There are a lot of fantasy games out there that will have forces of humans, Orcs and all the other races that you expect in a fantasy game. Whereas Twilight looks at things in a slightly different light; the Tolkien based races are gone and a more organic set of races dwell on the face of Anyaral.
The races in the Twilight universe can be linked to creatures that are found on our own planet. I’m not going to look at them in too much detail here because the fun is finding out about all the different races yourself from the books. But if I start with the small Fubarnii, these guys are or were the pray, they have shells on their backs and are best working in numbers. Whereas the Devanu are the hunters, working in packs to strike fast and hard against the Fubarnii, a lot like the way big cats would hunt today. The world in which these races live in is detailed much more in the rulebook and each race has many different factions giving you quite a nice range of forces to use.
As the story has unfolded in the past years we are getting some nice character models that are believed to be gods. These bring a nice twist to the story and make for interesting games. The only thing that is missing in my view is the presence of any chaos/corrupt/evil races. A faction that is just out to kill for the fun of it and is trying to destroy or rule the world I feel is missing in this game.
The main concept is small skirmish size games, raiding parties, baggage trains and defending important figures will be the base for most games. Turns are worked out by drawing a set number of stones from a bag. Each player only has six stones which, when drawn from the bag allows them to activate one figure. Most commanders have skills that will allow you to take an action with more than one figure per stone, but you have to keep these commanders near to the right troops so these actions can happen.
Also in the bag are two combat stones, when these are drawn any figures in base contact can fight. This does mean that when you charge in, you have to hope that a combat stone will follow soon or you could be swamped out by other figures getting the chance to join in before that combat is played out. When the second combat stone is drawn another round of combat is played out, then it’s the end of the turn and all stones are returned back to the bag. This means you don’t know if you can activate all your figures each turn before it ends, so you have to use your activations wisely.
The combat round in twilight is a little more than just rolling dice to see how many times you hit someone, in fact, it uses no dice for the first part. Combat is done using special combat stones, each figure has a combat rating that is used if he’s in combat. Also, each figure has a support rating as well which, if he’s supporting is added to give you a total number of combat stones that you can throw.
Combat stones can only fall two ways, on one side is a symbol and the other is blank. The symbol is a hit and the blank a miss, so each stone will either hit or miss. The symbol on the stone will denote a hit or a block, so once you have worked out how many stones you can throw, you decide how many attack (Erac) and how many block (Oran) stones you are going to throw.
Each block will cancel out a hit, so if you wanted to or need to, you could go all block and try and stop any hits, or if you really needed to kill whatever is in front of you, you could go all out attack. But this would leave you open for a sneaky hit back. If a player has no blocks then that one hit could always get through. But in each round, some figures have special rules to allow them to re-throw some or all stones and lots of other skills to help them in combat.
Any unblocked hits will result in a save needed to stop the figure from taking a wound. As all figures only have one wound this is the do or die tough roll. Most figures have a tough of +5, but the most important ones can have a +3 save with a reroll.
The current rulebook has all the rules and stats from the last two books and a lot more. It outlines the journey of a couple of travellers around Anyaral and showcases the different areas of the world and gives you stats from each area. This book is beautifully laid out and the ongoing fluff is a good read. Speaking to the author about the future for this game he told me that he has big plans. He hopes to release more figures via Kickstarter and explore other areas of Anyaral and is willing to listen to ideas for different creatures and customs from gamers.
I have played this game from the start and really enjoy the combat system. It reminds me a little of the old confrontation system and is a lot better than just having your opponent rolling dice for hits with little you can do about it, with this system you feel you have some control of the outcome. This game really flows and doesn’t take that much to learn the rules. Some games I hate because they are too basic but this one hits the sweet spot in complexity. The Webstore is full of different packs to get you started and allows you to grow your forces with different figures and beasts from each race. There was even a twilight day this year to showcase more of this great game and also the guys will always be at salute showcasing the latest offerings.