Cipher Studios Announces Anima Tactics Discontinued

Longview, Washington, February 24th, 2015 –

Cipher Studios announces that the Anima Tactics™ Miniature Skirmish Game is being discontinued.  Anima Tactics™ has had a long run, launching in 2006 with over 150 unique characters released. The game has become unsustainable from a business standpoint due to market and global distribution changes, so the hard decision to discontinue the line had to be made.

We at Cipher Studios thank our fans for the many years of support in building a wonderful community of players and hobbyists around a game we have loved creating.

Anima Tactics™ and Hell Dorado™ will no longer be sold through distribution. The ranges for both product lines will remain available online through the Ninja Division | Soda Pop Miniatures web store.

The Cipher Studios web store will close March 13th. Stock will then be transferred to the Ninja Division | Soda Pop Miniatures warehouse and resume sale on March 30.

The last new figures for Anima Tactics™ will be released through the web store, including a special edition Celia model.

The Hell Dorado™ range will continue.  Hell Dorado™ new releases will resume, with the next release wave beginning during Q2 2015.

Download Press Release

    Painting Westerners for Hell Droado

    “DF Editor – Join Dave Taylor for some great painting tips! Click on any of the pictures in this article to get a closer look at the picture.”

    The Westerners faction of Hell Dorado are based on the armies of the warring factions of the Thirty Years War. In the early 17th Century, although melee was still an important part of warfare, black powder weaponry was really starting to play an increasingly dominant role on the battlefield. Armor was still worn by soldiers on foot, but this tended to be restricted to helmets (with their distinctive “lobster tail” neck guards) and shiny breast (and back) plates.

    With their focus on black powder and no-nonsense combat, the soldiers of the Westerner companies tend to reflect this functionality in their appearance. Well-maintained armor and sturdy linen and leathers are the order of the day. This means that when painting up your company you can expect to be using a lot of silver and brown.

    In this article I cover painting the Westerners from their Starter Boxed Set.

    Read More »

      Who Are the Factions of Hell Dorado?

      “DF Editor – Thanks for tuning in for the second installment of Dave Taylor’s series of articles on Hell Dorado. We took a short break due to the holiday here in America but we are back in Hell now!”

      In almost every game we play, we are called upon to choose a side, pick a ideology, put our all behind a faction. Hell Dorado is no different, but the questions are: who to choose, and why? The war for Hell is divided between six unique factions, each vying to achieve their own goals at the expense of the others. Alliances are tenuous at best, and schemes within each faction can even turn members of the same affiliation against one another.


      Background – The Westerners are comprised of the European elements, led by the Catholic Church, that have entered Hell following the atrocities of the Thirty Years War. The Westerners reside in the sprawling city of New Jerusalem, a permanent settlement that has been constructed in Hell over the last five years. The Westerners make powerful use of their technology, especially firearms, to achieve dominance over the more magically-fueled denizens of the land below.

      The Westerners have expanded their presence and have brought new weapons to bear in their quest for the Prima Materia. The economic and philosophical impact of the pathway into Hell has caused a surge of manpower to flood into the city of New Jerusalem and, in its wake, political and religious strife has become rampant. While still primarily controlled by the Catholic Church, New Jerusalem remains open to members of all faiths, a fact that is brewing unrest in the City of the Damned. The arrival of a great demon host from the outer circles threatens the expansionist operations of New Jerusalem.

      Gameplay – The European invaders have faith in two things; God and guns. Of all the factions in Hell Dorado, the Westerners are the least melee-oriented, working instead with an emphasis on the various ranged units available, while using melee-focused units in a secondary, supporting role. That is not to say Westerners can’t fight, a Westerner company has access to some fine melee combatants that, with some support from officers and Independents, can be very effective fighters. However melee is not the factions strong suit. The Westerners excel, however, at killing their enemies at range. Arquebusiers and Aiden St James can form a potent gun line, while Swashbucklers, with their pistols, are very capable marksmen also. If blowing stuff up is more your style, Grenadiers and Sara Zingaresce can cause a lot of explosions, and the Flammenwerfer means that pyromaniacs will be in heaven.

      Appearance – The appearance of the Westerners typically reflects their dour, puritanical approach to life. Functionality is important to them, flair and fripperies not so much. Therefore, you can expect to see them wearing functional armor, leathers, and linens. It is more important to spend their coin on solid steel and reliable blackpowder than it is to wrap themselves in expensive silk fineries. When it comes to painting the models, you can expect to use a lot of browns and metals.

      Read More »

        Sheol Battlefield for Hell Dorado Now Available for Download

        Visit our downloads section and pull down the Sheol Battlefield for Hell Dorado. This battlefield and 2d terrain where put together by Crad and his French Hell Dorado gaming compatriots. Excellent work guys!

        Read More »

          What is Hell Dorado?

          “DF Editor -This is the first in a series of articles written by the talented Dave Taylor. The series gives an overview and introduction to Hell Dorado as well as showcasing some of Dave’s own Hell Dorado models along with how he achieved the look he got on them in a quick and effective way.”

          Hell Dorado is a tabletop skirmish game set in the depths of Hell itself, during the mid-17th Century. The forces of mankind from across Europe, the Middle-East, and East Asia have delved deep into the under realms of Lucifer and his Demons in order to achieve their own nefarious agendas. As the player, you take control of a company of warriors intent on fulfilling your mission, sent to you by your masters. This mission could be collecting valuable resources for the Catholic Church, or marshaling your demonic host to defend an important route from the invaders. Highly-detailed miniatures and dangerously maddening terrain make for a glorious looking game that can take an hour or two to play out, depending on the size of the forces you choose to lay down.We invite you to learn more about Hell Dorado by reading through the various articles that are upcoming on this site.

