Terminator: First Impressions

We’ve been looking to the community to give us feedback on Terminator Genisys, and Sam & Owen came back to us with a great series of articles covering their first impressions and how they found their first battles:

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Owen – I found the box well packed and presented – the main rule book looks luscious from a quick flick through! Quick start play guides and reference sheets are a must for me and there are plenty of counters that we’ll figure out as we go. The play mat is paper with a scene on one side and a bunker floor plan on the other. There are loads of dice, 16 plastic resistance fighters that look simple to build and of course Terminator Endoskeletons! Lastly the box also includes Kyle Reese – an excellent sculpt completely cast with base, so no glue required then for anything in the set.

I had to put together the Terminators first, after all there’s apparently a  record of 45 seconds to beat – my first attempt of 1 min. 29 sec. wasn’t too shabby and by number three I was under 1 minute. In all, 10 Terminators in under 6 minutes. As they’re already a silver grey plastic I guess there’s no pressing need to paint them, but I’ll probably wash them after our first games and then give them a shiny paint job!

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The Resistance Fighters are equally detailed. I found it worthwhile to take a bit more time with each sprue as the figures are labelled A, B, C and D. This, I found out (after my first sprue was all clipped out) is important as most of the weapons are freely interchangeable but one of the weapons fits on figure D only!

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After working that out I started with figure D each time, cleaning up with a sharp scalpel. Each sprue has 3 spare weapon options so I’m leaving gluing till later so I can work out the best options in game. Like the Terminators, they click together very easily, but a spot of plastic glue will make them more secure.

Right – so far I’m impressed. With a quick read of the fast play rules booklet that comes in the set (just 16 pages) we were ready for our first game!

First Battle

Sam – We set up the Wasteland side of the paper mat, positioned the cardboard barricades and selected Scenario 1: Firefight.

This involved a single Terminator pitted against three Resistance fighters.

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The game rules turn out to be really easy to pick up…

Each turn the players roll off to find out who gets the first go (Tactical Edge) for the turn. You activate your models using the green counters which are then flipped over to the red side to show who has already moved.

The special fate dice determines how many counters you get, but can also hinder you – if you roll the side which has the word Fate, this then means that you don’t get to do anything (unless a commander model is present).

The templates that come in the box show you how far you can move, as well as weapon ranges and even what dice result you need to hit – absolutely no need for tape measures. You really do get everything you need to play!


The battle played out just like a scene from the film.

My Resistance Fighters tried to stay behind cover and bring down the advancing Terminator, but every shot seemed to bounce off the metal endoskeleton. The Terminator quickly closed in, crushing the first fighter in close combat and soon ‘terminated’ all resistance.

Sam – Overall my impression was of a quick and clear set of rules, in fact so quick we could replay (swapping sides of course) the scenario to see the outcome. By reading the ‘Fast Play Rules’ (and watching Alessio’s how-to-play videos), we had pretty much nailed down the core rules.

In just this first, small encounter the game just escalated in my mind – I could really see the cinematic moments of a Terminator’s relentless advance – Victory Earned for Skynet!

Owen – The game flowed well and really fast! Blasting our way through 10 turns in short order. This scenario left a big impression of how tough a Terminator is!

Although scenario 2 is a battle called ‘Hold your Ground’, using all the set’s pieces, we decided to skip straight to the confines of the Bunker on the other side of the play mat. Can the resistance soldiers hold off the Terminator in scenario 3 ‘Infiltrator’?

Sam and Owen are heading down into the bunker in the third scenario from the Fast Play Rules next week.

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