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Frank Fish
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I have only played the first scenario, but I had to force myself to complete it (which is unusual hence the early warning).

The psychic phase is well done, has some tension, runs smoothly and can have surprises. The changes to weapon systems away from Calth’s detail to just a generic die type was a real loss of flavor.

This is not a game of maneuver, at least scenario one isn’t. Calth had interesting maneuver with the alternating action point system. In scenario one, set up your meat roadblocks, and grind out endless melee rounds the majority of the game. Interesting decisions were quite rare once forces were in melee range. The dice determined the winner, not the players, and I have no issue with luck in games.

Hopefully later scenarios improve on this impression, the Space Wolves hero Geigor (that is in scenario one) is a melee specialist, which helped drive the melee centric tactics. With the Sisters and Custodes leaning melee heavy, I am at a loss to see how this will improve.

Calth is allegedly not getting another print run, if you’re considering one or the other, wait for Kevin Outlaws impending excellent review and start looking for a copy of Calth. This opinion could change, but I felt I should give a heads up.

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Ryan R
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Oh noes Mr. Bill!!!


I like the minis in this one better and have BaC's w/o minis already.

Time to get a demo on at the GW store!
 
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Frank Fish
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It's really a shame they didn't continue this series utilizing the Calth rules, which I really enjoy. At this time, I really don't see how play-testers said "this is a better rule set".

The rumor mill on Bell of Lost Souls hypothesize GW is trying different rule sets before reworking 40k for the 8th edition, maybe that isn't far from the mark.

This is still a first impression, perhaps I will eat my words after more game play, we shall see.
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Mark
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Frank, thanks for the Drive By Review. I appreciate you actually played the game, before giving first impressions. I too, hope you are wrong, or the first scenario is a dud, like with Deathwatch: Overkill. But, time will tell. Again, thanks!

On compatibility with Calth...This is more complicated than it first appears. First, remember (and NEVER forget) with GW, it's about the miniatures, not the game. While a Geek might see a sequel to Calth to be imminently reasonable (and desirable), the main miniatures in the games (the Tactical Marines) are NOT compatible. Mixing Calth's Mk IV Tactical Marines with Prospero's Mk III Tactical Marines is not a natural fit. I know that seems pedantic, but the 30K Horus Heresy version of 40K is even more about accuracy and atmosphere. Both sets of plastic marines replace extremely pricey Forge World resin marines. From a miniatures point of view, a Calth owner is not necessarily a Prospero buyer. It's quite conceivable that the Heresy player who buys three sets of Calth will not buy one set of Prospero. And, vice versa. Not saying this makes sense. Just suggesting there might be a method to the madness. Maybe.

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Frank Fish
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It is such a departure from Calth, I really think the game is aimed at a different buyer, possibly a gateway game for new gamers. I realize the preponderance of buyers are just in it for the minis for Horus Heresy, but that was no different with Calth.

This is really a dice chucker (so far) with few decisions, they really gave up a lot of gaming goodness to add this level of streamlining.

The sad part is, the scenarios sound really fun, and they tell a story, at least on paper (and Calth's rules). I will stop criticizing the game until I finish an entire campaign at this point, but is comes across as a step backwards...these interesting scenarios are calling out for an unofficial Calth adaption.
 
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My copy still hasn't arrived so I can't add anything from experience. I'm hoping however that, like the first scenario in Calth, there are hidden subtleties that only become apparent after a few plays.

None of the videos I've seen have spent any time dwelling on the decision making in the game preferring to showcase the dice fest aspect instead. Stripping away the theme, which I don't really want to do on a GW game, the scenarios appear to show a game about movement and denial of movement that from what we've seen so far may involve some interesting tensions. The impact of psychic abilities and potential counter with the sisters. Opportunities to throw down road blocks protected by carefully laid overwatching positions that might be undone by special abilities or the luck of the initiative dice. Gauging the resource to commit to succeed against the dice pool and stamina combo of the defending units without overcommiting precious resources required elsewhere.

