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Kingdom Death: This Month's Best Game Ever

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28 Oct 2015 16:55 #213613 by moofrank

Kingdom Death Review

Updated with session summary

This is a really, terribly hard thing to review.  I can't even really decide if I'm reviewing a boardgame, an RPG, or a video game which doesn't come on a cartridge. Kingdom Death really doesn't fit into nice neat categories, and some of its aspects just defy... basically everything. 

It is totally freaking weird and a kind of unholy Frankenstein of parts and pieces from just about everything. I have definitely worked that out, and so I think I’ll go for a review style which is more like parts cut out of other review. 

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The following user(s) said Thank You: Almalik, Gary Sax, allismom3, ChristopherMD, Columbob, Jexik, Egg Shen, charlest, Cambyses

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28 Oct 2015 17:22 #213614 by Gary Sax
Great review---particularly because I still hadn't been able to suss out what the game was from previous people writing about it. I did here.

The "Village" crafting/castle game bit sounds fantastic... I do like the idea of making a dungeon crawl where you forego the thousands of stupid minion encounters and just make the boss encounters unique, epic, and memorable. Sounds like someone has been playing Dark Souls, basically.

Ultimately, I'll pass because I don't have the group for it. But it sounds gonzo which is awesome.

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28 Oct 2015 17:45 #213617 by Michael Barnes
"Sharper Image box"

Ha ha ha ha ha ha! I knew it.

I need to come over and at least handle the game...the modeling puts me off of it...I just don't have the desire to fool with that aspect of it. The figures look amazing (_especially_ when they are NOT colored and are instead gray, black or white), but I am not gluing 30 hands onto a phoenix's butt. Not any time soon.

It sounds to me like this is really a game system compiled into one package...that may have been better served if it were sold in pieces. Not as expansions. But as "modules" for the game so you can add as much complexity as you want.

It does sound like there is some really outsider kind of design work in here, and I love that. But man, the barrier to entry is like a solid glass wall 400 feet (or $400) tall.

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28 Oct 2015 22:44 #213624 by Jexik
Yeah, I like the game but the price tag means I won't get it. I wish I could get a version that just had standees for 1/3 of the price, but I'm pretty confident that will never happen.

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29 Oct 2015 08:18 #213636 by Cambyses
This game is the exact kind of aspirational thing that I would think about buying, dream about buying. Thankfully it's crazy expensive and I suck ass at modeling, so there's no real risk of that ever happening. By aspirational I mean it represents the kind of gamer I wish I still was (now that college is well in the rearview mirror), and also the kind of gaming group I wish I had.

All that being said, I do own Monster Hunter titles for the ps2/wii/3ds and occasionally RPG with call of cthulhu, so maybe that fills the same void.

Thanks for the awesome pics and review, man.

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29 Oct 2015 09:35 #213649 by Columbob
Totally and appropriately epic review, Frank, thanks a lot.

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29 Oct 2015 09:55 #213658 by SuperflyPete
Good and hilarious review.

I'm looking at this and thinking it was originally created by the guys behind Ren and Stimpy. Totally batshit crazy, and probably better after a few hits of white blotter.

I'm vexed...would I rather have a quirky $400 game with $80 in beautiful miniatures, or a $80 game with $150 in miniatures in it (Cthulhu Wars)....

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29 Oct 2015 12:01 #213668 by Columbob

SuperflyTNT wrote: I'm vexed...would I rather have a quirky $400 game with $80 in beautiful miniatures, or a $80 game with $150 in miniatures in it (Cthulhu Wars)....


You'll find it's a lot more than $80 in miniatures for KD. Frank mentions that merely the armour kits are probably worth that by themselves.
GW would sell that phoenix model alone something like $80+.
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29 Oct 2015 15:27 #213685 by Hex Sinister
Awesome review!

I just don't get the appeal of a bunch of sprues of dolly dress up. To me it's useless junk that I don't want to pay for. The way it sounds is there isn't a lot of permanency, right? You have to swap gear out a lot and it can break and your villiagers die all the time? Does not compute. I would rather that plastic was converted to something like more characters who are already equipped or a couple more monsters.

