High Command: Rapid Engagement

Many years ago, I played Warhammer. It was the early 90’s and my introduction to tabletop miniature wargaming. When I immigrated, I had to sell pretty much everything off to finance the move halfway around the planet. After several years in Canuckistan, I discovered Warmachine/Hordes. Wait, said my brain. A tabletop game where I don’t need umpty bajillion models, and and AND I could play robots and zapguns against monsters and crossbows all in the same universe? Hot diggity!

Fast forward several years and Privateer Press expands their gaming options with the introduction of High Command, opening the door for Cardfloppers to sink their teeth into the Iron Kingdoms. We had the core Warmachine set, the core Hordes set, and then Faith & Fortune bringing in four more Warmachine factions. True to the tabletop, we can once again play our Warmachine and Hordes factions together in one glorious melange, with no-one excluded just because they prefer a different type of fictional setting. Is it clear how much of a deal this is to me yet?

Point is, last month Privateer took another step. After blowing the door wide open to card game fanatics, they’ve started throwing metaphorical bricks through the window with their Rapid Engagement two player starter. I picked on up and GenCon and made new pal Budi play games with me while I was at Pennsic.

Look how sweet and innocent he is, so happy to be a newly recruited Lostie. Warms my heart, it does!

The Rapid Engagement starter includes two decks made from cards veteran High Command players will already be familiar with.

The Khador deck is helmed by Kommander Sorscha Kratikoff, Karchev the Terrible, and Vladimir Tzepesci, the Dark Prince, and comes with the Orange, Yellow and Red divisions.

The Circle Orboros deck is commanded by Grayle the Farstrider, Kromac the Ravenous, and Baldur the Stonecleaver, and comes with the Green, Blue and Purple divisions.

It should be noted that each pre-constructed deck includes not only cards from their respective core sets, but also from the expansions (Big Guns, Savage Guardians, etc.), meaning each is a solid snapshot of the faction in its entirety, and has been built to give the player a taste of the faction’s style using all the tools available.

The Rapid Engagement set also comes with a new Winds of War deck and a new Location deck, each the most newly developed and respecting the combined Hordes and Warmachine setting. This was something we saw with the two campaign packs – Invasion of Sul and Castle of the Keys – and only further enhances the gameplay experience for players crossing the Focus and Fury streams with their opponents.

The rulebooks have been streamlined and condensed into a double-sided foldout sheet about the size of my keyboard. Plenty of diagrams show layout and examples, so even if you don’t have a handy Press Ganger on site to show you the ropes, it’s not difficult to get into the swing of things.

High Command continues to be a game that is fairly easy to teach to a new player. Budi got the hang of things within two rounds, and proceeded to give me an excellent game, despite his being hampered with filthy unwashed werewolves, while I tromped around with my glorious Khadoran warjacks.

No, I’m not going to tell you who one more games that first day… what, and ruin my narrative by admitting that I got pasted? Why would I do that??

I later got the rest of the cards I’d brought to Pennsic with me and Budi and I played several other games using my less-professionally-assembled decks. Good times were had.

I’m actually kinda happy to admit that my copy of the Rapid Engagement starter went home from Pennsic with Budi. I love introducing new players to the games I love, and the Rapid Engagement decks are an excellent tool for doing just that. If you’re looking for a way to bring a new friend into the fold, a subtle inexpensive gift to drop a hint that they should play, or even if you’re an existing player and just want more options in terms of Winds of War and Location decks… the Rapid Engagement 2-player starter for High Command is an excellent way to go.

One Response to High Command: Rapid Engagement

  1. Avatar lordbubonicus
    lordbubonicus says:

    Glad to hear that this is a decent starter set. I tried out High Command at Smogcon this year and quite enjoyed it, but wasn’t sure about picking up the core set. When I saw Rapid Engagement though I thought it was just what I was looking for; after reading this I think I’ll definitely be picking it up after my next payday.