Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Product Review: Warzone: Resurrection - Belgarath97's take

Next time I have to write an article about how I'm disappointed, I'm going to do it about how I don't have millions of dollars... Because within days the Cosmos responded with Warzone, Deadzone, and Spinespur models.  I always shoot too low. Damn.  Expect a review of all these products, but I'm starting with Warzone.  Whoever said don't judge a book by it's cover never saw this cover...
Vellum....  I never realized how cool vellum covering a book was until I felt this beauty.  Full color artwork as well means that the moment I held the book in my hand I was impressed at the quality.  As I turned the pages to the contents I was struck by the thickness of the paper and the quality of the artwork found on each page.  I am by no means an expert on all the different companies out there making hard bound books, but I would be hard pressed to believe that there is any but a few putting out this quality in their rulebooks.

But I did mention contents, so I guess I can stop drooling about the quality for a moment.  The first 23 pages of content are all about the story.  As a story enthused player (meaning I like to play games that give me story over all other considerations) I was in awe of this section.  Unlike 2CE I had no prior knowledge of the previous versions of Warzone, nor did I know anything about
Mutant Chronicles (the comic book the game is based on).  These 23 pages wrapped up the history I was missing very well, and left me pining for the things to come, namely Cartel, Imperial, and the humans left on earth.  I know there is so much more here, and I look forward to discovering it.

The next section of the book is the rules, and I generally feel this is a bit of a mixed bag here. Definitly with more good then bad, though. There are some great gems, like giving basic definitions first so the reader can reference them later on.  Or the defining of that moment when a model has been hit and wounded, but before they take an armor save, as a 'wound effect', so that future rules can simply say "when a model suffers a wound effect...'  However sometimes the pace at which information is doled out is cumbersome.  For example, the card rules for a basic game are on page 42, and the advanced rules are on page 78.  This only becomes a problem because the advanced rules never say how many resource cards you start with, and as a reader I had to guess it was the same as the basic game and re-find the section 30 pages previous.  While I can follow the logic of how they laid out and paced the information, it's very different from how other manufacturers do so that I think more page referencing should have been done.

There are few moments where I went "WTF?" and as I haven't played a game yet, I would say that they did an admirable job of describing what they meant without the need for demonstration.  As someone who has written manuals I really appreciate the effort.  The flip side is some of these "WTF" moments are really baffling.  Though I have been able to decipher most of them (I think), and some will come with actual play (I hope).

The final section of the rules has to deal with missions.  And this beauty really deserves it's own section.  There are 4 levels of game, Alpha, Beta, Delta, and Epsilon.  The level of game determines the number and type of missions being played.  An Alpha game only has one mission of the Priority variety. which is shared between the opponents.  This level game will feel the most familiar to other game veterans.  Beta level games have a Priority mission and a secondary mission.  These secondary missions are individual to opponent, and have theme based on ground objectives.  Delta level games have Priority missions and Corporate Agendas.  Corporate agendas are themed on individual goals on field objectives.  The final level game, Epsilon, has all three types in play at a time.  I'm really looking forward to the day I'm comfortable enough with the game that epsilon games are the norm, cause playing three missions at once seems like a fun time.

The final section of the book is the faction lists.  Each faction has several pages of story that explain how the faction operates, both within and externally.  I really enjoyed these pages as they
clearly defined the differences of each faction, as well as they defined how each faction views the other.  But the real gem here is the upgrades.  Prodos has decided to tackle the job of balancing upgrades differently for each faction.  For example, Mishima as a faction believes that worth comes with rank, so their unit upgrades are dependent on having a squad commander, and when he dies you lose the upgrade.  While Cybertronic uses a point per model universal list, allowing for the customization of units that the faction espouses.  This balance is a thing of beauty and I'm really looking forward to seeing it in action.

But I think that's enough exposition.  In all I'm impressed with the quality of the Warzone book, and the rules appear to be fun.  This Sunday 2CE and I are going to play, so look for an update on gameplay shortly there after.

No comments:

Post a Comment