Ninja All-Stars Unboxing (I)

Every year, the six ninja clans of Kagejima island send their finest warriors to the Moonlight Tournament to win the favour of the Moon Princess. This is Ninja All-Stars, where dice with weird symbols are thrown to decide who’s the best chibi ninja around!

Ninja All-Stars is the latest board game from Soda Pop Miniatures, where 2 to 4 players compete each with their own ninja team. It works both as single one-off games or as a league where ninjas can learn new skills and such.

I’ve just received my Kickstarter pledge. I went all in (because Ninjas and SD minis), so I got a ton of stuff. I’ll split this unboxing into multiple posts, trying my best to group things as they’ll be available at retail. As always, once I’ve had a few games I’ll post my gameplay impressions.

Ok, let’s have a look starting with the base game!

This is the special Kickstarter box that contains the game and a ton of extras. Sorry I can’t show how the retail box will look, but this one is sexy!

Inside you’ll find all the printed materials you need to play and the weird dice. You get a lot of cards, some cheat sheets, good quality cardboard tokens and some paper sheets to keep track of your team during leagues. If you’re like me, you’ll photocopy or print your own because you don’t want to waste the ones from the game.

Instead of multiple thinner books like in Super Dungeon Explore, this time we get a single thicker rulebook (no staples!). Besides the rules, there’s also fluff, pictures of the minis (some of them painted) and a lot of cool artwork. I’m still reading through it, but it didn’t take me long to find a sentence with “the the” on it. But then there’s also a “Go Ninja Go!” reference, so I think it balances in the end.

I’ll have to play a couple of games to see how it plays, but reading the rules they seem to be simple enough. Although there’s a couple where the wording isn’t very clear to me.

Then you have the gaming board itself. While SDE’s board is made of big tiles made from the same material as the tokens, Ninja All-Stars doesn’t need to be modular, so instead it has a bigger, two-sided, laminated board that comes folded. You can see it folded on the picture, as it was too big for a proper photo.

You also get a couple of smaller items made from the same material with the Dojo’s for the 4 teams and all the things you need to track (score, turn, moon phase,…)

And now what everyone wants to see, the miniatures!

I believe the retail box will have 4 ninja teams, I got 6. All the ninja teams have the exact same miniatures, just in a different coloured plastic. Each ninja team has 9 miniatures, with 5 unique sculpts. You also get 6 samurai with 3 unique sculpts.

The plastic quality of the minis seems to be improving compared to SDE. They still have mould lines, but less noticeable. Also, now the miniatures come on zipper storage bags instead of the regular sealed bags you had to break.

These minis from the base game are cast as a single piece with the base included. This allows to add some little scenic details to the bases, and also a little star to mark the facing of the miniature. With these miniatures it works, not so much with the ones from the expansions. But we’ll talk about it next time!

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