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MERCS: Recon – Counter Threat» Forums » General

Subject: My impressions from PAX East rss

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Al Maguire
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I thought I'd share some of my impressions from the demo game of Recon I played over the weekend at PAX East. Yes, it's just a demo so there isn't much to work with but I think this KS is missing some details like this so I'm going to throw all my thoughts out there.

First - a bit of background about me...I am a MERCS TT player and have been for years. I have a very good understanding of faction and individual special abilities so I went into the demo as a veteran of the background. I'm putting this together to help add a few (very few) details to the KS - which is lacking in details like this. I do bring some bias in that I really like the background, the look of the minis, and all that. I'm very laid back when it comes to gaming (The issues with Myth didn't bother me too much) so i don't have a particularly critical eye to failures in game play or things like that.

Second - the demo details...the demo had Kemvar on the table. We didn't start from the beginning but rather a turn or two in. There were three of us playing and we controlled the leader, the assassin, and the heavy (the other two MERCS were on the board but away from the action until Breach & Clear). We played a couple of rounds and did B&C.

On to the game:

Kemvar

- This seemed to be a very different experience than the videos highlighting the CCC. For starters CCC added a black die for defense when attacked, Kemvar removed an OPFOR attack die.
- 3 of the 5 Kemvar MERCs are hand-to-hand experts so we did a lot of running past employees to come to grips with OPFOR. CCC game play seemed like you needed to be very deliberate in your actions but our Kemvar approach was more about engaging enemies face-to-face so squad coherency went out the window pretty quick...maybe that is because we were playing like rookies though
- Almost no collateral damage was done by Kemvar. The heavy was the only one to put a disc down.

The MERCS

- the heavy really felt like a "heavy" - once he opens up he can fire twice and do an automatic two wounds with each shot. His ammo counter says he has 4 "ammo" but since you have to fire twice each time, he really only has two ammo. For players of the TT game, they have mercifully removed the set & rip requirements.
- The assassin - his special ability is that it costs 0 CP to capture and interrogate workers so while the heavy plodded along laying waste to the building this guy was running through the civilians like the plague. He captured and interrogated 5 civilians in one turn.
- the leader had a nice balance between ranged shooting and hand-to-hand. He was actually pretty vanilla compared to the others but he had some nice tricks in B&C like giving re-rolls.

Breach & Clear

- Our breach and clear goal was to beat the OPFOR and grab the scientist. The scientist gets placed in the furthest open spot on the B&C tile. This is a "red" spot so that means that the OPFOR gets an additional red die for each round of combat...so I guess this scientist is shooting back and with more effectiveness than trained security forces? This didn't make much sense to me so if anyone can explain why this is the mechanic, please do. If anything I would have figured a civilian would remove dice on the MERCs side as they'd be too afraid of hitting him.
- As most of the Kemvar had hand-to-hand options we found some interesting decisions each round. The hand-to-hand MERCs have the ability to take people down in hand-to-hand (go figure) and take the OPFOR spot on the tile. Then, based on whatever their special ability is, they can apply it to future rounds of combat (that's the abridged version)...so the shock trooper took down one of the "red" OPFOR and each turn after that we got an additional red dice to roll on our attacks. Sounds like a no-brainer but when you do this you aren't adding to your combat total that you need to beat the OPFOR in the room. So it's a bit of a trade-off and in the end it came down to one last roll to see who won.
- There is more to B&C than just throwing dice but for our game those decisions came down mostly to what to do with the HtH MERCs so I can't really comment on what options are available if you have a faction more focused on ranged attacks.

Conclusion

For only playing for a short amount of time, we all enjoyed our experience. I prefaced this with the fact that I'm a fan of MERCs TT so there may be some bias in here. I did enjoy it a lot and I'm looking forward to when it arrives in (ugh) 2015.

And some final thoughts

- We didn't have any experience with going into or out of offices and from what I have seen on the videos it looks like this game plays mostly in the hallways except for those special rooms you need to clear.
- The limited experience we had was very different from the game I'd seen on the videos. Again, maybe we were making rookie mistakes but everyone MERC's role seem very specific so it was the obviously right play to have the heavy run past the civvies to attack the OPFOR while the assassin mopped up behind interrogating so our strategy kind of came naturally.
- Who appears when you have LOS is determined by a card so maybe randomness was working in our favor. We didn't get past security level 1 for our demo but in that time we had 5 OPFOR level 1 minis on the board at the same time. I think MERCs should consider adding some of these to the base game even at the expense of lesser OPFOR 2 and 3 minis.





