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First Impressions!

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  • First Impressions!

    Greetings all, So, finally getting a chance to write up my foray into the rules of Vanguard with a friend of mine and his beautifully painted Dwarves. 100pts of Undead from the barrow of King Taranis sought to encroach upon Dwarven lands... A turn-by-turn breakdown follows with the pictures. For what it's worth, my feelings on Vanguard so far:

    -Lots of potential. With a couple exceptions which I'll go into below, there's a lot of room for this to become the next big thing in skirmish gaming and a spiritual successor to Mordheim that overtakes its predecessor. I really liked how the basic rules are intuitive, and you can pick up the fundamentals of moving, fighting and dying within a couple minutes.

    -Movement in general works well. Obstacles and difficult terrain will force a lot of tactical thinking, much as in KoW.

    -Great balance between granularity and simplicity in unit stats and rules. I was initially sceptical about the D8 move, but it adds a layer of variety without overcomplicating things or slowing down the game (which has been my concern with D20 based games, for instance)

    -Power dice work much better than expected. I thought it'd be a hassle tracking Power points, but it's not and in general the Power mechanic is great. Surge and Forced Fatigue Actions are really useful.

    That said, as it's an Alpha, there are some issues which it would be churlish not to raise:

    -The early game is inconsequential. It takes too long to get into threat range of the opponent. We didn't see combat til turn 3, even with Surge, everyone Running and a Werewolf hightailing it up the field (We were playing on a 4x4 but adjusted our deployment zones to match). Ranged units are inexplicably short ranged too. Either increase the deployment zones or make ranged units 18-24".

    -Far too many counters. My Dwarven companion would disagree with me here, but especially in group combats or tightly packed areas of the field, when large numbers of models are involved, each model could very realistically have up to 3 counters stacked by it which just clutters things so much. I think my friend's suggestion that counters be stacked on unit cards much like X-Wing would remedy this to some degree, but then you get into the problem of having to keep a card for every single model, which also takes up space. Maybe limit Grunts from taking Fatigue actions and keep this the preserve of tougher Warriors and other models? That way the counters-on-cards idea might be practicable without too much bookkeeping.

    -Too hard to kill things outright. The Dwarves killed most of my Zombies as they're just Grunts, but the rest of the game we were just taking turns knocking down each other's Warriors and waiting for them to get back up again. One hair-raising moment did occur when a lone Dwarf did a bazillion wounds to my Necromancer, but even then he just passed the Nerve test and laid down for a while. Undead Revenant lists will be really powerful, especially with multiple Necromancers to Surge them around. I'd recommend doing something like applying CS/Piercing modifiers to the Nerve test, or something. We played 5 turns and by the end I'd killed 2 Dwarves and Dan had killed 4 or 5 Zombies.

    Those are my thoughts. I'd definitely be up for trying it again. There are always going to be minor issues that arise during play, but these are the ones that stuck with me. Be glad to hear any comments. Thanks Mantic for making the Alpha rules available so we can contribute to the process!

    P.S. Anyone know how to change a name? This is my 40k handle, probably not appropriate for a Mantic forum, not sure what I was thinking...
    Last edited by Brother-Captain Arkhan; 14-11-2017, 01:54 PM.