Greetings fellow Monstrosities!
Halloween has always been my favourite time of year. I love the horror (especially the cheesy b movie side of things) and the awesome stuff that ends up on the interwebs.
This year I was pretty under the weather and have been for almost 10 days now, but its finally starting to back down and allow me to actually concentrate on something without coughing and spluttering.
Anyway enough of feeling sorry for myself, I was really excited to receive 2 deliveries on Halloween both with that awesome horror theme which means 2 new games to play AND lots of minis to stare at in awe for hours on end wondering how to go about painting them.
Release Date: Kickstarted April 2017, Retail November 2018
Designer: Adam Smith
Company: Grimlord Games
Player Count: 1-5 Cooperative
Basic Gameplay Genre: Tower Defence
The Unique Tag: Players are the monsters defending their home against hordes of cruel and vindictive humans.
With miniature based games its common for the first thing to garner my attention is the art and the sculpts. I’ll be honest I was that shallow to say “this looks so good, I’m interested to see how it goes”, without even knowing anything about the game itself.
Village Attack drew me in with some really nice well-designed minis that had a really gothic fantasy feel to the style and theme without going too far into other horror aspects that consist of torture, gore and brutality.
I don’t have anything wrong with these aspects personally but when I’m trying to introduce new gamers or younger gamers to a board games gore and torture are quite a large barrier to overcome in relation to a fun light-hearted night of gaming which we normally engage with.
What we are talking about here are myths and legends: Dracula, The Dullahan (Aka The Headless Horseman) and other myths from around the world.
Yes, there are some gruesome aspects to their lore but they can be overlooked because of the way that they are known throughout the world and, in my opinion, more palatable to those who may not be as…nerdy as myself.
The Cad Sculpts also brought the art to life which meant that as a painter I’ve got my work cut out to make them stand up to the art.
For me, it was a no-brainer and then as the campaign went on and more things got revealed I was very happy with how it all came together.
Plus there is always the added advantage of using these minis in D&D or other games that don t require a dedicated miniature line such as Frostgrave or Circle of Blood.
On top of the Playable Monster Characters, of which there are 5 in the core box, there are also the boss level minis who are known as the town hunters and are also lovely sculpts in their own right!
Village Attacks is a Tower Defence game at its core. As a party of legendary monsters, you and your tabletop kin must defend the Castle Heart from the local peasantry who have been whipped into a frenzy to rid your evil from their lands.
The Villagers break into the Castle at varying strengths:
Villagers simple single hp melee fodder who will attempt to move towards the castle heart in order to damage it.
Hunters who are stronger against certain monster types in your castle who use deadly ranged attacks to combat their chosen target determined randomly upon spawning.
Town Heroes who are the biggest baddest villagers arriving at the Castle ready to use an array of special weaponry designed to wipe out all traces you and your kin were ever in the lands.
Throughout the Game the players will roll 6 custom dice each turn, these dice will denote what actions the player is able to take during their go. The key gameplay aspect here is using the limited resources to move around the castle and ensure that the Villagers Morale is reduced to 0 forcing them to flee before they can deal enough damage to the Castle Heart.
The basic result allows a player to attack, heal move, defend and counter attack. In addition to this traps will be made available for purchase using specific dice results. Depending on your chosen MOnster you will also be able to use dice rolls to use abilities specific to the monster allowing the players to gain an advantage over the onslaught of the villagers.
For more gmapley info you can check out the Kickstarter Page: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/grimlordgames/village-attacks
I managed to get my little brother over to join me in the first scenario and it was quite nice to have him there because I normally have to figure everything out by myself.
Before reading anything we jumped straight into the first tutorial scenario and decided to learn on the go.
Setting up was relatively simple and easy for the first time and the scenario laid out what was required in a very clear and concise way.
We then played the game using the quick reference on the back of the rulebook in which prompted us to find the relevant rules in the book.
