Spring has finally sprung in the cold northern reaches of Canada where I live, and the time to begin the herculean task of painting everything has come! I recently picked up Shadowspear to add to my collection as I love all the models in it and wanted some Chaos Space Marines for Wrath & Glory stuff that I have planned down the line. I already got the Vanguard Space Marines assembled and I got to say I really love the personality will all the models. The Primaris Lieutenant is my favorite of the bunch honestly (I will probably burn up just saying that,) but I do really like it.
I got them all base coated ready to become Blood Angels, but I began thinking about what to do with the Chaos Space Marine side of the box legion wise. I am having trouble deciding which Legion to go for so here my thoughts on all the ones I was thinking of:
Black Legion: I like the Black and Gold, as well as the lore behind them especially with Abaddon coming out. Though they are pretty basic paint wise, and I already got some black painted models lying around for my Deathwatch and Death Company.
World Eaters: The World Eaters are really cool especially since it would give me reason to get some Berserkers, but I already got some melee oriented angry red dudes.
Emperor’s Children: I like their lore, the fact I could get some Slaanesh daemons to go with them, and the fact that they have a different kind of melee utility as well as Noise Marine spam. However, I am not sure how painting the pink would go as my experiences with lighter paint colors like white aren’t the best.
Iron Warriors: The metallic look is cool, I like their lore and their traits, but painting the hazard stripes scares the hell out of me.
Alpha Legion: I have always loved Alpha Legion, but I have no idea how I would tackle painting these guys. They are really cool on and off the tabletop so they are a strong contender though I will have more than enough blue minis going around what with the Kabal of the Dying Sun and my recent choice to change to an Alaitoc scheme for my Eldar.
I won’t be getting around to painting them for a bit, but once I do I want to have a good idea of what I am going to do. Pending which Legion I do I will pick up a few things to supplement them, but not the equivalent of a 2000 point force. So something I would bust out for 500-1000 point games and for Wrath & Glory. I am curious to see what anybody else thinks would be a cool choice to go with so I will throw up a poll to see what people would go with themselves.
That Chaos Space Marine business aside, I decided I am going to set a paint goal for myself every week and do my best to reach that weekly goal. The goal will vary in size pending amount of work shifts and school work in that given week, but it ensures steady progress. These goal weeks will work from Monday to Sunday, with Sunday being the last day to get it done. I will post every Monday to check in, show my work, and declare my next paint goal. It should be lots of fun and get me off my ass to finally get my pile of unpainted minis looking the way they should. This will ideally get me to progress in the craft and become better at it as time goes on. So starting a little late this week, but I declare that my goal will be to finish painting my 100 point Blood Angels Kill Team complete with Commander. This first weekly goal will feel out what my weekly patience for painting is and help me sort out what is a good amount, so I won’t be terribly upset with myself if I am unable to finish it. That being said I have already got a good start on the Kill Team, so I am feeling optimistic.
I sat down with the Warhammer Chaosbane private beta during the weekend it was on, and managed to get just under two hours in. Now I have played plenty of these types of games before, Baldur’s Gate Dark Alliance 1 & 2, Diablo 1-3, Champions of Norrath, Path of Exile, Torchlight, Marvel Ultimate Alliance 1 & 2, Sacred 2 and Titan Quest. So I like to think I have some experience with the genre.
One thing that you can notice immediately is that the setting takes a break from the End Times and the time of Karl Franz. It is based during the time of Magnus the Pious who united the empire against Asavar Kul, which is a while before the time that the likes of Warhammer Fantasy and Vermintide take place in. The change of setting is neat and makes for a nice new story. The story is shaping up to be really cool, but I will get to that later.
Now what isn’t new are the character choices, Imperial Soldier, High Elf Mage, Dwarf Slayer and Wood Elf Ranger, where have I seen that before? Probably everywhere. I don’t fault the developers for these choices as they are iconic roles that compliment each other very well, but I always want to see more unique things. A Warrior Priest, Witch Hunter, a White Lion of Chrace, a Swordmaster of Hoeth, Dwarf Runesmith, Bretonnian Knight, things like that. Dwarf Slayer is probably the most unique of them and I can always applaud that, as well as the High Elf to some degree cause I love High Elves in the Warhammer Fantasy setting. Also some people might point out these were lots of the things that were playable in Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning, to which I have to say, yes they were and it is too bad that game isn’t around anymore. That is a whole other thing though..
