That time of the week, where I mention a game that isn’t exactly new or shiny, but is FUN and should be OWNED and PLAYED! This week: Conan, the Miniatures Game-
Time: ~1 Hour (scenario dependent)
Genre: Dungeon Crawl semi-cooperative Miniature Game
Conan is a scenario-based, semi-cooperative miniatures game, where one player plays the board, and all other players team up to play as Conan and his companions. This game went through years of game design, and it’s publishers even hired a Conan expert to make sure the theme and scenarios are in line with author Robert E. Howard’s novels and short stories. That aside, this game can and will be enjoyed by players who know nothing of Conan or his mythos.
For a miniatures game, this game is short, fast, and wonderfully designed. Rather than being campaign based like many other miniatures board games (see Descent and Imperial Assault), Conan is split up into scenarios where players choose their characters and play against the Game Master in standalone scenarios with a limited number of turns. Each scenario has different objectives and themes for gameplay diversity, and players may choose different characters depending on what they think is needed in each scenario.
each of their turns characters choose different stances based on what they are trying to accomplish.
Gameplay itself in Conan is incredibly simple, but also streamlined and intuitive. When players want to use an action such as moving or fighting, they simply place one of their “stamina” gems into that portion of their player board, and roll dice equal to the amount of gems used. Gems refresh each turn based on what stance a character chooses, so it’s possible that characters may use all their gems in one epic round and stagger around exhausted while they try and refresh themselves, or play more reserved and pace their actions strategically.
Normally my complaint in a dungeon crawl game revolves around me getting stuck managing the game after no one else volunteers for the job, but this game is different. The job of Game master in this game is incredibly fun and interesting, and this is due in large part to the game system the designers came up for you to run it. The Game Master uses eight slidable titles with groups of monsters associated with each tile and one “respawn” tile. The further down the row the tiles are, the higher their cost in gems. On a GM’s turn, they may activate any two of their tiles, and once activated, the tile slides to the end, costing more the next time it would be activated, but making everything else cost less.
That’s it for Conan. It’s a huge box, Conan is a little busted (as he should be thematically), and although I’ve played the starting scenario over ten times now, I’m STILL not bored with it! (Did I mention it has 74 Miniatures….) #GiveItATry