Friday 31 October 2014

Units In The Concept Queue?

This is definitely something to categorize under 'Upcoming'; it seems there are a number of units not yet revealed as models but which have had rules written.

From a design aspect, getting a sculpt completed is often quicker than designing a new unit for a game, something I can vouch for, trust me.

That is not to overlook the importance of sculpting, far from it - arguably sculpting is what ultimately sells the whole package (design/concept, rules, sculpt, studio paint-work) of a skirmish minis game model really. But the rules-design phase is especially and unpredictably time-consuming, so it is no surprise that Anima Tactics has a number of units that have been outlined in terms of rules for quite some time, although these do go back some distance in some instances. - as far as 2011!

Of these units that have yet to appear, a number have been discussed on the Cipher Studios Anima Tactics Forum.

Units that have been outlined but are unreleased:
  • Fate (2011): German card; Light, Mystic, Level 40, Wissenschaft
  • Crimson Death (2013): English card; Dark, Warrior, Level 50, Samael
  • Alma (2014): English card; Neutral, Warrior, Mystic, Gear, Wissenschaft
  • Zenobius (2014): Spanish card; Dark, Prowler, Mystic, Azur Alliance
  • Alexias (2014): Spanish card; Dark, Prowler, Warrior, Level 60, Church
  • May (2014): Spanish card; Dark, Prowler, Warrior, Level 40, Empire - forms a Team with October and September (no, I don't understand the choice of months either....)
  • Sharsha 'Friedgunde' (2014): Spanish card; Dark, Warrior, Level 50, Wanderer who may not be used in a Black Sun Party - her art has a sort of female Frankenstein vibe.
  • Kaori (2014): Spanish card; Dark, Mystic, Level 35, Samael, sort of Anima Tactics witch on broomstick!
Add in that September has not yet been given a release date, and the possible alternative Celia (shown in this post), then it is almost like a small stockpile of concepts is building up - 8 by my count that are 'known'. It is easy to speculate on the reasons for that, but if an Anima Tactics Kickstarter were a possibility, I for one would be backing it in a heartbeat. Now that is pure speculation, but I can only hope the game gets some renewed momentum. 

Sunday 26 October 2014

Samael Agent (male)

Forming a shadowy network of operatives, Samael Agents are tasked to unleash chaos and confusion across all of Gaia in the name of the Fallen Angels of Samael.

With this mini, I have been painting it bit by bit through the week, desperately clinging on to my often fleeting motivation! I wanted a quite muted palette, to create a sort of 'fantasy ranger' look to him; green, grey and brown as the main colour blocks all fit that kind of vision I think, with some contrasting brightness from the stave and magical effect. When I finished Dagger, this Samael Agent was only under-coated, so it has quickly leap frogged a number of part-done minis, which is okay - at least something has been finished! It may be a bit rough in places, but I can live with it. The most important thing for me is getting another mini done, and it has also been a useful exercise in  working with the green colour I used here and which I am using for another non-Anima Tactics project.

Until I get a more substantial Samael force together, I think this Agent is most likely to  be used in games as created by an Al-Djinn as an Ash Slave. Samael Agents belong to either Light, Dark or Neutral Faction depending on the abilities. This can have slight impact of things like choosing Advantage cards, as well as how a few units do or do not get bonuses against specific Factions.

Running Totals
Anima Tactics Units: 163 (added: nothing, but I *still* have two minis on pre-order <sigh>)
Anima Tactics Units Painted: 65 (61 different units)
Painted Units Percentage: 39.9% (percentage of AT minis owned and painted)
Anima Tactics Range: 152 units (including 2 LE minis; including September as he still is due for presumably imminent release, and has been for a long time)
Percentage of Whole Range Painted: 40.1%
Year to Date Target: 24 of 30 units (3 per month target; 80%)

Friday 24 October 2014

Unit Types

For interested readers who are not too familiar with the Anima Tactics game but would like to learn a little more, I have written a series of posts under the tag 'Abilities & Rules'. This is another in that series, this time looking at categories and other labels that are applied to units and discussing and describing them a little.

