Batman Begins … well, in Leicester anyway.

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So a number of us have been looking at the Batman miniatures game but until this week I hadn’t had a chance to actually try the game itself. Saturday saw the grand opening of a new gaming store over in Loughborough, Weekend Warlords, which a couple of my fellow All Scars have opened (Ash and John, high guys), so I hopped on a bus and headed over.

They had a number of demo games on offer, including the yet to be released Aliens v Predator which looked awesome, but I wanted to take the opportunity to try Batman. I hadn’t taken my own minis with me but the chap running the demo had 2 gangs ready to go, a Batman gang and a Joker gang. I went with Joker.

I had the Arkham Joker along with a handful of his clown goons facing off against Batman and Robin (Damien Wayne).  As we were just playing a demo we didn’t use some of the advanced options but this didn’t detract from the fun.

Although I tried to take Batman out his damn armour kept saving him, but on the last round of the game I had 1 goon in combat with Robin (who was wounded) and Joker and my 2 remaining goons in combat with Batman (I’d lost one clown to a KO).  Every model had been activated except my last one, Mr J himself, so after confirming that you can simply move out of combat, he skipped down the street to where Robin was engaged and promptly gutted the tyke with his poisoned knife 🙂

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Needless to say this merely whetted my appetite and I was eager to try my own League of Shadows gang out. I got the opportunity on Wednesday evening as my regular D&D Encounters game was postponed.

To start I merely aided in rules interpretation while Kurt and Daniel slugged it out. Kurt’s Two-Face gang taking on Daniel’s Arsenal (speedy) and Starling City PD.

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It was a victory for the villains, with Arsenal being taken out by Two-Face himself. Then it was me and Daniel.

We decided to play a bit larger, and use all of my gang. Arkham Ra’s, Nyssa, and the four basic Iron Heights Prisoners (reskinned from Black Gate they will eventually be painted in the grey outfits) faced off against Oliver Queen, Green Arrow, and 3 SCPD officers.

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I took an early hit when I failed to solve a Riddle objective and lost a VP, quickly followed by Pipe thug getting taken down by Green Arrow (despite trying to hide behind a lamppost). Ra’s was knocked down and blinded by Oliver’s flash-bang arrow but luckily his loyal thugs rallied around him and kept the encroaching PD occupied. Eventually the thugs did manage to cause the 2 police officers to be removed as casualties and as Ra’s had ben severely wounded (1 more would take him out) he wisely withdrew to the shadows.

Meanwhile Nyssa had surprised Green Arrow on top of a shipping crate and pursued him across the crate tops. Eventually cornering him as the IH thugs clambered up to aid in pounding the emerald archer into a bloody pile.

We had to call it at the end of round 5 due to needing to head for home and a rough tot-up of VP’s we called it a draw (I have since worked out that I was leading, just, but since Ra’s would most likely have been shot next round I was happy to take a draw).

I’m sure that the more we play and get used to the special skills each of our models has the game will run quicker and smoother. I’m hoping to add the League of Shadows Set 1 shortly (Liam Neeson Ra’s and a trio of ninjas) and this morning saw a sneak peek of the coming Lady Shiva and her trio of female ninjas, so would like to include them too to give more options.

As it stands at present I’m quite liking how the system works, with major characters feeling like big damn heroes (or villains as the case may be) and the henchmen being weak alone but a lot more trouble in numbers.

There’s no information in the main rulebook on campaign play but I would certainly like to see something released along the lines of territorial bonuses, expansion from earning XP/VP’s in previous battles perhaps.

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