Megalith Previews Necromagus

Megalith Games are previewing the Necromagus for the Mortans faction of Godslayer. He’s kinda cool…

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A Necromagus belongs to the Ordo Mortificarum and works in service to the state, employing the forces of undeath to further the aims of the empire.

All are required to spend at least several years assisting the legions on campaigns of conquests, during which they control the undead Legio Mortum soldiers, animate new monsters and provide defense against the attacks from spirits and higher dimensional enemies.

So steeped in necromancy are they that a Necromagus can suck the life-force out of nearby allies in order to heal themselves.

Necromagi are less experienced than the masters of Necromancy – the Mortifexes – but like them, Necromagi are battle-hardened, and able to cast spells even in melee, having become inured to the horrors of war.

Their spells and Ancestral Rites abilities increase the effectiveness and resilience of all undead models in the warband, making them an ideal support for a warband led by a Mortifex, and also an invaluable character in a mixed warband which includes some undead models.

MODEL DETAILS

Sub-Faction:
Model Type:
Classification:
Magistratum
Spellcaster Character
Infantry
Deployment Limit:
Unit Size:
Base Size:
3
1
Small

Model

MOV

MEL

MIS

MAG

DEF

ARM

LEAD

ACT

Necromagus

3

6

4

6

13

7

7

5

Weapons: Staffblade
Items: 3 Spells
Abilities: Afterlife Lore, Battle Caster, Non-Living
Tactics: Mortal Sacrifice
Special Talents: Acestral Wisdom

Godslayer Kickstarted

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With about 46 hours to go (at time of publishing) I’m delighted to say that the Godslayer kickstarter has smashed not only the £25,000 target but the £30k mark as well meaning it’s not only funded but hit a stretch goal as well. This, I think you’ll agree, is fantastic news.

Now, to address a question that a few people have asked me; why Godslayer?

It’s true there are a lot of games out there. A lot of games companies, model companies and kickstarters, so why lend my support behind Godslayer? For two very simple reasons.

1. The game genuinely and wholeheartedly excites me. And it excites The Chaps. These are guys who don’t have a lot of time and money and so, without my unique position to look at lots of different games and model ranges, choose what to get into very carefully. And they, like me, got as giddy as a school girl when I showed them the rule book. And excitement is the best possible contagion to catch.

2. I believe in what Megalith are doing. As easy as that. They’re not looking to line their pockets with gold, just open up their game to a new market and in so doing, allow them to expand the range and further improve the enjoyment of gamers. I also really like the idea of the community helping wargamers in Germany to enjoy a game.

And now a serious question; why didn’t I pledge?

Again, the answer is simple; I can’t pledge and then throw my support behind something. It’s a conflict of interests. If I tweet or blog about a project on Kickstarter it is because I think it deserves to succeed. The second I pledge money I’m a stake holder and I can no longer be impartial.

But anyway, it’s great to see Godslayer doing so well and it’s also great to see a new model rearing its ugly head(s)…

God-Emperor

The Cerberos is the latest release for the Halodynes. Cast in metal and standing 75mm tall, it is an imposing menace. These creatures, which are bred by the temple-cults and blessed by the gods, are used to guard the weak-points in the fabric of reality. They also accompany Halodynes into battle, leaping ahead of the troops to take out light units, characters and war-machines.

With up to five attacks per turn (plus slay-movement), this triple-headed creature is an excellent offensive monster to intimidate your opponent.

And I leave you with a rather natty video review of the game by Wee Gamers

Godslayer – The Full Review

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On the 5th February I reviewed the Mortan starter set for Godslayer by Megalith Games which included the quick start rules. At the time I thought it was a very sophisticated and fun concept with intriguing rules and slick game play. And I said so.

Then those lovely people at Megalith sent me the rule book to review. And now I want to have their babies.

Although there’s much more to the rules than I covered in the previous review, the thing that has got me more hot and bothered than a teenage boy after his first boob sighting is that the Godslayer rule book isn’t one book, its two. And one of them is just for background.

It’s no secret to regular readers and followers on Twitter how highly I regard fluff. It’s the writer in me. It’s also a cold hard fact that games that want to compete in the surprisingly competitive market of table top wargames have to be able to bring something that can at least stand up to anything produced by the likes of the Games Workshop and Privateer Press. This has been where so many games have stumbled, for me, before I even get to the rules. Without a strong story the way a unit or a ship looks is completely irrelevant beyond being able to identify which models are yours and which are mine.

