Warlord Games - The SilenceBookmark and Share

Monday, 20 November 2017 - Reviewed by Simon Moore
Warlord Games: The Silence (cover) (Credit: Warlord Games)
Warlord Games
Released November 2016

Described by Matt Smith, the Eleventh Doctor, as "…the best monsters since the Weeping Angels” and “certainly some of the scariest" in the television show’s history, the Silence have surely terrified many a ten-year-old since their first appearance in Steven Moffat’s 2011 serial “The Impossible Astronaut”. Indeed, the gaunt, gangly ghoulish species who have manipulated mankind “since the Wheel and the Fire”, probably had many a petrified parent joining their nipper behind their living room sofa.

As a result, it should be no great surprise that “Warlord Games” have released a boxed pack of three 38mm scale metal models based upon the mouthless extra-terrestrials as one of their first expansions for their “Doctor Who: Exterminate!” miniatures game. Nor that they seem to have gone to quite extraordinary lengths using BBC material to precisely duplicate the “genetically engineered” confessional priests’ most memorable poses; with the Silent “absorbing electrical energy from the air” and then “discharging it from their hands” genuinely capturing all the sinister power of the alien as its about to obliterate its prey.

From a painting perspective this trio of figures really should prove a straightforward project on account of their television counter-parts being predominantly black and “Warlord Games” providing a simple palette guide for the Silence on their “Into The Time Vortex” website. In addition, the miniatures have been so well sculpted that a quick dry-brush of charcoal or dark grey should very easily highlight all their suits’ crinkles, creases and folds without any real effort whatsoever. Admittedly, I personally had a bit of a struggle to pick out each monster’s stained collar and shirt as they peek out beneath the creatures’ bulbous heads, but such difficulties are undoubtedly down to my own lack of skill with a fine-tipped paintbrush as opposed to any flaw with these models’ excellent detail.

Spookily though, there will be those who buy this product that will become a little disappointed that its delightful box doesn’t also contain the official Silence Recruitment and Adventure cards for the “Doctor Who: Exterminate!” rule-set. As with the Judoon, such rather crucial cards currently can only be found within the miniature game’s starter set, and is something which the more vocal followers of the tabletop game have repeatedly voiced their displeasure over. Impressively, “Warlord Games” have responded to this feedback by slowly publishing such essential statistical data as PDFs for their most recent products yet presently, the Silence cards “Hypnosis”, “Electrical Discharge”, “Enhanced Strength”, “Adapted Tech” and “Distraction” still aren’t available digitally.

Those wargamers wishing to use the Silence to their full potential will also need to buy a couple of extra boxes of miniatures, depending on whether they want to utilise the faction’s “Silent Reinforcements” Adventure card; which under certain conditions allows a player to bring on a further three Silents. For those happy to simply deploy a basic force however, just six models should suffice and, coupled with the ability to ‘bend/re-adjust’ the odd figure’s arm here and there with nothing more than a little gentle pressure, will allow enough pose diversity for a Silent Leader, two Silent Veterans and three Silents.

FILTER: - Games

Warlord - JudoonBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 14 November 2017 - Reviewed by Simon Moore
Warlord Games: Judoon (cover) (Credit: Warlord Games)

Warlord Games
Released October 2016

Undoubtedly one of the highlights of Russell T Davies’ March 2007 television story “Smith And Jones” was its introduction of the Judoon upon an unsuspecting ‘Nu Who’ audience and the extra-terrestrials’ infuriatingly catchy single-syllable dialogue – "Blos So Folt Do No Cro Blo Cos So Ro"; a dialect which has already resulted in the creation of several Judoon Language Translators upon the World Wide Web.

Perhaps sensing the popularity of the race of “black armoured Rhinoceroid bipeds” within the wargaming community, as well as the potential for a “Doctor Who: Exterminate!” fan to field the “mercenary intergalactic police force affiliated to the Shadow Proclamation” on the tabletop, “Warlord Games” have now released a boxed pack of three 38mm scale metal Judoon figures as one of their first expansions for their miniatures game, and marvellously rendered they are too. Indeed, even though the “logical but stupid” single-cast aliens come supplied unpainted, their sculpts’ attention to minute detail, such as quarry scanners and incineration blasters, really makes them come alive in the hand the moment you take them out of the Gallifreyan-influenced translucent blue packaging.

For those interested in painting the Judoon, rather than simply owning the trio as collector pieces, matters could not be any easier either, as “Warlord Games” have already helpfully posted up a straightforward palette guide on their “Into The Time Vortex” website, and being predominantly black in colour should mean the vast majority of each miniature can be finished with a quick black prime and charcoal dry-brush. I certainly finished my first three models within just a few hours by using this technique and later just appropriately picked out the mercenaries’ collars, buckles, toe caps and equipment in either silver or red.

