Moonbreaker Early Access Review

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With the demand for tabletop miniatures rising right now and it’s not odd that digital versions of popular games like Warhammer, Infinity, and Malifaux haven’t been released. This is what makes Moonbreaker the brand new Early Access project from Subnautica developer Unknown Worlds, so appealing. 

It’s a video-game version of the complete collect, paint and play game featuring thrilling tactical battles as well as amazingly precise painting tools. Its 1v1 combats are filled with character as you mix the power of sci-fi heroes and reduce the opponent’s army to a puddle of pieces of plastic. However, as I’ve spent more time playing Moonbreaker I’ve started to think about its strategy possibilities as well as how it’ll evolve as time passes, and also its deeply troubling strategy for microtransactions.

In comparison to the complex tabletop skirmish games it is based, Moonbreaker is refreshingly simple. The only goal is to take down the captain of your opponent, who is a character with high HP and a variety of unique capabilities. It’s a strategy that is similar to cards games such as Hearthstone and the defunct Duelyst however it’s not at the point where the comparisons stop. Moonbreaker is built upon some of the same principles that are typical of a CCG and you choose 10-miniatures (your deck) and each is priced at Cinder (mana) in order to be able to use from your randomly placed bridge (hand). The addition of a physical arena as well as the ability to move miniatures adds an additional dimension to the structure. Four maps offer various obstacles around that you could plan rounds and fights, from choke points that could be protected by landmines, to steam vents that are hidden to give you a bonus cover.

The battleground on these maps is an exciting collection of characters that are drawn in a style of heroic that is familiar to those who’ve played even a fraction of Overwatch. Each of the miniatures available comes from three distinct cultures : the Roman-inspired Methedori as well as the ragtag Smugglers or the more spiritual Cholek The group you choose to play could include characters from all of the three. Although their small size makes them remain static but there’s plenty of individuality in their movements and fight. Insidious characters whirl through fast zigzags. Tankier units fire massive shots that explode in flashing particle effects. In addition to a slick voices, Moonbreaker brings its hopeful sci-fi universe created by adored writer Brandon Sanderson to life on the screen, despite there being no storyline in the match to talk about.

Moonbreaker Early Access Review

Each character has a distinct part to play in the combat, and is usually added by a specific capability. The most powerful are available to Moonbreaker’s three captains. The extilior-like battle robot is one of them. Extilior is able to spin in a circle and inflict massive damage to the enemies that are around him, as well being able to grant an energy shield on him or his companions. The regular crew members usually be able to gain buffs. Deadeye is a gunman who gives an accuracy boost to characters with range, and Drumdancer Tlalli can enhance a melee model by allowing it to attack two times in a row. These abilities also cost Cinder the ability to replenish with increasing amounts every turn , making for an easy but enjoyable resource economy to control as you strike a balance between calling reinforcements in and using your skills.The unpredictable nature of the business encourages quick-term strategies and the ability to adapt to changes on the table at any moment. “

There’s plenty of joy to be had in identifying optimal pairings of abilities. Drumdancer Tlalli for example, works well with Tipu, a bizarre lizard dog which increases the attack and health of Tipu after each successful hit. However, while there are obvious similarities between various miniatures, the connections aren’t as strong. The majority of units are designed to be individual warriors, rather than relying on a system that allows unity with the other characters within the group. This is probably because of its randomized Bridge that if you fail to connect two units that are compatible it may be difficult to bring their synergy to use. Therefore, a great team is comprised of players who may be independent agents, yet shine twice as radiant when the ideal team can also be found on the board.

In many ways, this restricts the depth of strategic options for Moonbreaker in the least, with the current roster. However, at the moment I really enjoy the design. The unpredictable nature encourages quick-hit strategies and the ability to adapt to the current situation available at any time instead of pursuing the same strategy that you have planned. 

There’s still space for creative combinations and plays however, they are based on the effectiveness of players and their positions rather than putting together an intricate multi-hero synergy. Moonbreaker is a very accessible design which, although not a casual game provides mid-range tactical excitement without the requirement of an earlier career in the Warhammer back catalog. However, I’m concerned that the emphasis on lone-wolf players may eventually cause Moonbreaker to become stagnant and boring, especially in the event that this approach doesn’t change with Early Access. In the future, I’d like to see Unknown Worlds can maintain that tactical spontaneity, while also fostering an interesting and cohesiveness across the teams.Moonbreaker

Moonbreaker isn’t entirely without long-term strategies However, it’s the case that it’s in one-to-one Cargo Run mode rather than competition matches. Beginning with a pre-assembled six-member team, Cargo Run sees you develop and improve your team through five difficult games against the AI. This is accomplished by collecting crates which are randomly dropped in the arena. Each has a bonus, buff or a new character. This team building on the fly is extremely enjoyable, and requires you to make more diverse array of strategic and tactical choices every turn. 

