I was only able to make it to the Sunday event, but I did speak with a few folk from GW, Steelsky and Cubicle 7 about goings on in the worlds of Warhammer Underworlds, WU Online, and Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, both 4th edition and Age of Sigmar.
Predictably, I wasn’t able to squeeze any new information about the next season of WU out of the developers, but I did get a few insights into the design process.
- They get the models first – GW develop the models for the warbands first and the WU developers have to come up with rules based on what they get. They mentioned that if they were asked to work with a seven-man stormcast unit, they’d question it, but they’d ultimately have to work something out (in this case by making all the faction cards trash and giving them horrific inspire conditions!)
- It’s not a given that Stormcast will be in the next season (but I’d be surprised if there weren’t!)
- They work on all the cards for a season at the same time, both faction and universal, and then work on a release schedule afterwards.
- They’ve done a lot more playtesting for the next edition – they’re not expecting any warbands to be head and shoulders above the rest (they specifically pointed to Stormsire and the Briar Queen as a bit overpowered this season).
- I thought I’d got a scoop when I found some unpainted Stormcast made from a golden plastic in a modelling showcase, but they were from a different thing altogether. Interestingly, the developers said they had worked on rules for them, but they were too overpowered for WU, and they couldn’t make them work so they were ultimately rejected.
- They are working on improving the consistency of card wording. For example, cards with ‘push one hex’ or ‘push up to one hex’ will be the same, whatever form of words they choose.
Warhammer Underworlds Online
I had a quick go on the demo against a bot opponent. Firstly, the AI wasn’t the brightest; they kept using power cards, even if they weren’t useful to them. Secondly, I wanted to cancel a command so I pressed escape to do so – this sent me back out to the lobby! Bear in mind that this is pre-alpha and these were known bugs/behaviour.
Given these two issues, it was really satisfying to play. The animations were good, the UI was really pretty, and it felt like a game of tabletop WU. I’m really excited for this now. The guys on the booth were real troopers too; they’d flown in from Australia and had had very little sleep before being flung into the Fest.
Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay – 4th Edition and AoS
The seminar about the Warhammer roleplaying games was particularly cool for an old fogey like me. I’ve been playing WFRP since 1st edition, so I was really excited by the direction Cubicle 7 are taking.
For Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 4th Edition, they are redeveloping The Empire Within campaign with one of the original writers, Graeme Davis. They are adding what they call Grognard’s boxes to the campaign that subtly change details of the story so that players that have played through the original campaign will still be surprised by the story.
They are also changing the ending! Graeme Davis didn’t work on the last two books of the campaign first time round and he had differing ideas about where the campaign would have ended. Cubicle 7 are taking his original ideas and running with them instead.
They are also expanding the material available to the GM through sourcebooks detailing the world outside the Empire. Albion and Ulthuan were specifically mentioned in the seminar. Also, The Enemy Within campaign will also have additional stand-alone sourcebooks with information to allow you to play in the campaign areas without following the campaign story.
I enjoyed the seminar so much, I went and bought the main rulebook about ten minutes after it finished…
The Age of Sigmar RPG will use a different system to 4th edition. The artwork looks gorgeous and they are planning to detail more of the mundane aspects of the setting. This is to allow players to experience a fully realised RPG experience.
They are using a career system like 4th edition, but using the ranks and archetypes found in AoS.
Age of Sigmar Champions
I had a very quick demo of this in the morning and Play Fusion also delivered a quick presentation during the RPG and card game seminar.
I have mixed feelings, the card game seemed interesting, but the digital version is a bit too monetised for my tastes. Still, they did give us a free booster pack, so it wasn’t a complete waste…
Upcoming card sets include Zarbag’s Gitz and the Eyes of the Nine, so they do tie in nicely with Warhammer Underworlds!
All in all a fascinating day. Thanks to all the folk who answered my questions, no matter how inane. Next year I’ll be there on the Saturday too, I hope!