Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Wreck Age - Post Apocalyptic Rules Review

Well yet more Post Apocalyptic goodness and this time its for a ruleset published by Hyacinth Games.

Matthew Sears at Hyacinth very kindly set me a PDF version of the rules and I have been avidly reading it for a couple of weeks now.

Wreck Age is a hybrid game mixing tabletop gaming and RPG elements which is set in a post apocalyptic Earth. The world was approaching an ecological meltdown so the rich and powerful gathered a fleet of ships and left Earth to its fate whilst they went onto colonize new worlds.

Obviously the less priviledged were left behind to die!!

The full background and history of how the survivors now enter the Wreck Age can be found on the Hyacinth Games website.

The book like many others of this genre is set up into sections. The first being the setting for Wreck Age. which details the history, various settlements are mentioned and other locations in the land of Merika (what used to be known and America and Mexico) are briefly discussed. The background is very detailed and as you read you feel yourself deeply immersed in the devastated world.

The book includes 10 factions fighting for survival but only 4 are mentioned in deep detail.

The Factions include:

Stakers: Stakers seem to live a simple, drab existence. They derive remarkable resilience from their lands and beliefs, defending what is theirs at all costs. Despite their stubborn refusal to accept the world’s perception of them, there is no denying the bond that evolves between those who claim stewardship over a plot of land and build their homes and lives upon it.
Drifters: The nomadic barbarians called Drifters are a diverse collection of clans and tribes who wander the Merikan Wilds, attacking stable communities and seeking challenges in battle, prey, and supplies. They have evolved from a massive convergence of prison gangs in the final days of the Big Push, into a tightly knit warrior culture of hunters and raiders. To everyone else, the Drifters are a constant danger, threatening to pour over the land like a plague of insects .

Stitchers: Stitchers (sometimes called Stitchmen) are horrifying, self-serving individuals, and predators of the highest nature. They fear nothing but time and death, which they struggle against with all the fiber of their being. Their eternal quest for immortality has led them to twist their original Hippocratic oath into something grotesque. Through organ harvesting, they are able to extend their lifespan almost indefinitely. In children’s stories, Stitchers are the creatures that go bump in the night, a well-deserved reputation. Stitchers are monstrous in appearance, like patchwork dolls thrown together by sick, demented minds.

Reclaimers: The Order of the Reclamation are devout scavengers of the old world. They are academics, engineers, scientists, and scholars who seek out the remnants of Pre-Collapse civilization, utilizing the data they collect to further their understanding of ancient technology.

The ARHK: The Autonomous Region of Hong Kong (or simply, the ARHK) see themselves as the only civilized voice left on the planet. Highly industrialized, and in constant need of raw materials, they send out expeditionary forces to many corners of the world to find and exploit natural resources, as well as ancient tech. The ARHK believes that their corporate charter gives them manifest destiny over anything still remaining in the world.

The Church of Fun: In a world filled with pain and suffering, it’s unsurprising that some people just want to let loose and forget. The Church of Fun embraces the idea that while you might live to see tomorrow, it won’t be pretty, and you won’t be thankful. For some, the chemically induced orgy of excess that the Church offers is far more enticing than the grim reality of starvation and decay.

Unicephalon: The corporate monks known as Unicephalon operate from the shadows, using their superior technology to shape current events. Their goal is to bend the course of events to their agenda, which they see as the best way to ensure the survival of the human species.

The Vale: The members of the death cult known as The Vale have rejected the premise of life after the Collapse. Instead, they hold rigid authoritarian beliefs that humanity has run its course, and that they themselves are the harbingers of the "End Times."

Caravaneers: While The Resurgence is in full swing, trade is once again flourishing. The Caravans that wander the rugged patchwork of trails and crumbling highways are an integral part of this fledgling trade network. They travel from isolated outposts to towns and cities, exchanging goods and services, entertaining, and disseminating news.

The Fringe: "The Fringes" are made up of groups of small crews that might band together for survival or out of an ideological cause are brought together for a common purpose that exists outside of the narrowly defined dynamics of the the confines of traditional Factions.
Wreck Age Communities are more than where a character comes from. They are a reflection of a character’s beliefs.

Ten factions in my opinion are a bit too much and I feel this is mainly to add more depth to the RPG element rather than the Tabletop gaming, although others may disagree.

Rules: Everything is covered in great depth even including social interactions. Combat does not seem to be fast in this game as the Tabletop and RPG element merge together. However a charater could be killed by a single shot, or the combat could be a drawn out affair. As a mainstream tabletopper I found this a bit unusal to get used to but not difficult.

Character creation: Highlighted next and this is where the RPG element comes in. players that are used to Role Playing Games using Archetypes as characters should have no problems but this area isnt that detailed and hard core RPG'ers might be a bit disappointed.

All kinds of gear, weapons, armour, faction specific equipment, and Community
enhancements are available for purchase and highlighted in the many equipment lists.

As many of other wargaming rulebooks the rear is given over to scenarios and reference charts.

The PDF was very easy to read, with great artwork and the production is of a high standard. I would have preferred more examples of play relating to tabletop gaming

Overall I found the game similar to alot of  war-band style, skirmish war games (Necromunda etc)with the added RPG element. I for one will try and stick to the Tabletop style and skip most of the RPG.

Wreck Age is a nicely put together game that will appeal to both the Tabletop and RPG crowd and even though this review is about the book I must mention that the miniatures are of a fantastic quality with very nice clean sculpts and great detail.

Definately a game for Post Apocalyptic gaming fans to pick up.


  1. Nice Review mate. :) I really quite like the Reclaimers and there hunt for pre collapse tech.

    1. Thanks Simon. The actual background and faction fluff is brilliant I think. I would love a set of novels based on the back story.

  2. I backed this on Kickstarter and have to say I was terribly disappointed with the end result. I found the production value to be awful – the packaging and cards in the Stitchers box I got looked like it had been done on a photocopier and stuck together with a glue gun – and it killed any interest I had in the game. A missed opportunity I think.

    1. Packaging usually goes in the bin in my haste to get to the shiny stuff inside. Cards im not that fussed about but some people do have more quality standard requirements. What about the actual models ??

  3. @Mike I literally use a glue gun in my apartment to put those boxes together, was yours screwed up or something? That is the first complaint I have heard about the cards, but being a DIY operation people may hold us to a different standard, not that I am asking you to do so.

    Anyhow, I can send you more pristine packaging if yours came undone in the mail or something. Having a small customer base allows us to respond to that stuff rather quickly ;)

  4. Cheers Fran, glad you enjoyed it.