Occasionally here at Player2.net.au we will play something that deserves your attention but probably doesn’t need a full review written for it. Be it DLC for the latest AAA title, a little indie game or even an Android/iOS title. We play these titles for a blockbusting amount of time (2 – 5 hours) and report back to you the reader on what we found. So grab your popcorn and settle in for the latest episode of Blockbuster Gaming.
Blockbuster Gaming – Warhammer: Regicide
When I was six years old I thought that Battle Chess was the most violent game in the world. Pieces were consumed, disintegrated, and even made to fall on their delicate pawn heinies. But I have to give Interplay some credit – each battle between two pieces was always engaged face-to-face on the threatened square. Because, gosh darn it, that was the proper way to do it. I was only a little girl, but I felt like I had gained some morality in the careful execution of war against another king.
Part of Warhammer 40000: Regicide’s charm is taking the underplayed desire for battle against a worthy foe that is stagnating away in traditional chess, and providing the shocking addition of ranged warfare to the discord.
The method of implementing ranged attacks is seen in the development of the “Regicide Mode”. In this mode, the player not only plans the movement phase that aligns a soldier to deal maximum damage to an enemy Ork, but also an “Initiative” phase that facilitates the use of abilities that target enemy pieces with additional splash damage, or provided additional defence against enemy attack. At each turn the player receives three initiative points to use during the turn to attack or defend. Some of these abilities are particular to the units that you have on the board, and others abilities are particular to the Faction that you are playing as the player, with consideration taken that Orks hit hard (if they do hit), and Marines have more armor but execute gunfire as tiny love taps on an Ork’s chest.
It is the concept of regicide that intrigued me the most, although part of me sniggered like a six-year-old when I foolishly considered the meaning of “regicide” to be the “deliberate killing of a notable Nintendo monarch” rather than the British tradition that judicially executes a king after a trial. Even so, the concept of regicide in Regicide is actually quite flexible and is not focused on executing a king, or even executing any enemy justly (let’s be fair – we don’t like the Orks apparently). Some of my initial missions required me to annihilate all of the enemy units on the board, while encouraging me to think tactically about how to keep my own soldiers alive for the entire encounter. Thinking strategically also encouraged me to consider how and when I wanted to use my initiative points – I had fun hoarding some points until I had positioned my soldiers in a way that ensured maximum benefit of my initiative phases.
Players will notice that movement on the board is quite linear as a nod to its tactical board game ancestor, but I also appreciate some small associations with games such as Fire Emblem Awakening, including the percentage calculations of a particular ability successfully damaging or killing an enemy unit.
In my small delights of tactical success, I didn’t really factor in the traditional chess component of the game, reflecting on its similarity to the Battle Chess of my childhood. But then you have to wonder – is Regicide its own insurgency and rebellion against chess as we know it?