One example saw me shift my shotgun, Aria, to pick up a crate that contained Rapidfire. The crate was temporarily on the outside, putting her at risk of dying However, the perk boosted her to shoot twice per attack for not only the rest of the game as well as the rest of the game. So, you’re making plans to the following round than you have for in the current game or turn. It’s possible to create truly massive models with this mode, enhancing already powerful characters with a wealth of hit points as well as a massive damage potential. This is the most enjoyable experience I’ve had with Moonbreaker despite it’s emphasis being on the PvP mode as a whole.

Up until a couple of days recently the game Cargo Run required a Contract or entry ticket that was purchased using or the Blanks (a free currency that is earned by playing) as well as the premium Pulsar coins. One Contract was free every day, but when you consider that Moonbreaker is – at a minimum currently an online game that is paid for (currently priced at PS25/$30 via Steam) the system was not a good system. 

Unknown Worlds was quick to respond to feedback from players and eliminated the need for Contracts altogether this is an excellent first sign of this Early Access period. However, Contracts were not the only thing that I had concerns about about Moonbreaker’s microtransactions strategy.

As mentioned previously, Moonbreaker is a recreation of the paint, collect and play-related hobby. The part about collecting is monetized by a system which is just as widespread as it is now Loot boxes. To include new miniatures in your game, open Booster Packs that contain a Booster Pack which has a random assortment from three different characters. 

You’re probably able to see where the pay-to-win as well as gambling issues start. People with money can crack packs upon packs of the most powerful characters, whereas the rest of us will have to endure what feels as a slow, uneven grind to earn enough money to unlock all of the characters in the game and the future additions to Moonbreaker.

To clarify: although Moonbreaker offers the appearance of a game that is free to play, Moonbreaker currently costs as more than Unknown Worlds’ own single-player adventure Subnautica. This price includes all three characters for the captains and an assembled (and decent) team of 10 miniatures, as well as plenty of Booster Packs to theoretically – unlock all 41 character set. However, you’re naturally subject to RNG. There’s a concessionary to open duplicates which you can use on certain models that you don’t have, however there is the dreadful five-tier rarity system which implies that duplicates are usually not technically duplicates. 

If, for instance, you have a standard variant of Jailbreak and then purchase an amazing version of it in a booster pack then you won’t receive the currency that is duplicated. It means you could use the same character as many as five times before obtaining an actual replica, and that’s ridiculous. The most important thing that rare does is make small cosmetic tweaks to characters’ deployment as well as death-animations. This is a system described as “still being developed” however it’s horribly inadequate considering that your money could be already in danger.Moonbreaker –

The last component of Moonbreaker is the painting component that makes it a true miniatures game. Each model is pre-painted with attractive default colours, however you can choose any miniature from your collection and design an entirely new color scheme. It is done using tools that replicate the look of miniature artwork. Standard paints give an even coverage, ishes pool within the recesses to create shadows and then drybrushing takes the most prominent parts of a model to provide emphasis and contrast. It’s surprisingly effective, creating characters that have an authentic tabletop appearance. 

The program recognizes the opacity of paint which allows for layers like zenithal basecoats and underpainting to be utilized however the most effective results are achieved using the traditional base wash, highlight, and base three-step method. For someone who paints miniatures on a regular basis, I’m amazed by the quality and flexibility of this tool (even when rotating the model and entering crevices may be a bit difficult) I sincerely want to bring the magical ‘undo’ button to the real world.


Moonbreaker is an enjoyable and accessible skirmish with the emphasis on shrewd turn-by turn strategies. Although it isn’t akin to tabletop games such as Warhammer 40k: Kill Team and Infinity due to its uncomplicated design and limited strategic depth the use of stunningly sculptured miniatures give Moonbreaker its own distinct character. 

The intricate painting system enhances the experience, and gives it a true “hobby” look. However, a microtransaction based on a loot box system is a sour taste and is threatening a future that’s built around gambling currencies on brand new characters.

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