To date, thier offerings have all been fantasy related. Which makes me a sad nerd girl, because Warmachine is my fantasy game since I dont like playing games with formations. Squares attacking other squares or rectangles just doesnt appeal to me ;)
But, now theres Warpath. And between the concept art, and now the Beta rules- Im rather enthused. For now- Im going to talk about my first impressions of the Beta rules.
First- 15 pages. Thats a pamphlet folks. Some of us hear that and think 'Hahaha Ive seen this before!'
And we have, simplicity has been tried before, many times. And its never been very successful, as many wargamers seem to revel in having overly complex charts and interaction rules to randomly determine whos imaginary little space warrior aliens dies.
I've got to thand it to Alessio Cavatore this time- I think he's came up with a nice and elegant game system that addresses the holes in other game systems, and streamlines every aspect of combat.
Movement is made very simple. The squads are based around a leader- or which all the models in the squad have to be within 5" of, and within 1" of eachother. So, movement can be very fast- you mover you squad leader, and then move your dudes within the 5" circle. Done. Like Warmachine- there is a Spd on hte statline. A regular advance moves the Spd, and allows the unit to shoot. "At the double" is just what it says, the unit moves twice its speed rating, but doing that prevents shooting.
The last move option is Charging. This means the charging unit wont be shooting! But, charges work at twice the Spd and ignores difficult terrain for the distance move(but assaulting into terrain will add a -1 modifier to tha attackers rolls).
Next is the shooting phase. On the statlines theres Hit, Fire, and Range. Hit is the base chance a units has to(get this!!) hit their target on a d6 roll. Fire- is how many dice they roll for the unit(bigger squads get more dice). And range, is the maximum range in inches that their weapons will reach. Theres some simple modifiers to the Hit rolls: moving, being 'fragged'(taken lots of hits/damage), cover, and firing at over half your basic range all add a -1 to your Hit number. Nice & simple.
Melee combat is even easier, you look up the Attack rating, roll that number of dice. Any of those that exceed the Hit rating(remember Hit covers Shooting and Melee!) are then rolled against the units Defense, and any that exceed the Def rating add a wound marker to the target unit.
Once you determine how many hits you made(whether from shooting or melee)- you roll against the target units Defense rating. Any roll over that- adds a damage marker. These markers are basically cumulative penalty markers that add up for when the squad makes its 'Nerve' check. Nerve checks are basically when you see if the squads sustained too much damage to keep going without penalty, or if they collapse altogether.
Weapons upgrades for squads are one of the things I am happiest about. In the army lists it tells you how many BFG's you unit can spend extra points on(bigger squads get more Big Frikkin Guns!!). A model with a BFG- does NOT shoot with hte rest of the squad!!! (Screw you stupid 40k rule!!!) They target and determine LOS on thier own. So, the long standing stupidest rule of 40k, where the bolter guys have to waste thier shooting while the melta gun shoots the tank- or vice versa- doesnt not exist here. Thats how it should be- the points of regular guns is to shoot other troops- the point of heavy weapons is to shoot heavy things. Simple, right?
Thats just a rough over view of the 15 page PDF and my initial impressions. Its a nice simple rules set that reduces the level of squad complexity, making the squads an entity on the whole. The combat has less dice rolling, no comparison charts, and only a handful of modifiers which are easy to figure out. The game should roll along quite quickly. The nit picky details of moving what model where, to manipulate wound allocation and line of sight rules aren't going to be present- so that sort of 40k player isnt going to like this kind of set up. But thats fine by me- this seems like a more efficient rules set where shooting and melee are rather well balanced, movement is simple, and it should play pretty quickly as they're suggesting 2 hours for a 2000 point game. The model count should be comparable to 40k, basic troopers seem to cost between 10 and 15 points- with discounts on points cost for the 10 and 20 man units. And with the simpler rules, games should get well past turn 3 or 4 in that time frame. Which makes for a different type of strategy, as the current tourney formats often seem to be focused on 4 turns. Imagine the change in meta if games commonly went to 7 or 8 turns in the same amount of time.
Anyhow, if anyone bothers to read this, and want to discuss, drop a comment below and lets start looking at the potential for what could be a very enjoyable game system ^_^
The statline includes a units range, number needed to hit, and how many dice it rolls. Theres very simple modifiers for movement, long range, the status of the unit(a damaged unit doesnt shoot as well!)