The other issue I find is the lack of equipment diversity, something about the Imperial Soldier not being able to wield a great sword sits wrong with me. Of course there is build diversity with skills, but equipment goes a long way in games like this, so you want to see as many different weapon options as possible without overkill. While I was playing I was definitely driven to get all the loot I could, so it wasn’t a BIG issue, it was that I just wanted more options. However, I don’t want to sell short the amount of skills and powers available though because there are a lot that sound like lots of fun later.
Those two points are my only real critiques and that’s all they are, they aren’t what I would really call negatives. As for positives the combat itself flows nicely and is satisfying. The two classes available for the private beta, Imperial Soldier and High Elf Mage, both were fun with the Mage being the best for me. Flinging spells will always be more than just being the dude with a sword who can hit them in slightly different ways, but that is just me. The classes all have their unique skill mapped to the space bar by default, the Mage lets you manually direct spells which can let you really blow up specific enemies. This was a fun mechanic for the Mage and definitely helped to keep me going. The game looks and feels good, as well as being completely Warhammer in all of its facets. The combat in general is quick and satisfying, giving you just enough enemies to feel powerful as you carve through groups of them.
My greatest compliment I can give this game is that I love how the story is presented with the art style and narration of the cut scenes. They look and sound phenomenal, I absolutely adore them.
Honestly the voice acting and story telling is very compelling to me. The story for the Imperial Soldier was honestly so awesome and appealed to me in so many ways, too bad I couldn’t get into his game play as much as I got into the Mage. I just hope the game has so much of this story telling because I just love the way it is presented. The launch unfortunately has the different editions that get you different levels of access to the game which is something that I have never liked when it comes to releases. It isn’t a big deal though, and nothing to really be complained about though since you see it everywhere.
In conclusion I think this game has lots of potential, but I honestly find it hard to commit to at its price point ($66.99 CAD.) Honestly I want to say it is wholly worth this price point, but with so many competitors in the genre it can be a hard sell, especially when it feels like it doesn’t do all that much for new experiences since you can be the Imperial Soldier or Wood Elf Ranger archetypes in so many other places. If you are a massive Warhammer Fantasy fan I would definitely recommend it especially if you like these kinds of games because the setting and storytelling is just top notch. I hope to see something that really pushes me onto the ‘must purchase’ side, but it would definitely help if my friends also got it… though the playing with friends argument can make ANY game better. Warhammer Chaosbane could be a really awesome experience, especially with the awesome storytelling, but time will tell if it is worth the price point.
Games Workshop showed off their roundup from the GAMA Tradeshow, with interesting things from Necromunda and Bloodbowl, but the most interesting news came from Kill Team.
That’s right elite classified units being allowed in Kill Team! Now this is something that could be very cool pending how they pull it off. Though I admit I am kind of scared to see how they plan to implement the point costs since some Commanders were so pricey you almost might as well be playing a 500 point game of 40K. There is a lot of excitement around Adeptus Custodes being playable in Kill Team with the Elites expansion.
Though with their stat-lines they better be super pricey, because the Custodes have always been strong, maybe a little too strong for my liking. Don’t get me wrong I love their lore, their models and their overall aesthetic I just might be biased because of some bad experiences against them. Where the smaller squad based game is concerned units with 2+ saves, 5 strength and 5 toughness are definitely scary. Ideally this will be offset by the options you will get for the other groups though not to mention they should cost accordingly, so it isn’t a big deal… yet. Seeing things like Wraith Blades and Scarab Occult Terminators is super exciting for me as I love the models for both of them. Speaking of Scarab Occult…
Some (hopefully) cheap boxes to get your new elites for your Kill Team? Yes please. The announcement of Elites could bring it some really cool additions to Kill Team, but could also worries me slightly about how it could ruin balance. Thankfully if the balance sucks you can just ignore Elites all together, but I’m sure it will be fine. All in all I am very excited to see what rules they got in stock for this expansion.
There will be lots more to talk about for Elites down the line as they show off more and more as they lead up to release. In other news I played Warhammer: Chaosbane so I will have a post about that coming out this weekend latest and I even got some game-play recorded for it that I may or may not use as well!