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Christopher Tower
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Very cool! Thank you very much for this write up. I have been really heavily debating whether to back or not and getting more information about another faction and how you felt the game played is really useful.
 
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Josh Burchett
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Thanks for the review. I have backed this project on KS and I'm excited to get it… in 2015. Also hearing about how a different faction than the CCC played was a big help in understanding the nuances of the faction gameplay.
 
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Ukko Kaarto
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Thanks for posting. I'm on the fence slipping to the "no" side on Recon, since it seems too light for me for what it is and confusingly built (many teams but no explanation how the differ, no campaign play, kinda boring (and ugly) gameboard). It just seems like a light game with loads of lucrative bling (many teams as opposed to one very tightly balanced one in one box. It looks like they came up with Recon to get people to buy into the TT. Still part of me wants to back and I hope we get loads of playtester opinions before the KS ends.

TT seems interesting though. Did You have a chance to try 2.0 at PAX
 
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Sumit K
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It's really sad I had to come to BGG to get a proper understanding of this game.

I have been asking Mercs to compare the different teams and how they all "play so differently" as they put it but they couldn't bother with that. Instead, we got 2 videos for CCC and EU which honestly took so long and they look identical to one another. They could have just said, EU roll yellow/red dice instead of black and that would have sufficed. I am not sure why didn't compare CCC vs Kemvar. These seem so different from each other just based on your review!

I have been asking them about loadouts/equipment or campaign play and they didn't bother updating it till Saturday when they posted about the "powers" and then today they posted one card that they discussed in the previous update! I am going to assume this addon came on as a last minute as people wanted something like that...

I asked them about Breach and Clear and how the 550k Breach & Clear Tile is different from the standard one...ignored.

They had 30 days to answer/further explain basic game mechanics, which they have not done. They finally explained how the missions are different at update #37...this should have been in the first 5 updates!

Now commenters are asking for a Conflict beta rules...seriously? What are they trying to Kickstart here? There is a 45 minute video where they explained every single dice in that game...just pause. Last I checked this was a Recon Kickstarter. I feel like Megacon doesn't really know what they want to fund. They are going for everything at once when they don't have enough time to handle all those requests/questions/cons.

Good example for future Kickstarters to only concentrate on 1 game at a time. Don't try to spread yourself over multiple games...backers demand and expect a lot these days and you will only hurt yourself.
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Julien Le Jeune
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gain wrote:
I feel like Megacon doesn't really know what they want to fund. They are going for everything at once when they don't have enough time to handle all those requests/questions/cons.


Pretty much my feeling on the matter. Between sorting out the Myth rules for the US, take care of the EU shipments, Making videos for both Recon and Conflict, it felt like watching a headless chicken running around. I thought we'd get to see more videos. The CCC was probably not the best faction to demo, either. It feels like the game is about destroying an office.

I'm still on the fence.
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Ondrej Kocnar
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They seem quite spread out but managing everything quite well.
And EU really seemed different from CCC.
 
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Kristopher Snyder
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gain wrote:

CCC and EU ... they look identical to one another.


They play differently. One causes heavy collateral damage and has a bonus die to soak damage. The other has massive fire power that isn't collateral, and they also are granted bonus attack dice depending on their adjacency to the leader. Very different. You weren't paying attention.

gain wrote:
CCC vs Kemvar. These seem so different from each other just based on your review!


I agree. Just as different as CCC vs. EU, Inc. and EU, Inc. vs. KemVar.

gain wrote:
I have been asking them about loadouts/equipment or campaign play and they didn't bother updating it till Saturday when they posted about the "powers" and then today they posted one card that they discussed in the previous update! I am going to assume this addon came on as a last minute as people wanted something like that...


You do a lot of assuming. I don't doubt that they haven't got all of them finalized yet. But it doesn't seem like a last minute concept.


gain wrote:
I asked them about Breach and Clear and how the 550k Breach & Clear Tile is different from the standard one...ignored.


The layout is different. Isn't that fairly obvious? All the B&C tiles will have different layouts.

gain wrote:
They had 30 days to answer/further explain basic game mechanics, which they have not done. They finally explained how the missions are different at update #37...this should have been in the first 5 updates!


