General Gaming Update/Name and Shame

Its been about a week or so since my last update and whilst nothing of earth shattering importance has occurred I feel I should still do a bit of an update to keep people up-to-date with where we are.

You could also view this as a bit of a warning…..of late I’ve bought lots of stuff and some online retailers are very suspect in their service and ability to do simple things….name and shame time.

Warzone – well Wayland Games messed up my Armoured Chasseurs order sending me two boxes of the Old Version rather than two boxes of the New Version (released 31-01-15).  So I contacted them and they insisted i raise a Helpdesk ticket to resolve their mistake.  So now they’ve contacted PRODOS and advised them to ship some new ones to me.  Well despite having a very clear order and the information in front of them they only advised PRODOS to ship 1 set so yet another helpdesk ticket and another phonecall later and they have asked PRODOS to send another set. *sigh*

I did manage to pick up two squads of Mirrormen to join Pieter Diamond so lots of models for assembly.  Thank you Black Dragon Miniatures

Lastly I ordered a Mishima Starter Box force from Wargames Miniatures on EBay, who seem to have the same service team as Wayland and have, since 2nd February, failed to dispatch my order despite two messages requesting they do.  They have until the close of play today for it to arrive or I will be raising a dispute against them and using Paypal to get my money back.

Allan Powell and I will be attending Overlord Gaming Convention/Show on March 1st in Abingdon to run some Warzone Demo’s so please do come along and grab a game with us.  It would be great to expand the community and get others interested in what is an excellent product.

I’ll also be going over to Leicester on Wednesday evening to join Anthony Evans as he demos Warzone Resurrection at Tabletop Tyrant/Gifts for Geeks.  Im looking forward to getting some more WZR gaming time.  I may even have to book some tickets for the UK Games EXPO Warzone Resurrection tournament (sadly I fear it clashes with Empire 1 2015)

Lastly in WZR I bought some excellent resin bases for my WZR models from bases4war (http://www.bases4war.com/).  I went with the Battlefield Debris range and picked up 40 small (30mm lipped) and 10 medium (40mm lipped) for basing my Cybertronic on.  These are excellent bases and will really unify my Cybertronic forces.

http://www.startrek.com/article/first-look-attacking-wing-kazon-ogla-razik-expansion-pack

http://www.startrek.com/article/first-look-attack-wing-wave-12-tholia-one

Star Trek Attack Wing – The previews for the new Wave 12 ships begin to find their way online so its time for an update.  Well my Wave 11 ships arrived quickly and reasonably cheaply from Chaos Cards without issue.  I *think* they worked out as £9-95 per ship, which was cheaper than using one of the American traders and cheaper than most if not all of the FLGS.  Looking forward to another Romulan ship in Wave 12 which sadly hasn’t been previewed yet…..the IRW Haakona.

Taken from Memory-Alpha:-

The IRW Haakona was a Romulan D’deridex-class warbird that was in service with the Romulan military in the mid-24th century.

In 2365, Subcommander Taris was the commanding officer of this ship. In that year, the Haakona covertly downloaded logs from USS Yamato and then followed the USS Enterprise-D to the planet Iconia. However, the warbird had acquired the same malevolent Iconian software transmission in the download as the Enterprise-D, and was experiencing similar system malfunctions, which Taris blamed on Starfleet sabotage. Nevertheless, on the warnings from the Enterprise-D the Haakona destroyed an Iconian probe before it could make a scan, prolonging its survival.

Captain Jean-Luc Picard escaped from the surface of Iconia onto the Haakona using an Iconian gateway, and was shortly after beamed back to the Enterprise-D. By that time, the program had activated the Haakona’s self-destruct sequence. The Enterprise-D transmitted instructions on neutralizing the Iconian program to the Haakona before its departure, saving the Romulan vessel. (TNG: “Contagion“)

Speculation abounds as to what we’ll be seeing on the Haakona but I’m going to go with a Subcommander Taris card, maybe a CS6 or 7?  An Iconian Gateway/Probe?  A Romulan version of Self Destruct perhaps?  Maybe some generic Romulan Security Officers as many were used in this TNG epsiode (and later went on to become named STTNG CCG characters/cards.  Lets hope for a decent ship for the Empire this time around!

