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 www.ninjadivision.com.  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: http://ninjadivision.com/join-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 »

              Molding Rocks


              Hi all, welcome to another Tales From Alamut!

              Hell Dorado is a game that can require a lot of terrain. Through the vagaries of the terraformation phase, a battlefield can potentially have as many as 30 points of terrain to place. This means players may need to rely on the generic elements like rocks, stalagmites, and the like to fill the board. Today I want to look at the method I have used to produce some realistic rock terrain pieces using the silicone molding technique I used previously to make stalagmite terrain. You can check out that tutorial here.

              Because I wanted to mold real rock, I needed to find some! Raiding the garden turned out to be a futile effort, turning up nothing of suitable size. In the end I visited the local landscaping supply depot; for a modest cost you can purchase large rocks for gardens. I walked away with a bag of rocks suitably sized for terrain.

              IMG_1242 Read More »

                Into the Breach II: Toxicology


                Welcome back to Into the Breach. In this entry, we are going to focus on the Azur Alliance. The Azur Alliance fills a unique roll in terms of factions. It is fairly light on powerhouses, with Arbiters being the obvious exceptions, but as a faction, they fill a roll of having a great amount of choice of light, fast units that can dish out attacks far faster then the opponent can dodge. Even better, in my opinion, is the ease with with the Alliance can poison threatening enemy units, thus limiting their options, and giving every action a price in blood.

                The star of any Azur list that wants to rely on Poison is Wolfgang Metzger. With his ability to double the poison damage on all units within his Control Zone, poisoned attacks, and a special attack that raises his poison threat to 16, he really shines. As a crucial component to a poison list, Wolfgang is best kept defended, and if at all possible backed up to avoid his getting double teamed. His built-in ability to Blind anyone in base contact is useful, but not something that can be relied on.

                wolfgang_tactics sm Read More »

                  The Maw IV: Michael Legatus


                  This one has me really excited. A few weeks ago I got the preview image of the Michael Legatus sculpt and I was like “Oh man, I am definitely getting him.” I don’t really play westerners all that much, preferring the tricksiness of the Demons and the speed and mobility of the Lost, but Michael Legatus just knocks it out of the park for me in terms of aesthetics. Check him out.

                  Ainma__Deadmoon_by_Wen_M Read More »

                    Hobbyist Tactics Part 31: PROMETHEA

                    hobbyist-tactics-bannerWelcome to 2014, and the newest installment of Hobbyist Tactics! I hope all of you had a wonderful holiday season!

                    Today we will be doing another step-by-step, featuring Promethea from the Black Sun starter set. She is a miniature with a lot of attitude, she definitely has a smug air about her. As heir to one of the most influential families in Gaïa, she doesn’t seem to be concerned with all that much, aside maybe being exceedingly fashionable… Promethea looks like she’d be right at home on stage at either a runway show or a wild concert.

                    Painting Promethea, I used:
                    • dark brown
                    • dark flesh
                    • light flesh
                    • Black
                    • dark grey
                    • light grey
                    • purple
                    • ivory
                    • tan brown
                    • bright silver
                    • coal black
                    • turquoise
                    • black ink

                    promethea-1 Read More »