Sunday, 31 January 2010

Nuclear Renaissance: A Review Part 2!


As promised heres the second part of the review covering the remaining two gangs in the box set, the Ironwall Wasters and the Society Against Mischief and a more in depth look at the rulebook.

The Ironwall Wasters (Left To Right: Juju, Tahir, Scythetar, Ironstrike, Spanny)

The Ironwall Wasters are led by Scythetar, an awesome musician as well as fighter whose bard ability allows him to rally his gang. His weapon of choice is his specially augmented guitar and counts as a large weapon,

Juju was a foundling orphan brought to Ironwall from the wastes and is a skilled tracker. Also the groups medic, Juju has several abilities to allow her to dodge incoming fire (and vehicles!)

Tahir is a skilled mechanic and is charged with keeping the gangs two vehicles in good condition. He also wields an Oxy Torch capable of seriously damaging both vehicles and heavily armoured opponents.

Spanny is the groups second mechanic and jas the Spring Heeled ability allowing her to leap great distances, even from moving vehicles.

Gunthar Ironstrike is one of the dispossessed nobles of the Ironstrike clan. Working as a hired hand, Ironstrike wears a heavy suit of armour and is a skilled close combat opponent.

Orrik is the driver of the larger of the Wasters vehicles, the Stinger. His crew also includes Dunstor the gunner who mans the Engine Cannon.

Karleon is the driver of the Wasters ram vehicle the Stoat. Seen as slightly unhinged by his fellow gangers

The Stinger (comes with two optional barrels for the gun, a double barrel and a gatling style one)

The Stoat

The Wasters two vehicles are the Stoat and the Stinger. Unlike the other two gangs they rely on smaller fast moving vehicles. The Stinger mounts the gangs heavy weapon and its rapid movement will allow it to bring supporting fire to wherever its needed. The Stoat is a dedicated ram vehicle and is used to crush opposing infantry and small vehicles. Im not sure how it will fare against the likes of Grendel but it will be interesting to see!

Next up is the Society Against Mischief!

The Society Against Mischief (Left To Right: Matilda Greystoke, Archibald Trumpton, Thaddeus Borlase Arlington, Fidelia St John Smythe)

The Society is led by Thaddeus Borlase Arlington, a genuine heroic chap. With a plethora of useful skills Thaddeus is an opponent to be wary of. Answering to the Keeper of the Keys of Bandlerd, Jonas Longstock, Thaddeus has formed the society to bring order to the Wastes surrounding the prosperous town.

Archibald Trumpton is the groups mechanic and unlike the rest of the society he roams the battlefield atop his trusty tracked bike Buzzby, His high speed allows him to quickly get to any of the societies vehicles if they break down,

Matilda Greystoke is the groups medic. Although not a great combatant her medicinal skills make her a valuable team member.

Fidelia St John Smythe is the societies sniper and operates from their trusty vehicle the Brass Coffin and is capable of picking off the dreaded unmentionables from great distances.

The Brass Coffin (minus wheels!)

The Brass Coffin itself is driven by Burton (for some reason I imagine him being the societies butler...) Looking much like an armoured traction engine the Brass Coffin has been equipped with transport space allowing it to carry the league members into the fray in relative safety. Also armed with a big ram the Brass Coffin can deal with many undesirables by simply driving over them.

Onto the rulebook!

The rulebook is 69 pages and lavishly illustrated throughout. Combining photos of the Ramshackle range and several illustrations the book is full of inspirational stuff but the rules are what I should be concentrating on!

Handily the book contains both a contents page and an index making referring to specific rules a far more simple process than some other rulesets that I could mention. The first few pages gives a little background to the Nuclear Renaissance setting and is as usual for Ramshackles background fluff an interesting read.

Next comes an explanation of the statistics and profiles and game sequence. The turn consists of three phases, the Dominance phase sees the players rolling to see who activates followed by the action phase where the players take turns activating a single model. Im glad to see that the game has alternating activation rather than the GW way of doing things as it keeps both players involved and interested and adds an extra element to the game. Also it means that there are no more games where one player wins initiative and proceeds to annihilate their opponent without the poor soul being able to do anything in response!

A nice touch in the game is that players can opt to skip a character in their activation. While this passes activation to their opponent it allows you to hold them in reserve and activate them later on wich can give a bit of a tactical advantage.

Finally theres the end phase where players check to see if victory conditions are met and any special rules that apply are checked.

The next section details Actions. In Nuclear Renaissance, models have a number of actions and depending on the difficulty of performing them they may have to roll a dice to see if they succeed or not. For example walking over open ground is easy and doesnt require a test while running over rough terrain is a bit more tricky.

Next up is the shock section. This reflects the perils of fighting in the wasteland such as injuries, close calls and so on and is an interesting game component. It can mean that your character needs to spend actions to remove shock tokens from them in order to do anything and quite nicely adds an element of uncertainty to the game and means that wounds and exciting happenings actually effect how the characters react.

The following sections cover everything from movement to shooting, vehicles to close combat and are all clearly laid out and explained and have some handy examples to make the concepts clearer. This is a great addition to the rulebook as its so simple but missing from many rulesets!

The rule section covers gang and vehicle creation followed by the three sample gangs There are several abilities missing from the previous edition but these and more will be getting added to a forthcoming supplement so worry not! You will still be able to have narcoleptic ginger characters!

The book also contains a reference section at the rear with all the tables, abilities and weapon ranges etc that you could want!

The books layout is also worth mentioning as its clear and readable with lots of examples and explanations which makes following the concepts and rules within far more straightforward!

All in all Im really pleased with my purchase of the box set as it contains just about everything I will need to play the game (apart from some suitable scenery but thats asking a lot!) Hopefully I will get chance to play a game or two over the course of the week once Ive cleaned up the miniatures and glued them together ready for painting!

The background also covers a few new gangs that I will cover at some point too!

All the best!


  1. Looking good. I can't wait to get my copy in the mail. I just played a small 40k cities of death game with my buddy and we both agreed that his table would be just perfect for Nuclear Renaissance.

  2. Hi!

    Im going to attempt a couple of games of Nuclear Renaissance over the weekend so I can get to grips with the rules a bit better!

    Alas it will be using unpainted miniatures but should get my campaign up and running! I suspect its going to be the Giggles Clan up against the Society Against Mischief in a straight on brawl. I will try some scenarios later once Im settled with the rules a bit!

    I will post battle reports here when time allows...

    All the best!

  3. I can't wait to hear about them. I've been reading up the rules a lot in advance of getting my copy of the game and it looks like it will be fun. I can't decide which gang I want to play with the most but it will probably be the Society against mischief. I'll try and get my painting up to maximum speed so the game looks good sooner rather than later.

  4. Great set of articles mate. I'll be ordering my copy first thing in the morning (payday!).

    Ray 'Doc Simian'
    My 15mm Hovel