March 13, 2011

Warparty - The Hidden Gem at Total Confusion XXV Part 3

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Part 1 - Here
Part 2 - Here

The showdown was about to begin. Man's forces were split into two armies, as were mine. I was not in a good spot as Man was able to collect more resources per turn and would soon have a stronger army if we continued the standoff. All that stood in the way of a massive clash was a mountain range, but a move had to be made and I had to make it soon.

Luckily, my two forces were close enough to combine and attack his force against the edge of the board. If I was able to play both armies at the same time, I would have a significant numbers advantage against him; however, that would leave the other side of the mountain open for attack. His second force was over two spaces away and only his hero could move two spaces in one turn. I opted to play a little defense there and made a vampire to go along with my lone skeleton to hold the town. While the vampire wasn't as strong as his hero, I was hoping it would give him pause at making a run for the town while my two forces were two spaces away. It was time to make my move.

He didn't see it coming...you could see the shock in his eyes. I don't think he was able to see that both my forces could attack him at that location, as the map's connection spot to one of my forces was small and difficult to see. I had him outnumbered and vulnerable. I was attacking with about 6 skeletons, a ghoul mangler, 7 archers, and my hero Fraculon against his 2 knights, 3 soldiers, and 5 archers.

Combat in Warparty occurs in rows. A player must defeat the units in row 1 before they can get to row 2, and so on; however, they are able to determine which units to attack in the row that is attackable. In this case, I would have to defeat his knights and soldiers before I could target his archers. Combat is determined by rolling against preset unit values that are located on the unit tokens. The player must roll under the value in order to be successful in their action. If a unit is hit by an attack, they are allowed a defense roll that, if successful, can counter the attack. If the attack is not countered, the unit is defeated and is allowed a final counter attack before it is removed from play.

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It was time to determine the outcome of the battle and what could possibly be the final fate for either of us. Having him out numbered and out gunned, things were looking up for a bit and he decided let it play out instead of retreat. My first attack was successful as I cut through his knights and 2 soldiers from 5 successful archer hits. He was unable to counter attack successfully as I only lost 2 skeletons. Round two was less successful as I was only able to take out his final soldier and one archer, but now I was through his first row and could now focus on finishing off the remainder of his forces. After round three, he was down to one archer and I had lost all but one skeleton. Round 4, the battle was over and I had emerged victorious, with only minimal losses.

As the dust settled from the battle, the gamble had paid off. Not only was half of his force decimated at a minimal cost to mine, Fraculon had gained a full level. While that might not have a high significance in most games, it means a lot in Warparty. There are a possible three levels and as a spell caster, the strength of the available spells increases significantly. I chose Summon Monster for his second level spell, which allowed him to summon a tier 1 dungeon monster during the course of a battle.

I checked my watch. Nearly 2 hours had passed, though it felt like only 20 minutes. However, it was time for the Gaming & Media panel with Tom Vasel and Eric Summerer. Larry kindly offered to continue playing the Undead in my absence to finish the game. I thanked Larry, my teammate and opponents, and left. While no disrespect to Tom, Eric and the other panelists, I found myself paying less attention to the panel and more to the thoughts about how the remainder of the game would end up playing out. After the panel dismissed, I immediately went back to the table to find out what transpired.

Larry was in the process of clearing the board when I returned. With a smile, he informed me that the Undead (my team) had ended up crushing the opponent in the subsequent turns. After the battle, Larry had used the vampire to fly over the mountain and capture Man's town, while finishing off the remaining force with Fraculon and crew. As Man had no army remaining, they had no choice but to surrender. I savored in the victory and left feeling that I wanted more, to try different strategies, explore the dungeons and advance my heroes further. It was the feelings that I had encountered a great game and hope to encounter it again.

Come back tomorrow for part 4 and the interview with designer Larry Bogucki.

At Warparty

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Posted by Critical Gamers Staff at March 13, 2011 3:51 PM

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