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Demo at The Game Preserve, Lafayette, IN


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#1 strayknife

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Posted 14 November 2009 - 09:40 AM

I'll start off by saying that this event was a bit of a dud at my FLGS (due to lack of promotion), however, the game is absolute dynamite. The people who did stop by to play had a lot of fun and also had lot of good things to say about it, and a few concerns. The main comments:

PROS -

The new dice mechanic. Very involved, very intuitive, and extremely easy to grasp after your first couple rolls. Gathering the dice pool reall helps paint a picture of what you're doing. Each dice you add to the pool represents something thematically that adds to the atmosphere of the game. They are very much a story-telling aid, even more so than FFG has led me to believe from the designer diaries.

The stance system. This is an interesting mechanic that gives players more tactical options for both combat and social encounters. Again, it's a good way to weave story into the actual rules of the game. Is your dwarf troll slayer making the most of his cards by going reckless? Or is his party trying to cool him off to take a more conservative approach? Which leads into...

The party sheet. While this wasn't used too much at the game store demo, I used it a lot in the session I ran at home beforehand. It's a good component that I used to remind my players that they are in fact charcters in a story and they must work together or suffer visible, negative penalties. I cranked up the party tension when Laurekell the wood elf waywatcher wanted to shoot a shady priest but Steiner the human zealot had to stay her bow. I think this little mechanic helps the players develop the relationships between their characters.

The action cards. This is not a TCG. This is not D&D 4ED. The action cards in this game drive the action and keeps players focused on the encounter unfolding before them. They don't have to reference pages in rulebooks to figure out how one of their abilities work. It's all written on the card, which changes depending on your stance. Finding the right card for the right situation is a challenging and fun approach to task resolution. Everyone I played with enjoyed this aspect of the game and I heard zero complaints.

The GM. I've GMed a lot of D&D, and I usually have to spend quite a lot of time in advance to prepare interesting scenarios and make sure I have weeded out all the rules I need from the rule books. For this game, I literally sat down the night before with only knowledge of the basic functions of the game and ran/improvised three 3 Act Encounters. They all ran like clockwork. The GM has so many different ways to use the components in the game to shorten preparation and book-keeping time. While I was the only one that GMed, I was commended by the players for preparing a fun session. I didn't tell them about the lack of preparation though. Shh.

CONS -

The rulebooks. There were a few instances where the rules weren't stated as clearly as they could have been. Personally, I didn't have much issue with this, but my brother is a rules fiend, and he needs to be told what he can and can't do when making characters and advancing careers. But this did not hinder gameplay at all.

The bits. I had one player (a 2nd Ed. player) say that he wasn't a huge fan of the little tokens, saying they would get lost easy. Being a huge fan of components, I didn't have a problem with this. And neither did he, as he said he could easily use hashmarks on his character sheet and just keep the tokens in the box unless his own players wanted to use them. I also have to say, for a FFG game, the bits in this game are kept to a minimum. The only have stance/progress tracker tokens, fatigue/stress, and the generic fortune tokens. Not much really, considering the big box games they produce.

Other than those complaints, I think the game was a huge hit. I cannot wait until the game is released, as my roommates and I are all anxious to continue our adventure with the looney priest and his pet ghouls...

 



#2 Sinister

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Posted 14 November 2009 - 09:47 AM

Good Review,

 

My points:

 

. The action cards are MUCH like DnD, they clearly define the action without the needs of the rulebook. Where they very is that the standard effects are +2 damage,etc.. rather that a push pull slide ongoing damage or knockdown effect. it's not a TCG at all but there's a reason why DnD and this game have gone the way of power cards. It organizes information for the player without the need for a rulebook.  I have no problem with that.

 

 



#3 Sinister

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Posted 14 November 2009 - 09:48 AM

Oh yes. We are in Fort Wayne Indiana.  Good to  see others statewide playing.



#4 strayknife

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Posted 15 November 2009 - 10:12 AM

Here are some pics of the event.

My brother and I co-GMing (yes, we're twins).

My girlfriend was kind enough to stop by and run one of the heroes.

Trying to figure out the best way to take down a wargor!

Action card question.

And here are some component shots. As usual for FFG, great quality components.

The game was a total blast.



#5 NezziR

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Posted 15 November 2009 - 10:28 AM

Man... Everyone had such great pic and mine sucked so bad ><

Great review. Thanks for sharing! 



#6 Necrozius

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Posted 15 November 2009 - 12:36 PM

Nice pictures (er, and review too)!