I wasn't terribly surprised by this update. I mostly figured out what types of mission there might be by making an educated guess. There are a few I did not foresee such as planting a mole. I rather like that mission. Which mission do you like most?

gain wrote:
Now commenters are asking for a Conflict beta rules...seriously? What are they trying to Kickstart here? There is a 45 minute video where they explained every single dice in that game...just pause. Last I checked this was a Recon Kickstarter. I feel like Megacon doesn't really know what they want to fund. They are going for everything at once when they don't have enough time to handle all those requests/questions/cons.


It's a thematic KS...? All things Mercs? I think they're handling things just fine. I'm not lost about anything so far. It's all pretty straightforward.

gain wrote:
Good example for future Kickstarters to only concentrate on 1 game at a time. Don't try to spread yourself over multiple games...backers demand and expect a lot these days and you will only hurt yourself.


The same could be said about mini expansions and larger ones added late in a campaign. People always have questions because many can't think for themselves. That's not an attack, nor is it directed at you. It's just strange how many people need everything explained to them. It's like your comment about the Conflict video. Watch it again if you don't understand it, ya numbskull!
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Chris Richardson
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The beta rules were released online somewhere. A lot of details can be found about the factions at this link: http://megacongames.com/downloads/
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Greg
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gain wrote:
It's really sad I had to come to BGG to get a proper understanding of this game.

I have been asking Mercs to compare the different teams and how they all "play so differently" as they put it but they couldn't bother with that. Instead, we got 2 videos for CCC and EU which honestly took so long and they look identical to one another. They could have just said, EU roll yellow/red dice instead of black and that would have sufficed. I am not sure why didn't compare CCC vs Kemvar. These seem so different from each other just based on your review!

I have been asking them about loadouts/equipment or campaign play and they didn't bother updating it till Saturday when they posted about the "powers" and then today they posted one card that they discussed in the previous update! I am going to assume this addon came on as a last minute as people wanted something like that...

I asked them about Breach and Clear and how the 550k Breach & Clear Tile is different from the standard one...ignored.

They had 30 days to answer/further explain basic game mechanics, which they have not done. They finally explained how the missions are different at update #37...this should have been in the first 5 updates!



So what you're saying is that every other Kickstarter campaign has dozens of gameplay videos and explain every card, ability, tile layout and subtle nuances of their game?

I certainly must not have been paying attention to the other KS projects I've backed or other ones I've looked into, because I missed seeing all those gameplay videos and extensive details of every single aspect of gameplay.

You clearly aren't getting the answers you want and have come up with quite a list of things that bother you, so there's no sense in you backing this game. You can move on to something else with no regrets.
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Andrew Tosch
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Well this is turning out to be my favorite KS.

It started out as: WOOOO it's out and I loved Myth, so INSTANT BACK!

The I moved on to: well it is quite different, maybe I should judge it on its own.

The during the slump: Hmm... seems repative with few interesting decsions and teams might not be much different. I might actually cancel my pledge..... but I do like the minis.... lowered pledge

Then a couple previews and confilct video came out: ok I think my fears are unfounded and were festering due to negative comments here on BGG. Now that $200 level looks too good to pass up... uped pledge

Now: snipers and mission packs bundle... MUST... UP... PLEDGE... here goes my whole gaming budget for 3 months.


Thank you for the preview. I can't wait to see what this does in the next 3 days.
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Hahma wrote:

You clearly aren't getting the answers you want and have come up with quite a list of things that bother you, so there's no sense in you backing this game. You can move on to something else with no regrets.


Yes, let's not ever criticize the way a company is doing something so they don't learn what consumers expect and want from them!

Silence the dissenters! Silence the dissenters!
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Idaho11 wrote:
Hahma wrote:

You clearly aren't getting the answers you want and have come up with quite a list of things that bother you, so there's no sense in you backing this game. You can move on to something else with no regrets.


Yes, let's not ever criticize the way a company is doing something so they don't learn what consumers expect and want from them!

Silence the dissenters! Silence the dissenters!


People wanted a Myth level, they got it.

People wanted better SGs, they go it.

People wanted more videos of both Recon and Conflict, they got it.

People wanted Snipers, they got it.

People wanted more info on the Hunter early, they got it.

People wanted the cards for TT, they got it.

People wanted to lower the NDA and hear from the playtesters, they got it.

People wanted a all in for missions packs, they got it.

People wanted to change to game completly to include load-outs, campaign play, to be more like Myth in the future, ect., well thats just dumb and they need to take a game for what it is.


