Warzone Resurection – A Review Part 3


It’s a strange thing to read through the rules for a game that you are almost certain you will never actually play. In one way it helps one be objective but I appreciate that it might blind me to some of the practical implications of what I’m reading. What seems perfectly clear when I was reading it on the bus might seem a lot more ambiguous when the dice are rolling and you need to know exactly how much you need to roll for that crucial armour test.

Overall, there are about 80 pages of rules, including about 20 on scenarios and army selection. The text is broken up with artwork so never becomes too dense and there are helpful summary flowcharts and diagrams (using some of the few pictures of painted models in the book).

My overriding impression of the rules is that the game writers must have been trying really hard to make everything as clear as possible. I’ve read rules written by a few different companies now and it’s rare to come across such clear and seemingly unambiguous instructions on how to play. Having only read through the rule section once I feel like I understood pretty much all the mechanics described.

There are even paragraphs setting out things like rerolling dice that go of the table, how to calculate multiple modifiers (multiply, then add), pre-measuring, etc. The designers seem to want to minimise disagreements/arguments/cage fights as much as possible.
On the other hand, the rules are laid out in one of the most eccentric orders I have other come across. Granted my expectations are shaped by games which have generally had a very different game/turn sequence but even so, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of logic to the order the rule sections are printed in.

Warzone Resurrection uses a D20 based system wherein all stats are given out of 20 and all actions (rolling to hit, armour tests, break tests) are decided by rolling under the appropriate stat. This contrasts to some systems which use a variety of different dice mechanics for different things. Having the stats being out of 20 also means there can be a bit more granularity with stats more fully showing a range of ability.

Every model has two actions per turn which can be spent on a variety of basic (1point) and advanced (2point) actions. Models are activated individually and although bound by squad coherency can act relatively independently. Alternatively models in a squad can spend points to contribute to combined actions which produce a single more powerful attack for use against larger, more dangerous foes. It’s quite an intuitive system and seems quite flexible.

There are some interesting rules which seem like an attempt to inject a bit more fluff/narrative into the game itself such as different types of weapons being more/less effective against certain kinds of armour and the rules which allow bonuses to template weapons used against targets in cover. There is also a diverse selection of special rules, not dissimilar to the compendium of universal special rules in the 40k rulebook. These all do pretty much what you would expect, though quite a few seem to have fairly similar effects.

My biggest doubts are over the vehicle rules, which seem a bit over complicated. Alarm bells rang for me when I saw that individual locations take damage separately, and it’s not entirely clear how you (if indeed you can) actually destroy a vehicle rather than just wreck its systems.

The biggest ‘narrative’ rule though is probably the resource card system. In the game each player receives a number of resource cards determined by their army composition and choice of warlord (meaning you can choose a leader who is less personally potent in combat but allows extra resource cards). Resources are renewed each turn but can be lost permanently as you take casualties. In the basic version of these rules the cards can be spent – “turn to burn” is the terminology used – to gain bonuses or re-rolls. In the more advanced version, cards are spent to play certain ‘gear’, ‘tactic’, and ‘strategy’ cards. Each player selects cards to play from a hand drawn from their respective deck of bonus cards. Each player preselects the contents of their deck before the game (within guidelines set out in the book) though the deck is shuffled and cut before play begins and your hand of cards is drawn randomly from the deck.

The resource mechanics seem to be one of the most innovative parts of this rule set. I am sure gamers will quickly find whether they prefer the basic or advanced version. The advanced version can potentially add a lot of depth, challenge, diversity and surprise to a game, but I imagine some gamers might prefer to avoid the extra preparation it requires. Though I imagine that selecting a deck that synergies with your chosen force and will not be rendered useless by an unlucky draw order will be a challenge some gamers will embrace.

Army selection is based on an organization chart similar to 40k, though the chart grows with the size of game. There are also options to swap out some slots – for example exchanging a heavy vehicle slot for two light vehicle/monster slots or vice versa. There is also a bevy of options to create a custom lord or warlord as an alternative to the existing special characters. The options allow you to alter their stats, modify their weapon and give them any of a vast array of special rules, all for the appropriate points costs.

