Monday, 3 October 2011

WarmaHordes: The bandwagon trundles on - further gameplay

So, my first real post since I joined the House of Paincakes.

No pressure.

I've just had more hits in the last few hours than in the month before it.

Assuming anyone who's still around found something I've written before at least somewhat entertaining and/or informative, I'll just keep going.

And on that theme, here's more observations on the actual game WarmaHordes.

The Terrain Rules are somewhat lacking.
Don't get me wrong. The terrain rules themselves are fine. I'd have liked some things to be more explicit, but over all, the rules make some kind of sense.
Shh. As long as I stay at least three inches into the woods, they can't see me.

You've basically got the old Warhammer Fantasy rules for difficult terrain, the old 40k rules for forests, and some obstacles and impassable terrain thrown in (of which the obstacles are the most different).

And then there's the part where we get no indication whatsoever about how much terrain is the right amount, or what kinds should be used liberally, sparingly or basically not at all. Warhammer Fantasy has a ridiculously specific random table, 40k has the twenty-five per cent coverage, and type recommendations. WarmaHordes has something along the lines of 'a lot of open ground favours shooty armies'.

I get it. You don't want to make presumptions about people's available terrain. Some recommendations, though, is that too much to ask?

Ah, well.

There's a lot of record keeping.
WarmaHordes requires a bunch of accessories. Most are easy enough to lay your hands on: the cards come with the models, plastic sleeves and dry erase markers are readily available and the templates are no more difficult to get a hold of than the GW equivalents. I heartily recommend buying the faction token sets, though. They make things a lot easier.

So, what do you actually need to keep track of?

Spells, for one thing. I've easily had seven different spell (or animus) markers in play at once. This alone, however isn't that different from Warhammer Fantasy.

Damage. With 32 'wound' monsters, there's a lot of damage to keep track of. Here, Privateer have come up with a good solution in the shape of the model cards. There's no balancing dice on bases to mark how hurt the model is, only a dry erase marker and a plastic-covered card.

Special rules. These are probably the main reason the token sets are faction specific. Using Trollbloods, I generally have at least half a dozen different rules in play or in need of activation, and the markers help immensely.

Fury/Focus. The big one. My Trollblood token pack came with twenty Fury markers. I've had to complement these with others at one occasion.

All these things mean that there's a lot of stuff to keep track of while a game is in progress. This leads to a higher probability of something being missed, but on the other hand the support structure is a lot more developed than it is for the GW siblings.

You go, I go.
This is one of those things people whine about. When it's your opponent's turn, you can sit down, take your hand of the dice, and relax. You're not going to get to do much. If you've got a lot of Tough models, you might make some of those rolls. Maybe you have a spell active that lets a model move in response to your opponent's models. Maybe something else. But essentially, one player goes at a time, and the other one gets to remove his models.

This does mean that turns are a lot less cluttered. You can focus on your turn, without worrying overmuch about your opponent interrupting for saves, flee moves, disembarking models from transports, yada, yada, yada.

On the other hand the 'your turn despair' (where you feel like you're always losing in the opponents turn, and he feels the same during yours) is a lot more pronounced. Most armies can't even hope for their saves (Trollbloods are Tough, though. I love my Trolls) to at least feel like they're doing something. No, you sit back and watch as your opponent does his best to massacre your beloved models.

And that's gonna have to be it for today. My first real post as a HoP member. Don't judge it too harshly.

It's quite likely there will be at least one more post in this series. There's a lot to be said about the Fury/Focus mechanics that I couldn't be bothered to fit in here. But that's for another day.


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