February was truly a short month, but a busy one that’s all I can say. Now that we are five days into March we are greeted with the new Abaddon mini which is absolutely glorious. So now I will barrage this post with Abaddon pictures to show of his glory and yes I took the time to make that “Oh Hi Warmaster” because I like doing silly stuff like that.
Now of course anyone who is familiar with the 40K community knows that Abaddon isn’t everyone’s favorite chaos lord and has spawned quite a few jokes.
Just gonna say I have no idea where the whole armless thing came from so the joke goes right over my head, but some people like it and that is good enough for me. Overall I am really excited for this model and for Shadowspear as a whole. Like look how great both these forces look.
Honestly this is the most excited I have been for a box set, excited enough to want to get both sides and the Warmaster to boot. The runner up box for me would be Dark Imperium as it is what I used to really get back into 40K with a Deathguard force, but damn Shadowspear looking really good. Now the Primaris troops for the most part don’t play into the ideal Blood Angels style, but I want them nonetheless. This is a very exciting start to March and I hope the hype continues with the awesome releases. Just really hope the next box set has zero Primaris in it.
There was the unveiling of the new box set “Shadowspear” which came with a showcase video:
Normally more Primaris isn’t something I would be happy about, but they are new models that look so good!
This Vanguard Librarian could be really cool, sporting a real Dark Angels look. Can’t wait to see the details of this model. Masters of shroud and stealth? Sounds good for my Blood Angels.
The Primaris Eliminators looking real good, making me wonder how they look beside the Space Marine Scout profile, and if they will replace them.
Master of Possessions looking pretty cool here, maybe will make Possessed Space Marines better than they currently are, also a sweet model.
Looks like they took a queue from Blackstone Fortress with these guys, because they look absolutely gorgeous. Really makes me want to collect some of them.
Now this is what an Obliterator should look like, looking like it can really lay down the hurt. Seriously look at all those heavy weapons and you know this guy can throw down in melee too. I mean look at those muscles.
Then we got this Venomcrawler which I really hope Death Guard can use too… Because holy crap this thing looks awesome and deadly. Also like a pain to paint, but honestly what awesome thing isn’t?
Then perhaps the most exciting news of all is this little video:
I do love they are aware of the Primaris Lieutenant joke, and sincerely thought this was going to be a release for yet another one, but oh my lord… A new Abaddon model? So far from what you can see in this video he looks so awesome. Gone is that terrible old model, and now can have a REAL terror leading your Heretics into battle.
All in all some really exciting stuff and all I can say it is time to invest into Black Legion.
Now I have been collecting my Dark Eldar or Drukhari force for a while, and have been putting some more thought into the Kabal I was going with. I like many others, know am not the greatest when it actually painting my miniatures, especially in the winter time. Temperatures do get fairly low up here in the north, so I try to spray paint whenever the weather allows. Thankfully the weather was quite great for the other week and I was able to spray paint a lot of minis. In the midst of the spray painting I began thinking about my Dark Eldar Kabal and began rethinking the one I decided to go with. Originally I had planned to go with Kabal of the Obsidian Rose because I really like obsession and warlord traits that they come with. The scheme seems was simple enough to pull off and doesn’t look terrible or anything like that, but just something about it didn’t didn’t excite me.
I believe that’s part of the reason it’s taking me so long to get around to painting them, other than spraying them, just because I wasn’t terribly excited for what I was painting. I think that’s something that’s incredibly important when it actually comes to painting especially when you’re like me and suck at getting it done. So I began to look at some other Kabal paint schemes, I know I can do my own Kabal, but I don’t know I don’t think I’m creative enough for that especially come up with a half decent looking one. Though I did find some other paint schemes that really started to strike a chord with me. For example of the Kabal of the Poisoned Tongue was one I also like, even though it was essentially like like the Kabal of the Obsidian Rose save for blue instead of red, but the traits weren’t something I was as hyped up on as I was for the Obsidian Rose ones so it posed a slight issue for me. I could also just paint them the Poisoned Tongue style and just go with Obsidian Rose traits if I wanted. Something about that doesn’t sit quite right with me, something about proper representation, so I was left at a slight impasse.
