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GenCon ’09: Arcane Legions August 19, 2009

Posted by webofwebhead in Conventions, Previews.
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ArcaneLegions_LogoGenCon felt relatively buzz free…like everyone was in a holding pattern for this year, waiting…for what I don’t know…waiting for the economy to switch gears, waiting for the next big thing, I don’t know.  But if I had to pick that which was must buzz worthy, it would probably have to be Arcane Legions, by default if for no other reason.  Arcane Legions is a new form of hybrid game…somewhere between HeroClix and Warhammer, between AT-43 and Hordes.

Arcane Legions uses 25mm scaled minis…making them a little bit smaller than say Star Wars minis or HeroClix figures.  Each figure might represent a single soldier, calvary unit, or unique hero.  Common “army builder” figures are purchased unpainted, or with a simple color marking on a detail like a shield.  Rarer figures come pre-painted, making for an interesting mix.  The most unique part of the game is the new formation base:

arcaneromans

The bases are plastic rectangles with a number of round holes.  Over top of this a player places a formation grid that shows which positions you can add figures to.  There are typically more slots than figures in each formation, which means you can arrange the figures differently to create different effects.  One formation might allow your squad to move faster, another might be better on defense.

Reportedly these formation cards will be further customizable online on the official website, allowing players to create their own templates within the constraints of the rules of the game.  This aspect, combined with the aggressive online presence on sites like Facebook proves to me that Wells Expeditions is very intent on leveraging technology behind the scenes to drive this game.

I did not have the chance to demo the game proper, but I did get to watch a few games being played.  The booth was decked out with demo personnel in period costumes, which was a nice touch, and one of the few game booths that seemed to go this extra distance.  Product sales seemed brisk, but I did not hear of any sell outs…which might be a function of abundant supply, time will tell.

I’m intrigued by this game…the setting feels unique, sort of an alternate history, but still leans towards fantasy.  I picked up a preview figure, but held off on purchasing product until I can be sure I will have someone to play this against.  The price points seem reasonable, with lots and lots of smaller figures for your money.  This is definitely a game to keep an eye on…the company behind seems intent on doing it right.

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Comments»

1. mrdbeau - September 18, 2009

Great review, and I agree that there unfortunately wasn’t much “new” stuff to be excited about at Gencon this year. I hope that Jordan and the other ex-Wizkids learned their lesson from that company, but I’m very optimistic about what I see from WE.

I’d love for you to swing by the fansite/forum that I’ve setup at http://www.MassActionMinis.com and join in the small and growing community we have there.


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