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Battle Report Month Battle 2: Conan

Ooooh… Once great men lived here… giants… gods… once, but long ago.

Battle Report Month continues with battle number two – and what’s best in life? A game of Conan between old friends!

I have, it seems, several million skirmish-level battle games in my collection, but I think I’m going to call it and say Conan is my favourite. There’s something so ingenious about the way its mechanics mirror the feel of an action movie. The flow of the game, the way your character’s actions aren’t tied to a strict turn sequence, and the constant push-and-pull of the fatigue system is quite unique. It can jump between elation at being able to pull off incredibly heroic attacks, to despair at running out of steam and being overrun by a bunch of lowly guards or skeletons, all in the space of a turn.

All this is amply demonstrated in this game between Will and I, where I briefly attempt to curtail my usual tactic of ‘let’s jump right in and go for it’ and replace it with ‘take your time and develop a strategy’. Well, that idea lasts for about a turn. Will plunging headlong into the fray result in victory or ignoble defeat? Check out the video, see for yourself – and discover what’s best in life!

Of course, don’t forget to grab the essential Conan rules summary and reference sheets while you’re here.

19 Comments

  • The8thPagan says:

    I have Conan and backed Batman, but dropped out before the end (batcow annoyed me… stupid idea… like putting leo in Joan of Arc).
    Not had chance to play Conan yet (or fully paint it), but your play through looked fun.
    So I did toy with idea of late pledging to Batman, but decided to wait… inevitably it will return to KS for reprint with all the beta testing done and bugs fixed.

    • Conan’s a great game, as you can see. Get it on the table and have a laugh!

      I understand the frustration with these Kickstarter games, but I think you’re perhaps being a little harsh on the companies. Lots of games have bugs and errors in them, even the ones with the longest development time released by the most established companies. Or they’re re-released later in ‘second edition’ versions better than the original (Descent, for example). It’s just the nature of the beast. It doesn’t mean that you can’t still enjoy the games just as much. If there had never been an ‘update’ to Mythic Battles: Pantheon, I never would have known the difference. Out and out printing errors and spelling errors are more annoying, but as a graphic designer, I can tell you they can slip through even after the most scrupulous checking.

  • You dropped out of Batman because they included a silly free figure? Might I suggest just throwing it away if it annoys you that much? 🙂

    • The8thPagan says:

      It was more than batcow, but that was the deal breaker.

      Expensive, not the best villains, too many duplicate heroes/villains, fat-batman, Brexit probably going to stiff me on import… Lots of issues.

  • The8thPagan says:

    I know there are errata to most games, pages of them for RPGs usually.

    However, Kickstarter games seem especially prone to the ‘update to 1.5’ issue. I blame stretch goals. Stuff gets added because rabid backers pester the creator (see batcow above) and so they have to throw rules together. And the more different figures/units added the more scope for game imbalance.

    And get me started on ‘legqcy’ games where you modify the game as you play…

    Chess has lasted a while now without errata…. I know, people tried to ‘improve’ it with variations, but they didn’t.

    Monolith and Cmon (especially cmon) update their rules on regular basis and expect people to buy the upgrades.

    Few years back… FFG released an expansion for Mansions of Madness 1.0 that was seriously flawed. They fixed it and shipped it free to all who asked for it… with a free paperback. That’s how our fix damaged product.

    • Comparing Kickstarter campaigns to chess? Come on 8th …

      CMON sent me the fixed SMOG cards for free. Mythic would have done the same for the update pack (I ended up taking the opportunity to buy the campaign book). Mythic sent me a free printed copy of the rulebook when they updated Conan, and I didn’t even need it, the PDF was absolutely fine. The example you cite for FFG is the only time I can recall them doing such a thing – they just updated all of X-Wing and expect fans to pay a packet for upgrades, for goodness sake! Games Workshop has fiddled with their tabletop wargames for 40 years. There’s simply no such thing as the perfect game that will never be updated. I think coming to terms with that is just part of enjoying this hobby.

      And none of these games are ‘damaged’, they’re perfectly playable. No one is forcing you to update anything. CMON may have done a complete revamp of Rum & Bones, but the original game was still absolutely fine and no one had to buy the new one. Sometimes I think people confuse their own desire for completism with being forced over a barrel by the publishers to part with their money.

      Really, they don’t ‘owe’ us anything. We choose to buy their product, and there’s no implied promise and no expectation by anyone that the game will be perfect and set in stone forever. And as consumers, we choose to confirm that again and again by buying ‘second editions’ and ‘relaunched editions’, because we want the latest thing.

      Expecting perfection is a quick road to constant disappointment, IMHO.

  • The8thPagan says:

    I know… Chess not good example, but I’m not sleeping much and I was tired.
    I don’t expect perfect, but I don’t like being treated as a beta tester and then asked if want to upgrade.
    Pathfinder RPG is going to a second edition and they’re selling the playtest version. FFG did the same with Star Wars RPG I think. I know the pdf is free, but who wants to run a game from a three hundred page playtest document on tablet?

    Plus I’m old and cynical….

    • But – splutter – in what way do you think you’re being treated as a beta tester? The games are absolutely fine. I gave several examples of where minor corrected elements were sent out for free. What exactly is the problem? You’re complaining that publishers are giving out free PDFs of their playtest versions, and yet if they make the game and the fans don’t like something, they’ll whinge about not being allowed in on the playtesting process and having input! As someone who is often involved on the production side of games, I can tell you ALL the fans are never happy, no matter what you do.

      You may not be aware of how complex it is to produce these things, the pressure of the market and the fans, the need for particular production cycles in order to make a decent return, the far greater degree of involvement demanded by fans due to the internet, etc.

      But perhaps we’re getting off topic, we were talking about Monolith and Batman.

      I feel old and cynical too sometimes 8th, but in my experience, the best way to get older and more cynical (very quickly) is to identify as such. We all like a good whinge – listen to me go on about GW prices. But in general, I try to just enjoy the gaming and not worry about this stuff. It’s all still the best fun you can have with your clothes on. 🙂

  • The8thPagan says:

    A lot of games go to Kickstarter with rules still being written. I know moulds cost money , but the rules exist in be mind and word precessor of the creator. They should be the first thing done. Subject to change yes, but basically done.
    You can’t please all of the people, all of the time.
    My knowledge of production is limited, but I do know that you avoid booking time in China during Chinese New year.
    So… Best fun with clothes on… so I assume Will vs Peter has never taken the final fun step :).

    • Well, it’s buyer beware on Kickstarter. Any shonky operator can get on there and ask you for money. Which is why I don’t back publishers without a track record anymore.

      That was clothes ON 8th, clothes ON. Though if some people feel the need to mix their sex lives with their gaming, more power to them. It’s not something we cover here at the EOG! 🙂

  • The8thPagan says:

    This conversation is way off topic…. wanna delete the entire thread?

  • The8thPagan says:

    It barely touches on gaming and probably no interest to anybody, but don’t mind either way.

  • The8thPagan says:

    Sometimes a tapestry is just a big picture of a bloke being shot in the eye by a frenchman.

  • The8thPagan says:

    Did I mention Bayeux? I was referring to Gruumsh One Eye, orc deity of forgotten realms 🙂

  • You got me there! 🙂

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