GameSpot: New Range from Tor Gaming!

Today’s GameSpot is a special shout -out for a new company on our distribution list: Tor Gaming!

Tor Gaming are a Sheffield, UK-based company who have made it their mission to create brilliant, original miniatures games with fun and engaging rules and beautiful models. They’re well on their way to completing that mission with their first game, the ‘Stitchpunk’ wargame Relics!

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The Mechanics

Relics is a tabletop wargame set in the world of Relicia, using 30mm miniatures on a 3′ x 3′ board with 4 to 6 terrain pieces.  The average recommended game size is  around 350 points, but Relics is adjustable for both skirmish and army battles, so you can play as big or as small a game as you like! In fact, their open army building system includes unrestricted force composition, so you can build your forces exactly the way you want to!

The game boasts an alternating activation system, similar to the one seen in Malifaux, for example. Players take it in turns to activate a unit’s actions, including melee attacks. A unit only attacks in Melee during its own activation, so the importance of the order in which you activate units is important. Additionally, a fast core combat mechanic keeps the action flowing thick and fast, so combat won’t slow the game down. A single dice roll (D6) is used to hit your opponent, as rolling doubles determine the effectiveness of the attack. Your opponent may get a chance to stop the hits, but if not, hits automatically become damage.

The Story

A vast, magic-torn world with several factions warring for land and the relics hidden within it.

Relicia is a vast planet where territories are constantly contested by the many races living there. War is a common occurrence, and much ancient knowledge from the past has been lost. Many of Relicia’s deepest mysteries still remain hidden. There is much knowledge to gather from texts and architecture left behind by the ancients, and there will always be plenty of brave explorers who are willing to risk life and limb to find them!

The game takes place in the aftermath of a magical cataclysm caused by the botched attempt of the Vaettir to destroy the imperialistic Britanan Empire. The shockwave caused by the failed attack rippled out through Relicia, warping or destroying everything it touched. The Britanan Empire was hit the hardest, suffering enormous losses, though they have since managed to rebuild – somewhat – using rather unorthodox magics. The Vaettir, the most magically gifted of the races, were overcome and twisted by their own spells, becoming a race of elemental beings with an instinctive hatred of all other living creatures – reminders of what they once were. Magic – or Maaj, as it is called – has become a double-edged sword: an indispensible tool for fighting your enemies, but one that is likely to twist or drive mad your own troops as well.

Two of the larger regions on Relicia are Eard and Encartria, and both have been explored in extensive detail. So too has the seemingly insignificant island of Unglandan, due largely to the hostile actions of its most dominant inhabitants. The region of Xanawang, home to the Vaettir, is one of the most hostile regions on the planet, and the landscape is treacherous and unforgiving: it is a strange and confusing place where nothing should be taken at first glance, as elaborate Maaj-illusions can induce madness upon those who would dare venture in. In contrast, the tiny island of Ridendea is a paradise, and along with its inhabitants has seemingly remained uncorrupted by the Maaj. It is not fully understood how Ridendea has managed to remain untouched by the taint, but its existence gives hope to the free peoples of Relicia that there may be other, lesser known pockets of salvation, where they too might be able to rebuild their lost kingdoms.

Another place that appears to have remained unaffected by the Maaj is within the inner earth of Relicia, but who knows what despicable creatures dwell in the darkness there? Needless to say there are few folk who have been brave enough to venture into the core and even less have returned to tell the tale. So far the few horrific creatures that have ventured to the surface from within the inner earth have foul and hideous, and their appearance has brought even more terror to the already crumbling kingdoms of Relicia. It is whispered that among the many mysterious and ancient portals that can be found scattered across Relicia, there are a number of hidden and forbidden portals that lead straight to the very core of the inner kingdom. No one has been able to confirm these rumours, though, as those who may have stumbled upon them presumably never managed to escape them again.

The Factions

The Britanan EmpireBattlebox-and-Beyond-Relics-Britanan-Faction-FS

Humans and their enchanted puppet-soldiers, seeking to invade and conquer!

The tiny island kingdom of Unglandan is the home of the humans of the Britanan Empire. It is the cornerstone of King Jorje’s Empire and is surrounded on all sides by restless, stormy oceans, which have provided them with a very effective barrier of protection. It is near impossible to navigate the tempestuous waves that batter the coasts, and there has been very little outside influence on the humans for hundreds of years. The sea to the south is somewhat calmer, with a few select currents that have proven to be safe, leaving the neighbouring regions of Eard and Encartria accessible to the marauding humans of Britana.

