M.E.E.P.L.E Force is currently in its prototype phase, images are not indicative of the final product.
UKGE was last weekend and with it comes a whole load of new and interesting games for tabletop media to look at. But while most are focused on the big fish in the pond, we’re looking at the little guys.
Wartorn Games’ M.E.E.P.L.E Force is a dexterity tabletop game that challenges you to flick your soldiers around to move, flick ammo to shoot, and open loot crates (woo, topical!). While the base concept isn’t new, the execution feels excellent. Each character has different movement and shooting values, as well as a unique power. In play, this means you have to be thinking several moves ahead while being able to react to flicking too far or too short. During my time with it, my rocket launcher toting wolf got into a tight spot with some snakemen. I had flicked over to a loot box to get a special item (thankfully a medkit which I would be needing next turn) and gotten myself stuck in their movement zone. On my next turn, I flicked my gunslinger over, fired off to shots at the snakemen, dispatching the low level mooks before attempting to throw my boomerang at the huge hydra piece. One flick to position, another to shoot, and another to attempt to catch it and avoid spending the supplies needed to use a special power. Sadly, I missed and it skimmed past my gunslinger by mere inches.
In many ways M.E.E.P.L.E Force is like a skirmish wargame. With each character having their own abilities and skills and players taking it in turns to activate units. Where it is better than a skirmish wargame, in my opinion, is that the level of interaction is just so much more engaging. While Mordheim might be tactically engaging, this is physically engaging. Having to actually flick the bullet at an enemy is a revelation to me and I remember more from my time with it than any other wargame.
The 80’s cartoon theme certainly helps to make it more attractive than the usual grim fantasy or grim future. Items like the chainsaw rocket which get several moves and an explosion template allow for some game changing moments.
Sadly, I wasn’t able to see all of the different items in action as the game on display was just a prototype by a couple of hobby devs but I can make an educated guess at the functionality of mines and shields. The designers also spoke about campaign play which is my biggest ask from any skirmish wargame.
The developers are planning on going to Kickstarter later this year and will be including the four playable heroes as well as three enemy factions and a rogue T(ech)-rex that both sides can control. And I’m gutted I didn’t get to see that in play.
While they aren’t selling anything at the moment, you can follow them on Facebook HERE to see how progress is going.