Many categories do not have a specific rule associated with them (although some like AgentSummoner, Summon, and Undead do), but they do indicate the type of unit that a model is.
  • Mystic: The Magic users; they don't have the durability of Warriors, but many offer Ranged Attacks and/or buffs or debuffs.
  • Prowler: The sneaky guys; often fairly low level cost, and many have the Stealth ability. Many use Subterfuge as the basis for their Actions, which means that unless they are equal or higher level they cannot affect Intangible targets.
  • Warrior: The Party's fighters, either at range or close up.Some of them are the 'tanks' of the force, able to soak up Attacks. Their Actions are often Ki based, which has an effect when it comes to targeting Intangible Units.
  • Leader: Usually combined with other categories; Parties are limited to 1 Leader per 250 Levels. Leaders are typically powerful units, often with Party-buffs or other unique abilities beyond the scope of most other Units. Some Leaders are Optional Leaders, who have the choice of being fielded as a Leader or non-Leader Unit (costing more and with better abilities as a Leader).

Other Categories
These are categories of classifiers/descriptors that are in addition to the main categories above.
  • Agent: The foot soldiers of the various Organizations, Agents can usually only be fielded in Organization Parties, and not Faction Parties (Light or Dark), except for Shinobi which can be used in either. Agents have customisable ability options and each Agent can be taken more than once per Party depending on game size.
  • Arbiter: Characters able to influence their subordinates more than most Leaders. They have free extra Actions for their Party to benefit from.
  • Controller: Characters able to guide and enhance Undead and stop them going out of control.
  • Summoner: Mystics able to Summon otherworldly beings to the mortal world.
  • Gear: Gears are either Technomagical Powered Armour or Technomagical Golems primarily used by Wissenschaft. They offer decent Armor and Life Points, but offset durability by being fairly easy to hit, and they usually cannot have Advantage Cards.
  • Summon: Supernatural creatures only able to manifest in the physical world when invoked by a Summoner. They can be powerful and offer unusual abilities, but their tether to the material world is limited.
  • Undead: Necrotechnological constructs; Undead are not able to have Advantage Cards and are subject to certain special rules. Undead units are a mix of cheap troops and more expensive specialists. Non-unique Undead may be taken multiple times relative to game size, but unlike Agents are not limited to Organization (usually Black Sun) Parties.

In the picture:

Sunday 19 October 2014


Dagger was started at roughly the same time as Claude Valmore, but I have been busy completing a final assignment for a course, which has drastically impacted my painting, and meant a delay in painting Dagger. Some sudden painting momentum from Zomtober on one of my other blogs has helped me get Dagger done, so that was very pleasing, especially as it has been a month since my last Anima Tactics unit was finished.

It is funny that in the last couple of months or so I have managed to add 3 more units to my Azur forces. That certainly wasn't planned, but then there really is not too much planning to what minis I paint and in what order I paint them!

Dagger looks to me like a more selectable proposition than Claude Valmore; they have some similarities in their durability (Defense, Armor and LP), yet Dagger can be used more offensively than Claude, and is much less dependent on enemy Actions.

Given that all of Dagger's Actions use 3-4 Actions, then with his 3 AP recovery I think he really needs Advantage Cards that help AP recovery, which for me means his best options are Clock of Cronos or Fate Clock. I think it will be tricky to use him, as his Actions work best when used at full AP (4), which means that getting him into the right position is vital. I hope that before too long I can get around to putting an Azur Party in battle so that Dagger gets some game time as I love the model and find his Actions very interesting, even if it may take a while learn to to get the best out of him.

For the year I am way behind my target for Anima Tactics, and I hope that in the next couple of months I start to recover some of that. I currently have less than 100 units to paint - at my current rate I am still looking at just under 3 years from now to get that done. I feel that I also need to add more Samael and Summoners; Samael especially is the only Organization that I cannot really get a decent Party on the table for at present, and something I feel I really want to rectify.

