Back in August of 2012 there was a Kickstarter launched by Cool Mini or Not (CMoN) to make a game for a company called SodaPop Miniatures (SPM). I had seen some of the SPM miniatures on the CMoN site and liked the general anime ascetic of them, they just didn’t fit into my buying patters at the time. The Kickstarter introduced a large selection of Noh models and I was sold, they were pretty much entirely interchangeable for Oni in a DnD game and I got another game to play with them.
As this was still relatively early in the days of Kickstarter and we had the funds at the time I backed big in the end, ending up with pretty much the entire range and giving me a whole lot of models for playing Relic Knights and a solid selection of stuff I could use for DnD to create a different feel to player characters (and I finally ended up with a model I had been eyeing off back when they were just limited figures on CMoN). Then the Kickstarter problems started, CMoN stopped communicating, information became scarce and the delays began. In parallel to this similar problems were happening with the Sedition Wars Kickstarter also ran by CMoN, and then there were similar problems when the models were finally delivered. (Which is why I no longer back CMoN Kickstarter projects no matter how cool they might seem.)
Due to my schedule of too many games and not enough time, I haven’t been as active in promoting the game as necessary to actually build local interest to the point where something might happen.
I’ve Seen the Future and Its Bright
Then back in May this year SPM announced the release of Void Break. In this release they promised an updated rule set (I don’t expect much change, the rules are pretty good now, they just need some better organisation), and more new units for all the factions. The most exciting part was this: “To better capture their stunning detail and over-the-top anime aesthetic, each new and dynamic model will be featured in resin, with large, centerpiece models in plastic.”. This was the key; a miniatures game needs awesome miniatures to get people hooked first and then great rules to keep them playing. The rules are there, the game just needed the miniatures. Then in July they put new resin models up for pre-order and I jumped at the chance. Worst case scenario, I got some more models and acknowledged that Relic Knights would be part of my collection I could roll out for fun from time to time, best case this would be the thing the game needs.
Its totally best case.
The old packaging was appropriately anime, and it captured the feel of the game, but a key thing was missing for a miniatures game, you couldn’t see the miniature. The new packaging has completely fixed this problem.
So that’s point one addressed.
Obviously the miniatures for a miniature game need to look awesome. There are a lot of games out there competing for a gamer’s time and money and miniatures are the first port of call, after all if you don’t like the rules the miniatures might be good for something else. The Kickstarted plastic models fluctuate in quality, from the awesome Noh models to some particularly terrible models where the details have vanished in faces (beyond expectations for the style). So this was the big chance. Sure there are the promotional studio shots to look at, but they can be misleading (painted masters where detail is lost and so on). There is nothing like having the models in hand to be assured of the quality.
Again they have delivered!
During play testing of the original game one of the things that was called out is how close together the orange and yellow was for a mechanic. So symbols were added to make it clearer. As one of the people who finds it very hard (to impossible) to tell the two colours apart I can assure you this solution didn’t work as well as I would have liked. So I was very pleased today to find that they have tweaked this; the orange and yellow are now very different and easily distinguishable.
Another change is that the old leaders for a force had a large card (think 2 cards side by side) and a small card. The large cards needed special sleeves and were awkward to transport, compared to the regular sized cards used for everything else. The new leaders now have a double sided power card the same size as all the other cards. This removes a nuisance from using the cards for me. (Seeing I usually have to bring all the things needed to play the game!)
So these are a win as well!
I think as Void Break gets closer I will be rolling out my armies and taking the game to the LGS to see if I cannot drum up the interest needed to be able to have a community of players.
I’m definitely excited about the future of Relic Knights!