Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Round 1... FIGHT!!

With the board set up we next needed to work out what forces we were going to take.

Like most game each model has a cost with the 'better' models costing more. Squads have 2 costs, one for the minimum unit size and another cost for adding to them. We decided to play a Battlebox game but the boxes aren't quite balanced so as it was our first game we'd play 25pts.

My Shattered Sword 

Francis Malory (Questing Knight)
Quill (Cypher)
1 x Paragon (Minion)
4 x Swordsworn (Minion squad)

Paul's Black Diamond

Leopold Magnus (Questing Knight)
Static (Cypher)
1 x M8 Blitz Auto Tank (Minion)
3 x Diamond Corp (Minion squad)

On paper a balanced list but Paul wasn't happy I got one extra model! ;)

We deployed within the first row of our board edge (3 inch on) and decided for this first game to just go and fight rather than worry about objectives.

I won the draw to go first and lined up the Swordsworn to kick things off.

Tis the season to be JOLLY!

So I've arrived at Paul's and after a little last minute shopping for essential supplies... Need to keep hydrated over the Festive bread! ;)

I've set us up a little gaming table. 

Nothing to fancy but perfect for our Battle box game we have planned. It uses one 2x2 foot rubber mat from Mantic Games Deadzone and a load of Terrain - mainly Mantic Games fantastic modular Battlezones but also a few 'Trees' that are just plastic aquarium plants you can get at any pet store.

My Shattered Sword are assembled - just about!

 Need to grab my hobby drill back off Paul so I can pin a Paragon and 2 Swordsworn to their bases and have just blu-tac'd the Paragon shields on for now to aid painting.

We're going to play with just the models in our 2 battle boxes, Shattered Sword and Black Diamond. But Paul is pulling a face and trying to sneak on his Diamondback...!!

Don't think so Mr Scott!

Battle report and other goodness to follow!

Monday, 22 December 2014

Going on the Naughty List!!

Apologises for the 2 week break - busy with Real life with the run up to Christmas!

Thankfully last day of work tomorrow and Paul and his wife have kindly invited me over for Christmas! In between a few festive drinks I've challenged Paul to a game of Relic Knights and plan to take plenty of pictures and do a full battle report!

Got my Mantic terrain all ready but have a few models left to assemble... Should be good to go!

What has everyone else got planned for the festive break?

Saturday, 6 December 2014

The Great Procrasta-TRON!

Hell yeah...
Each day as a hobbyist/modeler/painter (or however you like to view your self. Pure fried Awesome -o-trons my favorite) there's a constant struggle in our sole. Paint, do hobby or sit on the internet for hours on end 'researching' what you will do.
                 "I'm cataloging up colour schemes!"
                 "I'm watching 'source' material"
                 "I'm studying new techniques"
                 "I'm 'insert self delusional excuse here' at the minute"

 We all do it, its inescapable. We may even start of with good intentions but inevitably its sets in; the bone idle lethargy kicks in. It may be for different reasons. Personally alot of the time for me it comes from the little voice of doubt I get at the idea of painting something. If I don't paint it etc I cant mess it up. PITIFUL!

He used to pile procrastinating gamers like me 5ft high..
Well today I decided to get of my rather ample posterior and started the process of getting my Black Diamonds (the toughest hardcore bunch in any galaxy!) based and prepped to paint and looking sharp. (don't get excited...I haven't got round to painting them but almost!)

Something I personally feel is important in a mini is its actual base. Bases are part of the model and should be treated as such and have time and thought lavished on them. 
I wanted the Black Diamonds to have bases that looked rugged and baron. To reflect their hard nature the far reaches of the galaxy and tough spots they might find them selves in during the course of their contracts. 

Hard Core!

 As such I decided to make use of the box of slate I recently found when having my room/office 'tidied' (the wife assures me this is a legitimate thing...)        
Slate is pretty easy. Smash/break it up. The more random and irregular the result the better. This will help the effect look more natural. Plus as mentioned I want the whole look to be one of tough ruggedness.  