As you can see MCG are listening to the people and have made numerous changes that have made so many people happy. What some want will make most people UNHAPPY (guess what? thats called selfish surprise ).

I dont know what project you think your in, but this is MERCS: Recon and it is one of the best KS I have been a part of.
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Greg
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Idaho11 wrote:
Hahma wrote:

You clearly aren't getting the answers you want and have come up with quite a list of things that bother you, so there's no sense in you backing this game. You can move on to something else with no regrets.


Yes, let's not ever criticize the way a company is doing something so they don't learn what consumers expect and want from them!

Silence the dissenters! Silence the dissenters!



A little dramatic I would say. Nobody said not to criticize. Obviously Megacon needs to be made aware of some expectations, such as a better rulebook and a well playtested product.

But some people seem so extremely dissatisfied with what they've seen thus far, and expect the failure of these KS products because they don't trust that MCG can handle it. So to me, I don't see the point in them backing the game if they are so uncomfortable with the whole situation.


Some people seem to expect extensive gameplay videos for every faction. It's just not realistic considering that most KS barely offer a couple videos total.

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Jake Rose
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Hahma wrote:



Some people seem to expect extensive gameplay videos for every faction. It's just not realistic considering that most KS barely offer a couple videos total.



But a nice text description of how each faction plays, what makes it unique, in Recon is VERY reasonable, and could have been prepared before the project even started.



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Hahma wrote:

A little dramatic I would say.


That...uh...was kinda the point.

Quote:

Some people seem to expect extensive gameplay videos for every faction. It's just not realistic considering that most KS barely offer a couple videos total.


Just because everyone is falling short of what consumers should expect doesn't mean we should accept it. They're expecting us to GIVE THEM FREE MONEY. Let me repeat that: We are giving them free money. If we don't fund them, they will need to take out loans, or invest their own money. Instead, we're giving them free money. They don't have to pay interest on it. They don't have to take any personal risk in losing funds from their own account. And they get to sell us items directly, thus eliminating the distributor's and FLGS's cut. We are doing companies we KS such a phenomenal favor that we should be expecting a lot more of them than we're currently getting.

So when a company falls short, we shouldn't tuck our tails in and run away. We need to let them know that we expect better of them, and they're going to have to learn that if they want more of our money for free.
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olimar44 wrote:

As you can see MCG are listening to the people and have made numerous changes that have made so many people happy. What some want will make most people UNHAPPY (guess what? thats called selfish surprise ).


I'm not sure how wanting more info about how factions play, as that other poster requested, would make anyone unhappy. But if you want to view that as selfish, okay.

And I didn't say that MCG wasn't listening to people. I was commenting on the others posters insistence that people unhappy with the current situation move on without continuing to voice their dissent about how this is handled. So your list of changes is immaterial to my view.

Quote:

I dont know what project you think your in, but this is MERCS: Recon and it is one of the best KS I have been a part of.


The dozens of people posting about how MCG are ignoring their questions via PM would disagree.
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Idaho11 wrote:
olimar44 wrote:

As you can see MCG are listening to the people and have made numerous changes that have made so many people happy. What some want will make most people UNHAPPY (guess what? thats called selfish surprise ).


I'm not sure how wanting more info about how factions play, as that other poster requested, would make anyone unhappy. But if you want to view that as selfish, okay.

And I didn't say that MCG wasn't listening to people. I was commenting on the others posters insistence that people unhappy with the current situation move on without continuing to voice their dissent about how this is handled. So your list of changes is immaterial to my view.

Quote:

I dont know what project you think your in, but this is MERCS: Recon and it is one of the best KS I have been a part of.


The dozens of people posting about how MCG are ignoring their questions via PM would disagree.


I specifically talking about people wanting to chage the rules as selfish.

Could they have done better by adding brief faction discriptions? Sure but there will always be more people want (people ask questions about things that JUST got a discrption).

Also they are extreamly busy with conventions that drum up more support AND give people a chance to demo the game. Then those people come on here (see above) and tell us how it went. Theres a 3rd party telling us how the factions are different, so in a round about way, they are getting information out there.

Liking a game or KS is an opinion and of course people will disagree.

Listening to the backers and changing things to make most of them happy, is completly material to your issues. Just because YOUR questions weren't answered in YOUR way on YOUR time doesn't mean MCG is ignoring people.

