What I would like is a discussion of the rules. When you see reviews of the new book you get a paultry of a few pics, mostly vague and general statements like 'rules are solid' and 'the play feels epic'. Which of course are meaningless statements. That is why I don't like game reviews in general nor book reviews. I play Mutants and Masterminds for example and I can tell you the 'book reviews' for 2e or 3e rules are rather pathetic compared to someone truly breaking the rules down, telling you true insights into the game.
For the most part, it is both hard and time consuming to do an intimate rules review. Most folks doing WZR reviews right now are doing a general review of the beginnings of the line and so are splitting attention between miniatures, overall production values and the general feel of things. That said, with the rules now being free to the whole community reviews of the rules lose a bit of their use. Now anyone and everyone can just download them, play a few test games and make up their own minds.
So the new Warzone (WZR) uses no range modifiers right? Let me know I have the pdf of the rules, but not the new rulebook since I'm waiting for the new templates to come out and that might be a while. Unfortunately the rules and book are not sold many places and the few rules reviews don't really get into it.
Eh, I wouldn't say the rules aren't solid myself, they have their shaky bits (such as morale), but I own few games that don't have at least one questionable mechanic (and I own plenty that have far more than that). Every game needs some FAQ and Errata work out of the box and the game is bound to see more work between now and when the full retail release goes live. The KS limited edition rulebook is, in many ways, a first draft of things meant to get backers in to the action. Later on there will be a new core book and individual faction books (of which Imperial will be the first). But overall I think it is a good showing for a rule set and the games I've played with it have been fun and very reminiscent of my 1st Edition days (without the squad-killing nimrod-toting, command helmet wearing army commanders, that is).
One thing that I have seen is a couple battle reports that have started to show the look/feel of the game which is good. What are the cards like in play for example?
The card-play may take a bit of time to suss out. First, all of us are only aware of the card-pools we ordered so a decent compare and contrast hasn't really been possible for most of us who only went in for some of the factions. Second, most of the folks doing tutorial games for their friends to start growing the community haven't been using them (since they offer a lot of depth in army-building terms). So all in all, we haven't had a lot of chance to do an in-depth analysis of the cards. These things are still pretty brand new, and in my stuff I've only paid a great deal of attention to the Bauhaus deck which seems to mostly be stocked with large, splashy strategic effects. In fact, with most of their deck being composed of Strategy cards instead of gear and tactics, it means that their card play tends to be more monolithic and less flexible, but it is geared towards making its effects known. They prefer area denial in general play (a lot of terrain effect cards) but also have some interesting interaction with economy denial against the enemy (their, to put it in Magic the Gathering terms, "counterspell" forces their opponent to spend all their resources in one go rather than when they want to use it).
I'm at work, so I can't give an in-depth card analysis (I was in the process of doing one for the WZR forums, but got sidetracked a month ago). But in general, the way Bauhaus's deck felt seemed to fit the faction.
Back to the fact the game doesn't seem to have range modifiers? Do you think that it means high RC models tend to hit a lot more but are other factors in play to reduce the lethality of weapons or is that by design how it is suppose to be: more than likely you'll hit if a model is in range, barring some factor like cover, but if you really look at cover often it doesn't provide the benefit needed, either the model is out of LOS or has no cover.
Range modifiers tend to be less necessary in general for a few reasons. First thing to remember, is that in general (outside of funnelling resources in to a force) you will be making less shots than you have in any other edition of Warzone, so you can't rely on weight of dice to make up for the swingyness of shot attempts. Since you cannot double up on actions, this mean Ranged Skill is a bit higher than it was in 1st Edition (and much higher than 2nd, though I always felt 2nd made them abysmally low for most purposes). Second thing, is that cover modifiers stack instead of merely taking the highest. Models out in the open are fairly easy to hit, but on most boards a model is rarely in the open. And with models able to provide cover to those behind them, it is very easy to take an RS12 and force it down to almost nothing. In most cases, during games I've played, RS mods of -6 to -8 were fairly common affairs at longer ranges, while shorter ranges tended to see less intervening cover and thus provide easier shots.
Also note, that in a lot of ways, the range of engagement has also come way down. 24" is considered long range now (with a few outliers that shoot further) and I think this has had a pretty good effect on making close combat quite viable as a general tactic (which is nice for all those Mishima and eventual Wolfbane players).
Overall I like that all modifiers have been shuffled in to things like Cover and Stealth and that range is now a fairly binary yes/no question. Now the difficulty of a shot is based on how much cover they're in and whether they are camouflaged further.
Unless I had screwed up positioning royally, my enemy was usually hitting me on 5's and 6's. The system reads oddly to those used to 2nd and UWZ's multi-tiered range system. But as someone more used to simplistic tierless or even just two-tier (ala 1st Edition) I quite like the simplicity it brings. Mixed with punishing cover mechanics and the lessened amount of shots fired, I feel the game has a good degree of deadliness to it. Not too high, not too low.
