Carniverse Battle Report

Lately I have been writing about a cool Kickstarter called The Carniverse. You may have seen my article introducing the campaign or my interview with the game’s creator. In both those articles, I mentioned that I found the game a lot of fun. How do I know the game is a lot of fun? I gave it a try at an event back in May.

In this post, I describe the first narrative battle I had in The Carniverse.

As I played the game as a demo, the rules may be slightly different than the final version of the Kickstarter. As such, I will do my best to focus on the narrative and strategies that developed through the game rather than the exact rules and terms of the game.

Now, let’s get on to the Battle Report.

The Battle Report – Setting the Scene

At Broadsword 8 in Hamilton Ontario, Nick Wilkins hosted a demo of his brand new game The Carniverse. In this battle, players each controlled one set of survivors. I chose my set, and my opponent chose the other. Our goal was to search for and collect the treasures on the board. Whomever takes off with the most treasures and survivors is the winner.

Carnaverse Battle Report - MDF Terrain by TT Combat
The board as of the start of the game. Nick represented the treasures as dead bodies that the survivors had to search. He also placed a treasure token in the back of the garbage truck.

If you look closely, you can see some small dinosaurs already on the board. The small dinosaurs are Compsognathus and they are pack animals. Their AI (battle script) dictates that the closest Compsognathus to a figure runs towards the closest human that they can see or hear. Then all the other Compsognathus run towards that exact same model (even if they are closer to other figures). I figured I would use this script to my advantage.

A Compsognathus Miniature Dinosaur 28mm
The Compsognathus. A small pest, but deadly in big pacts.

With this in mind, we deployed. I had all my characters on the near side of the board in hidden positions. My opponent, on the opposite side of the board, took a more daring and stronger approach.

Carniverse Battle Report
The table near the start of the game. My edge was the close side and my opponents the far side.

Stealth versus Overt Operations

My opponent moved his characters towards the nearest treasure markers and placed three of his models on overwatch. Meanwhile, I moved my characters very slowly into place. I did not want to attract the attention of any dinosaurs.

The Carniverse Kickstarter Battle Report
My opponent moved his group of survivors quickly towards the treasures with their guns drawn. The objective is to get the most treasure off the board so the strategy makes sense.
28mm Apocalypse survivors move towards a building
Meanwhile, I moved my characters closer to a treasure slowly. I made sure to not make any noise and to stay out of the line of site of the dinosaurs.
Carniverse 28mm dinosaur Miniatures game Battle Report
The dinosaurs saw my opponent and rushed in. The people on overwatch took their shots and one of the dinosaurs made it into melee with a couple of the enemy soldiers.

Seeing that my opponent was now closest to the small dinosaurs, I picked up the pace on my own soldiers. With the little dinosaur locked into combat with my opponent, I knew that any new Compsognathus would go after my opponent instead of me! I could move with confidence.

Collecting Treasures

I ran two of my characters to the closest treasures.

Grabbing the treasures
My first mini collects his treasure.
Carniverse Battle Report
And I collected my second treasure too. These two characters now make their way to the table edges to exit the board with treasures.
28mm Modern Dinosaur Survival Miniatures Game
To cover my guys retreating, I ran this guy up to behind a truck. I made sure that he had a line of site to my opponents so he could cover my movements. He held his fire hoping the dinosaurs would keep the opponent occupied. There was no sense making noise to attract the dinosaurs. My goal was to keep my team as silent (yet as fast) as possible.
Battle Report of the Carniverse
Admittedly, this photo is a little blurry but I wanted to show it to show how many tokens this game uses. Tokens makes the game easier, but you could write this info down on paper too if you lack tokens. Yep, they are still dealing with a dinosaur there!
Carniverse Battle Report 28mm dinosaurs in a modern world
A better look at the same scene as the image above.

I also collected the treasure out of the back of the garbage truck. By this point, I have three characters working on exiting the board with newly collected items. Meanwhile, my opponent continues to be busy with the dinosaurs and finally searches his first dead body.

Surviving In The Carniverse

Since Carniverse is meant to be a game of survival, I walked some of my guys off the board. Three of them had treasures. To add pressure to my opponent, I moved two of my guys in a pincer maneuver and started firing on my opponent’s model in the middle of the board.

Carniverse Battle Report
I moved in on my opponent with two crew members. These guys were there to keep my opponent busy while my other crew walked off the board with treasures.
Carniverse Battle Report
A close up of the convict helping my crew. So long as other team members are there, he remains dedicated and loyal to the group. If he is a sole survivor, he takes off.
Carniverse Eye candy - 28mm miniatures
My other soldier takes cover behind a truck and aims at the enemy. He brought lots of firepower to this fight.

Help Arrives

At this point, Barnaby, the Event Organizer came over to help my opponent with his strategy.

Carniverse Battle Report
Here Barnaby helps my opponent with strategy. Up to this point, I was winning in a very strong way.

Barnaby explains to my opponent about how if he took out my soldier that the convict would take off. He decides to go for it and takes out my soldier. With all of his support gone, the convict decides to bug out and leave the battlefield. Thus ending the game.

Carniverse Battle Report - Terrain by TT Combat
A look at the battle board at the end of the game. As you can see only my convict remains.

As such, my opponent had the last miniatures on the field, but my side won the battle because we managed to carry more treasure off the board, and keep more of the survivors alive, than my opponent.

Wrapping it up…

Overall, I had a lot of fun with Carniverse. I am really looking forward to seeing the final rules. For those interested, this game is on Kickstarter until August 29 (2019). It ends at 7:25am (EDT) on the 29th.

The rules presented at the demo were simple and easy to follow. I love the promise of the campaign rules and I don’t think you can go wrong if you add dinosaurs to a miniatures game. 🙂

In our battle, the stronger dinosaurs did not make it to the table. That said, the little guys did really well at keeping my opponent occupied while I took off with the treasures.

In this game of survival, the dinosaurs are much more than just a nuisance. In fact, they might even be more powerful than your enemy’s party.

Carniverse Dinosaur Battle - 28mm miniatures game of survival
Although this fight didn’t happen in my game, this picture does represent a battle that can easily happen in The Carniverse. Imagine facing a beast like that with just an axe and meat cleaver. Yikes!

Until next time, Happy Gaming Everyone!!!

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