Monday, December 8, 2014

Warzone's Resurrection

I had my first game of Warzone a couple weeks ago and it was tons of fun!

For those of you who can move your eyes slightly to the right of this text you'll see that Warzone is in my top 3 miniatures games and has been in this position since I started playing it. It's not about to stop just 'cause another version has come out. 

Warzone: Resurrection is the fourth miniatures game to bear the name, and it lives up to its legacy. It's the same as it's always been: d20-based, action points (though with only 2 as standard instead of 3), squad-based, and powered by an alternate-activation system. The major differences to this version are the addition of a customized deck of cards and of save modifiers based on strength and type of weapon/attack. Some armors are more or less susceptible to certain types of weapons, and any strength higher than 10 gives a –1 to a model's save based on how high above 10 it is (i.e. a strength 11 attack gives the target a –1 save, a strength 15 a –5 save, etc in addition to any susceptibilities the armor may have to any weapon fired at it.).

Now the customized deck of cards I have yet to try (my opponent accidentally threw out his cards, so he couldn't build a deck), but I can't say I'm chomping at the bit to do so. The idea with Warzone: Resurrection is that if you want—and I suspect "official" tournaments will make this aspect mandatory—you can build a deck of various cards that will augment your army and/or hinder your opponent's à la Magic: the Gathering (however these cards are not collectible or randomly packaged in case that bugs you—I don't mind either way—and/or was an impediment to your decision to start this fantastic game). 

Here's what I'm talking about: You'll build your own deck of cards before the game. During the game you'll have a hand of cards that you'll be able to play them against your opponent. Even in the "Basic Game" (as the version, sans cards, is known) there are "resource cards" which, when tapped, allow your models to perform more actions (thus giving your models the "missing" 3rd action that 99% of units had in past editions), heal, or add a +1 bonus to hit. In the "advanced game" (as the version with the deck of cards is known) you can tap these resource cards to activate the cards you play from your hand.

I'm super-skeptical about cards in miniatures game beyond simply reference, of course (see Warmachine/Hordes). I think it adds an unneeded complexity to an already complex and customizable game. Not to mention that miniatures games are constantly being revised and errata'd and having to update an extra accessory can become confusing. This has already happened with Warzone, as Prodos (the company producing the game) has announced a set of replacement cards that will, at the time of this article, soon be available.

My opinion is to leave the card game mechanics to card games. You don't always need to put peanut butter in your chocolate. I know this sounds close-minded, or even grognard-ish (really, I'm not!), but I do need convincing whenever I see these two genres mix—and this is from  the mouth of a proud Magic player. Look, I promise that I'll give the "advanced version" a shot with an open mind, but I'm more than happy to stick with the "basic game" indefinitely as it really is the Warzone that I've always loved.

Anyway, if you like 28mm sci-fi games, there's no reason you shouldn't look into this game, after all, it's in my top 3. Here are some pictures of the game I played (and lost...):
My Brotherhood troopers advance on Dr. Diana's clone.

My poor Judicator died because we played the armor piercing rules wrong. You only subtract the "AVV" value of the weapon from the armor save of the vehicle, you don't also subtract the strength modifier.

I painted up an old Inquisitor model from 1st edition Warzone to use as my warlord. In Warzone: Resurrection you can create your own heroes using a set of character creation rules. I haven't named him yet. Those two glass beads are wounds... 

My opponent's Cybertronic troopers. Out of all the factions of the game Cybertronic got the biggest makeover in terms of models, and I couldn't be more pleased with them.

The doom of Squad Primus.
Up next on the painting docket: Brotherhood Inquisitors, Blessed Vestal Laura, and the Capitol starter box (my favorite faction!).



Legion said...

I couldn't agree more re: cardware. 7TV -- a game I love -- is werking on a 2nd edition which is enough of a grumble-generator on its own. But when I read they were going to character cards my faith was seriously shaken.

Re: your top five games check out Knights & Magick by Heritage:
It's one of the first warbandy-skirmishy 1:1 scale games. The only two I know of that pre-date it are Chainmail and Reaper.

Legion said...

I agree about cardware. 7TV -- a game I love -- is werking on a 2nd edition which is enough of a grumble-generator on its own but when I read they were going to character cards my faith was seriously shaken.

Re: your top five games check out Knights & Magick:
It's one of the first 1:1 warband skirmish games, pre-dated only by Chainmail and Reaper as far as I know. It's fast, flexible and fun.