Thursday, October 30, 2008
There's a new minis game to put on your heads-up display by the name of Ground Pounder. You won't find a company name attached to the title, this is their first foray into this little corner of the world, in the classic vein of "why don't the guys and I do something like this?" It's headed up by a single hive brain, Jason Ellis, doing the writing and dev work, with a small cast of artists and a sculptor. The ideas look great so far, and the direction it's going in show a lot of promise. This is one I'll be keeping tabs on.
It's a true skirmish based game with 1:1 representation; forces will consist of less than a dozen troopers per side with a host of options from heroes, psions, tech specialists, and a small number of meat shields, err, grunts. Also thrown in the mix is the option of a 'heavy', usually a hardsuit of exo-armor, or a hulking Bio-Giant of some type.
Hero Concept, by Melvin de Voor
If the translation from sketch to fig comes close to the above, then count me in. I've read some complaints about how there's nothing substantially new added to the sci-fi tabletop mix, but frankly, if it's got a solid ruleset, and is fun to play, I'm a happy camper.
There's four initial factions: The Alliance (humans and a possible alien ally subrace), the Ravagers (kinda like Firefly's Reavers, but crossbred with animal DNA, the Drax Hierarchy (bio-tech integrated baddies bent on enslavement and domination), and the Free Strikers, which are really just Human mercs.
It is new, pretty much announced just this month, and slated for release around the end of 2008. Go to their site, here it is again, and check it out. I'm interested for several reasons; first and foremost it's sci-fi, which I love, it's a minis game, but of a much smaller scale, smaller than Necromunda even. It's got a nice visual look so far (based off concept sketches) and according to the designer (off the website) both long term campaign rules, as well as authentic and sensible terrain rules are built in from the ground up, not as an after-thought. A couple of other mechanics caught my eye, first it's all based on the d10. Only the most canny and genius game designers work with the d10! Also, the system will utilize a reaction-based mechanic where the players have a full game experience, rolling dice on both sides of the table, not just sitting around waiting for their turn while their opponent has a field day.
Marcus Fenix of the Gears of War franchise
Sure, not everyone out there is cranking out unique figs like the Quar, but regardless, if your inspiration is coming from something hardcore as the above, it's all good. Now I'm not saying Ground Pounder is doing a 'Gears' clone or anything, far from it, but visually I don't think anyone could go wrong in that direction. Fielding a small squad of elite BA's over broken ground, laying down suppressive fire against an implacable alien foe, heavy armor walking alongside...yeah, sounds like fun.