What impressed me most was the chance to meet so many creative enterprises face-to-face. The amount of creativity in the room was extraordinary and very exciting.
Big thanks to Anton, Lee and Nick (Rick) for putting up with me at Salute 2011. It was my first time, and what an eye-opener to all things wargamer and non-GW... The show was extraordinary and while being quite well behaved I managed to scoop up a plethora of bits, such as:
1. WARHAMMER 40k
Forgeworld Llugft Huron in Terminator Armour. My one concession to 40k in a conference lacking in 40k. I love this model - it slightly scares me and it totally intimidating in the detail and lustre - gob smacking in every way - but I love it! Has anyone got any tips on doing FW models?
Infinity models at 4 for 3 - can't pass that up!
2 x Nasmats (two in a box): These little guys are tiny, but very very cool. For 3 pts, you get a little man who can do the doctoring on the front line in mimicry to a Doctor (or engineer). Just very cool. He's also a small target and has Mimetism (which is like Stealth) - awesome!
2 x Viral Rifle Lasiqs. I've run with the Lasiq sniper and found her to be pretty good value, these guys however can offer a lot more Mid range punch. Viral Rifles are nasty lethal to all medium and light infantry. Combined with their x-visor (increases their effective range) and their mimentism - a nice pair of trouble makers.
Azra'il with AP rifle, Flamethrower and Panzerfaust. This guy is a very well equiped deathmonger. The flamethrower and AP rifle are both awesome as anti-infantry work... the Panzerfaust combined with his BS is a nasty combo. This guys a bit of a rambo.
2 x MicroArts Infinity Holoboard walls (need to order more walls though...)
Harbadin IFV from Governance of Technology (so new it's not even on their website!) for Infinity cover/scenarios etc...
Before moving on ... I've spotted that Infinity have a very sexy new website - go check it out and be gobsmacked by the stunning miniatures and biblical gameplay. Also remember - you can download an army builder and the game rules and proxy a game. THEN BUY THOSE MODELS!
And Cutlass ... oh cutlass...
All four of us came together and purchased 2 bands, a leader model and a book each. After reading through the rulebook - this is a perfect addition to my 'year of the skirmish game'.
I bought Mad Jim Jones: turns out to be a close combat monster who automatically kills anyone who he puts down... nasty!
A flurry of Privateers, these guys are a healthy mix between pirates and the army (who I'll be facing on Thursday night!
Rogues. The scum of the universe and the pirating world to boot. Cheap and miserable, then fill a disgusting niche...
The rules are really clever. The crux of it rolls around two concepts:
- The better you are, the big the dice.
- The wrestle for control of the game turn.
Let me explain. Unlike most games, where skills are all based on conventional stats like BS4 or WS6, the stats in this game are a bit more interesting. A poorly skilled/weak/poor shot would roll a D4. An uber-marksman would roll a D20. You get me. Everything moves up and down that scale.
It all revolves around dice and the multiple concurrents with them. So getting injured results in a -1 die level. So a D8 skilled guy rolls a D6. Taken out (ie on the ground) results in all tests on a D4. And that's the point, you can quickly modify all the players statistics through injuring him, so he'll have dexterity D4 instead of D6, Combat skill D6 instead of D8. You follow?
To follow this up, the player can get bonuses for carrying two weapons, allowing his to roll two dice in combat AND parry (if the weapon allows it)... Other modifiers like this can turn a good attacker into a really nasty one - and beautifully for a skirmish game ... getting hurt can turn a dangerous model into a vulnerable one. Which I've not really seen before outside of RPG.
This would seem overpowered, except for a genius idea. The die are open ended. This translates that the maximum score on any dice allows you to roll again and add the totals together. This is a great leveller, as the poor player with say D4 attack has a 1/4 chance of scoring a 5-7, or a 1/16 chance of scoring a 9-11 etc etc. Suddenly the guy weilding one D10 in attack ought to be careful...
The Wrestle for the Game Turn
Alike the Infinity, the game includes actions and reactions. Unlike infinity, the ability to react is not guaranteed, and the amount of actions taken is not a fixed sum. Most teams roll a D8 at the start of the turn. The player with the highest score goes first. At the point at which the opponent 'chooses' to react, if successful. He goes from being the inactive player to the active.
So player A moves 'Big Jim McGreedy' out into the Line of Sight of 'Lil Phil', Player B doesn't fancy his chances at taking down McGreedy with a brace of pistols, but is desparate. Little Phil (a deck hand) has D6 Reaction roll and must roll a 4+ to react. He does and rolls to hit, he has an Accuracy of D4, whereas Big Jim (a pirate captain) has the dex of D6.
The shot is at point blank range, so Lil Phil gets +1 die level and boosted to D6, however he's shooting dramatically with a brace of pistols, cancelling this bonus - but giving him two shots. Big Jim rolls a 2, while Little Phil rolls a 2 and a four. The four roll extends and he rolls a 3. Giving him a total of 7, +5 over Big Jim.
The 2 misses, but the 7 scores a critical hit - giving him 2 dice to roll on the damage table. 2D6 versus D8 for the captain's constitution. The captain is injured! Player's active turn now moves to Player B. With the captain at -1 level, Lil Phil attacks with his hand axe.
The players keep jostling for control and initiative until all the actions are resolved on both side. At which point you consolidate and restart with an Authority roll.
Cutlass ... the conclusion
This back and forth seems really exciting and has certainly got me thinking. I've got a game Thursday and will report how it plays. The core rules are written by Gav Thorpe, and I think are some of the most interesting I've read in a while. The real heart of the games is on campaign though, with Adam Clarke working in what appears a both delightful and exciting campaign, loot and experience system - which looks to be one of the systems biggest attractions.
Speaking of which, Adam Clarke's models are stunning, and the amount of work involved in developing and creating this new game falls squarely on his talented shoulders. Simply - Wow!