No Quarter Prime: Evolved

We’ve seen No Quarter grow and blossom and change its tack several times over the last decade. Focus has shifted and changed with each editor, flexing to meet the needs of the international player community as Warmachine and Hordes themselves have evolved, as new game lines have been introduced such as the Level 7 franchise and the IKRPG, as competitive play has taken to the world stage. Now we see the next step in the evolution of No Quarter, with No Quarter Prime.

I’ve always found gaming magazines to be an interesting conundrum. On the one hand, the readership wants content, content, and more content. On the other hand, from a business perspective, there needs to be advertising for new products as well, because these are intended to sell a product overall. For a terribly long time The Distinguished Competition (yes, yes, I know, it’s a polite Marvel term for DC, but I’ve always loved the concept) let any real substance in their own magazine be buried under a ridiculous swath of commercialization, such that to this day I still have no desire to read their periodical despite my having models for three of their games. I never felt that No Quarter suffered from that problem. Every page was dedicated to Privateer Press’ games, but content has always been key. There were full page ads about upcoming releases, new editions, but never did I feel like I was paying to be advertised to.

No Quarter Prime *really* wants to be sure I don’t feel like I’m being advertised to: There isn’t a single ad in the entire magazine. Even when there’s opportunity – check inside the back cover when you get your copy – no ad, more model showcase. It’s all content, all day long. So what’s in there? Well, if you’re a filthy Morrowan toady, sucking up to the Cygnaran throne (*ptooie!) instead of acknowledging the glory of Menoth (*Yay!) you’re in for a treat, but let’s hit things one by one.

• The Fire & The Forge: Escalation to War

Some games have a static setting where, essentially, very little changes. Not so Warmachine and Hordes. The political landscape has been in flux since the outset. Borders have changed as warfare has been waged, characters have grown and evolved – heck, we have four different incarnations of Goreshade now, throughout his timeline – and with the change in fluff delivery as we moved into MkIII I had a bit of a pondering about where newer players were going to learn about pivotal moments in Iron Kingdoms history, such as the Battle at the Temple of Garrodh. This article series looks to bridge that gap.

Almost twenty pages of fluff and history, Escalation to War details key moments in the Invasion of Llael, where Khador basically decided they were taking Umbrey back in its entirety and while they were at it, those Llaelese fancypants types can do to lose some land too. A pivotal point in the history of the Iron Kingdoms, the Invasion of Llael set the stage for the longest standing conflict in the recent history of the Iron Kingdoms, with Khador, Cygnar, and the Protectorate of Menoth all weighing in. More than just a history lesson, The Fire & The Forgegives us maps and notes about key moments in the invasion and the subsequent conflicts, character figtion, and possibly my favourite piece of Orsus Zoktavir art to date.

Not only can this article series inspire the imaginations of players new and old, it can provide the setting grounding that years of future gaming will be based on, be it in Warmachine and Hordes, or in the IKRPG. Or even High Command, really.

• Company of Iron: Demonhead Pass

With all the hubbub about the impending release of Company of Iron (yes, I’ll be writing about it in the coming weeks), more than anything else in the magazine (yes, even moreso than the next article about Menite stuff) I was keen to read this one.

  • Fluff? Yes, setting up both Gwen Keller and Agata – the leaders of the two Company of Iron forces coming in the box releasing later this month.
  • Rules? Yes, three new scenarios to add to the mix, with assorted victory conditions, including one where you get to Trogdor your way around, burninating the thatch-roof cottages.
  • Painting? Yes, with a little fluff. Six variant paint schemes for each of two forces, both Cygnar and Farrow, and blurbs about what makes each company significant, from the white-armoured Thunderbolts to the greenish-hued Padpork Tribe
  • Gameplay tips? James Arbuthnot gives us his insight on building both Keller’s Stormblades and Agata’s Brigands. Of course, I’ll have to build the Stormblades to match my Drop Bears, but still…

Company of Iron is new to the scene, but I’m very excited to see it develop into its own format, and with continues support in NQP I think it has the potential to be bloody amazing.

