Monday, November 22, 2010

An unsual game seen at MACE: Ex Illis

The most unusual game I saw at MACE is called ex illis. It is a miniatures game played on a 4x4 square grid with units of several troops and occasional individuals. It's supposed to reflect some non-historical 13th century European situation, but is obviously fantastical. The striking part, however, is that can only be played in conjunction with software that tracks many of the complexities of the game system. The software is free but you can't use a unit until you "activate" it, so the software alone doesn't let you do anything. The software doesn't show the map with actual units, but otherwise it shows graphics of the units and their movement as you move them and attack. You can look up their level of help but the information about their exact offense of capabilities doesn't appear to be accessible. The company's website ( emphasizes the possibility that units can become more powerful, gaining levels and other capabilities, as you play more games. The unpainted miniatures themselves are plastic, and I'd say they're very expensive but people used it typical miniatures prices may have a different view. A single huge monster is $55. Eight priests or eight warriors are $30. Four cavalry are $35.

There is no ruleset that I could see, it's all in the software. I watched several games being played, and have to say that it appears there is even less tactics to the game than I see in most miniatures games (and I don't see that there's much in typical miniatures). I guess this game will appeal more to miniatures than to battle fans, because there appears to be not much in the battles; of course I'd say the same thing about Warhammer fantasy.

A pitch-man talking about Ex Illis: For $70 you get a lot of hobby, you gotta paint all those miniatues and..." That's a problem, not a recommendation. Painting minis is not my hobby.


Anonymous said...

For most people painting minis is part of the wargaming hobby.

Also all of the ex illis rules and formulas are in fact containted in the very complete wiki they offer. Ex illis has lots of depth to it. Get the 30 day trial and try it out for free.

Lewis Pulsipher said...

Most of the readers here are not miniatures wargaming people. For them, painting is not part of their hobby.