Batman: Gotham City Chronicles Battle Report

Then I’d say that I don’t currently have a bad guy. I am fighting a few different people.

It’s a BAT REP! Get it? A BAT rep! Peter and Will play Batman: Gotham City Chronicles by Monolith!

Monolith certainly raked in the cash for their Batman: Gotham City Chronicles Kickstarter campaign—4.5 million US to start with, and almost another 1.5 million for a follow-up ‘season 2’. It’s astonishing how attractive the Batman licence and a shedload of miniatures can be to gamers. I backed the first campaign (the main game and a couple of expansions), but by then I felt I had enough Batman to last me for many years to come. And it didn’t come cheap.

I like the theme, but I particularly like the game engine, which is based on Monolith’s earlier game Conan, one of my favourites. I must admit though I was expecting a bit more of an evolution; there have been a few tweaks, but it’s essentially the same game. Luckily the theme does give it a very different feel.

I’m still a bit at odds with the gameplay though, and this battle report is a perfect example of that. The game puts a heavy emphasis on achieving just the right combination of equipment loadout, character selection, and luck for the good guys to win, which can be frustrating when victory was just a few failed rolls away. I’m all for dice chucking in games, but I prefer the randomness to be in combat, not determining whether I can make a game-winning roll to arm a bomb or open a safe.

Still, as I mention at the end of the video, the game may disappoint me a bit each time, but it also makes me want to come back each time. And there are still many other scenarios to explore, and a ‘versus’ mode which pits players against each other, both using the villain dashboards. It feels like there’s a really amazing game here and I just haven’t dedicated the time yet to find it. Perhaps a bit of rules tweaking and house-ruling is required, at least at our skill level. In any case, we had a lot of fun and laughs filming this report. Enjoy!

The rulebook is very over-written and the reference sheets spread out over 4 separate pages, so don’t even try playing this game without my Batman: Gotham City Chronicles rules summary and reference—problems solved!