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× Buy your army to crush your enemies.

Arcane Legions

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30 Jun 2009 00:25 #33419 by metalface13
Arcane Legions was created by metalface13
Is this the miniatures game I've been waiting for? Check out the preview over at Robot Viking

The idea of the bases and unit formations is pretty novel. But what is REALLY novel is the distribution method. I'd call it a semi-collectible miniatures game. There are two types of boosters, all faction specific. One is strictly for commons to fill out your army. Want more cavalry? No problem, you get what you see. Done with the commons? By the random (again, faction specific) booster for rares and uncommons with NO CHANCE of getting a common.

Sounds pretty cool. Also the packs are pretty cheap. Finally the plastic miniatures game that's cheap? A collectible game with faction-specific boosters? Sounds pretty cool to me.

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30 Jun 2009 07:26 #33425 by Notahandle
Replied by Notahandle on topic Re:Arcane Legions
I think they lost me at the 'VPs and territory control' paragraph. Seriously though, it sounds pretty good, the compromise between painted specials and unpainted commons is a good one. And the packaging separation between rares/uncommons and commons is simply brilliant. (Pity about the limited edition figures though.) I look forward to reading more, even though I really, really shouldn't get too interested in another miniatures game, since Godzilla is on the way.

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30 Jun 2009 14:20 #33461 by metalface13
Replied by metalface13 on topic Re:Arcane Legions
Notahandle wrote:

I think they lost me at the 'VPs and territory control' paragraph.


So? Don't lots of wargames and miniatures games use scenarios where you try to control an area? Isn't that what war is all about (most of the time)? fighting over territory? Makes sense to me I should get points if I'm controlling a hill or bridge or whatever.

Godzilla? Is Godzilla coming to Monsterpocalypse? Or are you just refering to the Richard Berg game?

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30 Jun 2009 14:40 #33462 by ChristopherMD
Replied by ChristopherMD on topic Re:Arcane Legions
Godzilla???

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01 Jul 2009 07:06 #33514 by Notahandle
Replied by Notahandle on topic Re:Arcane Legions
metalface13 wrote:
" So? Don't lots of wargames and miniatures games use scenarios where you try to control an area?"
True, but I'd prefer the territory control without the VPs.
" ...are you just refering to the Richard Berg game?"
The Richard Berg game.

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25 Aug 2009 16:36 #39216 by Pat II
Replied by Pat II on topic Re:Arcane Legions
The more I read about this the more I'm interested. I like the idea that you can buy what you need and that you'll get a whack load of figs without investing too mcuh (I know $170 isn't cheap but you get the idea).

The fact that the commons are unpainted is fine by me, keeps the expenses down to fill out the ranks.

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25 Aug 2009 17:26 #39231 by Mr MOTO
Replied by Mr MOTO on topic Re:Arcane Legions
I know some people who have played it and they seem to enjoy it quite a bit. If anyone has specific questions about it I'd be happy to ask them and post the answers back here.

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25 Aug 2009 17:45 #39238 by Stephen Avery
Replied by Stephen Avery on topic Re:Arcane Legions
Looks good. I may pick up a couple of sets and review it.

Steve"MOR PASTYK"Avery

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25 Aug 2009 18:10 #39245 by Pat II
Replied by Pat II on topic Re:Arcane Legions
Mr MOTO wrote:

I know some people who have played it and they seem to enjoy it quite a bit. If anyone has specific questions about it I'd be happy to ask them and post the answers back here.


I'd be intrested to know how they felt about movement. In other words how did it feel with the movement rules - were the units free wheelling or tend to bunch in a mess of melee until all from one side were eliminated. I'm a little concerend over the size of the bases but not necessarily the unit cohesion aspect which is fine.

Are untis able to disengage quickly etc..

Just briefly "how did it feel" sort of question. Thanks in advance.

