Arcane Legions

So I have heard both good and bad things about this game created by a group of former Wizkids designers, and being a game geek, had to pick up a copy of it myself. Over all I have to give it a good review and recommend it to you if you are either a beginning table top general or an old hand at the hobby. The price is right, the materials OK and the support quite nice.

Over All Game:
The basic game comes in a nice slim box with enough stuff to play any of the three factions. There is enough in the box to play a basic game with two players, which is nice as you can get right to it for your initial buy into the game and don’t have to have two sets to play. If you find you don’t like the game, well you are out only a few bucks. A lot of table top gamers talk about the buy in for a game. Just how much is it going to cost me to get into the game, what is the lowest amount of cash I have to hand over to play. Anything under $100 bucks for a table top player is a good deal, and they might jump into it just to have a look see at this price. Which is cheep compared to a GW game where the initial buy in can run several hundred dollars or more.

Having the three factions in the box also allows you to trade off figures with friends, so you can get more of the figured you need for the faction you are going to play. Get three friends together and each of you buys a box, then trade off, and you each get a nice big set of the faction you want.

Ok, so here is where I heard some complaints. Ya the figures are not the top end stuff you could expect. Plastic figures have come a long way in the last few years and the designers could have gotten better sculpts of the different types of figures. Still they are in a 1/72 (Or 25mm) size so you can always go get some Italiri figures, for cheep and just build a peg on those.

One odd things about the figures is the basic troops you get in the main game are all unpainted, but the figures for the rest of the faction are all pre-painted?? Why not just have supplied the base troops as pre-printed as well and saved players the time. I have no interest in painting crap figures, so why not make it a fully pre-painted product line and make it a bigger selling point for the game system.

On a side note, while I understand they want to keep their price point low and thus did not want to spend a ton on the figures, a few bucks more in final price to gain better figures would have been nice. I, and other players, would have spent $5, or maybe even $10 more to have gotten better scalped figures.

This, if anything will be the done fall of then game. Table top players want nice figures, its what draws them to the game. Spending a few bucks more in production value and Well’s would have dealt with this concern.

Game Rules:
Easy to play, fun ideas as well. I liked the figure / unit base system which allows easy movement of your forces and easy movement measurement. I also like the idea of being able to move your figures into different positions on the tray to gain different stats and abilities. One thing I would have liked to have seen would have been more abilities to be gained by moving figures around. This could have taken the game into a real interesting direction. So they had a good idea it seems, but just didn’t take it far enough. Maybe though they will continue on with that idea in later expansions.

Also it seems that while you have to have different figures in the unit, they have no real difference in game play. Why not have made the different figures have some effect, maybe more hit points or added some other special ability to the unit and when they are all gone the ability is lost. This would have made the use and care of these figures in the unit more important. Do I take one of these special figures as a casualty, and lose a needed ability or stat, or lose something else just as important by taking a different figure as a hit.

I understand that Wells wanted to keep the system easy to use, so they could have added this sort of thing as an optional rule and or advanced game play option.

Combat is fast and simple and command of your units easy to deal with. I do though think the open format of move, attack, what not as you go may be a problem. I can see you making a move action to get into combat, then taking a redeployment action to switch into a better attack formation, and then making the attack itself. This would be cheese I think, but doable.

Here the company takes off with great ideas and support. They have allowed you to get the booster packs in such a way as to be sure that you get all the figures for a faction, which is great. This has been a trend recently, and a good idea. I have always hated collectable figure games just for that reason alone, you have to buy a ton of crap to get what you wanted, and then you have all this extra stuff you don’t need or want. That or pay out the nose on some on line site to get the figure you need or want.

Their web site is cool and the tutorial videos real fun to watch. You can also buy up to a higher membership on line, which allows you access you special figures and card building. At like $3 bucks a month, it’s a great idea, and generates some more income for the game maker.

Wells plans to pout out expansion every four months or so, so it seems they are ready to take this the whole way.


1 Comment

  1. hemdog560 said,

    February 15, 2010 at 7:08 am

    So I had said that I had thought Wells had dropped the ball a little bit by not allows figures to have alternate abilities or stats if placed in different slots. Seems they have found this out themselves and have begun to work up different stats for their figures.

    Might be a bit too late, I haven’t seen anyone playing this game in some time. might be another flash in the pan. They have already dropped their exclusive club deal and opened up the special figures to anyone that will buy them.

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