No Sign Of A Towel

I’ve played a lot of Clank! in the last year. I originally picked up the base game as a Unicorn Dance Party gift to myself. This year the festive unicorn has whinnied happily at me again, because a special someone (not me this year) bought me Clank! In! Space! (which I say in the classic Lost In Space way, every time).

Clank! and CIS are deck-building board games, for 2-4 players (or single player with the app. More on that later) by Renegade Game Studios. While the former is high fantasy, the latter is some sweet sci-fi goodness. Whereas Clank! features a double sided board for different difficulties, CIS is made up of seven parts: the cargo bay (where you start, escape, and monitor player health), the clank area (for keeping generated clank before it goes in the bag), the command section (what would be the deep in the original), the corridor (which the hyperlift runs through), and 3 double-sided modules. The 3 modules can be placed in any order on either side and will make a big difference how you move through the ship.

Let’s go through the similarities to Clank! The crystal caves of the original are replaced with security checkpoints, the shops are represented by yellow spaces and marked with an ‘M’, there’s still an adventure row of 6 random card drawn from the deck, you still have a starting set of 10 cards (which are perfect reskin of the ones in the original), large and small secret tokens scattered around the board, a goblin to fight for cash (it’s now a robot though), and 3 basic cards to buy with action points (mercenary is now FAZR (which looks kinda like the gen 1 Transformer, Soundwave), explore is now boldly go, sacred tome is now a memory core (again, all reskinned from the original), cards generate the three main resources – skill (to buy cards), boots (to move), and swords (to do murders with). There are also some cards/actions which will generate clank (noise that will alert the big bad to your presence). Generate too much clank and it’s all the more likely you’ll end up dead on the floor, your treasures now worthless.

There are plenty of changes though. The shop now contains four items and you can’t buy more than one of each; the key is now a master key card, worth five victory points; medipack gains you two health and is also worth five VP; the teleporter pass allows you to blink around the ship and worth, oh yes, five VP; contraband is worth ten VP and unlocks certain card abilities. Also, there’s no backpack, so it’s one artifact each (you hear that folx who bought two backpacks in Clank! and then grabbed an unbeatable number of artifacts?! Do you hear me now? Fuck you and the magic carpet you flew in on *screams while crying tears of blood*);. The biggest change though, is factions.

There are three factions, each identified by a symbol on the top left of their card. If you’ve used a faction card during your turn, it will allow you to activate abilities on other faction cards. Getting lots of cards of the same faction will help you get a good engine going and more quickly do all you need to without getting caught.

Within the adventure deck there is a single card representing Lord Eradikus (who’s ship you’re pillaging). Once you’ve defeated them, you’ll be awarded a bunch of money and you’ll flip the G0B-L1N. card over. This makes it stronger, but also worth more cash for defeating it.

Last up there’s power crystals. They’re nice little blue and are plastic pieces that I was immediately curious about on opening the box (because apparently I’m part magpie. “Look, look at the shiny that I has found. No, you cannot have them. The shinies are mine!). There’s only 5 available and you can grab them either through card abilities or entering rooms with their matching icon. Enter room *boop* you got a shiny. Success and happiness are yours.

The artwork is great, from the vector art of the program cards, to the parodies of Star Wars, Star Trek, Dune, Aliens, etc characters (Cranky Doctor, Dark Jidu, Hubba the Yurtt, etc.), to the board and box art. Renegade have done a really good job once again.

Your first mission is to hack two consoles in different modules to earn a command code. To hack a console, find yourself a room with a green tab attached and pop one of your transparent cubes in there. Each one can only be hacked once, so if someone else if following you around the board, they’ll have to go elsewhere to get their hacks. Each console hack will offer different rewards, some gain you health/cash, others will generate clank.

Once you’ve got your code, head to the command section and grab yourself one of those sweet artifacts, before making your way back towards the cargo bay. Here you have to locate one of the four escape pods and blast off to freedom with your ill-gotten loot.