Star Wars X-Wing – Due to a recent expansion at NAGA I now find myself on the Star Wars X-Wing Club League table in a lowly 7th position.  I’ve made an official challenge for the 5th place position after the forthcoming game between Alan Mathieson and Mithell Dunton, so we’ll see how that goes.  It could be my usual list or I could mix it up and go with dual Phantoms.  This depends on whether my second Phantom arrives in time. *crosses fingers*

So Bases4War, Chaos Cards and Black Dragon Miniatures all get the thumbs up from me this week but sadly Wayland Games and Wargames.Miniatures both need to seriously up their game or risk further naming and shamings and loss of custom.

Reviewing WZR: My first Warzone game (NAGA @ 14-01-2015)

prodos games white     warzone

Warzone Resurrection is a tabletop miniatures (28mm scale) skirmish game, set in the Mutant Chronicles dark SciFi Future made by PRODOS Games.

http://prodosgames.com/

The Solar System is besieged by abominations from the dark beyond, infernal hybrids of undead alien flesh brought into existence by the Dark Symmetry. Mankind is divided into five rival MegaCorporations concerned only with profit and territory as they tear the inner worlds apart in bitter, internecine war. United in faith under the Brotherhood, Mankind may yet prevail – divided, they shall surely fall as the Dark Legion sweeps all before it.

Some time ago Tris, my Hairy Gamer bromance and erstwhile partner in gaming crime, & I invested in a game that looked really interesting, PRODOS’ AvP.  At this point I hadn’t heard of PRODOS or any of their games.

Subsequently we attended a PRODOS Games Day at Wayland Games in Southend where we met Matthew Edgeworth (Medge), a PRODOS Crusader for Warzone Resurrection, and Rob Alderman, Global Head of Sales for PRODOS.  We had a q&a with Rob, we played some games, we saw the product and met some other players.  All in all fun was had and our keen levels for AvP were on the rise.  As a consequence of this day I decided to apply to become a PRODOS Crusader for AvP, which means attending shows, representing the game and PRODOS at events and running demo games to bring new blood into the hobby.  I figured as I was joining the PRODOS fold I ought to learn to play their other big game, Warzone Resurrection.

After asking around Rob suggested a close friend of his Allan Powell could give me a demo, as he is a Crusader too, and I could learn the ropes.  Before we could get our first game in I bought the Cybertronic Starter Box and Rulebook and decided to take the plunge and just go for it.

Last night Allan Powell and Mattski Val ran a pair of games so two other players could get a feel for the game and maybe begin to play.  The two players were Brent Jay (he of the STAW 3:The Search for Brent fame) and me.  I had by this point managed to read some fluff and background stuff so knew some stuff but not enough to jump straight into a game (which will bring me to a point later).  Armed with a Rulebook, a tape measure and a handful of D20 I set about learning the WZR ropes.

We played on a large 4ft x 6ft table.  Brent and I played eachother on the left and Allan and Mattski on the right.  There was an imaginary divide down the table.  Brent would command a Starter Box worth of Dark Legion whilst I had a Starter Box worth of Mishima.  Dark Legion are the “bad guys” of WZR, demonic undead monsters released from behind a sealed asteroid in the deepest recesses of our Solar System.  They are led by a Nepharite, a demonic god using evil dark magic powers and his entire force uses a form of necromancy to potentially be able to resurrect dead troops.  Mishima on the other hand are one of the “big five” mega corporations originating on Earth but now spread to various interstellar objects in our Solar System.  They are Space Samurai based on Feudal Japan.  They are led by Captain Hiroko, a heroic samurai leader blessed with Ki powers to inspire and buff his troops.  There are other forces available but for the purposes of this I won’t digress.