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26 Aug 2009 14:32 #39358 by jhuntin1
Replied by jhuntin1 on topic Re:Arcane Legions
Arcane Legions is a sort of weird mix of Pirates of the Spanish Main with parts of any of Weisman's Clix games thrown in. It uses the movement and damage mechanics of PotSM, with the idea that you can push units to activate again in exchange for taking damage.

I saw the demo kit my FLGS received and played a demo at GenCon, where I bought the starter and the rest of the Romans minus the 7 other boosters (there was a limit of one booster of each faction). I've got all the Romans clipped out and assembled and will work on the Hans and Egyptians this weekend.

I'd be happy to answer any questions I can about the game. It definitely works as advertised: kill lots of stuff really fast. The mechanics are actually pretty nice.

I'd be intrested to know how they felt about movement. In other words how did it feel with the movement rules - were the units free wheelling or tend to bunch in a mess of melee until all from one side were eliminated. I'm a little concerend over the size of the bases but not necessarily the unit cohesion aspect which is fine.


Movement is determined by counting up the number of chevrons in spaces filled by your units. Each movement point lets a unit move short side of a squad base, and 2 points lets you move the length of a long side, just like movement in PotSM. To turn, you spend one movement point to "get on the turning key" and another point to move off it after taking a 45 or 90 degree turn. The bases are notched in the middle of each side to make it easy to use the key. There are rules for turning 180 degrees or moving straight back, but I'm typing this from work (monitoring study hall right now, perfect for catching up on forums) so I don't have my rulebook in front of me. I think there are different rules for cavalry maneuvers, too, but I can't remember off the top of my head. I can look them up tonight and reply again if interested.

Are untis able to disengage quickly etc..


Sortie units (the small bases) can disengage at no penalty if they move away. Large units take a free attack from the unit they disengage from.

I might have to review this myself if I can get enough time...

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26 Aug 2009 14:37 #39360 by metalface13
Replied by metalface13 on topic Re:Arcane Legions
Please do.

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26 Aug 2009 14:38 #39361 by Pat II
Replied by Pat II on topic Re:Arcane Legions
Thanks for the info - how do you feel about the value for what you purchased?

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26 Aug 2009 16:00 - 26 Aug 2009 16:02 #39388 by jhuntin1
Replied by jhuntin1 on topic Re:Arcane Legions
Pat II wrote:

Thanks for the info - how do you feel about the value for what you purchased?


EDIT: I started talking about the value and ended up with a mini-review. Hopefully it's useful.

Knowing the game for what it is, I think the value is pretty decent. They sold it for full MSRP + tax at GenCon, so no special deals. It's odd, having played most of WizKids's games, to have non-painted miniatures. Especially since all the figures except those in boosters come on sprues.

$83 bought me the starter set, the Roman infantry set, the Roman cavalry set, and a Roman booster. One thing to keep in mind, especially for the infantry, is that if you ever want to play more than one faction, you're better off buying a second starter box then buying the infantry box for each faction since you get 3 bases of infantry in the starter and 4 bases in the infantry box.

There will be 8 unique boosters for each faction, which have some painted miniatures. You'll be able to buy a booster brick and have every unit for your faction without the need to buy more. The one booster I have has one of the 5 unique Roman characters, some mercenary golems, and some alternate infantry units. The painted miniatures included are used in units that come in the booster, which you'll fill out with miniatures from the starter.

On the base of each miniature is a short code, which the template cards show on slots where a figure with that code belongs. These can be a little hard to see, but once they're on at the start of a battle, they are not needed again. The pieces fit on the bases just snugly enough to stay in place but come off easily. The plastic is sturdy for the most part, although at its thinnest (spears for example) it is a little too flexible.

It should be fairly easy for anyone who has the time to paint them up. The only things that comes prepainted in the regular sets are the shields. I'm fine with the miniatures not being painted because it would drive the price up horribly, especially with the number of models needed and what comes in the box.

