Several months ago I saw Miniature Market was having a clearance sale on all its Alkemy models. To be honest, I'd never heard of the game and didn't have too much interest in it. However, they had two factions that looked really cool and I wanted to get right away. One of the factions is presented here, the "cat people" of the Khaliman Republic. I'm not into the fluff, but these look like Arab derived fantasy models. The other faction, which I've yet to complete, is the Jade Triad (or something like that). They're the standard fantasy Asians.
I did actually get to play the game, and I'll offer my opinions on that in a moment. First, here are the models I have for the "cat people." I just wanted these because they were based on cats, and thought I could use them in other games. Here's the group and some close ups.
These ten models came in three packs, each about $7 on clearance. So even if I didn't want the game, the models were cheap enough. These models are all from Kraken Games, which I guess is out of business. They are nice sculpts, light on details but still nice. I also picked up a pack of the new models from Studio 38, which took over the Alkemy line.
I hate the resin models from Studio 38. Hate. Hate. Hate. I've made a voodoo circle in my backyard and sacrificed those models to the dark gods.
The new resin models break into bits at a glance. In each Studio 38 pack they should include a sound track of shattering glass, because that's what you will be hearing as you work with their models. Really working with these models is a bit like walking on eggshells with lead boots. I got a three model pack which now looks like a 100 model battle box, with all the broken bits and stuff. Stay away from these. One drop on a hard surface, like a carpeted floor or pillow, and they're going to shatter.
As for the game itself, I did play once. I discovered these cats are a finesse army, which is not my style at all. Also, I was not at my best that night, being very tired and out of sorts. I couldn't even read my model cards correctly. I know, excuses, excuses. Let's hear about the game.
Well, it has some interesting mechanics. I'm told it plays a lot like the old Confrontation, being designed by some of those people. Combat is fun. You and your opponent pick different cards in secret, and depending how they match up you could get bonuses on your rolls. The combat is done on special dice, which include the type of damage you do. The dice are also color coded, so as your model takes wounds they move to different colored dice which basically degrade combat effectiveness.
The magic system is so screwed up I can't make sense of it. You have to gather shit for your alchemical recipes and then you can cast. It's all a bit too much like "Cooking Mama" for me. I'm here to play a miniature wargame, not simulate Home Economics class from sixth grade. I think I'll pass on casters.
All in all it was an okay game. I might try it again. I've got to paint up my Asian faction and see how they play.