Unfortunately it doesn't sound like these aspects are having much impact on the decisions you're actually having to make in the first scenario. I'll continue to hope that it's just because it's too small or too simple and cross my fingers and hope that you enjoy some of the others better soblue
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Frank Fish
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Well said Barry, I will continue on. I have enjoyed the new GW boxed sets that I have tried, this would be the first let down if it fizzles.
 
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My copy has just arrived so hopefully I'll get a few games in over the weekend and be able to form an opinion based on playing the game.

Have to say that dropping the critical effects from Calth seems like a real shame. Those rules were great for adding flavour in a streamlined way. I can see how they would have upset the balance in Prospero but they'll be missed.
 
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I held off buying this a the FGS store today. I want the miniatures somewhat but I've resisted any of their games that don't seem strong in the game department.

On the comments above about area denial, is that similar to the approach that DW:Overkill does? If so, I liked how you could force contests for space and pathways in DWOK so that's a plus if Prospero does that, too.
 
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I've now had a chance to play scenario 1 several times solo and whilst I'm nowhere near forming a final opinion I think there is more to both the game and the scenario than initially meets the eye.

Like many mini battle games a large portion of the decision making is in the initial disposition and like Calth until you've played a few games it's difficult to get a feel for whether those decisions are material and if there's much of a game in there.

In the first scenario the traitors must set up first but they've got some difficult decisions to make. As you can shoot through your own troops you would, in an ideal world, want some chump blockers between you and the Wolves so that you can hold them in place and gun them down like the dogs they are....but with two separate victory exit areas setting up a balanced defense is tricky and if you get too gutsy and place your heavy weapons in one of the forward deployment zones you might lose them and the game in the first initiative roll.

On the opposite side of the board things are slightly simpler as you can react to the traitors initial disposition. You'll have to decide however whether to go strong towards one objective or make a balanced approach on each.

I found both the decisions on team creation for the roles I had in mind for each unit, both as part of deployment and movement, interesting and on occasion quite tense. Do you want that spare marine in the blocking squad so that you're sure someone will still be standing after an assault to force their heavy weapons team to waste an activation gunning him down or do you keep him with you're own heavy weapons team so that you can re-roll ones. Do you space out your chump blockers with a single marine in two separate squares to force two attacks only to find that Geigor's special ability lets him cut them both down then their heavy weapons are clear to lay waste to your support team...

The initiative and pinning rules combine to mix things up allowing a framework to plan then sweeping it from under your feet and sometimes those dice can be just plain mean, blowing your calculations apart. The psychic phase however really moves the game up a gear. In one game the random powers i drew were Prescience, which allows the traitors to get innitiative, and Phantom Decoy, which allows them to rearrange the troops on any two traitor squads on the board. It would be fair to say that these combined to change the game and the tactics for the scenario!

At this early stage it's difficult to tell if the fun is just the illusion of strategy over luck and that in time it will be revealed as just a random mash of dice rolling and card draws. I'm minded to think there's more to it than that but would be really interested in hear how anyone else coming to the first scenario with a plan feels it plays out?

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D. Patton
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I'm curious to read Kevin Outlaw's (RedMonkeyBoy) thoughts, too. I think he mentioned doing some play throughs and hopefully that will be like his previous ones. One of the great things about BGG is getting to see all the different opinions about new stuff before I buy.
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Skipp wrote:
I've now had a chance to play scenario 1 several times...


Thanks for sharing your experience. As others here, I'm trying to form an opinion so every bit is welcome.

I have a question: Calth had a clear 2-points to spend choosing actions from a menu, Space Hulk-style, and impulse-based (I spend 1 action, then you, then me again...).

Prospero on the contrary has a "all my units move, then all yours" movement phase, followed by an "alternate fire phase".

Purely from an abstract consideration of those 2 rulesets, my gut feeling is that Calth treats units as gears within a complex engine: you move that part, then the other, then your opponent reacts but you can always adapt, to an extent, to the everchanging battlefield (eg. move-move, melee-split, shoot-move...). A dynamic skirmish.

While in Prospero, it looks like you first maneuver en block, then choose the combat pattern resolution based on that maneuvering. A Napoleonic battle. It looks more... "static" maybe? (Apart from the psi phase, I guess...?)

