Monday, July 19, 2010

Privateer Press Design - A Target GW Should Emulate

So, played my first game of Hordes this weekend. got a bit confused, con-fuddled, and had my caster assassinated. No bother, cant expect to win every game from scratch. anyhow, after looking back, i've come to a couple of conclusions that have rather firmly solidified my thinking on a few topics of comparasin.

First: Privateer Press goes out of their way to write COMPLETE rules sets.

GW Could only wish they had a design team that did this. It was rather simple to read through a confusing interaction to get the CORRECT RAW answer to my questions. Has this ever been the case with GW?... Thought not.

Secondly: Scaling. Privateer Press built into their game a scaling mechanism that is IMPORTANT to the game play itself. Fury Management (and I assume Focus management in WM) The ability to scale a game proportionally is something that has always frustrated me about GW. In 40k the game plays completely differently at different levels. At 2500 points, you are playing a completely different game than you are at 1500 points.
At 2500 Points you are building for 2 things: Killyness and Survivability. you have to survive your opponents uber crap while killing theirs with yours. At 1500 points the game is a lot more confined without the masses of supper doom units running amok on everything and you get the more objective oriented games. Tactics become a real part of the game.

In Hordes (and WM) you are not limited by the number of fast attack slots you need to field or how many troops are required. you are bound by the fury management abilities of your warlock/warcaster and the number of points on the field. If you get high enough in points, they've built in a mechanic to manage more fury by including another warcaster/warlock. Kudos to PP for doing this in a way that both makes sense and is functional.

The way that Hordes/Warmacine is designed encourages competition. not ties, or half measures. their slogan says it all. Play like you've got a pair. Do you hear the WM/Hordes crowd yelling and screaming about how the eButcher has killed the game? NO. you see them building lists that hand that list it's teeth back to it though. no complaints, no crying, just playing.

And Finally: ERATTA and FAQ.
I add FAQ there because PP has their own forums set up so that people can ask questions. they don't release FAQs though. They do however release Erattas in short order. They make sure that their game is both consistant and fair to all of the different factions of their games. not just making sure that space marines or the newest prettiest thing wins everything.

There is definitely a reason that PP is taking more market share from GW year by year. their sculpts are routinely amazing, their rules are well written, balanced, fun an most of all fair. they are scalable, they support their product.

So, you have my initial thoughts, Any of your own?

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