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The Meeple Guild: More Battledrill is a good thing

Miniature skirmish game gets expansion
battledrill 72
Amazing minis help make Battledrill a game to check out.

YORKTON - Back in 2020 a little gem via Kickstarter was reviewed here; Star Scrappers: Battledrill. 

The game is a space western skirmish wargame, which has a Firefly meets the campy 1994 movie Oblivion – notable for a cast which includes George Takei and the blue eyes of Meg Foster. As a small digression if you haven’t seen Oblivion its in a spaceship full of fun. 

But, back to Battledrill, the game came from a small company, one which opted to provide the range of minis for the original factions as printable files, which is really opening the door to small creators sharing their efforts without the risk of manufacturing miniatures and players having to incur the every-rising costs of postage and shipping. 

So it was interesting to print a few of the models to see just how well they turned out. 

That was in the hands of Jordan Craib-Petkau, the master 3D printer in our gaming group.  

“I found the detail on these models to really come out quite nicely, even under the support material,” noted Craib-Petkau. “The poses are dynamic but still printable, and having the files broken into keyed parts makes arranging them on a smaller print bed easier.” 

That was in 2020, and now Hexy Studios is back offering more STL files to expand Battledrill. 

Getting back to the basics; “Battledrill is a fast-paced skirmish miniature game set in the Star Scrappers Universe, where you take control of a crew of adventurers called Scrappers. These brave humans, unyielding robots and mysterious aliens are exploring the uncharted space of the Distant Edge in search of the ultimate prize - Hexis crystals - a power source that will change the image of space travel forever. In hostile places on primeval planets, where a laser gun in your holster is the only law, will you be the one who prevails and claims all the glory?” detailed the most recent KS page. 

With the original, when Star Scrappers hit the table we saw the game as an overall winner. 

“Battledrill was quick to pick up and play, it would be a good gateway into miniature skirmish games,” offered Craib-Petkau in 2020. “The (initial) scenario played had a cache of Hexis minerals in the center of the table which could be picked up by a model and granted it bonus action next round, and could be deposited in the player’s deployment zone for points.” 

Of course there were quirks which created questions.  

“I find it odd there was no penalty applied while carrying the Hexis such as slower movement or a less accurate attack,” said Craib-Petkau. 

But there were positives too. 

“The mechanic for damage was interesting, each weapon has different effects and damage outputs depending on if you score one, two or three hits,” said Craib-Petkau.  

“Defiance cards give a nice little bonus to the player who lost initiative for the round.  

“I enjoyed playing Battledrill and look forward to playing it again.” 

Adam Daniels, Craib-Petkau’s opponent in game one, agreed. 

“The list of mini games I have played over the years is a long one,” he said, adding “Battledrill is the latest addition to that list and it’s a solid game.  

“It is very simple to play, with rules that are not too complicated.  

“It would be a great game to show someone who wants to try mini gaming. The rules are simple, the number of minis on the board isn’t overwhelming and it plays quick.  

“Battledrill is an overall fun experience.” 

With the game expanding, it just means more choices for players, and that is great news since skirmish players love adding new minis to their ‘gangs’ or adding a second one so you have play options. 

Battledrill is played between two Crews of equal size varied from three to six models. A player can compose his or her Crews from all available models from the chosen Faction, abiding the Crew Restriction value which determines how many copies of the particular model can be used. 

As you would expect every model has a stat card with attributes and a description of special actions it can use.  

The Vol. II edition introduces the Metanels and Weedlocks and mercenaries like the super cool worm riding Nu’rek, the Outlaw. 

The minis tend to make a skirmish game. If it looks great, it feels great to get them to the table. 

Wojciech Guzowski and Marek Raczyński are the two experienced wargamers who love science-fiction and beautiful miniatures behind the game, explained Piotr Żuchowski Community Manager at Hexy Studio in 2020.

As for the game, what did designers find most challenging in its creation? 

“Balancing between the fun factor and light rules and deep, challenging tactical aspect,” said Żuchowski. “We wanted to make the battles quick and dynamic, but still offering many different options for the players. We are very happy with how this looks like now.” 

The designers note too that no single element stands out for them. 

“It’s hard to pick one thing for which you love your child the most, isn’t it?” asked Żuchowski. “I think it all depends on what a player expects from a game. I am sure that everyone will find in Battledrill something different that will appeal to them. 

“We love the setting, for example – space western, heavily inspired by works of popular culture, filled with references, puns, and Easter eggs – and we had a lot of fun writing the lore of the game. 

“Those who value the graphic aspect of their games should love our 3D models and card artwork.” 

It all comes together as a skirmish game offering well worth considering for a fun experience on the game table. 

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