WARPATH First Edition Review

WARPATH demo 1

WARPATH demo game

WARPATH demo game

Warpath in progress

WARPATH demo game

Demo game 1

WARPATH demo game

WARPATH demo game

I’ve read recently in blogland, that this is the ‘golden age’ of table-top miniatures gaming.  The past ten years or so we’ve seen many new rulesets, and a variety of games in various scales, styles and types. Of course Games Workshop has been a gateway drug for tens of thousands of gamers with many excellent specialist and core games. Pre-painted and collectible miniatures games, small scale skirmishes, 6, 10 and 15 and 28mm size models, anime inspired, dungeon crawls and space-ship/water-ship batttle games, fantasy,sci-fi,WWII, Alternative History WWII, games based on PC and console hits, and free home brew rules and variations of anything you can imagine, and they keep coming. There are dozens of small miniature companies producing a wide range of figures for this huge variety of games. One that has been devloping out of the UK is a sci-fi, 28mm miniatures wargame called WARPATH. The early test versions, and First Edition of these rules set out to be a mass-combat sci-fi game. That is what caught my attention around this time last year, I began to cultivate an interest in this challenger to the Warhammer 40K throne. After a read-through of the rules, one can instantly see some similarities of basic concepts, one could argue are common to many minature battle games. The author Alessio Cavatore worked on 4th and 5th edition 40K rules and expansions, before leaving GW, and developing some rules for MANTIC GAMES. Due to a ton of projects, starting a new job, my band, buying a house, moving and a vacation or two, I finally found time to assemble two small forces of WARPATH models to fight it out on the table using the First Edition of the WARPATH rules. There is a newer, skirmish style Second Edition being produced at the moment, with alternative activation that sounds fun, for now I’ll just focus on the First Edition, the one geared towards the mass combat that originally caught my attention.

I’ve only run through the game once by myself, but it gave me a good idea of how the game works. First off I had fun playing the game despite playing against myself. It was a good opportunity to run through the rules and familiarize myself with the mechanics. The set-up and deployment was simple enough, and similar to games I’ve played before. I decided to use markers and tokens to depict the action taking place on the field, wich was fun and a good reminder of what part of the turn sequence I was on. The moving, shooting  and assaulting is similar to 40k in many ways, with some simplifications and abstractions, that sped up the game play, without taking away from the fun for me. We don’t need a direct replacement for 40k, just a fun alternative. There isn’t as much of a dirty trick/mega hero/death star aspect, as mainly the rules and army lists aren’t as devoloped yet.  The mechanics are simple and fun, add to that the timer element and you’ve got a fun mass combat system. The armies were of course the ORX MARAUDERS and FORGEFATHERS I’ve been building and painting. The armies worked the way they are supposed to, with the ORX getting shot at a lot as they moved forward to try and capitilize on their close combat prowess. The movement phase is easy enough, using common concepts including a basic movement value, a doubling of that value and the charge which you commit to before/instead of shooting. There are a few less dice rolls in the game, but you still get to roll a bucket load of dice when attacking and shooting. To damge an enemy you have to exceed it’s damage characteristic. In combat the attacker does the attacking, and the units disengage after the assault. Damage in all cases is represented by wound markers. The markers subtract from your nerve value. You roll for nerve after taking damage in a phase. The more damage taken increases the odds of a unit being destroyed/disbursed/removed from the game/table. I like this system, as it keeps the majority of the models for us to see on the table. The game also has a reserves system(similar to 40k and other games) , I didn’t use, as the battle was so small.  I enjoyed using damage markers and other tokens and markers in the game, ever since the DAWN OF WAR RTS game on PC, the icons used on the screen inspired me to paint objective markers and buy markers to remind me visually of what is going on in the game. I will continue to add paint to my two forces, keep playing the game, and introduce the demo game to some friends, eventually I’ll add some more models and armies, as I’ve got some more models waiting to join the fray.

To sum up my review of WARPATH First Edition game and models, I’ll rate the entire package as a 7 for now. I know there will be a KICKSTARTER campagin probably next year for this game, and it will grow and change. I’ll build forces and try out the Second Edition as a future project. There are a ton of cool miniatures games out there now, with amazing models and interesting rule concepts, such as HEAVY GEAR BLITZ, SEDITION WARS, ALIEN WARS,DUST,as well as BATTLE TECH, and others people collect and play. WARPATH needs more work stand out from the pack. For me I’d prefer a mass-comabt game to another skirmish(we’ve got MAILIFAUX, INFINITY, RELIC KNIGHT,WARMACINE) style game. Also I’d keep the damage markers and utilise a movement base system to really bring it to the masses. The game has potential, and I like the mechanics involved, so I intend to continue supporting this game hopefull that it will develop into something great!

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