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The most immediately striking feature of Rapture is the sheer quality of the minis. They do require some assembly, but it's more than worth the effort. The 32mm resin figures are among the best minis we've seen. But Gravity Bay's Rapture isn't just a few boxes of minis...

Rapture is actually a tabletop skirmish game. The boxes, for which we're showing off prototypes here on Board's Eye View, each contain a thematic faction which you'll pit in battle against the others. The Atlantis faction comprises Poseidon-like figures waving tridents and commanding armoured turtles and tentacled monsters from the deep; one of the figures even rides into battle on a giant octopus. The Angels, meanwhile, are magnificent winged warriors who have descended from orbit. By contrast, the New World Order might seem comparatively frail - mere humans; one even wheelchair bound, looking like a cross between X-Men's Professor Xavier and a Bond villain. However, the New World Order command technology, including powerful drones...

With a compelling background story, this sets the scene for your skirmishes but not the scenery... Most tabletop combat games seem to start with the map but Rapture all but dispenses with it. In the absence of a set terrain map, the idea is that you can set up anywhere as the site for the factional conflict. It's a good way of getting extra use out of your other game boards and terrain from other games. We deployed some of the maps that we used to use with HeroClix (WizKids).

There's a rulebook of course, but one of the key attractions of Rapture is that most of what you need for play is quite literally on the cards. Each faction has its own mission cards, and you'll draw one as your objective for the game. These are asymmetric objectives that you'll be trying to achieve alongside the inevitable direct combat. Having taken a mission, almost everything else you need is on the character cards. These show the figure's stats and are also used to track damage and morale. The cards are designed for use with an erasable marker but we preferred to use paper clips which we slid up and down the edge of the card as a tracker.

You'll need to keep track of each figure's action points each round, but an attractive feature of Rapture is that the characters get to react as well as act. This greatly boosts the dynamic feel of the combat. As with most tabletop skirmish games, you'll also need a ruler to measure movement and to determine whether units are within distance of a ranged attack.

We've so far barely scratched the surface in our plays of Rapture but we've already had a lot of intense excitement deploying our very different characters and working out how best to utilise each of their unique special powers. The factions are well designed and decently balanced, despite their very different characteristics and playing style. Gravity Bay promise that are many more factions in the pipeline, so this is a gaming system that has plenty of life in it.

Rapture is on Kickstarter right now. Click here to check out the campaign.

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