MechWarrior: Dark Age
GenCon Indy 2004
This week WizKids released the "Falcon's Prey" expansion for MechWarrior: Dark Age, but they had the new 'Mechs on display at GenCon. Some of the older sculpts returned for new factions, there is a pretty decent looking Uziel, and they added new Jade Falcon 'Mechs that were described by Jordan Weisman as having a "highly specialized look." 0.o
The Jade Falcons have faction abilities such as Zellbrigen, Merciless, and Enhanced Imaging. Zellbrigen gives them a bonus to hit against Elite units they target alone, but must keep attacking them until they are removed as a threat. Merciless allows the Falcons to get a bonus to hit using DFA attacks and they take less damage (0 for successful, 1 for unsuccessful). Enhanced Imaging removes the target's defense bonus when in hindering terrain.
Clan Sea Fox, who also make their debut this set, get abilities Renegade, Scavenger, and Predator. Renegade is interesting because it treats Clan Sea Fox the same as merc units when it comes to formations: they can't use them. However, defeating units of the same speed mode results in repairs (Scavenger) and they get a free attack when they put units in salvage (Predator). They also share the Bannson's Raiders characteristic of having no repair markers on the dial.
If you want to browse through the new pieces, you can check them out here. The new Faction abilities and special equipment can be read about here.
The bad thing about this set, is that they seem to be taking another backward step for the game. The defenses on the 'Mechs are ridiculous. Some of the older IndustrialMechs boast better values. In fact, there are infantry pieces that have a higher defense than some of these 'Mechs. For a game called MechWarrior, players are getting harder and harder pressed to play a 'Mech in their armies. Just ask the winners of the MechWarrior Worlds tournament.
The winners of the Nationals from all countries were invited to participate in the Worlds Tournament at GenCon. It was a 3 day event that resulted in another winner from Canada. Marc-Andre Leblanc came from behind to take the championship on the final day. Congratulations, of course, but the revealing nature of the armies is something WizKids keeps ignoring. Everyone just plays the same stuff. And sadly, not a single 'Mech was in any of the top four armies. The game is just not delivering the play it promises. When "winning" armies of MechWarrior consist of nothing but VTOLs and Infantry/ATVs, you are doing something wrong.
Intro : GenCon 2004
Part 1: Classic BattleTech
Part 2: MechWarrior: Dark Age
Part 3: Armorcast
Part 4: MechAssault 2
Part 5: Warmachine