For me, this was very nice to do as it kept the game flowing and we managed to get to grips with the mechanics really quickly in order to get a grip on the interesting roll-to-act resource mechanic.
After all of the monsters have done their best to defend against the onslaught the villagers have their turn. the Ai is very simple with a target priority that focuses on their objective to bring down the castle heart. Although higher level enemies such as hunters and town heroes will focus on specific monsters. Enemies will spawn from fixed points each turn or at areas donated by village event cards that are drawn at a specifc point on the morale track.
Furthermore, as you slay more and more villagers their morale will tick down causing your team to get closer to driving them away and gaining more power with new abilities and options to drive them away.
By the end of the first 2 scenarios we were really geared and ready to go for the next bit and try out the traps and other more advanced actions which are steadily introduced across the Tutorial part of the quests.
The 2 scenarios we played took around 45 mins including setup and rules checks and tidying up wasn’t too bad afterwards.
I can imagine that some scenarios will take a lot longer to play and when we start seeing traps and other tactics it will become a bigger beast but I am quite interested to play more.
Checking rules on specific parts of the game were easy to find and the rulebook was well laid out in order to quickly read and understand in conjunction with the quick reference sheet on the rulebook.
Difficulty is going to be an interesting draw to continuous play. I may have missed it in the rules but more players will make the game easier. Playing with 2 monsters obviously limits the actions available to the Monsters whilst there was no reduction in the villager spawns. So synergy will be an important aspect to future forays into 2 player games.
I enjoyed the resource die more than I thought. It creates some additional depth and cooperation to the strategy. At one point we managed to gather 5 melee rolls from the reserve plus setup a perfect opportunity to crush a group of town heroes who had recently taken down the Lich whilst recovering some health for the Vampire and the Banshee.
We did find that 3 players were really interesting and I’m chomping at the bit to play with 4 at the next game night.
I can see that there are going to be some very interesting combos to run to build up synergies between monsters, considering I have 26 of them to try out.
Also, the 26 town heroes have many different way s of breaking those synergies by design which means there oculd be room for lots of replayability across the scenarios.
Something I did find a little faffy was the special room aspect. Depending on the scenario, some rooms have special effects that will damage or buff certain groups, this is quite a nice addition because it meant that we have varied gameplay and the tiles aren’t just random art but more of a risk or reward when it comes to formulating a plan.
But when you are managing a lot of different parts on the board you can often forget it mid turn which might cause you to have done an action that you couldn’t have because of the room only to realise after it was too late to reset.
I think a ismple set of tokens that would provide a nice reference to the room reminding the players that this room is bad because would have made it easier.
Although this may be just because I’m 2 games in and haven’t fully got to groups with what is happening yet.
The minis were al very nice, the sculpts living up to their promise with minimal flash and no noticeable miscasts. There were a few that had been assembled differently from others with arms at different heights but it wasn’t too much of a problem.Also there is a weird thing with the hunter bases, whilst they have obviouly been filed down the bases dont fit on in flush which isn’t a breaking thing but could be improved.
I will need to work on some of the hunters bases as shown, but thats not a game killer, although there may be some who dont work with minis and find is slighty irksome.
Other than the minor errors and some bendy weapons I’m really looking forward to working on these at some point.
I think this will be a good addition to my collection, I don’t have any other tower defenses and the way the dice mechanic impact your plan is quite nice. The art and qulaity of the game is beautiful and as a cooperative gamer it will be a fun experience mixing various aspects up and seeing how my group will tackle the puzzle.
For long-term gaming I’ll be curious to see how the game becomes more modular, something like a random layout system for quick play would be nice but that wont be for a while because the scenarios combined with potential synergies will be bringing this to the table quite alot over the next few years.
In the Meantime,
I’ve also got some great news with my own mini currently in development 😀
I’m sure it will have no impact what so ever on painitng and gaming haha!
I’ve still been plugging away painting and I’ll get a little showcase sorted with Octobers work up soon.
Fight On & Roll High!