The templates for the bases are genius. One thing that may catch people by surprise is that for most of the units, there will be holes that are not supposed to be filled in a full-strength unit. This is where the Reorder action comes in. You can arrange your unit for quick movement by slotting all of the holes that give movement to rapidly deploy your army. On the next turn, when they engage, you can Reorder them to switch out of movement in favor of defense and/or attack dice. There are four types of standard abilities on slots, usually in some combination: ranged dice, melee dice, defense dice, and movement. Units may also have special abilities. Some special abilities require a unit devoted to it for it to be in effect, while other special abilities are always active.

You remove figures when taking damage. This limits your options, but unlike a fixed Clix base, you still have control over what abilities you will have left. Troops with multiple pegs, like the Roman bear riders, have a hit point per peg (4 in the case of the bear riders), and you can assign damage to them which will auto-heal at the end of the turn if the unit is not killed by another attack. The rules are written to make sure that any other attack against that unit applies damage to the already damaged unit first.

Each template also has a card that describes any ability icons present and usually includes some fluff on the back side.

One of the nicer parts of the game is that the template also shows with colors which sides are the favorable sides for attacking and which are unfavorable (at which the attacker rolls -3 dice). It is also possible to be flanked from a side or the rear in some units, at which you roll -3 defense dice. It also shows how much additional movement it costs to move a certain direction. If you only want to sidestep right a little ways rather than turn the unit 90 degrees, you can pay the movement at some multiplier (2x, 3x, or 4x the usual number of movement points). It's simple but very elegant.

The game is designed to play on a 4'x4' table, but my 3x3 ones work fine. There are terrain rules similar to those in MechWarrior or MageKnight, where you put down flat templates that slow down units or block line of sight. The most important terrain are the control zones (similar to objective markers from MageKnight). Sole possession of a control zone at the end of a turn awards victory points to the possessor.

You get 8 command points a turn to work with, with movement, attacks, and reordering costing different points based on base size and order. The nice thing is, if you have the control points available, is that you can order a single unit 3 times without pushing if you give it a movement, reorder, and attack action. If you want to repeat a specific action, like attacking twice, you pay both the control point cost and the pushing cost by removing a figure. This is great for cheap units with lots of troops on the base, but makes you think twice about pushing with your expensive, albeit powerful, bear unit.

All die rolls are d6 based. When rolling attack dice and defense dice, you line up the results similar to Risk. In a melee attack, anytime the defender gets the higher roll it deals damage back to the attacker in addition to saving against the hit. In ranged combat it merely saves. Most of the time, unless it was my unit of Roman shield legionnaires, no unit will ever get to roll as many defense dice as the attacker rolls to attack, so damage will usually happen. In most cases, when unblocked, the defender gets a phantom 2 so basically the attacker will need 3+ to hit. Generally speaking, stuff dies fast once the attacking starts.

It should be said, that playing with only the contents of a starter set will limit you to 4 bases of a specific faction, or 6 if you're both willing to mix it up. The rules allow you to mix factions in army construction, but there are units that have the Xenophobia ability that give you a bonus to attack if your army is faction-pure.

I think the game succeeds at most of what it tries to do. It reminds me of GW's Warmaster game (think Epic for Warhammer Fantasy), but it is so much cheaper. The rules are pretty simple but the system works well. The general can be tactical if he wishes, or march is units in and see who survives the carnage. There is Organized Play coming for it and I already have a group of guys at my store that I'll be playing with. I'm quite satisfied with my purchase.
Last edit: 26 Aug 2009 16:02 by jhuntin1.

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26 Aug 2009 16:25 #39395 by Pat II
Replied by Pat II on topic Re:Arcane Legions
Excellent info - thank you very much. One last question - do the untis slip in and out of the bases easily enough to prevent any serious damage if painted? (to the paint job that is).

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26 Aug 2009 17:05 #39404 by jhuntin1
Replied by jhuntin1 on topic Re:Arcane Legions
Yes, as long as you or the other player know where to grab. Most figures won't be a problem, but there are some slender ones that you will want to grab from close to the base to make sure you're not going to pull off the torso by accident.

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