Monday, March 9, 2015

Leading from the Front - Sedition Wars characters + drones

First up, Kara Black got a serious upgrade in gear.
One thing I've always appreciated about this model was that it mirrors her standard form's gear and pose loosely, as a reference without being completely overt. I also like that her suit is pretty much as bulky as it can get without getting into "walking tank" category, so one could imagine she's actually in there, rather than it taking some weird dislocations before she fits, as with many similar designs.

She's pretty fun on her own, though I'm looking forward to the day when you can field units of these suits, now that it's been revealed it's not a unique design.

Two new narrative versions of these characters.

Akosha got chewed up by some bugs, and is now going all-out with the classic jumpsuit and machine pistols combo. The model's nice enough, but I quite enjoy how she plays on the field, keeping the basic style even without her rifle.

Vade decided it was time to get serious about the super-virus and got his sealed suit on instead of a gas mask. The mini flamethrower's really just to properly accessorize the suit- he's a man of taste, after all.

I think Vade's my favorite of the alternate character designs, and I feel like the cold colors of the suit do a nice job getting a sort of threatening aloofness that fits a grim medic. (Barker would probably be my fave if he weren't so annoying to build.)

Hurley's li'l babies are a load of fun.

A little side note on design:
I've always enjoyed them (especially as even a small counter to Strain numbers), and was glad when they hit testing in the redesign and eventually got functional rules.

The anal/compulsive rules lawyer side of me won out and I argued pretty strongly that the RAW ("rules, as written," for those of you less familiar with game jargon) basically made them have a lot of minor game state contradictions, if they technically existed as game pieces at all, which was dubious at best, and under the right situations they could a state limbo of mysterious and overlapping conditions, much like Schrodinger's famous metaphorical cat. Turns out, the fixes that got them not requiring assumptions also made them a lot more fun to play. Having gone through a number of betas where fixes also stripped out fun parts of models, it's really nice when a fix makes something better, too.

Back to minis, and on to reference characters!

Niven banks, I thought, was a really nice addition to the setting. I think the Dead Space reference fits in exceptionally well both aesthetically and thematically, and has a nice set of rules, to boot.

Keegan Kor, the clear Chronicles of Riddick reference, is a fun mini with some solid rules, but I may lose a little nerd cred in not really knowing the franchise. I know I saw one of the early Riddick movies when I was a young 'un, but don't remember much other than some sort of bat monsters (maybe? I think I was sick or on pain killers at the time), so can't comment much in that regard. Altered mental states plus more than a decade of time don't really lend themselves towards making a clear critique.

(Putting on my design cap again...) On the other hand, he's great at actually bringing the fight to the Strain, and I was pretty impressed that the designers were able to create a relatively expensive piece that actually wanted to be in melee with Strain. From a rules design perspective, I think he was probably the best mechanical element of the Kickstarter additions as a balanced pieces that added something very different to the game, and as such he'd be the obvious choice if I were to add one model to the core box.