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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Kingdom Death: Monster - Unboxing and Component Review...

 ** I apologize in advance for the strange intro.  Something strange is going on with Blogger, creating black text on a black background.  I'm really hoping this is an isolated incident.  After the intro, the text reverts to normal.

 After a couple of years of waiting, my copy of Kingdom Death Monster finally arrived!  Don't take my mentioning the wait as a complaint, far from it!  I've been patiently waiting, hoping for the best, and I must say... I'm pretty pleased!  I've decided to do a quick unboxing of what I received, and a general overview of the components.  Please note, this is strictly a look and review of the components, I have not read the rules at all as of writing this, so I cannot comment on general gameplay.  If people request that I do I bit of a gameplay review, I certainly will do so after I get in a few games.  Let's get started...

You saw above, how it arrived, and opening package, you can see that the box fits in well.  The box is pretty massive, about twice the size of my largest game.  The box itself has a strange kind of "satin" texture, and that texture is carried out throughout most of the game components as well...

A quick shot of the back of the box.  It lists the game a "mature", and I'd wholeheartedly agree!

Opening the lid, the first thing you see if this box, which contains all the miniatures.  Opening it up, and you can see just how many come in this set!  Material wise, the minis are a hard plastic, similar to GW's plastics as far as strength and density go.  I'm really happy they went with this material, as opposed to resin.  I despise working with resin, and anymore resin models are a bit of a "deal breaker" for me.  Now, you may have noticed the webpage on the box.  There are no assembly instructions in the box, and at the time of writing this, the website contains a short "intro" but no instructions.  That is a bit of a downside, I'm forced to either wait for instructions, or very carefully see if I can figure out enough of the models to get them assembled for a few intro games.  I'm sure with patience, I can figure it out.  Scale and style wise, the models are interesting.  In terms of scale, the monsters are large, and the people are small.  They are proportionately "true scale", but overall on the small side, meaning it will be difficult to mix them in with other games unless all the models come from KDM.  Style wise, while pretty realistically proportioned, they do have a bit of a cartoony, anime flare to them.

Below the miniatures box, you can start to see the rest of the contents.  Up first, is a couple of game boards and tokens.  The game boards are a type of cardstock, and have the satin texture I mentioned earlier.  The tokens themselves are the typical cardboard game token material, and all punched out really easily, no snags or tears!

Following that, are more tokens of various sizes and the game board itself.  Both are of the typical game token/board material.  The board itself is pretty large, and feels pretty sturdy.

Below that, you can see the rest of the game contents, and the nice little divider below.  I'll start with the contents on the right side of the box...

Here we have a couple of different items:  crafting cards, settlement cards, events, dice, and dividers.  The crafting cards are the same cardstock with the satin finish as the other cards and components.  One thing I did notice about the cards, is that due to the finish, they do tend to stick together a bit.  Not in the "sticky like I spilled something on them sense", more so the finish seems to "grip" the other cards and prevent sliding.  I'm sure it is something that may change with use over time.  The settlement and event cards are larger sized, and feature the same cardstock material as above.  The dividers are of a plain, non-textured cardstock.  The dice are nice as well, featuring a lantern motif, and there are d10'S and special hit location dice too.

Next up, is all the character stuff, paper for keeping track of everything, and special boards for keeping track of gear.  Overall, these at first glance seem to give the game of a bit of an RPG feeling.

Next up, is the rulebook.  It is not your standard rulebook shape, but features that same satin cardstock with the same motif (the Watcher IIRC) as the outside box. Bathe inside is filled with lots of dark, creepy, sketchy, full page images, which definitely give the game it's "mature" rating.  The book itself feels pretty large, coming in at 221 pages, but the first 21 pages simply set up the narrative, plus there are plenty of full page art, and in the back there is a comic book style narrative as well.  Still, there are a lot rules in there, as well as graphics and charts to help explain things along the way.

After the all important rulebook, comes the equally important cards, and there are a lot of different types!  Monster cards, fighting, event, armor and weapon cards, cards detailing terrain, and other cards featuring innovations and disorders.  As with the rest of components, they use the same "grippy" cardstock.  The monster cards or monster decks do feature a number of different cards, all color coordinated, ranging from black, to yellow, from grey, to a tan, and all feature a small graphic to differentiate the monsters as well as the monster's name.  A couple of the other cards, like fighting arts, secret fighting arts, and the hunting events, do feature different colors from the rest to make telling them apart an easy task.  All the other cards, feature a similar black, back design, but within the logo, each individual letter (the "I" in the "innovation" deck, just to use an example) are highlighted, and color coordinated, but are otherwise pretty similar.

And that, is all the game's contents!  I went ahead and snapped a shot of the divider at the bottom.  After sorting through, and breaking apart all the packaging, I've found rough spots for all the cards.  I say "rough spots", because without a diagram to go off of, and without having read the rules or played through any games, I may end up moving the contents around a bit.  On the plus side, there does appear to be plenty of room for future content and components as well!  The only downside, is with all the dividers in place, I cannot get the large box of miniatures back in their original place in the box.  Originally, I had thought about placing some foam trays inside to hold some of the miniatures, but given the large size of monsters, as well as the fact that with it inside, I cannot fully close the box, I think I'll have to stick to my original plan of just using my battlefoam case.

And there you have it!  All in all, I'm really impressed with the overall content, and it was well worth the wait!  The Kickstarter price was an absolute STEAL, and I'm really curious as to the price point at retail, and how that may affect overall sales.  From a standpoint of overall component design, KDM has pulled out all the stops, and I have yet to encounter another game with so much deliberate thought put into its overall design choices and aesthetics.  This truly is a boutique, "top shelf" game!  Now, it's time to start reading through the rules, get as many of models put together as I can while I wait for assembly guides, and get in a few games.  Luckily, I've already got a few gamers lined up to give it try!

Thanks for reading, until next time!


  1. My mate went in on this KS and we unboxed his game last weekend also. There seriously is a crap load of stuff in this box, not to mention the extra minis if you bought in at Survivor pledge level, or ordered extras piece meal. The quality throughout is amazing, the minis being produced by the same Chinese factory that makes both the Wargames Factory and Dreamforge Games lines.

    Like you, I only got to flick through the rulebook, but it was lovely quality and I can't wait to get into the game.

    1. I was able to get the first survivors and white lion built, and have started to play a few solo rounds just to get a feel for the game. So far, it is amazing! I'm really impressed overall. I'm hopefully going to be able to introduce it to a few other players later this week...

      Thanks for stopping by, and taking the time to comment! =)