Monday, 16 December 2013

An Introduction To...Mutant Chronicles - Part 1 - An Overview

Name - Mutant Chronicles Warzone Resurrection
Manufacturer - Prodos Games
Type - Tabletop Miniatures Game.
No. of Players - 2 (More players are possible but the game is designed for 2)
Age Range - 14+. The rule-set isn't incredibly complicated but the models are resin and therefore require some hobby experience to assemble.
Rulebook - 290 pages, Full colour. Purchased separately from starter sets and models.

What You Need to Start.
A rulebook*, two starter sets (one each), a template set*, a measuring tape* and a playing area of at least 4' x 4' with something to use as terrain...unless your happy for the guy with the most shooty force to win...

* One each would be better though.

Extras Needed - The starter sets come with 75 cards (Reference, resource, strategy, tactical and gear cards) and two D20 dice so you don't need to acquire those. Additional D20's would be helpful and as mentioned above two of some of the required start-up items will make the games run smoother.
Area Needed -  Either a 4' by 4'** or 4' by 6'** playing area.

** A 'sidebar' area is useful for dead models and drinks though isn't essential...if your happy for tea and coffee rings on your playing area that is. My partner has very strong opinions on that latter I always have a sidebar...or some of those little coaster things...or end up sleeping in the spare room when I forget...

Time Needed - A starter set game can be done in 30-45 Min, a 1500 point game will take a couple of hours. The first couple of games will need a bit more time allocated to them as is to be expected when learning.

Initial Costs.
The rulebook costs around £35, starter sets for each faction are also £35 and include dice and stat cards, and a template set will cost you £9. Therefore if you don't mind sharing a rulebook, two of you can get started for under £115. This presumes access to basic war-gaming gear such as measuring tapes and a playing area and terrain for it. If your starting from scratch then the price obviously increases.

Mantic Games do a modular building scenery set at a very reasonable price if your looking for buildings for a gaming table for around the £20-25 mark. Trees, Hills and the like are available from pretty much every hobby store on the planet and cost and quality vary too wildly for me to give you an estimate of their cost I'm afraid.

The above costs are courtesy of my FLGS Titan Games so may vary based on your location.

Models require assembly, some preparation and painting so you can also add basic hobbying tools (cutters, a scalpel, files and glue), a can of undercoat and some paints to those costs if your new to the hobby.

Expansions - Imperial and additional Dark Legion material announced for April 2014 including an expansion to their 'hero' design system.

A Brief Overview.
Set in the distant future, Warzone Resurrection is a game that pits the armies of various futuristic corporations, a monolithic religious organisation and the legions of hell against each other across the various terraformed planets of our solar system. Each of these organisations has it's own individual style and character with units ranging from simple infantry units (though these can be anything from lightly armoured troopers, cyber enhanced humans to undead legionnaires) through to large battle tanks and everything in between.

The book is one of the best put together rule-books I've ever got my hands on (and I have a lot...).

A contents a logical order...far rarer than we'd like unfortunately...
There's a brief overview of the history of the setting followed by a clear and well ordered rule-set complete with examples in every section as well as some very user friendly flowcharts which though an unusual sight in a rulebook are a surprisingly useful tool. Then the army lists for each faction together with their own background material are in the final part of the rulebook with each section being done in a different style depending on the character of the faction being discussed. A brief overview of the rulebook can be found here.

There are four levels of missions depending on how advanced a game you wish to have with primary, secondary and corporate objective missions being used in various combinations. The combination can be randomly generated or mutually selected based on your preferences.

The system itself uses a D20 with rolls needing to be equal or under a target number. The fact that this system uses a D20 rather than the more familiar D6 gives a far greater range of potential results which in turn makes the system remarkably balanced and having tested the system with a range of forces with both elite and horde units I was pleasantly surprised to find that victory is far more to do with tactical choices rather than unit selection though synergy is a factor if you pick a Warlord*** whose abilities focus more on enhancing units rather than personal destructive potential.

*** This is your compulsory army 'leader', basically a HQ choice if your familiar with 40K.

Another game feature is the use of resource cards (different Warlords give you different amounts and each troop squad commander grants another) which can be 'burnt' in order to grant in game effects such as extra actions for models, extra shots or specific special abilities individual to the unit (I recently put a significant dent in a unit with all sorts of impressive nerfs to enemy shooting by throwing a building at them...It was very satisfying...) and if you wish to play the more advanced game there are also other cards that can be used for specific effects and enhancements. As mentioned before, all these cards are included in the starter sets and any model purchased separately will have any ones appropriate to it with them when bought.

The game system uses a standard chart (referred to as an Offensive Organisation Chart or OOC) for force selection with certain choices being compulsory (1 Warlord and 2 Troops choices) with the options for others up to certain limits. There's a Standard OOC, a Heavy OOC (which increases the number of Light Vehicle slots and adds a 'Heavy' one) as well as Mega and Gargantuan ones for those of you wishing to play much larger battles.

Deployment types vary based on the selected mission but there's clear diagrams for each in the mission section.

Initiative is decided by a roll for initiative (obviously, lol) with each player activating a squad in turn until they run out of squads. Models have two action points available to them which can be used for a variety of purposes (Walk, Aim, Shoot, etc.) with some Actions requiring two Action Points to use. Each model in the activated squad is activated individually so different models can actually do different things (some models might 'Aim' and then 'Shoot' while others in the squad might have to move into range before shooting (Pre-measuring is allowed). Once they've all done something then the opposing player gets to activate one of his own units until no units are left at which point the turn ends...

The rules are simple to pick up and are logical and intuitive enough to make remembering them fairly easily. The extremely good rulebook helps greatly in this regard.

Well, that's a brief look at the game at it's most basic level.

Thoughts and comments are (as usual) most welcome.

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