Slightly disconcerting however, is the fact that anyone who wishes to actually use the models specifically for “Doctor Who: Exterminate!” must first own a copy of the miniature game’s starter set, as the Judoon’s official Recruitment and Adventure cards are currently only available within that particular boxed product and cannot be found with the figures themselves. Fortunately, “Warlord Games” are slowly releasing such essential statistical data on their aforementioned “Into The Time Vortex” website as PDFs, and also apparently plan to sell physical copies of the cards at some point in the future. For now, though, the only way for a person to play “Judoon Rockets”, “Ricochet” or “You’re Under Arrest!” upon their opponent during a battle is for them to own the main game; albeit that's probably even more reason to pick up a copy… 

Fans of the intergalactic mercenaries will also need to buy at least two packs of the miniatures if they want to deploy a typical Judoon Faction for the game. This will allow them to ‘field’ a Leader, three (ordinary) Judoon and a couple of Judoon Enforcers. Unsurprisingly, this duplication of the same models has already led to much internet debate on the conversion possibilities of the sculpts, and having removed a few limbs and repositioned them myself, it seems perfectly doable in my eyes, even if a simple arm swap between two models requires some careful pinning.

FILTER: - Games

Doctor Who: Exterminate! - The Miniatures GameBookmark and Share

Monday, 6 November 2017 - Reviewed by Simon Moore

Warlord Games
Released May 2017

Boasting that “an eternity of adventures awaits you” with this officially licensed miniatures game, “Doctor Who: Exterminate!” will undoubtedly take grown adults back to those heady days of running around the school playground screaming “ex-ter-min-ate” at one another, or more recent times when everyone was simply pounding the cement with their feet whilst shouting “delete”. Indeed, as far as capturing the frantic spirit of the BBC Television series goes, this boxed starter set genuinely seems to include everything any fan would ever need in order to recreate a classic clash of Daleks versus Cybermen; just without the need to risk an early coronary or pulled muscle by too much headlong rushing around within a confined play area…

For starters, the game contains no less than twelve unpainted plastic Time War Daleks, twelve Cyber Legion Cybermen and fourteen tiny Cybermats to help you quickly populate your battlefield and start rolling those dice. True, I personally didn’t find a few of Davros’ creations quite so easy to assemble as “Warlord Games” “easy-fit” instructions would suggest. But having scoured several other wargamers’ blogs and engaged in some forum-based dialogue on the subject, I sadly seem to be in a minority of one when it comes to this particular problem.

Fortunately, my apparent ‘fat fingers’ didn’t struggle to unfold the starter set’s double-sided 36" x 36" battlemat (which some have seen fit to later laminate) or to punch out the generous amount of card scenery which accompanies it within the box. These items are all incredibly well-illustrated and, amongst other items, includes a wonderful top-down illustration of the Tardis, a Dalek command console and death-defyingly deep mine shaft.

However, it is not until you read the game’s rules and gain an insight into its wonderful Adventure Card mechanic, that this product takes its owner from being simply a very eye-catching wargame between two of the Timelord’s greatest enemies and instead offers the potential to turn it into something far more akin to a special episode of our favourite science fiction programme.

Basic gameplay will undoubtedly cater for those people who simply want to set up Terry Nation’s creations against Dr. Kit Pedler and Gerry Davis’ finest, and subsequently, roll a fistful of dice over the space of a couple of hours in order to determine who is the victor. For those who want less of a wargame feel and more of a ‘televised serial’ atmosphere though, the aforementioned Adventure Cards can help factions suddenly call in reinforcements, develop additional sensory inputs to improve shot accuracy, score lucky hits, and even “reverse the polarity”; and always at the most opportune of moments when everything up until that point had looked lost.

Interestingly, “Doctor Who: Exterminate!” also contains plenty of statistics and cards for some of the Doctor’s other more prominent foes, such as the Zygons, Judoon and Silence, as well as those of the Tenth and Twelfth Doctors themselves. Such contents are clearly designed to encourage the series’ fandom to rush out and buy “Warlord Games” additional miniature expansion packs, and frankly, it’s worked with me.  Surely no-one can resist having David Tennant, armed with his sonic screwdriver and Tardis crew, tackling the Zygons, or how about the Judoon trying to thwart a Dalek invasion of the Moon..?


Doctor Who: Exterminate! is available from Amazon.

FILTER: - Games

LEGO Dimensions (with Doctor Who level pack)Bookmark and Share

Saturday, 14 November 2015 - Reviewed by Emma Foster
Lego Dimensions (Credit: LEGO)

LEGO Dimensions base pack, released 29 Sep 2015
(platforms: XBoxOne, XBox360, Wii U, PS3PS4)

Doctor Who Level Pack, released 6 Nov 2015

This evening I found myself watching Batman, Gandalf and Wyldstyle from The LEGO movie battle a huge robotic version of the Joker on top of a nuclear power plant hovering above Springfield with a massive grin on my face. From the moment the "toys to life" trend started it seemed inevitble that LEGO would be joining in sooner or later, with LEGO Dimensions they have done so with aplomb.

