Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Hell Dorado - First Impressions

Cash Johnson with even more gaming bloggery, this time about a new game the rest of the crew picked up from GenCon - Hell Dorado. I was introduced to this via link by Drew, and was instantly impressed with the model sculpts, both in originality and detail (pic related). After looking at everything the game had in store, I decided on the Demons, as I like demons, and these are very nicely made. Drew picked me up the Demon starter box because I wasn't going.

So first we come to the actual starter box - pocket sized, cardboard army sleeve around the actual box to keep minis inside it, plush high quality foam inside. The minis themselves were all single cast pewter with the exception of the Wrath demon, who actually came with his own arm sprue containing three variants to put on him - bonus points for that little bit, I'm going with the hammer. Next we have the cards, double-sided and meant for dry erase markers and plastic sleeves, which is fine. Each card is clearly legible, good quality printing, and flows nicely.

The quick start rules, however, took the cake. A single 11x17 sheet, double-sided contains every rule you need to know to play the game as far as I am aware. Every action you can take is clearly explained, both ranged and close combat procedures laid out, using spells and officer abilities, status effects and special rules - everything is on this single sheet of paper. Then I start reading the rules...

First, the game requires a tape measure, metric or standard, and only 6d6, plus minis and terrain - incredibly simple. Second, instead of complicated charts and tables, or having to do addition and subtraction in your head, combat goes as follows - roll number of dice equal to your ability, target's defense is the number you need, apply damage as per your card's description. That's it. If you have a 6 or more in either CBT or SHS (Combat and Shooting Skill), you get to re-roll. Even better! Then I read that ranged attacks have no maximum range, just increased difficulty at longer distances. I was instantly sold on this game. On top of that, most things do not affect the die roll required, but the number of dice you get to roll, which is incredibly similar to the White Wolf system (which I also love). Simple rules, easy system. I like.

Which brings us to the army itself - the Demons. In the starter box, you receive Asaliah (a rebel angel summoner), a Damned one of Wrath, two Damned ones of Sloth, and Harborym (a summoned demon, or lemure). The way magic works for the Demons is the summoner summons a lemure, who acts as the physical manifestation of the spell - I get to move it around and trigger it when I feel like, not instantly. That alone is very awesome. Then Asaliah has the ability to summon and control multiple lemures at once, meaning I can have 2 spell manifestations running around the field at once. Even more awesome. Unfortunately, she can only cast a maximum of three summons a game. Not as awesome, but still awesome.

Then I read what her powers do - apparently all Satanist (meaning demons) models within 6" of her automatically regenerate 1 Life Point per turn just from being around her, and she can do a single big heal where ALL allies on the table receive 8 Life Points of healing... WHA?! So my choice to play Demons inadvertently gave me an awesome army right off the bat? I'm even further sold. On top of that, even the three demons the starter comes with aren't that bad. Both Sloths get Advance Deployment 4, meaning I can setup an additional 4" when placing them, and they each have 18 Life Points, which is more than Asaliah gets. Then my Wrath gets Fury, which means he doesn't lose CBT when Charging, and has a DEF of 4, meaning only a 4+ causes a success against him in combat (considering my Sloths have DEF 2, that's badass). I haven't even played a game of this yet and already love what I have to work with.

Thursday will be an interesting day as I will play my first game of Hell Dorado... after some more Blood Bowl.

- Cash

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