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Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut






Baltimore, MD

I picked up a copy of Project Pandora: Grim Cargo while I was at a Adepticon. I wanted to see the new Corporation models, and I'd been looking for a good two player game for my girlfriend and I to try.

On the whole, the packaging, models, rulebook, and tiles are all slighly underwhelming. Everything seems slightly shoddier than I'd expect. There are no clips or tabs to hold the room tiles together, and the rule book requires several read throughs to really understand the game. As for the models, they are nicely cast with minimal mold lines or flash, but the level of detail on the corporation is slighly lacking. the Vermyn are incredibly annoying to assemble. Even after cleaning them with soap and water, superglue would not bond very well. It took several tries to glue arms on. Most annoying is that with only two different basic bodies per side, the models end up looking pretty homogenous anyway. I would have greatly perfered black reach style mono-pose models to the false freedom of these multi-part models.

I've primed the models, and I hope to paint them up, at least to a table top standard to show off.

Mantic seems very proud of the materials in Project Pandora (tiles, models), while doing little to push the game mechanics. This is a shame, as after running the starter mission I find the game itself to be nicely balanced with surprising tactical depth.

The game is surprisingly symmetrical at first glance, with the only real difference in stats between the marines and rats being higher armor for the humans and higher speed for the rats. But, and this is a huge but, both sides get rules to make the forces incredibly distinct. The marines get a bonus to their shooting, and also get to (essentially) shoot twice per Vermyn turn. The Vermyn, instead, get to scurry, where they move every model one square at the end of every turn that didn't otherwise act.

Why wouldn't a Vermyn model act? Because unlike a lot of I go, you go, style games, you do not move every model, shoot every model, assault with every model in each turn. Instead, each side gets a pool of tiles that allow a certain number of actions. One tile allows four models to move, another three to shoot, etc. You play one tile per turn, and thus can only perform limited actions in each turn. You can give up your turn to get back all of the used tiles. The Marines "reaction fire" is also a tile, which means that while the marines get to shoot more, they also have fewer turns before they need to restock.

The game becomes very tactical, waiting to use the better tiles, setting up big charges or fire fights. You have decisions to make beyond "what enemy do I shoot."

My girlfriend found the game slighly more confusing than she would like, while I felt its a solid beer and pretzels tactical game. Later missions include more complex rules, maps, and objectives, so I hope that they also provide a fun, balanced challenge.

My Painted Armies
: Co. B, 37th Praetorian IG: 11,000pts
Cygnar: 350pts
KOW Ogres: 4500 points
Loyalist Emperor's Children: 2500 points 
   
Made in gb
Battlefield Tourist





On an Express Elevator to Hell!!

Thanks a lot for the review Polonius! I recently saw this for sale for £25 so think I will have to pick it up, I'm sure a good investment for a couple of evenings entertainment.
What did you think of the replay value? I thought one of the great things about Dwarf King's Hold is that you can play it quite a few times without it getting tiresome. Does the same apply for Pandora?

The game is surprisingly symmetrical at first glance


And as the first post in the new forum section, I'm glad you got the 'first' in there!

Epic 30K&40K! A new players guide, contributors welcome https://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/751316.page
Small but perfectly formed! A Great Crusade Epic 6mm project: https://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/694411.page
Excellent discussion forum & information collection for Epic and other small scale miniatures: http://www.tacticalwargames.net/taccmd/index.php
 
   
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Pigeons in Flight






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Question: why super glue? Aren't the models in Project Pandora plastic?

But yes, many thanks for the review. I am thinking for £30/35 you can't really go wrong with it. But I agree, if it is anything like Dwarf King's Hold. the components won't have the polish that we have come to expect from say GW. But then again, DKH made up for that by being a solid game.

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Made in us
Fixture of Dakka






Sacramento, CA

filbert wrote:Question: why super glue? Aren't the models in Project Pandora plastic?


Restic, only the Forgefathers and Maruaders have plastic kits so far for Warpath.

-Emily Whitehouse| On The Lamb Games
 
   
Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut






Baltimore, MD

Pacific wrote:Thanks a lot for the review Polonius! I recently saw this for sale for £25 so think I will have to pick it up, I'm sure a good investment for a couple of evenings entertainment.
What did you think of the replay value? I thought one of the great things about Dwarf King's Hold is that you can play it quite a few times without it getting tiresome. Does the same apply for Pandora?

The game is surprisingly symmetrical at first glance


And as the first post in the new forum section, I'm glad you got the 'first' in there!


I'm not sure about replay value. We only played the training scenario, and even that only once. there are four more (or is it five) in the basic box, with two very different sides to play. Even with that, that's many hours of play time. There are also options in the later scenarios to take different equiptment, so you can alter slightly the play style.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
filbert wrote:Question: why super glue? Aren't the models in Project Pandora plastic?

But yes, many thanks for the review. I am thinking for £30/35 you can't really go wrong with it. But I agree, if it is anything like Dwarf King's Hold. the components won't have the polish that we have come to expect from say GW. But then again, DKH made up for that by being a solid game.


As Cyporiean pointed out, they are resin plastic, which alas means the worst of both worlds. Relatively poor detail while requiring superglue...