I'm sorry if it looks confusing, but, if what I wrote makes some sense at all, what are your thoughts about it? Thanks.
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Gregg Lewis
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After buying/playing Deathwatch Overkill, I thought this exact thing. It's almost like these games are boxed playtests to see which rules catch on and which don't. I was really hoping this one would expand upon the Calth rules. Perhaps these is a Calth/Overkill/Prospero mashup in here somehere

Fiveangels wrote:
The rumor mill on Bell of Lost Souls hypothesize GW is trying different rule sets before reworking 40k for the 8th edition, maybe that isn't far from the mark.
 
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Bryan Ruhe
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ZombieMark wrote:
...the main miniatures in the games (the Tactical Marines) are NOT compatible. Mixing Calth's Mk IV Tactical Marines with Prospero's Mk III Tactical Marines is not a natural fit. I know that seems pedantic, but the 30K Horus Heresy version of 40K is even more about accuracy and atmosphere. Both sets of plastic marines replace extremely pricey Forge World resin marines. From a miniatures point of view, a Calth owner is not necessarily a Prospero buyer. It's quite conceivable that the Heresy player who buys three sets of Calth will not buy one set of Prospero. And, vice versa. Not saying this makes sense. Just suggesting there might be a method to the madness. Maybe.


Nah, this isn't correct.

The tactical marines in BaC are in Mk. IV armor, BoP in Mk. III armor. Both are armor marks used in the time of The Horus Heresy.
So from the perspective of the tabletop wargamer that plays Warhammer 40,000 (or the Horus Heresy ruleset from Forge World), the marines are absolutely compatible in both fluff and game. Making squads that consist of both Mk. III and Mk. IV marines is absolutely natural. Happened all the time in the stories.

If you're building the miniatures for use in the boxed games then yes - some of the weapon combinations in BoP are not in the rules for BaC - so they're not compatible in that regard.

I bought Calth for the game and the miniatures, I bought Prospero for the miniatures and not really for the game... I intend to use the miniatures from BoP for BaC.

The people that bought 3 boxes of BaC are very likely the EXACT same crowd that will buy 3 boxes of BoP.
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Cutthroat Cardboard (Barry)
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Mythologem wrote:
Skipp wrote:
I've now had a chance to play scenario 1 several times...


Thanks for sharing your experience. As others here, I'm trying to form an opinion so every bit is welcome.

I have a question: Calth had a clear 2-points to spend choosing actions from a menu, Space Hulk-style, and impulse-based (I spend 1 action, then you, then me again...).

Prospero on the contrary has a "all my units move, then all yours" movement phase, followed by an "alternate fire phase".

Purely from an abstract consideration of those 2 rulesets, my gut feeling is that Calth treats units as gears within a complex engine: you move that part, then the other, then your opponent reacts but you can always adapt, to an extent, to the everchanging battlefield (eg. move-move, melee-split, shoot-move...). A dynamic skirmish.

While in Prospero, it looks like you first maneuver en block, then choose the combat pattern resolution based on that maneuvering. A Napoleonic battle. It looks more... "static" maybe? (Apart from the psi phase, I guess...?)

I'm sorry if it looks confusing, but, if what I wrote makes some sense at all, what are your thoughts about it? Thanks.


This was a design choice I was wondering about before I had a chance to play. Having now got the game on the table my initial impression is that Prospero feels more like a battle game rather than a squad skirmish. It feels more streamlined and capable of handling larger engagements than Calth and in part that is because of the movement system and the grid like terrain. That slickness comes at a cost in respect of chrome and unit interaction but might be right for what the designer's are trying to achieve?

It isn't however just about simplification. The innitiative, movement, and pinning system are fundamental to both the scenario design and the way this game works and in that respect it feels quite different from Calth.

I'm still concerned that because I want the game to be good I might be seeing it through rose tinted specs and that Frank's initial opinion might be right! I'm deep in the process of converting some old models to get scenario 2 on the table asap. I'm not holding out much hope for the Emperor's finest but I'm still keen to see how it actually plays. I'm expecting it to be very different from scenario 1 and should help solidify my opinion on the system.

