Thursday, July 21, 2011

Switching Gears away from Warmachine/Hordes

Here at Santa Barbara Wargaming we have a large following of Warmachine/Hordes players. I believe everyone that participates on a regular to semi-regular basis has experience with WM/H, and might even have a sizable army. This being said, between Lock and Load, and the recent league play, we have put in quite a lot of board time with WM/H, and I sense that the group is taking a hiatus from WM/H.

WM/H will never cease to being a Tier 1 game in our group, but I can say I'm not the only individual in the group that wants other games in Tier 1, alongside WM/H.

We are planning a Demo Day coming this Saturday, where we have devoted ourselves to trying out new games that we have garnered interest. These games include: Secrets of the Third ReichAeronautica Imperialis, Infinity, and Battlefleet Gothic,

I am personally in the process of acquiring Malifaux, but it will sadly not arrive in the mail before this coming Saturday. We have plenty of games to try out, so no worries there.

Onto the games!

Note: I have not really played any of these games, thus Demo Day. These are brief overviews of my best guesses. If I'm wrong, which I most likely am, take it with a newbies grain of salt.

Secrets of the Third Reich
Some other members of the group would be better to chime in about the details about this game, but from what I've seen, it looks like an interesting war game. (Descriptive right?) The rules, from what I've heard are excellent, and the one demo I have seen previously went quite smooth. I will try to get another member to right up a blurp about SOTR

Aeronautica Imperialis
This is a specialty game put out strictly by Forge World, that revolves around turn based aerial combat. I got a chance to run a demo game with Mark.

Overall I was impressed with the game play. I like the look and feel of the miniature aerial figures, and even like the integrated flying bases that display the speed and altitude of the aerial figure. The miniature figure line up for certain factions is a bit disjointed. The Imperial faction has a large variety of planes to choose from, where as the Chaos faction has 3.

The game was far from easy to master with our game providing a lot of "passing by" with mostly opportune shots at each other. It took us a bit to understand some of the nuances, such as "tailing" another plane, which nets you two shots, rather than the standard one.

I enjoyed the demo, but for me personally, I find aerial combat to be a bit of a stretch on 2d. Forge World, however, did an excellent job with what they had to work with.

It's a niche game, but still interesting to play.

A few members jumped on the Infinity band wagon quite quick. Infinity, suppositively,  is very popular in Europe (the developer is Spanish), but has just recently made it to the U.S.

Infinity is a skirmish level war game, usually with 8-12 models on a side a game.

The figures is what sold most of the members, and I have to admit, the figures do provide a very unique and large range of aesthetics: There are cybernetics, to kilts-men. I have not seen a demo, nor looked over the rules, but beyond a bit of "modifier" bloat, from what I've heard its quite a good rule set, and should be interesting to see on the table.

Battlefleet Gothic
Battlefleet Gothic has been played in group for a long while now; A few members have fleets.

Battlefleet Gothic (BFG) is a spaceship combat game that exists within the Warhammer 40k universe. It is a Games Workshop specialty game that is no longer in active development, but they still sell some miniatures.

Its a different game than that of table top "boots to the ground" miniature games. Large cruise ships are battling it out across large expanses of space. A lot of the strategy can very much relate to that of men vs men combat, but replace them with large space ships with torpedo bays, and fighter/bomber squadrons.

Without going into to much gameplay details, as I have never played a game, the game does have some imbalance issues that seem to crop up in games that have been neglected.

Overall, a fun game that I enjoy watching, but games can be quite tedious and lengthy.

I guess you can say I'm a bit biased toward this game. You can read my previous blog post about my interest in Malifaux.

Malifaux is a skirmish level wargame, usually containing 5-10 models on either side.

From what I've read, this game has very much the feel of Warmachine/Hordes. I enjoy the depth of weaving special abilities together to form tactics. It's an excellent bout of mental fortitude, instead of throwing models on the table, and epically (not that Malifaux can't be epic) smashing them together. My cup of tea lines with more nuance rule interactions, where might I can take advantage of them to win over my opponent.

One thing, in my mind, that sets itself apart from the other games aforementioned (not including Infinity), is that the community is quite vast. Only in development since 2009, Malifaux has become the 5th largest collective line behind GW, and PP games. I really like investing in games with some weight behind them, unlike AI, and BFG which have limited future releases, if anything.

I'm looking forward to introducing my group to Malifaux, and have already garnered some interest. I hope my group enjoys it, as well as myself.


  1. Another great intro to some of the demoing we'll be doing! A quick note about BFG: you've really seen games that were ordnance heavy (my Chaos can put 16 fighters and bombers on the table at a go!). Less ordnance=VERY speeded-up game. On Saturday, I'll run a 1000 list with less ord and more lance ;)

  2. That's unfortunate but I'll look forward to you starting up WM/Hordes sometime soon.

    Have fun!