Moonstone is a great new game that was funded via Kickstarter. In Moonstone two or more rival bands try to harvest as much Moonstone as possible to win the game. Today we are going to have a look at the two player starter set available here.
Moonstone is a game for 2-4 players set in the whimsical storybook world of Tauber. As well as the human population, Tauber is inhabited by Faeries, Goblins, Gnomes, Trolls and Giants hopefully there are more to come soon as well.
The most precious resource known to the inhabitants of Tauber are the Moon Stones. They attain their name due to the way they emerge from the ground. They show up in small clusters at unpredictable locations during the night. Soon, they are dissolved by the emerging sun. An enterprising player can earn a king’s ransom by quickly rooting up the stones at the break of dawn and trading them to the Wizards Guild in the capital. This is where you come in, you must quickly assemble a troupe and head off to collect the moonstone before a rival group does.
The Game Components
Kicking things off with the purchase of a 2-player box set is typically a good way to go in tabletop games for your first time. Moonstone is no different in this respect. Inside this small tomb you will find two troupes of metal miniatures with all the cards required for play. Also included are a selection of dice, a bag of dice and a branded dice bag. As a bonus you also get Friar Flavius and Grub for the humans and the goblins respectively.
The whiteboard marker isn’t anything surprising while the dice included are the only ones you need to play. The dice bag is a nice addition with the moonstone logo on it for keeping all your lose bits, well not so loose.
The rules pamphlet is nicely set out and includes everything you need. It is quite minimalist though, with very little in the way of frills or scenarios. Should you want these you are going to have to get the hardback rule book. Otherwise, you can get started really quickly with the included contents. The rules included are designed to get you playing as quickly as possible. However, I would strongly advise you to get the hardback standalone rule book should you want anything more than a casual game. The actual box itself is decorated with fantastic artwork, but let down by hideous quality of the actual cardboard box. Admittedly, for most this wont be a problem, but if you like to have your boxes displayed proudly this one will be a let down. It also doesn’t add much to the opening experience.
Onto The Miniatures
The models in the box are bursting full of character and flavour, for the most part. Honestly, it’s a little hard for me to sing Grubs praises as I’m not a huge fan of creepy crawlies. An honourable mention at this point to Baron Von Fancyhat from the human faction and Beaky Bobby from the Goblins to my favourite miniatures. Not only for the sculpts which are cool but also for the ridiculously funny names. You get four models from the two main factions. The Humans and the Goblins, I haven’t sunk quite enough time in with the Humans yet but the Goblins are great fun. Just from the outset you have a fairly well balanced force. Setting the game up is a really quick process.
To set up the Moonstones for harvesting you drop an odd number of Moonstone Dice (the D4) in the middle of the board before deployment. This gives some random element to the Moonstones location as you never quite know where they are going to bounce. You also never know how deeply buried the moonstone will be as the number on the Dice is how deep the moonstone is. Each harvest action by a player brings it closer to the surface by one.
My first game was played with just the combat and the moonstone so was a somewhat simplified quick game. Even at that level it plays great. However, in the starter set there are also event and agenda cards. These can be added to the game to inject it with a bit more variety.
The rules play fairly simply with a very unique take on combat, if you enjoy games that aren’t dice reliant then you are going to love combat in moonstone. For this alone its worth a look.
Currently there are only 4 races split between the Commonwealth (Humans and Gnomes) and Dominion (Goblins and Faeries). There are more releases scheduled for the new year so hopefully we’ll some expansions on the current races. Maybe we’ll even see some more introduced!