Tuesday, 7 August 2012

War Room

So after 4+ months of waiting, War Room has finally come out. How is it? Was it worth the wait? 

Let's just put it this way. The app has LOTS and LOTS of bugs. Especially since it seems to have been designed for iOS and then ported over to android. Some of the biggest complains on Android is that it constantly crashes. Especially for some people who can't even get past the loading screen before it crashes. It's THAT fickle. I have an Asus padfone and the thing keeps crashing at the loading screen for me. I managed to get into it ONCE and then never again. It however, seems to work fine on my asus transformer pad tf100. I'm also not the only one with this issue.

There's also some issues with the theme forces in the app. For one thing, it only tells you what the theme forces are, it doesn't enforce them in any way. So you could say choose Heavy army battalion for eIrusk and then fill it with mercs and so on and it wouldn't restrict you. Another issue seems to be the fact  that you can attach unit attachments to pretty much anything apparently. I've attached the battle mechanic officer to Aiyana and Holt. That's pretty lolwtf as it is. Not to mention there seem to be certain issues with jack marshals in the app. 

Basically, the list building portion of the app doesn't work that well in the sense that while it can calculate your pointage for you, list your cards and so on, it will not ever prevent you from doing anything wrong. Or basically building illegal lists in other words.

Other than that? How is it really?
Well, here's a look at it on my tf100. The main screen is a shot of Behemoth beating the crap out of Legion (yes, he would so shred that Legion warbeast into mulch). As you can see, the app has several portions, the card library which contains all your decks. Armies, which contains your army lists; which BTW do not sync over the network. You have to rebuild them for all the devices you've installed war room on. I'm not even sure how they would fix this considering there isn't really a cloud server involved with the program, other than the one used to download the decks from. Reference contains all the rules. Store is where you can purchase the decks and Fight is where you can choose to use the cards during a game.

Once you click on Card library, it'll ask you to choose a faction and then show you several categories from which you can peruse. Click on the selected card and it'll show something like this.
Basically, it pretty much looks like they scanned the cards whole sale. Which is good in a way since it means we don't have to get used to any new UIs when it comes to looking at the cards. It also states most of the necessary information. 

The store function is basically where you buy your decks. In this case, you buy them through google market. Short disclaimer, you can ONLY ever have 2 devices tied to your privateer press account, probably because they wanted to limit the number of devices you can access your decks on. Supposedly they can de-register a device so you can potentially view your decks on a newer device but I haven't tried that yet. Though they do pop up with that information when you register your 2nd device. Also, decks do not automatically sync so you'll have to redownload them again. In this case, it's called 'scroll down, click restore purchases'. Some people have had issues with it working but for me; at least, this seemed to work fine.

Next is the Armies selection. With it, you can create your armies. Like I said before, it doesn't validate your army choices. Also, you can create games in certain pointages, such as 15,25,35,50 etc. So that means no more strange little pointage games, like 20.

As you can see from the screen, it's pretty much the same categories as the card library except now it allows you to add stuff. It also allows you to select themes; without reinforcing them, as well as tell you how many points you're at out of the maximum; but it allows you to go above them for SOME reason. Once you're done with that, you can go to the meat of the app, which is the battling portion. 

You can see under the Fight option, there are several other options for you to choose from. Solo; which means you're not connected to anyone and only you will be able to view your cards and Host and Join. I don't really have anyone else to test with right now so I'm going to use Solo.

Basically, there are several ways to interface with the fight portion of the app. You can look at your cards during the match. You can click on the unit to see its stats and you can keep track of its health.

As you can see, when you click a unit, you will see its stats displayed on the side, its weapons, their ranges and pow as well as spells. However, it doesn't seem to display their special abilities since I saw nothing of that sort when I clicked on Aiyana and Holt; other than their weapons. I guess that's why you have to click on their card. Just something to note when you're playing with units that you aren't familiar with. 

Tracking damage also seems fairly easy. Click on the units health, click on a column and click how much damage was done to the unit. One issue I had with it is that there's no +- button and you can't manually input it, so you have to scroll up and down with the damage. If you're clumsy, you can easily miss the number you want. To heal damage, simply click on the actual health grid itself and a green X will replace the red X. Then when you click accept, the damage will be gone. 

And that's it for War Room. So what do I think? Well, my biggest gripe with it is that it CRASHES SO DAMN OFTEN for my phone, which is the one device I really wanted to use it on. That and the fact it only works over wifi is very annoying. Seriously, learn to use 3G Tinkerhouse. 

Other than that? I don't need it to validate army lists for me, I can do that myself. I also don't need it to tell me when my theme lists aren't valid since I can do that myself as well. I do like that they tell you very precisely what IS and ISN'T allowed in the theme lists. That's always been something I've had an issue with because a lot of theme lists are released in NQ and I don't read that. 

Some people have called it a glorified card library and I'm pretty much okay with that. Why? Cause I proxy a lot, which means a lot of times I don't have the necessary stat card with me. I'm sick of having to flip through the books to get to the units I want and war room can help me with that. There are also times when you realise you didn't bring the card you wanted or you lost it. 

Same thing with damage tracking. As long as the program doesn't crash, I have no issue keeping track of damage electronically. It beats wiping off the marker ink every single game.