Wednesday, 26 October 2011

034 - Puppet Wars - what did I miss?

Several threads are starting to show up on the Wyrd boards of people showing off their puppet models from Wyrd's new Puppet Wars board game, and there's been plenty of admiration, but I have to admit I'm just not seeing the model's appeal.

Let me start by saying I haven't played the game, or seen it played. I've been hoping one of the local gamers has picked up a copy as I'd quite like to give it a go and see how it runs. I do really like the idea of a stripped down "Malifaux-lite" that takes less than an hour to get through and doesn't need a lot of space or time to set up. I'm sure it's a lot of fun to play, although I have my doubts about how successful it'll be outside the established Malifaux player base. To a person not already familiar with the Malifaux fluff, it doesn't seem to me that, for example, Puppet Nino or Puppet Bad Juju would be particularly characterful, instead they'd just end up being abstract pieces devoid of context.

What is "Nino" anyway?
There's one main reason, though, why i don't plan on buying the game for myself and that reason is, im sorry to say, the models are just not very attractive! Compare something like the Puppet Rotten Belle or Puppet Witchling Stalker to pretty much anything in the Malifaux range and the lack of detail is astonishingly obvious. I honestly believe I could sculpt models myself to the level of detail on the Puppets I've seen so far.

Brown blob with a sword

I know they're meant to be puppets, and so will inevitably be simpler models, but some look like amorphous blobs and don't capture the essence (for me at least) of the Malifaux models they're based on. There are a couple of notable exceptions - Lucius is nice, and the Canine Remains is rather cute, but on the whole I'm not too excited. Usually when Ratty on the Wyrd boards posts up his most recent work it inspires me to run out and try something similar, but this time I'm not feeling it.


Wednesday, 5 October 2011

033 - Ding, Dong, the Alp Bomb's Dead

This week, the Alp Bomb was brutally killed off as a viable tactic. Wyrd posted six changes to the Alp's abilities onto the forums in a long-awaited post here.

You can follow the link for the full details of the changes, but in summary Wyrd have changed the way that Alps work in two separate ways:

Firstly, Alp abilities that cause enemy models to suffer Wds by being in proximity when they activate, walk or strike are not as powerful as they were previously. Before, you would suffer 1 Wd for each Alp in range. Now, you only suffer 1 Wd regardless of the number of Alps up in your grill. A bunch of Alps dropped on your crew will still have a good chance of inflicting Slow and a Wd or two, but aren't going to be killing potentially any non-Soulstone user they surround. "Extremely deadly" has been downgraded to "Extremely annoying".

Secondly, Alps have been made Insignificant. This is a err... significant change because they'll no longer be useful in achieving some Strategies or Schemes.

The first change I expected, as it's been a sore topic on the Wyrd boards since before I discovered the game. Everyone knew it definitely needed changing, with hordes of players begging Wyrd to swing the nerf bat. Despite all the pitchfork waving, Wyrd have obviously taken their time playtesting to understand any unforeseen implications the change might have, before reacting accordingly. Thanks Wyrd!

The second change I didn't expect, but I can understand why it was made. At 3ss, Alps have been brought more in line with Sorrows, as a model that's nice for supporting the crew's main hitters, but isn't going to be game winning by itself. As other people have already pointed out, now that the Dreamer has access to Night Terrors, he doesn't need another cheap Significant minion to be able to compete at eg. Recconoiter.

Alps will still feature in many crews, but as annoyance/support, which it seems is how they were originally envisaged. Best of all, Neverborn players will no longer face abuse from their opponents for bringing Alps - so we can all rejoice!