Thursday 3 January 2019
Trying out The Other Side
Last month I pottered down to Dark Sphere because our local Henchman was running demos of Wyrd Games' new . . . game, The Other Side. I'm a huge fan of Malifaux (and eagerly await their new edition) and wanted to see how the new game would fare.
We're playing with about half a full force of miniatures - you usually run with two commanders and about twice as many models, but to keep things manageable, the Henchman was running demos with just the one.
The Other Side is based in the same setting as Malifaux, covering events back on earth in the ongoing narrative of the joined games. In short, horrible magical beasties have broken through and the opening four factions consist of the two biggest nations - The King's Empire and Abyssinia, and two different types of horrible monster - The Cult of the Burning Man and the Gibbering Hordes.
I picked Abyssinia because if I do pick up The Other Side, I'm most likely to go for them as a faction, if only because I think it's time game manufacturers started putting a better spread of representation into their games and I should put my money where my mouth is.
As it was an intro game, we were keeping things pretty simple - we both had one commander, a few units, and weren't using some of the more advanced rules. I still got a bunch of tactics tokens, though, as they're pretty core to the game.
The first thing I did with some of my tactics tokens was to spend two of them...
... because unlike Malifaux, where you get a hand of cards to "cheat" in and replace cards you've flipped from the top of the deck, you have to pay for them in The Other Side.
Your models are a varied number of large bases of miniatures, and broadly, everything has one hit, so as your fireteams take casualties, you remove models from the larger base. There's a cool little reinforcement mechanic where you can put models back into a fireteam.
There are different play styles for different factions. The Abyssinians are the ones with the most advanced technology, and have reliable, pretty elite troops. They're not shabby up close, either.
The Cult of the Burning Man have a weird mechanic with portals which means that they zip about the board teleporting all the time.
So, my overall verdict on The Other Side? Cautiously interested. I haven't seen anything to make me dive excitedly in and buy all the things. It's a solid, well put together game with a slowly growing community. If you're interested in getting into it, delays on the original Kickstarter means that there are a few people looking to offload relatively large purchases on the cheap.
I had a similar problem when I first started getting into Malifaux - there wasn't a single faction that jumped out to me and said "You love me now". But then again, I'm not sure if that's a wider problem I have across a lot of games.
If you like the look of this, I can confirm that it plays pretty well. You'll need to find people locally to you who are interested as well, because this isn't something that would work well with solo play. It's quite hard for me to reach a conclusion because it's, well, OK, I guess?