Then I began to expand my search a little further to other Kabals and I eventually found one that kind of satisfied what I wanted. The Kabal of the Dying Sun has the look I want as well as also being allowed flexibility with the obsessions and traits. So this is how I decided to go with a Kabal of the Dying Sun and it also fit because I’d already spray painted them black.
I also feel like it’s worth noting that the Kabal of the Last Hatred was also considered, but I honestly had no idea how to do it and all the methods I found were rather annoying to say the least, especially since I already spray painted a bunch of my miniatures black. I do love the purple coloring on the paint scheme, purple is a fantastic color, but like I said I don’t know if I could really pull it off the good effect and didn’t care to try to be honest.
Also as a side note I also want to say that Battlefleet Gothic Armada 2 is a really sweet game and it definitely has a lot of faction representation in there so I recommend checking it out if you haven’t already. Definitely lots of Dark Eldar fun to be had in there that’s for sure!
So the day has come that I finally acquired a physical copy of Wrath & Glory. I have been waiting for this for a very long time and funny how it comes not too long after I write about never getting the opportunity to get the physical copy.
Now that I finally have a physical copy, albeit months later than expected, I can actually start trying to run the game now. This is the book front and back:
My buddy and I were there not one hour after they announced that my local hobby shop had gotten copies of the game and its supplements in, but I was there just in time to get the last one. Sadly I was unable to acquire any of the GM screens, but that can come at a later time I suppose. The person at the counter did tell me most copies went to special orders, but the fact that they had so few after the fact tells me that the game is more popular than anyone was expecting for it to have been. I have already aired my concerns about how unprepared I think Ulisses was, but it shouldn’t matter that much going forward. Regardless I am really happen to have gotten one and can admit I would have been salty if I had been unable to acquire one.
I find myself in a weird spot because I want to play the game, but also would be the one who needs to run it as well. So makes me think I will have to initially start as the GM, but can move on to a player once we all learn the system. Though to be completely honest running Wrath & Glory games won’t be as annoying to me as DMing for Dungeons & Dragons is, just because I feel like I can craft stories that I myself enjoy more in the 40K setting. As a player the first archetype I would go for would a be an Eldar Corsair. I think they are just very cool and regret the fact that I didn’t get in on the Corsair fun while I could have in 40K, it is my great hopes that they will re-launch the Corsairs in the near future.
I think it is a good time to say that the artwork in the book is awesome and wanted to end off by showing off some of the art that can be found in the Wrath & Glory book.
Anyway that is it for this little blurb, until next time everyone!
One thing that I have been looking forward to for a very long time has been the release of Wrath & Glory, the new 40K tabletop RPG. The release has been sloppy at best, with a digital copy being released rather quickly and the physical release being far far far behind when it was supposed to be out. Now I get some people would be fine with just the digital copy, but I personally (like many others) actually like having a hard copy of the book to use. This is a big issue for people who pre-ordered starting sets along with the core rules and other supplements that are coming out on release.
The Digital copy came out on DriveThruRPG.com in August and was available for purchase at a fairly low price, which I have to give props for. However, there was an issue with various inconsistencies, typos and the like, but when I finally got around to purchasing my digital copy it seemed that these were all cleaned up or I just couldn’t find any myself. I will say that the game itself is very cool, and I like the mechanics of it quite a bit so I want an physical copy so we can start running it at my table.
This is where we start having a problem, the physical copy, because I for the life of me can’t find it anywhere at all and my local hobby store has no idea about it either. It has started becoming a frustration for me as the release date has been constantly pushed back and back and back to the point where some people are still having issues getting their copies. Originally it was said that they were aiming for an October release.
Alright cool, October rolled around and still nothing of a release date to be had for Wrath & Glory. November would come by and people would still be scratching their heads wondering what was going on for their orders.
Ah there is that wording again “should be” which just signals a general lack of organization when it came to the physical release. Now there are reports of people starting to get their copies at the end of last month, which is good for them because it has been a long wait for it. The weird thing is that some people have gotten them and some haven’t, if you live in the United States it is probably very likely you have gotten your pre-order already.
It is only the pre-orders that seem to have been sent out though, if you are waiting for a retail copy like me you are shit out of luck.
On their Facebook Page they did make claims about how it would be available in retail as of January 1st.
