Saturday, April 29, 2017

Firefight get's an outing

The Warhammer 40K models don't get much of an outing here. It's true that at the moment work tends to dominate life so most of my army collections don't get much of an outing, but the 40K armies even less so. Basically we have found the rules to be overly complex, with a lot of those 'annoying itches' that leave us dissatisfied. It's a shame, because we really like the miniatures that are produced for the game.

When Mantic produced it's Warpath/Firefight rules we looked forward to trying them out, and Andy and I subscribed on Kickstarter, taking early delivery of the rules. Firefight is the 40K equivalent with single based figures fought in units. Warpath steps the level of action up so that you are fielding units made up of multi figure bases.

The core mechanisms are not new, but they are good. Think 'Epic lite' if you want a mental model around which to frame your thoughts. The turns are activation based, with clearly defined options for action in each activation. Players take turns at activating units on the table top until all available units have been activated. Notions like basic melee and fire mechanisms, and nerve, are consistent with those used in Mantic's successful mass battle fantasy game 'Kings of War'.

So Adrian, Andy and I set out to try the mechanisms .. something of  a baptism of fire. We didn't pretend to be playing a full game. Rather, I set out approximately 640 points of Marauders and GCPS with a little terrain so that we could test the core mechanics.

The play test didn't disappoint. We could very easily see the layers of subtlety implicit in the mechanisms. There are plenty of opportunities to be clever without the encumbrance of a 200 page tome of rules. The appropriate combination of weapons (fire and assault), and the ability to create suppression, seem to be the key.

Here are just a few shots of this small play test in action. The 'flame' markers indicate suppressions.

A good start. Next we'll play a proper game with a greater variety of weapons. Finally, a thinking man's sci fi game that will use those 28mm miniatures I collected and painted with so much hope.

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