Each of us had two basic squads, a vehicle or heavy support option and our Leader and I am lead to believe that pretty much each Starter Box has the same sort of setup allowing for a balanced “straight out of the box” game.

Warzone Resurrection uses a D20 based system wherein all stats are given out of 20 and all actions (rolling to hit, armour tests, break tests, pinning tests) are decided by rolling under the appropriate stat.

Every model has two AP (Action Points) per turn (unless stated otherwise on its card I.E. the Mishima Meka has 3 AP) which can be spent on a variety of basic (1 point) and advanced (2 point) actions. Models are activated individually and although bound by squad coherency can act relatively independently. Alternatively models in a squad can spend points to contribute to combined actions which produce a single more powerful attack for use against larger, more dangerous foes. It’s quite an intuitive system and seems quite flexible.

Within a unit, vehicles or heroes activation it has a number of options; it can move up to its full M (Movement) measured in inches, it can spend its two AP to “run” (moving up to twice its full M in inches), it can aim its weapon (to gain a +2 to its first RS (Ranged Skill) Test that turn), it can “engage” in melee by moving upto twice its M (movement) and finishing its action within CCWR (Close Combat Weapons Range) then performing a CC (Close Combat) test, it can perform an action whereby it holds back a shooting action for a later phase called Sentry or it can perform any action listed on its stat card.  This is the absolute basics.  There may be more available but these are what we used in our basic intro game.

There are some interesting rules which seem like an attempt to inject a bit more narrative and flavour into the game itself such as sniping rules, different types of abilities and traits that define and make each troop type a specialist unit with a style.  There are also different types of weapons such as Plasma, Gas or Piercing which means they are more or occasionally less effective against certain kinds of armour and troops such as undead troops being immune to gas weapons and robotic troops being immune to Dark Symmetry magic.  The rules also allow bonuses to template weapons used against targets in cover.

At this point it became clear that the mechanics were very very similar to those used by AvP so each turn in broken into phases, yours and your opponents.  Each turn you roll for initiative to see which of you will activate first.  This is one of the few rolls in WZR or AvP where rolling high is good.  You roll a D20 and compare, highest wins and therefore activates first.  Each player activates one of its units, vehicles, support options or heros first and then uses all of its AP (Action Points) for that round before play passes to the other player.  You continue with this until each force has activated and used the AP’s of each of its units, vehicles or heros, etc.

You also generate resource cards.  Resource cards are generated by your forces themselves, a Leader/Hero type unit generates 3 cards per turn, each unit/squad commander generates 1.  So both Brent and I were generating 5 cards per turn; one for each squad and three for our Leaders.  These cards can be used to allow models to perform an extra action (per model NOT unit), increase RoF (Rate of Fire) of a ranged weapon, increase RoA (Rate of Attack) of a close combat weapon or power an ability listed on their card.  This mechanic forces you to think wisely about spending these cards as you can create a very powerful individual stacking actions and increased RoF to decimate entire squads or increase your entire army.  The beauty of the system is that your opponent does not know where those cards will be spent until it comes time to “turn and burn” them.  At the end of the turn any unused resource cards are lost and the entire pile resets dependant on which models are left.  Once you begin to lose commanders and squad leaders you start to lose cards.

The resource mechanics seem to be one of the most innovative parts of this rule set.

Army/force selection is based on an organization chart similar to other gaming systems.   This chart grows with the size of game being played. There are also options to swap out some slots in your organisation – for example exchanging a heavy vehicle slot for two light vehicle/monster slots or vice versa. You can select a ready made Warlord/Hero/Leader or you can create a custom lord or warlord as an alternative to the existing special characters. These options allow you to alter their base stats, modify their weapons and equipment and give them any of a vast array of special rules, all for the appropriate points costs.  You select a type of package for your Warlord and that can fundamentally change how he/she works.

