Games I Like – MERCs – Got my rulebook and Megacon order!

Well upon returning home this week on Wednesday I had a
nice surprise waiting for me at the front desk in the form of my
MERCs Rulebook and Megacon deal (all twenty models from all four
factions plus the Card sets). You will probably remember a previous
review I wrote of the MERCs PDF rulebook which I converted to iPad
format and read several times while sitting on airplanes. The game
has a couple of unique premises that are attractive to me.

1) The game is played with five models. All four factions in the initial
release have six models to select from (the FCC can actually select
a single model from the other THREE Factions!) but you have to pick
five for your squad. It is a SQUAD based game and therefore teams
paint up quickly and gameplay is fairly fast and furious.

This is a big pro for me. I LOVE skirmish games. Having an
excuse to paint just a few models and play an interesting tactical
game is the my favorite kind of game. Its what attracted me to
games like Malifaux and Infinity and it is something I’m excited
about with MERCs.

2) It’s near-future Sci-Fi, set in a dystopian future.

Besides various forms of Apocalypse, dystopian
is probably my favorite setting. I love the works
of Phillip K Dick, William Gibson, Martin Amis and Robert Heinlein.
Their visions of a high-tech world in which our individuality and
personalities are blended with technology and philosophy are
another topical favorite of mine.

3) MERCs has some truly unique gameplay mechanics. The game uses the stat cards for each
model as a movement, measuring and weapon accessories. Grenade
effects and even automatic weapons fire are use the template to
determine range and even arc of fire.

As a guy who loves
LEARNING to play new games I always get hooked by a gimmick. I love
when designers think outside the box and try something new for us
gamers to wrap our heads around. This new card mechanic is
inventive (although I’ve seen something similar in the old Pirates
of the Spanish Main CMG

4) MERCs is played on a 2×3
foot board with tons of dense scenery. Indoor environments work
equally well.

As anyone who reads this blog knows, I’m a
big fan of what I call ‘Kitchen Table Games’. If you can’t play it
on a small board then it probably won’t fascinate me. MERCs takes
place on a small densely packed table.

I quickly went about putting together two factions so that I can try out the
games. I chose two factions that are very strategically different
as well as fun-looking to paint.

CCC Yellowjacket Assault Leader

CCC Yellowjacket Sniper

CCC Yellowjacket Incinerator

CCC Yellowjacket Heavy

CCC Yellowjacket Medic

I had some rubbly resin bases sitting in my supply of hobby
junk in the tools lap desk and decided to use them on my
Yellowjackets. I simply clipped off the tabs on my bases and pinned
them down. The Yellowjackets are well rounded with a large supply
of specialists (Heavy, Incinerator and Sniper). The Medic will keep
a chosen specialist in the fight and the Assault Leader will team
up with the rest to give a +1 bonus to any and all tests within one
card of him.

The USCR Medic

The USCR Monkeywrench

The USCR Sniper

The USCR Commissar

The USCR Behemoth

The USCR is the Khador of
the MERCs world. Heavily armored, lumbering and able to take a
great deal of punishment, the USCR are all function over elegance
like the eastern republics that form that corporation. The Behemoth
is the epitome of this, only able to move courtesy of a special
rule! The Monkeywrench and Medic can both support the Behemoth as
the lynchpin of the squad. More than any other MERCs unit these
guys seem to work best as a tightly supported unit. Breaking them
up seems like a poor idea. Instead, these models will all stick
together and attempt to isolate and bully individual elements of
the rival team. I’m excited for MERCs. I’ll hopefully get them
primed tomorrow and then start painting them in the new year. As an
aside, I snapped these quick photos in my light box with my new
Canon Rebel EOS. Very happy with the Macro on it so far! We’ll see
how it does with painted figures.


~ by Achilles on December 31, 2010.

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