In a change of setting, my friend W.K and I went to a local hobby store today and brought along my new copy of Duel of Ages II to play among other people at a game table while they shop for games and such. We went to try out the first two training scenarios of the game, one for melee combat and one for ranged weapons as it takes a while to get used to all the symbols and such.
The boards or platters as they call them are typical of most hex based maps I've seen since the late 70s from Avalon Hill's Squad Leader on up, except they have domes and such I guess for teleportation and God knows what else.
|Your team can involve all kinds of strange bedfellows.. I had an android woman, an alien Orion and a swashbuckler on my side at one point.|
The production values are nice and there is plenty of beautiful art to admire.
I'm not too familiar with the background fluff of DoA II, but I love the mixing of genres dimensional aspects of the game.. e.g. having a barbarian with a ray gun fight Annie Oakley carrying a broadsword and such.
Your side goes around the board meeting encounters (everything from groupies to pitching mounds to lumberjacks to wizards, etc) in order to get useful equipment (like horses, backpacks, sneakers) and weapons from across time and space to try to beat the other side.
It's hilarious who you can get on your team and I love it... Here I got Sgt York with some sort of futuristic projectile like a rocket propelled grenade, a football quarterback with some sort of futuristic lobbying explosive kind of device, a cyberpunk guy with a colt .45, Davy Crocket with a varmint rifle, General Gavin of WWII with, uh, sneakers, and a futuristic cyberpunkish woman with nothing armed yet.
One of my alien guys from Orion from a scenario with 4 glass beads I placed on him indicating wounds. Notice the 16 symbols on the right.. It took about half an hour to get to know them, but once you do, they become second nature.
More strange encounters.... A pitcher's mound, a Holy Order, a group of Wizards and a fighting pit... all encountered on the battlefield..
Now, W.K and I only played the first two training sessions, but a glance at the rules shows there are all kinds of scenarios (capturing prisoners, raiding bases, capturing vaults), all kinds of abilities, etc involved here. It's not just kill the other side.
There is humour mixed in to the game that lightens the game and makes it a bit tongue-in-cheek while still requiring some sound tactical decisions. You can't be an idiot charging across open fields as you'll be cut down by the other guy's opportunity fire.
Anyways, I thoroughly enjoyed the first two training sessions and definitely want to try out the rest of this game and possibly get the expansion to it, which will add hundreds of more characters and weapons.