          In the year 1631, in the final years of the 30 Years War, the Catholic Soldiers of the Holy Roman Empire discovered a portal near the German town of Magdeberg, a site where 25,000 people were massacred following a brutal siege. The first men sent to investigate this portal were never heard from again. It was only after larger exploration of the site was mounted that the rulers of Europe discovered what had been stumbled upon. A gateway below.  A gateway into Hell. Now the armies of Europe have united, with Catholics and Protestants alike have descending into this new frontier, in search of wealth, power, and glory. Though the Demons of Hell would prove powerful, their own fractious nature would make them susceptible to the combined might of the Western armies. But they are not alone. Unbeknownst to the early Western explorers, Hell is a depth that had been plumbed before, and the Saracens of The Ottoman Empire and the Immortals of China are not content to share their secret sources of power. Westerners, Saracens, Demons, Immortals, the Lost, and countless Mercenaries will now meet one another in battle over the resources and influence of Hell. But in Hell, your opponent is not your only enemy – the very land itself seeks to torment its denizens!

            Registration is open for the European Anima Tactics Championship


            The annual Anima Tactics championships take place from November 22nd 2014, 10:00 a.m. to November 23rd , 4:00 p.m. at the Dreieich Convention near Frankfurt international airport. Registration is open at:


            For international participants English translators will be available during the whole tournament. We play 5 matches of 90 minutes / 300 point battles (gamma encounter) following the official rules. An army list with selected organization advantage and advantage cards needs to be handed over to the tournament officials at the convention.

            A shop for Anima Tactics miniatures run by Ulisses-Games and several other shops for tabletop and RPG accessories, as well as a flat rate of only 10 bucks for coffee sweeten the 2-day experience. The event is hosted by Cipher-Studios, Ninja Division, Ulisses-Games and Tantaluz Music Production who sponsor trophies and prices for the tournament participants. Accommodation can be organized by our team, please get in contact immediately if you need any help. Please register early as places are limited. We look forward to seeing you there!

              All the Things

              We have been busy, heads down, here at Cipher delivering the Hell Dorado Kickstarter and working on many new projects.

              We will soon be porting everything over to the Ninja Division Website  Ninja Division is a partnership between Soda Pop Miniatures and Cipher Studios to put our combined resources in growing the publishing and promotion of all our products.

              Our Free Agent volunteer program is being tranfered to the Ninja Corps: The Ninja Corps will be a combined volunteer program where you can earn rewards by promoting any of the Ninja Division products.

              We have some really cool releases coming up.  Here is the List:

              July Hell Dorado Michael Legatus
              July Anima October
              August Anima Nimrod
              September Hell Dorado Lasiqs
              September Anima Legion
              September Anima Anaximenes

              We’ll be showing preview very soon.

              Ninja Division has just launched the Bunnies vs Zombies Kickstarter.  BvZ is a game developed by Jaime Logrono along with the combined creative resources of the Ninja Division team.



                Into the Breach III: Building Samael


                Welcome back to Into the Breach. Today, I’m going to be covering Samael. Samael is one of the more flexible organizations in Anima Tactics. I’ve heard it said that there are no truly bad lists for Samael, and most their options stack up well when viewed next to other units of the same cost. A major part of this is that nearly every unit in the organization has access to have some sort of ranged attack. This means Samael can lay down a hail of shots in the early game, whittling down opponents from afar, turning the act of crossing the field into a deadly proposition.


                Read More »

                  The Maw V: Nasser abd er Rahman


                  Hey look, another picture of the actual model instead of just concept art! Woo! This one’s a beautiful sculpt for the Saracen faction, and as the main protagonist of the faction’s story arc, Nasser abd er Rahman has the goods to deliver victory to the armies of The One.

                  Nasser abd er Rahman

                  Let’s dive straight in, shall we? Read More »

                    Hobbyist Tactics Part 32: The Hills Have Eyes


                    Welcome Back Everyone!

                    Today our focus will be on making terrain for your game table, which fits wonderfully with Matt’s Molding Rocks Tutorial.
                    Specifically, we will be building some hills so your games aren’t all played on one plane, thus forcing you to adapt and develop new strategies!

                    To make you hills, you will need:
                    • a dust mask
                    • SM insulation foam (available at hardware and building supply stores)
                    • a utility knife
                    • a Styrofoam cutter or hot knife
                    • sandpaper
                    • white glue
                    • toothpicks
                    • sand
                    • paints of your choice (that match your flock)
                    • modeling flock

                    First, decide what kind of hills or landscapes you plan to make.

                    One nice way to get a lot out of your terrain, is to make it modular. If you make several pieces that can either fit on top of each other or be used on their own, you get a lot more variety in your games. I very much enjoy making elaborate pieces of scenery but the trap there is that sometimes your games tend to end up playing out the same way, as a static piece of scenery is used over and over…

                    In any case, I will be walking you through both ideas!

                    First, layered hills.

                    Take a piece of the foam, and roughly cut out the shape you want, with either your utility knife or hot knife. I find it easier to cut a block out, then use the Styrofoam cutter to shape it nicely.
                    Repeat this process, making smaller pieces as you go.

                    Three layers are probably a good start.

                    IMG_4878 Read More »