Absolute Beginners

As I wrote in my previous post, the 2.0 KS finds itself in the unusual position of having to appeal to potential backers who already play the game and own a lot of product, and those who are completely new to Relic Knights. That post was focused on how the ‘Questing Knight’ and ‘Relic Knight’ pledge levels could be used to put a wide variety of different cadres on the table, even if they may seem at first glance to be giving a hodge podge of different models that don’t work with each other. If you back at either of those levels, then in addition to the items listed in the pledge level, you will also receive every stretch goal listed as ‘Free’ as well. The more funding is raised, the more free models you will get. If you’re interested in backing and haven’t read the other post then it can be found here.

This post is aimed squarely at those current or potential backers who are completely new to the game, and it aims to lay out some of the list building and game basics. A game of Relic Knights usually takes around 1-2 hours, depending on the size of the game and the experience level of the players. Once you’ve got some games under your belt it should rarely take more than 1.5 hours. It’s usually played on a 3×3 board, though 2×2 and 4×4 are fine for smaller and larger games, and you’ll want lots of terrain to block line of sight and break up movement (not like in the graphic below where it’s all shoved off to the sides to show the minis off).

rk2-starter

The force that you field in a game of RK is known as a cadre. It’s always led by a knight, which comes in two flavours. Relic Knights are those knights which have found their relic, that being the mech they are piloting, whilst Questing Knights have not yet found their relic, and are questing for it. Relic Knights tend to be more powerful than Questing Knights, but they cost more points. There are both RK and QK versions of several of the knights in the game. For example, you can see both versions for Marie-Claude listed amongst the stretch goals on the campaign page. In standard-sized games you will have only one knight, but at larger games you can field two, albeit not two different versions of the same knight.

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A knight always comes with a cypher. In fact, it is the cypher which marks the knight out as being a knight. Cyphers are beings made from pure esper, which is the energy that powers the universe. Think of it like magic, or the Force. It is esper which you will use during the game to power your abilities in the form of the deck of esper cards. When you buy a knight, their cypher comes with them. This is true in terms of buying the actual model, and in terms of list-building. Cyphers are a little limited in what they can do, though all are good esper batteries for their faction. They can’t be killed, but are removed from the table when their knight dies.

All other units are either heroes or minions, and the remainder of your cadre will be rounded out by these models. I discuss the list-building rules in the other post so won’t repeat them here, but all heroes and some minions can be used in multiple factions.

A standard sized game is played at 50pts, and smaller games are played at 35pts. If we take a look at the stat cards for the Bang Bang cadre which comes in the starter box, we can see it comes to exactly 35pts. Bang Bang is 15pts, Mr. Milky has no points cost as he is included with Bang Bang because he is her cypher, Miss Kaylee is 12pts, and the Sundown Enforcers have a cost of 4(2)pts. This means the minimum squad size costs 4pts, and each additional one up to the maximum squad size costs 2pts. Here, the minimum size is one, which is found on the back of the card, there are three in the squad, and so it costs 8pts.

bang bang

It would only take the addition of one or two more units to make that Bang Bang cadre into a full 50pt cadre. Any leftover points can be spent on boosts to make up the cadre to 50pts. These are represented by tokens, are placed onto the battlefield during deployment, and can provide things such as bonuses to attack, additional armor, or healing.

If there’s anything I haven’t covered that you’d like to know more about, then do feel free to ask in the comments 🙂

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2.0 comes to Kickstarter

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The Kickstarter for Relic Knights 2.0 started last week, and is due to end on March 14th. As it’s for a 2nd edition, it’s in an unusual position for a KS campaign in that it needs to appeal to both existing players, who may already have lot of minis, and completely new players who may not know anything about the game. The approach Ninja Division have taken is to eschew the traditional minis game KS format of allowing pledgers to back for the factions that interest them, in favour of a ‘big box’ format usually found in minis boardgames such as Super Dungeon Explore and Ninja All-Stars, in which all pledgers get the same product, and for which a bulk discount can be applied so everyone gets the best deal possible.

To make that work, they’ve taken advantage of the list-building rules for the Prismatic factions to both give a wide range of minis across all the factions, whilst at the same time providing two fully playable factions with lots of options. If you’re new to the game, or need a refresher, the six main factions in the game are Doctrine, Cerci Speed Circuit, Shattered Sword Paladins, Black Diamond, Noh, and Star Nebular Corsairs. A cadre led by a knight from one of those factions can recruit any hero or minion from the same faction. The Prismatic factions, which are Radiant and Void, work in the same way. A cadre led by a knight from those two factions can also recruit any hero or minion from the same faction.

