Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Warzone: Thoughts about the rules, models at Grumpy Old Wargamers Con

A lot of fun and cool games where shown and demoed at Grumpy Old Wargamers Con last weekend, and the most interesting bit for me was the first public demo's of Warzone: Resurrection Sadly I could not attend, mostly due of it being in the UK and I'm in Sweden and haven't any time to travel there right now. However there are very kind souls who attended and who has described how the convention went and how the game played, looked etc. So here's a little article written by cybermonkey over at The WZR Forum about what he saw and how the game rules felt etc. Also here's some more pictures from the event taken by Ishibei (Alex) in the text who also have a very nice blog where you can find even more pictures.

It's a lot of text I know, but I promise you that it's worth a read, if your'e just curious about WZR or a little interested you will be more interested after reading this.

Ok so with my littlest daughter asleep and the other two at school I finally have some time to talk about Saturday!

Ishibei (Alex) arrived at mine nice and early and we got underway with good time arriving at the venue 30mins ahead of opening. In fact we saw Prodos arrive, recognising Mark and Rob from their Youtube interviews. I'm sorry to say I never caught the 3rd team members name :( BAD me!

All three of them were proudly sporting their Mutant Chronicles t-shirts and those of you that have ordered them will likely be very happy. I know Alex has got one for when he demos games in Southampton...

When we finally got in (there were a bunch of us being very British and waiting to be invited in - apparently others had just let themselves in elsewhere! lol) we headed straight for Prodos where we were given a really nice and friendly reception by Mark and Rob. This is also where we had the pleasure of meeting Richard for the first time (Eisenhorn) who we spent most of the day with and are now friends on facebook!
What I hadn't realised (or even considered before Saturday) was that Mark and Rob have full-time jobs at the moment and are working like mad on this project in all their spare time, Mark even has kids so he's really going some bless him - this is another testament to their amazing passion about the project - these guys just never run out of energy (or at least let us see it) where Mutant Chronicles is concerned!

We had a chat about release dates - Rules are just getting final checks and translations from 'Polglish' - as you may have noticed not everything translates perfectly from Polish to English especially when you take into account English slang terms and colloquialisms. There's a great example Mark told us about Jared's original name for the Everassaur's electronic feedback. This passive ability was originally called 'discharge' the term on the card therefore being 'passive discharge' :D Something only someone with an understanding of English Slang would even find funny!

Others include 'dices' rather then 'die' on the shop :)
Release dates are as announced with pdfs coming out towards the end of the month with a gradual roll out of all items from there forward.

Anyway... so it wasn't long before we were begging to play our first game. There were two boards set up (both 2' x 2' - a great size for a 'slightly smaller then starter set' skirmish game). One board was a ruined town area, the other a trench warfare board. The two DarK Legion armies were identical (except one had an oversized necromutant as a stand in for Alakhai the Cunning who is currently in the process of being made bigger!). The Cybertronics had two slightly different armies - one had armoured chasseurs, the other (the one I played) normal chasseurs.

Well the first thing we did was go mad about the figures! The detail is amazing and the figures gorgeous. The everassaur I had the pleasure of using was the Cool Mini or Not version and man I drooled. In fact if I hadn't just told Mark my name I may even have grabbed it and run! Alex got to use the Alakhai figure (this guy is a monster as he is and they're planning on making him another 5mm taller). My advice to anyone playing against Dark Legion is kill him asap, he has no ranged weapon but he is an absolute destroyer in hand to hand!
The paint jobs on all the figures those by Rob, Prophaniti or elsewhere were brilliant and really brought the game to life - I really do prefer to play games with painted minis. The armoured chasseurs when built properly are amazing, I'm so glad I'm getting some. :)

So our first game was great fun and I now got two bragging rights - I am the first person outside Prodos and their local gaming club to kill another mini and I am also the first person outside of this small group to win a game of Warzone Resurrection!

The game started with initiative rolls - I won (apparently I'm a demon at rolling initiative) so I went first (my choice) I got my chasseurs into cover and opened fire on Alex's Undead Legionnaires killing 3 of the 5 of them! Good rolling. The two remaining legionnaires returned fire but I saved both shots on armour (something else it turns out I'm lucky with). My Cuirassier (who I love by the way) returned fire but for no effect... boo!