I've looked a lot at Dwaf King's Hold, but my FLGS never got it in, and I've been leery to drop the cash without playing it first. Since Pandora is far better than I expected, play wise, I might go back and give it a chance.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2012/04/30 18:23:42


My Painted Armies
: Co. B, 37th Praetorian IG: 11,000pts
Cygnar: 350pts
KOW Ogres: 4500 points
Loyalist Emperor's Children: 2500 points 
   
Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut






Baltimore, MD

I played the second mission last night, and I have say... I'm really impressed by the tension the game creates. The rules are actually more complex than I realized, with some very fiddly aspects. But... these pay off.

The concept of lighting seems simple. Rooms are normally lit, corridors are normally dark. Rats ignore dark, while marines get -1 dice when shooting into the dark, and -1 dice when fighting in the dark. Rats can start missions with a certain number of dark tiles, and either side can use their speical action token to make a room dark/lit.

Where things get really interesting is that any rat killed in the dark returns as a reinforcement. Only a rat killed in light stays dead.

Playing the second mission with the dark rules, the rat player quickly learned to stay in the shadows, set up flank assaults, and try to lure the marines away from the objective.

Likewise, I found myself setting lone marines as bait to kill rats in the light, or to flush the rats out with shooting.

All in all, it plays very atmospherically.

My Painted Armies
: Co. B, 37th Praetorian IG: 11,000pts
Cygnar: 350pts
KOW Ogres: 4500 points
Loyalist Emperor's Children: 2500 points 
   
Made in gb
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Pigeons in Flight






In my Austin Ambassador Y Reg

Sounds very intriguing - I am definitely interested. Think I will give this a punt when I come back from holiday.

Interesting to know about the Restic - the DKH sprues were all plastic but they were taken directly from the Kings of War armies that they had already produced in plastic anyway. I suppose the nature of a board games means it doesn't make financial sense to produce the minis in plastic.

How do you find the restic beyond the gluing issues? Is it easy to work with, holds the detail and all the jazz?

=====Begin Dakka Geek Code=====
DC:80-S--G+MB+I+Pw40k95+D++A+++/sWD144R+T(S)DM+
======End Dakka Geek Code======

Click here for retro Nintendo reviews

My Project Logs:
30K Death Guard, 30K Imperial Fists

Completed Armies so far (click to view Army Profile):
 
   
Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut






Baltimore, MD

Well, restic is like any other resin, really. Pretty good details, definitly better in the rats than in the marines, although that might be because the rats just have more natural detail.

I started painting the marines, and they're more detailed than I first gave them credit for. The rifles are still, IMO, underdetailed, but the pouches and faces are pretty nice and appear to be painting up well.

I'm not painting the rats, my girlfriend has decided she wants to learn how to paint and is starting with the vermyn. They look good, and have nice detail, although they are horribly tippy.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2012/05/01 13:46:53


My Painted Armies
: Co. B, 37th Praetorian IG: 11,000pts
Cygnar: 350pts
KOW Ogres: 4500 points
Loyalist Emperor's Children: 2500 points 
   
Made in gb
[MOD]
Et In Arcadia Ego





Canterbury

Cheers for this.

I had a nosey at Salute at the demo games they were running and these, from a visual POV, put me off buying it as the tiles did indeed look flimsy and not really very hard wearing at ll. I was a few feet away but they looked kind of cereal packet card thickness which put me off as I was kind of hoping to use the tiles for 40k skirmish games and the like.

Do you think that would still be viable or are the tiles a bit too small and flimsy for this ?

Do you get a lot of leeway with regards to possible layouts and configurations ?

The poor man really has a stake in the country. The rich man hasn't; he can go away to New Guinea in a yacht. The poor have sometimes objected to being governed badly; the rich have always objected to being governed at all
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Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut






Baltimore, MD

The tiles are a plasticized card, so they're reasonably durable. They're definitly not just cereal box thickness in the production models. (I know that at adepticon, the models they demo'd with were metal, not restic).

The range of tiles is actually pretty big. Mabye a dozen rooms and another dozen corriders, with bends, Y's, and crosses. You should be able to come up with plenty of different rooms.

My Painted Armies
: Co. B, 37th Praetorian IG: 11,000pts
Cygnar: 350pts
KOW Ogres: 4500 points
Loyalist Emperor's Children: 2500 points 
   
Made in us
[ADMIN]
President of the Mat Ward Fan Club






Los Angeles, CA

reds8n wrote:Cheers for this.

I had a nosey at Salute at the demo games they were running and these, from a visual POV, put me off buying it as the tiles did indeed look flimsy and not really very hard wearing at ll. I was a few feet away but they looked kind of cereal packet card thickness which put me off as I was kind of hoping to use the tiles for 40k skirmish games and the like.

Do you think that would still be viable or are the tiles a bit too small and flimsy for this ?

Do you get a lot of leeway with regards to possible layouts and configurations ?


I looked at it for a few minutes at Adepticon and I personally kind of felt that the whole scale of the tiles is just a bit too small to use with 40K models, just as the Mantic models are just slightly smaller than their GW equivalents. I think this is definitely true if you've seen and played with the Space Hulk tiles which are much larger overall than the tiles in project pandora.




I play (click on icons to see pics): DQ:70+S++G(FAQ)M++B-I++Pw40k92/f-D+++A+++/areWD104R+T(D)DM+++
yakface's 40K rule #1: Although the rules allow you to use modeling to your advantage, how badly do you need to win your toy soldier games?
yakface's 40K rule #2: Friends don't let friends start a MEQ army.
yakface's 40K rule #3: Codex does not ALWAYS trump the rulebook, so please don't say that!
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