Combat is refreshingly easy to navigate through and exactly the same as the AvP sessions we had at Wayland Games.  When firing a ranged weapon you must roll a RS (Ranged Skill) test using a D20.  Roll under your value and you hit.  A roll of 1 is critical and auto wounds.  On a model with 1 W (Wound) that means death, on a multi wound model it removes a single wound.  Other criteria also need to be factored in such as any cover (light cover modifies by a -2 to test, heavy cover a -4 and it stacks), aiming (a +2 to the next RS Test) and any special abilities that have been applied.

If the shot hits then the defending model rolls its AV (Armour Value) if it has one.  Some weapons have a very detrimental affect on armour and apply modifiers such as minuses and some shots can completely ignore armour.  Roll below your AV on a D20 and you’ve saved the shot.  Fail and take a wound.  Some weapons are have better RoF (Rate of Fire) and others have a single shot.  Each shot is tested seperately.  On a roll of 20 on a shot and your model loses any further actions.  This is true of CC (Close Combat) tests too.  An unmodified 1 always hits and an unmodified roll of 20 always fails.

When “engaging” in melee or Close Combat the same mechanics are true.  The attacking model rolls its CC (Close Combat) stat.  Roll a D20 and attempt to roll below your CC.  “Engaging” or charging an enemy model grants a +2 modifier as can other special abilities etc.  Again you can “turn and burn” a resource card to increase the RoA (Rate of Attack) of your close combat weapons.  You need not be in base to base contact to attack in melee.  Some melee weapons have a CCWR (Close Combat Weapons Range), a short range that allows the model to attack from 2″ or 3″ away dependant on the stats of the weapon.  If the attack hits then again the model attempts to roll below its AV stat applying any modifiers from the attacking weapon or special abilities.  If the attack hits and isnt saved it wounds.

Thats it for now, thats about all my sleep deprivation addled brain can recall at this second in time.

I will preface my summary with the statement I like PRODOS games, Im a PRODOS Crusader but I will be honest.

The game is very quick and easy to learn.  It is also cheap to get involved with as each Starter box represents a balanced force that can be played once assembled and roughly £35 gets you 12-16 models and a stack of cards.  The miniatures are superbly defined and gloriously detailed but this can also be a problem too.  Some models have joints and limbs so fine and small that they can easily break.  I myself had a broken model straight out of the box BUT a quick email to PRODOS resolved this very quickly and a FULL new model was dispatched immediately.  You simply cannot fault customer service like that.

The mechanics are simple and easy and within a turn or two both my opponent and I were able to play confidently.  There is also sufficient depth and difference in the abilities and forces that the game doesnt feel  “samey”.  The resource system allows you do do all manner of different things and that keeps the game constantly changing and unpredictable.  Its an advanced system and you can play the basic wargame without it but i feel its an intuitive and innovative system that add depth and interest.

The rulebook is beautiful if a little large.  Its nearly 290 pages of charts, fluff, tables and information.  It took me reading 25 pages of fluff and background to find the first rules.  Then the rules were clear and concise although I do feel the rulebook could do with a quick start guide to enable easy starter games.  The diagrammatical examples are clear and the artwork is nice and in keeping with the themes and style of the game.  There are a lot of scenarios and support for playing the game and each force in the game.  Each corporation/force/army has its own section within the book giving the feel and flavour the game designers are trying to evoke.  Their specific troop/unit types and the rules for each are shown clearly with all the upgrade options and weapon stats.

All in all it is a really strong game, with a nice feel and better than most other games miniatures.  It seriously competes with the other similar games on the market and I would heartily recommend it to anyone looking at getting into a well supported and up and coming 28mm skirmish game.  A lot of work and thought has gone into the rulebook, miniatures and mechanics which makes the game a success.

Overall I would give Warzone Resurrection a huge 9 out of 10.