No disclaimer needed on this one, other than I am tangentially involved in a new game design that has been pitched to DVG…very tangentially. If you would like to see a video of this review check it out below. Get your own copy here.
I used to love playing Warhammer Fantasy back in middle school, and early high school, but the cost of it, and having people to play with made me quit. For years after I never had any desire to get back into it for the same reasons.
However, a bit of a year ago I got to preview Omicron Protocol, and Aristeia!, and I really enjoyed both of them. This opened my mind to the fabulous world of low model count skirmish games. The best part about Skirmish games is that so often, nowadays, they have solo modes. With all that said, however, I have never been able to get into “wargames”.
I put that in quotes because of I am referring to that genre of game, exemplified by games like “Marcus Aurelius” or “Pavlov’s House”. In general, this is because I just do not find replaying events that actually happened to really get my gaming juices flowing. In fact, I am so anti-wargames that Michael Kelley at One Stop Co-op Shop has almost made it his personal mission to make me a wargamer. So he sent me his review copy of For What Remains and I promised to try it out. So here we are.
In For What Remains, you will take control of one of six different factions, as you strive for dominance of a post apocalyptic, yet refreshingly zombie free, world. You will battle it out over a series of scenarios, and potentially a campaign.
Each faction comes with 5 different types of units (2 of each). Each unit can be upgraded up to three times making them both more powerful, and more expensive. (In a non-campaign game you will purchase your units with a set number of points.)
The game play itself is very simple, each round you will select 6 initiative tokens and place them in the bag. (Each unit has three of these). As you draw them out of the bag the drawn unit will activate and move, shoot, or activate a special ability. Once all the tokens have been drawn the tokens you re-select for the next round, with the caveat that all tokens drawn in the previous round cannot be chosen again.
You play until one side acomplishes the the scenario objective; these may be a set number of killed opponents, holding an objective, or moving an objective to the edge of the board.
So what do I think?
The core of the gameplay is delightfully simple, yet because each of factions uniqueness the replay value feels quite high. I am particularly impressed with the way the combat works, with the simple creation of dice pools, and the rule of only dealing one wound per attack coupled with the gradual decrease of unit statistics as damage increases.
However, the best thing about the game is its amazing simple yet comprehensive AI system. It is an absolute delight to play the game as a solo gamer.
The game is inexpensive. If you only want a single box, which comes with two factions. Of course, the game is good enough, and the factions engaging enough that you probably want more than one box…that makes the game not nearly as affordable as it seems to be on the surface.
The production on the game is a little underwhelming. Some of the initiative tokens are slightly off center in their printing, and the map tiles, desperately need to be labeled in some way to reduce set up time. The unit tiles would also look so much better if they were not simply put onto a white background. It is not horrible, but it is not up to the standard of the gameplay.
Bringing it all together
For What Remains is a very good wargame. It hits all the right notes for me, it is fast, simple yet clever, with strong faction variety, and a wonderful AI. The core game systems really do everything that I want them to do. The game is probably a little more expensive than it appears to be on the surface since you should really pick up all three boxes, and the components, while fine, could certainly have been better. This is a war game that I would absolutely play again.
Nope. Not reading a review that takes longer to read than to play the game.
* Perfectly streamlined ruleset, with simple yet awesome combat and initiative system
* Excellent faction variety
*A single box is pretty inexpensive, but you will probably want more than one box
* The production on the game is fine, but not as good as the gameplay