Now James for Ulisses does make a point about it does depend on the distributers as well and it isn’t wholly on them. Who knows how much of this is due to distribution issues, and not their fault at all? Hard to say. But it does seem like retailers are kept just as much in the dark as everyone else because some of the online retailers that you could find this stuff on have no idea themselves.
So I have no clue what is going on and it doesn’t seem like other people do either. Now don’t get me wrong I really like the game, and I WANT the physical copy which is why this irks me as much as it does. I want to play the damn game and I want to have a hardcover to do so with. I want to give them my money, but the amount of flip-flopping that has been going on with release dates and the general lack of information is incredibly frustrating to me. To me it just seems like they underestimated the amount of demand that this license would generate and were woefully unprepared to fill out the orders. Some people might call it an overreaction as it is only three months past the time they were originally aiming for and yeah I get that stuff happens, but a little more clarity on the release would have been nice. Instead of shoulds, coulds, and woulds, a little more concrete information would have gone a long way. I hopefully get my hands on a hard copy eventually and have some really nice stuff to say about the game itself, but I want the full hard copy and other supplements in my hands first.
Anyway thanks to anyone who read through this post shaped rant, and hopefully I will have some good news about the release in the near future.
Happy New Year everyone! As we leave behind 2018 it leaves us a chance to look back at the things we have done and what we have seen. It has been a great year for 40K players and fans as we have seen the game get expanded in so many ways. I wanted to take a look back at some of these releases and my personal favorites of them.
Kill Team is by far the release of the year that has meant the most to me personally, especially since I have had so much fun with it. Not only has it given increased value to the forces I already had, but it has inspired me to get my foot into forces that I would otherwise never go anywhere near.
My Blood Angels, Death Guard, Eldar, and Dark Eldar were forces that I had already assembled prior to the release of Kill Team, but the release had caused me to examine my models closer than ever before. Now I was picking out my favorites, giving them more backstory, and putting more emphasis on getting models painted. This also meant that my Grey Knights, who I had only a squad of, were given extra purpose as they could be used to their full capacity now. It wasn’t just the ones I already owned that were given extra value, but it opened my eyes to new forces that I could sink my teeth into on this smaller front. This would lead to me collecting Genestealer Cult, Thousand Sons, Death Watch and Tempestus Scion teams. It serves as an excellent entry into other armies that I otherwise would have never gotten into at all, without this smaller stepping stone. This is why to me Kill Team was the greatest release we would see in 2018.
The release of Kill Team would also bring us the Rogue Trader box set which gave us access to two new forces to play with the Elucidian Star Striders and the Gellerpox Infected. I appreciate these two new forces, as well as the suite of new play options the box gives us.
Commanders allowed us to use some of our old favorite HQ and Elites slot units in the smaller scale field of Kill Team games. I relished the opportunity to take my Foul Blightspawn or Archons to this smaller field of battle that gave them more characterization than ever. Commanders also did highlight some concerning things, like the complete lack of regular Space Marine commanders, perhaps signaling the complete distancing from anything non-Primaris for the Space Marines. Though it is just conjecture, it is something interesting to really thing on. Overall Kill Team gave us many things and for me is the best thing that 2018 brought us.
Tooth and Claw, Forgebane and Wake the Dead are the big box sets we saw some out in 2018 for Warhammer 40,000. These kinds of sets are always really nice to see as they bring with them great monetary value as well as a different kind of value. They serve as great entry points into the game allowing you to be able to get a great start on one or both of the forces in a box set. Dark Imperium is what got me back into 40K and 8th edition in full force, so to me these kinds of sets are always a treat to see. Seeing the Necrons and Adeptus Mechanicus paired together for Forgebane was my favorite of these sets to come out.
Wake the Dead does hold some real importance to me as an Eldar player, and serves as another great example of a great way to enter the hobby. Tooth and Claw allowed for people who were fans of the Genestealer Cults to find their way into the game fairly easily, as well as providing a new way to obtain Aberrants for the Cults. These two boxes again presented to me the issue of how the Primaris were being put in the limelight a little too much, as it would have been nice to see other armies take their place. However, I am hopeful that 2019 will bring us many more box sets that put well deserving armies center stage.