Soda Pop/Ninja Core have given us brilliant rimmed bases. this lends them to being more 'display' than many of the standard miniature bases out their. This lead me to not wanting to use sand for basing on them. Sanding a base is great normally but adds a layer to the base. I felt that with the RK bases having a lip, the sand layer may rise above it and take away from a sharp clean look and finish.

So instead of sand what to use? Erm... well, we cant just leave the base bare. Well I could... but 'Im not! Dont worry though, there is something ideal for this; Liquid Green Stuff! I know right!? Normally its absolutely useful for nothing. But in my room tidying I also found a pot of the stuff that has started to thicken. Using this to dab onto the base creates a fine level of texture detail that you can also control fairly well. This will help keep the sharp look in regards to the 'display element of the base style and will not be a big thick looking layer of sand taking away from the fine detail and scale of the miniatures/bases.

Any pollyfilla type stuff would suffice (and probably cheaper)

Hopefully (despite my pitiful Iphone camera skills, sorry) you can see the texture of the liquid green stuff. When this is dry and painted it will/should give a very natural solid ground/earth finish. 
Aa well as that you should be able to see the higher raised 'pointy' areas. This were easy to 'pull' up with a green stuff laden brush. I am very tempted to revisit them and build up on some of them so that I can paint them as emerging Esper.

Like this - ?
 Or I am quite tempted to have it as a dynamic energy 'build up' effect like we see on so many anime episodes. Which I feel could be quite apt considering the awesome and obvious Relic Knights aesthetic.

HUZZAH! I have done something... well done me. I rock. Well kind of. Maybe. 

On reflection though this means now that I am now one step closer to the greatest  procrasti-tronic nightmares for any of us...PICKING A COLOUR SCHEME!!


You may go now... I have 'research' to do...


Wednesday, 3 December 2014

So why the Shattered Sword?

Last week I was asked by Eric Falsken (on the Relic Knights FB group) to expand on why I chose the Shattered Sword Paladins as my first Faction in Relic Knights so here we go!

I've been gaming for the best part of 20 years now, both competively and socially but all for fun! So when Paul suggested I get into this game I had to toughest decision that faces us all...

...what Faction to play??!!

I'll be honest that at the time I knew nothing about Relic Knights short of it being a game by Soda Pop that had been on Kickstarter. I was aware but didn't know how it played or what was good so instead I decided, as I have often recommended to many a new gamer over the years, to pick a Faction I liked the look of/like the sound of. I think if you can find more to like in a Faction than just how good it is you will get more back from the game.

So what were my choices?

Monday, 1 December 2014

Tis the season to be JOLLY!

Into December we go so a little round up of news from the world of Relic Knights

Holiday Sale

Soda Pop Miniatures are having a sale! From their Website:
Enjoy the holidays with your favorite Relic Knights, Super Dungeon Explore, and Takoashi University games with Soda Pop's 20% Off Holiday Sale!

Discount is available on existing stock only. Offer valid through December 17th.

Holiday Shipping Cutoff: December 17th is the United States shipping cutoff date to ensure you get your packages by December 24th.
 So get yourself along to the Soda Pop Store and treat yourself! Guess shipping will be longer/earlier cut off for us across the pond but it's still a great saving!


December New Releases

Lots of Minions which is never a bad thing but no Shattered Sword? Obviously not been a very good boy this year!

Wednesday, 26 November 2014


What to have? Who do I choose? What do I look for? 

Just how do you choose your Cadre/faction when exploring a new world/game? I am sure it varies from gamer to gamer. 
The more calculating of you out there, the budding generals and warlords may choose a faction for its tactics its pro/cons or any 'broke' elements you can ruthlessly take advantage of to crush your opponent and bring your dominance to the table top. Others might just like pretty minis ;)

but does it have a tank!
Me... well Its become pretty simple. Now some may say I am mildly obsessed with, possibly in an unhealthy way, with the wonderful machines of armoured shootiness; TANKS!! 

