This Unleashed RPG Adventurer Kit Was Involved in a Car Wreck & You Won’t BELIEVE What Was Pulled From the Wreckage!!

Clickbaity enough for ya? Thought so. The story is true though. My family and I were involved in a fairly substantial car accident merely a day after receiving my review copy of this game.  We are fine (the car isn’t) but I was also pretty impressed with the fairly limited damage done to this solid hunk of gaming!  I mean, it was at the impact point, perhaps it even absorbed an outrageous amount of the blow, just maybe… it saved our lives!.. Okay that last one stretched things a bit, still, kudos on Privateer Press for crafting such a stalwart game.

Only a mite roughed up!

Only a mite roughed up!

Anyway, on to the actual review.

The Unleashed RPG Adventure Kit!  More Fun Than You Could Shake a Half-Gnawed Severed Limb At!

I should have lead with this title.

wpid-20150305_185619.jpg

I know somewhere on this blog I’ve mentioned a love for Privateer Press’ Iron Kingdoms RPG, despite never doing a full on review of the system, and if I haven’t I know I’ve lauded it on my favorite social media platforms.  With a rule-set modeled after their equally fun tabletop wargamming platform Warmachine, you find yourself dropped into a surprisingly easy to parse strategic fighting RPG with a rich backdrop of lore.  The Iron Kingdoms Core Rulebook introduced players to warring kingdoms of people we find a bit more familiar; Humans, Elves, Dwarves, etc. all vying for power in civilized lands constantly at war using both powerful majicks and technology.  Metal on metal fantasy full scale warfare.

wpid-20150308_125251.jpg

We aren’t here to talk about civilized lands though, we’re here to talk about the wilder lands of Western Immoren.  Unleashed will be a companion rule-book, fully compatible with the one that proceeded it, but will detail the sentient creatures of the wilds of Western Immoren.  Just prior to its release though we have this surprising little gem show up, the RPG Adventure Kit. I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect when I heard this was coming out a month or two before the full on Core Rulebook but I was willing to give it a try, especially because it was going to come with some Minis.

THE LOOK

My experience with “kits” lately has been limited to the D&D Starter Set for 5th Edition, something I’m in the process of using to introduce a few kids to D&D.  The Starter Set is very much worth the dollar figure, roughly $12 on Amazon, but as that’s a rather low price point you don’t get too much.  A rough set of rules, an O.K. adventure, a few pre-gens, and some dice.  Certainly serviceable, I’m still using it after all, but nothing really catches the eye to draw in new players in my opinion.

wpid-20150308_123025.jpg

This boxed set though?  Everything catches the eye. Privateer Press held nothing back and has come nowhere near doing a slipshod job when putting together this introduction to Unleashed.  The first thing you notice when opening are some punch out tiles with terrain printed on them.  You think there’s a few for garnishment but then you keep pulling tiles out and realize that you’ve got tiles for days man!  Every single one has an image on both sides too effectively doubling the already impressive amount of terrain you can use.  The Rulebook and Scenario are both very appealing to the eye and the character booklets are huge four page spreads that really detail who you’ve chosen in both art and letter.  They round things out with a fist-full of excellent minis for use with the Scenario provided, a simple set of six-siders, and lastly, the only thing I scratched my head at, a truly pathetic ruler (had to have been added as an afterthought).

wpid-20150308_122757.jpg

Look at this ruler… I mean, I know people should own better ones but bleh

The artwork keeps in theme with every product put out by Privateer Press in this world, I’m glad I like it because they are consistent.  With Unleashed they get to play around with the brutal nature of the game and really craft some nice looking characters.  Sadly there isn’t much art in the actual books but they do have a bit more than other kits I’ve seen.

wpid-20150308_123116.jpg

PLAYABILITY

I’m already a fan of the system. As mentioned before it’s very similar to the Wargaming system it’s spurned from so there is hardly any gap in playability for those familiar with Warmachine and Hordes.  Unleashed is the “Hordes” version of the RPG system so it is is incredibly brutal.  You have characters that use body parts for food, or even to spruce up armor.  The world of Unleashed is very much a survival of the fittest landscape and I think that lends a lot of fun to the players of the game.  Killing a foe and eating their flesh isn’t an evil act, it’s an act of survival.  In fact I’d be surprised if there’s a GM who’d even consider worrying about the alignment of characters in this dangerous setting.

wpid-20150308_122616.jpg

The scenario provided with this game does a good job of explaining why all of these denizens of the wilds would form an unlikely partnership.  Much like it’s predecessor you need to do such things as this world can easily slip into a faction-like mindset where it might be odd to see a Bogg Trogg working with Gatorman but when the four characters in this setting want to move against a powerful enemy differences, and appetites, are set aside and respect for ability sets in. The scenario offers up five large scenes and to me it looks like it would take roughly two to three nights to play it out.  A nice caveat is added at the end to describe some possible continuation adventures.

