Initial Thoughts on Enter Perdition: Witchborn

pogre

Adventurer
A friend of mine went to GenCon and picked up the Enter Perdition: Witchborn Campaign Rules book. My friend knows I am a sucker for skirmish rules and you would be hard pressed to name a set of fantasy skirmish rules I have not owned at some point. I buy them to steal ideas for my own skirmish games.

This is not a review per se but more of my first impressions without having played the game first.

  • Softcover book - full color - retail $35
    You could argue this is a little high, but this is a very small company (mostly the author) and full color is not cheap. I can stomach it at that price. If it was an Osprey book it would run $20-$25.
  • 140 pages (counting front and back cover)
    This is weird, but the front cover is page 1. In the author's defense, he makes full use of the inside of the front and back covers.
  • The author is Cory S. Kammer
    It is clear the author has been working on this game for a while and is super passionate about it. He did a lot of the interior art and it is not bad.
  • You have to use a cell phone or tablet to run the game.
    There is an app that functions as three different decks in the game: a Discovery deck, a Wounds deck, and a critical failure deck called an Oops deck.
    I would rather have actual cards, but it does save a ton on production and makes sense for this kind of game. I'll give it a pass, even though I'm an anti-tech guy at the tabletop. It certainly makes the decks far more customizable for the adventures they put out.
  • A lot of the miniatures are used to illustrate rules.
    This is a plus in my book. The miniatures are painted to an average tabletop standard. Certainly better than pre-painted.
    The size of the miniature bases are an important component for the movement and maneuver rules.
    This is a real bummer for me, because I hate re-basing miniatures.
    Strangely, the rules advocate for using Reaper Bones, but a lot, if not most of the miniatures in the rules are not Reaper. The author does give credit to Mantic for some of the figures, but I think there is a ton of Rackham stuff in there. No mention of Rackham or Legacy Miniatures who bought the rights to them after Rackham collapsed in 2010.
  • There are tons of bits required to play.
    This does not bother me in the least, but there are quite a few markers in the game.
    Condition markers.
    Turn order markers.
    Turn done markers.
    Effect Templates.
  • There are a couple of kinds of dice - one d6, which is unique to the game, used to resolve combat among other things and normal d6s.
  • There are 11 pages of fictional stories scattered throughout the book. I would have left those out to get the book down to a standard 128 pages and save some coin, but others might like them to add more depth to the background of the game. I have a personal prejudice against gaming fiction, so bear that in mind.
  • The intro videos and their webpage call the game a combination of roleplaying and miniature skirmish.
    I can see that. It is much closer to a skirmish campaign game than a rpg. However, there are a ton of customization options in skills, equipment, and experience.
  • Roster forms are in Adobe and are for sale on their website.
    Really? I have to buy a form to make a roster? This should be free. They are cheap 99 cents, but still...
  • Scenarios or "Adventures" are for sale separately.
    This is a big knock on the game for me. You buy the adventure from WitchBorn.com and get a battle map, custom apps, and custom rules for the scenario.
    They are are not cheap - $54.99
    There is an assumption you will play on a 2d battlemap! Yikes! My god man, have you not seen my terrain collection! In all seriousness, I love terrain and this ruins part of the aesthetic for me. I don't play skirmish games on pictures.
    I may very well be in the minority on this one. Reviewers have heaped praise on the battlemaps.
    If I could design my own scenarios that would help this game a lot.

Will I play the game? I would not be adverse to trying it at a convention or gameshop, but probably not at home. The lack of scenario design rules is a killer for me.

I use a similar initiative system in a lot of my skirmish games and like it a lot - blind draw chits - one figure at a time.

I have not gone over the skills and customization options much yet - hoping I can steal some ideas there.


***FINALLY***
I may have gotten some of this wrong. It really is a list of my first impressions. If you have played the game - I would love to know what you thought.
 

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