Question: Does it have a tank in it?  
Answer: Yes?
Result: WIN

Sign me up, Im in, job done. Its a no brainer! Mmmm tanks. 
And as if it was meant to be The Black Diamonds Cadre, not only the Universes most ruthless and efficient hard core mercs, have a freekin' dinky tank! And to boot- I can have more than one. Heaven.


So its settled, I am now to immerse my self in all things Black Diamond, no contract to hard no bounty to low! And on a more personal and much more important note - Tim passed over the opportunity to be repeatedly punched in the chops for talking like a pirate too much and chose to field the pretty boy do gooder's that are the Shattered Sword! Pah!


So now I have made my well informed choice... where to start. Well as time goes on and Big Min and I go down the RK road it is becoming increasingly clear that this game is real easy to get into price wise - but- the BEST start in my humble opinion ( I know I know, I am abusing the word humble) the best start for any player is the Battle Boxes. The really do contain all you need to start yourself on the Relic Knights hobby:

look see, it has a mini tank!

A questing Knight (a second in command type level character) Not the big hitter but very capable of holding their own on in the fight and varying levels of cannon fodder...erm sorry valued minions ;)
Minions are very varied in their abilities and uses.

 Also Mini Rules book, Esper Cards, Stat cards and Counters!

So I got my self the Black Diamond Cadre Battle box. Containing the Mighty Leopold Magnus and his spiteful little Cypher; Static.

Leopold Mangnus - M-Dawg to you!

Now, I did say that the choice of the Black Diamond was made solely on them having a tank (genuinley on its own a full proof reason) but I fibbed. I had on early peroozing of all things Dark Space, spotted something at least on par with tanks in the range - BIG STOMPY AXE WIELDING ROBOT!!  Sold and sold again! 

So to boost my little starter force I got myself the bad boy; DIAMOND BACK. Sweet.

stompy axe robot
All the factions have something cool and stompy robot like, after all its pretty much a requirement in the future for all your face stomping needs, But my big stompy robot has a big choppy plasma axe. Check mate!

Also upon further reading and delving it tunrs out  Mr Magnus is a complete and utter sod and fantastic and making things difficult for his enemies. Perfect. That appeals to me very much. Unlucky Big Min! Let the trolling start! ;)

So now I guess I have to get them assembled and based and painted up for you all! Pah.

You're never happy!


I heart Relic Knights...

And BOOM - Like a level 7 hyper ballistic fun Mellon hitting a wall of awesome I have stumbled upon a Calamatis Space of a Dark nature!!...

the fun melon

Or, put more simply, I am really rather excited about Relic Knights; Dark Space Calamity.

(disclaimer; this post is mainly a happy happy joy joy rant - do not expect ground breaking insight - that's mainly BIG MINS domain! )

Welcome to Dark Space Comarrr...Comrt...codoara...Comradery, Dark Space Comradery!
As you wold no doubt have guessed by now, Dark Space Comradery is a journey of 2 incurable gaming fantatics, following us through he highs and lows and awesomes of discovery, getting to grips with and full immersion into a new fantastic game.

Big Min and I have for many a decade been serious card carrying gamers.  Once in a while we are still excited and attracted to a game or range that really peaks our interest.  And Relic Knights is just that.

Soda Pop Miniatures have hit it on the head perfectly with this IP. Fun, fast, furious and colourful, it combines a the table top Skirmish platform with elements of CCG mechanics and lashings of Anime/manga imagery that together make a very fresh enjoyable product.

I've found this combination of things really easy to indulge in, add to that a solid 6 playable and diverse 'factions' to choose from (and diverse they certainly are) on top of a very pleasing buy in price and BOSH - its a gaming win/win..

