July 15, 2024

#Unboxing Day ~ ONUS! Traianus by Draco Ideas

TheCommandTent, 16 March 2023 ~ #UnboxingDay

You know its going to be good when you get a large sack delivered to your doorstep that came from Europe via the Swiss Post.

1ONUS Arrival

click images to enlarge

The latest arrival to the Command Tent was my haul from the ONUS! Traianus Kickstarter in 2022 by Draco Ideas. This was their latest standalone game in the ONUS! series of games. Previously included in the series were ONUS! Greeks & Persians and ONUS! Rome vs. Carthage as well as several campaign books and a terrain pack. Needless to say, the Kickstarter campaign not only sold the latest game but updated and combined versions of previous games into the aptly named ONUS! Pack. Also, Kickstarter campaigns being what they are, there were plenty of add-ons and Kickstarter exclusive rewards/gifts also available.


2ONUS Haul

The base game plus all the Kickstarter add-ons, exclusives and gifts. I may have gone a bit overboard …

Before adding anything to my pledge, the base game was ONUS! Traianus which by itself included a ton of content all easily organized in a well-built box insert. Inside the box are the series core rule book, campaign book and solo mode booklet. There is an array of game markers that denote everything from wounds and special abilities all the way to heroes and unit envelopments. Eight colored dice and faction specific measuring sticks enhance the game aesthetics. There are number of playing card size doubled sided player-aid cards that are very useful. The game play is driven by an almost 100 card dual purpose order/action and event deck. But the core of the game is the beautifully illustrated six faction and one mercenary unit card decks.


3ONUS Traianus contents

A veritable legion of game components

Every faction has various unit and leader cards all of which are very well illustrated. The stats for each unit are clearly laid out on the cards and quickly help you understand what each unit can do. The backs of cards are comprised of faction’s symbols to help with blind deployments and included decoy cards further help with fog of war. 


4ONUS Traianus Unit Cards

A small sampling of faction unit cards, (L-R) Mercenaries, Celts, Parthians, Germanic Peoples, Sarmatians, Dacians and the Romans

The first Kickstarter add-on was the ONUS! Pack that combined all the pervious ONUS! games into one convenient box. Again, included were the series core rule book, campaign book and solo mode book alongside many of the same game markers. The small player-aid cards as well as the combined order/action and event cards are there, as well as the faction rulers and eight colored dice. However, this pack included seven faction and one mercenary unit decks all of which are laid out the same as in the Traianus game.


5ONUS Pack contents

They sure pack a lot in the box…


6ONUS Pack Unit cards

Sampling of the Pack’s faction unit cards (L-R) Mercenaries, Persians, Macedonians, Athenians, Spartans, Greeks, Carthaginians, and the Romans

The next add-on was the ONUS! Terrain & Fortresses Expansion. This box includes over 100 single sided acrylic terrain tiles. They include your standard forest, hills and rivers but also include villages, watch towers, wall segments, caltrops, barricades and more. While these are not necessary to play the game they sure do add to the immersion. Also, included is a small rule book explain terrain rules beyond just rough or blocking terrain, specifically siege rules and incendiary missiles. As such there is a small counter sheet with game markers related to these siege rules. I was very pleased with the quality of these tiles as well as the content included in this expansion. Definitely an add-on that I don’t regret spending on.


7ONUS Terrain Contents

I love the smell of acrylic in the morning.


8ONUS Terrain laid out

Much easier to store than 3D terrain

The last add-on was my impulsive purchase of a two pack of neoprene game terrain mats. I went with the meadow version but there were also desert and snow options to choose from. I figured I was already in this deep, why not go all the way. Plus, I could probably use them for other games, right? Right?!


9ONUS Game mats

I see fields of green … and a little brown and is that stone?

At this point I was in all the way for the Kickstarter and I figured, as any entitled youngster does, that I deserved more rewards and what do you know, Draco Ideas had plenty of stretch goals, early backer prizes and Kickstarter exclusives to satiate my need for more …


10ONUS backer rewards

Extra faction tokens, a ‘planoish’ storage box and extra unit cards all were much appreciated Kickstarter extras.


11ONUS Dice Tower

My favorite early backer gift (also available as an add-on afterwards) was a small dice tower that is fully illustrated to look the part, even containing several cools details that you can only see when assembling. 

So, what does it all look like on the table. Well, I just got the thing and you know there are plenty of other things going on around the Command Tent but I threw together a quick learning game to see what it looks like. I can say it looks great on the table and there looks to be a really fun game here. Plus, I didn’t have to paint any of the units 😊


12Onus Game setup

What we have here is a good old fashion Rome vs Dacian throwdown


13ONUS units advancing

Dacian archers fire at heavily armored Roman legionaries to little effect.


14ONUS cav charge

Roman cav charges in on the unprotected archers to devastating effect. Notice the ‘Heavy Casualties’ event card in blue.


15ONUS flanked

A bad day to be these Dacian spearmen as they are attacked and enveloped by Roman infantry and cav.


Thanks for joining this month’s #UnboxingDay with the Armchair Dragoons and we hope you enjoyed a look under our hoods!  You can always leave us your feedback in our #UnboxingDay thread, or in the comment area on this article, below.
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