Unglandan is a pale shadow of the glorious society that it once used to be. At the peak of their civilisation, the humans densely covered all of Britana, and millions of town houses and work factories were constructed across the land, along with many other wondrous buildings as Unglandan rapidly grew and became heavily industrialised. One of the most impressive architectures still standing is the Palace of Britana, the current residence of King Jorje. It was built upon the highest point in the land, and though the wars of the past have left it in a terrible state of disrepair, it is still used today. But the damage caused by the Vaettir has scorched the landscape, and the sickly Maaj has collected and festered in pockets of energy that fester until their poison eventually seeps out into the land, corrupting all that it touches.

Even though there are only limited resources available and the strength of the empire has massively decreased over the years, King Jorje is unwilling to sacrifice even the simplest of pleasures. Many of the surviving humans are responsible for the day to day running of the palace and are at the absolute mercy of Jorje and his fanciful whims. The fortunate will find themselves roles in the Britanan military, the most privileged of these positions being the rank of the Loom Master and his apprentices. The loom houses are of vital importance to the empire; constructed during the aftermath of the Great Collapse, they churn out hundreds of puppet soldiers every day and are granted the most powerful protections and wards by the sorcerers and officers of the Royal Academy.

The Orcnarpost-14817-0-79635300-1411377835

A druidic orc race with a strong emphasis on nature and territoriality.

The territory known as Eard is a huge region located in the southwest of Relicia, directly beneath Unglandan. It is the home of the Orcnar, as well as many other indigenous folks who dwell there in small numbers. Its southern coast is lined with a huge range of mountains that extend deep into Encartria in the east, and help to further define the boundaries of the Orcnar from their troublesome Nuem neighbours.

The landscape of Eard is largely unaltered by the Orcnar, and there is a much greater emphasis placed on preserving the natural order of things present here than there is anywhere else in Relicia. Simplicity is one of the key aspects of all things in Orcnar society, and there is clear evidence of this in the design of their buildings. Their approach to warfare is equally as simple, as is their attitude toward technology. It is very rare indeed for the Orcnar to be equipped with anything more than the teeth and claws they were spawned with, but from time to time they will utilise the landscape and its gifts for their own advantage.

The Orcnar worship Eard itself, and make their offerings to the land through ritual blood sacrifice to please and appease it. Eard is a wild and unpredicatable land, and the Orcnar are as affected by its harsh, changeable environment as anyone else. Different tribes have evolved accordingly, depending on their location within Eard.  This, their affinity with the earth, and the surge of Maaj unleashed by the Vaettir, has resulted in many astoundingly different variations of Orcnar.

The Orcnar do not take kindly to strangers. They see Eard as their rightful home and will stop at nothing to defend it. Even the most harmless, peaceful creatures should be wary when travelling through the region.

The Nuema6bf4a1eb0e920d3b14a55934f56fa74

A race of mechanical geniuses who have been twisted and corrupted by exposure to the unknown horrors of the inner dark.

Encartria is the sacred kingdom of the Nuem, and was crafted with the assistance of the Gods themselves! Much has changed since its abandonment long ago, but there is still plenty of knowledge and treasure to be found for those who are willing to look for it.

The Nuem were an industrious people who built many wondrous devices, far superior to anything conceived by the other races, and their understanding of mechanical principles was incredibly advanced. Their arrogance led them to building many garish monuments and statues based upon themselves, often exaggerating their own images to appear more heroic and magnificent than they actually were. The remnants of these statues can still be found scattered across Encartria today.

Much of Encartria fell into disrepair when the Nuem fled down into the darkness as the shockwave unleashed by the Vaettir ravaged the landscape beyond repair. Since re-emerging to the surface, they have proven to be much more elusive than before. Their settlements, even to the largest of their cities, are hidden away in the landscape so well that even up close, the untrained eye would struggle to locate any sign of their existence.

