Thursday, September 3, 2015

Ian plays Undercity

I had the chance to try Undercity out this past weekend. I had high hopes for this game.

These hopes were not squashed.

Undercity is a four player co-op dungeon crawl that has mechanics loosely based on the Warmachine/Hordes game and the Iron Kingdoms role playing game.

Set in the Undercity, which is…..well under some city in the Warmachine world you control one of four members of a mercenary party called the Blackwater Irregulars. They are comprised of a trollkin warrior, a gobber mechanic and his warjack, a gun mage and a mad bombing alchemist. They are on a series of missions that have them exploring and killing their way in, through and around the Undercity.

I grabbed the gobber, Pog, and his warjack, Doorstop. They looked more fun to play than the other three characters.

The game play is really simple. It is the 2D6 system that is the core of all the Privateer Tabletop games. The turn follow a pattern of highest initiative to lowest order and the enemies activate at the end of each player’s turn. Enemies activate via randomly drawn card and follow a set pattern of movement and attack. Melee and range combat is simple and damn near identical to Warmachine/Hordes. You roll 2D6 and add a number. If number is higher than a target statistic number, then you do something to the other guy.

There are The four characters cover the gambit of melee tank, ranged damage with the gun mage, another melee guy and off-tank with the gobber and his warjack and finally  a range guy that can hit single or multiple targets with various grenades. The characters all have  a set number of skills to use. Plus  they have access to  feat cards that give them added abilities throughout their turn. They can gain XP that falls into a pool that is divided between characters at the end of a game. This can be used to buy various abilities to make them better at their chosen combat profession. If they work together they make a really damn descent fighting force and can rack up the XP quickly.

The game comes with a ton on minis that are rescuplts of established Warmachine guys and a few arm swabs from established models. They look good for a board game. They would look good painted. If there is a downside is that they are a bit rubbery and might not take well to paint. The tokens and game board used are made from some real sturdy kind of board of the card variety.

We played through the first two scenarios. We didn’t quite walk through them, but didn’t have much trouble either. Hell, we only had one mishap and had to revive our gun mage. The rest of the time we managed to avoid a lot of damage, teamed up really well to protect each other and ran the missions successfully. There was really never any time where we were overwhelmed by goons. There was never a feeling of urgency either. I’m not sure if the game was too easy, we were rolling really well, or that the spawning enemies were never really near us to bring their numbers to bear.

Whatever it was, it was still a good time. This is a descent dungeon crawler based and supposedly people compare it to Heroquest. I never played that so I’m not sure how similar it is to that game. I do know it feels like a watered down version of Warmachine and the Iron Kingdoms RPG. It might get people into the RPG since it has more of that feel than the tabletop mini combat game. There is real potential with this game. If it does well I hope they will turn out new characters, bad guys and additional locales for the Undercity.  

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