Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Oct 11 -- Reborn, EARTH REBORN that is!

More like One Game Per Year, amirite? Using "amirite" is over, amirite? I should stop leading each post with an apology, ami--fuck it. I'll just go on.

Game of the Day: EARTH REBORN
It's a boardgame, and it's a doozy. If you want to get all subgenre on the whole thing, it's a post-apocalyptic tactical minis game with modular terrain.

You take on the shockingly well-defined role of either the tech savvy NORAD faction or the more creepy and mystical Salemite clan. To be frank, they are both creepy if you're a dyed-in-the-wool liberal like me, but I am pretty sure the fascists are the good guys in this story. Essentially, the army guys from 28 DAYS LATER vs. one of those roving bands from THE ROAD--not a lot of good guys here, but you take what you can get.

Yay! Go, uh, team? 
The gameplay is simple given how frigging fat the rulebook is. Each turn you have a certain number of points to spend on your team, whose cards indicate how many points can be spent on running, shooting, meleeing and other activities--the selection of which is proscribed by the order tiles you have at hand, pulled from a lot of 48. So, you might want to OMGRUNHE'SCOMINGRUNRUNRUNRUNNNNNNNnnnnnn but you can't. You just shit your pants, caught a flat, got hypmotized, whatever, and now you have deal with that big fucker in some more creative way. You can bank up some good order tokens, so a total inability to do what you're planning on is rare, but the chance that it can happen keeps things interesting. Another plus, the rule system is limited enough to avoid the massive bitching of more open systems like WARHAMMER or WARMACHINE. Orientation matters, but limited to cardinal directions. Range is by squares and not sticks or whatever.

Each round is pulled from the scenario guides or cooked up by the players in the Scenario Auto-Generating System ("S.A.G.S") where the players draft the terrain and objectives--a lot of effort went into ensuring this game doesn't end up in the what-do-we-do-now corner a lot of scenario based games can get to once you've done them all to death. You can just roll your own, and they should end up fair(ish).

The minis themselves are really nice. They are primed and ready for painting out of the box. It'll be years before I take this on, but some folks have really done them up. Over here we have Franke Einstein (GET IT?) from the Salemite clan (traitorous though, be careful!). You can see the detail nicely in this shot from Orangecoke's posts at BGG. Note the base--it contains a lot of rules info about where the character is most effective in melee (pro-tip:the side with the massive claw), where he can shoot well, where less effective, where he can't see, &c.

*Not effective armor, Vasquez.
The game has garnered a well-deserved following, as it does an excellent job plopping you into a dystopia and letting you run with it--there are tanks, zombies, guys with buzzsaw hands, laser guns, toilets, marines, and whatever else might tickle your boyhood fantasies. Yes, even that*.

Mind you, this is a huge game. I'd estimate it's about 400 feet long and weighs about 80 lbs, but I might be a little conservative. If you move the car out to the street you should have plenty of room in the garage for it. The box is overpacked when new because you need to pop out all the cardboard bits and putting everything back is... challenging.

You don't have to believe me. Go read the other reviews. Everything is coming up horribly mutated roses for EARTH REBORN. It's $80, but when an Xbox game is $60, this is so worth it.


  1. This looks awesome. I can't wait to have 30 free hours a week to play it. I used to paint figurines but got out of it before I was old enough to grow and neck-beard. Actually, I still can't grow one so I'm not sure I'd be much help painting these things with you, but I'd like to dust off my airbrush.

  2. The games are not that long really. Some of them can be 4+ hours I read, but the kids and I played one in 40 minutes or so. I messed up and Shai was able to run away. His mission: Run away. Mine: Prevent that.