• Hostile Territory: Tower Judgment

Yes, alright, my inner Menite squee’d to see an article not only based on a Protectorate fixture like Tower Judgment, but also a custom teamscenario that introduces new elements – in this case Spiked Barricades and Mantlets – that can be translated into your regular games of Warmachine should you wish. There’s even modelling guides from Dallas Kemp and Danny Samuels on building your own terrain pieces for them both.

Any time you can take something away from a specialized scenario to add a little flavour to your own regular games  is a good time. Open up your creativity and see where it leads you and your friends. Also, play the four player scenario. Team games can be an absolute riot.

• After Action Report: The Trencher CID

One of the bolder moves in the tabletop gaming industry in recent years was for Privateer to open their playtesting to the global audience in the form of the Community Integrated Development program. Internal playtesting and select groups of remote playtesters have always been a thing, but the CID blew the doors wide open. This not only led to a renewd sense of involvement and engagement in the game for many players but it’s also led to a lot of excitement about upcoming releases, and Lord knows it’s inspired a lot of chatter on the interwebs.

This article brings everyone up to speed on the Trencher CID, revitalizing the grunts of the Cygnaran army. Aside from giving models like long gunners some lifeblood, we’ve also added Anson Hitch’s regulation moustache, the Trencher Warcaster Lieutenant who can cast Fire group on his battlegroup, and the Trencher Blockhouse, which is not where you would expect to find block OR house parties, but I’m not going to judge.

• Painting & Hobby: Table Ready in 5 Steps

Painting is a bone of contention for some players. As far as I’m concerned it’s a key part of the hobby, but for others it’s not something they enjoy, and it’s not on their radar, meaning they turn to commission painting to get things done, or they muscle through to get painting done to a bare minimum standard. This article won’t teach you do to amazing freehand and filigree, but it will help you to get your models table ready in five basic steps, setting the foundations on which you can build and grow as a painter. Lyle and his painting buddies have event made a point of painting a heavy warjack or heavy warbeast for every faction.

• Iron Kingdoms RPG: The Haunting of Blackwell Hall

Don’t read this article if you’re hoping to have someone run the adventure for you, unless of course you don’t mind spoilers, or you’re willing to run it yourself. I *love* that the IKRPG has such a prominent feature in NQP, and that it focuses on the Strangelight workshop – that happy blend of Ghostbusters, the X-Files and the BPRD, dipped in Iron Kingdoms goodness and squeezed out into 22 pages of supernatural shenaniganry. As a calligrapher, I also love that there’s a steampunk prototype of the “Autoquill”… okay, fine, you can look at the pictures.

I’m looking forward to more IKRPG content from No Quarter Prime. Someone squeeze Matt Goetz really hard so we can have more great support.

• Theme Force: Forces of Cygnar – The Trencher Corps

Now, in case you didn’t get enough Cygnar love from the earlier articles, this issue’s Theme Force article talks about the history of the Trenchers, their training and tactics, all sorts of fancy fluff and designations, even a full model showcase of the new studio-painted models. Also a sweet reminder that the Grenadier is a great looking warjack. The heroes of the trenchers each have their own splash page, including Commander Anson Hitch’s regulation moustache. Alternate colour schemes (Caspian Jailbirds is especially neat) – this is the old Guts n Gears articles taken to an extreme that I can’t help but love, even if it’s about filthy Cygnarans (*ptooie!*).

Don’t think it stops at fluff though. Requisition costs for Company of Iron, rules for Trencher terrain placements from tents to deep mud. no less than three special trencher scenarios, and of course – the Gravediggers theme force.

The sheer depth in this article is outstanding, and I’m very excited to see more factions get this kind of focus.

 

When all is said and done, No Quarter Prime is a fantastic read and I’d say essential for any Cygnaran. If you’re not a Cygnaran, get it anyway – know your enemy, my friends… or just get it for the painting, terrain and rpg articles. That works too.