The game ramps up in difficulty due to the rage track on the right side of the board. A player gaining a command code, finding an archive, or collecting an artifact. The further up the track the marker moves, the more cubes are pulled out of the bag when certain new cards are revealed on the adventure row. In addition, the top four spots on the rage track will release bounty hunters into the bag, and block off a section of the hyper lift (making escape a little more difficult). When a bounty hunter is pulled from the bag, they damage every player at once and go straight back in the bag. Ready to mess you up again at any time. With only ten health points, it’s easy to take a lot of damage late game thanks to these bloody minded assassins, even if you’ve been careful not to generate much clank yourself.

I’d avoided getting CIS because all that I could see from the marketing made it look like a basic reskin of the original (for which I own all four expansions). However, there really is enough in this to make the game different enough from the original that it’s definitely worth it. There’s also the added bonus that anyone who’s played that will be able to pick this up super quickly.

As with Clank!, CIS has a section on Renegade’s companion app (available for Android and iOS). I’ve used this in the past to add a twist to multiplayer games or to play solo. For CIS though the app includes a board generator – to help you pick which modules to use – and a whole campaign mode for single players. This is in addition to the normal mode, to shake up group games.

Played over multiple games, the campaign guides you through setting up the board (a different configuration for each mission), how much clank to put in the bag to start, which artifacts are available, it tells you what will be worth bonus points (be they cards of a certain faction/credits/memory cores/certain major or minor secrets) and off you go. When you finish a move, the app tells you to remove cards from the adventure row (simulating the crushing pain of missing out on a good card to another player). As you move to different sections, you update your position on the app and that may activate missions, or trigger a change in how many clank cubes are drawn per attack.

At the end of the game, you enter your bonuses and total score to receive your rank. Then you can setup for the next mission or put it away until you’re ready to go again. As you progress, the number and value of artifacts will increase, and you may be assigned a secondary mission (e.g. visit a market place to meet a contact). Some of the secondary missions will allow you to search the deck and discard pile for a particular card and add it to your deck. This makes finding some really useful cards super easy. Just the thing for the more difficult missions.

Some of the secondary quests will trigger further side missions (e.g. visit a particular spot and spend 6 action points for a bonus). The more you complete, the more chance for random bonuses/assistance and the higher your overall ranking at the end.

I’d say that the companion app makes CIS worth the money for single player games alone. Even with static missions, there’s still the randomness of the decks to change things up, so there’s tons of replayability here.

Pros:

  • Different enough from Clank! to make it worth it.
  • Plenty of variety in ways to lay out the board.
  • Fantastic single player campaign mode with the app.

Cons:

  • The board pieces are a bit too snug meaning the don’t quite go together properly in some configurations.

Final Score: 10/10

Do You Want Anything From The Shop?

I went on a bit of a Kickstarter spree in the nine months from September last year. I backed a bunch of boardgames. So far, they’ve all come through and been pretty darn good. Last week I got the latest one delivered. The small but mighty, Tiny Epic Zombies.

The game comes in a box not much bigger than the average novel, but contains a huge amount of stuff. Firstly, there’s the nine mall cards. The eight stores are laid out at random around a central courtyard. Once the board is laid out, you can move on to picking the three objectives for the game from the 9 each available for co-operative or competitive modes. Between the randomised nature of the stores and the variety of objectives, there’s a lot of replayablity with this game.


Each of the objectives will include their own setup instructions with extra tokens being placed out, or markers placed on the objectives themselves, to monitor progress. Objectives could be anything from tracking down the true source of the zombie outbreak to building a weapon and ammo cache by scavenging the mall stores.

There’s options to play cooperatively with 1-4 players against an AI zombie force, or else 2-4 players can go up against a human controlled enemy.

Each player is dealt 3 characters and picks one to represent them in the world. Different characters having their own unique skills which offer an advantage against the horde.

A zombie is selected or chooses who they’ll play as. These zombies can be found on the back of the character cards and are the decomposing versions of those heroes. For the AI versions, only the passive skills are used. However, for a human controlled horde, there are a range of increasingly powerful skills available.


Gameplay consists of players moving three spaces through the mall and carrying out any number of actions as they do so. This could involve performing melee attacks on zombies in the same room, ranged attacks on zombies in adjacent rooms, collecting items from stores – once they’ve been cleared out, etc.

