6 Nov 2013

MERCS - Part Four: Game On!

So last Friday as per the post I was able to chill with Ontos and put in two games with out teams.

First off I was playing my fully painted CCC. I had used the Army Painter Yellow as my base. I use Charcoal for the fabric portions of the armour, trimmed with a metal and used an olive drab and a dark metal for my equipment. I used some textured Games Workshop paint to base the minis with better success then I expect before dry brushing the texture with darker shades of grey. After all was said and done I dipped the 6 CCC miniatures in Army Painter Quickshade.


Ontos based white put a few off colour whites, off and near metal whites to shade and used a dark orange to detail. He dipped as well and finished with a mat spray varnish. His Keizai Waza look awesome and really had a used state of the art tech feel to the minis.

Keizai Waza Starter Box 

It took me over and hour on and off with the brush. The base painting and dipping were each only ten minutes for each effect. Ontos said he was done super quick as well. Not bad for a run at getting the armies painted and ready.

So we played two games...

A few things I picked up.

1. Armour is awesome.

I tried playing my two heavy minis, the Heavy and the Incinerator with their Armour of 3 close to cover to keep them safe. Boy was I wrong in one of the games only one of Ontos weapons had a Strength above 2. I could have been hit a couple dozen times and trusted in my low armour failure rate and simply walked my guys into position to dish out the damage.

In MERCS if you get hit you will make an Armour Failure test once damage is resolved. Damage is simple, compare the attacker's weapon strength and if it's equal or greater than the Armour of the hit target you do a single point of damage called Blood. No matter if a Blood is delivered the hit miniature must make an Armour Failure roll.

If you make it, nothing happens... just rain on the tin roof.

If you fail your Armour value drops by one and you're miniature is slowed down by a value of two.

My armour rarely fails as per the CCC Corporate Ability that each miniature in the CCC shares. Also after two turns of being damaged CCC miniatures are able to remove the damage from the armour with a automatic repair system.

What did I learn. Trust my armour when playing CCC. Go for broke and dare to win.

2. Corporate Abilities are great.

Looking at my Texico they have some neat abilities about focus fire. the ISS guys I'm dreaming of picking up along side some Kem Var reduce an attackers bonus when flanking them while also being able to move farther afield at the start of the game.
Keizai Waza art by MERCS

We've already looked at CCC, but Ontos' Keizai Waza also have great abilities. The first is when their armour is damaged it's only slowed by a value of one rather than two. Half the penalty to movement with damaged armour... awesome. Without the high reliability of the CCC technology, Ontos was glad he had this ability in our two games.

His second ability was even better. When suffering any blood, aka has taken damage, his minis gain plus 1 to every die roll! That's huge! When his Heavy Gunner gets a plus 1 when doing an Overwatch (an ACM - Advanced Combat Maneuver), with another from being within a card length of the Assault Leader and another for being wounded... Ontos was looking at a rolling for a 8 or higher to a 5 or higher. With two rolls a shot he was able to really lay down effective and accurate fire with his less than accurate Strength 3 weapon. My Heavier units did not like this and regretted poking the bear.

3. Bounding is neat and can be great but not all the time.

With the unique ability to move units together by moving at a lower initiative turn order but at a bonus to speed the Bounding ACM made my life simpler but I found I tried it too often or the unit that needed the boost to speed was the slowest unit and unable to benefit from the ACM.

Take advantage when it comes up but don't rely on it to get your troops across the table right quick every time.

4. The game is fun.

With a win-loss record of 1-1 with MERCS I had a great time. Our games were slow as we sorted out the rules and referenced the FAQ frequently for clarification. The rules listed are great but not always clear in the ruling. Err of the side of carnage as per the book decries but when you're first playing get the play correct and look up your rules with the FAQ handy. Once you are more familiar the game speeds up and the rules on the cards are just enough information for you to get the actions out.

I recommend MERCS as a great smaller game to play for those already deep in the hobby or a great game to jump in and start with a mate or more mates due to the cost and simplicity of play. I enjoy the balance of the game. Ontos and I are already looking at the various choices we need to make when selecting our minis for the next match. It's back and forth quite a bit and I think the simple selection process is varied and not fixed unlike some other games in the Hobby.

Rate of 4 out of 5. It's not a perfect game but it's above par and fun. Worth the coin for someone getting into the hobby and a nice diversion for us who're more salty and looking for a spice or change.