A Month of MERCS Part Five: Impressions From Play
Enrico Nardini & Chris Snyder, Play Unplugged
It’s A Month of Mercs at Play Unplugged, and gamer/hobbyists Enrico Nardini and Chris Snyder are building, painting, playing games of MERCS, and writing about their experiences!
Whoooo! I can’t wait to play my next game! MERCS plays fast and fun. I had a great time battling Chris across my game table, miniatures ducking in and out of cover, across decimated landscape of a ruined city.
This informs my first impression: bring on the terrain! This game really benefits from having a lot of terrain. At first I thought I had packed to much terrain in such a small space, but in reality it was really important for an exciting game. A great deal of the tactics in the game involve setting up clear lanes of fire, using the terrain well and negating your opponent’s use of it are crtical. A densely packed table is best for this type of gaming, but supplying terrain wasn’t a burden as the small table size (2′ x 3′) means you don’t need too much to fill it up.
I loved the card mechanics for movement and other measuring. It was great to have everything you need right there on them. I wasn’t as fond of making templates with the cards, but I think it’s just something I have to get used to. Counters are very helpful, and I’ll either need to purchase a set or make some soon.
One of the tough choices I had to make was which type of black ops MERCS would accompany my FCC force. FCC are allowed to have a member from another megacon fight alongside them, benefiting from their corporate abilities if a Liason is present. I selected a Kem Var Sniper as my black ops. The first reason is that snipers have the ability to strike accurately from almost anywhere on the table. They are very powerful pieces (as Chris will elaborate on later). The second reason had to do more with the megacon, Kem Var’s active camouflage would help keep the Sniper out of trouble and I really love the in game mechanics of the repulsor tags (though I never got to use them).
The sniper was an extremely useful piece in our game, but I found the dynamic FCC Boomer to be my favorite and the most fun to play. His grenade launcher is very powerful, and being able to nail other MERCS with this area-of-effect weapons made it easier to chip away at some of the more heavily armored foes like the Hybrid Heavy or figures in cover.
One thing I was not ready for was Keizai Waza’s nuke. Wow… just wow… I was trying to keep models close to my Housemaster (to benefit form his leadership) when that sucker landed, and boy did it cost me. I’ll definitely have to be more mindful in our future games. I can’t wait for a rematch game!
Chris Snyder, Keizei Waza
Enrico Nardini and I recently played our first game of MERCS for Play Unplugged’s Month of MERCS, and wanted to give our first impressions. I based mine on what I thought at the beginning of the game, how that changed, and what I think a few days after.
My first impression, and the one that has stayed with me since we played, was that this game is FAST. OK, so maybe you expect that when you only field five models. But with the combination of the initiative system and the limits on what a model can do in its turn, you just can’t walk away. Trust me, I know. I drank half of a 32oz pop before the game and was really suffering by the end. Determining your Firing Number is quick and resolving damage is a no-brainer. Then you’re on to the next model. The only concern I have with the rules lies not in the system itself, but in how they’re written. There are a few situations that could have been defined more explicitly to reduce lawyering. Luckily, almost all of our questions are addressed in the FAQ and the forums. Be sure to check those resources out.
On to my second impression: Snipers rule. At least that’s what I thought at the beginning of the game. Both Enrico and I were able to quickly get our LRKs into position. The sheer power of those weapons instilled immediate fear into me and I sent my models scurrying for cover. We were deep into the game before the effect of Load and Aim finally settled into my brain and I realized that I could make a break for it across the open field. After reviewing our game in my mind, I think that the Snipers may be the most difficult model to take full advantage of. Their rifles are devastating, but have to be used at the right place and time.
All-in-all, I can’t wait to play again. And I am drooling over the idea of campaigns.
We’ll be extending A Month of MERCS to include our follow-up game. Look for it coming soon!