Dark Age: Unboxing the Two Player Starter

Let’s crack open Path to Glory, the new 2-Player Starter set for Dark Age.

 

The first thing you’ll find when you pull the top off of the box is an assortment of rules templates and other printed paper items. This six page gatefold printout has enough rules to get new players started.

Also included is a scenario designed to help new players get a feel for the game.

This next item will prove useful to new and experienced players alike: a sheet of templates, markers, rulers, and objectives. I already have a set of the plastic templates from Warsenal, but I’m still glad to have this second set for other players.

Beneath all the paper and cardboard is a nice little tray where we will find the minis.

This photo from the back of the box shows off the awesomeness that is the new Dragyri Ice Caste. Make sure to click the picture to get a larger shot of these amazing sculpts and their paint jobs.

Here are all the pieces for the four Dragyri models. At the top we have two Soul Searchers. On the bottom left it’s a Death’s Device. Last up it’s a Spirit Lord. These are all made of the same or a very similar plastic to what is used in Wrath of Kings. This material doesn’t always hold detail as well as high quality polystyrene and it sometimes has tricky to clean mold lines. On the other hand models made from it are usually in fewer pieces for quicker assembly, and lend themselves to better organic shapes and more natural poses. Having used both polystyrene and this plastic a lot, I find there are things I like and dislike about both kinds.

Here’s a front shot of our first Soul Searcher. I’m really excited about how nice these Dragyri models look.

Here’s a shot from the other side. That musculature looks just as amazing as the resin Shadow Caste I unboxed last summer.

Here’s a close-up of his weird alien face.

Our next Soul Searcher is only a two-piece model. The spear is bent a little bit, but it’s an easy fix. Just hold it under hot water, or take a hair dryer to the arm and spear and bend them back into place after they’ve softened a bit.

Here’s the other side.

And another face close-up.

Next up is the Spirit Lord. This guy has special Focus powers and should be the most fun Dragyri piece to play.

The back.

Close-up of the face.

Our final Dragyri is the very hard-hitting Death’s Device.

Once more, from the back.

I had a really hard time getting this one to focus right, but in the end, that face was too creepy not to use.

These four Dragyri add up to 450 points worth of models. If you’re looking for ways to expand this starter I’d definitely grab some of the Dragyri slave models so you have more pieces on the board to run objectives. I would go with the sling slaves since the only ranged attacks in this force are some of the foci the Spirit Lord can use. He’d rather be in melee anyway.

Now we move on to the Forsaken half of the starter. Here we have St. Isaac in his Ajax suit along with some Controllers and Centipedes. I wrote an article about Isaac about a year and a half ago, and one of the lists I suggested using involved these five models.

And here they are. I wasn’t quite as taken with these guys as I was the Dragyri, but there’s still a lot more to them than what you can really see in the pictures. Plastic is always difficult to photograph since it’s somewhat translucent making some of the detail hard to show. This orange stuff seems to multiply those problems. I went ahead and took pictures anyway. Hopefully when I paint these guys the detail will be easier to see.

First I’ll do the controllers. This picture represents the blister, which has three models. The two-player starter lacks the kneeling fellow on the right.

Like I said, some of the detail is hard to make out with this orange plastic. But if you zoom in, you can make out some tiny bits like the little rivets on his greaves and the vents on the barrel of his gun.

Here’s the same fellow from the other side.

Here’s the other Controller.

Once again from the other side.

Next up are these cool centipede robots.

I think some heat will definitely be needed to bend the legs into the pose you see in the painted photo above.

Here is the rolled up version. Both of these guys are pretty much symmetrical so I’m not going to bother with shots from the other side.

Last up its the saint himself.

With six separate pieces, he’s the most complicated mini of the set.

And here are all the pieces from the other side. I haven’t decided how I’m going to paint these guys yet. I definitely want to go for a kind of weathered look. We’ll see.

You’re also going to need some dice to play with.

And of course cards for everyone as well.

Last of all are these helpful little hearts. These are great wound markers since they are easy to see across the table and can easily be picked up as needed.

Path to Glory is $69.99 and it’s available now.

~ What do you guys think of this new Dark Age starter? Are any new players thinking of getting into the game now that this is available? Are you veterans out there looking to grab it for the templates and resculpted Ice Caste?

  • thereturnofsuppuppers

    With the high standard of painting on the box art, its really disappointing to see the low quality of the sculpts.

    It looks like most of the detail is just painted on to better in house casts.

    • ZeeLobby

      Hrm. Nothing in the painted models seems to be missing in the sculpts. Maybe they just painted them too well?

      • thereturnofsuppuppers

        Its the scratches and hard edges.

        The casts seem to have quite soft less crisp details.

        Its hard to tell, so until I see them side by side, I can’t really say for sure.

        • ZeeLobby

          Usually it requires a layer of undercoat as well. I mean the painting style they use for Dark Age is very anime/dynamic contrast. It adds a lot of hard edges that may have never been hard on the model. I mean that definitely isn’t no simple drybrushing, haha.

    • marxlives

      I have these models, I have painted these models. The non-standard orange and blue plastic makes it hard to see but these sculpts are great and they look awesome when they are painted. CMoN does a great job providing tutorials for the rules but they are very well written and easy to understand.
      Fluff is also an interesting merger of Foundation, Dune, Mad Max, John Carter, and Ancient Astronauts. If you are a sci-fi fan it is actually a joy to read and the story moves forward. Main characters die, even if you can still play them on the tabletop.
      I do like how the starter set is following the path of Warmachine and using colored plastic for the starter set. Great if you are new and don’t like to paint. The rules are tight and and even a decent paint job brings out the models which have a unique aesthetic are stylized without being overly so. I wish this was out when I first started getting into Dark Age because when the standard game is 500-750 points the contents in this set are a steal.

      • thereturnofsuppuppers

        Awesome. That’s really good to know.

        I’ve backed too many indy wargaming projects to later find that the models aren’t as advertised.

        • marxlives

          Dark Age has a pretty amazing history. It started as a discontinued game in the 90’s based on the artwork of Gerald Brom and CMoN has been slow growing it and replacing while expanding the model range. As someone who uses Warmachine as my base large scale game, but plays X-Wing and Malifaux on the side I need my rules to meet these specific criteria:
          1. Must be low model count (to avoid long term cost and painting time to field a force)
          2. Must have easy to learn and remember rules.
          3. Must have great tension.
          4. Models must look good and have a unique aesthetic.
          As someone who plays other side games, Dark Age fills my sci-fi itch. I don’t get to play often (once a month) but when I do I still remember the rules, since they are very fluid, and the cards are an easy reference, and the games are full of tension. That said if you buy the starter and like it, it is worth picking up the scenario cards for you and your opponent by either buying them or ordering them online. The game comes with scenarios but the deck gives you more diversity and the mix of scenarios and objectives is a balancing tool for the game. There are also free rules, objectives, faction rules, cards, and scenarios online if you want to play the game with other models to see if you like it. They are also very active in keeping everything up to date.

  • ZeeLobby

    If only the system wasn’t just clearanced locally. Just too much competition in the skirmish genre these days (WMH, Malifaux, Infinity, Bushido, Frostgrave, etc.). The game looked fun.