Change is inevitable

You just lost the game. Wait, what? No, stop that. We’re talking about the evolution of Warmachine and Hordes. No, not the game as its grown from Mk1 to Mk3, but more recent announcements. There’s been some very passionate responses to the way things have changed at Privateer Press over the last year to the more recent announcement of the changes to No Quarter. That’s what I want to focus on. I haven’t been playing enough games lately to have any real insight into the CID stuff, but Lyle’s Insider – – had some interesting points that caught my attention.

Privateer Press’ mark in the gaming industry has been built on being a well balanced game for competitive play, a rich and varied range of factions with depth and engaging dramatis personae, a much more affordable entry point that the industry standard, and a game that’s constantly growing and rebalancing with regular updates not only to the flavour-of-the-month, to to several factions at once with the anthology books. As a Press Ganger, one of the main selling points (aside from how cool the models look)  when comparing to other games was the anthologies, and how you didn’t have instances of on faction getting a new book and suddenly being the only competitive option for six months, and players of other factions waiting years before seeing a single new release for their armies.

Now, with No Quarter Prime, new model releases and updates will be found in the pages of our favourite gaming magazine in its  new incarnation, along with new theme forces and an array of other nifty No Quarter goodness. We’re getting all the Command books still, and as far as I know we’re still expecting the theme books, but if you want to stay on top of official rules revisions and the like, No Quarter Prime will be the place to get it.

This is a significant change in the way Privateer’s done things in the past, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little dubious, but I think it’s a not unexpected evolution as we see CID being woven into model development and fiction being shared through Skull Island Expeditions rather than through the anthologies and forces books. Of course, it’s extra impetus to get a subscription as well.

It should be noted that new factions like the Grymkin and their Wicked Harvest (which I totally typo’d as Wicket Harvest for a second there – Run, Warwick Davis! Run!) will get books, and this segues nicely into the discussion of new factions. Apparently we’re going to see a new faction each year, which has some folks concerned about faction bloat. If the focus is on releasing a new faction each year, what about the existing factions? Will they not receive the attention they’re due? What about faction bloat?

It’s a bold plan given the amount of work that goes into developing a faction, but I’m cautiously optimistic. It all barrels down to scale. If each “new faction” is on the scale of, say, the Cephalyx or Grymkin, where it’s a small handful of warcasters/warlocks and up to a dozen other model entries – say 2-3 heavies, 2-3 lights, 3-4 units and a couple of solos – then it’s on par with the anthology books. I have faith in Privateer’s boffins to pull that off, but I’m cocking an eyebrow as to just *where* they’re going to squeeze new factions in.

As a fluffbunny, I’ve always thought that one of the hardest challenges in introducing a new warcaster or warlock, let alone a new faction, is where to slide it into the story. We could see something coming from Zu or across the ocean (Orgoth 2.0?), or perhaps we’ll see the development of the various civil wars that could be squeezed into almost every faction. Feora and Vindictus could split the Protectorate. If Vlad and Ayn have a falling out, Umbrey could fight for its own independence. What about the possibility of Llael regaining oomph? Ord? There’s only so many times you can say “They’ve been here all along, you just didn’t know it”. I’m very interested to see just which factions get introduced, but even more intrigued to see *how* they get introduced into the storyline. I’m looking forward to seeing how Doug and the rest of the writers make this work.