I’d like to introduce a new feature on Wyrd Stones & Tackle Zones, the Warhammer Live Recap! I know not everyone has time to tune in to the free Warhammer Live streams or Twitch accounts to go back and watch after it airs, so I thought you all might enjoy a little recap of the interviews. I’ll be focusing on the streams where the focus is on Specialist Games or from the Middle-Earth team as those are what I’m particularly interested in. As I don’t play AoS or 40k I’m afraid my knowledge is rather limited to what’s going on so I’m not sure my recaps would be as beneficial.
To the recap!
Ceri interviewed Andy Hoare, chief dude of the Specialist Games team at Forge World, responsible for Blood Bowl, Necromunda, Adeptus Titanicus and any other awesome old game the Special Game decides to revive. Stuff that “gumbling old gits like” as Andy put it best. On the desk was an intriguing orange box with “Top Secret” stenciled in spray paint on the side, ominously looming over most of the interview. The interview was mostly an overview of what was shown at last month’s Warhammer Fest.
Andy started off by showing images from the Adeptus Titanicus stuff, unfortunately he didn’t bring along any of the models to show off. Andy talked a little about the history of the game and scale of the game, the models are 1/4 the size of the 40k scale in what’s called “epic scale.” In previous editions the scale of Epic 40k was 6mm, but now it’s more like 8mm.
The Specialist Game studio was initially formed to created the Blood Bowl rerelease. The second game that was decided to work on was Adeptus Titanicus, which was initially planned to be a resin-only release, but due to the success of Blood Bowl the resources were granted to make AT a full plastic release, which is why the game has been pushed back so long and saw Necromunda pip AT to the finish line.
Andy showed off the warlord titans and talked about the kit’s detail and amazing pose-ability. The warlord titans were designed by taking the digital files for the 40k scale warlord titan and making it epic scale which took months to complete. It really looks like the 40k model, just smaller.
The game takes place during the Horus Heresy and in the future they plan on visiting battles and events as mentioned in the Black Library books and Forge World Horus Heresy rules/campaign books.
The reaver titan was an original Jes Goodwin design and it hasn’t changed much. The Forgeworld 40k model was an old model and there were no digital design files. So Chris, the designer, took each physical component from the FW kit, measured it and recreated it digitally in the epic scale. Sounds crazy tedious and I’m glad I didn’t have to do that 🙂
Mini knights! Again Chris took the digital files and scaled them down in months of work. Apparently the mini knights are quite popular with everyone who has seen them. Cute! Ceri mentioned how she’d love an army of just the little knights, but Andy said that would be like playing 40k with just gretchin (still that could be fun) as the rules feature mostly on the titans.
Screenshots of the FW tiles were shown next. They are hallow resin. All the details are molded into the board. What you see is what you get, you just have to paint it yourself. There was no pic of the fourth tile which is the corner of a massive star port. You can use it as the corner of your board, or get four and create an entire star port.
And then …
A smaller box! A really small box! Of Adeptus Titanicus cards. The cards have the different weapons that titans can be equipped with. Games of AT generally field 3-7 titans. Then Andy pulled out the command module box which is what you use to track the various resources of your titan like shields and energy and whatnot. The weapon cards have a flip side once they’ve been damaged, the flipped red side shows what you need to roll in order to get that bit of equipment functioning again. Andy described the game as one of resource management but also giant robots slugging the crap out of each other.
There are two types of module packs. The standard module cards and maniple packs. In the box set are two warlords cards, two reaver cards and two warhound cards, and knights. The maniple packs are for different formations of of titans and if you use one of these prebuilt maniples you gain some specific tactical advantage.
Then Andy revealed the AT rules pack. You get the rulebook, reference sheets, templates, sprue of counters for objectives and whatnot, dice, command terminals. Deck of strategems and objective cards. No models though. This was because the original plan for release like the old school rules releases which just had rules and people bought the models they wanted. Then the interest in the game and the decision to go plastic resulted in the decision to release the Grand Master edition.
The Grand Master edition includes everything in the rules box plus two warlord titans, six knights and sprues of buildings. Pricing was discussed generally, it was teased at Warhammer Fest. Andy said the final pricing is still being worked out. He said it will be really good value and suspects it would be like getting one warlord titan free. The release schedule is the starter sets will come out in Month 1. Reaver titans in Month 2 and Warhounds in Month 3. Lots of people were worried warhounds wouldn’t make it into the game as they weren’t shown at Warhammer Fest, but that’s not the case. Sadly, still no images of the warhounds.
Next Andy talked about Necromunda and what was shown at Warhammer Fest. Talk was about the Cawdor concept art. Since the interview the Cawdor models were shown at the UK Game Expo. The Cawdors are the most populous and religious house in Necromunda. They make arms and goods but they also scavenge in the trash not just because that’s how the house makes its money, but also because they are constantly searching for religious artifacts of the Emperor, saints, etc. They don’t believe when you die you go to some horrible place for being bad, they know they are already in a horrible place, which is why the Redemptionists want to burn the whole place down. The Cawdors they believe they are impure but the relics are worthy, which is why they wrap up their guns to protect them from their own filthiness. Which is also why they wear masks, because they aren’t worthy have having their faces seen. You can see a connection to what the genestealer cultists wear to represent the type of protective gear that common folk wear. And the nooses because they beleive they are already dead, that they are already on the other side of the noose.
