Sunday, 9 September 2012

A new fantasy skirmish game coming

This post came, quite literally, from Nowhere. There I was, sipping my morning cuppa and browsing my must-read blogs, when I came across this article from the Laughing Ferret (always entertaining and thought-provoking and a little off the wall, all excellent qualities in a blog). My initial reaction was, groan, yet another kickstarter project - after this summer of so many projects, I am starting to feel a little bit of startup fatigue. It's not so much the strain on my wallet, though that's a factor, it's just that there are not enough hours in a day to enjoy all the hobby goodness that keeps coming along. So it was with some trepidation that I hopped on to the link to the kickstarter project. After looking at that I was a little  bit puzzled, but also intrigued, so I went and had a look at the website.

If you have not checked out the links, the rest of this post will not really make much sense. If you have, then you will know that a new fantasy skirmish game called Fanticide is in the pipeline. If you watch the video on kickstarter, or read the background blurb on the website, you can get a good idea of the direction the project is heading. The sample pages of the rulebook are about the most informative.

When I read about the game, my first thought was "this is a fantasy version of Saga". It's a skirmish game, rather than unit or element based. It's played on a smallish surface (4 x 4 is recommended, but smaller is possible), just like Saga. Each player has a warband of around 30 - 40 miniatures, split into smaller "squads", plus a leader. Saga is very much the same, with warbands comprising 25 - 70 figures, with 30 - 40 being the norm. Rather than the traditional IgoUgo system, it employs a card activation system, similar to Saga dice and battle boards. Fanticide does also include some more traditional wargame features, like units stats, dice rolling combat (D10 rather then D6), etc. So it seems to me to be Fantasy-Saga-with-extra-bits! Saga is the best game I have played this year, but I do miss my fantasy models, so this could be the perfect mix.

The whimsical nature of the background and the warbands will not appeal to all players. After nearly two decades of grimdark Warhammer,  I like my fantasy to be "real" or "gritty", anime and cartoon don't really appeal to me. With this in mind, looking at the four warbands, I immediately started to substitute in figures from my own collection. Where Fanticide has one-eyed creeps, I see plaguebearers. The Fae could easily be substituted with elves, dryads and treemen, the satyrs are obviously beastmen. It would even be possible to build a centaur army from wood elf/beastmen bits. My existing collection of plastic already covers these three of the four starter warbands, though I am struggling to come up with alternatives to the flying monkey army.

The best thing about Fanticide is that it includes a system to allow you to design a warband to fit your own collection of figures. It's probably a fairly generic set of suggestions, relying on the common sense and fair play of the gamers, so not one for die-hard tournament gamers. But for me, it sounds ideal. I relish the thought of a game in which I can use my dwarfs, my undead, my chaos warriors, but I could also pitch in with my up and coming Saxons. Or how about ancient Greeks or Romans fighting against mythological bands of centaurs, or hordes of skeletons? It's a bit early to say, but finally I might have found a game that means I don't have to sell all my fantasy figures.

1 comment:

Laughing Ferret said...

Thanks for the mention!

You did a more thorough job of covering the details than I did.

Completely agree: looks like a great way to use the more-traditional fantasy minis... should be perfect for my Bayou Elves, warploque's Halflings, Otherworld Kobolds, and make a nice excuse to expand my collection of 80's Citadel Orcs.

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