Mwahaha, one more Fall-In! post, the Casemate post wasn't the last after all. I had the photos queued up for this one for some time but I didn't want to do another 'look at the beautiful table' post, this one I wanted to add some depth to it. Why? Because the Kryomek game I played was awesome, that's why!
If you're asking, "What is Kryomek?", you've come to the right place. If you're saying to yourself, "Yeah, I remember Kryomek, it's still around?", you're still in the right place. It's not a remake, a reprint, or the like, this is the same Kryomek that's been around nigh on twenty years. The game itself has changed hands and owners a few times over, but it is now solidly in the hands of MSD Games, who also make the popular Luftwaffe 1946 game. The original molds are still being used for the figures, and new sculpts are still being added to the range.
The premise at its most basic is squad-based sci-fi action in a starflung future. Humanity isn't alone and its foes and allies are numerous, ranging from basic humanoid bipeds to incredibly alien. Here's the official intro from the website:
It is said that Man is made in the image of God and since this God made the Universe, Humanity feels confident that it has a right to rule it. But there are other Gods, dark Gods.
Gods in whose terrible image other creatures are made -Unknown just 12 years ago, now every human shudders when they hear the name. Fierce, merciless, in numbers beyond count, they continue to assault Nexus space-time. Where humans create machines to serve them, Kryomek create living organisms. They have harnessed the power to create and twist life to suit their evil purposes. All Kryomek serve the hive. Similar to less deadly hive insects, the Kryomek consist of many specialized types, each optimized for a single function. The primary battlefield types are listed below, but a complete listing would be impossible. There are rumors of other, larger, more deadly Kryomek. They remain rumors because no humans who have seen them have survived to describe what they have seen. -Jardus Manturikan, lecture to officers of the NTFA 6.12.3503
and these too might believe that they are destined to rule...
The bio-organic alien horde grind their way toward the marine defenders in the building ruins. The smaller, less advanced organisms form a "meat shield" along the way to protect their advanced brethren, many of which act as organic artillery, raining poisonous spores among the marines. Sound familiar? No, it's not a game of 40k I just described.
The Kryomek, a very Tyranid-esque race, have been around since the first Hive Fleets rolled out of GW. Genestealers were around mind you, but they were an entirely different affair back then. The marines aren't the over-the-top enhanced super soldiers spawned by a mythical god of humanity, but grounded a little more in reality. These marines, colonial, Nexus, and such variations are armed with a wide variety of weapons; small arms, heavy, even melee and they wear anything from hardened exo-armor to no armor at all.
The game I played in featured the two iconic armies of the game, the Kryomek, and the Nexus Marines supported by Colonial Marines. I mentioned there are new sculpts being added to the range, but this game consisted of the "classic" sculpts only, and they really held their own. In fact, I really loved the look of the Nexus Marines, which resembled quite closely the iconic movie soldiers of similar name.
Heavily armed and armored marines supported by Nexus Marines in the corner
One thing I really liked about the squads was the flexibility in their unit formation. The Nexus Marines were equipped with assault carbines, flamethrowers, pistols, and the like. The heavier armored Colonial Marines had even more variety; heavy weapons, assault rifles with underslung grenade launchers, even one troopers armed guns-akimbo with twin SMGs. The more I type this the more I'm kicking myself for not buying some of these up while I was there.
Here's the Kryomek horde in all their chitinous glory, poised to consume mass quantities. These models are also great, from the smallest "speed bump" Helions to the hulking Warmasters. This army runs on a hive mind mentality, and as long as the larger "nodes" are still around, the rest of the army stays put and keeps pushing forward. My favorite models in the particular army were the Kryomek Drones, humans that had been assimilated and encased in an organic shell, fused with organic weaponry.
Flame on! A Colonial Marine's flamethrower engulfs a horde of Helions
It's sci-fi warfare, so you've got your staples; flamers, rocket launchers, sniper rifles, APCs, and more. The rulebook covers a lot of these, including the vehicles, and there's a supplement that covers the rest. The rulebooks themselves are easy to reference and the rules are straight forward to get to grips with.
An extra nod goes to the fluff and the illustrations too. Some people loves rulebooks for the rules alone, understandable. Some love them for the fluff, photography, and illustrations. Me, I look for both, and the Kryomek books deliver happily on both counts. The world that's been created is solid and would make for a great roleplaying campaign. What's more, as I've already stated, it's feels a lot 'grounded' for lack of a better word. Maybe "doable" works too.
The mechanics are d20 based, and your target numbers are always going up the scale. Different weapon types use other die types. Modifiers are easy enough to get to grips with and by the second or third turn of the game I had it down easily enough. Also, initiative is rolled for each turn as well, which always makes for an interesting game, especially when you really need that first go at the next turn and you don't know if it's guaranteed or not!
There you have it, in a nutshell it was an enjoyable game that I had fun with. I didn't have to worry about the rules, they came easily enough but still allowed me plenty of options of what I could do and wanted to do on the tabletop. The figures weren't 'dated' in the least, in fact most of what I saw on the table was a model I wouldn't mind painting up and adding to my own collection, and there's plenty of variety to be had as well. The thing about the marines and their weapons was also that their rifles weren't the size of microwave ovens shooting soda can-sized rounds, but something a little more believable too. I know it seems I keep bringing that up, but you know, it was a refreshing change nonetheless.
So there you go, the game is Kryomek. If you haven't heard of it, you need to check it out. If you have heard of it before, dust it off and give it another shot. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised whichever camp you're coming from.
The rulebooks in and of themselves are worth getting if for nothing else than the art and fluff (they just so happen to have solid rules too). The figure range is absolutely huge to boot, and it's full of great looking models, with 28mm human troops usually running in the $1.50-$2 range. Although I plan on picking some up in the future, you can totally play the rules with whatever you have on hand. I tell ya, this won't the last time you'll see a Kryomek post from me here.
You know, last minute whim I'll just throw out here for the heck of it, if anyone has any Kryomek figs laying around doing nothing, and want to donate them to Mik's Minis, ahem, contact me! I suppose I could be persuaded do some trading if you're not feeling that generous.