Speaking of box sets these Battle Force sets provide an incredible method to acquire units for the forces featured in these boxes. Again seeing the Eldar having one of these box sets is quite appreciated by me and again the value of these boxes cannot be denied. I really wish the Deathguard Battle Force was around when I was assembling my Deathguard army, because being able to access all these units for the price is too hard to pass up. The biggest and best surprise was the Imperial Fists specific battle force as it pays homage to a chapter that was due to have some recognition. I know I go on about having too much Primaris being around, after all two of the six battle force boxes are Primaris, but it is nice to see the Imperial Fists get some love at least. Because let’s face it there are way too much Ultramarine representation lately, and Space Wolves are starting to get there in their own right.
Blackstone Fortress is a hell of a lot of fun and after having played it a good deal I can say it is definitely worth getting. The game itself isn’t a direct adaptation of the full game, but could be seen as a light version that lets someone start getting into the world itself. The game allows up to five people, having rules that even let a person play alone, and is something I could easily recommend to any fan of board games as well. Simply put Blackstone Fortress is a really fun game, that also has some really cool models that any fan of 40K should consider picking up.
I will have some more of my own hobby progress to share in the next week or two as I have many models I have been working on over this holiday. I am very much looking forward to the things 2019 will bring us and am very excited to talk about them in the future. I have resolved to better manage my time for posts to be more consistent with them, and to actually get painting my models that need it. Anyways I hope everyone has enjoyed their holidays as they come to an end and wish everyone the best!
Alright I wanted to share my thoughts on Warhammer 40,000 Mechanicus. Why am I a month late? I wanted to take the time to play it and give it some real thought. So here is what I came up with. I did plan to have this done for last weekend, but I over estimated the amount of time I had to get assignments done and all that. What else is new? Before we get into it I want to set the mood, so watch this video of the opening.
This was what they also used as their teaser trailer, it is the same thing you see when you open the game, but still sets the mood perfectly. It gets me hyped right up and ready to be part of the Adeptus Mechanicus!
Story? There really isn’t much of one, but that is okay since you are given lots of atmosphere and interesting missions from your various advisors. The story boils down to this image right here:
Essentially it is as Faustinus puts it and you end up finding out it is a Necron Tomb World leaving you to deal with them before they all awaken. The intro mission shows you everything you need to know and has you encounter one of the big baddies of the opposing force.
The game gives you all the reason you need to start delving and fighting Necrons, that is all I need.
Every mission plays out in a similar manner, you are greeted by this holographic map of the area you are investigating for the mission. Every mission has its offerings of rewards as well as showing you what difficulty it will be and what enemies you can expect. Now it is very important to note that there is no starting difficulty and it is measured by mission. So you want a harder experience? Go for harder missions, but I will touch on the overall difficulty near the end.
You will have to deploy your units, choose your canticles, and jump right into it. I will touch on the specifics of units and canticles later.
This is the map you are met with on starting a mission.
From this map you have objectives you need to accomplish and little events along the way. The green symbols are glyphs that have you picking one of multiple options to get either a beneficial or detrimental effect. These can vary from healing a unit, to giving you resources, to increasing the awakening level. Glyphs always have a set effect and it allows you to start figuring out which ones you want to be avoiding which is nice. The exclamation points on the map give you a little event that also has you picking an option, but in a more narrative way.
These events like the glyphs can result in positive or negative effects pending on your choice, but are far harder to guess what they will do. It will constantly keep you guessing as you will never know what is always the right choice.
Finally these yellow diamonds represent your objective which will always play out in a battle that can have different objectives like activate a terminal, survive, or just straight up slay all the enemies. Good variation in these missions and they aren’t too terribly overwhelming. Caution is always advised as sometimes when you run to an objective you will activate others and put yourself in a bad situation. So take it slow, and no need to rush, well except for the fact that the Necrons awaken more the longer you take.
These levels of awakening will give the Necrons various buffs and contribute to the overall percentage that they are awakened in your play through. So you want to get through at a brisk pace, but not too fast as to cause yourself issues.
Once you get that Awakening to 100% there that is when things come to an end more or less, but you can also defeat their head honcho earlier if you like. Anyway at the end of a mission you are rewarded for enemies slain, deducted for tech priests damaged or troops lost. So the better you do the better you are rewarded, that is the way things should be right?
