Meeples & Miniatures, Episode 70 – The Ex Illis Review

Download Episode 70

Welcome to Episode 70 of the Meeples & Miniatures Podcast

This show is primarly dedicated to reviewing the game Ex Illis, from Bastion Inc. which is a hybrid of Boardgame, Miniature Wargame and Computer Game with elements of MMO and RTS games thrown in for good measure.

I give this game the full ‘Meeples & Miniatures‘ in-depth treatment…

I also announce the winner of the ‘Ancient Warfare’ contest, and give details of a new give away – just in time for Christmas.

I hope you enjoy the show

17 Comments on Meeples & Miniatures, Episode 70 – The Ex Illis Review

  1. It will be a “Happy Christmas” indeed!

    Thanks Neil!

  2. Although the game sounds interesting the two negatives I’ve heard about the game (other than the cost) are that 1) you can’t resell the miniatures because they can’t be re-registered and 2) you can only buy and register one starter army set. Do you know if these are true?

    • Miles

      Addressing your comments:

      1) Reselling your minis is potentially a problem at the moment. The question has been asked in the forums, and I believe it’s something that Bastion are looking at. It is possible to ‘share’ your miniatures with another player – you are allowed a ‘Brother in Arms’ and can assign units you own to him, so that is one potential way around this.

      2) Completely untrue. In fact, there is at least one player in the game who has registered something like 7 (yes, seven) starter sets for himself. The starter set does represent, by far, the best value for money when it comes to buying the minis, and it seems that most players seem to end up buying a second one at some point.

      Hope that helps…

  3. Gw plastic glue holds it together fine, dropped a angle 6 foot by mistake, helt together just as well as any other model.

    • Yeah, I’ve since been using Humbrol plastic glue, and that seems to work much better than the stuff I was using before. Just goes to show that sometimes the more expensive glue isn’t the best option!

  4. Many thanks for the extensive review. Got me thinking about getting started myself. But then I’m rather put off by the miniatures. They look somewhat goofy to me. And since they are required for playing the game, that’s a thumbs down, unfortunately.

    As a sidenote, I have been re-listening almost all of your podcasts so far, and they’re a real pleasure (apart from some technical issues now and then). Many thanks for your great work and support to the hobby!

    Cheers
    SG

    • Goofy? Define goofy – is it a question of proportion?

      • I heard you when you were talking several times about silly proportions we 28mm gamers obviously got used to. However, it’s nothing to do with that. I’m simply not convinced by the idea of the miniatures themselves. I would rather prefer to be free in my choice of figures representing Medieval troopers or Archangels, for example.
        Washy detailed, somewhat bent and body-heavy look of most of ExIllis’ miniatures with a quite heavy price tag in my opinion add to that discomfort, of course.

        Cheers
        SG

      • I guess the reason they insist on you using their figures is it is there only way they have of generating income

        if they charged for the use of the software then I agree you should be able to use different figures but at the moment they don’t so if you want to play the game you have to use there figures

        the big question you have to ask yourself is would you pay to use the software if they allowed you to use your own armies?

  5. Great review. Looking forward to the next ep.

  6. great review, congrats

  7. Thanks for another excellent in-depth review Neil!

    I must admit that I was skeptical as well, and after listening to your review, I remain so. I listened to the explanation of why you need miniatures at all in order to play, since the software tracks stats, positions, options, etc., and it still does not make sense to me. In order to “sell” me on the miniatures aspect of the game, the models themselves would have to be spectacular, otherwise why not play a computer strategy game instead? And while some of the models are indeed quite nice, I am not sure they rise to that level, in my opinion. Having said that, I admit that I have not had a chance to see them “in the flesh,” so to speak, as my local game store does not carry the game. This leads me directly to the cost issue, since I am unfortunately not able to purchase the figures via other means (mail order, for example) just to “check them out.” Dropping $80 or so plus shipping on a new game just to see if I like the figures, versus spending that money on models and games I know I will use, is not something I am in a position to do at the moment, and with the economy the way it is here in the US I am certain I am not alone.

    I am not sure that I can get over the higher model cost. Gamers makes decisions each and every time they buy games, units or figures based on the value they feel they are getting. And everyone’s idea of “value” is, of course, hugely subjective. I understand the argument that the software is free, and that there is no monthly subscription charge to use the site, because that cost is rolled into the price of the figures. As I said, to me it is an issue of perceived value. Would I rather pay a one-time up front cost for a piece of software or a rulebook, or pay incrementally by being charged more per figure for the entire life of the game? In addition to other issues which you mentioned in your podcast or are discussed in other posts (the inability to proxy – which is huge to me as I like to check out units’ performance in my armies before I sink the money into them, the inability or difficulty in exchanging or trading or lending out units, etc.), the other drawback I see to having higher model prices is that unless you actually play Ex Illis you will not be likely to buy their figures. I play a lot of different rulesets ranging from GW to homebrew rules, and I love to pick up a smorgasbord of figures to use with the different sets. Again, perceived value. A figure or unit that I can use with more than one set of rules has more value to me – but in the case of Ex Illis, their higher cost more than offsets that value.

    Just my .02. I am very glad that you are enjoying the game, and I am very interested in seeing how it develops and what changes, if any, come about in the development and marketing of the game. Thanks again for an awesome episode of M&M, and I hope you and your family have a wonderful and joyous Christmas and New Year!

  8. andy stearman // December 27, 2010 at 08:45 // Reply

    one thing that might put me off is what would happen if the company stopped
    trading ?, I assume if the servers go down the game is all but useless ?

    happy xmas to all

    andy

  9. “Wargaming 2.0” my arse.

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