Krosmaster Arena 2.0 unboxing and review from CMON

Most of the "Arena Battle" games you see these days are odd new fangled online things, with people playing others all around the world from their moms basement and hurling abuse and "noob" comments and such like (sadly a lot of the players I saw, though I do know not all), which is why this genre never really appealed to me, far too competitive and unfriendly..... Well, that is until a version appeared on the tabletop for that sort of thing.....

The World of Twelve is a little planet in the Krosmoz universe that is home to millions of warriors and adventurers who just want a simple life. However, life never stays simple for long as Demons from another dimension are always plucking up these warriors to fight in the arena for their amusement.

In Krosmaster Arena 2.0, players pit their combat skills against one another to earn glory in battle. It will take careful planning and tactical execution for these warriors to come out on top. Players must tap into all of their magical powers and brute strength. It could be the difference between walking out of the arena and being carried out.
It gives the age as 14 and up, which at first you may think odd due to the "cutesy" nature and look of the game, but it is a fairly complex game.  Olivia did get it, but had to have quite a lot of help to get through it, so make sure you know if your younglings can manage it, though of course just because it looks cute does not mean its for kids... this is a cut throat game of battling.  time of 45-60 minutes is probably about right, we went a little longer our first full game, but once the rules are down, and if I did not have to read and explain so much it will be quicker.  It does play 2-4 players though if you are playing 4 players you are playing in teams. Lets see what we have inside......

You get quite a chunk of goodies in here, tokens, special dice, a nice board, and painted minis... yes painted ones!
 you get a really handy guide telling you what all the pieces are for, so you can figure it all out easily.

Very handy in our first few games as we did not know what half of these things did!

 You get 8 models in the box, all really nicely painted and detailed models that just ooze character, it may be slightly crazy Japanese anime "chibi" style character, but that's what adds to the fun of the game, and they are stunning to look at, certainly would not look out of place on a shelf as display pieces.
 Each of the models has its own card, which on side has fantastic character art, and their name, and ont he reverse, all their stats for playing the game.
 Olivia snagged her favourite, I had to make sure she went back in the box afterwards, the model that is, not Olivia.
Now on to the back of the character cards, this is where the meet is....
MP is your move value, and lets you move a square for each Move you spend.
HP is your Health, so  how many points of damage you can take.
Action points determines what attacks or abilities,  you can do that round, and how often.  Each ability on your card has a cost, so you spend that many AP to perform it.

Some characters have built-in skills at the bottom of the card...most of them are pretty basic - an extra armor chance, an extra damage chance, an extra chance to escape, or maybe an extra chance to stop someone from escaping. Each of the characters' attacks have an action point cost, doing a certain amount of damage, within a certain amount of range, or abilities to help you such as dodge and so on.

Combat is fairly simple, there are custom dice, and when your character is in range, spends AP, and rolls one die - if it comes up a hit, you do damage equivalent to the ability you used, you can roll a critical to get more damage. Your opponent gets to roll a die - if it comes up as a shield, it knocks the damage down by one. Straightforward, like most of the rules, its not hard to figure it out, and easy once you know, its the knowing that's the problem, as the text put off Olivia, until she had learned what the symbols meant.

You can also pick up the gold discs that are laying on the board. These allow you to buy gallons of glory, which ultimately win you the game, or buy demonic rewards which do a lot of different things, like increasing your movement and/or action points, boosting your hit points, summoning mini critters to help you and a whole lot more.  you can also grab these from various vendors on the board......

the board.... is lovely.... very nice, and double sided with two different maps.
 These maps are easily laid out into grids, with a square being the unit of measurement for moving and attacking, it also tells you where various items are placed in play, bags of loot, and other goodies....
 I really like how the manual has a series of tutorials in it (kind of like how you find in an online game I suppose! on how to play building you up from the very basics to a full on team arena battle.
 that though is not the best thing.... the fact that these tutorials USE the manual as a mini board is just excellent, as it has all the references right next to you, its lovely high quality thick glossy paper and it gets you learning it very smoothly.
 And builds up in size each time and adds new elements until you have it all figured out.  Combing the manual into the actual tutorial mat is genius and a great new innovation I highly approve of.
 You will spend some time popping out the huge amounts of tokens, and assembling scenery for this game, so make sure you set aside some time first to do it, but it is certainly worth it, as it looks great on the table once its all built.  The components all have the same art style that fits so your battlefield can have items to provide cover, meaning more tactical choices, and look great at the same time as providing "shopping and upgrade" options.
 When we had our first game that was not a rulebook tutorial we didn't use all the scenery (as I had not built it) and Olivia just wanted to get rolling dice and killing my guys.
 The game ends when you either kill all your opponents team or collect a certain amount of GGs
 Olivia had some great dice rolls, sadly for me anyway! and did end up winning by combat, she does like to kill everything in games......
once you have finished playing the game box provides some rather nice inbuilt storage options, as you can see there is still plenty of space left for the rest of the assembled terrain.

Its pretty fast playing once you get going, and have learned the symbols on the dice, there is a whole lot of things you can do, like try to keep your opponent in your zone by locking them down, and you roll off, too, so there are lots of tactical options, its not just a run and brawl game, there are healing options, ranged attacks, spells to boost and buff you, summoned critters that can help lock down enemy characters, in fact there is a whole lot more to the game then the cute art style would at first indicate.  The rules may seem a  bit daunting at first, but do not let them put you off, the innovative tutorial system really leads you gently into the system, and the deeper you go the more depth you will find.  The game will be supported by other character packs as well, to expand the playability of the game, but for the time being you will have more then enough fun with the core set.  Do not be put off by that cute look, this is a pretty deep game, and suitable for all ages, in fact I think it may catch he arena gamer online market, as it does have that vibe, though a lot more friendly at the tabletop, hopefully anyway! which is good, as anything that helps open up the market to more gamers is good, and this covers all the bases from male to female, adults to kids....

Olivia Says.....

I LOVE how cute the models are, they remind of films I like, Totoro, Spirited away, and some things I watch on TV too.  They look so good they are the best thing in the game, and there are girls to choose from who are really tough as well and good at fighting!  It did take a while to learn, and some help from Dad, but its really fun and I think all ages will like it.

You can pick up your own copy for an RRP of £64.99 from your local game store and join the arena fun.

if you liked the sound of this game, check out another game from Cool Mini or Not, that is a great game with plenty of fighting, though a less cute theme with Zombicide


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