The printed rule book seems to have a few differences in from what I can tell through written comments on the forum, plus all the various stats for models which give the game its real differences in play.
This is mostly because the PDF includes errata and clarifications from the players who have had the books since November. Not sure exactly what has changed (haven't gone through the PDF in depth yet).
So please post your thoughts on elements of the game mechanics and if/how they might differ from UWZ, and your feelings on if you think it works well or is problematic? I think this type of discussion is better suited for this forum than the official Prodos one since a) many on there haven't played UWZ
Probably less true than you might think. A lot of familiar faces over there. Though for many of us old hats, other editions are our favourites and so our experiences will be in those terms. Even the designers of WZR are long time players (including UWZ).
b) you can speak your mind openly without fear of limiting your freedom of speech. No trolling, just honest dialogue and opinions here please. I'm sure in the end, if someone chooses to play WZR it will be for the right reasons but they should go in with eyes open.
Again, I don't think you'll be drummed out of the WZR forums for discussing other editions and they certainly haven't ever shirked from criticism of the rules or models (they were quite receptive to suggestions at all points during and after the KS). But hey, as this is another WZ community, no harm in discussing it here, there are anywhere for that matter. I just don't think anyone should be any more hesitant to talk about previous edition of Warzone over there as they were here, back when Excelsior was still licensing the rights and producing their own version. The Prodos guys grabbed Warzone's license because they love the property and wanted it to live, we're not talking FFG over here.
If there are issues with the rules list possible tweaks. Remember house rules are not evil, and in the end I view the printed rule book Prodos put out as nothing more than a first printing and a Delta rule set (a beta rule set published and put out for general public playtest, which ultimately will lead to errata and updating/clarifying and possibly a new edition of the rules). At the very least, it is a good assumption the rule book you bought from the KS from Prodos will be reprinted within the year, and more than likely since at the time it was not feasible to have pics of actual models in the rules (though the art and book seem to be amazing looking). I'd suspect the second printing will have a number of images of the miniatures added, PLUS any errata and other changes/clarifications of the rules (such as I read about issues with Sentry needing more clarification) will be printed.
I want to buy the Prodos book but I know it will be obsolete by the second printing. The same thing has happened many times with many other games so its like a 99% chance of happening as it just how things work.
Yup, Prodos have never said anything different. The limited edition KS book is mostly a treat for those folks who wanted a physical book to play from. Honestly, if you weren't a backer and are good with reading from PDF's, I'd stick with that until we see the final core book released for retail and the faction books. To me, the KS book is more of a pretty physical artifact full of background material and nice art. There is a reason I never bothered buying the 2nd Edition updated rules for Infinity. I already have the original (and the art and background is the same) and the PDF rules for the subsequent edition were free online.
Either way, the printed rulebook from the KS was cheap, so I don't mind if it gets a replacement down the road. It will still be a limited run book, signed by the team at Prodos and full of lovely art, new and old. Still one of the top 5 in my collection in terms of production values.
But for new players, use the PDFs and spend the dosh you save on minis if you end up enjoying the rules. This is what I love about free rules, it is such a nice way of lowering the barrier for entry.
I bet you whatever comments are put here Prodos will eventually read them and might decide to modify something needing modifying before a new printing (you never know). List your feedback with an ear toward positive criticism, kudos of rules you love or how they did something in the game.
They've been very (very) receptive to well thought out criticisms of the system and have had a great level of communication with the community. In the end, they are the designers and it is their job to design things, but they have never shut down discussion or criticism of the rules and you can see a lot of info from the Alpha and Beta tests taken to heart in the current rules. And I have no doubt we will see changes down the line based on wider community use when the final rules and army lists show up. I wouldn't call the current game a beta/delta/test. What we have is as playable as any other game on the market, but Prodos are very willing to change and tweak rules to make things work. We knew the KS rulebook would kind of just be a stopgap limited print for backers and early adopters. I have no doubt that the data we pass on to Prodos will make the second printing an even better game.
The key issue I see with WZR though is it skips a lot of evolution in game mechanics I've seen develop over the years from WZ1, WZ2, UWZ, Void, VOR, Infinity, Dark Age, War Machine, and others as like it or not game designers know and often play these games and use the insights into them to improve the new game they work on.
Interesting that you say that. I personally get a much different feel. To me, if I were to come up with a short description of how the mechanics feel in play it would be this. Warzone Resurrection is a love letter to Warzone 1st Edition written through the esception-based lense of Warmachine. The resource management, simple ranged combat mechanics and focus on interesting abilities and interactive play manage to make the game feel a whole lot like Warmachine (and the added options in hand-to-hand drive the feel even more by giving models of various sizes a bevvy of interesting actions beyond just swinging their claws/swords). But its core kernel is still very much 1st Edition Warzone with a few modernizations and tweaks.
