[Hobby] Mantic Empire Of Dust: Actual Build Review

My previous contact with Mantic miniatures has been limited and sweary. After putting together a bunch of their early Ghouls (which, honestly, I wasn’t really enthusiastic about to begin with) and having a miserable time of it, I wrote them off as pound shop Citadel and sacked off a whole edition of WFB rather than have to deal with them again.

Having put together an Empire of Dust army box, two sets of Enslaved Guardians, and the Revenant Champion (in “waving a flag about” configuration), I have… not exactly and completely made my peace with Mantic, but I’ve found them no worse than others in a lot of ways.

I’ll work my way through the contents in order of assembly and have a good gripe about the bits that weren’t good. I’m a French-dictation kind of reviewer: everything starts off a 5/5 and for everything that pisses me off I deduct a point.

Skeleton Archers: These were quite fun to do once I’d worked out that specific plastic legs off the sprue needed to go with specific metal bodies (some have a locating lug for the upper body and a slightly chunker back than the skinny ones that slot right into the upper body, no lug required). While I was slightly worried about some of the lunging sideways shooting legs they look neat now they’re done. 4/5.

Skeleton Warriors: Oh no, metal accessories on plastic bodies! These always used to annoy me back in the day and I had to take a little salt break after putting the standard bearer together (still not sure he’s gonna stand up on his own, and I’m starting to think I should have used a metal body).

It took me a while to realise I was slightly short of heads (only eighteen, which means picking some fun options from the plastic sprue) and, as with the Archers, some of the bodies are fussy about which legs they fit onto. These felt like rougher casts too, as I had to shave off some metal and plastic to get them to go together; perhaps putting all the Skeleton legs on bases and then testing all the bodies for fit in turn might have been a better way to go about this, or perhaps Mantic could have stretched a point and put in some instructions?

I do like that their hands are open, and allow for the choice of spear or sword, and I also like the plethora of spears and swords on the sprue, which suits me a lot more than the grab-bag of assorted ‘hand weapons’ GW’s original Skeleton Warriors ended up with. I like my Grave Monarchs to look a bit more orderly and have matching weapons, that’s all. I’m slightly less keen on the historical-style open hands into which the swords have to slot. The plastic ones were OK, but some of the metal ones were a bit tight or crooked, and the arms are so spindly that trying to bend the fingers open exerts too much pressure on the lower arm. I cheated on a few of them and chopped the hilts off the swords, aligning them with the top of the hands. I’ll go back and fill those gaps later on, or eventually. 3/5.

Balefire Catapult: This is where the lack of instructions made me gnash my teeth a couple of times. It wasn’t hard to work out how it should fit together, based on the box image, but the angle of photography on the box images isn’t very clear as an assembly guide. Also, some of the parts on the plastic sprue are a bit… nondescript, and I was very glad that one of my crew could just have a metal body stuck on his legs and call it a day. Also, for a small model it doesn’t half have a lot of bits that overhang bases; I’ve bunged it on a Mantic unit filler that’s about 40mm by 60mm and it’s still poking off in a couple of places. At least they did ship it with a base though, and it was infinitely easier to assemble than the original metal Skull Chucker (at least all the pieces had lugs and sockets), so it’s not too bad. 4/5. 

Pharoah: He was fine. Took me a minute to sit his arms naturally but I’m used to that. My only complaint was not having a proper solid base for him – I fixed it by gluing a flat one from my stash over the socket, but I could easily have filled it with some jank off the Skeleton sprue instead. 4/5.

Cursed High Priest: Take a good look at that whisper-thin white metal staff which has no points of contact with the rest of the miniature and ask yourself how long that’ll last in a figure case. Also, the head doesn’t fit at all snugly on the body; I’m still not sure if it’s cast properly or if I should have cut something off or what. 3/5.

Revenant Champion: It’s 2018. I thought we, as a hobby, were past bullshit like this spindly little shite with his separate arms, hands on flagpole and body. That’s four points of contact, on a metal model so requiring superglue, and all of them have to be aligned perfectly for the pose to look right. One of the worst cases of Privateer Elbow I’ve ever seen, managing to come off with it in both arms. Some liquid green stuff in the one joint I couldn’t quite be arsed with and he’ll look fine, but I’m not happy about this one. I get that they wanted to make a multi part kit but I’d have thrown that idea out and gone for a nice solid two piece job – body and banner. 2/5. 

