Thursday, February 18, 2010

Bastion: Ex illis

Hi, here's a review about a new kind of tabletop wargaming, Ex Illis created by Bastion. This game combines tabletop gameplay with computersoftware to resolve diceresults, automaticaly measures ranges and movement.

I have played this game once but I found a lot of other usable information on the internet, I was informed about this new game through a French wargame magazine I bought on a holiday in the Ardennes. The magazine included a cavalry miniature and his gamecode. This gamecode is used to control your miniature throughout the software and is able to store his stats, battle experience and upgrades!

Ok, enough talking now some facts and information.

General information

Ex Illis is played with 2-100 hard plastic miniatures which are moved around a 36''-45'' gamingmat, everything is controlled through a computerprogram which you can freely download from their website, the avaible platforms are Mac, Pc and even Ipod!

With this software program you can automatical fight, move and fire armed weapons. So you are able to skip the endless measuring and dice rolling, and finish rather large battles in a fraction of the usual time!

The game's setting is based on medieval Europe during 1309, which was a very chaotic periode for Europe, warring states, political intrigues, assasinations. so really a huge source for creating different factions such as France, Scotland, papal states, etc ...

The also game combines fantasy and historical elements, so you can now charge monsters and wizards with your knights or billmen! this combination also allows to create a new dimension to the game, you now also need in account severe magical attacks and other blasphemy!

Gaming information

To play the game you must first of all buy some miniatures and download the free software from their nice website. All new modification to the game are also free to download from this website which is updated on a regular base.

The starterkit includes the following;

- 54 really nice miniatures.
- Gaming software.
- Intro booklet.
- Gaming mat.

Price: 63 euros

Now you can decide try the game with painted or unpainted miniatures, this is off course your chose so we continue. The needed materials are their nice miniatures, a gaming surface, a computer, Ipod or Mac, terrainfeatures and off course a partner. This last thing actually bothers me why in earth do you want to play with your mates togheter in front of a computerscreen? It would be easier if could fight your battles online with people from across the world with some sort of webcam feature. But that said, now you need to divide the miniatures in to coherent armies and create your battlefield on the table and on your screen.

Gaming sequence

With that done, you can finally start playing using the following gaming sequence:

1) Movement
2) Charges
3) Melee
4) Shooting
5) Fatigue and veil
6) Moral

Nothing more that I can say, everything is software controlled so you're not able to forget to move this and shoot that big thing that's marching toward your defenseline.

Unit variation

Each army is equipment with a range of light troops such as nymphs, bowmen and a assotment of cavalry, heroes and magicians! This variation really adds to the medieval and fantasy like experience.

Another really nice feature of the game is that every type of unit such as hobelars, billmen, longbowmen, ... have a variation of 3 unique attacks for exemple for a hobelar it's possible to harass the enemy, lure and canter. this really add a different approach for as well the player as his enemy!

The miniatures

Now I will tell a bit more about the miniatures, first I wasn't a fan of the range which is entirely made out of plastic. When I opened the magazine and saw the knight-miniature I was really disappointed about the detailling! But after a closer inspection I was struck with the conversion possibilities!

But second to that I was surfing the internet when I saw a review of Ex Illis by "beasts of war" of the starter kit which really suprised me, the miniatures were really nice and the packaging and supporting material was really great.


Check out these longbowmen, pity they are quit similar posed but they certainly don't lack any details. But these aren't the nicest figures! Check these Archangels, well these are awesome and breath taking! Very dynamic posed and full of character.



Opinion

Well to express my opinion about this game will sum up some pro's and contra's. First of all I'm very pleased to know that you dan't need to buy an expensive rulebook and armybooks. Also I'm quit a fan of no manual dicerolling and endless discussions about the exact measurement or visible enemies. Another useful feature of using software is the recording ability this allows you to upgrade your miniature stats and actually see your own hero becoming deadlier!

On the other hand you always need to turn your pc on when gaming which is a real shame. And if you want to wargame on your computer, just play an online or offline strategic game!

Online sources

The nice website, you must certainly check following stuff:


- The youtube-clip of "beasts of war".
- The pictures of the painted miniatures of the starterskit!! Amazing!!
- ...


Greets,

4 comments:

Yori said...

Very interesting. I regret to discover that "the World" is only part of Europe. It'a a pity :/

The Belgian, said...

yes, indeed but maybe they intend to expand in the future?

However I like their beautiful painted miniatures on their website :p

Greets,

Yori said...

I think that you're right! They left the empty slot for next expantions. "Spanish Wars" or "The Pagans strike back" :)

The Belgian, said...

LoL, I missed those interesting bits on their website :p

Greets,

Ps: any news on the coastal/ waterfeatures from your friend?

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