Conquest, part 1

Initial Thoughts

At one time I was a huge fan, and player of GW’s Warhammer Fantasy. I had several armies and the local game store was a hub of activity in the area, with monthly tournaments and several games on every Saturday.

When the game died it was a blow and I sort of got out of tabletop gaming, not only because there was no more Warhammer, but I was knee deep into game design and writing by this point and had little time for anything else.

I though, have been itching to get back into tabletop games, and while I have been playing 40k of late, fantasy is still my first love.

Looking through a free copy of a tabletop game magazine I received through Amazon Prime, I spotted an ad for Conquest. It looked interesting so I did a search on Google for the game and found the publisher’s web site. Looking around there I became more interested and found that Amazon carried a small selection of their models. I took the dive and ordered a copy of the care box, which supplied a large number of figures, a rule book and so other goodies.

Getting the box soon thereafter I found it full of toys.

First off you get plenty of models, more than enough to get started. Para Bellium, the game’s publisher, is doing a slow release, a few models a year, even though they have the stats and rules for all four factions. What you get in the core box is not everything, but enough to get started. The publisher has put out more than enough figures to fill out a full 2,000 point army so you can expand with no problem.

The box also comes with a rule book, a single card for each units in the box and some red dice. You also get six objective markers. What you do not get are the command spares for the units spur or a stand for single characters. You can buy, in the game, leaders and banner holders, which slightly improve the unit’s performance in the game. If you buy the unit in question as an expansion to your model collection, the expansion box comes with a single command spur which allows you to build one or both of these command models. The core box does not come with these spurs, so that’s a disappointment. This then sets you up to either not have such models represented on the table, or you have to go out and buy the kit, which leaves you with extra models you may not need, or with odd numbered units if you add the extra figures on to the table.

Stands for single characters are also not included, nor are they found in the separate purchase of set characters. Large brute sized stands are included in these add on models, but not for normal sized, on foot characters. You can buy more stands, bit still they should include this plastic stand as part of the purchase, not something you have to go out and but separately.

The Figures

32mm is the standard size of the figures in the game. Why? I have no clue. The standard in the market is 28mm, and allows you to proxy figures on to the table to replace models you either do not have or that have not yet been released. As Para Bellium has not released all the figures for the four factions, being able to proxy would have been huge for now while you wait for the next wave of figures for the game.

One advantage of the larger size is painting. You have room to really go to town on these if you want. While the detail of the figures is not super, they are not too bad either. The models themselves are between soft plastic and hard plastic. They can bend and flex, but are stiff enough to hold up to use.

Again 32mm is a bit strange. If you are going to go this large, why not 1/35 scale. You could then use all the great terrain and buildings out there on the market for this scale of figures, as well as other company’s models as proxy’s and bits for modifications. 32mm is just a strange scale to me.

The Game

So if you know me, you know I am a game designer, with hundreds of games to my credit. I know and understand game design. Over all Conquest is a fun system. While I have yet to play it, I have fully read and understand the rules and watched several battle reports on YouTube.

I like the streamline rules, fast play and easy movement. Starting off table is fun and can create some interesting tactical choices. I also like being able to move and charge through you own units. Makes the use of screaming units more effective.

Some rules, as design choices, hit me a bit wrong.

For the most part you need to roll equal to or less than a target number for a success. That’s fine, but it does limit you in the total modifiers you can apply to a roll. You just cannot modify a roll to go below zero. If the target number is to be rolled equal to or higher, you have more options. Again nothing wrong with rolling low, it’s just less effective.

One design element they did fail on is consistency. If the goal is to roll low, then all the goals in the game should be to roll low. This is not the case with Conquest, as some rolls the goal is to roll high. Nothing wrong with mixing the targets, but an elegant game keeps the rolls the same throughout the system.

One rule that needs help is “Broken” units. As it stands now there is not real effect or penalty for bring broken. Sure if the unit is broken again it is removed from the game, but in reality by that point the unit is worthless anyways and has little too no effective use in the game. A better rule would have either been a broken unit cannot perform any actions other than to really, or the unit suffers a -1 to all or some of its stats. This makes the unit less effective but still playable until it rallies.

Conquest is a living system so I have faith the broken rule will be updated eventually.

Other than these issues the game plays fast, is fun and a good set of rules. As factions get more figures play balance issues currently being experienced will disappear.

32mm vs. 28mm
32mm does allow for more details to be added to the figure.

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