Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Anima Tactics - First Game & review

Having just enough models ready (or nearly finished) for a game I arranged an opportunity to learn the rules with Neil from the club who is an avid enthusiast of the game and glad to get his models on the table.

We set up a simple battlefield with a variety of terrain but some open ground in the centre.  My force was my Black Sun models: Promethea and Styx, a Type 005 Assault Model and Sophia Ilmora as a wanderer.

Neil was using an Empire force of Lilian Virgil, Janus Faith and Daniella Meris.

You will obviously notice that those are both tiny forces, a total of seven models.  foremost, Anima Tactics is a character driven skirmish game.

So how does it work?  Well, AT is a activation based game, where each player alternates carrying out all the actions for a single model in their force.  The permissable actions include the usual, moving shooting and so on; but as can be seen on the sample card below, each model also has a number of unique actions it can carry out as well.

There is a cap on how much a model can do, no model can take more than five actions in one turn, and because models recuperate actions at a rate of between nought and three per turn naturally they will tend to have some quieter phases if they are very active.

In the game I led with the Type 005 to try and draw first blood.  Being optimised for combat he was one on one a threat to any of Neil's characters, however he found himself outnumbered.

Combat is handled through D10, with a player adding their Attack stat to the roll and deducting the Defence stat of the opponent.  If the opponent has an action spare (even if they have been activated already that turn) they may dodge, rolling their own D10 to add to their defense.  If the difference in the results is in the attackers favour it's a hit and their damage rating, less the opponents armour rating is added to the result to indicate the number of Life Points lost.

In practice a very simple system to use, both Attack and Defense can be 'buffed by special actions - Sophia Ilmora proved very effective at this, and forces have access to Gnosis, essentially extra D10 they can choose to roll for key tests, to allow them to pick the best result.

Anyway, my Type 005 died, and so Styx was sent to protect Promethea; he did a good job of this, near crippling Janus before being ganged up on and killed.  Promethea now used one of her magic effects to fatal effect on Lilian.

Magic is handled by what are called States, they cast automatically with the expenditure of action points and it is up to the target to resist.  Models have a resistance level, for example Lilians was 10, and they add this to a D10 roll against the strength of the effect to try to resist the spell.  Lilian failed to make the target of 15 and so was effected by 'Doom' for the next two turns.  On it's first turn she rolled a D10 hoping for a 6 or less, but instead got a 7 and withered away.

It proved roo little too late though for Black Sun.  Promethea and Sophia are both lightweights in combat, whereas Daniella was easily capable of beating them both.  When Promethea was killed off, I had Sophia wisely surrender.

So, is it any good?  Well, yes actually, I think it is a really nice game.  There is a deep meta game here in finding the most effective team builds as well as a simple but subtle tabletop system.  I'm glad I was sucked in by the pretty models, as this seems to be a game with lots of potential.

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