If you've ever played any of the pantheon of LEGO games before you'll find yourself in somewhat familliar territory when it comes to the control scheme, but the game play itself is taken to a new level with the interactive game pad which you will be using to solve puzzles and build customised LEGO teams. The game draws from a dizzying array of properties as diverse as the Ghostbusters films, Scooby Doo and the Portal series to send our motley trio on series of adventures to defeat the evil Lord Vortech. Of special interest to Doctor Who fans will of course be the show orentaited level within the game where our heroes find themselves bumping into the Doctor and ending up in the invitable creepy base filled with Cybermen and Weeping Angels. The level will probably take most gamers around 30-45 minutes to complete and if you're so inclined you'll be popping back frequently to pick up collectibles. Without venturing too far into spoilers there is lots of fun to be had with some excellent scary stuff mixed in with some genuinely tense moments trying to solve puzzles while under alien duress. In that respect the level could almost be viewed almost like an episode, albeit with some quite unusal companions for the Doctor.

This might be one of the greatest "family" games ever created, encouraging the adults to take to the carpet with the kids to move figures around the game board and help out with some of the more knotty puzzles. Some of the smallest LEGO fans may also need help putting together the base portal as it has quite a lot of fiddly, small pieces. Some adventerous parents might even be tempted to plug in a controller themselves as the game supports two player local co-op. For those of us adults playing the game while using the game board to move the interactive mini-figs around to solve puzzles and the like is innovative and fun it's also frankly a bit of a pain. I was playing on the XBox One and the game board plugs into the back of console via USB, the problem is that is where to put the blessed thing while your hands are occupied with the controller. It wasn't until I started playing that I realised just how much you're required to use it, so I found myself sitting on the floor next to it, ending up with an almighty crick in my neck. This being said though is minor complaint from a thirty something with a wonky back and the inherent satisfaction that comes from solving a puzzle using Gandalf to hop between portals soon cures all ills. Kids unencumbered by middle aged back woes will love it.

LEGO Dimensions: Doctor Who Level (Credit: LEGO) LEGO Dimensions: Doctor Who Level (Credit: LEGO) LEGO Dimensions: Doctor Who Level (Credit: LEGO)

Now on to the main drawback of LEGO Dimensions, the cost. The base game pack will set you back around £80 and if you want to buy some of the level packs and fun packs the effect on your bank balance will be ruinous. The temptation to invest in the many team and level packs so you can explore very nook and cranny of the enormous "multi-verse"of LEGO dimensions becomes irresistable. If you're a Doctor Who fan just looking to enjoy some of the Doctor in brick form this game may not be for you. The game relies on the user having at least a passing interest and familliarity with the properties it's "mashing up". If The Simpsons, The Lord of the Rings, the DC Universe and the LEGO Movie don't do much for you then you might want to wait for the Doctor Who LEGO sets coming in December.

Now on to the Doctor Who "level pack". Put simply and for those who wish to avoid spoilers about the content of the level itself, it is simply sublime, playing out like a TV episode and it even gets its own title sequence. For those of you who don't mind reading about the plot it's fairly simple as far as Doctor Who goes these days, The Doctor, aided by his trusty friend K9 and hopping from timezone to timezone using the TARDIS must destroy a series of shield generators in an effort to foil the Dalek's invasion of Earth. On the way you'll whizz breathlessly through 19th Century London, Skaro and even pay a visit to Trenzalore. You'll also be doing battle with Autons, Daleks, The Silence and even the Weeping Angels. It's quite incredible how scary the Angels manage to be, even when rendered with the inherently adorable LEGO faces. The main campaign of the level weighs in at over an hour, one of the lengthiest LEGO game levels ever and if you choose to hunt down every collectible you'll be spending considerably more time there. This is no bad thing as the main story is filled to the brim with background details that will delight fans young and old alike. 

In addition to the main campaign level buying this pack grants you access to the Doctor Who "hub world" where there are more mini missions to complete, baddies to beat up, races to run and collectibles to find. It's basically Doctor Who heaven and as a extra special treat you can choose between any of the Doctor's incarnations to play as while you're there, with little dialogue clips to along with them.

LEGO Dimensions: Doctor figure (Credit: LEGO) LEGO Dimensions: Doctor Who Hub World (Credit: LEGO) LEGO Dimensions: Doctor Who Hub World (Credit: LEGO)

The level pack was obviously put together by people with a deep and abiding love for the show and while any fan will enjoy what it has to offer the main issue must be with the cost of the pack. The set which includes three mini-figs (The tweleth Doctor, K9 and the TARDIS), the DLC Doctor Who adventure and access to the Doctor Who hub world retails at £29.99. This is roughly double what DLC costs for most other games and is more in line with the newer "Season pass" system that many AAA games are now utalising which generally speaking enables the user to get any and all future DLC releases, access to multi player and other bonuses. Ultimately it will be a personal choice if you want to invest in further Doctor Who LEGO adventures, especially as the level that comes with the main game is quite satisfying. However, the opportunity to run around Telos as the Second Doctor having just beat the beastly Daleks with a trademark Twelfth quip and some nose laser action from good old K9 is just enough to justify the investment. 

FILTER: - Merchandise - Game