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Featured Non-GW System of the Month - July 2010




Dark Age
http://www.dark-age.com/



Contents
  • Foreword
  • Brief Introduction to Dark Age
  • The Creators
  • Background
  • The Game
  • The Miniatures
  • My Rating
Foreword


It has been a long time since the last Featured System article but It's now back and hopefully will live up to everybodies expectations.

Now, you are reading the 'Featured Non-GW System of the Month - July 2010'. This Months chosen system is 'Dark Age'. During this article you will hopefully learn a little bit about the background behind the game, the company that makes it and the game itself as well as having a look at some of the miniatures that make the game what it is.

If there are any comments or criticism about the layout/display of the review or the theme of the review, then please - let your thoughts be known as all Opinions and Ideas will be taken into account and considered to help Improve this Feature.​
Brief Introduction to Dark Age


Dark Age: Genesis is a, fully scaleable, skirmish level wargame played in the 28-33mm scale. Much more can be found in the next 3 sections but I didn't want to repeat myself too much :)

Downloads for certain things may be found on their website on the left handside navigation bar under 'Downloads' - http://www.dark-age.com/main.php



The Creators
Dark Age is designed and developed by Dark Age Games. Dark Age Games is committed in it's intention to make this game the benchmark for overall quality in the industry. With art from the inimitable Brom and Dark Age's own in-house artists, premium quality miniatures from the world's top sculptors such as Werner Klocke, Kevin White, Steve Buddle and Gael Goumon painted by Alexi Z, Arjay, Wappellious and more. A robust and well-tested game engine rounds off the package, developed and expanded over years of hard work and dedication.​
Background

The following is a short introduction to the background of Dark Age courtesy of the Dark Age website. Much more can be found on the internet and mainly, within the rulebook.​


"An abandoned planet, a ruined world, a place where few still remember...[/color]

The world of Dark Age is a world of contradiction. Plasma rifles meet crossbows, laser torches[/color] meet horse-drawn ploughs, and future philosophy meets ancient religion. The inhabitants of our world all share one simple trait, the instinct for survival at any cost:

A politician’s church ruling long abandoned humans with an iron fist.
Self-proclaimed demigods thrusting humanity forward with ancient technology.

An alien race, battling dishonor through warriors’ eyes, defending their adopted home.

Mutated barbarians, thirsting for revenge against those who forsook them.
Vat-spawned nightmares created by a perversion of the evolutionary principle and unleashed by
an insane mother.

And there are others, humanity’s sins risen up against them, an angel fallen through scientific pride, even more secrets held close by a merciless world.[/color]

Welcome to Samaria."[/color]




The Game

Dark Age is a fast paced, bloody skirmish game. Combat is strategic but intuitive and most definitely not for the faint-hearted with the edge normally given to aggressive play. The game utilizes many specific characteristics including...
  • D20s: Dark Age only uses one dice type, the d20. High is bad and low is Good. There are many rules throughout the game to represent the "Law of 1 and 20" so special effects take place when rolling either of those 2 numbers.
  • Action Points (AP): Every Unit has a specific number of Action Points (average is 2) which they can use to perform actions such as Move, Shoot, Make a Close Assault etc.
  • Alternate Unit Activation (AUA): Rather than the usual IGOUGO method, Dark Age uses AUA. Each player moves one Individual or Squad then the next player moves one and so on. When moving a Squad each member within the Squad exhausts their APs before the player moves to the next member.
  • Malfunctions (MAL) : Not everything works very well on the world of Samaria. To take this into account most technology has a MAL number and should you roll over it then are hit by the effects, some of which can be quite devastating.
  • Special Abilities: Dark Age splits up Abilities into 3 categories; Weapon Abilities, Special Abilities and Force Specific Abilities.
    - Weapon Abilities are exactly what they sound like, abilities specific to a weapon rather than the wielder. These include such every day ones as Extreme Damage, Blast and Knock prone through to more unique ones such as Numb, Point Blank and Piercing.
    - Special Abilities are specific to Individuals themselves. Again they include such mainstays as Never Panic, Infiltrate and Hatred through to the more strategic or weird like Command, Nonliving Unit and Major Focus.
    - Force Specific Abilities are inherent abilities of each Faction. These will be expanded on in the Factions section below.
  • Cowardice will not be Tolerated: Like Malfunctions this was a popular idea amongst playtesters. Surviving on Samaria is not for the yellow-bellied and should you show such weakness you are unlikely to be forgiven and tucked up warm in bed. Cowards are dealt with harshly during combat so should a Unit find itself fleeing they should really try hard not to go too near their fellow 'comrades'.
Forces:



"In the mysterious swampland known as the Blackmire, scientists from a United Worlds corporation worked in secret on terrible living weapons. When the UW economy collapsed only the most successful samples were loaded from transport off world. The rest were unceremoniously dumped into the swamp. Most died; one did not."



"Millennia before humans discovered Samaria other space-faring colonists settled upon this unforgiving world. Miners from the Alteghran Empire explored the deep caves and catacombs, extracting the strange crystals that grew there. When an asteroid struck the planet those Alteghrans who survived found themselves trapped on a planet turned stormy and hostile. Seeking shelter they retreated deep underground. There they have remained – until recently."



"When the massive financial engines of the United Worlds collapsed the fringe planets were abandoned almost immediately. The world which would become known as Samaria had never even been officially colonized. Instead it was used as a site for many illegal experiments and working practices or the testing of those discoveries that the mega-corporations wished to keep hidden from their competitors. When the time came it was abandoned without a thought. Only the most important individuals were evacuated before the supplies from off-world were cut off. Of the people left behind those with the greatest will to endure lived, whilst most others died within months. From the survivors arose a new society, one that called itself The Forsaken."



"When the rediscovery of religion swept Samaria like wildfire, those who failed to embrace the new theocracy soon found themselves pushed out. Forced together into a ragged mass of heretics and unbelievers they quickly realised they faced a lifetime of persecution. Unwilling to accept this, and lacking the strength to oppose the budding church, they fled north into the desert known as the Great Expanse. Long ago, in the days of the United Worlds, this area was home to many laboratories where chemicals were designed for military use. The refugees were unlucky to stumble upon one of them and unleash the mutagens still stored inside. This single event was their undoing – and their remaking. The mutations which came about as a result have made them powerful, but also inhumanly mad and savage. Driven on by a thirst for vengeance these tribal cannibals have spread along the Northern Border of the Forsaken lands."


Each new Forcebook released will contain another 2 full Forcelists made up of 2 opposing factions. Every Forcebook will contain everything you need (Except the Core Rulebook) to play that particular Force, all special rules, counters and templates etc. will be included.​
The Miniatures

All miniatures are pewter and range in size from 5mm to over 60mm. All of their miniatures are supplies unpainted.

Here are some example miniatures:​
Skarrd - Bone Doc



Dragyri - Spirit Lord



Forsaken - Saint John



Brood - Mandible



Stockists

Below you can find a list of stores that stock Dark Age products that I know of however I don't know a huge amount of independant stockists so if you know of anymore please do say so so that other viewers can be aware of them.




My Rating

For each System of the Month I will give a rating of what I think the game is like (1 being terrible, 10 being excellent).​
My Rating - 9/10 - Dark Age games have developed a really good system in my honest opinion. Each of the forces have a really well thought out background that bring them together in one way or another. The game plays well with a good system, they have downloads available from their website (which in my opinion every game should have and shouldn't charge people ridiculous amounts like GW). The miniatures look very nice too and are of a nice quality. On top of that, they have some pretty nice bases for sale :wink:.​


Thank you for reading!​
 

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!!FailHammer!! Podcaster
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I've been looking at the mini's from this range off and on for a few years now but this is the first overview I've actually seen of the game system.

Brom's artwork is fantastic too.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Wow, really cool looking models.

It's surprising to see minis we don't stock at work.
I'm actually surprised Wayland don't stock them to be honest when they also stock a few not very well known game systems.

They are cool models though, my favourites are the Skarrd.

Brom's artwork is fantastic too.
It sure is!
 

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Nice review, those are definitely some nice models.

P.S. Jezlad, on IMDb you are down 34% popularity. :biggrin:
 
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