Now everyone likes to compare it to XCOM, and I feel that is a decently accurate comparison. They are both of the tactical turn based RPG genre and both have a similar feel. Mechanicus takes all the good things of XCOM and leaves behind many of the annoying things. Like in Mechanicus all your characters actually know how to use their weapons effectively and don’t have a percent chance to hit. I get that this is part of the allure of XCOM and the difficulty of it all, but it is gets damn right frustrating. Moving on, the combat in Mechanicus is pretty much what you would expect form something compared to XCOM except for the lack of cover and everyone being generally stronger. Never will you feel like you are just weaker than your opponents because you are very strong in your own right. There are two damage types, energy and physical, so balancing the two damage types out in your group is important because if you say brought all energy weapons and were fighting enemies with high energy armor you are going to have a bad time.
You are also unable to use ranged weapons while you are engaged in melee, making it pretty true to the core material. It allows you to deal with pesky ranged units by disabling their ability to use their deadly ranged weapons when you run at them in melee. This is especially handy if you build one or more of your priests to be proficient in melee combat.
You are also able to charge up the machine spirit of weapons through using them allowing additional effects for the next time you use them. Like the Skitarii Vanguard whose weapon will do extra damage while the machine spirit is charged.
There are several mechanics that are noteworthy, but this is one of the most important; cognition points. Now these points are generated through various actions, scanning things on the field, collecting them from downed enemies, and from Tech priest abilities. Now this cognition allows you to use abilities, weapons, and move your tech priests more. They are represented by the little gears on the bottom of the screen. As you do more missions you can have more at a time, and they allow you to use your best tools.
Your management of cognition is incredibly important to your success and good management will have you win battles lopsidedly. Cognition is also used for the deployment of your basic troops, and the varying troops have different costs. Canticles are also something vital to success in battle and are something you can only use once per mission. The effects of canticles vary from healing to ignoring armor and overall are incredibly important.
You can only take three Canticles at a time so you better choose wisely. They are also unlocked from achievement style progress.
So you are able to utilize Canticles in many different ways to augment your preferred play style. The battles have varying objectives from killing all enemies, using a terminal, or surviving, so you will get some decent variety.
The next big thing to talk about is the amount of unit variety and customization you get. Your troops have their own load outs and abilities based on their level that can be raised after completing certain missions. So you can take various kinds of troops that fulfill different roles and tackle the battles in the way that best suits you.
Now the tech priests are where the real customization comes in, as they can be upgraded down various trees, equipped differently, and given different abilities. You have your choice of six different disciplines that have their own combat specializations. Often you will end up dipping into multiple trees to optimize your priests and make them as strong as possible.
You will also get specific gear from a skill line that makes them better at what that specific discipline does, for example being better at ranged combat with gear from the Dominus tree.
As you can see there are very many choices for equipment you can get, and I didn’t even get them all. Overall you have so many options for your priests to make them into your preferred kinds of killing machine and is something I very much appreciate. I loved dropping a Kastellan Robot on my enemies who loved ranged combat and forcing them to face down my big robot… good times.
My only gripe is that you can’t change their portraits that are randomly assigned to them, and they seemed to randomly change whenever I loaded the game (they might have fixed this since I tried it last though.)
Now the music and graphical design are top notch, everything bleeds tech priest and Adeptus Mechanicus. The music makes you feel like a tech worshiping zealot from the 41st millennium. With its mix of vocals and techno, man I really like the soundtrack, it fits so well. The weapons also all look and feel like they should, which is very important in a Warhammer 40K game, especially if you have ever heard what some people have done to Bolters in some games.
All in all the game looks and sounds fantastic, big points for nailing that.
In conclusion Mechanicus is a fantastic game, and is more than worth its lower price point. The game play is fun and the atmosphere feels right at home with anyone 40K fan or not. The difficulty got to be on the easy side once I got my priests kitted out in the right way, but there is nothing wrong with being rewarded for building your characters the right way. I definitely recommend this game to anyone who is a fan of tactical RPGS or of 40K in general. This along with Gladius are a big turning point for 40K video games as these two are of great quality and make me hopeful for the future.
EDIT, December 17: They released a balance patch that fixes a lot of bugs, and changes weapon characteristics. Most importantly they make the final boss have more health which should definitely help with him being more of a threat. Definitely worth checking out the changes.