The decadence of the Nuem people – and the depths of depravity to which they have sunk – is the stuff of nightmares. They are unnaturally compelled to inflict the most degrading punishments upon themselves, yet beneath the mindless torment they are each possessed with a superior intellect that borderlines on genius. While pain is a virtue for the Nuem, engineering is an art, and all of them in some way or another contribute to the research and development of their respective guilds. As such, many automaton contraptions accompany the warriors of the Nuem, aiding and assisting them where necessary. Their mechanical contraptions are superior to all other races, and the perfection of their workmanship is instantly recognisable. Since their re-emergence to the surface, the Nuem have been stoking the fires of their furnaces constantly, always striving to create more efficient and elaborate contraptions.

The Vaettir5bc79958af9cee1cdde3755d1005a3ca

Fey creatures twisted by the wild magics they themselves unleashed.

Xanawang is the largest territory in the north of Relicia, and it is ruled and dominated by the dreaded Vaettir. Every strange and astounding thing that is found there is a macabre reflection of its twisted inhabitants and the irreversible damage they have inflicted upon the landscape. It is undoubtedly one of the most hostile regions on the planet, and its treacherous landscape is dangerous and unforgiving. It is a strangely confusing place, and caution should be taken when observing its illusions, else one might fall into a sickening madness. Even the ancient structures the Vaettir so lovingly decorated the landscape with have been unable to escape the taint of the Maaj; the magnificent spires are now twisted unnaturally, disjointed and grotesquely malformed, and shift randomly in a constant state of rearrangement – much like their Vaettir creators.

While it is not uncommon to find ancient portals in other parts of Relicia, Xanawang boasts its own unique gateways that shift and change much like everything else in the region. They flicker faintly in dark places, and only the Vaettir are able to identify them clearly. Their purpose is unknown, but it cannot be anything good – who knows what foul and terrible places they might lead to?

The RidendRidend026

Chivalrous goblins with war chickens!

The island of Ridendea is home to a wide variety of interesting plant and animal life that is no longer found anywhere else in Relicia. As such, a great deal of knowledge can be gained from studying the various species which manage to survive there. One of the most notable species to thrive abundantly upon the island is the Kapolop bird, a species which the Knights of Ridendea have come to form a sort of symbiotic relationship with. The Kapolop are reclusive creatures who spend most of their time dwelling in the upper caverns of the mountains, and can grow to tremendously large sizes. In captivity their growth is somewhat stunted, but the Ridendean Knights do their utmost to ensure their care, and through many long hours of painstaking training they forge an unbreakable bond. Usually their wings are clipped so that they cannot escape, but it does not seem to make them any less useful in battle.

The Ridend people are small in stature, but more than make up for it with their resourcefulness, dedication, and courage. Nearly all Ridendeans aspire to serve in battle, seeking out lives of valour and glory. In battle the Ridend Barons stalk the fields, directing the brave warriors onward into the thick of the fighting. Each accompanied by two of their most loyal Men-at-arms, one bearing the Baron’s own personal Coat of Arms and the other acting as musician, they are an inspiring sight to behold. Such divine oaths of loyalty are commanded by the Ridend Barons that those who swear to serve them will not hesitate to march into certain doom if ordered to do so.

There are many lush forests to be found across the island, and settlements have been built in and around most of them by the industrious Ridend. In the most populated areas there is a great deal of skilful craftsmanship to be found; the towering castles are adorned with Ridendean flamboyance and are often modified to meet the lord’s whims. Ridendean castles can occasionally look rather odd because of this, but the unorthodox styles somehow seem to strangely fit the luscious backdrops of Ridendea. Sadly, the majority of these buildings are beginning to fall into disrepair, as there are not enough hands available to properly maintain them. Besides the home guard, only the elderly and the crippled remain on the island. They do their best, but they are slow and few in numbers, and in all fairness what little productive time they have is usually devoted to crafting new machines and devices to aid their armies.

The C’thu72fc963bf04a2e5008f8f0a1b54ac064_original

A Cthulhu Mythos inspired faction, not yet released.

From the depths of the deepest, darkest swamps of Relicia, the Cult of C’thu emerges, its origins seeped in betrayal of the most heinous kind. Lord C’thu commands his minions from the shadows, whispering his unholy wishes into the eager ears of his chosen avatars. From the glades of the Krakenshearth they plot to bring a terrible plague of madness upon all of Relicia …

Coming soon …

So that’s a quick run-down of the ideas behind Relics, Tor Gaming’s flagship miniatures game. The miniatures are gorgeous and unique, the gameplay is inspired, and the backstory is rich and creepy! You can read more about the game and download the rules to try out for free, on their website. Give it a try, and if you do, let us know what you think!

 

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