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Ryan R
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Mythologem wrote:
Skipp wrote:
I've now had a chance to play scenario 1 several times...


Thanks for sharing your experience. As others here, I'm trying to form an opinion so every bit is welcome.

I have a question: Calth had a clear 2-points to spend choosing actions from a menu, Space Hulk-style, and impulse-based (I spend 1 action, then you, then me again...).

Prospero on the contrary has a "all my units move, then all yours" movement phase, followed by an "alternate fire phase".

Purely from an abstract consideration of those 2 rulesets, my gut feeling is that Calth treats units as gears within a complex engine: you move that part, then the other, then your opponent reacts but you can always adapt, to an extent, to the everchanging battlefield (eg. move-move, melee-split, shoot-move...). A dynamic skirmish.

While in Prospero, it looks like you first maneuver en block, then choose the combat pattern resolution based on that maneuvering. A Napoleonic battle. It looks more... "static" maybe? (Apart from the psi phase, I guess...?)

I'm sorry if it looks confusing, but, if what I wrote makes some sense at all, what are your thoughts about it? Thanks.


Warhammer Fantasy types really love their block unit movements...

shake eyeroll here...


And yes, the guys that bought 3x boxes of BaC will be buying 3x boxes of BoP. Talked to two of them today as I bought a copy of BoP. I am in the "I bought Calth without minis for the game and BoP for the minis" group of folks. I just couldn't pass up the Mk III armor marines. Sisters and Custodi are nice touches, too. Oh, hai, a termite squad too. Nice. Can't wait for them to release some Mk III squads separately.

Guess I have to paint them all red cause my son's favorite color is red. haha!
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Bryan Ruhe
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Vroomer wrote:

Guess I have to paint them all red cause my son's favorite color is red. haha!


Paint one side all red and the other all blue - if you don't add transfers or iconography you could easily play the red marines as either Thousand Sons or Word Bearers.

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Mark
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bryanruhe wrote:
ZombieMark wrote:
...the main miniatures in the games (the Tactical Marines) are NOT compatible. Mixing Calth's Mk IV Tactical Marines with Prospero's Mk III Tactical Marines is not a natural fit. I know that seems pedantic, but the 30K Horus Heresy version of 40K is even more about accuracy and atmosphere. Both sets of plastic marines replace extremely pricey Forge World resin marines. From a miniatures point of view, a Calth owner is not necessarily a Prospero buyer. It's quite conceivable that the Heresy player who buys three sets of Calth will not buy one set of Prospero. And, vice versa. Not saying this makes sense. Just suggesting there might be a method to the madness. Maybe.


Nah, this isn't correct.

The tactical marines in BaC are in Mk. IV armor, BoP in Mk. III armor. Both are armor marks used in the time of The Horus Heresy.
So from the perspective of the tabletop wargamer that plays Warhammer 40,000 (or the Horus Heresy ruleset from Forge World), the marines are absolutely compatible in both fluff and game. Making squads that consist of both Mk. III and Mk. IV marines is absolutely natural. Happened all the time in the stories.

If you're building the miniatures for use in the boxed games then yes - some of the weapon combinations in BoP are not in the rules for BaC - so they're not compatible in that regard.

I bought Calth for the game and the miniatures, I bought Prospero for the miniatures and not really for the game... I intend to use the miniatures from BoP for BaC.

The people that bought 3 boxes of BaC are very likely the EXACT same crowd that will buy 3 boxes of BoP.


Thanks, Bryan. I was under the impression mixing armor types was the exception. So, my theory sucks. Why two game system's? I dunno.
 
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Chris Montgomery
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I would love some house rules to pop up on how to use some of the minis from BoP in BaC -- and a scenario or two. I mean, you can already use the terminators and tactical marines. But the psy powers, the Custodies and the Sisters all need rules, as well as, perhaps, the named characters.

