Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Moonstone Firespitter Kickstarter - The Final Countdown

Moonstone Logo

It's the Final Countdown do do do dooooo do do do do doooooo do do do dooooooo do do do do do do doooooo do do doooo do do do do do do dooooo do doooooo do do dooooo

There's less than 24 hours to go and I think it's safe to say the Firespitter Kickstarter has smashed it.  As of writing, over 200 models have been pledged for.  Pretty amazing when the target was 12.  4 stretch goals have also been unlocked, including an extra one that was added at the end in celebration of how well things were going. 

I'm really thrilled for T and R, particularly T, as the sheer amount of work that's gone into this has been incredible and it's really well deserved.

But I'm not writing this one to heap praise.  I'm actually writing it to talk about Moonstone from the point of view of someone who's technically still new to playing tabletop games. I've played a few games of Malifaux in the past and to be honest it put me off more than it encouraged me.  I can get frustrated and annoyed about how complex rules are with tabletop games and it seems like you either get it or you don't.  I mostly don't.  By that logic I was naturally a little perturbed when I was asked to play test Moonstone a while back.  I really didn't want to be the one grinning and bearing it.  But I knew how excited both T and R were, I'd heard a lot about it in general conversations, so I figured why not.  It's here, the board looks great and I couldn't pick a box set to watch.

So I went upstairs and found my kawaii kitty tape measure.  Was I going to use a sensible tabletop tape measure?  Hells no.  If I'm going to suffer learning this I'm going to do it in my own style.

As the newbie, I got to place the moonstones.  Woo!  I was assured this was a pretty important stage as it heavily influences play from there on.  Moonstones are the target.  It's all about the shinies.  Placing them pretty much involved me jiggling pyramid shaped D4s (4-sided dice) in one hand and letting them drop over the centre of play.  Naturally, being a pleb, I managed to drop them rather close together and all with their higher numbers to the board, meaning they were going to be harder for everyone, especially me and my newbie-ness, to capture.  Seeing as winning Moonstone involves capturing Moonstones, it wasn't the best start for a beginner.

I also realised that playing against the people making this game was going to prove... interesting.  I could see them plotting.  I could hear them talking about alliances that can be forged against other players.  Bloody hell this was going to be tricky!  I was just trying to process what was on my character cards and how best to play to my models' strengths.  I already knew Moonstone has a nice serving of strategy, but to really go for the fun, you have to take risks on bluffing other players and chancing it with your attacks.  I'm a pretty strategic person and I love chance and taking risks, so to hell with it, I thought, I'm going to ignore their plotting and throw myself in and play.

I may have spent a good portion of the game hiding behind a tree...  In retrospect, I really didn't need to play with that kind of caution.  Especially as the tree didn't actually provide me with any tactical advantage whatsoever.

As it turns out, once a new player, like me, gets their head around the dynamics of play, which takes perhaps 2 turns maximum, the game was really intuitive.  I was honestly thinking I'd finish playing and not really know what had happened.  But it's the total opposite.  If someone is moving towards you and you don't like them, take a step back.  If someone is plotting an attack against you, make the most of your cards to try to counteract it.  Use your opportunities to bluff and cackle manically when it works or learn from it and get revenge next time.  There's also the advantage that even the best player on the board could have a play messed up by good ol' luck of the draw.

Best of all, if you're like me, you can finish the game by striding into the centre of the game towards a character you shouldn't be able to kill and steal the final Moonstone by chancing it all on a single attack.  All without making a prat of yourself in front of seasoned war gamers. 

Let me tell you, victory tasted pretty sweet.  Especially when sprinkled with a little smugness of beating the game's creators.

Victory to me!
With a moon.  Which is made of stone.  One could call it a Moonstone... *snigger*

Why am I dedicating another post to Moonstone?  As a non-tabletop gamer I'd usually stay out of a campaign like this in favour of something related to kittens or World of Warcraft.  Sure, I'm helping because of the hubby, but I could do that in less visible and blog related ways.  In playing Moonstone I've been struck by how much fun it actually was.  Coming in as a real layperson I was able to get the hang of it quickly enough to make decisions without help, plot strategies and really go for it.  It was a great evening.  It's the kind of fun I want available to others like me and this Kickstarter is the first step.

If any of this has caught your attention take a lookie at Kickstarter.  If you'd like some further reading, the team recently released the beta rules, which are available here and are accepting feedback in a closed development group on Facebook, which if you're interested in joining, you can find here.

If you don't want to any of that don't worry though, I'll be back to talking about how much I love Nightwing's arse and the latest thing I've imported from Korea very soon!

No comments:

Post a Comment