Krosmaster Blast – Ankama – Preview

Theme and What is it?

*Note* Copy of the game provided by the publisher for review purposes.

Krosmaster Blast is a two player game of skirmish combat. Krosmaster is based on the popular Dofus/Wakfu animated series. This collectible game features tactical play, colorful miniatures, and fun characters. Enter the battlefield and attempt to destroy your opponent or gain control of the most arcane power. In the end, only one can win. Will it be you?

Gameplay Mechanics

I know that some people who read this will want to focus on the differences between this and Krosmaster Arena, I’ll cover that in a later section below.

Krosmaster Blast focuses on combat and area control. Victory in the game goes to the first person to defeat one of their opponent’s models or the person who controls the most arcane glyphs at the end of play. This is done through strategic movement, dice based combat, and an action point system.

The game is played in rounds. On your turn you will flip over a Krosmic Favor card and place it in one of two slots. The Favor cards are available to both players on their turn and typically cost one action point to use. You’re allowed to have either of your two Krosmasters use the Favor. In the first two rounds you must place the Favor in an open slot, after that you must cover an existing gift. This gives you the interesting choice of what to keep as much as what to discard. You won’t get access to the Favor you cover, but neither will your opponent. However, if you don’t pay attention and play correctly, then you won’t get to use a Favor either. Deciding what to remove is just as important as what to keep. Krosmic Favors are also used as the games clock. Drawing the last of the ten Favors means that the game is over at the end of the turn.

During your turn you move your figures, use your abilities, and take control of glyphs. Controlling glyphs s important because it’s one of the games win conditions and if you take a glyph on your turn you get control of the Dofus Token. This piece makes the Krosmic Favors cards free for you. Thus being able to take a glyph at the beginning of your turn can free up a large amount of resources. Taking over Glyphs is as simple as moving one of your Krosmasters on to it.

Controlling your Krosmasters is easy too. Each Krosmaster has three attributes, Movement, Health, and Action Points. They also have a selection of abilities. When you activate a character you can move them, use actions and abilities, and take advantage of Krosmic Favors. Abilities have a range and require line of sight. Line of sight is measured from square center to square center. Some of the more powerful abilities require you control a certain number of glyphs.

When attacking an opponent you measure the range and line of sight between the two figures. If the shot is good you roll a custom dice and depending on the roll the results may change. A hit symbol means you do an extra point of damage, a shield means you do one less.

There are some advanced rules that use more of the dice sides and incorporate moving away from opponents. A series of rules add new powers and rules based on the number of glyphs your side controls. I’ll leave these for you to check out on your own.

Initial Impressions

I am a huge fan of Krosmaster. I was super excited about this game and was looking forward to it. I’ve been playing Arena for a couple of years now and have a decent collection. Checking out some of the information online I saw that the rules seemed simplified and I was a little nervous, but was still excited to try this out and see how it went.

Game Build Quality

The copy I have is a prototype in some regards. This meant that I had proxy figures and the rules had to be printed out. However, the bits they do have are enough like existing pieces in rest of the Krosmaster line that I’m confident that these will also be extremely good quality. I can’t see why they’d choose to lower the production of the game. 

Artistic Direction

I love the art in this game. The chibi (cute with oversized head) style of the figures pops on the table. The card art fits well. Everything is bright and colorful. I’m a huge fan.

Fun Factor

This is very much a beginner miniatures combat game. If you’re looking for a way to introduce people into minis gaming this is a good place to start. The rules are quick and easy, the games are short, and the tactics can be pretty straight forward.

That said there can be a ton of depth in this game. The back and forth of keeping control of the glyphs with gauging which character to activate first is very satisfying when you manage to set up a great combo. 

Age Range & Weight

The box says 10+ and it feels like that’s right, maybe a bit high. I think the rules are simple enough that young children could easily play the game. They may focus on one aspect of the game and ignore the others but they will learn and evolve as they play. I think this would be a great game for kids.

As for weight, I think we have two different ways to look at this. I think this can be a very light weight game of my mini hits yours. However, if you start looking at the interactions of the characters and abilities you can see more depth there. If you’re going for the deep dive into strategy and tactics while looking for combos and setups then you will find a much heavier game. If that’s what you’re looking for I think you could easily go to the high side of mid-weight games.

Comparison

The differences between Blast and Arena aren’t too impactful. I think some people will say they simplified the game but I think streamlining is a better word. For example, in Arena your Krosmasters have an initiative value and models activate in initiative order. In Blast the players take turns, each one activating their models in whatever order they choose. I don’t feel one system is better than the other. I see the tactical play in the initiative system. However, there is an equally deep tactical feel to which model you operate first.

Blast is faster. You can complete a game of Blast in thirty minutes. While Arena can take much longer. There’s no points in Blast, you only use two models. Models in Blast tend to have more health tending to be around sixteen points. This makes sense because you only use two figures and defeating one of your opponent’s models is a way to win the game. This is mostly an appearance thing. In the long run this may be a misconception on my part. The game isn’t out yet and some things are still subject to change. I also know at least one of the first set figures has four health and a couple of tricks to negate a kill.

Dice rolling is different. In Arena when an attack happens both players roll dice. In Blast only the attacking player rolls a single die. To me it feels like the spread of results is about the same in both games. I’m not sure if there is a particular difference in how and what you can roll.

I don’t know if the figures are kross compatible. I hope I can play figures in one or the other. The cards have some differences that make me wonder if I’ll be able to do that. I’ve reached out to the publishers to see and will answer when I hear.

In the end, I think the best description is Blast is a great way to introduce people to the Krosmaster games and Arena is an excellent follow up.

Conclusions

In case it isn’t obvious, I really love Krosmasters. I think Blast is a great addition to the line and am looking forward to playing it when the full game comes out.

This game is simple enough I can play it with my niece and have fun. At the same time, if I play with someone more experience in miniature combat games we will be able to see a different level of strategy. For new or younger players this is going to be my guy hits your guy. They’re going to laugh at the powers and the cute minis and enjoy the time spent on it.

For older players, the game has levels of things you need to pay attention to. Which figure you activate first is very important. When you move onto a glyph, where do you summon minions, and what do you do with the Krosmic Favors. These are all things you need to pay attention to. If you don’t watch what you’re doing it’s easy to cut yourself off and block you figures in a corner of your own making. The board is small and tight with enough terrain that it’ll block you from advancing or shooting if you’re not careful. However you can also use the terrain to force your opponent into an uncomfortable situation. Manipulating the board and the different tokens and spell effects makes for a strong game.

Blast is a very fast intense experience. You have five rounds to kill an opponent’s figure or control more glyphs than they do. You do not have time to hang back or wait, you have to get stuck in right now. This makes the choices you make even more important.

I said it before but will repeat it here that rolling only one die to determine the success of an attack feels different than rolling multiple dice but I think the end results are the same.

I love the models and have fun with the art. I can’t wait for this came to be available to the public.

On the 14th of November Krosmaster Blast is returning to Kickstarter. They’ve revamped the campaign and are putting some new features to the forefront. I haven’t gotten to try any of these new modes or rules but am looking forward to seeing how they roll out. A true four player mode looks to be very interesting. I’ll have a link to the Kickstarter at the top of the page as soon as it’s available.

Originally posted 2018-11-13 13:47:51.