Do I see a White Dwarf article in the near future with cut-out "cards" and a scenario?

whistle
 
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D. Patton
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cmontgo2 wrote:
...Do I see a White Dwarf article in the near future with cut-out "cards" and a scenario?

whistle


If you do I'm willing to bet the cards will be on the other side of another article/item I want to keep intact But I'll happily scan them on to cardstock like I did with the Sep 2016 edition.
 
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ZombieMark wrote:
bryanruhe wrote:
ZombieMark wrote:
...the main miniatures in the games (the Tactical Marines) are NOT compatible. Mixing Calth's Mk IV Tactical Marines with Prospero's Mk III Tactical Marines is not a natural fit. I know that seems pedantic, but the 30K Horus Heresy version of 40K is even more about accuracy and atmosphere. Both sets of plastic marines replace extremely pricey Forge World resin marines. From a miniatures point of view, a Calth owner is not necessarily a Prospero buyer. It's quite conceivable that the Heresy player who buys three sets of Calth will not buy one set of Prospero. And, vice versa. Not saying this makes sense. Just suggesting there might be a method to the madness. Maybe.


Nah, this isn't correct.

The tactical marines in BaC are in Mk. IV armor, BoP in Mk. III armor. Both are armor marks used in the time of The Horus Heresy.
So from the perspective of the tabletop wargamer that plays Warhammer 40,000 (or the Horus Heresy ruleset from Forge World), the marines are absolutely compatible in both fluff and game. Making squads that consist of both Mk. III and Mk. IV marines is absolutely natural. Happened all the time in the stories.

If you're building the miniatures for use in the boxed games then yes - some of the weapon combinations in BoP are not in the rules for BaC - so they're not compatible in that regard.

I bought Calth for the game and the miniatures, I bought Prospero for the miniatures and not really for the game... I intend to use the miniatures from BoP for BaC.

The people that bought 3 boxes of BaC are very likely the EXACT same crowd that will buy 3 boxes of BoP.


Thanks, Bryan. I was under the impression mixing armor types was the exception. So, my theory sucks. Why two game system's? I dunno.


For me as a fluff fan, the aspect I value the most about BaC and BoP are that these are thematic games. So I want a psychic-oriented game in BoP and I'm glad they didn't just attach a psychic phase to the BaC system.

If GW kept building a larger board-game system, at some point it would start to overlap with the HH 30k game space.

I'm just upset that Word Bearers in BaC can't sacrifice followers for their own psychic phase
 
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ZombieMark wrote:
So, my theory sucks. Why two game system's? I dunno.


matthewabair wrote:
For me as a fluff fan, the aspect I value the most about BaC and BoP are that these are thematic games. So I want a psychic-oriented game in BoP and I'm glad they didn't just attach a psychic phase to the BaC system.

We have a winner!
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Thanks for the honest review Frank. I'm interested to see if the game picks up the more you play it. I know those 1st scenarios in GW games can be brutally one sided.

I'm probably cleared for one big box purchase this Christmas. After reading this BoP dropped to the bottom of my list ( Especially if rumors are true Calth wont get a reprint). So far I'm between Calth, Bloodbowl and Silver Tower.
 
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jombie wrote:
Thanks for the honest review Frank. I'm interested to see if the game picks up the more you play it. I know those 1st scenarios in GW games can be brutally one sided.

I'm probably cleared for one big box purchase this Christmas. After reading this BoP dropped to the bottom of my list ( Especially if rumors are true Calth wont get a reprint). So far I'm between Calth, Bloodbowl and Silver Tower.


I couldn't make that call. I suggest ordering them all at the same time from the same online retailer. Then they will all come in a single big box.

That seems legit.
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Frank Fish
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Jon

As a two player game, I appreciate Calth more than Silver Tower, but solo/multiplayer is very doable with Silvertower so the size of your gaming group is a consideration.

I played in Blood Bowl Leagues many years ago, (still have my first edition set and a few lead teams) but the game shines as a campaign (where you level up players), not one off matches. If you can get a group of opponents to do a blood Bowl season, you will have a great time.

The jury is still out on Prospero, I finished assembling everything but the Custodes, and will finish the campaign this weekend.
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