Enslaved Soldiers: Small gripe: I know Mantic probably uses generic packaging for all its regiments, and the boxes have to be big enough to fit plastic sprues, but every time someone ships me a huge cardboard box full of inflatable fillers and a tiny bag of metal bits at the bottom, I roll my eyes.

Wooden bases? OK, I can live with that, although it does low-key annoy me that not everyone’s at the same basic height. They have tiny feet which don’t sit flush with the sheer, toothless surface of the base, so I had to assemble them upside down and let gravity do a lot of the work for me.

They also have a mild case of Privateer Elbow, but at least it’s only one arm that has to line up with a hand and a shoulder, and at least the shoulders are nice chunky ball and socket jobs with some flexibility to them. Once again, I think I’ve been spoiled by GW plastic sprues where there’d be clearly labelled pairs of limbs that went together; I had to do a bit too much guessing and squinting at lugs, and coupled with their unstable relationship with bases, Teddy ended up leaving the pram a couple of times.

They look weirdly small on their bases – I think because they’re compact and sit fully within the 40mm rather than being all lanky and overhangy like the GW Ushabti. It’s a better design, but it looks slightly off and I’ll have to busy up those bases with something later on. 2/5 for assembly but 4/5 when they’re done, because they do look boss.

Overall: A resoundingly average hobby experience. I want to mess around with these kits some more and see if I can’t kitbash some Skeleton Horsemen, but it’ll depend on what the joints are like on Mantic cavalry kits (whether they have the same peg and lug arrangement as the infantry, and whether or not the heads are separate). I’d really like it if I could order more Guardian bodies and put the spare arms to use.

I’m not sure how well they’ll fare when they’re put in a case – there’s a lot of brittle joins in here – but at least an effort’s been made to keep poses within their base area for the most part, and they annoyed me much less than the Ghouls did, so either Mantic have improved their casting/cutting or I’ve mellowed over the last six years. Either way. 3/5.

 

[WFB] Fantasy Fifth B.I.G. Bash

“Hello, my friends! Yes, yes, hello!

“I see from your frowns that you do not recognise me – truth be told I would not recognise myself, tied upside down to a tree in this gloomy wilderness so far from my humble home. Yet I assure you, it is I – honest Akbar! Yes, yes, that Akbar! Honest Akbar of Honest Akbar’s Discount Machineries and Magics! You have heard of me perhaps? You have heard my claim of over one thousand generals satisfied with the performance of Akbar produce?

“No doubt you are wondering how your old friend and comrade Akbar ended up in this mess, mm? Do not worry. I remember it all. Well, bits of it. The violent bits.

“It all started the day I sold the Wand of Jet. I knew the customer was not to be trusted. The foul texture of his skin – the crack and grumble of his bones – that wild, unkempt beard – I knew him for a student of the dark arts the moment I laid eyes on him. But his gold was good, you see, and Akbar, Honest Akbar… he does not discriminate.

“Yes, yes. Perhaps I should explain.

“As I say, it started the day I sold the Wand of Jet…”

Continue reading “[WFB] Fantasy Fifth B.I.G. Bash”

[Board Games] Actual Play Review: A Study In Emerald; Gormenghast; Dark Deeds

It was tempting to put these out under the ‘Exegesis of Terrible Fiction’ heading. Two out of three of the games we played last weekend in London (either at Erin and Katy’s, or at the inexplicable but pleasing Ludoquist in Croydon) have a bit of a pedigree, y’see…

A Study in Emerald (Treefrog Games)

Based on the award-winning (and cynically award-grubbing) Cthulhu Mythos / Sherlock Holmes crossover fic by Neil Gaiman, A Study In Emerald is another of those literary games by Martin Wallace, aka The Bloke What Did Discworld: Ankh-Morpork – which I’ve also played, and liked despite not being good at it. Unlike Discworld, this one is a deck builder, with area control being a more abstract ‘influence’ mechanic that determines where on the board you can pull your cards from. Like Discworld, I like it despite not being good at it. (It’s a deck builder, so of course I tunnelled in on deck manipulation mechanics instead of actually paying attention to the scores and the dynamics of play.)