At the end of each turn, players perform a search by turning over their scavenge card. If the icon on the card matches the store, this will give the zombies an advantage. Once revealed, these scavenged items can be collected by the next player to visit the store, after it’s clear.

For the zombie player, they’re trying to attack the central court of the mall, break down the barricades and kill any survivors they find there. They can also kill the player characters, which will deplete the survivor count from the central courtyard.

The health and ammo mechanic in this game is unlike anything I’ve encountered before. Basically you start in good health and with 9 bullets for your ranged weapon. Ranged attacks (and some of the player character abilities) will deplete ammo. Zombie player abilities and poor melee attacks by the players can cause them to receive wounds. However, the health and ammo meter are on the same track. Should the two meet, or overtake each other, that player is dead. Either due to their wounds or because they were too badly equipped to survive. If there are survivors left in the courtyard, that player can take another player card and start again. Their old character dropping all their weapons and items in the store they’re standing for anyone else to collect.

One of the first things that really drew me to the game on Kickstarter was the ITEMeeple. These are fairly standard shaped meeple – maybe a little larger than average – but with little holes at their hands. One of the unique things about this game is that the weapons you scavenge around the mall can be equipped to your meeple. Adorable knives, swords, Uzis, mp5s, etc can be attached to your avatar as you wander around the mall. There’s also the vehicles that can be used. Either a motorcycle or a police car. You really haven’t lived until you’re riding a cute little motorcycle through a mall while brandishing a dinky chainsaw and rocket launcher.

Pros:

  • Lots of replayablity
  • Great artwork
  • Adorable game pieces

Cons:

  • Can be a lot to take in the first time
  • Good chance you may lose a zombie or two due to size
  • If you’ve got the Deluxe Edition, you may have to deal with the dog dying.

Overall: 8/10

Entrapment

If you’re like everyone else in the world, you’ve probably never wondered what kind of traps they sell at the PolyArmoury.

Well, wonder even less than that, dear friends, for I present to you on this day –

The PolyArmoury Sales Catalogue

Lair, Wallow & Further – Classic Traps for the Modern Dungeon Master.

The Pointymatic floor mounted, foot penetration device. 1000g

This isn’t just any spike floor trap, this is a self-resetting, self-cleaning, floor trap. 30 gnome-crafted, diamond tipped, Stabbatier oblisk blades are deployed at in a mere .25 of a second and can be ready to fire again in as little as 30 seconds. Perfect for when you’re visited by a single adventurer or a larger party.

The Swingmaster 760 1500g

This 300 lb, expertly designed swinging ceiling axe is a modern take on a dungeon protection classic. With a trigger you’ll swear is invisible to even the most keen eyed adventurer. This fine Stabbatier blade will swing down and cleave your enemey like an expert butcher.
Clean up is a breeze thanks to it’s patented quick detach system.
Guaranteed sharp for over a thousand uses*

The Rustic Collection Rolling Ball 750g

We all remember the great dungeons of yesteryear with great fondness. Some traps are truely timeless, and The Rustic Collection truely delivers with this classic – The Rolling Ball.
Make a dungeon your ancesters would be proud of, with one of the greatest hits of years gone by.
Triggered by a simple floor tile that will blend in with any dungeon flooring and ready to roll down any hallway to your specifications.

The Rustic Collection Dungeon Alarm 10g

Who has time these days for fancy alarms and traps that need to be reset after any low-level ranger has bumbled in?
For the busy dungeon master on the go, we present The Rustic Collection Dungeon Alarm. Expertly twisted twine stretches across your hallway and is connected to hand picked metal cans capable of alerting your minions within 30-60 feet.
Why pay more when you can pay smart?

The Lair, Wallow & Further Vertical Displacement Device 250g

This is gnome engineering at it’s finest. Perfect for hallways, treasure rooms, and even throne rooms. The Vertical Displacement Device will drop away to the void, lava pit, or hungry warg pen of your choice**
This isn’t just any trap door, this is the latest and most well oiled trap door you’ve ever set foot on, or your money back***

The Lair, Wallow & Further Springy Thingy 800g

Laugh maniacally for hours as you watch helpless adventurers catapulted backwards down hallways or into pits, with this drow-designed, gnome-crafted artefact of pure entertainment. The Springy Thingy can lift up to 600lbs and fling it up to 30 feet. On top of that, it can be ready to fire again in as little as 25 seconds.
The perfect addition to any dungeon on the up.

