As the dust settles…

These are Sword Knights. They’re the reason why I started playing Cygnar. They look cool, they have cool abilities and I like what they do on the board. 

swordknight_concept1

I saw their new stats and abilities for the first time on Monday with the release of Warmachine Mk II. I wasn’t impressed, I was upset about what they lost; this wasn’t the unit I fell in love with. They no longer had Sword Master, the ability that lets them make two sword attacks — as any highly trained knight should.

I admit it: Monday was not a happy day for me. The changes made to units made me pretty upset. Not upset enough to quit, but upset enough where I wasn’t being the voice of reason I needed to be. But I’m a gamer first and then a Press Ganger, and the gamer took over. Here was Privateer Press, changing the first tabletop war game I’ve ever played and change did not sit well with this Ferret.

There were enough of us who found things we didn’t like where it was very easy for the discussion to go downhill rapidly. Sure, we were OK with the new core rules (with the exception of LOS and elevation), but it was so easy to focus on what was being taken away, especially without knowing why changes had been made.

I’m not going to apologize for having a dissenting view. It doesn’t make me a bad Press Ganger, as some of us have been made out to be. Some of us needed time to vent and process the new information, stop worrying and learn to love the bomb. I’ve vented privately in the PG forum, resisting the temptation to flog the dead horse here in this space. But that helps no one and accomplishes nothing. So.

Originally, this post was going to be about what changed with my Cygnar army. I helped code the latest iBodger update and had a chance to look at stats, line by line, for Cygnar, Protectorate and Khador. It was easy to see the changes.

The plan changed after I got a call from friend and fellow Press Ganger, Devilsquid. My partner in crime on the forums for many silly things, he decided to channel his energies and mobilize the Mercenary community into a “feedback frenzy.”

From his post: 

If something is broken, explain why and how you used it. If something is too much, be honest and say why. DO NOT just say “This is teh suxorz” because it will be ignored, and you’ll be wasting time. Be concise, explain your thoughts, and post well thought out feedback.

Our future is in our hands. Long have we been the underdogs, and always we find a way to crawl to the top of the bloody heap and collect out pay! 

FOR COIN AND BLOOD!

It’s along the same lines as the Mercs First! banners I’ve inflicted upon the community: It’s a grass-roots effort to effect change. If Privateer gets a high volume of feedback about the same issues (concisely, civilly and professionally), it will be very difficult to ignore.

So, being fully behind this plan, I’ve decided to mobilize the local gaming group, River City Warmachine, and give Privateer as much damn feedback as they can handle.

Posted this in our Yahoo Group:

Anything you think is broken? Play test. Again and again. Submit feedback. I want them to know that our little group did what we could to expose the things that don’t work, the things that gave our units and solos “flavor.”

Believe me, I’m not 100% sold on Mk II. I’ve read the rules, talked about it a lot and am very eager to put models on the board. I’m cautiously optimistic learning Warmachine anew, but I’m fired up about drowning Privateer in constructive feedback.

The biggest change for me was getting away from the chatter and the forums. Coding iBodger was a huge help in seeing what the changes were line by line, model by model. I was able to see patterns emerge — things like 13 DEF got dialed down to DEF 12 in most cases. Nearly all Cygnar models lost Fearless, but gained CMD stats (most units are 9s now). Warjacks saw huge increases to MAT and RAT, many weapons were improved and point costs seem to make a little more sense.

The bottom line for me is that I feel better than I did yesterday. I went to bed knowing that I needed to find balance and get centered again. I’m not 100% of the way there, but it’s closer. I feel like I’m in a better position to be the voice of reason and promote the game again.

I’m going to play as much as I can and submit feedback. I see this as being similar to voting for president: If you don’t vote, STFU and don’t complain. We have a chance to break the “pretty new machine” as Scott puts it. I’m all for it. If it means we have a better rule set for Warmachine in 2010, then bring it.

One more thing: Don’t confuse dissent with being a doubter or a naysayer. People adapt to change at their own pace. The most important thing with Mk II is to give it a try. Besides, the discussion won’t be constructive if everyone drinks the Kool-Aid and agrees with everything Privateer says and does. I won’t follow anyone or anything blindly — even if they are my second-most-favoritist company in the world (Apple being first).

Now there’s only one thing left to do.

Play.

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6 Responses to As the dust settles…

  1. redfinnegas says:

    Sword Knights, what a blow. This one stabbed me worse than any other I think. My favorite melee unit in Cygnar. I bought two full units of them, and they have been laid low. We’ll see how it all works out though. I too am eager to put the new rules to the test and provide feedback. Your post is well stated, and I appreciate how honest you are in your words.

    • bobaferret says:

      Yeah, that one hurt. It’s the one that I took personally, and then got told it’s dumb to take rules changes personally. I have 3 units of them, I love the models so much. They’re the core of my Cygnar army.

      But here’s what I’ve got planned: Every Jack Marshal can take *two* Jacks! Now that Marshals can have the jacks take a second attack… WOW. With the SK officer, that’s two jacks you can Pronto. So take Centurions (as suggested by Doug Seacat some time ago), Pronto them and then charge them into melee. Have the other two jacks charge, or do whatever, then move in your SKs. You’re still rolling 4D6 on the charge thanks the flanking.

      Sad thing is, you’re going to want to make a second attack. 😦 With any luck, whatever you’re flanking has gotten destroyed.

  2. gdaybloke says:

    I support and/or endorse the sentiment behind this post.

  3. A refreshing and entirely mature response. Your friend said it best when he said that our future is in our own hands. Frankly, I applaud PP for releasing the MkII rules at this point to allow for extending play testing at the hands of actual players. They just as easily could’ve released the final and only version early next year and said ‘take it or leave it.’

    • bobaferret says:

      Thanks Jared!

      On D-Day, folks weren’t ready for what Devilsquid has suggested. I know I sure wasn’t. But now that we’ve had the cards and have (hopefully) had time to read the rules, it’s time to get out and play.

      It’s tough to remember that these are Beta rules and much of the language could change. Jason Soles said the symbols are staying. OK. But if we find other things in the course of play testing, I would guess those could be changed. We just need to supply them with the feedback to back up our claims. 🙂

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