Putting the ass into Assassinorium Execution Force.
As probable with most people who have bought the Assassinorium Execution Force board game, I got in for the gorgeous new Assassin sculpts and wow, they have not disappointed! Actually as per my usual critique of the new GW kits the quality of the plastic sucks, but the actual design and proportions are much more pleasing on the eye and I can only imagine will be amazing to paint like Forge World's sculpts.
My girlfriend Loz came over last night and was quite excited to give the actual game a go with me, we got the clingwrapped pack of tiles and counters out from the box (I'd just gone straight for the minis) and checked them out for the first time..
The ass in Assassin:
They have printed both sides of each tile in a high resolution semi-gloss finish over the card, the quality is really nice, just as good as FFG puts out... accept... they only printed a map on one side. The back side is actually just plain black, not just 'yeah whatev's' black, but specifically printed in the same finish as the top with a really high DPI, I would have paid a bit more for an alternate temple layout if money was the issue but at $210.00 AUD I figure that much would have covered it?
Despite how miffed I was at this typically HUGE oversight by GW designers, we set everything up and went through a game.
Loz picked up the Callidus (naturally, girl) and Vindicare. I went with the two leftover vagrants of death, the Culexus and Eversor and we deployed to find the Teleportarium and rinse out the Crimson red suit of Terminator Armour from the soon to be pulped Sorcerer Lord inside..
As you would assume the Assassins blaze through the Cultists at any range, the worst chance you seem to get that we saw in our game was a +4 roll to kill, most attacks from the Assassins are launched with modifiers however, or multiple dice so a kill is easy enough to attain.
On the Temples:
The Callidus has a nice mechanic where she can hit-and-run from a phase sword action, sort of giving her the ability to spring past dudes on the board and cover good ground while putting them in the ground. Her crux move of invisibility is also a ripper for the ritual site as you can sneak around the room and get in close enough to the target for the kill.
The Vindicare makes for a great cultist culler, he drops them on a +2 if you stand still or shoot with him for the first action before moving away. Loz had him covering the long hallway in the final third of the board and he was crushing them as they swung past on their patrol routes.
The Culexus rolls around the board predominantly unaffected by the psychic events of the EVENT deck which are usually buffing the renegades while hindering the other assassins in their mission. His damage output to anyone other than the Sorcerer Lord is a little lower than the rest but he still mops up Cultists easily enough.
The Eversor I found had the most utility though with the ability to burn tactical tokens (of which you have 3 for each Assassin) for an extra action each turn, I managed to get him around the board more than anyone else using these for extra movement which allowed us to find the rooms required for the jump much faster.
We punched through the temple, finding the control panel for the teleportation pad in the 4th last searchable room. The mechanic is pretty good for the room searching, but the replay ability will probably net a pretty similar result for the next games as they use a numerical ranking system on the board and cards to stop you from getting over there too soon. The Cultists and CSM's on alert meant we were drawing 4 event cards per turn for most of the second half of the game which further slowed the Assassins and buffed the Renegades, though they still couldn't put a wound on an Assassin before we jumped over to the ritual site.
We got there on turn 9 and immediately I charged the Eversor in for his final bit of glory, triggering his bio-meltdown mechanic to kill himself and put wounds on the 2 CSM's closest to the teleporter and the Sorcerer Lord in the process. The Culexus would have been the next most deadly vs. the Sorcerer but he and the Vindicare were waylaid by CSM's blocking the closest doorway. Meanwhile Loz slipped the Callidus around all the comotion and in through the back door to put the Sorcerer down like the traitorous scum he was.
To the Sorcerers credit, he did hit her with a melta-gun round as she entered the room, but with no ID rules she chopped him to pieces using her tactical advantage tokens by re-rolling the phase sword hits on what would be our final game turn, 11.
The game was fun and there is enough depth (through the event cards mostly) to give it a few more goes as a couple but with a limited amount of variety built in to the set, you'd be better off buying this with the models in mind as it's definitely not got the depth of your typical FFG masterpiece. We did enjoy it though and I can see it as a nice way to get people in to tabletop with the cool looking minis and the ability to explain how this would go down in 40k differently.