Ronin War First Look (Or, A Savage Journey Into The Heart Of The Swedish Dream)

Having to glue things together sucks. I mean, sure, I’m spoiled, wargames, uphill in the snow, yada blah foo. Maybe it’s just the plastic that’s giving me trouble. I tried to separate the little tank and airplane units, the ones that don’t require any gluing, and found that the connections to the plastic sprue were so thick that the model would splinter and peel a bit when I twisted it. X-Acto isn’t doing a great job hacking these things either. I have put together all of the stubby little Raider units, which are cute as buttons. But friends tell me that the Ronin themselves are difficult to put together even for experienced modelers. So, if you’re mechanically declined, that’s reason #1 to wait for MechWarrior.

A possible reason #2 is the frequent stipulation that the weapons and parts with which you customize your models actually be glued on. They do provide a number of tiny little magnetic balls, which you use to stick little wound-flags on your Ronin when they’re hit. That’s cool, but why not go all the way and design the weapons and weapon-placement points to take magnets too? Because then you’d have replayability with the models you spent all that time and money on, and wouldn’t have to go buy more when you want to change your strategy? Could be!

For a lot of people, the thick, difficult-to-read catalog of weapons and their in-game effects will be reason #3 to lower themselves to playing with pre-painted rubbery guys for their giant-robot combat jollies. Having all the numbers you need right there in the base is definitely worth such humiliation. So, the “user interface,” if you will, of Ronin War is looking a little sub-optimal. But I still want to know about the game that’s under there, dammit, so even if this ends up being another case of “good game, bad situation,” I’m going to soldier on through and let you know. Eventually. In the next couple of days, I’ll be able to tell you more about the actual rules. As far as playtesting, we’ll have to see. Keep your fingers crossed that I don’t mortally wound myself with the knives, the files, or with my luck, the glue.