Monday, 26 May 2014

Raziel Archetypum

My rate of painting has fallen off a cliff once again. This month has required a lot of attention for the course I am doing and as part of the Pulp City creative team. For some reason, I just have not made even the odd five minutes for painting to keep things ticking over.

I started this one at the beginning of May to try to rectify that, but soon lost all momentum. With the bank holiday weekend I decided I needed to get a mini finished, and this made the most sense in terms of stage of completion. My enthusiasm for painting, which is limited at the best of times, has pretty much gone out the window.

The Raziel Archetypum is a step up in raw power from the weaker (lower Level) Undead that Black Sun can draw upon. As with most other non-unique Undead, there are some options in terms of upgrades, and when assembling the mini I chose to give it Dual Raxxors (the huge swords). The paint scheme reflects my usual approach to Black Sun foot soldiers.

I am hoping to get some games in in the next month or so, so a Black Sun Party could well get a run out before too long I hope!

Running Totals
Anima Tactics Units: 158 (added: another Hellhound and another Wrath of Nature; also I have 4 minis on back order....)
Anima Tactics Units Painted: 53 (51 different models)
Painted Units Percentage: 33.5% (percentage of AT minis owned and painted)
Anima Tactics Range: 151 units (including 2 LE minis; added September as he is due for imminent release)
Percentage of Whole Range Painted: 33.8%
Year to Date Target: 12 of 15 units (3 per month target; 80%)

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Anima Gate of Memories: Extended Campaign (Kickstarter)

Sorry for no new minis in recent weeks - as part of the Pulp Monsters crew have all been super busy as we work towards delivery of the Pulp City SE Kickstarter.

On to the reason to posting then! Of potential interest to Anima Tactics fans is this top-up Kickstarter campaign for a related video game, set in the same game world.

What may be most interesting is that the campaign has a couple of exclusive minis available, however the pledge to get one of those is very, very high.

The Bearer is only available at £300 pledges and above, really limiting its availability. Looking at the original campaign I count only 42 qualifying pledges from then, and currently 6 so far from the extended campaign.

The Nameless is a limited edition add-on limited to two per backer at pledges of £50 and above. Impossible to be accurately speculate the volume of these that will be 'out there'.

Anima Gate of Memories: Extended Campaign -- Kicktraq Mini

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

My Anima Tactics Tokens

States and other tracked resources and abilities
I had these produced by the good folks at Warbases, and as I am pretty chuffed with them, I thought I would show them off, and explain what I had made and why.

The small round tokens are to represent States; simply stack the requisite number of Levels of a State in tokens and it makes it easy to track.

The square tokens (bottom row) are stuff that may be useful to have reminders:

  • Hidden tokens for when a character has used Stealth, especially if a few units are eligible to do so but not all are Hidden.
  • Faith tokens to track the benefits of the Church Unshakable Faith Organizational Advantage.
  • Guidance tokens are simply to help track expenditure of Guidance Points; simples.

Organizational Advantage tokens
Finally, the tokens in the bottom picture are reminders of the the different Organizational Advantages. Warbases kindly did some in purple which allowed the set to kind of match the colour motifs I have adopted for the different Organizations.

The tokens are certainly not essential nor required, and in most games only a very small number would be used, I just like having stuff like this for tracking things in game.

Friday, 16 May 2014


Figure 1: All these units use the States rules
States are one of the game mechanics I like most about Anima Tactics. For my tastes, States and Summons are two of the pivotal game-play features that evoke the Japanese console rpgs that I used to love and that are definite influences on Anima Tactics.

So what are States? In many games they would be called Status Effects or something similar, and in keeping with the buff/debuff nature common to that kind of game-play, In Anima Tactics States are either Positive, or Negative, or in the case of Berserk, both!

The things that the designers have done very well in my opinion, is that Levels of States can be stacked so they endure over a few Turns, which is very much in keeping with Japanese console rpgs (at least those I played in the 1990's!). The Level of a State is effectively its duration in Turns, and the bonus or penalty provided is constant through that duration.

States that can affect units in Anima Tactics are:
  • Haste (+): Faster AP recovery
  • Shield (+): Adds Armor
  • Protection (+): Adds to Resistance
  • Healing (+): Recover Life Points (LP)
  • Poison (-): Lose LP when Activating 
  • Blind (-): Combat penalties
  • Doom (-): A chance of removing the victim from play!
  • Slow (-): Slower AP recovery
  • Seal (-): Stops most special abilities being used
  • Paralyzed (-): May not use Actions
  • Berserker (+ -): Must attack, and has bonuses to Attack and Damage

Figure 1: Lostaroth Marchosias can grant himself Berserk as a Reaction. Elhaym, Maiden of Light and Hamadria can both grant Healing - useful to stack the benefits from both in a single Turn. Ahriman, Lord of Darkness may inflict Seal with a successful Attack.
If Ahriman, Lord of Darkness inflicted 5 or more Damage to Lostaroth Marchosias and Lostaroth then fails his Resistance roll, then Lostaroth would not be able to use his Liberation ability (granting Berserker Level 2) until the Seal has run its course.

Friday, 2 May 2014

Guidance Points

All of these Undead are within Kingsley Warlock's Control Zone
Controllers in Black Sun Parties have Guidance Points which allow them to do a couple of things:

  • Maintain or regain Control of Uncontrollable units within their Control Zone (see below) 
  • Recover extra Action Points for Undead units, subject to those units' limits (Influence)
Undead units run the risk of going out of control (the Uncontrollable rule). For many Undead, the chance to become Uncontrollable is quite high. Uncontrollable units pose a risk to any non-Undead units nearby, friend or foe, activating similarly to Berserk models.

The key then is striking a  balance between the number of Controllers and Undead in your Party. So far the typical number of Guidance Points per Controller is 2, with a couple of exceptions (Promethea and Luther Delacroix both have higher than usual Guidance Points values).

So while Undead are relatively cheap units to fill out a Party, one vital element looks to me to be in making sure your Party has enough Guidance Points available, or off-setting Uncontrollable where possible (Styx can effectively avoid Uncontrollable for example; Type-005's and Type-020's have limited upgrades that allow a single choice of those units to ignore Uncontrollable). Of course, it also means clustering units to an extent to ensure coverage of Guidance Points since Control Zones are typically 8 inches from a model.
Figure 1: Kingsley Warlock has 2 Guidance Points; when choosing the Party, if one of the Type-005's is upgraded to a Type-006: Commander, then he could use those Guidance Points to ensure the Type-020: Verrier does not become Uncontrollable, leaving one Guidance Point to boost AP.
If, when choosing the Party, the Type-020: Verrier is upgraded to a Type-021: Queen, then the Type-005's would ignore Uncontrollable as would Styx, as they would be of lower Level. This would allow Kingsley Warlock to use 2 Guidance Points to boost the AP of Undead (basically an extra AP for 2 units).
Styx cannot benefit from extra AP from Kingsley Warlock as only Promethea may spend Guidance Points on Styx. With his Uncontrollable value of 1+, he should always pass the roll unless a modifier applies.

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