With all that said then, lets here about your thoughts on the mechancis of Warzone Resurrection (WZR) and if you want to give thoughts about how it relates to other games, please do so. It only adds insight into the game mechcanics and rules of WZR itself.
First, the things I think it did very right:
- It brought back characters as quintessential pulp heroes but managed to make them feel more like working parts of the army rather than the main movers and shakers they were in 1st. I was never a fan of them being shifted to low-key individuals in 2nd Edition and I like them feeling a little more larger than life. In a lot of ways, this is one thing that really drives the WZ1 by way of Warmachine feel. The Warlord is a central feature of your force (and I hope to see great things from future tweaks of the custom character system; the current one is fun if a bit bare bones). It provides the bulk of the resources you manage in play and determines how your force will function (often deciding what upgrades your force can take).
- I like the greater focus on passive and active special rules and how it meshes with the resource mechanics. It gives each unit a unique feel and purpose in the list and adds a lot of variation.
- I like the greater focus on army customization. It feels like it is a step between 1st Editions free wheeling nature and Ultimate's more measured stance on squad upgrades. But what I love the most is that the method and kind of upgrades are determined by faction. From Capitol's regimental rules to Bauhaus's flexible doctrines and Mishima's Ki Schools. All of the forces have a very unique flavour to them. This allows two forces from the same faction to do wildly different things depending on exact upgrades. And like Warmachine, something as simple as changing up the central character you use can greatly effect the list.
- I like the general simplicity and balance of the action system. I enjoy the move toward 2AP as standard as this subtly speeds things up without trading out too much of the feel of choice. Further, balancing actions around not being able to double up (and providing Advanced actions to fill in some key gaps) allowed them to fix some of the internal action economy problems in the previous systems (why aim when firing 2-3 times was a better accuracy booster that came with more potential damage?). Now they have shuffled those avenues of play in to a resource-limited system. So you can still have a squad pour fire in at a higher rate than normal, but it becomes an opportunity cost that may screw you later. At the very least, it has finally succeeded in making aim a worthwhile action to take. Overall, the action economy of the game feels more vibrant and less stagnant with fewer objectively correct choices to make which, in turn, leads to more rewarding turn to turn tactical analysis.
- I like the overall buff to assault. The reduction in reaction fire (and proviso that it occurs only at the beginning of an action you witness) means that assault armies can now storm hard-points without it always resulting in pure slaughter (unless they have some kind of special rule to prevent it). Realistic or no, it always felt odd how many previous editions punished assault despite it featuring heavily in the lore. It now feels like Mishima can do crazy banzai charges and not find themselves wiped out when they round a corner in to a waiting flame thrower. In addition, the additional combat options depending on the base size is a neat pseudo-WM mechanic (reminiscent of Power Attacks). It makes your medium-based characters feel sufficiently pulpy when they can throw their weight around, and it makes large monsters feel truly monstrous when they can bowl through your lines like enraged beasts.
- I like the change of the ranged system. It feels quite Warmachine-esque with no range bands and only cover and other incidental modifiers altering the difficulty of a shot. It seems balanced against the lower general ROF of weapons, the availability and stacking of cover penalties and general shorter range of everything. Positioning and cover use remain quite important and range control becomes more a question of CQB troops now being truly nasty in their own right than something to get extra incidental positives and negatives. You now manoeuvre to deny cover than to try to keep yourself in that ranged sweet spot. It also reduces lookup quite a bit. Once you know your weapon ranges you wont have to deal with remember if you're in point blank, short range, medium, etc. And this can really help speed things up in larger games with a variety of units.
Main thing I am still not sold on:
- Morale feels kind of like an afterthought and (as I've mentioned over on the forums) the break points of when a squad tests for Pinning or Broken tend to mean that I squad may only test for broken once, and then be immune to the condition forever more. This is one case where the game would probably do well to mimic Warmachine if they are going to test for 50% casualties from the squad's start-of-turn numbers. In general practice, you will only see a squad lose 75% of its starting numbers once, and after that point, whatever remains will not be enough to test for being Broken. This is the one system I hope they change quite a bit whenever the next iteration rolls around (that said, I haven't checked it in the PDF, is it still the same or am I ranting at ghosts with this one?). Either way, I am hoping for a fairly simple morale system to keep things loose and playable at higher point levels.
I wont comment much on card play right now since I haven't gotten in a game that has used them since early beta, during the Kickstarter (back when you played a mirror match between two forces with a generic warlord, two generic troop units and a generic monster). But in general I like what I have seen of the card mechanics in the three card-pools I own. I've only gone in to any great depth with Bauhaus, but the flavour fit them nicely. I'll be able to say more when I get a game in with cards.