Mutants and Death Ray Guns

E-Rocker

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A little over a year ago, in a thread about any-minis skirmish games in general, I posted the below about Mutants and Death Ray Guns. I've recently had a chance to get more into the game (solo), so I thought I would start a thread about it.

Yesterday on my lunch break, I rolled up a squad of Wretched and a squad of Robots for Mutants and Death Ray Guns, and got a chance to try the game last night. It was fun, or rather, I see how it will be fun once I have more of the rules committed to memory. According to the rulebook a game typically takes 30-45 minutes, but with it being my first game, and each individual mini having special abilities, and me needing to look up what those special abilities actually do nearly every turn, it took roughly 2 hours, which was a bit long. Also, I kept forgetting which mini was which character & had to tilt the mini up to see what letter I had marked the bottom of the base with.

I don't own much in the way of minis terrain, but conveniently (!), my dining room table was covered in a bunch of junk (books, spice botttles, game boxes, etc.) so I just ruled all that stuff was terrain. Another factor in making the game long, which is entirely my fault, is that I used the table at its full 7-foot-by-3.5-foot size. The table folds down to 3.8 X 3.5 (recommended play area in the rulebook is 3x3), but in order to fold the table down, I would have had to waste precious gaming time putting away some of the junk that was on the table, haha.

The result of the game was, all 7 Wretched got killed and all 5 robots survived. I kind of expected that outcome, as Wretched are pretty weak, but it's also partly because I forgot some significant rules, the biggest one being that any time a high-tech weapon is used, there is supposed to be a roll to see if the weapon malfunctions. The robots would probably have been a little less dominant if they had suffered some malfunctions.

I am eager to try the game again, but I'll probably use a different squad than Wretched.
 

E-Rocker

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So, yeah, Mutants and Death Ray Guns is a post-apocalyptic skirmish game that you can use with any minis you have. I've mainly been using Reaper Bones minis, but there are a few HeroClix and one or two random other types in my warbands. Characters can be one of several types: Pure Humans, Mutants (i.e. Mutated Humans), Mutant Animals, Mutant Plants, Androids, Robots, and Wretched. Wretched are, essentially, zombies.

Character generation is semi-random: you choose a type for your figure, and then roll for Traits, with "Traits" being the game's catch-all term for abilities, mutations, equipment, etc.There's also an optional point-build system included in the back of the book, but the author highly encourages using the random-roll method, and hey, if I can make a character (for any game) without doing math, yay! In other words, I have never used the point-build system.

I do, however, deviate a little from the rulebook: I go with random rolls, but if I end up rolling something that just doesn't make sense for the figure, such as the "two-headed" mutation for a one-headed mini, then I roll again.
 

E-Rocker

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As for stats, each figure just has two numbers, one for Quality, which you need to roll at or over to activate a figure, and one for Combat, which is added to Combat rolls. Besides the numbers, your figure will also have some Traits, the effects of which are detailed in a lengthy section in the second half of the book.

Movement is done using three sticks: Long, Medium, and Short. Most characters have Medium movement. I converted the measurements to American :clown: and rounded off to the nearest inch, so for my games, Short = 3", Medium = 5", and Long = 7".

Combat is done with opposed rolls: in melee combat, both the attacker and defender have a chance of hurting the other. In ranged combat, only the attacker can inflict damage.

The basic rules are pretty simple and fast-playing, especially now that I've got a lot of them committed to memory.

I'll go into more detail about the specific games I played later. I've done two this week, and I have the next one set up and waiting for me when I get home from work today. :smile:
 

Brock Savage

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This game has been on my wishlist for over a year I am just going to buy it now thanks for the review.
 

E-Rocker

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This game has been on my wishlist for over a year I am just going to buy it now thanks for the review.
No problem! I will post more about it as time allows. The version currently out has different cover art than the one I have. I don't know if there were any rules changes in the new printing, or if it's just a different cover.
 

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I'll say more about the rules and how it plays later; for now I wanted to share the stats of my warbands. :smile: First up, we have Team Abbey. Team Abbey has some extra stuff because they have won two scenarios. The rules suggest campaign play, but the campaign rules are pretty harsh on the loser of a scenario. For now, I'm using the campaign rules RAW, but if (or hopefully, when) I get to play versus someone other than myself, I will discuss with them whether or not they want to use campaign rules, and if so, what, if any, tweaks we should make.

