ReviewsWarmachine Reckoning Review - A Big Advance for Smashy SteambotsReviews - RSS 2.0
While I haven't had time playing as Cephalyx, I have played against the faction many times since their first introduction. They have incredible attrition play, and once they dig in are difficult to dislodge. It's not impossible, but with all of the regeneration they have, and the ability to move damage around, they have solid staying power. Psycho Surgery allows the regeneration of D3+1 points of damage on their monstrosities, and the ability to move damage off of their unit leaders unto the thrall fodder is also unique. This makes them great at playing control games and playing into scenarios where you have to take and keep control of objectives or zones. They really feel like playing against a blend of Warmachine and Hordes factions, offering a set of unique challenges to play against.
Each faction also got a number of new solos, or special characters that buff or boost units, and there are several new Character Warjacks. The new Character Warjacks all have distinct personality and quirks, and really compliment the new Warcasters.
The stars of the book are the Colossals. Colossals are giant machines of war, like Warjacks, but on a much larger scale. There aren't a lot of truly large scale models in the game, but these are massive. The original Colossals are titans of war that are either loved or hated by players. They carry a high cost, but can usually make up for that cost by taking out an equal number of points from your opponents or giving you a significant tactical advantage.
Here, in Reckoning, we get Colossals 2.0, the next evolution. Each one builds off the originals, adding new features and abilities. Every faction received an upgrade to their colossals, and each looks to be just as dangerous as their predecessors. The Cygnar Hurricane looks particularly fun with the ability to summon gale force winds, punch things with electrified fists, and launch shells from its dual cannons.
There's been some concern about some factions getting better Colossals than others, in fact when they were first revealed and the Cygnar Hurricane was displayed shouts of "The Rich get Richer!" could be heard. That said, I think that the concerns are not quite as valid as they used to be. The first incarnations of Colossals (and Hordes' Gargantuans) came at a time when the game was still relatively new, but we've come a long way since then and Privateer Press has come a long way in balancing the game. The stats and the abilities of all of the new Colossals seem to be right in line with each other, with none of them really breaking away as heads and shoulders above the rest.
It is a turning point book, and a milestone, with the introduction of a large amount of story elements and the introduction of a whole new faction and the new breed of colossals. This is one of those books that is worth picking up for the story, as well as all of the new units and models for all of the factions. Mercenary players in particular will be very interested in this book, as Mercs received the largest selection of new solos, and an entire new contract to play with, essentially constituting a new faction.
Bottom Line: Reckoning is a fine addition to the Warmachine line up, with fantastic narrative alongside cool new units and casters.
Recommendation: While it is certainly true that you do not need the book to play, there is solid value here. The story, the new rules, and the artwork make it well worth the cost. If you have any interest in playing as mercenaries, I cannot recommend Reckoning enough.