The background book presents a rich and lush world in which to play your games of Godslayer. It’s a wonderful collision of myth, high fantasy and ancient civilisations of the world. It’s also vast and ancient. The book details the ages of the world, the in habitants but also the cosmos in which the land of Calydorn exists. It’s just ace. I can only describe it as a melding of Narnia, Middle Earth and the Never Ending Story. It’s a flat world that exists in an ocean cosmos with other worlds. One of which was destroyed and debris now hovers over Calydorn known as the Skylands. If you’re feeling saucy you can also venture to the underside of the world but it’s all made of magma so it won’t end well.

Godslayer_Map_Calydorn

Each of the factions have a detailed and diverse history that links them with the small part of the world they inhabit and each other. But intelligently enough they haven’t crammed the factions all together so they’re on each other’s doorsteps ala Warhammer and Warmachine. This does mean that Megalith can further expand the world as they see fit. I have to award them bonus awesome points for this as it gives the game tremendous scope and avoids all the nonsense about wars in which no one really fights.

The interesting thing, as well, is that because the various worlds are linked by a thin veil of atmosphere it does mean that the world of Calydorn could see visitors from other worlds including those that mortal men worship as Gods. Which means things could get real tasty.

Godslayer’s background reaches down my trousers and gives my hobby spot a bloody good rummage. And it did the same for The Chaps when I waved the books in their general direction the other week. And it’s all down to the effort Megalith went to to create a world that gamers can really get stuck into. The factions don’t just look different or play different but are interesting. Their cultures vary massively and explains the way they fight. It’s something I’ve prattled on at length about before both on this blog and during ODAM podcasts. The fluff creates the world which creates the factions. If the former isn’t coherent the latter won’t be. It’s something the Games Workshop learned a long time ago and it’s something Megalith did too. Not one of them feels like the German humans or the French humans, or the red ones or the blues ones, or the ships with rockets or the ships that can fly a bit.

MortansVsBanebrood

I covered the rules in my previous review so I won’t go into too much more detail as I’ll just be repeating myself but through reading the through the book a few things became apparent.

The first thing is that heroes are, to coin a phrase, fucking nails. They are the embodiment of all the great heroes of old. And with the right equipment you can field some absolute monsters in your force. Think Achilles in Troy, only not shit. But the important thing is that the lists are varied enough that you can take a slightly more balanced force if you want rather than rampaging across the board like demigods of old. Although I can’t imagine why…

Factions pleasantly mix it up. Aside from the utterly awesome (and mental) unit types they don’t fall into the trap of having similar units across each faction. A personal creature favourite is the Ursapine. Which is a bloody great furry sod that’s a cross between a bear and a porcupine. This can only be a good thing.

The scenarios are also brilliant. Aside from a couple of the usual suspects, the writers worked really hard to create varied and interesting game types that suit the game down to the ground which does flit between the skirmish and medium size engagement.

My real worry, from reading the quick starter rules was that the number of wounds each model had would result in an awful lot of paper work, but as I’ve read through the army lists, the ability to unleash untold destruction and misery on your opponent I really don’t think it’ll be a problem.

But, you know what? I wouldn’t care if it did. Godslayer’s mechanic is very good. It’s quick, it’s slick and it’s painfully tactical considering the activation rules. Throw in a truly fantastic background and what you have on your hands is a brilliant game because you understand the world you’re in. And, and it’s something I wish GW would return to, when you are playing a game you can leave the background at home to save you dragging a whale slayingly thick book with you.

Megalith are currently running a kickstarter to allow them to sell the game in Germany and in so doing allow them to further expand the range. If it’s something that tickles your fancy to support then go here.

Godslayer Giveaway Winners

GodslayerTitle copy

Well the week sure did go quick and as it’s Friday that means it’s time to announce the winners of the Godslayer Giveaway. There was a fantastic response for the competition and it’s great to see a very worthy Kickstarter getting some needed attention.

Those lucky bastards have been emailed and are:

Lee F

ZombiePirateXXX

Nick D

They’ve each nabbed themselves a Godslayer starter set.

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Godslayer Giveaway

GodslayerTitle copyFollowing on from my Godslayer review, those lovely chaps at Megalith have sent me no less than 3 Godslayer starter boxsets to give away to my fine and lovely readers.

Up for grabs are the Halodynes, Nordgaard and Troglodytes each worth £35 each.

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All you have to do is answer the following question:

What is the name of the highest pledge level of the Godslayer Kickstarter?

If you think you know the answer fill in the form below. Three lucky winners will be chosen at random and contacted by email.

One entry per person, no prize alternative offered, my decision is final. 3 winners will be chosen and announced on The Shell Case on Friday 8th February 2013.

