Now receiving a Kickstarter parcel can be a double edged sword. On the one hand there is the joy and surprise of arriving home to find a big box of toys waiting for you, on the other is having to explain to your other half what it is and point out that you did tell them about it 9 months ago and they said it was OK (which they have of course long forgotten). But at last all due penance is paid and I can get on with opening my box of toys.
The game hidden away inside the box is Home Raiders by Vesper-on-Games, a great little company and the producers of the excellent Carnevale. To my surprise the game box is bigger than I expected (no idea why but I thought it would be smaller!) and is accompanied by a few extra boxes with my Kickstarter upgrades (more about the Penguins to come).
What is Home Raiders?
Home Raiders is an excellent little Beer and Pretzels game that would make an ideal starting point for younger gamers (and lets face it we are all still 12 anyway). It’s one of those games that you can learn to play or teach in just a few minutes (and there is and excellent learn to play here or you can download the rules here) and better still it doesn’t use any scenery.
The idea of the game is that people from another dimension have traveled to our world via to gain objects that will give them power in their own. Unfortunately in our world they are only about 1″ high, meaning that in game terms the miniatures are 1:1 or full scale. This is great fun and means that you can play a game on any free area around your house using your normal household junk as your scenery (great excuse not to tidy the house before game night), literally any table or even the floor will do (if you live in a minimalist house you may need to go visit the 99p store).
The factions in the game are the New Lilliput, the Gremlins, the Fair Folk and the Lords of Dusk. The starter box contains forces for the New Lilliput and the Gremlins but the others should be available outside of Kickstarter very soon. My personal favourite are the Lords of Dust (more about the Egyptian Penguins with Guns shortly) with the Gremlins a close second but personal tastes differ and all the factions have their pro’s and con’s.
In the Box
So down to what you get in the box (there are a few figs in here that are from my KS upgrades but the picture on the back shows all the figures).
Inside the box you will find a full colour rulebook (OK it’s only 6 pages but that’s all it needs to be), 14 1:1 scale metal figures with transparent plastic bases (a really nice touch), game cards for all the figures, 9 game dice (3 each of 3 colours) and various counters and glass beads you need to play the game (you don’t need many).
The game cards are a good quality, nice and colourful with easy to read details.
The rulebook although only 6 pages long explains the background of the forces and lays out the rules (and there aren’t many) in an easy to read faction. The back pages sum up all the special abilities nicely so no need to go flipping through endless pages hunting down elusive rules (you can easily print them from the download rulebook to protect the rulebook during play).
The dice (ACE dice) are made especially for this game and are not your regular D6’s. Two faces of each dice are blank, three have an ! on them and one has a exploded ! on it. You get three each of these in three different colours that represent their level of importance (White is low Black is high). I won’t go into how they work here but the dice mechanic is real easy to pick up and fast and fun to play.
Figures one of the things that sets a lot of games apart and these fit the tone of Home Raiders perfectly, in fact it isn’t long before you can really imagine these little folk running around your home stealing your car keys (that would explain a lot). As figures go they aren’t the best, the posing is a little flat in some places and the detail isn’t especially high (but still better than some other companies I can think of) but overall they lack the finesse of the Carnevale range. The casting is pretty good with no obvious miss aligns, although you will need to clean of some flash and mold lines here and there. The thing that really saves these is that they are cool; whether you want Gremlin fighter pilots or mountaineers, Lilliputians on motorbikes there is something here for every child (did I mention that we are all 12).
My personal favourites have to be the Lords of Dust or as I like to call them the Killer Egyptian Penguins with Guns. They are the coolest game idea I’ve seen in years, from Cleopetra to the Mummies they are going to be seeing a lot of table action in the near future.
To give you some idea of the figure scale here is a Gremlin next to a regular 28 mm figure (from the excellent Black Scorpion Pirate range)
How to play
Well I’m not going to tell you. It’s such an easy game that all you need to do is watch the video or download the rules (available in 8 languages) and you will know all there is to know. There is even now a Facebook group for the game if you are into social media.