In addition to this, the Prismatic factions each align with three of the main factions. Radiant aligns with Doctrine, Cerci, and SSP, whilst Void aligns with Black Diamond, Noh, and Corsairs. This allows them to also select any heroes from their aligned factions, though not their minions. It also works in the other direction too, as the aligned factions can select not only Prismatic heroes, but also Prismatic minions too.

The core of the 2.0 KS is a new starter box, which contains cadres for each of the two Prismatic factions. The Radiant cadre comes with Bang Bang (the knight), Mr Milky (her cypher), Miss Kaylee (hero), and the Sundown Enforcers (minions). The Void cadre is Tahariel (knight), Cupid (cypher), Mikhal (hero), and Dark Pinions (minions). This can be got at the $70 ‘Hero’ pledge level along with two Pinup minis, which are only available to those who back during the campaign.

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tahariel

The ‘Questing Knight’ pledge is the sweet spot pledge for this campaign, though. At $130 it gives everything the ‘Hero’ pledge does, plus the 2.0 rulebook, upgrade deck containing 2.0 stat cards for all the 1.0 units, two more minis, and all unlocked stretch goal freebies. For another $20, the ‘Relic Knight’ pledge adds the Void Break expansion book too.

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Bearing in mind that the Prismatic factions can take heroes from their aligned factions, and going off revealed stretch goals at the time of writing, it means the Bang Bang cadre you get in the QK/RK pledge can field any of the following –

  • Miss Kaylee
  • Sundown Enforcers
  • Pinup Fiametta
  • Darkspace Hero of Time Candy
  • Darkspace Jakob
  • Darkspace One Shot
  • Tonnerian Stalker
  • Darkspace Bang Bang
  • Isabeau Durand
  • Darkspace Rhouss Fixers

This is a large amount of options for a full-sized 50pt game. The starter box cadre is 35pts on its own. Nor does this take into account any future unlocked freebies before the campaign ends. For the Tahariel cadre, the QK/RK pledge is currently giving you –

  • Mikhal
  • Dark Pinions
  • Darkspace Hasami
  • Darkspace Squall
  • Squall
  • Darkspace Kisa
  • Darkspace Marikan To
  • Darkspace Delphyne

Slightly fewer options than Radiant, but still ample to give lots of variety in a 50pt Tahariel cadre, and still with plenty of time to add further freebies. Just a quick note on the Darkspace models, they are alternate versions of their regular counterparts and are considered to be a separate unit. It means both Squall and Darkspace Squall can be fielded together in a Void cadre. The only minis currently in the QK/RK pledge you can’t use in either Bang Bang or Tahariel cadres are the Pit Crew, Serpent Priestess, Scribes, and Purifiers, as these are all minion units, and Pinup Marie-Claude, as she’s a questing knight.

If you’re interested in one of the six main factions, the QK/RK pledge gives you plenty of options there too, as long as you add a knight, whether as an add-on during the campaign or one of the 1.0 knights currently on sale. If you want to play Cerci, you already have a knight in your pledge with Pinup Marie-Claude, and her cadre can use –

  • Miss Kaylee
  • Sundown Enforcers
  • Pit Crew
  • Darkspace One Shot
  • Darkspace Hero of Time Candy
  • Darkspace Rhouss Fixers

This should easily be in excess of a 50pt Cerci cadre on its own without needing any add-ons. If you like the look of Harker the Undying, the Corsair relic knight add-on, then adding him to your pledge allows you field a Corsair cadre selecting from the following –

  • Mikhal
  • Dark Pinions
  • Darkspace Marikan To
  • Darkspace Kisa
  • Darkspace Bang Bang
  • Squall

It’s enough to give you several different 50pt Harker cadre builds, all for a single add-on.

UPDATE: The campaign has revealed a Magnus resculpt as an upcoming freebie, which will give you a Black Diamond questing knight for free. This increases the factions you can field just from a QK/RK to four. Magnus will be able to field all heroes and minions from both Black Diamond and Void.

For existing players, the QK/RK pledge also gives two large Prismatic forces, plus many options for the factions you currently play. If you’re committed to only ever playing one of the six main factions then you may find much of the QK/RK pledge is of limited use to you, and it may be better to get either a $1 ‘Void’ pledge, or $25 ‘Pinups Please’ pledge, depending on whether you want the Pinups or not, and then adding your new factions models, upgrade deck and/or 2.0 rulebook to that. Add enough, though, and the QK pledge probably makes more sense even if it costs a little more.

Hopefully this will help current and potential pledgers understand exactly what the pledge levels can offer and how their content can be used. If you haven’t yet seen the KS page, check it out here – https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/sodapopminiatures/relic-knights-2nd-edition/description

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