Essentially, there are two teams of players – Loyalists, who serve the Great Old Ones that rule over Europe and beyond, and Restorationists, of whom Sherlock Holmes is one, who want the Great Old Ones banished whence they came. However, you don’t actually know who’s a Loyalist and who’s a Restorationist until the game ends, which means it’s one of those “look at what people are doing and try to guess their agenda and hope you’re not screwing with someone who’s actually on your side” jobbies.

Players assign Influence to places and also dispatch Agents, who can be used to assassinate other players’ agents and attempt to blow up the local Great Old One in spectacular self-sacrificing Dynamiter Knight style. Surprisingly few Great Old Ones were blown up on our watch and I think it’s because the game ended rather earlier than we’d expected. There are multiple game over conditions, and it seems pretty easy to trigger one before a satisfying ‘endgame’ state has actually been reached.

For all that I don’t like the short story much, it feels like a safer bet for ‘gamifying’ than the actual Lovecraft, which (as I’m hopefully going to go on about in print before too long) are generally fictions of defeat, where the ‘right’ outcome for the story is a ‘loss’ in game terms. The more dynamic faction vs. faction premise of ‘A Study in Emerald’ makes for something competitive and objective-driven – if the Restorationists drive off the Great Old Ones, they win, and if they don’t, the Loyalists win, and that setup creates a nice bit of ludonarrative harmony rather than the “noodle around and try to avoid becoming a Lovecraft protagonist” affairs I’ve seen elsewhere.

I don’t remember enough to say that this was good or bad. I think I’d rather play Rising Sun, if I wanted to take over the world with giant monsters – the openness of the team allegiance in that game is more pleasing to me – but if we had an odd number of players this would do. And it’s better than Chaos in the Old World, but then so’s colonic irrigation.

Gormenghast: the Board Game (Sophisticated Games)

You might think that a procedurally generated competitive fetch quest game set in the crabb’d, ill-lit and most damnably long corridors of Mervyn Peake’s Gormenghast is right up my particular alley, and you would be spot the fuck on there, mate.

Like the previous title in the pile, Gormenghast: the Board Game involves influence and control – specifically, influencing characters from the novel to go a-wandering around the castle, accumulating items and delivering them to specific locations to fulfil Plot Cards. Get the right person to the right place and it’s worth one victory point; have the right object in the room with them, by fair means or foul, and it’s worth three.

Influencing and moving characters is governed by Action Cards, and those Action Cards will have a “place this much influence” and/or “move a character you control this many rooms” and a “do something else” effect on them.

To complicate matters further, there’s Ritual. Of course there is. Some cards cause a Ritual to trigger; fulfilling a Plot Card always does. When that happens, you roll a d30 (a d30! I haven’t seen those outside Dungeon Crawl Classics!) and consult the Book of Ritual, at which point something weird happens. A room is blocked. A new room is discovered immediately. Everyone draws or loses cards. Some form of embuggerance occurs.

Gormenghast is not, apparently, very popular among serious board gamers, which just goes to show that serious board gamers don’t have the sense of fun the good Lord gave them. Anyone who likes Brass more than they like this needs their soul examined, assuming it can even be found.

Even ruling out my obvious biases, though, this game is heavy enough to demand a mental effort, but light enough that I can play it without fatigue, and I appreciate that.

It’s not perfect – the choices of quotations from the book are often eccentric, both quotations and rules needed a staunch proofread.

The mechanics are prone to both sudden death (“aww, I was about to…” came up in both our trial runs) and control wankery (“so I play this, interrupting that, move him here, then pick that up, fulfil a plot card, roll a ritual which I ignore by playing this, then play this to draw three more, then move him back over there,” and five minutes later when I’m done playing with myself I’m up four Victory Points but everyone else has lost interest.)

Also, the game is very dependent on flavour to make the simple mechanics really enjoyable. First time around we read from the Book of Ritual and did the voices and took the piss out of the characters and it was great. Second time around we were just describing the mechanics as they came up, and the experience was a lot flatter. I’ve noticed this with a lot of literary-adaptation games – if they’re treated as games first and foremost, by people who don’t roleplay or at least chat shit while they’re playing, they tend to become slightly tedious.

So. Gormenghast. Better than it has any right to be, better than its reputation suggests, but absolutely not one that you can play with mechanics-first people who aren’t going to have a Groan at its expense – and that might be where its reputation comes from.

Dark Deeds (Games and Gears)

Andy Chambers co-wrote it, Mark Gibbons illustrated it, and since I grew up on mid-Nineties Warhammer, Dark Deeds already has an easy way to my heart.

