Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Impetus, the Old West, and other geekly projects - general musing


It's time you had an update of what has been and what is about to be going on in geek land. I'm thinking especially of the GAP... no, not the overpriced clothing outlet, but the slightly less known Geeks Abroad Program. As two members of our group depend on this worthy organization for survival (i.e. Keir and Markus), I thought we should support it, and at the very least, and general update was in order.

First of all - Impetus. What an absolutely splendid game. It's everything I had dreamed it would be and more. It is specific in all the right places, and it abstracts in all the right places. There is chance involved, but like Warmachine, it rewards smart play. However, where Warmachine is very "stacky" in its system, Impetus is more about making the right move at the right time. Especially worthy of note would be the reaction system. In short, a unit may be ordered to go on opportunity. As you would expect, the unit can react out of turn to the enemy by either charging or shooting anything that comes into range. In addition, if enemies enter or conduct certain activities within a units zone of control (a 5cm frontage from the base), units can often react on the spot. There is so much action-reaction going on, that a marker has to be passed back and forth, because it's actually possible to forget whose turn it is.

My last word on Impetus... disorder. The way this concept has been woven into the rules is the icing on the cake. In short, being disordered has a myriad of effects on a unit. A disordered unit can't react to the enemy, it's easier to damage, and it's harder to motivate or and is less effective itself. However, if you want to take the initiative to enact daring plans, you must continually risk causing disorder amongst your units. It's so brilliantly simple, I'm not even sure what else to say about it.

My 6mm Romans are nearing completion. I've had a slower week than usual this week. In any event, I'm working on the last few bases to play 500 points, and I'm painting one more batch so that I'll have some choice within my list. I've learned that it's nice to have options in Impetus, as you will most definitely want to tailor your army against your foe. As in history, the Roman army that can take on the Parthians is not the same army that can take on the Gauls. However, I like how in these rules such list planning is not an arms race affair. In the end, more than any other game I've played, it's the choices you make with your units that decides your fate, and far less so the exact units and how many of each you choose.

The very next project on the block - Legends of the Old West. I believe Marc is working hard at this. I've made up a starting posse consisting of nine models. This involves a small amount of painting, but I really want to finish my last few buildings and incidental terrain pieces. I doubt I'll have all of the bits and pieces finished for our first game (next weekend), but Ill be ready to start the ball rolling for sure. I think LOTOW will become a standard in the group over time. More importantly, there are numerous Old West rulesets which allow multiple players (i.e. 5 or 6) at the table simultaneously. This would be quite rewarding for the group, and that leads to my next point.

We have lots of projects for the present, and I'm not suggesting any new ones for some time. However, it wouldn't hurt to start thinking of multi-player mini-games that can handle more than two players. This could mean trying new games (Gutshot, Triumph & Tragedy), and coming up with multi-player alternatives of old favourites (Warmachine)

I've rambled enough for now. I hope this brings everyone up to speed concerning my week in geek. Keep me informed of new projects and ideas.


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