Friday, 9 September 2011

Sedition Wars


What is it? Well its Studio McVeys first game and well... the miniatures have looked really nice for some time now if you ask me and given we have some Alpha rules to use them with, its starting to look just that little bit more tempting to me now. As we all know I have some sort of nerd disease that makes me prone to playing and buying any and every game there is with nice shiny miniatures and I think its fair to say not many come as shiny as those of produced by Studio McVey. So it was almost certainly inevitable that I would end up giving it a blast.

Captain Kara Black - Vanguard poster girl of badassery

So what the hell is it all about? Well obviously its some far flung future where humanity has expanded and almost certainly we've gotten ourselves into some shit... we always do!!! Apparently we've spread the human condition and humanity amongst the stars to some ten thousand worlds or so. This wasn't done over night though and the back story refers to it as a 'fairy tale' leading me to believe it was over many hundreds or even thousands of years. As always though with any historical stories, there's always two sides to the tale.

On the one hand the back story to Sedition Wars Universe tells of planned human expansion, taking planets and turning them into paradises, which hints at terraforming, a much loved staple of all good sci-fi I feel. That this expansion was guided by a benevolent organisation called the 'Solar Conglomerate' and that they were the good guys seems a bit too... perfect. Also being fair and just and what not, probably really handsome too with blonde hair and blue eyes... obviously it goes without saying that they were almost certainly wise and intelligent, they always are, aren't they?

Yeah well that is one view of the Sedition Wars history, the other side of the story is a little different... you see these worlds were built off of the backs of genetic clones or convicts forced into service contracts. Yeah that's right clones AND convicts as forced labor, i.e. slaves. I mean come on, its like these people don't ever read sci-fi!!! So yeah this rag tag bunch of malcontents are treated pretty badly kept in stasis for hundreds of years, augmented (yeah I know begging for trouble right?) against their will. Long and short of it? They're pissed off and looking for trouble.



Strain Scythe Witch - yeah maybe later honey

So go figure pissed off augmented humans and clones and a ruling elite divorced from the harsh realities of their own existence... sounds like a rebellion brewing to me. So yeah guess what? This pissed off under class has started a revolt and the Solar Conglomerate have sent in their boot boys (and girls) the Vanguard. In case you couldn't guess the Vanguard are an expertly trained and equipped military force. However they haven't been able to snub out said rebellion, just keep it in check, and now the rebel force known as the Firebrand have started mini uprisings all over the place. They are committing 'terrorist' acts, hey one mans terrorist is another mans freedom fighter... so its a shit storm then? Yep pretty much. However I haven't even mentioned the third faction, but more of their delightful existence in a bit. So who are the factions?


    The Vanguard

    Putting it in simple terms these are ostensibly the good guys... but like all good back stories its never that simple as it depends on which side of the fence you sit. So lets just say these guys are the trained military force. They're 'official' soldiers trained to do their job and given the tools and weapons to make sure they have the best possible chance of doing that job. Look even their logo looks shiny and new, these guys are the elite faction, your spec-ops if you will.

    The Firebrand

    Supposedly the bad guys I guess, in a lets look at this from a civil society point of view way. These guys are made up of convicts and clones. While the clone thing might be unfair and unjust, you know the age old sci-fi question is it right to create something else, give it life and then make it a slave? To be honest it's never a difficult question to answer... its no by the way! However lets not forget the other half of the Firebrand are criminals... granted we don't know if the system is corrupt or whether if you get a speeding fine you'll be whisked off to some God forsaken planet to spend hundreds of years flitting between a life of servitude and hardship and cryo-stasis... nah on second thoughts they have a right to be pissed!!!

    The Strain

    Then there's the 'other' faction... the one I haven't mentioned yet. Well I think its fair to say they're kind of a mix of sci-fi staples done in a pretty good mash up kinda way. One of my favourite races in sci-fi are the Borg and there's an element of that in with the strain as they're bio-mechanical. One of my favourite computer game baddies of recent years are the Necromorphs from Dead Space and yep there's an element of recycled dead flesh in there too... nice. I suppose there's even a hint of the Halo universes Flood. However to top it all off the strain was created by mankind when  fusing human nano-technology with an alien bio-organic artifact. Go figure, its all gone a bit wrong and its now become a sentient being / virus, hell bent on the eradication of humanity... it never rains but it pours hey?

    If you head on over to the Sedition Wars website it will almost certainly do a far better job of telling you the background and what to expect in the future than I can.

    The game 

    So what of the game right? What's it all about and how does it play? You need to know right? Well patience young Padawan all will be revealed soon enough or... you can head on over to this Web link over at the Studio McVey Forums and download and download the Alpha rules and cards all for yourself. Yeah for those of you who have just gone and done that, well done that's the first step to becoming a Sith Master. For those of you who haven't, and showed restraint and patience, you're still on your way to becoming a weird green midget with a freaky voice... yeah I'm not selling being a Jedi very well am I? If it makes you feel any better your robes will be brown and beige... oh feck it being a Jedi sucks donkey balls and you all know it!!!

    Female Drone - You can tell because it has a fringe

    Back to the Sedition Wars Universe though and the 'Sedition Wars - Battle for Alabaster' (as its known) is a tactical board game where everything is divided into lovely squares and that governs range of weapons and movement etc. a bit like Space Hulk if you will. So its all nice and simple to understand, which is a good thing, because right now my brain is suffering from game rules overload!!! I'm not too sure I can squeeze more rules in without squeezing some rules out. However there is more too it than it just being a grid based game and its certainly no Space Hulk clone. This current iteration of the rules is based around the good old two player adversarial mode that many of us know so well and love.

    Corpsman Morgan Vade - Always takes a packed lunch

    I think the other important thing to say is that Studio McVey needs your help. You see with any game system there really needs to be this games testing period and the more feedback they get off of experienced gamers like our good selves the better the finished product will be for everyone. Its as simple as that really and they really are encouraging us all to get involved and have a say in shaping their game... or should that be our game? Either way, like with the Warpath Beta from Mantic games this is yet another opportunity for the community at large to help shape a future game and if we all care about what we play then surely this sort of interaction and engagement is a good thing, right? I'd urge you at the very least to download the rules and give them a look.

    Not too sure I'd want to meet this in a dark alley... 
    or a fully lit one come to think of it!!!

    A quick fly by of other highlights I've spotted within the rules now; the game is using D6's and there is an exploding dice mechanic where 6's confer an extra roll, as many of you will know I think this is a fun mechanic but I think it can also lead to outrageous slices of luck, but given most rolls in the game will be 2D6 based it shouldn't be too bad. Also much of the core mechanics involve rolling dice adding stats and then comparing to other stats. So Warmachone players should feel right at home and it looks like it has the potential to be a nice streamlined system. Sides take it in turns to activate all their miniatures and perform all their actions etc. and I'd say that's pretty much all there is to know about the game from a brief overview.

    A head that small on a body that big? 
    A member MENSA he ain't!!!

    Currently I think the game shows some promise, and I've got an official Sedition Wars Promo poster on the way from Mike (thanks Mike) so I'll be giving it a go, even though right now I don't own any Sediton Wars miniatures, but I am saving up to get the Strain. You can all download the map from Here if you like. I already have a few notes in my big bad note book of doom *cue dramatic music* but I'm going to wait and see how it plays out first before firing my comments off to everyone at Studio McVey as I think its only fair to play the game in anger first!!! However please do take a read of the rules give it a go and let me know what you think of it, but more importantly please let the guys at Studio McVey know what you think as your thoughts will be appreciated. I'll post my initial thoughts here on my blog. Peace out!

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