Hybrid

Monsters spring from the innards of the earth! Only has handful of warriors stand between these impious creatures and the rest of the world.

Hybrid is a tactical skirmish boardgame in the vein of Space Hulk, but more tactically complex. The miniatures and graphic design are stunning; at the time Rackham was known for its beautiful metal miniatures, and the game comes with an impressive collection of them. Despite its flaws—a terrible rules translation, ridiculously tiny type on the cards, confusing artwork on the tiles—the game brought new complexity and richness to the genre, and the fantasy background is unique.

The terrible English translation of these rules is almost legendary, which is a great shame, as once you work it out Hybrid is a unique take on the combat game genre. The game is set in the Rackham fantasy world of Aarklash (which is the setting for Confrontation, their tabletop miniatures game, Arcana, and Cadwallon: City of Thieves) and simulates combat scenarios between the Griffons of Akkylannie (the good guys) and the frightening Alchemists of Dirz (the bad guys) in the latter’s abandoned underground laboratories. Unusually, the game comes with thirteen extremely high-quality metal miniatures that required assembly and painting, including a spectacular ‘Aberration’ miniature, a mutated experimental creature. The artwork on the game tiles is also exceptional, if a little confusing, and fully painted and setup the game is a sight to behold. Unfortunately the text on the action cards is also amazingly tiny and hard to read, and the activation counters were strangely printed on ridiculously thin card.

Without doubt, however, the rules book is a nightmare, and it’s hard enough working out who is who and what is going on, let alone piecing together how the game works. But once you do—and I recommend you use my summary (which includes the rules from the supplement Nemesis), which several gamers have called ‘essential’—you’ll find Hybrid to be a fast, furious and vicious combat game with a wide range of tactical options. Warriors can choose from a number of action modes, and up to six actions within each mode; not to mention use cards with extra abilities or modifiers. Throw in a set of varied and interesting scenarios, and for those of you who are ready to take the plunge, it’s an amazing game once it all ‘clicks’. Hybrid is out of print now, but it’s well worth tracking down a copy if you’re looking for something unique that rewards a bit of effort.

Update Log

Date Version Changelog
Apr 2010 2.3 Errors fixed
? 1 Original release

6 Comments

  • Razide says:

    The game also comes with extra cards for a selection of other metal Dirz & Griffin figures which were available in the Rackham range.
    Some issues of the Rackham’s “Cry Havoc” magazine had extra hybrid cards and extra scenarios and even campaigns for Hybrid/Nemisis.

    Aberration’s very big brother Aberration Prime was available as an un-assembled hard plastic model with alternative heads and weapons. It came with both round and square bases and cards for Confrontation3 and Hybrid.

    • Universal Head says:

      Indeed—thanks for that extra info. Must get this game on the table one day; and now I have a big collection of Confrontation figures I could explore some of the other options.

  • Mark says:

    I have this game and Nemesis, and unfortunately I’ve gotten all of the cards from my Cry Havoc magazines mixed up with the cards from both games. Might have to sign up for the forums and ask if anyone has an original copy of both and see if they can let me know what cards came with what…. It was one of my most anticipated purchases when I first got it. Very evocative and beautifully put together. It’s definitely one of those ‘store on the shelf games’. Would love for Rackham to come back, bit better run this time, with a little bit less predatory sales practices.

    • I certainly wouldn’t hold your breath for the return of Rackham, it’s long gone and the Confrontation licence is held by a computer game company called Cyanide, who licenced the miniatures to Legacy who after, a few large figure releases, seems to have stopped doing anything with it. Jean Bey, the main creative force behind Rackham, is now working on a computer-slash-miniatures game.

      Sorry I can’t help you with the cards, all my Cry Havocs are in storage at the moment. Have you tried Boardgamegeek?

  • Mark says:

    To be honest, I’d rather try to keep it in house here on your site UH. You’ve got a good thing going here :-). I’ll only try other sites as a last resort.

    • That’s great – I only suggest it though as there are not many Hybrid players out there in total, so you’d probably contact more of them via BGG than here. But glad you like the site!

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