Review of Mechanicus

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

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:

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Well put.

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.

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Need a game based on the War in Heaven.

The game gives you all the reason you need to start delving and fighting Necrons, that is all I need.

Missions

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.

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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.

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Sure you can fit everyone in there?

This is the map you are met with on starting a mission.

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Green = Glyphs and Exclamation = Event.

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.

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Tough choice.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

Battles

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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An example of collecting cognition points.

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.

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You can only take three Canticles at a time so you better choose wisely. They are also unlocked from achievement style progress.

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Lame canticle imo.

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.

Your Units

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.20181214232627_1.jpg

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.20181213152512_1.jpg

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.

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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.

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He isn’t ready for this.

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.)

Design

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.

Conclusion

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.

Blood Angels Progress

So got an update on the progress of my Blood Angels force, starting with the ones who have been officially based to varying degrees of awesomeness:

 

The Red Thirst-y Reivers are ready to go

 

The cheap, but effective knife Scouts.

 

Then here got the other group of Scouts sporting Mephiston Red as well.

 

My group of 10 Intercessors, to sometimes be split into squads of 5 also based and ready (other than the one backpack that fell off).

 

Then the three HQ I have so far look pretty good, other than the Librarian who I got a little too trigger happy on with the spray so for now his face is a little featureless… So that will be something I will have to fix moving forward, but is not something I am undertaking quite yet.

 

Then these steals of a deal that I found at my local hobby store. $35 CAD for what is normally $70? Such a steal I couldn’t resist, especially since I need exactly two for my planned Blood Angels list.

 

So my Blood angels army certainly has a strong start especially with those whirlwinds giving me options if I want to field a 1000 point army, which speaking of that I had a game today with them that I absolutely plan to post about once I sort through my scrawled battle report on paper, to be accompanied by pictures too. Spoiler alert Reivers and Whirlwinds are kick ass. Also in the next little bit decided to touch a bit on the toxicity that seems to plague both Overwatch/Heroes of the Storm as I experienced a good deal of it lately so that will be a fun post, then a Fortnite post at some point, and last thing I have planned is perhaps a talk about the things that made me return to Street Fighter V for my fighting game kicks.

Anyhow that is all for this post, hope everyone has a good weekend!

Forgebane hot off the press! New 40K box set!

Hot off the press and just revealed, is the new box set for 40K! Adeptus Mechanicus and Necrons! Wow what a match made in heaven. This box set looks awesome, and should please any Necron or Admech player. Big things are the new Imperial knights in the box set so even if you have all the things you would want for an Admech force those are a big sell! Either way without much further ado here are the leaked photos courtesy of General Games.

Anyway just wanted to bring that hot news and do my part to spread the good word of the God Emperor!

Fire Dragons are steamy

Crappy pun work aside, I just wanted to take a moment to talk about how much I enjoy using Eldar Fire Dragons and the particular tale of a certain Exarch.

I had a game the other night with a couple of my friends, and it was a 1500 point game that had a 2 on 1 scheme to it. So the one guy with an Adeptus Mechanicus force had 1500 points, while I was teamed up with my other friend with us splitting 750/750. My teammate had a Militarum Tempestus force that was hard focused on deep striking with some snipers and a Leman Russ for support. I will spare the details of the full game, since I just wanted to call attention to the first couple rounds.

So we had decided that a building in the center was a key structure to be had both for strategic value and it was the best terrain we had (it was primed unlike other things.) On the Admech side close to the building were many Skitarii and worst of all an Onager Dunecrawler.

Yeah one of those. Scary things they are and those Neutron Lasers with S10 can be a scary proposition (not to mention other setups,) but yet we set about the task of destroying it right away. Tempestus Scions were on that middle building like gold on Custodes, and my Fire Dragons webway assaulted in as well with some Warlock support. So the combined deep strike force went straight into our favourite building, so that we could benefit from the cover and attempt to erase that Dunecrawler.

This is the purpose of Fire Dragons, this is why I brought them so when the time came I knew what I had to do. Throw Jinx on it from my Warlock and blow it up with the Dragons. Well sadly Jinx failed and so my Fire Dragons had to go at it without the psychic assistance. So it came time for them to fire, and sadly only two of them hit, the Exarch with his Fire Pike and one of the regular Dragons with a fusion gun. Saves were failed, and the damage was going out. I needed 11 damage from the two of them to erase the Onager Dunecrawler, and I got 10 damage on it. It was a little disappointing that a meltagun from my ally had to finish the job, but the best part comes next.

So when it was the Admech turn I knew the Fire Dragons (henceforth FDs) were going to get mowed down, and so it was. Now the FDs have a solid save with a 3+ and the cover taking that to an HQ level of 2+, but all hope went out the window when the shots started coming. A dragoon and another Dunecrawler made short work of the FDs accompanying the Exarch, then it came time for the two squads of Skitarii Vanguard to open fire. Now Radium Carbines are Assault 3, and with some Arc Rifles of Rapid Fire 1, spread out amongst a combined 20 Skitarii Rangers that is a lot of shots going out. Obviously if it wasn’t necessary it would never take that many shots for a single FD Exarch, but it was a different occurrence this time. So it was that the Exarch saved/dodged/survived over 30 shots of combined carbine and rifle fire, which understandably the Admech player wasn’t too thrilled about meaning one thing… He had to kill the Exarch out of principle now. Three Tech-Priest Domini, Two Dragoons, one unit of Skitarii Rangers, and a third Onager Dunecrawler later, the Exarch still stood triumphantly.

This would only last until the next Admech shooting phase, when halfway through he fell to more Skitarii Vanguard fire… So it would be that his legacy was ended and the Tempestus Scions who had stood around him would surely tell tales of the Exarch until the end of their days. After the game I had boasted that he deserved to be commemorated getting a unique name and backstory, with the potential Autarch conversion in the future… to which my friends had agreed was a neat idea. So for now until I think of a good name for him, this will be his legacy because lets face it, Fire Dragons are just awesome and none are hotter 😉 .

Also below is a picture of his stand because I wanted to honour him forever, don’t mind the table and terrain as our collective Warhammer area is a work in progress.. also don’t judge me for him (the Exarch) being unpainted still…

Here he stands after surviving a barrage of shots.

Anyhow that’s all for now, just wanted to recount the tale of the Exarch, also if anyone has any neat or interesting name ideas let me know!