*In no way guaranteed.
**Void, lava pit, or hungry warg pen not included.
***Should you survive having set foot on it we in no way guarantee your money back.


Merkin the Aggy Wizard – Magical solutions to keep those filthy adventurers off your land.

MTAW Sticking Point 300g

We carve the finest binding runes into custom designed stone, to match your dungeon flooring. Once triggered it will hold a creature or adventurer of up to size “Giant” for up to 60 years.
Watch the filthy trespassers wither and die or torture them for as long as they live, in safety and comfort.
The Sticking Point is magic holding circle of choice for a new generation of dungeon owners.

MTAW Blow Off 450g

Who has time to cast gust of wind themselves? It requires concentration and beans. Let the magical artificers of Merkin The Aggy Wizard take care of that for you. Simply load legumes into the hopper and when triggered it will blast out a 60 foot x 10 foot blast of wind you don’t even have to think about.
Go on, blow your enemies today!

MTAW Eyes On The Prize 800g (includes 1 ball and mirror, additional balls 500g)

Whether you need to keep an eye on light fingered minions or watch for adventurers on the pillage, the Merkin The Aggy Wizard Eyes On The Prize crystal security ball is the arcane artefact for you.
Up to 64 can be connected to a beautifully designed magic mirror that would look at home in any throne room.
Simple gesture controlls allow you to switch views, zoom, or pan.
(Mirror available in silver plate or onyx effect finish)

MTAW Anti-magic Field 275g

Sometimes the best magical defence is denying them the use of magic at all.
Merkin The Aggy Wizard has you covered. These runes will block any magic use within 45 feet and mean you can get on with the business of a more martial disposal of your wand waggling enemies.
Simple to set up and available from stock today.

MTAW’s AWOL Wall 1750g

Never mind trapdoors, pits, prisons, or torture rooms. Merkin The Aggy Wizard presents: The AWOL Wall. Fitting seamlessly across any section of hallway, this one way portal to the deepest depths of the abyssal realm. An eternity of chaotic insanity awaits them beyond the veil, and they won’t even see it coming.
Say goodbye forever to all that annoy you and thanks to our new patented Fuckyoustaythere Runes(TM), you can be sure that nothing nasty will be slithering out of there or your money back*


Gruumch Praiser Designs – by Alestar the Quirky.

Behead-U-Well 1450g
Big spinny blade wheel does a cutting.
Chop chop, much blood. You like.
Do a buy. We make good trap, yes!
Such trap, very decapitate, wow!

Floor Jaws 1270g

Gnash gnash. Like big doggo.
Take their hecking legs clean off.
Hahahaha. So much blood. Cut a troll even. You not believe, but true.
Do a test, you see. Maybe not do test yourself. Use minion.
Hahahaha. Blood make Gruumch happy.
Hail Gruumch!


Squirtytronics – Spray the prey away.

Squirtytronics have been making wall mounted spray traps for over 700 years. We pride ourselves on our fine heritage of producing only the best in professional dungeon protection devices. They may come a little expensive, but you can rest safe in the knowledge that you’ve got the highest level of protection where you need it most.

The complete Squirtytronics range includes:

The Dragon’s Throat 2000g

A 30 foot blast of scortching fire that will leave your enemy a charred mess and reset in under 40 seconds.

Nature’s Vomit 1700g

Up to 20 foot coverage of poisoned mist leaves even the hardiest of adventurers incapacitated in as little as three actions.

Tundra Breath 1950g

Feel the chill wind of this icy aperture. Can freeze even a dwarf solid in under 2 seconds and is ready for action again in another 60.

The Bile Duct 1700g

The finest acid ready to melt the skin off a troll at 35 feet. This is the connoisseur’s choice in spray trap technology.


Jilted Goblin – Precision, Style, Elegance.

