Monday, 2 May 2016

Boxed Game Review - Imperial Knights:Renegade

After nary a boxed game in YEARS from GW we have suddenly had four in just over a year. If that isn’t a change of strategy I don’t know what is. Of course it’s stretching it to say that Renegade is a proper boxed game but nonetheless I have magpied once again, after all a free knight is nothing to be scoffed at.

I’ll apologise in advance because there really isn’t a great deal here to review. As I said, it’s barely a boxed game at all. More a bundled deal with some rules thrown in. So, forgive me as this review will inevitably turn into a treatise on GWS current strategy, why it’s a good thing and maybe even get into the philosophy of what makes a game a game at all. Before we get to that lets have a look at Renegade though.

The first thing you will notice about Renegade is the box is HUGE. After my comments about the rather compact nature of the previous games we have had recently this is quite a pleasant supervise. Especially given the hefty price tag. The box is not any larger in horizontal space than the others so it will stack nicely but it is DOUBLE the depth. Chunky. Other than that it’s not much to look at all, pretty spartan in design and it doesn’t exactly jump off the shelf although the lighter tones used in the cover means it stands out a little more than its predecessors.

There is also, I am sad to report, again a lack of that new box smell. I fear that the heady aromas experienced when opening Necromunda, Space Hulk and even Dreadfleet are gone forever, still things change and let’s face it we don’t buy these things for the smell. Instead the first thing you will see, is as with previous games a LOT of plastic. With the absence of card floor sections there is a veritable sea of plastic sprues facing you as you first open the box. 3 for the knight 4 for the warden and 3 for the scenery. That’s a lot of crack. It’s all big and chunky too but the weight is negated by the lack of card sections so it doesn’t feel especially heavy. No range rulers is a little odd given the nature of the game and only two dice (though that really is all you need) which are plain red and blue. It would have been nice if they could have done something with the dice, an embossed symbol or something would have been a really nice touch. Oh well.

The plastic sprues are identical to those that are in existing kits so there is no point going over those here. The building is a nice touch I suppose but in the grand scheme of things it is actually pretty small, no more than a small ruin compared to the knights. Underneath all the plastic are the knight data cards and the books and transfers. The transfer sheet is really small. Enough to add a bit of decoration to your knights but only a bit. It really is the minimum they could have got away with including, no variant houses. The only new bit is the few renegade decals. The data cards are on VERY thin card, more thick paper to be honest. It’s not a massive problem though and I’ll be laminating mine anyway, for reasons i'll go into in a bit. One thing I will say is that i really wish they had put more effort into making the two Knights a little different as apart from the weapons they are virtually identical.

As far as the books go, well, its an insult to call them books. When I say the assembly manual is thicker than the rule book you get an idea of what I mean. While we are talking about the assembly manual, I must say it is EXCELLENT. Using colour for the first time I am aware of, it shows the different knight classes at the front and then detailed instructions for assembly covering all variants. Its shows you alternate assemblies, glue points, it really is comprehensive. I’m not sure if this is standard having never owned a knight kit but it is so good. Very much needed as the knight is not a simple kit. The rules for the game take up TWO pages. Yep, a double page rule set is all you get. Other than that there are three missions, a minimal amount of fluff (though i did like the fact that it carries on from the Knight codex) and rules for renegade knights in 40k.

So, the rules for the game, such as they are, are based off the WD game a year or so ago when the Stormsurge kit was released. Basically you have three action points a turn which you can use to declare actions, in secretly, before revealing your chosen actions at the same time as your opponent. Each action, walk, snap shot, aimed shot, rotate void shields et al. Each action takes a different amount of action points and each has a different priority, so a snap shot will go off before an aimed one but crucially also before your opponent has a chance to rotate its void shields, whereas an more accurate aimed shot takes time to prepare and therefore goes after shields are rotated. It’s an interesting system and one that promises some tense moments as you try to second guess your opponent.

Assuming you choose to shoot you then choose a location on the knight data card and roll the two dice, one is red one is blue and these represent horizontal and vertical axis. You are aiming for mid-rolls. 3’s and 4’s are good. A snapped shot will ALWAYS scatter, an aimed shot will only ever scatter a little and has a chance to be on target. Once the final location has been determined the knight hit makes a save of 5+ (4+ if you have rotated your shield) Melee weapons never scatter. If the save is passed all well and good, if the save is failed then you take damage according to the weapon profile. Each location has a number of hits points, if all hit points are gone then that location is crippled. Once six locations are crippled the knight is destroyed. It’s a pretty simple rule set. There are a couple of other minor rules like cover and such but on the whole that’s the game. I’ll be laminating my data cards so I can mark off the points with a pen rather than noting them anywhere else. I don’t imagine the game will take that long to play and despite a handful of different missions to play I don’t think this is a game that will be played on a regular basis.

And that is it, that is Renegade. I’m not really sure you can call this much of a game, its a White Dwarf rule set will all existing components bundled up to sell knights. There is next to no effort involved on GWs part, from the lack of range rulers to the very plain and uninteresting included dice. I would say if you already own a couple of knights there is no need to buy the game. It really is just a bundle deal with some rules thrown in to give it the impression of a game release. It reminds me of a superficial version of Adeptus Titanicus.

40K rules for Renegade Knights are included. 

If you want a couple of knights, it is absolutely the best way to do so, effectively you get the standard knight kit for free. It’s a bit cheeky calling it a boxed game and at £120.00 given the amount of ‘game’ there actually is even more so. This is a buy one get one free deal on a knight, nothing more.

AS mentioned this is GWs fourth boxed game release in just over a year. Execution Force, Betrayal at Calth, Overkill and now Renegade, and if rumours are to be believed a flyer based game in a few months. Certainly, i'd not bet against it given the new releases this week. There are also persistent rumours of an Age of Sigmar game So is this a big change of strategy from GW? After all, people are pretty much just buying these boxes for the models not the game itself. Certainly they do represent good value, these splash releases are also insanely popular and with Renegade in particular require next to no development cost. They seem to have somewhat taken over from the campaign boxes that were the in thing a little while back, could it be that these will be a semi regular thing going forward? GW have already resurrected Lost Patrol, a gem from the old GW days, at a very attractive price point. 

And let's not forget that we also have the return of Specialist Games, with Bloodbowl being first and then other fan favourites a bit later. A new Heresy boxed game is due in September too. It's GOOD to see the 'games' back in Games Workshop though as I have said in previous reviews the amount of people that play the games attached to these boxes is very much up for debate. Certainly the good ship seems to be being steered in a much better direction with the boxed games, start collecting boxed sets and even the recent revisions to AoS. This is an age of much promise for the big GW and I’m looking forward to seeing what is to come.

  • Basically buy one get one free for an Imperial Knight 
  • Carries on the fluff from the codex 
  • Reminds me of Adeptus Titanicus 
  • Amazing instruction manual 
  • Great value even at £120 
  • A criminal lack of effort present with all aspects of the game 
  • No variation between the two knights 
  • No range rulers 
  • Basic dice 
  • Barely a game, modified White Dwarf rules.


1 comment:

  1. I just got one of the new orruks (one with the big dragon), and the instructions were also layed out extremely well, with color. Very easy to follow. I hope this is the new pattern for kits to come!