Even with all the above it gets better. As will become clear as the weeks go on (or as some of you may already know) the rules/game play are very easy to pick up but then develop and keep going, there is a lot of depth on the mechanics and faction play once you decide to scratch the surface. There really is a lot to occupy you. Its great for the fast fix gamer and rewarding for those who like to dissect and find all the nuances and tricks. It oozes potential and keeps on giving.

And then there's the rich well brought together and crafted background and world setting giving you a brilliant backdrop for all your games, combining all the elements of anime/sci-fi/manga that we all recognize and love. How could it be any better?

Well I hope as time goes on you will join us to find out and feed back to us your impressions and

Oh Oh!!! wait...there is one more thing... counters/tokens and stats cards...lots of them! Joy.

mmmm counters...

Ok you can go now, I have finished.  Go on! BE GONE!

Monday, 24 November 2014

What's in the BOX?!

In Relic Knights you can choose to lead one of six factions

Black Diamond - Mercenaries & Military types
Ceri Speed Circuit - Racers & Daredevils
Doctine - Scholars, Mages and Mystics
Noh Empire - Monsters & Beasts
Shattered Sword - Gallant Knights
Star Nebula Corsairs - Pirates- YARRR!!!

And Soda Pop have made it very easy to start and get playing by releasing a Battle Box for each faction. Essentially this is a one player starter set but gives you so much more than some other games Starter sets - you get everything you need to start playing - rules, models, stat cards, Esper cards and counters!

The hardest thing you have to do is choose a Faction!

At the time of choosing I knew very little about the game so I narrowed my choice down to two based purely on what models I liked the look of - Shattered Sword and Star Nebula Corsairs. Knights and Pirates!

After a bit more digging and the real fear I would get punched for talking like a Pirate I settled on the Shattered Sword Paladins!

Paul has settled on the Black Diamond... they have a tank so don't find this very surprising!!

Keep reading to see whats in the Shattered Sword Paladins Battle Box...

Sunday, 23 November 2014

It's all about the ESPER!!

In Relic Knights your models have abilities, both offensive and defensive, but to activate these abilities you must 'pay' to use them! Instead of rolling dice to see if an ability succeeds a player spends ESPER.

From the background Esper influences all living things and that most beings have a particular affinity to a type or 'colour'.

There are six types of Esper and a units affinity is represented by the colour of their Faction symbol on their card.

How does Esper work in game?

Each player has a deck of 42 Esper Cards. It's a standard deck so not like other games where you can build a custom deck. But it does come free in the Faction Battle Boxes (essentially one player starter cadres). 

Most cards have a big Esper icon (primary Esper type) and a small Esper icon (secondary Esper type). These are called Standard Esper cards and can be played as either 2 Esper of the Primary or 1 Esper of the Secondary.

The other two card types are VOID cards (the big black circle that looks like a solar eclipse) and WILD cards (the card with all 6 Esper icons). Void cards are worth 0 Esper and just take up space but the Wild cards can be played as 1 of any Esper (choose when you play it).

At the start of the game each player draws a hand of 5 Esper cards from their own deck, this is kept secret from your opponent and only revealed when they are used. When Esper cards are played they are placed on a discard pile. If/when you draw through your deck you just shuffle the discard deck and start drawing from this.

So now we have the cards what do we do with them? Each of our models has a stat/tracker card that tells us how good they are at certain things (ranged attacks, defence, movement etc) we'll discuss these cards at a later date. These cards will tell us what abilities we have and what they cost to activate, the cost will be listed by coloured icons and a quantity. We need to pay this cost from our hand to activate the ability. Let's say I'm making a ranged attack with a Green 2 and a Blue 1 - that's what I need to pay to be able to make the ranged attack.

When you choose to use an ability you will have a value on your stat card. For now let's say I'm making a ranged attack and it has a value of 2. This allows you to immediately draw 2 new Esper cards and add it to your hand.

