Game Classy: Privateer Press’ War Room

by Joe on August 9, 2012

As a proponent of the use of the digital medium in gaming, I was quite pleased when Steve, my co-host at “Game Classy”, told me of Privateer Press’ new app for smartphones and tablets.  The War Room, as it’s dubbed by its creators, is a whole lot packed into a little bundle. It’s free no less, on both iOS and Android.  After many push-backs and date changes, it has finally been released. Essentially a mobile deck protector with a fancy list builder attached, the War Room seeks to be an ingenious middle ground between lugging all your gaming materials around and being woefully unprepared for a pickup game. 

The program consists of a couple different sections. The first is the “Card Library”, which is essentially what it sounds like. The Library contains all the cards of any current model in Privateer Press’ range including both Warmachine and Hordes.  There is a caveat to this free swag party, as only the basic cards to the characters, units, and warjacks found in the main rulebook are available at first. In order to access the rest of the cards, you have to pay a 6.99 fee per faction to upgrade.  Seeing as the deck for your army would be around 20.00 in the store, you’d be a bit of a grognard to complain.  There are also deals on buying multiple packs including a Hordes bundle for 29.99, a Warmachine bundle for 35.99 and a Ultimate bundle (all factions) for 59.99.   Though I’m not complaining, I would have liked to see a free deck thrown in at purchase, or maybe even discounted. 

Of course you can by these decks from the convenient store tab in the app. 

Using your purchase you can make use of another option, the list builder. This is a fun little add-on, as it not only has interactive drop downs, but size limiters and theme lists built in. There’s not much to this section, as it’s pretty standard amongst “army builder” programs. I’m sure there are a few bugs yet to be discovered, but overall I built a 35 point Vlad list for Khador with no problems. 

After building your list, you can import it into the “fight” section, where you can battle against other opponents who also use the app or use it solo in a more analog setting. What’s nice about this section is that if playing against another player with the app you can see their cards, and vice versa. Both in solo and duel mode you can keep tabs on your figures health with interactive card grids. This is nice, as it’s separate from the cards, and you don’t have to rely on touching the exact tiny squares with your ham fingers. So now you can finally throw out all of your dry erase markers.

The biggest issue right now is that the app is having difficulty on some different platforms, but Privateer Press is assuring us that they are working on fixing the problems. I downloaded the app for both my iPhone and iPad, and I have not noticed any issues with freezing or crashing. Another concern is company support. Privateer Press assures us that they will add new cards when new rules appear in game, but how quickly they appear, or if they appear at all is yet to be seen.

Though adding nothing content-wise, the app looks gorgeous on the iPad

Overall, for a free app, this a fun addition to your gaming accoutrement. Is it necessary? No, not by any means. However, if you have a smartphone/tablet, you should at least download the free app and play with it a bit.  This isn’t a “game changer” by any means.

I recommend the digital dice app by Dynamic Realms, which can roll up to 6 dice at a time as a nice supplement. All you’d need would be a digital tape measure and you’re set!

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Bob Nolan August 9, 2012 at 1:16 pm

This was definitely a “nice” review based on the reports all across the web. A more thorough review seems appropriate at some point in the future, though.

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Chris August 9, 2012 at 4:51 pm

Well done app! Not sure if you buy a faction deck…does that mean you get new cards with your purchased faction as new models/cards are released?

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Joe August 9, 2012 at 9:21 pm

As far as I’ve seen and heard, yes. Which should be cool

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Kevin August 10, 2012 at 12:44 pm

Hey Joe,
Nice review. Have you noticed if the cards sync between 2 iOS devices? I bought a Ret deck while at work on my phone, and was blown out to see that I couldn’t transfer to android tablet. It’s a known bug, but it seems the iOS experience is much smoother than android.

Also: the army builder is just okay, it doesn’t actually enforce any restrictions. Like you can have duplicate characters, unlimited casters, and attach UAs to incorrect units. I want to give this an A for effort, and what was promised… Buts it’s just so underwhelming with all the things it doesn’t do. My 1 sentence review “Great for when I should be working, almost unusable to actually play with.”

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Joe August 10, 2012 at 2:51 pm

I literally think it’s because of the operating systems not being compatible. It worked fine for my pad and phone. the army builder is fine, I’ve never had an army builder that blew me away. I have a feeling that the technical issues in regards to restrictions will be fixed in a patch.

The whole thing that blows me away is that it’s a completely unnecessary program, It’s not like either game is very complicated in unit building. There’s no wargear or character building. You definitely don’t need it to play. However the vitriolic attitude of some players in regards to this program is unbelievable. I agree it’s a fun time waster, and its nice to have a digital deck, I play with it on long car trips or at work.

Nothing special

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