It helps that Dark Deeds is actually pretty good. Players are minions of some dark and sinister power that’s trying to take over a vaguely Mitteleuropean Renaissance city in a grim world of perilous adventure. (Sound familiar?) Meeting in the dank corners of the taverns, their dark master has bestowed various and somewhat counter-intuitive instructions on them, and they have to go out into the streets and sneak past (or fight) guards, pick the pockets of ordinary civilians who they’ve heard might be carrying good loot, and assassinate various prominent members of the citizenry.

All of this is executed through a deck of Street cards, which designate who’s out and about tonight, and a deck of Tavern cards, which set the resources and rumours available concerning them. Combat and stealth are both d12 rolls, modified by the loot a player has accumulated, with the key targets – Nemeses – obviously being harder to scrobble, requiring nines or tens or twelves. Successful minion activity accumulates both Victory Points and Suspicion Points, the latter evaporating when the Most Suspicious Minion (the bearer of that large silver coin, which attaches to the largest stack of Suspicion Points on the table) is invariably detained.

Now, it may just be that I seem to be good at Dark Deeds, or that it’s refreshingly uncomplicated, but I like it. It works smoothly, barring a couple of “wait, what are my options here?” moments that anyone who’s played a Chambers-designed game will recognise. It’s not a game you’d get together specifically to play. It’s a brilliant warm up or cool down game for a longer session, I’d imagine, and it’s a jolly little time filler for a couple of dead hours on a too-damn-hot-to-think Sunday evening. I also really like the way the wooden and metal tokens and the little burlap sack feel in the hand, for what that’s worth.

However, it does… play itself, to an extent. As citizens, guards and priority targets move along the Street, what happens to them is governed by the Suspicion points – sure, you can do things to raise or lower Suspicion, or transfer it to other players, but that’s very much governed by what cards you have in hand and what objectives are in play. Especially with two players, Dark Deeds seems to generate foregone conclusions, especially if one player’s had a good run of objectives and hasn’t ended up with a pile of Nemeses sat in front of them, no weaponry worth a damn, and nothing to do but roll a d12 every turn and hopefully get high numbers.

It’s fun, but in the way a one-armed bandit or roulette is fun – put your money down, take your chances, and let the dice fall where they may. Deep it ain’t, but deep ain’t always what I’m looking for.

[WFB] Been Painting: Von Carsteins

Better late than never, eh?

I never owned the original Vlad and Isabella models from 1994. Back when they were current, I was more of a Necrarch man (ah, the follies of youth).

They never had rules in my beloved sixth edition (although it wouldn’t be too hard to cobble together a set: they’d be ‘special’ insofar as Isabella would have a couple of Lahmian powers and Vlad would have more magic items than were strictly proper).

By the time seventh edition rolled around and gave the Von Carstein family some decent rules (finally, you could fit all of them into 2000 points, and there was none of that OH SPECIAL CHARACTERS WHAT A BEARDMONGER talk around either), I was starting to fall out of love with WFB and the models had been superseded anyway.

So, what with one thing and another, there was no need to own them. It’s only in the last year or so that the completionist’s urge has take me and I’ve felt inclined to pick them up.

It’s been a while since I last did any painting (over a year in fact), so the first afternoon was a leisurely “try to remember how this works” affair. Here we can see the end of an hour or so’s work.

Colours were blocked out first, to get a feel for the overall composition, with the diffuseness of my old Bleached Bone and Ghostly Grey serving as early stage highlights on skin and clothes. Mannfred’s been wheeled out to serve as a palette reference: I also took the opportunity to refresh his paint job a bit, livening up his cloak lining and looking for opportunities to put some different colours on him. The goal was to have them looking a little bit better than the rest of the army; not so amazing and modern that they stand out, but good enough that they stand close inspection.

The day after, I started in on highlights.

My old leather jacket has been pressed into service for this bit – it’s worn to an off-white around the edges, and I’m mindful that pure black doesn’t really exist out there in the world, so its combination of brown-black and damage is perfect as a reference. The heavy travelling capes worn by the Von Carsteins all have a spot of edge highlighting to weather them a bit, breaking up those large areas of black and pushing them just over the quality boundary compared to the rough and ready army at large. It’s helped Mannfred’s “two thirds black” colourscheme look a bit less tosh, too.