Are they? maybe a little and they have shown they don't have the best customer service. Should it get better? yes and I think it will as the company grows. Many people have met them and can confirm they are doing thier best to create 2 massive and (subjectivly) fun universes that you and I get to enjoy.

Do you not like the game and/or company? Don't back them. Your wallet, your choice. But don't flail like a ninny (or support the flailers) about MCG being a 1 way or the highway company with a band of fanboys that jump anyone who starts a sentence with "instead, what if we..."
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jakecarol wrote:
Hahma wrote:



Some people seem to expect extensive gameplay videos for every faction. It's just not realistic considering that most KS barely offer a couple videos total.



But a nice text description of how each faction plays, what makes it unique, in Recon is VERY reasonable, and could have been prepared before the project even started.


That I can agree with. Some people can't afford all the mission packs (and maybe not both games) and would like to know which ones they might like.
 
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Idaho11 wrote:
The dozens of people posting about how MCG are ignoring their questions via PM would disagree.


And I'd say that they've answered all of the PMs that I've sent them over the past 8 months, across both KS and their website, regardless of whether they were questions related to their KS projects, customer support issues, or conventions support issues.

But then my PMs are politely written, concise, and to the point, so they're easy to understand and reply to.
 
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davro33 wrote:
But then my PMs are politely written, concise, and to the point, so they're easy to understand and reply to.

Completely necessary statement dismissing all the people asking about why they don't get a response to their questions.
jakecarol wrote:
But a nice text description of how each faction plays, what makes it unique, in Recon is VERY reasonable, and could have been prepared before the project even started.

That's a much better statement to be the most recent post on the thread.
 
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Symmetrical Docking wrote:
davro33 wrote:
But then my PMs are politely written, concise, and to the point, so they're easy to understand and reply to.

Completely necessary statement dismissing all the people asking about why they don't get a response to their questions.
jakecarol wrote:
But a nice text description of how each faction plays, what makes it unique, in Recon is VERY reasonable, and could have been prepared before the project even started.

That's a much better statement to be the most recent post on the thread.


MCG is very busy drumming up support for Recon. That both helps SGs and gets in 3rd party previews (see above).

MCG doesn't have the best customer relations, but is getting better. Still could use improvment.

Every person that has mentioned meeting them only had positive things to say about them.

Instead of demanding perfection, do your best to understand, voice your opinions to help improve things, and know that your not going to get everything the way you want it. Take all that you know and see, then either back or don't.

Disclaimer: I'm not saying who is right and who is wrong (except for rude people) here. I'm just pointing out what we can do to help.


On another note... I do hope they put out a quick guide to the factions in Recon or tell us they why they can't.
 
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We don't even know how many PMs they have received on KS. With only a couple of them manning the ship and being at back to back conventions, I am sure they are stretching things thin. They are just people.

Having said that, I also wish we had more information and they answered questions with more haste. I just don't think I should get too bent out of shape about it.
 
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Colin West
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so just a quick comment on the lack of descriptions on the factions.

information for all the factions in the tt game is readily available on multiple sites, official site, beasts of war, etc

now obviously this is not a direct answer to how the factions will play in recon but you can safely assume that some of the mechanics will be transitioned generally

ie
CCC known for bad ass armor and multiple heavies, well they get extra soak(armor) dice and do a butt load of aoe damage

EU highest skilled mercs and work well together. lots of bonuses for keeping your unit together and planning ahead

kemvar sneaky invisible bastards w/ swords. reduced number of dice when being attacked, and slick hand to hand action

COMPLETE SPECULATION

USCR big slow moving heavy armor heavy weapons.....probably similar to ccc?

iss fishfolk w/ lightning guns and shields

house members crazy improvised weapons that can probably kill you as much as the enemy

sefadu uber fast light assaulty guys....probably run through the halls screaming w/ a spear

anyways again not based on anything but some reasonable assumptions taken from the general information of the faction.

tlr - you can probably make some assumptions as to the play styles for each faction from the information provided in the tt game
 
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Mordjinn wrote:


TT seems interesting though. Did You have a chance to try 2.0 at PAX


I didn't see anything about 2.0 and didn't get a chance to ask about it (though that would have been a good question) but I did play a game of Conflict.

I have zero experience with dice games - this was the first one I'd ever played but I won so I can say that I have never lost a dice game in my life - so I don't have much to offer as far as observations on it other than to say it was fast, the factions played very different as you'd expect (CCC vs. USCR), and it didn't take much time to get the hang of it.
 
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