Overall, with only very few exceptions I would say that this is a very solid rule set. And in some ways it’s a shame that the fluff and the models (especially the models) aren’t quite up to the same level. Obviously the fluff, rules and other factors that appeal to any #warmonger is a very subjective thing so I would certainly suggest that people give this game a look to see if it might be right for them, but that would be qualified by admitting that it doesn’t do it for me. There are not as many sci-fi battle games out there as you might think, though a recent crop of games like WZR, MERCs, Deadzone, etc has gone some way to redress this. Sadly I don’t think that WZR is the best of the crop.

– Chris

Warzone Resurrection – A Review Part 1


As some readers will know, back in April I backed the Warzone Resurrection Kickstarter. This Kickstarter was run by Prodos Games in order to revive the Mutant Chonicles: Warzone game which was originally produced by Target Games back in the 1990s.

The Kickstarter was a roaring success, and while the original target was to launch the game with four factions enough stretch goals were met to be able to launch with six. Inevitably this meant that the original June shipping date was a hopelessly optimistic target now Prodos had so much more to produce. This backlog was not helped by flooding in the production facilities in the late summer. All this meant that my stuff finally arrived in early December, when I had all but forgotten about it.

My Kickstarter pledge netted me rewards in the shape of the hardback Warzone Resurrection rule book and the Capitol faction starter set. I will look at the rules and background laid out in the book in later articles but for today I will look at the miniatures I received. Capitol, put very simply as a strongly ‘American’ themed faction (in contrast to the pseudo-Germans, Brits and Japanese of Bauhaus, Imperial and Mishima).

The starter pack included two themed D20s a deck of resource/equipment cards, the special character Big Bob Watts, ten Light Infantry figures and two Purple Shark jet bikes. All lovingly rendered in blue resin.


Of the three units, the most disappointing is definitely the Purple Sharks, which is a shame as I was quite looking forward to these. They lack the crisp detail of the other two kits and are the only one with serious mould line issues. Indeed the belly of the bikes is marred by an unsightly ridge resembling nothing more than a patch of scar tissue. The two halves of the bike do not fit together well, with a visible gap between the two halves at the nose. Assembling resin models with superglue can be a frustrating experience at the best of times, but the number of times I wanted to scream while trying to get the pilot of the bike in situ was something else. Possibly the most unforgivable issue though is the fact that the models are not supplied with a flying stand, but only with a resin post intended to be glued onto a standard plastic base and then fitted into the corresponding hole on the underside of the bike. I would definitely recommend anyone looking to field Purple Sharks  in their force to make alternative basing arrangements.

The other models in the set are much, much better. The detail is crisp and there are very few visible mould lines. That said some of the very fine detail was so fine as to be easily damaged. The character of Big Bob Watts is a very cool model  and by far the easiest of the set to assemble. A model like this really illustrates the difference between heroic scale miniatures and the relatively realistic scale that Prodos have designed in. I think everyone will have their preference about what approach works best, though for such a larger than life character as Big Bob (a huge man who wields Gatling cannon like pistols) whether a naturalistic model can do the idea justice.

The Light Infantry are pretty nice, especially considering these are the basic troop choice for the army. Putting together any model this size using superglue is a tricky task at the best of times, but these came together without too much trouble, barring a slightly awkward shoulder joint. I like the look of these models and the design is nicely straightforward. My only mild criticism is that the heads with the mask and goggles look could have been sculpted with slightly more defined details as they look quite blank at first glance.

The models had a fair bit of flash on the sprue, but nothing that was onerous to clean off. In most cases it could be scratched off with a thumbnail. Only the Purple Sharks had any significant problems with mould lines, though all  the models required substantial clipping and trimming where they met the sprue and in most cases this had to be done carefully so as to not bugger the point where the component would be glued on to another part of the model. There were a few little bubbles in the casts, the worst being a fist sized hole in a jet bike pilot

As a starter set I think this a pretty good pack, though like all such sets the value depends on whether the units and characters included suit your tastes and preferred play style, and the mediocre quality of the Purple Sharks is another minus point. If Prodos can keep a handle on the production quality and implement their ideas properly Warzone Resurrection could be a hit.

According to their reply the last time I asked, Firestorm Games do plan to stock Warzone Resurrection.