30, 2015

Kingdom Death: What will elevate the Showdown phase, and a Contest!

The Night is Dark and full of Terrors.

In my last Kingdom Death post, I suggested that the Showdown phase (where you fight the monsters) felt a little pedestrian.  After some additional reflection, I think that some of this dullness might come from the initial monsters the game sets up against. They are all creatures that function upon instinct alone, and don't base their actions on some higher intelligence. Presently, I have fought against the White Lion and the Screaming Antelope.  And as horrifying as the antelope is due to the gaping maw on its belly, it is still just a beast, driven by base instincts rather than a malevolent intelligence.  The hulking armored Butcher, on the other hand, is actually a person, with their own motivations, which got twisted with cowardice and rage.  Now they stalk the nightmare realms of Kingdom Death murdering other humans, and stretching their faces over their fallen lanterns.  I am hopeful that the cold, calculating menace of such a being will add the tension and motivation into the battles of Kingdom Death.  And honestly, it was weird knights like the Butcher that originally attracted me to Kingdom Death in the first place, not the lions, scantily clad survivors, and certainly not the pin-ups.  With that in mind, I began to assemble the humanoid monsters that were included in Kingdom Death: Monster.  I wanted to use this post as an opportunity to show off some of these figures; and to celebrate these excellent models, I would like to hold a contest.  My Survivor Kickstarter pledge gave me a few extra Kings Men models, and I want to give some out.  Leave a comment below, and on November 15, I will randomly pick two winners and send them anywhere in the world!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Kingdom Death: Initial game impressions

Overwhelming Darkness.
Having finished assembling the first four survivor models, and the first adversary, a gigantic white lion, I was pretty excited to start actually playing Kingdom Death.  Curiously, in the long  2.5 years since the Kickstarter, relatively little had been revealed pertaining to the game mechanics, so I started to read through the rules pretty much immediately, while working on the initial models.  As of writing this, I have played two games of Kingdom Death, the first being a slightly “on rails” game they walk you through in the rulebook, while the second was a complete game.  Although I still need to play a lot more games to have a final consensus on Kingdom Death: Monster, I wanted to give some of my initial impressions!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Kingdom Death: Assembling the first survivors

Kingdom Death's four starting survivors, ready to face down terrible foes in the tenebrous darkness.

After opening the massive Kingdom Death: Monster box and marveling over the excellent production values of all the game components, I was pretty excited to give the game a try, and see how the many ideas and mechanics came together.  But before I could do that, one major hurdle still had to be surmounted.  The models needed to be assembled.  This looked to be a daunting task, with the box containing a veritable sea of miniatures scattered across countless sprues. Thankfully, the game is designed such that you are only fighting a single horrific monster at a time, allowing you to assemble models as you go.  The first game session only requires that you assemble 4 survivor models and the first opponent, a White Lion.  Having just assembled the initial 4 survivor models, I wanted to let you know my thoughts about them, how they went together and their general quality.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Unboxing: Kingdom Death Monster

All 22lbs of Kingdom Death, inside a custom printed shipping box.

After almost 3 years of waiting, and becoming increasing frustrated with Kindgom Death’s portrayal of women in their Pin-up side project (which admittedly has not bearing on the game itself), I had almost resolved to just sell my copy of Kingdom Death when it arrived.  Upon receiving the box, I decided to give the game a chance, figuring I would likely never get the opportunity to see the game again, due to its impressive price tag ($400 retail, substantially higher than the Kickstarter price).  After spending some time with the game, going through the contents of the box and reading through the rules, I am happy to have decided to keep the game.  Not only does it have the highest production values of any boardgame that I have ever seen, it also treats its subject matter seriously, without any of the objectifying of women present in their pin-up line of models.  I thought people would appreciate seeing some pictures of what is in the box, to get a sense of the quality and to determine if it is something you are interested in.