Apologies for the late post as I did say I'd get something up yesterday but held off hoping to do a bit of a review of the N3 rulebook.
I haven't really had much of a chance to do that though so I thought I'd throw done some quick thoughts here and sum up my feelings so far on N3.
I think it's a great game and that CB are a great company, but I'm going to try and remain as objective as possible through this and prevent any fanboy sentiments seeping through.
The Physical Book
Two softback books in a hardback slipcase, glossy pages and full colour throughout
The good - Seems good quality inside and I'm happy with the print quality and text size, the text size is slightly bigger than what I'm used to from 40k books and it's really nice to read, silly little thing but it makes a difference.
The bad - I would have preferred them to be hardback books and paid a little extra, There also seems to be a thin plastic covering to the books and the back of my rulebook has started to peel off now. Also on a minor point as I generally have mine separate with the rules in my case, but when putting both books in the slipcase they stick out slightly as pictured below; surely they should have been made to fit in the slipcase fully? A small issue but it struck me as odd.
I really enjoyed the fluff I've read so far, I've not finished the book yet but I read the intro pieces and then read through the Haqqislam and Nomads factions and it's a really interesting setting to be playing in. I like the fact that it's not a "Grim Dark" setting like 40k, and that the games that you play are generally around small elite teams performing undercover operations. I much prefer the, to me, more realistic sci fi setting and although there is a credible threat in the form of the EI, it's not a sense of inevitable doom with a dying race like you get in 40k. In fact humanity is still relatively new to the stars from what I can tell and it's an exciting setting for me.
I won't put any spoilers here but I enjoyed reading it and the stories in it sealed Nomads as a second faction for me alongside my Haqqislam.
Seems great to me, I like that they have the basic rules first which I believe are the same ones from Icestorm from what I can tell, this means that for a beginner they can jump in without worrying about the advanced rules that despite what anyone says can get quite complicated due to the various interactions of ARO.
I like the tables at the back and the fact that there's an index, everything seems to be in the place I'd expect it to be and there's a good amount of art / text / examples throughout
As above, I like how it's split into basic and advanced and for me, the way in which the examples are done for the rules are fantastic. They really provide a load of examples for pretty much every rule you'd have questions about which was priceless to me when reading through and trying to understand them for the first time.
I would generally read through the advanced rule and think, "hmm, I wonder how that interacts with X or Y" only to carry on reading and see not only how it interacts with X, and interacts with Y, but potentially how it works with X and Y, and hey, let's tell you about Z too.
For me, they are well written rules with good explanations and whilst I'm sure some bits will need an FAQ (e.g. Being able to speculative fire outside of LOS means being able to make a grenade magically appear inside a locked bank vault as it doesn't state you need a path to target) I'm also sure that they will be clarified quickly and that for now, common sense rulings will prevail. (No, your bike can't ride up that ladder, I can see why you think that's cool, but... no)
Inconsistent I'd have to say if I was being honest with my opinion. I'm sure that some would argue it's all great, and there are some fantastic pieces in there, for example I love the Haqqislam piece with Tarik. However some of the unit pics in the faction breakdown's are not of the same quality and although some of these are great, others are average (Of course, I'd never be able to so anything like these, but they're not the same quality as the others in the book)
I certainly don't regret buying the book because I like having a physical copy and I want to support the company, particularly as they're giving the rules out for free on their website.
I do however have some reservations and wouldn't say I'm ecstatic with it to give my honest opinion.
- Good layout makes it easy to find what you're looking for
- Some great artwork in the books
- Decent print quality and full colour throughout
- The background (fluff) is great and makes playing in the setting much more fun
- Expensive for two softback books at just over £40 (I know it comes with a limited edition model, but for the purposes of this I'm not counting that)
- Some of the artwork is not of the same quality as the rest
- Slipcase doesn't fit the two books in
- My impression is it's not very durable so may not last
N3 Games so far
Had about 5 games now I think of N3, 3 against Yu Jing, 1 against Pan O, and 1 against Combined Army so I'm starting to get the hang of it a bit. I never really played N2 (just a demo a few years back) although I did do a few games of N2.5 to get used to the new weapon ranges etc. This is my views from the games I've had so far:
- Deployment vs First turn is now a tough choice
- With the ability to take away two orders, or limit to one command token if you go second, I now prefer to take Deployment most of the time, I really like that this is now a real choice though and makes it a tough decision.
- Suppressive Fire is... just right
- I think it's powerful and makes your line troops even more dangerous, but it does have limitations and takes an entire order to do. I like it.
- Co-Ordinated Orders are a thing of BEAUTY
- These are my favourite thing right now, as I'm sure the guys who I've played or who've watched me play will attest to. I love being able to move 4 guys forward and get them into position, or lay a bunch of mines down for one order. 99% of the time I will use 2-3 of these first turn and Mov-Mov Supp Fire with 4 guys, or Mov-Mine, Mov-Mine, Supp Fire with Zero/Spektrs to have 8 mines down and 4 Camo/TO Camo guys in Supp Fire in midfield, come get me :)
- New Weapon Ranges - I'm a big fan of these and I like the fact that each weapon now seems to have their own sweet spot of domination. For example being able to shoot at a HMG with a Sniper from 32" to 40" or with a Combi Rifle from within 16" makes them less of an auto include for me.
- Shotgun - As a Haqqislam player I can't let it go without commenting on these as I find it great that there's now a real advantage to packing both weapons, we pay for it at 12 points, but I like the option of the Light Shotgun up close and it makes my Ghulam feel very versatile being able to step up to 8" and hit at +6 range.
- Boarding Shotgun - Now a very useful discount option and on infiltrators I can see this doing a lot of work, I've had a couple of shots with it on my Zero's and I think it's priced about right. It's a good option for what seems to be a 1 point discount on most profiles, but it's not an auto include because I then lose the ability to put down suppressive fire. Well priced and useful.
I'm working with those friends on a new blog at the moment which should be going up shortly which will involve us each pledging to paint one model a month for our infinity factions and post them up online to try and motivate each other.
Will post the details of that soon when we've put our first posts up with the figure we're going to paint in Feb and a quick intro paragraph for each of us. Currently it looks as though there'll be 1 Haqqislam, 1 Nomad, 1 Combined Army and 2 Pan Oceania projects, although I might try and do both Haqqislam and Nomads.
Thanks for reading,