Running Totals
Anima Tactics Units: 163 (added: nothing, but I still have two minis on pre-order)
Anima Tactics Units Painted: 64 (60 different units)
Painted Units Percentage: 39.3% (percentage of AT minis owned and painted)
Anima Tactics Range: 152 units (including 2 LE minis; including September as he still is due for presumably imminent release, and has been for a long time)
Percentage of Whole Range Painted: 39.5%
Year to Date Target: 23 of 30 units (3 per month target; 77%)

Thursday 16 October 2014

Additional Organization Advantages

The core Anima Tactics rulebook lists 3 Organizational Advantages per Organization. Interestingly, the Spanish and English versions of the books have a different listing for Wissenschaft. Black Sun were covered in their own mini booklet with 2 Organizational Advantages.

From the Spanish 'HELS' tournaments, there appears official corroboration of additional Organizational Advantages. These have not yet been placed in an officially endorsed or presented publication, but they do nonetheless appear official (this link is through to a source of the English language translation).

The additional Organizational Advantages are:
  • Black Sun: Corporate Espionage
  • Wissenschaft: Manipulation for English rules/Project Gear for Spanish rules
  • Empire: Empire Tactica
  • Azur Alliance: Death Squad 
  • Church: Miracles
  • Samael: Forbidden Lore

Given that there is no news about any imminent expansion book, and that Anima Tactics has not had the same attention as its stable-mate Helldorado, I hope that when the Addendum that was mentioned as forthcoming addresses these additional Organization Advantages in a more 'official' format.

Monday 13 October 2014


Figure 1
Arbiters are an unusual class of units. Initially limited to Azur, since last year other Organization Parties have access to Arbiter benefits through Mijhail Mashen'ka.

Arbiters offer a small extra resource to their Parties. Each Turn they receive 3 Order Points, and each Arbiter has 3 or 4 Orders to choose from. Each Order uses between 1 and 3 Order Points, and each Arbiter has a different suite of orders they can use, although some Orders are common to two or more of them.

Orders may be a small extra 2 inch move (Motum), or a free hand to hand Attack (Opugnis; very useful for units with hard-hitting Basic Attacks). All Arbiters so far have one or both of these Orders available to them.

Figure 1: In a Party including Team Les Jaeger, The Colonel becomes an Arbiter. The Colonel uses Opugnis on Maximo Ligori who has already Activated earlier in this Turn; Maximo Ligori can now make a free Attack on Sho

Orders are used when the Arbiter Activates, so it is important think ahead to get the best out of them; in the example above it would be more helpful if The Colonel was better positioned to Attack or Charge Sho or Janus Faith; but then again, that kind of planning ahead is true of any good strategy game isn't it?

Sunday 5 October 2014


Figure 1: The Colonel adds to the Party's Initiative roll
A simple ability, Initiative adds to the die roll for Deployment, and then in each Turn to the Initiative roll (goes without saying, but I said it anyway!).

Multiple instances of Initiative stack, so it is an ability which can weigh the odds of winning the Initiative roll in a player's favour. While I don't suggest picking a Party to win just one roll each Turn, when faced with some choices of unit, it may be a factor to weigh up.

Figure 1: For example, The Colonel has Initiative. If playing him, then the Tactical Advantage Plot Advantage Card is worth consideration as it also adds +1 to your Initiative roll. Doubling up the bonus means that the odds significantly shift in your favour (around 64% of winning/74% chance of not losing - assuming no extra dice etc. - if my maths serves me well), which can be useful tactically and psychologically (will your opponent burn a Gnosis point for the increased chance to win the roll?). Again, it is not the be all end all strategy, but something to think about.

Azur have the most easily-combined options for Initiative, followed by Church, Empire and Wissenschaft; In terms of synergies for Party-building, I would suggest that Azur have the better options, which helps compensate their relative fragility.

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