I ordered the Company of Iron Command and Upgrade cards from DriveThruRPG for the princely sum of about €8 delivered. I think that’s a very reasonable price to try out a new, albeit familiar, game. My WMH armies haven’t seen any love in a few years. I played a few games when MkIII was released, but it didn’t grab me; the I go – you go set up leads to a lot of hanging around with your only job being to remove destroyed models! The alternating activations in Company of Iron would at least overcome that issue.

There are some really nice things about CoI. The mechanics are familiar and robust; if you’ve played WMH then the basics are the same. The cards, both Upgrade and Command, bring a nice level of dynamism to the game, allowing you to bolster (or mitigate) the strengths of your models. This is quite different to how the hand of cards works in Malifaux, which allows you to replace values (and often suits) to increase chances of hitting or for triggering effects. In CoI the Upgrade cards allow you to add a persistent effect to your leader, increasing their durability with more hit boxes and boosting them in some other way. This is nice as it makes the commander a little special. The Command cards, which are a limited resource that you redraw each turn, allow you to have turn length effects and in activation boosts like rolling extra dice or boosting attack/damage. If you’re not careful, however, you could gobble through your hand very quickly, so it’s worth trying to predict where the cards might be needed.

Anyway, onto the game… Gavin brought some Cephalyx to fight my dreadfully outnumbered Warspears.

By outactivating me Gavin could clog up my Warspears ensuring they rarely got their Assaults off. This hurt as I couldn’t remove his Drudges quickly enough. We played the Contested Ground scenario over the standard five turns. I held up reasonably well for the first 3 turns, but the damage was wracking up. Gavin managed to score on turns 4 and 5 and comprehensively beat me 5:0.

I really enjoyed CoI – it reminds me of a somewhat simplistic Malifaux (the alternating activations and card element), but it retains all of the cool things about WMH. Specifically, it’s nice to play a game set in the Iron Kingdoms that doesn’t involve super powerful characters. The combatants in CoI can be exceptionally diverse, but they aren’t the one in a hundred-thousand Warcaster/Warlocks. And this is good – I mean how many times has the Butcher of Khardov died on the battlefield at this stage! (Malifaux has this problem too). Anonymous combatants are easier to replace!

I am sure Privateer Press are working on a campaign/progression system for the game. I look forward to playing more of CoI in the future.

Until next time,