Next benefit of Esper is activating 'Presses'. A Press is a bonus to the standard ability and has an additional damage or in game effects. The Presses are detailed on a models Reference card and have an additional cost. 

At the end of your turn you may discard any and all cards from your hand and immeadetly draw back up to 5. If you end the turn with more than 5 cards you must discard down to 5. Perfect time to get rid of those Void cards! 

Held Esper

Most units can store 'Held Esper' some can even generate it when they activate or by taking the 'Refocus' action. If a unit can store Esper it will have a number of white circles on their card you can mark. When they wish to spend this held Esper they can use it as 2 of any single colour.


A Cypher is like a pet that is bonded to your Knight (leader/hero). They are pretty much immune to attacks. Their main purpose (it seems) is to generate and transfer Esper. If the Knight can draw line of sight to his/her Cypher they can add 1 held Esper.

Other uses of Esper

There are a set of cards that list General Actions for each Faction type which may be performed by Initiates and Masters of that type.

You can use Held Esper to heal objectives.

Probably others... Will keep reading and learning! ;)

So what does this all mean?

This Esper mechanic means you really need to plan ahead and consider what units you will be activating next. If you've lucked out and not drawn the right cards you need yo think of an alternative strategy. Also maybe consider what Esper you might need for defensive abilities before discarding and redrawing. 

The ability to generate and transfer held Esper shouldn't be overlooked either as this provides a huge amount of flexibility. But watch out for those Esper Thieves!

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Relic Knights Tournament Rules

Early this month Soda Pop Miniatures and Ninja Division Publishing released 3 documents relating to Relic Knight Tournaments.

The Darkspace Comradery have been playing at and running Tournaments and Wargaming Events for over 20 years. Many different systems, square and round bases, fantasy and Sci-Fi so of course we've taken great interest in these guides.

First up you have the Ninja Division Event Guidelines aimed both at the Gamers attending the events and the Tournament Organisers (generally the Ninja Division 'Ninja' or volunteer). What to have prepared, what to do at the event, and other useful information:

Next the Endless Hunger Tournament PDF. Works for events of 8 to 128 gamers and solely uses Gaming score to determine a winner. Although not part of the final score Sportsmanship is  still an important element:

And finally the Establish Order Tournament PDF. These events embrace all aspects of the hobby rewarding Painting and Sportsmanship as well as Gaming prowess:

UK Tournaments

So who would be up for an Event in the UK? February time in Nottinghamshire? Let us know! Although I personally like to see painted armies it would make the most sense as this is just taking off to run an Endless Hunger Tournament so people can play with unpainted Cadres if they so wish.

A New Begining

Hello and welcome to our Blog! The first post is alway the hardest I guess. Where do we start?

So what is this blog all about?

This blog is going to be all about starting out in the game of Relic Knights, a game by Soda Pop Miniatures. What the game is and how to play it. From the casual gaming at club nights and with friends hopefully progressing into Tournament play.

We're going to share our demo and practice games, hobby projects and beginners guides as we learn with you in a hope that others will be interested in trying out this great game and together boost the community in the UK!

What is Relic Knights?

Relic Knights is a Sci-Fi Skirmish game with a visual aesthetic heavily influenced by Anime and Manga produced by an American company called Soda Pop Miniatures. The game itself doesn't use dice and instead relies on a system quite like mana in MTG to activate abilities. 

Coolminiornot did a Game play intro video at GenCon 2012. Check it out as it'll explain all the mechanics for you! It's been stuck into the Useful Web links on the right. -->

The game first appeared on Kickstarter back in September 2012 and suffered some high profile delays. I don't know the ins and outs of this as I didn't know much about Kickstarter back then but we've got the game now! I may look into this in more detail in a future post, also into the whole Kickstarter phenomenon and how it affects the wargaming world. But let's focus on the game for now!

You can check out more of the game on Soda Pop's website