So myself and Will met up last night to finally dip our toe into the Dark Age waters. We had both read through the rules and scoured the unit cards, but, until you finally get a game or two under your belt, it's difficult to really tell how it plays and how effective some units and abilities are, or even what they actually do in some cases.
So first impressions.
The rules, in a mid game reference situation i was pretty impressed. Despite initially seeming quite complex, it's just a case of getting the process down. Attackers assault value plus targets defence value, plus / minus any modifiers, then roll under that value on your D20. I was also impressed with how precise the wording is throughout, I can't recall any ambiguous situations that arose.
The missions plus secondary objectives all seem fairly varied and are THE method for winning the game, most missions seem to end once a player has hit 3 VPs or so, forcing you to really play to the objectives and not get too distracted. This also leads to it getting very bloody, very quickly. Which also leads to another big plus for me, it's VERY quick. We bashed out 3 games and dinner in an evening, considering these were also learning games involving more rules referencing than would usually be the case, I thought that was darn sweet. I think once were a bit more familiar we could easily bash out 4 or 5 games in an evening.
All in all I was thoroughly impressed, it's quick, the alternating player activations keep you involved, it's got quite a bit of complexity with the special rules but with them all being printed on each units card coupled with the low model count it really works.
The only downside is I'm now eyeing up lots more unit cards for my wish list, now that I better understand what they actually do!