Also: I didn't know that the cards were textured in that way. Cool!



#7 dvang

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Posted 15 November 2009 - 01:33 PM

Ah yes. One of my players did mention that the cards seemed a little slick and hard for him to pick up off the table. However, he admitted he has that problem regularly with a lot other cards too. I personally didn't have any problems.

Question for the OP. Not to sound sexist ... but what did you girlfriend think? Is she a WFRP fan?  Is she a regular RPGer, and has she played WFRP before? My wife is somewhat of a WFRP fan, has played WFRP before (both v1 and v2), and she's going to play whenever I start a campaign, but she hasn't tried 3e yet.  I'm curious if there is any difference in Likes and Dislikes between genders. I know my wife and I tend to find different things easier to understand, and like different aspects of games.  Can you get your girlfriend to relate some comments on her experience with the game mechanics?



#8 strayknife

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Posted 15 November 2009 - 02:20 PM

dvang said:

Question for the OP. Not to sound sexist ... but what did you girlfriend think? Is she a WFRP fan?  Is she a regular RPGer, and has she played WFRP before? My wife is somewhat of a WFRP fan, has played WFRP before (both v1 and v2), and she's going to play whenever I start a campaign, but she hasn't tried 3e yet.  I'm curious if there is any difference in Likes and Dislikes between genders. I know my wife and I tend to find different things easier to understand, and like different aspects of games.  Can you get your girlfriend to relate some comments on her experience with the game mechanics?

She is quite the gamer. We have been together over a year and she plays about every game my group plays, and we also have a few 2-player games for fillers. She is a D&D player, so she has a bit of experience with RPGs. However, she is not too familiar with the Warhammer setting. She has seen my wood elf army a few times ("Awww! They're pretty!"), and since I'm a freelance writer for FFG (I've worked on a few assignments for WHRP future expansions) she hears me talk about the Old World quite frequently.

Given her inexperience with Warhammer, she took to the game quite well. She was driving most of the social interactions and she really loves the dice and the action cards. Her comments:

- It is quicker and easier to play than D&D.

-The dice are a lot of fun. She actually finds it rather humorous that the dice system has been getting so much heat on the boards. She did not have any trouble picking up the mechanic.

- She thought GMing looked a WHOLE lot easier. Probably because I didn't have my nose shoved into a book the whole time we were playing. I improved a lot, which is not how I usually do things. But it flowed so naturally and the bits did all the book-keeping for me.

Her only gripe...she wants miniatures and scenery. Which I told her I would remedy when I start our campaign (GW makes plenty of badass minis). But she totally prefers the relative distance system over battle grids. Which I love her for.

In summary: "It's awesome...but I still like Middle-Earth Quest more." (but I had to give her a break...she got MEQ for me for our anniversary).



#9 strayknife

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Posted 17 November 2009 - 09:14 AM

Necrozius said:

Nice pictures (er, and review too)!

Also: I didn't know that the cards were textured in that way. Cool!

Yeah, I thought the cards were extremely well done. I'm a huge fan of them.



#10 dvang

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Posted 17 November 2009 - 10:38 AM

Thanks for getting that info.  Always good to keep on top of what the ladies think, as they don't really think like us men do. So, you never know. I'm both dreading and anticipating what my wife will think once she tries it.

I will agree with her.  It seemed way easier to GM 3e than GMing most other RPGs. I think the abstract combat system, despite my being pro-mini/pro-battle-grid, worked very well.  It seemed to do 2 things, for me as a GM.  Sped up combat, and forced me to narrate and describe the action more than moving figures. I was hesitant about it at first, and thinking I'd need to make some some of hybrid system ... but after using it I think it's quite usable the way it is.



#11 Sinister

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Posted 17 November 2009 - 10:51 AM

dvang said:

Thanks for getting that info.  Always good to keep on top of what the ladies think, as they don't really think like us men do. So, you never know. I'm both dreading and anticipating what my wife will think once she tries it.

I will agree with her.  It seemed way easier to GM 3e than GMing most other RPGs. I think the abstract combat system, despite my being pro-mini/pro-battle-grid, worked very well.  It seemed to do 2 things, for me as a GM.  Sped up combat, and forced me to narrate and describe the action more than moving figures. I was hesitant about it at first, and thinking I'd need to make some some of hybrid system ... but after using it I think it's quite usable the way it is.

 

I do plan to put a white board under the characters and draw a battle scene.  I'll use the cards as reference for terrian features. I like the look of combat map and since we aren't using grids it won't slow down the game any.






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