Friday, 4 April 2014

Warhammer Diskwars

A much faster version of Warhammer Fantasy.

So what's Diskwars about? Well, it's apparently warhammer fantasy made using the Diskwars license. You control these disks of varying sizes (it helps if you think of them in terms of small, medium and large troop sizes) and your objective is to crush the opponent or score as many victory points as you can within 5 turns. 

The game is really simple and fast to pick up. Each unit disk has all their stats printed on it and while certain units may have certain special rules, at the moment they're few enough that they're all contained in the glossary at the end of the main rulebook. Gameplay is really fast, with alternating activations with your opponent activating X troops then you activating Y troops and so on. The only thing that I wasn't quite used to was the way the disks moved. You literally just flip them over and that's considered 1 movement. The disk can flip as many times as they have movements. 

Combat is brutal in this game since every unit always has a chance to counter-attack if an opponent makes a melee attack on them. It's very likely that BOTH units will die in the attack. Which makes shooting much much more valuable. In this respect, I feel that the balance between shooting and melee is a bit off in a sense. 

While shooting is not a guaranteed hit like melee is, it still has a fairly good chance of hitting since most units are rolling 2 dice at least or even 3. Each dice has about 2/6 chance of hitting and if you crit on the hit, the disk hit LOSES its activation. The only thing stopping shooting from being utterly borked is the fact that during a units activation, it can only do one thing. It can either move or it can shoot/otherstuff. That at least prevents most units from just moving up and shooting you. Most I say because there are special units that have the trait mobile that allows them to move and shoot. In my own games, I've managed to shoot units to death before they could reach me, which makes me feel like melee combat is for suckers. 

You also get a fair degree of flexibility in how you want to customise your troops. The only requirement is that you must have a hero; which provides you with army points, and that medium + larger disks can not outnumber smaller disks in your army. Then you select from your factions unit disks and buy as many of them as you can with the army points your hero gives you. Different heroes give different army points so I guess it's balanced around that. The box gives you 4 factions; the Empire, High Elves, Chaos and Orks. Most of the art is re-used from Warhammer Invasion (in fact I think ALL of the art is re-used). And there's a fairly large variety of troops to army your armies with. So far, I think each faction comes with a total of 103 army points worth of troops and 3 heroes each. 

While the game can be played 1v1, it can also easily go up to 4 players. But since you're only playing on a 3" board, combat can be brutal as there aren't many places you can run or hide in. Also, you need victory points to win and since the game auto-ends in 5 rounds anyway, you can't just hide and hope to outlast your opponents that way. 

I've played 2 games of it so far. One with 1 hero each and the other with all 3 heroes each. The 1 hero game was far too short for my liking and I felt it limited my troop selection choices a fair bit since I only had so many units I could take while the 3 hero game dragged on for a long while. So in the end, a 2 hero game may be the best choice. 

Overall, it was a fun game with easy to pick-up mechanics. I especially like the fact that it has scenario based objectives built into the game and the fact that it auto-ends in 5 turns, forcing players to move fast and not camp.