So, I’m very impressed with the Scenario provided.  No corners were cut and the punch out landscapes will go a long way in setting the stage, not to mention you can use those punch outs for some Hordes fighting in the future.  The character pre-gens are all very flavorful and players will have a blast role-playing their brutality.  If you want though the streamlined Rulebook provided with the game will help you craft new Player Characters.  Other rules set out in the book do the job of explaining how to play very well.

wpid-20150308_125236.jpg

I already knew I was going to be a fan of the Unleashed Core book but I’m pretty surprised how much I like this RPG kit. The best thing about it has to be the tile pieces and the miniatures though, once your players have done the scenario no matter how good it is there’ll never be a really good reason to run it for them again.  The physical stuff though?  That will keep and can be used for Unleashed adventures for years to come.  My advice is to get both Unleashed and the Kit if you can.  If you have to choose between the two I’d lean Core Book, but that’s me.  Take care folks!

Pre-Order the Kit

wpid-20150308_125201.jpg

I mean, I say Id lean Core Book… BUT LOOK AT ALL THIS STUFF!!

Advertisements

Geekway to the West

I spend a lot of time talking about Tabletop RPGs.  Without a doubt those roleplay inducing, hit point crushing affairs hold the biggest piece of my gaming heart, but if I were to expose a little more of that beating flesh to you board games certainly cover a sizable portion as well!  This is why I would like to talk to you about Geekway to the West, the St. Louis hosted gaming convention that focuses on board gaming and board gaming alone.  With stunning results too.

geekwaylogoIf you visit the Geekway to the West site you will see that they’ve been at the Con game for 11 years this May.  I’ve attended the last two.  When I first attended I wasn’t sure what I would discover, my apprehensions were somewhat parallel to my good friend Toby’s, which he covered in an eloquent write up on his blog Roll and Groove, when he first attended GttW.  I was nervous about the whole thing, the crowds, not knowing the games, etc.  It was my first Convention and unlike Gen Con, which was at that time coming down the pipe, I’d be attending alone.  What I discovered was an entirely inclusive environment, full of gamers ready to flag you down if they needed one more for a game and readily help you understand the rules or, if no one knew them, pick your brain to assist the group in getting ready.  Four days of gaming flew by quick.

The next year I attended merely one day of the event due to a family function filling up the remainder of my weekend.  I had signed up to help with the library too, and sadly had to back out.  The one day I was there was very eventful though.  I fell in love with an odd little game called Space Cadets: Dice Duels, and even won a copy of the game just for playing it.  Last year I even helped out some would be game designers by being a volunteer game tester.  It was a cool experience especially because, as anyone who knows me well can tell you, I really love just talking to other gamers about their passions and few have more love for gaming than someone putting themselves out there as a designer.

This year I plan to attend all four days and will likely volunteer to work the library if they need me.  Speaking of said library, it is huge.  The folks who run the con have collected hundreds of games, many of them with multiple copies, to lend out to the more than one thousand attendees. Truly a board gamer’s delight!

A few things to note about this con if you intend to consider coming on down to play some games with me, you know you want to.

  • Date: May 14-17
  • Place: Westport Sheraton Chalet – St. Louis, Missouri
  • Price: For all 4 days
    • Early Bird: $35.00 until Monday 01/12/2015!
    • Online Post 01/12/2015: $45.00
    • At the Door: $50.00
  • Online badge purchasers also get a free board game at Check in! (Last year I got a copy of the Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game)
  • Let me reiterate the above…Free Game folks, Hell the game I got last year retails for $30 and I paid $35 for my badge.
  • There is a Play and Win contest for some games, whenever you play them you are entered into a lottery to win that copy at the end of the Con.  Last year I won Space Cadets: Dice Duel.
  • There are contests
    • Game Design Contest
    • Certain games like Crokinole & other Attendee run games
  • Support for Designers
    • Prototype Lab
    • Playtest area
    • The design competition
  • Merchandise
    • Trade table where you can trade your old game for something new
    • Vendors can set up tables too.  Last year I met with William Mandry, creator of the excellent pocket game Survivalistic.

I could go on but at this point just visit the website here because you are obviously interested enough to maybe get a badge.  I’d love to see some of my readers attend.  Would love to meet some new folks and would love to see some old friends again.  Come beat me at a game, I’m abysmal at boardgames anyway (despite my love for them) so it should be easy.  Hopefully I’ll see you at the Con!

-Melvs