So I’m late to the party, but I finally managed to read through the Infernals CID rules, and I’m both impressed and horrified by the implications. Impressed because Privateer is not only introducing a new faction that’s deeply rooted in Iron Kingdoms lore, but also a completely new resource mechanic in the form of Essence and Summoning,and horrified at how much Menoth’s Fury it’s going to take to send these things back where they came from.
Essence works as a sort of hybrid concept between Focus and Fury – it has to be spent like Focus for effects, but it’s replenished by draining the souls of those who’ve bartered them away. More importantly, it can be used to summon new Horrors (read: Warbeasts) for free during the battle.
This has, of course, generated significant susurration from the masses. What warcaster wouldn’t love to be able to spend 4 FOCUS to place a new 14pt heavy warjack on the board? But the Horrors come with a cost. Simply existing on this plane costs them Essence, and they can’t replenish lost essence without the diligent efforts of cultists, who I will note will wither and die as Skyhammer rockets rain down, guided by the hand of Menoth. All you other factions who mocked our carpet-bombing ways? Who’s laughing now! 😉
What impresses me more than anything, though is how Privateer is handling the ensuring discussion, and how invested the community playtesters are in participating in the CID, working to make this a fantastic release. Seven pages of conversation (at the time of writing, Saturday evening) in the 24 hours since Jason Soles posted the latest iteration of the Summoning rules for the Horrors, overhauling the original summoning process in the name of game balance.
My favourite line is “These rules also preserve some of the drama and fun factor…”
In recent years, Warmachine and Hordes have cemented themselves as one of the very best games out there for competitive play, but it gives me joy to see that the development team – while still striving to maintain the integrity and balance of the game – remember that this is a game, and while winning is the goal, having fun is the point.
Will the fanatical cultists and their spiky and betentacled horrors bring laughter back to the table for those who have been so heavily focused on counting victory points in tournament setting? Bring on the casual play and the sheer delight of uttering the names of the Infernal Masters in a doom-laden voice, when you’ve painted them all canary yellow…
PS: Bonus points to anyone who paints their Infernals canary yellow…