AG724 Multiple Arrow Deployment Device 3500g

The AG724 is the finest, arrow wall defence mechanism known to the planner universe.
A precision engineered duplication device replicates 40 arrows in 25 seconds.
Gnome engineered, platinum grade clockwork micro-ballistas launch them up to 47.5 feet and automatically reset and reload to fire again.
Master wizards craft each sensory crystal to be sure that nothing can get by undetected or un-pierced.

CB6000 Adventure Flattening Device 5750g

The most highly skilled gnome craftsmen, trained for 50 years to produce the platinum grade clockwork mechanisms used to fashion this truly breathtaking dungeon defence device.
Only the finest materials are employed in the construction of the CB6000, to ensure that your enemies aren’t merely crushed, but cold-pressed under extreme pressure, to keep in all their nutrients.
When it’s decent is complete, it rises seamlessly back into a hand-crafted ceiling recess that is undetectable by all but the most critically observant.
Guaranteed to last as long as your dungeon should stand.


Eldritch Farms

Eldritch Farms have been the choice discerning dungeon masters for years.
Our hand reared mimics are some of the most perfectly formed and vicious killers that money can buy.
Available in three sizes:

The Jewellery Box 500g

Perfect for taking off a finger or two.

The Petite Chest 1000g

Looks perfectly at home in the more demure treasure room.
Can comfortably eat an entire nothic, with room for goblin after.

The Casket Deluxe 2725g

This perfect specimen is raised to the highest standards and the perfect accompaniment for the most magnificent loot hordes across the underdark.
Very little would be left of even the sturdiest of ogres.

SMR Now On iTunes

*shudder* Ok, I’m not a fan of Apple, or anything they do. However, their devices are errrrvrwrrr. I’ve had a ton of comments asking if PolyArmoury could be on other platforms than Soundcloud and YouTube, so here we are: a many headed beast that enjoys the taste of your soul. jk. It’s a link to our iTunes page.

Yep, there you go the beast has eaten my morals. Enjoy.

PolyArmoury – Episode 5 – Death From Above

https://soundcloud.com/jane-aerith-magnet/polyarmoury-episode-5-death-from-above

 

This week the polycule are bringing friends together. A trip to see Trashboi (with an i) leads them going on a fun adventure together.
It all turns a little sour though when some aggressive arrivals turn up at the surface gate.
There’s some fighting, some death, a small human horde, and mention of a “Thordsson” and a “Gailawei”.
What could all this mean?
And what of the spiders?

 

PolyArmoury – Episode 1 – Trash Salute

Sorry for the late posting here. I’ve been away and only managed to get the audio uploaded to SoundCloud before I went.

Well, Here is Episode 1 of PolyArmoury. Following immediately on from the prologue episode, our policule are now residing in Mordtown and working under Vendirak (The Half-Drow/Half-Ogre with a magic eye – not the pictures, I mean, she might have one of them kicking about in the stockroom somewhere but I mean that one of her eyes is actually magical.) Vendi has heard from a new dungeon lord that’s setting up, just outside town. Time for the party to start earning their way and to meet Impstagram celebrity, Trashboi (with an i).

Get your fidget spinners spinning and practice your formal greetings, it’s PolyArmoury.

 

Daroo’s Fried Rat

For those who wondered what was available to our adventurers during their dinner break at Daroo’s Fried Rat.

Please see Chris to place your order.

 

Daroo’s Fried Rat – Menu

CrokeCola
Regular = 9c – Large = 1s2c

Fries
Regular = 1s – Large = 1s3c

Daroo’s original recipe rat
2 piece = 1s7c – 3 piece = 2s4c

Frisky strips (3 small fried rats with the back legs still kicking)
1s5c

4 spicy rat wings
1s2c

Rat fillet burger
1s

Double fillet rat burger
1s7c

Triple fillet rat burger
2s1c

Cheese slice
1c

Hashbrown
8c

Warchief burger (Double rat fillet w/ cheese, hashbrown & spicy relish)
2s5c

Dessert Rat (fried in sweet dough and dipped in sugar)
1s5c

Gluttony meal (Warchief burger or 3 pc Original recipe rat or 6 Frisky strips, 2 spicy rat wings, large fries, large Croke and a free mystery gift)
5s1c

Add dessert for just 9c