Tuesday, April 15, 2014

SDE News Abounds!

So, as you can see I got back onto the Super Dungeon Explore wagon. I figure I'll go ahead and finish up my Caverns of Roxor minis before I move on to the Von Drakk Manor stuff. Once the Ember Hounds and the last of the Rock Top Gang are completed I'll be grabbing Link- er, I mean the Deeproot Scout, and get to painting him. I'll be keeping up my previous "hero, monsters, hero" rhythm I set before.
Why this sudden interest in SDE again? Well, for those of you out of the Kickstarter loop, there's a new expansion on the horizon. I suppose it's less of an expansion and more of a backward-compatible reboot of the game. So far I like the direction the game is going- streamlined and simplified. This is a Very Good Thing, as honestly the game currently suffers from rules-bloat right out of the box. Soda Pop Miniatures is removing the "Power Gauge", the "Loot-o-Meter", heck, most of the record keeping the game had before. Now instead of the Consul throwing waves of minions headlong into the blender of death that is the heroes and then having the Boss swoop in and off everything, spawning monsters is a choice that must be carefully considered because every time a Spawn Point is used it (or they in the case of double points like the Kobolds use) suffers a wound. This gets rid of the tactic I use currently in which I jam up a door with Kobolds and just deny the Heroes access to any further rooms. Honestly, I'm glad to see it go as it just plain puts the game on "easy mode" for the Consul player.
The game also has two more great additions for multiplayer games. First, the addition of "Princess Coins". These can be used to return a character to life after they have been slain, so that player isn't stuck sitting on the sideline for the remainder of the battle. Second, there is "Arcade Mode" in which the players band together to fight cooperatively against a card-driven "A. I.".
I do wonder however if the Consul is in some way getting the short end of the stick here. The heroes have upped their game considerably, and this makes me wonder if the "rebalanced" cards for the initial releases make the enemies a bit nastier. The dragons really need it, and while I have yet to employ the Rock-Top Gang I don't think they look too menacing on paper.
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the Forgotten King edition of the game, and I will most likely wax more as more gets "leaked", but mostly watch here as my minis come along toward completion in the next weeks.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

No More Cryx in my Neck

After much consideration and gamer soul-searching I have an unfortunate announcement to make. I have been playing Warmachine for over 10 years- since the very day it hit the shelves in fact. I have gotten a lot of joy out of the game in those years, winning two tournaments and taking home a "best Cygnar player" coin. Those days, I am afraid, have passed.

The game has outgrown me, or perhaps I have outgrown it. There is too much going on in the game, too many $120-$150 (or more) models, too many units, too much. The game has actually gotten as (if not more) expensive to play than Games Workshop games. I don't have the money needed to be dumped into the game at the rate it calls for.

I also do not enjoy the way the game plays. There is too much inactivity when it is not your turn. If your opponent alpha-strikes you it is all too frequent that during your turn you get to do nothing other than watch yourself lose. This game used to be about aggression, but now it seems to be whoever dances the best wins. I don't like games where you have to sit back and do nothing as your opponent runs roughshod over you. Even in Warhammer 40,000 you at least get to roll dice to try to save your guys. In Warmachine you do NOTHING. Perhaps this is why I have been so drawn to Infinity, X-Wing, and Dust; games where you never sit down, pull up a chair, and have a sandwich while you just pick up your mans from the board.

The game also has a jerky feel to me. I can't really explain it, but even during your own turn it has too much of a stop-and-go aspect that just doesn't appeal to me.

...And so I come to the point of this announcement. I am done with Warmachine. Permanently. The rules bloat, prices, and lack of overall enjoyment I get from the game have quite simply driven me away. There is no turning back, there is no convincing me otherwise. It's sad to close this chapter in my gaming career, but there we go.