Game Time: 20 - 30 mins
Designed by Andrew Pawley, Zoontalis is a Battle Royale game that is family friendly. Whilst it is designed to be PVP (Player Vs Player), this animal skirmish game (in theory) could be played with an unlimited amount of players. It is set in a rich world of adventure, epic battles and tales of glory! If you’re looking for a colourful miniatures game full of personality suitable for both adults and young people alike, then you have found it here for sure! With simple, accessible rules for new players and advanced optional rules for the more experienced, you’ll be painting, battling and having an absolute riot in no time! So assemble your guild and go forth into battle with this quickfire skirmish game featuring different Animal Adventuring Guilds.
Now, we were gifted two guilds by Dice Heads (https://dice-heads.com) to review and paint, Raging Rabbits and Feisty Foxes and our painter Dominic has done a fantastic job, so please feel free to check out his thoughts in his article here (www.doalg.co.uk/post/zoontalis-miniatures).
The game takes place in a world where animals have forged adventuring guilds consisting of four characters in each team. Depending on the scenario you are playing, the main aim is to have the most VP (Victory points) at the end of the game. It is a PVP (player versus player) game, as previously mentioned, but I can imagine other modes of the game introducing more variation and skill. The modes / scenarios include :
Starter Scenario - Capture The Flag
Raid the Camp
Protect the President
Attack and Defend
Each of the scenarios comes with its own ideas for terrain and creatures to set up as your battle arena. The different scenarios have instructions in a very clear rulebook. You can optionally play the game on a grid map (we were gifted this too) or you can measure (I prefer the grid playmat; if you didn't already know me well enough Mr Chris loves play mats). So let's crack on...
What do you need to play Zoontalis?
1) A guild consisting of four miniatures. These can be painted or unpainted, it's up to you. We of course had our friendly DOALG painter Dominic to apply his skills - check out his thoughts on the minis here (www.doalg.co.uk/post/zoontalis-miniatures).
2) A standard set of RPG (Role Playing Game) dice (D20, D10, D6, D4).
3) Guild stat cards for characters and monsters.
4) Player Tracking Sheet (one per player), there is a handy version you can photocopy in the rulebook.
5) A play area with a gridded map (mentioned earlier).
How to setup the game is indicated by the scenario you've picked. In our case, because we had no monsters for the game, we played two scenarios (Capture The Flag and Protect the President). Once you have completed setup, play proceeds surprisingly easily and quickly.
Each player takes it in turns to activate their guild characters; this consists of movement, exploration and combat! The game is very clear that a 'turn' is defined by activating and doing these actions, and each turn a player can only activate unused (un-activated) characters.
Movement in Zoontalis is simple. It is indicated on your character ability cards (character sheets) with the speed indicator (top right corner) specific movement rules, which are easily referenced in the rulebook and on ability cards - dash or bunny hop.
Combat in Zoontalis is also very clear, you have:
Melee Attacks - close range and must involve a Melee Weapon, and moving OUT of melee combat will result in attacks of opportunity (unless your a bunny with hop).
Ranged Attacks - must be made with a Ranged Weapon. The target must be within the range stated (e.g. Bucktooth Spit on Deano has R2 (two spaces)), and you must have a clear line of sight to your target.
When making attacks, you must clearly declare your target and combat type (you cannot change to Ranged Attacks if already in Melee Combat). Roll your d20, add your weapon modifier, and then compare the defence of your target. If your attack is greater than or equal to the defence, it is a hit.
Like I said, it is a game that is family friendly, so it's great for if you have kids wanting to get into the tabletop miniature hobby!
Wow these models are quite frankly amazing! Apart from some minor delamination issues, found by Dominic when painting, I absolutely love the quality of these miniatures.
So let's break it down for you in our key areas:
Replayability - Zoontalis definitely has replayability. Whilst I would like to see more scenarios, it is not difficult to create your own for this game.
Production Value - The models are amazing. We had a prototype of the game, but based on that sample, it's great and I can't wait to see the final finished card designs.
Theme - Love the theme; I get vibes of #Redwall.
Complexity - Not overly complex, which what makes this game so appealing!
Rules - Simple and easy to follow.
Uniqueness - Not unique enough BUT for new players wanting to get into the tabletop miniature hobby, you SHOULD start here!
Value - The starter set is £39.99, which I think is an excellent starting price bracket, and expansions are £19.99.
Zoontalis - Battle Royale has LOTS going for it. I love it, and we are thankful for the guys at Dice Heads (https://dice-heads.com/) for giving us the set for review. I think you should check it out! I can't quite give it a top score, purely because there are a few minor things that need to be refined. However, I am putting that down to the version we tested being a preview prototype. I am sure the final product will HIT the mark! Zoontalis Battle Royale is how I imagine a Redwall themed miniature game COULD look and feel! This game is a must for miniature fans!
Your friendly DoaLG founder
The Kickstarter has closed, but you can buy Zoontalis - Battle Royale at https://only-games.co/pages/dice-heads-zoontails