Stupid, freaking Kevin. I wasn't gonna touch this game. I was absolutely determined. Kevin is the head designer for Relic Knights. I work with him a lot when I do demos with the Cool Mini or Not crew. Well he along with Owen taught me how to play Relic Knights so that I could demo it. Well I didn't just get the demo stuff, I got the down and dirty lowdown!
This is Kevin. If you see him at a convention, punch him in the arm for me and say,
"That's for designing an awesome game that I now have to play."
Crap...Now I am going to have to paint up another army or two ....
Every time I play a new skirmish game I think to myself, "So why is this so different than all the others?" Usually the answer I get is, "Well not too much." With Relic Knights that just wasn't the case though. If other miniature games are the Final Fantasy 3 battle engine, then Relic Knights is the Final Fantasy 12 battle engine. Fast, fluid and realistic.
Goin my way ugly?
So, without furthur ado I give you some demo rules to Relic Knights.
Like Super Dungeon Explore, Relic Knights feels like a video game. You have a dashboard of normal sized cards that represent your characters, these cards display some basic stats like movement, melee attack, ranged attack and psychic attack. They also have a little bit more info on them. Basically these cards serve as placeholders so you know who is acting and who will be acting.
Notice the dual stats on the card. The first stat is a double movement stat, the next are card draws for a melee, ranged and psycic attack stat when using them offensivly. The second number in each combat stat column is used to draw cards if your being attacked by that type.
There are three areas unofficially called; The at bat slot, the standby slot, and the dugout.
When it is your turn to activate a character (the game has alternating activations) you activate the character in your "at bat slot". When that character is done, you move the activated character's card to the 'dugout' with the rest of your army cards. Then you move the "standby slot" character to the "at bat" position. Then you pick a character in your "dugout" and move them to the "standby" slot. This character can be the same character that just activated!
That is a BIG gun...
Do you know what this means? It means that there is no "turn". There is just continuous activations! That just happened. Your mind is blown. You can simply cycle through two characters over and over. It's pretty cool once you get things moving in the game. It gives combat, movement and game play a very realistic feel.
Ok deep breathe. Time to tell you more, cause it keeps commin' original.
The ladies of the raceway, sans their Relic Knight.
Anyway how does combat and actioning work? Basically it is a game of resource management. Each player has a deck of resource cards. These cards usually have a big color and a little color on them. A big color is worth 2 of that resource, and a little one is worth 1. In order to use an attack, or action you must pay a certain amount of certain resources. Once you do you then draw cards equal to that combat stat/action stat (melee, ranged or psychic). The defender also draws cards equal to the second combat stat on the card. After this some attacks can be "pressed" do do additional things. You must pay the resources to actives the press ability. Finally the defender can respond with a defense ability that costs, you guessed it, resources! Finally at the end of the action each player discards down to 6 cards.
Funny thing about this game is there are only two ways to get more cards in your hand; act/be acted on, or forfeit your characters action ( each character gets one) to discard cards you don't want and draw up to 6.
So now your thinking hu? that's pretty cool. But wait! there is more!
Each character has TWO movement phases! There is a double movement stat, each character can move the first one, then act, then move the second one! I think this is a very important aspect of the game. In skirmish games movement is key, and it is always so static in most games. I feel that this aspect of the game will really lend it self well to strategy and make the game very rewarding to creative players.
Oh yes, one more thing. There are no deployment zones. BAM that just happened. That's right you take turns placing characters on the board with the only restriction being that they cannot be too near objectives and they must be no closer than 8 inches to an enemy.
Squad Make up
So here is a little inside info I gathered up for everyone. Each squad will consist of it's leader and there troops. The leader is either one of the "Relic Knights"- people on giant robot things, or a "Questing Knight". Then based on the color of that Knight you can take other troops that are in line with that color. For instance Calico Kate can take squall and the Iron Chef because they share the same orange resource color. Personally I picked up Kisa and Scratch this weekend along with the girl with giant scissors to go with my Fiammetta that I already own ( they are all yellow).
Ok So this has been in development for EVER, when will it be released?
Quarter three baby (September/Augustish), along with the Super Dungeon Explore Expansion "Dungeons of Roxor". Just in time for, you guessed it, Gen Con (I am crying because I am too poor to go this year...). Whatever though, I am seriously looking forward to this one. So, more painting for me....
I have so many blog posts to write!
I have a LOT to write about. So expect a few updates in the near future. Among the great things I have to write about are: Steve Jackson's Ogre (the inside scoop), Miskatonic School for Girls, Flash Duel, Pax East, and of course, Quarriors.
MOAR PUPPETS WAAAAAAGGGGG
Due to secret squirrel circumstances I have been inspired to finish up my puppets. Without further ado I present more of them, the custom Teddy is an homage to my friend on the Wyrd Forums, PandaDirector.
Until next time everyone, keep popping those tops and chuggin that soda!
Steve (looking for a giant mech to battle in...)
Quick note about the Relic Knight pictures. All Relic Knight models were painted up by the one and only John Cadice of Soda Pop Miniatures. Now I know John is a much better painter than this but these are great considering he banged em out the night before Gama in a Vegas hotel room.