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    Warmachine : JACKS OF WAR

    Games Workshop may be the best known name when it comes to tabletop strategy gaming thanks to the ubiquity of the Warhammer brand and, of late, the company’s rather regressive and restrictive approach to online shopping, but since 2004, Privateer Press and Warmachine have been a force to be reckoned with in the tabletop world.

    Set in a magical steampunk world, Warmachine pits rival squads of Warcasters powerful wizards and field commanders and Warjacks semi sentient steam powered magical battle robots against each other. While the game has never been as famous as its Warhammer brethren, Warmachine has steadily built up a large following thanks to combat mechanics and small squad sizes guaranteed not to break the bank when buying figures.

    In July 2013, Privateer Press launched a Kickstarter campaign to aid development of Warmachine: Tactics, a computer version of the tabletop game, being developed by WhiteMoon Dreams, an indie developer based in LA. Nearly tripling their initial goal of $550,000, the Kickstarter campaign ultimately raked in $1,578,950, adding a huge amount of content in the form of new characters, Warjacks, modes and factions to the multiplayer component of the game as stretch goals.

    From what we’ve played so far the extra money has been worth it. Warmachine: Tactics feels like both a faithful representation of the tabletop with the potential to be one of the great turn based strategy games thanks to its deep but approachable combat rules.
    Each battle is made up of a number of phases. Players can first position their troops on or behind their battle lines. After that, the Warcaster can allocate focus to the Warjacks. These focus points allow the Warjacks to extend their abilities, such as adding extra chances to hit and crit to that turn's attacks or attacking more than once a round. Warcasters can also use the focus points so careful allocation of resources plays an important role each round.

    After resource allocation each unit can move and act. Facing is incredibly important when it comes to actions, as units can only attack enemies within their line of sight and attacks from behind do more damage. Range and movement most rifle attacks can’t be used at melee range, forcing ranged units to rely on bayonet attacks, and other units are more effective if they have the range to charge into melee attacks rather than simply attack and adjacent unit. Some units have special abilities that can greatly effect combat, such as smoke grenades that obscure lines of sight. Every battle reveals more depth and we look forward to seeing what else Warmachine: Tactics brings to the table.

    Warmachine: Tactics is currently available through Steam for early access but has copped quite a bit of flack from the community for its price-tag and relative lack of content. The final game promises a 21 mission single player mode as well as multiple customisable factions .

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