Razide failed to damage his target - I think it was the Cuirassier! My Everassaur failed to wound Razide and then Alakhai ran across the board ending up very close to my Everassaur to finish turn one.
Turn two started with me winning initiative again (you roll every turn - highest on a D20 wins) my chasseur squad pounded shots into Razide knocking him down to 1 wound, Razide then opened up on my chasseurs and I was down to two before I'd blinked! My Everassaur shot Alakhai and Alakhai charged him back to begin and absolutely epic combat - the results of which maybe didn't decide the whole game but were certainly important. My Cuirassier then took his chance to finish off Razide followed by Alex trying to dig my chasseurs out of their hideouts, cover is a must in this game!

The game continued with an epic confrontation in the middle of the board as I slowly cleared out Alex's remaining Legionairres then turned everything onto Alakhai. In the end - through an epic amount of good rolls for me and bad rolls for Alex - I won comfortably. I believe killing Razide before Alex killed my Cuirassier was the key. My Everassaur had one wound left, my Cuirassier two and I had two squad members left.

My memory is appalling but this is pretty close to what happened Alex likely will read this and email me with a few errors but it's close enough.

Richard (also playing Cyber)then won on the other board - their game finishing within 5 minutes of ours. I don't really know how that went because I was so focused on my game :)

Rob did a fantastic job of keeping an eye on us and the rules and Mark was busy chatting to anyone interested and watching us enjoy ourselves. We all got one of the oversized Necromutants (there are only 10 in the world)!!!!!! Which was really cool of the Prodos guys to do this for us.

Things we noticed as we played;
Cuirassiers can only be in squads of 1-3 not 1-6 as per the shop. They do not need to be in more then 3 and likely one is enough - these guys are amazing! They were the real star of the show for me.
Cuirassiers have a plasma gun that fires piercing - not sure if we mentioned this to the Prodos guys - is this a typo?

Alakhai is a beast, an absolute killer! He can burn two resources to get two more attacks and then still activate the generic ability to burn another resource for an extra attack for a total of six attacks. These must be rolled in order as each consecutive hit adds two to his strength and each two strength over 20 deals an additional wound. He's a squad killer - his hand to hand range is 2" and he can move onto new opponents within 2" or he's a character killer dealing multiple wounds on each hit!
Everassaurs electronic feedback is amazing - it's not hard but it certainly helped kill off Alakhai!

So lets try and cover some of the rules...
It's all D20 based, everything other than initiative you are trying to roll low - equal to or under the necessary number.

Initiative is rolled at the start of every turn and highest chooses who goes first. You take it in turn to move one squad at a time and this is done one figure at a time.

Each figure has two actions - the same action can't be repeated. This may be move and shoot, charge and hit, aim (awesome +2 modifier) and shoot etc. Generally with a ranged army you are likely to get into cover then aim and shoot as an ideal. Of course objectives may change this as you can't always just sit there. Melee are wanting to run as much as possible then charge for their bonus. Legionnaires can't run - they can only move at base speed.

Healing - possessed by all Dark Legion that I came across and the Everassaur - is great and generally boostable (as a % chance of success) with a burnt resource. If you take damage by failing an armour roll you make a heal roll. If you pass you don't lose the wound!

If you roll a 1 to hit you automatically wound your target, no armour save, no heal roll. This is great for shooting Alakhai with chasseurs (ahem... sorry I meant this is great for shooting any hero with a squad ;) ) as you can still damage them with the small guys - you can anyway but you should see your opponents face when you roll a 1 and there's nothing he can do about it!

If you roll a 20 that ends that figures go. For instance if you were planning on shooting and then moving into cover (I should have done more of this in my second game!) but rolled a 20 to hit something has gone wrong and you don't get your move action.
Cover is awesome! Hard cover gives a -4 to hit, soft -2. Cover is a must :)

Every point of strength over 10 reduces armour by 1 point so saving against it is harder. Every two points of strength over 20 adds an extra wound. So if you roll a strength 24 hit (possible with Alakhai I think!) it will do 3 wounds and have -14 armour!
Armour can't go below the number in brackets on the card - that's what the number in brackets is :)

Line of Sight is true LoS. You try and look through your minis head to see if he can see his target.
Resources turn to burn and renew at the start of every turn. Use them! I was rubbish at remembering to use them :D In the basic game you get three from your hero and 1 for a squad leader. If these guys die you lose the corresponding number of cards (you can choose which though so you can get rid of your spent ones first). Keep your squad leaders at the back of the squad if you can due to the next two rules...

