Monday, October 26, 2015

Blood Rage - Initial Thoughts

Last week I received a comfortably large box containing my blood rage kickstarter rewards. These arrived the day before Thursday gaming night, giving me a great opportunity to bring it out and play with the group. Since then I've also gotten 2 games in with my wife and feel pretty comfortable with a first look. As with most of my games, I'll wait until I get a solid half-dozen games in before reviewing it.


Cool Mini or Not (CMoN) kickstarters are known for delivering enough miniatures to be nearly disturbing in the volume. Blood Rage does not deliver as many mini's as Zombicide, but still put 84 models on my table. This does not include the very nifty kickstarter exclusive 3D tokens that replace the cardboard counters in the game. All of this was delivered in a single box for the core game, plus 7 additional boxes of various sizes for the expansions. These additional boxed (I'll post pictures with the full review) look like retail release boxes, although considering all the extra's are labeled Kickstart Exclusive they would not normally have a retail release.

This is probably an appropriate place to talk about the kickstarter length for delivery. Overall I am very satisfied with this kickstarter. The communication was acceptable between the end of the campaign and delivery and the shipping was tracked, with notification once the box was in the US shipping system. Original anticipated delivery was September 2015 and I recieved my box and the full compliment of backer rewards mid-October. The only portion of this that was a bit frustrating was CMoN selling the core game (no kickstarter exclusives) at Gencon. This meant I had to watch people who picked up the core game at Gencon play the game for ~2 months prior to my getting my copy.


Blood Rage met my expectations in terms of quality, both on the board and the models. I was expecting the models to be the same material and level of detail as Zombicide models, which they are. The board is a very nice quad-fold board made of a solid material that should hold up well under repeated play. The rules for the game were very easy to read and understand, letting us quickly jump into playing the game while making it quick to search for answers when questions arose. Additionally the game was simple enough that after a single read-through I was able to quickly teach the game to my wife, who picked it up after just a single game. The simplicity of the rules is an excellent sign of solid game design when compared against the depth of tactics and strategy in the game.

Initial Overall Thoughts

I'm enjoying playing Blood Rage, and everyone who's played so far seems to have enjoyed it as well. During our game night we had 2 players form outside our group ask to join us, both having anticipated the game and not had a chance to play. All 4 of us enjoyed our game and picked things up very quickly. The only area that things seemed a bit unbalanced was not drafting our "Gifts of the Gods" cards on turn 1. During the game your supposed to draft these cards but the recommendation is to not do so during the first turn of the first game (to give you a chance to learn about the cards themselves).

Blood Rage plays quickly, clocking in at approximately 30 - 45 minutes with experienced players. I do think the game is better with the expanded selection of Kickstarter Exclusive monsters, adding some really good choices to the game. The exclusive models more than double the monster choices in the game, adding many additional abilities, tactics, and strategies to the game. I'm not sure what CMoN's plans are, but I would hope that alternate retail sculpts for each of these models end up available for sale at a later date.

As mentioned, I enjoyed the game and look forward to playing more.
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