Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Krosmaster Arena: A Review


Welcome back! This article has taken me longer than I wanted to write, but I am glad it did because there is another Krosmaster Kickstarter up! And now: Krosmaster Arena!

And it. Is. Adorable. So what does that mean? That’s right, never trust anything that cute because it is probably trying to kill you.

Ya that's blood on her hands...

Everything about this game is adorable, from the cardboard scenery to the figures. Thankfully, the quality of product is first class as well, from the art and heftiness to the pre pained paint jobs. The terrain is fantastic, yet simple and inexpensive. You get some good quality for your money. For those wondering how big the miniatures are they are about Inquisitor sized (look at me dating myself).

Jems Blond is gonna light you up.

The company also, mercifully, made this game buy what you want. Across the pond in France (where it was originally released) these things are blind box. That Hellish experience will elude us over here in the states though, we can peek on into to clear polymer windowed packaging and know exactly what we are getting. The stats to all figures are also available for public view on the Krossmaster website, so you can pre plan what to buy if your are not a completionist. If you are, I am sorry (just be glad they are not blind Box). 

I was skeptical about this game at first. Then I played it and was lost forever. (That seems to happen a lot with me hu?) The game play won me over and made me super sad about missing the Kickstarter. Thankfully, because of a good friend, I obtained most of the promos!

The game itself is pretty deceptive. The rules are easy and the adorableness of everything masks the darker side of the figures. And here is the really crazy thing; you can play it online. Yes welcome to online gaming, the scariest place on the internet. I don’t do that though so the only information I will give you on that is that each figure comes with a code to unlock that character in the online game. There that’s all, moving away from the internet now…

Ok but how do I play this sickeningly cute game?

Pretty easy. You can choose among multiple methods for team building. The first is the ever present constructed. Make a team from what you have, or what you can borrow. The second is that you can draft any way you want from a pool of available figures. And the final method is random! (No one plays like that, that’s crazy talk!)

Constructing a team is easy. In the upper right corner of the figure is its point cost in Gallons of Glory. Generally you can assemble a team who’s total Gallons of Glory equal 12, though any predetermined amount is acceptable (I suspect that it may unbalance other game elements though). 

The best 4 Gallons of Glory you will spend.

Playing is a simple matter. Each player alternates turns. The turn is broken down into the following steps. 

1: First you roll for tension. Rolling for tension lets you assign the resurlts of the two dice you roll to your characters for special abilities. The other option is that you can trade them in for Kama Coins (Which are money within the game). Watch out though, if you roll doubles the demons that are forcing you to fight for their pleasure (no really, that’s what is going on…) will take away one Gallon of Glory from each person.

2: You activate your characters in initiative order. The initiative is found on the upper left of the character card in front of a lighting bolt. Characters always activate in the same order. If there is a tie, you get to pick who goes first but that order cannot be altered for the rest of the game.

So activation, lets get into that. A character has three stats in the top of the card. From left to right they are: Movement (green diamond), Health (red heart), and finally action points (blue star). 

Movement is obviously how many squares you can move. Hold on there though, this ain’t Heroclix. You can’t move diagonally. You also can’t count range from a diagonal. You also cannot move through trees and bushes. And that exciting paragraph is how you

Spending action points is a little more complicated. You can spend them to pick up coins, one AP per coin, to punch people (everyone has a generic 5 AP close combat ability that does 1 damage), to purchase something from the shop, or to use an ability.

The abilities are the rows below the stat bar. The little box on the left indicates range. It also denotes if you can increase range need line of sight or other special things. I am not getting into that because we have a lot more to do! Suffice to say there is a nice symbol set that eliminates the need for a lot of text. The large circle on the right indicates how much damage that spell will do ( if it does anything at all). Next to that is a blue star indicating the amount of action points you must spend to use that spell. The text within the bar describes any extra effects the spell has in addition to damage. The text is pretty self explanatory


Its pretty easy. If you have line of site and range to a target you can attack them. To do so you roll one die (two if you have the critical ability). For each burst or wild face you roll you do 1 damage. You add that damage to the base damage or the attack/spell you used. That is how much damage you inflict. The defender then rolls one die (two if they have armor) and for every wild or shield they roll they subtract that much from the attackers damage and take the rest of the attackers total in wounds.  If you reach 0 health your character is dead. 

From right to left: Boot (dodge), Lock, Burst, Wild.

When a figure dies the controller takes an amount of Gallons of Glory from their stock (you start with 6) equal to the character's Gallons cost and gives it to their opponent. If you reach 0 Gallons of Glory or have no figures on the board you lose. Game over man, game over!

A few other things 

One of these two things is more deadly than the other...

So if that were just the game it would be a little boring. The really cool thing about this game is that you can buy power ups in game. If a character is standing on a shop square on their turn you can spend 1 AP to purchase a power up you can afford.

The shop square. It's an evil enchanter, it does evil dances, it puts you in trances!

At each tier there are two face up power ups and two face downs. You can purchase any of the 4 for their cost at any of the three tiers. The power ups can be permanent equipment, one shots, or turn long buffs. These are often the key to winning the game (Jems Blond + Pyro Boost = Watch the world burn.)

Back to posting ponies, deal with it.

There is a lock / zone of control rule in this game as well. It works pretty much the same way as attacking does (with locks and boots instead of bursts and shields) but if you fail to break away you lose all MP and AP. Pretty harsh but you can usually break away.

You can also use scenery to your advantage or simply destroy it. This adds some interesting game play. Boxes can even boost your range!


Yup, your jealous.
The downside to this game is that there are a few cheesy pieces (Nox I am looking at you.) For the most part though, there are some good counter balances to it. It’s also difficult to transport when you start getting lots of figs. There are some options but they are generally expensive. I build my own storage for the box but with the new Frigost coming out I will have to come up with a new solution.

This is Nox. He is a jerk. If you see him, just start crying.

The promos can be frustrating too. For people who did not get in on the Kickstarter there really isn’t a good, cheap way to get them. Thankfully there is a Kickstarter for the Frigost expansion going on right now! It will last until December 15th so go get it if your interested. Some of the tiers are GREAT for new players.

All in all this game rocks. It’s simple and has many permutations of play. There are good ways to house rule broken things and generally al pieces are viable options for play. I recommend getting into this game for anyone in that wonderful limbo land that I live in where table top skirmish games meet board games. Currently Krosmaster stands as  one the games that finds its way out of my closet the most.

Eye Candy:

Here we go! I painted stuff? No way! 

You can't take the sky from me (sedition wars minis). 
 Ripley and Riddic. Yes Please. 

So until next time all you readers out their in internet land  keep filling those Gallons of Glory (while we wait for the drunken pandas from Wakfu!) Antizombie signing off. 

Also here is this: 

No comments:

Post a Comment