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Monday, November 4, 2013

Review: Fanticide

The folks over at Architects of War were gracious enough to send us a copy of Fanticide. Let's take a look inside, shall we?

I first saw Fanticide at Historicon 2012, where one of our local players picked it up, along with two armies, and then promptly vanished from the face of the earth.

Fanticide is a squad based, skirmish level fantasy game, designed for 28mm, but can easily be adapted to other scales. It's got quite the author by-line on it, with Alessio Cavatore, Ernest Baker, Rick Priestley, and Andy Chambers all contributing in some form - I'm sure you've seen their names around other parts. It comes packaged in a hard cover, high quality, 125 page rulebook, along with a deck of activation cards. 

The rulebook is divided with separate sections for fluff and backstory, basic and advanced rules, and warband construction and army lists.

 Fanticide takes place in the world of Nowhere, with exciting places such as "The Hole" and "Waste of Time". Fanticide does a good job of pulling you away from reality and into a twisted style world.

The fluff section at the beginning is full of awesome artwork and vivid descriptions.

The basic section of rules is pretty straightford and simple. The game is played with D10s, and each model has a "Give" and a "Take". The attacker rolls D10 + his Give, and compares it to the defender's D10+Take. If the attack wins, the defender is stunned, and if the attacker wins by a big enough margin, the defender is killed.

The game uses a card system for activation. Each player takes a card for each unit, and a couple cards for each commander, and shuffles them together in to one deck. As each card is drawn, that unit must activate - either moving, shooting, fighting, or taking one of a small list of other actions. If one of the leader's cards are drawn, the leader can either activate on his own, or give an order to a unit and have them activate.

In addition, a number of random events are added to the deck - and more are added each turn. These events have changing effects on the battlefield - such as a killer unicorn charged on from a board edge, or a rainbow appear and blinding all of the underworldly creatures (and also driving the unicorn crazy).

Well, that's about it. You now know enough to play a game of Fanticide. Simple enough! The rules are very clearly written, with enough humor injected to keep things interesting.

Cheese templates!

Move over 8th edition WFB - now you can purchase your own hostile, killing terrain rather than it just randomly appearing!
 The rulebook comes with four pre-designed and wacky armies - The Creeps (walking eyeballs), The Liberi (centaurish creatures), The Fae (Satyrs and Treemen), and the Flying Monkeys (Do I need to explain them?).

In addition, and perhaps one of the greatest features of the book, is the ability to create your own warbands. The book gives most of the points matrices so you can create armies of whichever figures you own (or want to own!). So you most likely can go ahead and play with an old WFB army or such.

Sadly, the "create your own" warband system isn't as fleshed out as I was hoping for. It keeps you on track for the basic stats, but when it comes to adding drawbacks or special abilities, it kinda leaves it in the "Whatever you think is fair" realm, which isn't ideal for some folks, while I'm sure others will have no issue with it. I do find myself comparing the warband construction system to Pride of Lions', however, which gives you the points matrix for every possible option you can think of.

GREAT Appendix!

The other major drawback to Fanticide, which is easy to ignore if it doesn't suit you, is the grim setting. There sure are a lot of references to fecal matter - from event cards of bird droppings falling on your head to flying monkeys with baskets of baked poop to throw from flying carpets. I don't want to know where that inspiration came from. But, it's all easy to ignore - just paint your baked poop like rocks or something.

All in all, I'm looking forward to giving Fanticide a play. We'll have the Flying Monkey warband up for review shortly, and I'll likely pair them against a WFB army lying around. I'll be sure to post up the batrep for that! Also, the Alien Dungeon/Architects of War folks travel to a lot of the east coast HMGS events, so you can be sure to catch the figures and possibly a game there!

Rulebook provided by Architects of War

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