Good luck!

Godslayer

Godslayer – A Review

GodslayerTitle copyDespite my love for science fiction, boltguns, space ships and transhumans I cut my wargaming teeth over 20 years ago on fantasy games like Hero Quest fuelled by history lessons learning about Rome and Ancient Greece, cartoons like Dungeons and Dragons and movies like Jason and the Argonauts. So when I came across Megalith Games and Godslayer I was cast back to those days. Of Gods of heroes, beasts and men. Godslayer takes all that wonderful sense of myth and wonderment, of armies of armour soldiers and creatures of legend and plonks them all nice and tidy on to a 4×4 board.

And frankly, I could kiss them.

Megalith sent me a starter box of the Mortans. Think a collision of Ancient Egypt and Rome with a twist of undead beastlyness and you’re in the right area.

StarterBox_Mortans

And you know what? They’re way cool. But what do you get in the box? Simply put – 8 blokes, the quick start rules and unit and equipment cards as well as counters to cut out. I’ve got to comment Megalith, the production values of the quick start rules and the cards are very very good. The cards look and feel beautiful and actually look nice than the ones you get in a Spartan starter box.

The models are great. Although predominantly Romanesque, the Egyptian influences are all there, including the high cheekbones and regal bearing. All wrapped up in some pretty serious armour and large pointy weapons. The detail is generally pretty good. The armour is logically thought out so there’s no stupid sculpts to hide the bit no one knew what to do with and they’re all very dynamically posed which ties in nicely with the fast paced face kickery of the game. The quality of the sculpts are good too. The features are sharp, the armour detailed and with very few mould lines.

Godslayer_Factions_TitleImageLarge_Mortans

Similarly, the quick starter rules are very nicely presented. They’re a little on the light side compared to some starter boxes but I guess the important details are there. Did have to read it through twice though as in an effort to save space the diction took a dive. But there’s a fair bunch of rules crammed into a very little book so fair’s fair.

I love the feel of the game. It’s every bit like books of myth and legend and Megalith have worked very hard to create a whimsical yet rich background that I suspect will only get richer if their kickstarter is a success as there’ll be a lovely big glossy rule book. Plus the artwork is cool and, again, evokes that same sense of wonderment.

Ephemera

I’m rather taken with this game. Aside from Greeks and Romans running around with Dwarves and beasties it has some very very clever rules. The main one being that players are not free to move whatever they like during a turn (which is effectively a sub phase/unit activation) but have 4 options that forces you to carefully plan out how your force will behave. The right activation option at the right time can allow you to move a character and a unit together for a decisive strike.

Models get to perform set numbers of actions as part of their activation which means that models can move rapidly to redeploy against a developing threat or beat the living daylights out of a group of unsuspecting meat bags, just like the legends of old. As we’re on the subject, the face kickery is very quick to resolve. 2D6 plus Melee ability, compare against Defence. What’s really cool is, if you’re attacking rather than charging, you can choose to either boost your Melee or Power – the latter of which helps determine the extent of the damage your face kickery causes.

Rather shrewdly, Megalith managed, to balance the injury mechanic so, on average, a model will only take a point or two of damage in a scrap which means that although the game is quick the body count won’t wrack up too quickly. Although, once things start to get tasty it certainly will. But that’s exactly as it should be. And I suspect that the individual characters are quite capable of inflicting such misery.

But with the alternate activation it means that a bad call or a rushed attack can be pulled back from the brink. Unless you’ve tried to kick in a Troglodyte Hammerfist then you deserve everything you get.

My only gripe is that it will mean paperwork combined with stat cards which I’m not a massive fan of. Especially as it’ll mean keeping track of wounds with dice or counters on top of having to keep track of actions. But that’s purely a preference thing, and it’s still a million times better than Battletech with its colouring books. I’m also not sure how it’ll stack up in larger games. Although beasties and war machines will thin the herd with alarming efficiency so I guess it’ll work fine.

Godslayer is a lot of fun from what I’ve seen so far. The models look good, the rules work and it’s quick to play which means you can smash out a game in an afternoon if you fancy, which only bodes will for the time strapped age within which we find ourselves. And there’s a faction for everyone. It’s also a game that encourages you to have a lovely scenery filled board rather than larger scale games like Warhammer where scenery slows the play down. More is definitely more. Because it is. Obviously. Megalith currently have a Kickstarter going with a few days left and I think it’s well worth a punt if mythical manging of faces is your bag. And why wouldn’t it be?

Anyway, click here to go to the kickstarter page.