Team Abbey

Abbey (Abbey Chase HeroClix figure, from the Danger Girl comic).
Pure Human
Q2+
C2
Leader
Forester
Pistol
NBC Suit
5 food points
(Started with a Defoliant Grenade, but it got used)

Spider-Guy (Spider-Man toy. I don't know where it came from).
Mutant
Q3+
C4
Big (I just gave him "Big" as one of his mutations, rather than rolling for it, because the figure is bigger than my other figures)
Champion
Short Move
Telekinetic Push
Powered Club
5 food points
Pistol

Steelface Skyler (Crusher HeroClix figure. Looks like it was maybe from a Warhammer HeroClix set? Idk, my HeroClix figs all came secondhand in a big bucket, I don't really know much about them).
Skull Hunter (Skull Hunter is a new Type from the Project Simian Ultra X expansion. I'll go into detail about it later. Skull Hunters are essentially Predators from the movie Predator)
Q3+
C4
Big
Holographic Invisibility
Stealth
Forester
Opportunistic
Maverick
Grizzly Trophy
Leap Attack
Solitary Hunter
Defoliant Grenade
(Also started with 2 shuriken, but they got used in one of the scenarios and were not able to be retrieved)
5 food points

Double Mouth, AKA Snakey (CryptWorm HeroClix fig)
Mutated Snake
Q4+
C3
Allure
Amphibious
Dim-Witted
Short Move
Super Leap
Tough
5 food points

Spikey (Reaper Bones Black Armorback Demolitionist figure. Looks kinda like a humanoid armadillo holding a bazooka)
Mutant
Q4+
C3
Photosynthesis
Strong Constitution
Slippery
RPG (the rocket-propelled grenade kind, not the role-playing game kind, haha. Although it would be funny if he was carrying a Dungeon Master's Guide around in the post-apocalypse!)
Genetic Booster
5 food points
 
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E-Rocker

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I don't have much in the way of 3D terrain, so the game I currently have set up (didn't get around to playing it last night) is on OGRE playmat M2 from Steve Jackson Games. It has mountains, forest, dirt, rivers, etc.

The playmat is 2' x 2', rather than the 3' x 3' play-space recommended in the rulebook, but that's fine.
 

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By the way, Mutants and Death Ray Guns is based on the Song of Blades and Heroes engine. Which doesn't really mean anything to me, as I've never played SoB&H, but it could be relevant to someone reading this.
 

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In the last game I played, 3/5ths of Team Abbey, including Abbey herself, got killed before the remaining two were able to retreat off the table. Here are the stats for the new models I'm bringing in to replace the dead characters.

Dino (Dinosaur-shaped eraser I probably got from a museum gift shop as a kid)
Raptor (Raptorz, yes, with a "z," are another new Type from Project Simian Ultra X).
Q3+
C4
Animalistic
Carnivorous Predator
Feeding Frenzy
Insatiable Hunger
Long Move
Pack Hunter

Upkeep: 4 food points, meat only

Blu-Blu (Reaper Bones Crystal Golem figure)
Mutant
Q4+
C3
Gunsmith
Sling
Superior Senses
4 Food Points

Upkeep: 1 food point

Shroomhead (Reaper Bones Fungoid figure)
Mutant
Q4+
C3
Coup de Grace
Steadfast
1 Frenzy Drug
1 Food Point

Upkeep: 1 food point

There are rules that govern which Types will ally with which other types, so RAW, Dino could not actually be on this squad, because "Raptorz never ally with any race they can eat," but I want to use my dinosaur eraser, so I will! :smile:
 
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Atelerix

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It's a great game - I love SoBaH too.

Only thing to watch for is the Quality stat. A 2+ Quality basically gets 2-3 actions each time, and drains the fun out of making the action roll. Similarly, a Quality of 5+ or 6+ is too unreliable - again, no fun.

There seems to be a sweet spot at 3+ and 4+ where you can go safe or take a risk that could go either way, and the game is fun to play.

Advanced SoBaH and later Sgfilioi games (Rogue Stars) turns gives more activation options to mitigate the wonkiness, and the other side can steal initiative. It works better, but takes away from the relative simplicity of the earlier games - for me anyway
 

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Advanced SoBaH and later Sgfilioi games (Rogue Stars) turns gives more activation options to mitigate the wonkiness, and the other side can steal initiative.
I have Rogue Stars, but haven't been able to get into it, more because of the tiny font than the game itself. In general, I prefer dead-tree books, but I guess that's one where I would have been better off buying the pdf so I can adjust the font size.

Yeah, 5+ or 6+ Quality can be a real bummer. When I have poor-Quality models, I try to always keep them in range of the Leader so they get the Leader bonus that lowers their Quality by one.
 

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Project Simian Ultra X adds optional reaction rules: "When your opponent fails one or more Activation rolls, you pick up those dice and may immediately attempt to activate one of your figures DURING HIS TURN." I think I like this rule, but I haven't really used it yet.
 

Atelerix

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Fear and Faith also allowed blocks of zombies a free move.

Rogue Stars needed more work on the book. Basically, roll 10+ on D20 with modifiers (8+ for activation). I think I'd have preferred it as a lighter game, like Sellswords and Spellslingers, but I do like a lot of the rules. Different attack types (fire, electrical, energy) are handled simply but well.

It's a great line of games!
 
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