More bounty hunters! The Escher bounty hunter is a former gang leader who died in the service of the house, but brought back to life with their crazy chemicals they make. Her blood is poisonous, she has throwing knives in her hair that she can poison with her own blood. She is an Escher death maiden, meaning she serves House Escher and attaches herself to gangs to further a house agenda. The guy with the shotgun is the Deserter, an Imperial Guard trooper who has gone rogue, a member of the classic Necromunda 8th Spiders. He’s a “mentor” character, not as much of a fighter but adds mentor skills of some sort. He has the overseer skill, it takes two actions but lets you activate another model in your gang for a second time. Normally only leaders can do that, but now this bounty hunter gives you the option. The last bounty hunter is an ex-Goliath, outcast because he was too smart. Too clever for a Goliath as he can tie his own shoes. Andy mentioned Cratos might be in his own pack with other bounty hunters, but the other two should be out soon. Not sure which is Cratos, I think the Imperial Guard deserter as I believe the Goliath guy comes with the sump croc.
Rules for pets are in Gang War 3. The idea is hundreds of years ago a rogue trader sold a tiny lizard puppy thing to a noble and a few years later it got big and was biting off legs of servants. They flushed it down the sewers and the Goliaths found it and now everyone has sump crocs. The original Old Three Eyes is still alive and about 30 meters long, Andy said maybe some day that model would come out. Would be awesome!
Weapon packs! Orlocks are the next one out. Van Saar weapon packs are coming as well, however they are the first gang that has all the rules already included in Gang War. The rest of the houses have them as pdfs from Forge World and then in Gang War 3 expanded house lists and trading posts.
Shifting gears to Blood Bowl, the human booster pack is actually happening! The reasoning Andy gave for the composition of 2x blitzers, 1x thrower and 1x catcher was that it’s universally agreed humans should have 4x blitzers total, but the jury is still out on 1-2 throwers or 2-4 catchers. Personally I feel the boosters should contain 2x catchers, the human sprue already includes 2x throwers, so if you buy the boosters you’ll have 3x … which you can’t even have on your roster. I guess you’ll be converting a thrower into a catcher? I dunno. Maybe it’s just the angles the models are photographed at they seem skinner than the plastic humans and even the blitzers seem less armored.
The alternative troll is coming too! It’s not a star player, but an alternate pose if you want a different second troll for your goblin team, or just a different one for chaos renegades, underworld or orc team. The leg he’s waving is an ogre leg, not just a human leg, so he must be pretty brutal. Andy admits to being a little over eager to show him off as he was shown last year, but don’t worry he’s still coming.
A question was asked in the chat about an orc booster which Andy said is coming. It will have 2x black orcs, 1x blitzer and 1x thrower. Now if you follow the reasoning given for the human booster, I don’t know any orc player who doesn’t start with 4x blitzers …
Dark elf pitch! It’s the deck of a corsair ship. The flip side represents the ship being caught by a massive sea monster and being dragged under. Includes some crazy optional rules for the pitch.
Dark elves are also getting team cards, the classiest dice produced Andy says. Apparently Andy really likes purple which is cool. Also Spike! Journal dark elf edition and the team. Someone asked about snotlings for Blood Bowl so Andy said of course they want to do snotlings as they had some fun rules back in 2nd edition Blood Bowl.
And then the team itself. Andy said there is a little variation in the kit including an alternate head for a line elf and hand for the witch elf in case you don’t want her looking like the villain from Temple of Doom. He called the kit the most detailed Blood Bowl team yet, and I think you can tell from the picture, the models really do look fantastic. This was the sculptor’s first plastic project and he’s done an amazing job.
Assassins couldn’t fit into the plastic kit and not everyone uses them which is why they will be a Forge World resin kit. Male and female. Will be available within a month or two of the team’s release.
Star players! Again these were all shown at Warhammer Fest. Roxanna Darknail, she has a couple options including option to hold the ball or not. One of the first minis sculpted by a new member of the team. Andy wanted her to have a serene composed face not screaming or angry. As if she was going to rip your face off without breaking a sweat.
Eldril Sidewinder, as Andy points out is a sea elf wardancer and name drops the classic Man o’ War as having rules that allowed the elf ships to have wardancers as crew. Let the hype train start for rumors of bringing back Man o’ War! You know you want to Andy … also take a minute to appreciate these lovely Man o’ War ships I did last year.
OK, back to Blood Bowl. Andy took a moment to answer a few questions from the chat. In response to a question about the Chaos Chosen pitch Andy said cards and pitches and stuff are printed by a third party, so it was an issue of them not being done in time and ready to ship according to the release date given in White Dwarf, but they will be available soon. Another chatter asked if we would see any more neoprene pitches like for the Reikland Reavers and Gouged Eye sold by Forge World (see Mike’s unboxing), Andy said perhaps, although they don’t sell as well as the cardboard pitches so they will likely continue to develop and sell those through Games Workshop. Another asked about an alternate minotaur sculpt. This was asked because when the minotaur was first unveiled it showed an alternate masked head and claw hand option. Andy said they decided to reserve this option as a potential star player. Another question posed by the chat asked if the plan is for all teams in Spike! Journal to have 10 star players and Andy said yes, that is the plan. Some of those players will be shared with other teams like Morg ‘n’ Thorg. Another asked for scenery or scoreboards for Blood Bowl. Andy said that’s something they’ve considered and thought it would be cool to do a plastic dugout, but no firm plans it sounds like.