Which is the other thing that makes me pause is that there are only three(?) monsters to fight in the campaign? My guess is the phoenix thing doesn't get used much does it? I watched some (admittedly boring) dudes playing and combat seemed dry. Move 5 spaces, roll 2d10, roll a d10 some more and lots more rolling d10. I'm sure it's better than I made it sound but I'm still hesitant.

I love the flavor and how it's not more mind numbing recycled Mythos crap or cartoony WoW nonsense that fantasy titles have been reduced to. The darker, grim tone is refreshing, appealing, and isn't so dependent on cliches. The guy definitely has a great imagination and vision and it shows in the seemingly unique setting. I also admire how he doesn't cop out and take the family friendly route that practically every publisher does these days. Developers ought to take note and up their game in this dept.

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29 Oct 2015 15:37 #213687 by Columbob

Hex Sinister wrote: I just don't get the appeal of a bunch of sprues of dolly dress up. To me it's useless junk that I don't want to pay for. The way it sounds is there isn't a lot of permanency, right? You have to swap gear out a lot and it can break and your villiagers die all the time? Does not compute. I would rather that plastic was converted to something like more characters who are already equipped or a couple more monsters.


It's really appealing to miniature hobbyists. GW kept adding more and more bits and pieces to their plastic kit sprues so you could customize your own models to death (until they wisely did a 180 for their starting box sets). The minis in KD are an extension of that mind frame.

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29 Oct 2015 15:47 #213688 by Hex Sinister
I can dig it. But I just don't want to pay for it. Why not just sell it seperately for modelling entheusiasts? Everybody's happy.
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29 Oct 2015 17:27 #213701 by Delobius
Parts of this thing seem so cool (boobs! tech trees!), but the core gameplay seems a little too much like a dungeon crawl of some kind, which is always better for me in theory than in practice. If those pin-up miniatures come back in print, though, I might pick up a few...for, er, tactical reasons. Yeah.

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29 Oct 2015 17:40 #213702 by Michael Barnes

Hex Sinister wrote: I can dig it. But I just don't want to pay for it. Why not just sell it seperately for modelling entheusiasts? Everybody's happy.


This is what gets me about this. There are a LOT of people that want to play this game. But I would be willing to bet that this game, as successful as it's been, would double or even triple its sales if it were NOT Sprueageddon. It really is a board game, not a tabletop miniatures game. So the modeling aspect of it feels very secondary, at least from what I'm seeing of it. You shouldn't HAVE to glue 30 hands onto a phoenix's ass to play this design. But I suppose Poots really wants people to identify the game with these figures.

Or sell it NOT as an entire product line in one box, at least.
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29 Oct 2015 23:12 #213733 by moofrank
The dress up armor kits are the only really senseless part of the thing. The minis are also easily the best minis I've ever seen. Even in plastic. One friend split his order with someone else who just wanted the minis.

As to monsters, there are 7 monsters. The three Hunt monsters are the Lion, Antelope, and Phoenix. They are the ones you go after the most. There are then three Nemesis encounters which come after you every 4-5 years.

Those are the Butcher, Kings Man, and the Hand. Both of these have 3 different levels of difficulty (there are a few secret level 4 stat blocks hiding in the book.) The level 1 creatures we've fought have very few Advanced cards and 0 Legendary cards. As you get into the harder card sets, even the same monsters start doing things like multi-round charged attacks, and complex Mood cards which stack in evil, evil ways.

The final boss in the The Watcher. That's only one level, and is the floating ghost lantern thing in the pics. That you don't fight a lot. I glanced at a couple of his cards and.... and..... Infinite Movement? Instant Kill? It is like half of the monster rules don't even apply to him. No JRPG I can name has anything even half as terrifying.
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30 Oct 2015 09:22 #213752 by edulis
Well I want to play this now. Not a chance in hell I can afford to buy it--- so I emailed a link to my buddy, who although is semi-employed at best, backs all the miniature heavy kickstarters (Battle of Alabaster, Robotech, Cool mini/ shitty game stuff). I am hopeful he'll buy it and I can mooch off his copy.

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