Finally, there are the deets. The blood on Isabella’s chalice and Vlad’s sword; the gem on the Carstein Ring; everyone’s red eyes; and a bit of black lining on Mannfred’s mouth to put some detail back in.

I’m very happy with Vlad, and… mostly happy… with Isabella. There’s some sort of casting imperfection on one of her fangs, which didn’t show up until highlighting and shading really brought it out. I’m going to leave it there, partly because eighteen year old me left a lot of mould lines and so she’ll fit in nicely with eighteen year old me’s collection, but partly because I like the idea that she wasn’t the flawless beauty the Von Carstein propaganda claims she was. Anyway, check out Vlad’s sneer. That’s worth it, right?

I’ve also livened Mannfred up a bit further with a few layers of purple and grey glaze on his sword and staff, saturating them with Dark Magic (TM). The sword looks OK, but I kinda botched the staff; there are too many layers on there now to fix it without stripping the whole model, and it looks all right. If you squint. From three feet away.

Fortunately, I’m a three-feet-away kind of painter; unfortunately, I’m all about that “bases, faces and implements” approach. Get those elements looking right and the rest is easy. Mannfred’s not quite there. At least we have some new problems with his colour scheme now…

While I was picking out eyes and teeth and so on, I also took the opportunity to doll up my other Vampires in the same style. Of course, under the harsh eye of macrophotography it becomes clear that Margarita’s face needs a tidy up, but the main thing I wanted to show was the edge highlighting and the gold on what was previously undifferentiated black.

All that detail work was doing my crust so I started on the other two Banshees while I was at it. Ethereal stuff makes a nice break from detail work ’cause it’s mostly just slapping glazes together and making sure they don’t go absolutely everywhere.

I wouldn’t do the bases like this if I were painting these models on their own, knowing what I know now, but if you think I’m snapping all my brittle fourteen-year-old kitbashes apart to rebase them, think again, chummy.

The odds of my using all of these together are… well, I could do it in fifth edition, if playing a three thousand point game and not needing a level five wizard to ward off High Elven superiority. I’d be more likely to do it in seventh edition, where Mannfred the Acolyte is around to offer a cheap Loremaster and Vlad is a solid generalist Vampire Lord; he’s not the best at anything except Not Dying, but that’s honestly what I look for in a general. I wouldn’t do it in eighth, I don’t think: like fifth edition, that’s a “you need a level four wizard to handle other level four wizards” deal. Maybe if I can take Count Mannfred and Vlad, but who’d let me do that? Only a yoghurt.

[Board Games] Actual Play Review: Scythe (Stonemaier Games); Rising Sun (Cool Mini Or Not)

I’m starting to get the hang of this board game business, I think – insofar as I’m starting to get a feel for what I actually like. Co-operative games will always be my preference, but if we absolutely must compete, the pure abstraction of the resource/worker placement game where everything’s different coloured cubes or discs and theme is some variant on “yer a capitalist Harry” is not for me.

I feel like I’m into a good hearty territory controller; something with the whiff of a grand strategy vidjagame such as Total War or Civilisation or Crusader Kings about it. Actually engaging in battle is optional – I like a diplomatic solution as much as the next reasonable fellow – but the theme of conquering and claiming an important patch of land speaks to the wargamer in my soul. I also appreciate actual models – they don’t have to be super-sophisticated but if you show me a cube and tell me it’s a worker I’m never going to be that interested.

Both the games I’ve tried in the last ten days, at Croydon’s Ludoquist on either side of a trip to Venice (it was superb, thanks for asking), have struck the right kind of chord in my heart. Neither is quite on Near and Far‘s level – i.e. ‘practically perfect in every way’ – but they’re both up there and they’ve helped me work some things out. They both also strike me as the sort of games it’s worth playing a lot – bedding in on and learning in greater depth than my infrequent voyages into these strange waters have afforded so far. Let’s have a natter about them.

Scythe

 

Scythe is a dieselpunk extravaganza, set in a corner of Eastern Europe that never quite was and involving several factions scrambling to control a huge factory complex and the surrounding resources. You have soldiers, you have mechs, and you have a named character leader with a backstory. Aesthetically, it talks to the Iron Kingdoms fan in me, even before you factor in that one faction (the one I played) is essentially Khador.