There's a minus for shooting through minis, I think it was -2 (basically they're like soft cover but I think they stack - in fact I think all cover stacks) so a figure at the back of the squad is harder to hit - however the figure applies the same minus when shooting back as it too is firing through others.

If you want to shoot at a miniature other than the nearest target (although this may just be not in the nearest squad but I think it is just the nearest mini) then you have to pass a leadership test.

You can burn resources to activate abilities on the cards, have an extra action point (you still can't repeat actions you've already done), or get an extra attack. You can do more then one of these in the same turn but not the same one repeatedly (you can activate multiple abilities but not the same ability multiple times).
We think, not 100% sure on this one, that the same squad can't go first on consecutive turns unless they are your only squad left.

Shooting into hand to hand is possible but a BAD idea. I think it's -8 to hit and misses can end up being applied to your own combatant. A last ditch idea unless you are playing a 3-way game!
If you are reduced to 50% or less miniatures you have to immediately make a leadership roll or break. No one ever failed one of these so not too sure what happens if you break.

I think that's it. The game is brilliantly simple really - there's no continuous reference to a rulebook, it's all on the stat cards. I'm really looking forward to using the other cards!

So what did I think? Well as you can tell I'm a fan :) I love the way the game flows, I like taking small squad sized actions rather then whole armies taking turns (I play 40k) and the back and forth between opponents.
It did leave me wondering this morning if something could be 'borrowed' from bolt action but that's probably a bit rude! But it certainly could be interesting to pull out of a bag (or shuffle cards!) to see which squad goes in which order - leading to more fluctuation. I honestly think this could add to the game but it certainly isn't hurt without it. Maybe I'll try it as a house rule?

This to me shows how much I've been reflecting on the game since I played it and this is quite honestly the one thought I've had that I thought MIGHT improve the game - and there's no guarantee of that!
The game flows brilliantly, is easy to play (compared to 40k for example), and is quick even for beginners.

The second game...
After we got to have a go of playtesting the Mutant Chronicles RPG by Mordipheus (yes my day really was that good!) - I'll try and do a write up of that at another point - we had another game. And oh my word was it close. I started playing against Rob but about half way through he was asked if he could judge the painting competition so Alex took over. The battle was epic! Thinking I'd learnt from the first game I killed off Razide first turn (although only after he'd done some hefty damage to my chasseurs) and then once again it ended up with Alakhai vs the Everassaur in hand to hand while my remaining Chasseurs and my Cuirassier took out the remaining legionnaires. The difference was this time the rolling was far more even and Alakhai shone! My Chasseurs were too close and he was able to kill them off as well as hitting the Everassaur - this hurt me, especially when he rolled a 1 and vampired a point of health back! I was attacking him with everything I have and in the end it came down to his Alakhai with one hit left vs my last remaining Chasseur! I won initiative and then managed to hit him in hand to hand, he then passed his armour roll and turned round and flattened my Chasseur - lol.

It came down to that roll of a 1 on the vampirism, that was it, that was the decider, the game really was that close. If he'd rolled a 2 instead at the time it would have made little difference but at the end of the game it was that one wound being returned that won if for him!


Thanks to Alex for suggesting both the kick starter and Grumpy Wargamers - follow him on his blog:

Thanks to Richard for being a great companion for the day and sharing and adding to our enjoyment and enthusiasm.

And particular thanks to the Prodos guys, Mark, Rob and (I wish I knew you name!)Mr. X, for being brilliant and enthusiastic and generous. I'm really happy with my set of photo sized artwork and especially my oversized NecroMutant! (Oh and my bragging rights - gotta love those) I had a brilliant day and am now even more excited!

Finally I'm going to end with a little teaser or two... Apparently the mirrormen are awesome! Prodos couldn't decide which way to go with these guys - the stealth version found in the old wargame or the bright chromatically finished bodyguards found in the roleplay game. So what did they do?

They went with both!!! These guys have special technology in their armour that either displays whats behind them (making them 'invisible') or projects light forward making them a very obvious target! I can't wait to see how this plays out in their rules!

And... us o so lucky few got to see a little piece of artwork from the book that showed a great jungle seen with some bauhaus troops about to be ambushed by some sword wielding silhouettes - perhaps mishima, perhaps brotherhood Mortificators. It was a gorgeous piece!

Take care all and I am so damn excited right now :)

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