Saturday, April 7, 2012

Product Review: Special Operations: KILLZONE Cards!

In what is probably going to be the very first, official review of Brian's (you know, the glorious man from A Gentleman's Ones?) ultra-mega-spiffy supplement cards for Special Operations: KILLZONE, I'm going to cover the cards and show you some cool shots of the actual product. I think I'm the first person to actually get his grubby hands on the new cards!

Information about the cards, tokens and the various sets + how to ORDER

Today I took the train to Brian's house for some needed hobby-time (and by hobby-time I mean working on the super secret tables that we are building for the Special Operations: KILLZONE at Adepticon.. all 10 of them!) and the good man managed to surprise me with the newly-arrived cards for SO: KILLZONE. The box was gutted literally in front of me with a letter-opener like a Cornish game hen and inside were dozens upon dozens of neat-looking card boxes. Check 'em out:

Left to right: The Basic Card Set; The Full Operative Set

Before the invention of the Tuckbox™
there was only Chaos.
The first neat thing about the cards are the boxes Tuckboxes. Last year's version of the cards looked pretty good, but were easy to misplace and lose because they didn't have a box, and rubber-bands are just not an option. With the addition of the brand-spankin'-new Tuckbox™ accessory your cards will withstand time, wear, tear, the elements of nature AND even Chernobylesque levels of radiation. But just to be safe, don't count on the cards surviving all the way to the 41st millennium.. They are just cards, after all. The current, basic variation Tuckbox™ will provide basic protection. 
 For new, improved qualities expect the iTuck. Coming out in 2013.  

The Basic Card Set comes with a fancy silvery red white and blue stripes, quite possibly to represent the fact that all Special Operations: KILLZONE cards were made in America, Land of the Free, by God Fearin' Merikuns. It even has a sword on it! And if that wasn't worth the $15.00 I guess you also get some cards. 36-card deck + custom Tuckbox: this set includes all of the Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary Mission cards, all of the Fate cards, as well as several blank cards for you to design your own version for any of the above. Each Mission card includes a full description of the mission parameters and deployment. Moreover, the Fate set includes two bonus results not included in the rulebook.    

Magical contents of hope and wonder!
Baby.. got... back...
 The quality of the cards is pretty high. Look at how shiny they are! Fate cards (yellowish), Primary Missions (orange), Secondary Missions (green) and Tertiary Missions (blue) are all color-coded, which discriminates against color-blind people. I'm expecting a law-suit by the end of Adepticon. Watch out, Brian. In all seriousness, though, they look very professional. I would expect similar things from Games Workshop, but probably with some extra (although recycled) artworks. An added extra thing which I LOVE (and I believe the old cards didn't have) are the distinctive backs of the cards. 

The Full Operative Set comes in a stylish black Tuckbox™ with the Special Operations: KILLZONE on it. It will fit inside the pocked of your tuxedo and will match your sunglasses as well, so now you don't have to worry that your clothes won't match your Tuckbox™ for that private party at the Timbuktu Embassy. For $17.50 (only $2.50 more than the less-stylish Basic Card Set) you get 54-card deck + custom Tuckbox: this set has it all. All the Primary Mission Cards appear in triplicate, but with each card offering an alternating deployment for that mission as well as a special card representative of the Night Fight dynamic (who says Special Operations should happen in broad daylight?). Likewise, the Secondary and Tertiary Missions repeat, so that players might conceivably (and unknown to the opponent) draw the same Secondary or Tertiary Mission (tremendous fun). Finally, the Fate set includes two bonus results not included in the rulebook. With this set, you are covered. 

WOW. What a deal! No, it's a steal. That's more cards than a full deck of cards. And there are Night Fight cards, so now rather than drawing a Primary Mission from a pool of 6 cards and having to roll to see if there's going to be Night Fight all you have to do is pick one out of 18 cards. No dice rolling needed. And if you lose a certain Primary card, you have TWO more! But wait a second!? You're wondering what the difference between a normal Primary Mission and a Primary Mission with Night Fight is? Wonder nevermore!

Overall the cards are great and the price I paid was worth it. They definitely make the game go so much faster and you definitely need cards for the Secondaries, Tertiaries and the Fate cards. It just adds to the effect of the game! I can't wait to be the ringer in some games over at Adepticon and use them myself, it will be a blast.

Disclaimer: Although I am directly involved with the rules and terrain-making for Killzone the cards, the design and the entire process of creation, selling, shipping, etc. are Brian's. All the profits go to materials for making tables. I just don't want you to think that I'm advertising myself. 

With that being said.. You know how both card sets include two brand new Fate cards? I can't share them with you because that would be unfair with those who bought the cards, but I think it would be okay to at least share their names. And they are.. "What's That Noise?" and "Thousand Yard Stare". I'm very proud to announce that the "What's That Noise?" one was my idea. ;P And it just so happens to be my favorite.     

EXTRA: I know that Wolves for the Wolf God and A Gentleman's Ones have been pretty silent lately about what the deal with the tables is, what the concepts, themes and schematics are.. etc, etc. It's just.. we've all been super busy and are still actively working on them. Everything is work in progress, but we have a few surprises for you. Now, I'm not sure if I should share this with you, but I don't think Brian would object. 
Here's what I have been workin' on for one of the tables. 

  You know? Just so you're not in the dark..

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