I shan’t bother with describing the mechanics, as Stonemaier provide an excellent summary on their site. Instead, I’m going to say that Scythe is one of those rare games I wanted to play again straight away, because it feels learnable in a way that’s sort of familiar to me, probably because of how wargamey it feels. Once the basic mechanics of collecting and using resources are down there’s an immediate sense of “OK so let’s try focusing this next”.

I do have a little beef with Scythe, though.

Firstly: it does the same “draw your playstyle at random” thing Lords of Waterdeep does. It bothers me less here, because you still get to pick your faction and so you have some control over the mechanics available. Rusviets still gon’ Rusviet – they’re still going to have their teleporting trickery and their combat bonuses for workers and their ability to bully across rivers early on. It’s only the precise economy involved – which resources you’ll need to prioritise and which actions you’ll need to select – that changes, and I think that’s more like playing an unusual scenario in a wargame.

Secondly: if you’re not paying very close attention to what everyone’s doing, someone can ‘play with themselves’, ending the game by achieving a bunch of conditions with maximum efficiency and collapsing whatever you’ve spent the last twenty minutes anticipating. I grasp that that’s the point of the game, but it’s one thing to lose because your big gambit didn’t pay off and another to lose because the game ended before your turn.

Despite this, I could see myself getting into Scythe, almost as a substitute for the wargames I don’t have the luxury of playing much these days, and as something that works more smoothly as a scales-to-multiplayer endeavour. I’m going to have a poke through the strategy articles on Start Your Meeples and see how the other factions play (I don’t think “I always play Rusviet” quite aligns with board game etiquette), and then I might venture some spending money on a base set. If nothing else, it’s more likely to see use than the 40K army I started this time last year and have done next to nothing with.

Rising Sun

Rising Sun is a CMON game, so it’s going to have minis: some quite nice plastic jobs which seem to need a level of assembly. They’re one of the things I like. I’m also quite taken with the game’s alliance mechanic: each season of play opens with the opportunity to buddy up with another player, sharing bonuses on the actions you declare and allowing you to amicably resolve conflicts over territory without anyone necessarily having to die. It’s all represented on the table with some nice little yin and yang pieces that sit together, and I think it could make quite an interesting couples’ game (with the ever present option of betrayal on the cards too). Finally, it’s refreshing free of logistics; there are concerns about bringing in currency to pay for things and support one’s endeavours on the battlefield, but there’s no mucking around collected three black cubes and two red cubes before you can get a white cube. If you want to recruit some lads you play the action that lets you recruit some lads and you will get at least some lads for your trouble.

There is some gristle in the gist though. The variable turn sequence is enjoyable – being able to choose from four actions and getting to do something fun on your ally’s turn means there’s a reasonable chance of getting to do something like the thing you wanted to do. However, it is vaguely frustrating in that IF one has constructed a scheme in one’s mind AND one has a fairly inflexible core faction ability AND the right actions refuse to come up THEN you find yourself stalling for a season. With only three seasons to play through, that can spell defeat in a manner quite unsatisfactory.

Games that mutate under my hands and change the structure of the turn don’t sit well with me; I have a strong dislike for Race for the Galaxy and its variants because I’m not good at second-guessing people and rules at the same time. More serious board game people tell me this sort of thing is ‘more strategic’: I disagree. I think it spreads the strategy out differently. I personally appreciate a firm sequence of structure and play so I can concentrate on reading and predicting the opponents’ behaviour, or a firm alliance between the actual players so I can concentrate on understanding the shifting situation.

What I’m saying is: I like my strategy distributed for depth rather than breadth. I also suspect that my level of ‘spergery means I’m always going to get a bit narky at operations that change every turn unless I’m playing something like Fluxx where there’s nothing else to think about; no map placement, no alliances, just focusing on the pure flow of rules.

That said: I’d like to play Rising Sun again. Its potential for fun kingmaking alliances and bizarre gambits outweighs the minor frustration of its inconsistent structure, I think, and it’s probably another of those games that rewards a level of mastery. We certainly found that knowing the autumn card decks in advance would have given us an idea of what sort of approaches to build into during the spring and summer. Perhaps people who are more accustomed to board game conventions than I could read ahead and guess that there might be bonuses for going all in on oni or virtues or similar? I wouldn’t know. I’m still figuring out all this stuff. Where’s the tape measures and why aren’t there dice?