Forge World Open Day 2017
Forge World Open Day 2017
For the first post on the site I thought it would be good to take a look at the recent Forge World open day I attended. Alongside some friends and future contributors we travelled from the grim Northern Wastes to the slightly less grim and more sunny Nottingham to spend a couple of days at Warhammer World. It’s a trip I have made many times and it’s always nice to see what has changed around the place and an event makes it more worthwhile still.
The Open Day had a big reveal in Necromunda as well as some slightly less impactful news but after grilling anyone I could here is the information I managed to glean.
Everyone should have seen the models for Necromunda now but if not you can see them on the official community post here. First of all I spoke with Tony Cottrell at length about the new game and the approach they were taking. Firstly we discussed how concepts and design had been started on all six of the original gangs. The Escher and Goiliath gangs were represented at the event and the indication was that these were most likely to appear in the new starter set. They were plastic and similar to the Bloodbowl models in design, so not true multipart but well designed and quite dynamic. The other four, Orlock, Cawdor, Delaque and Van Saar would follow afterwards and be accompanied by a range of booster packs and models with different weapon options. This is where the first big difference in the new version stood out to me, in the phases between games your current hangers wouldn’t go out and find new upgrades, instead if you wanted more weapon options you recruit new members. So no more cutting up your models and replacing parts, now you find someone new and add that model to your gang. Apparently this can lead to large “weekend long” games where you could have 40-50 member gangs battling it out. Now some people may point out this is a convenient way to sell more models but personally I have always enjoyed playing games were you have a roster to choose from and then possibly play a larger scale game at the end. In fact I have ran 40k and WFB campaigns using similar rules so painting a 40 model gang is no real stretch.
This however lead to the second big change and possibly one of the biggest, and for me the one which explains why the Shadow War rule set wasn’t considered. He mentioned the idea of a quick lunchtime game at work and although this was doable whilst I was a GW employee is somewhat less convenient now. However the new boxed game will be similar to Bloodbowl in that it comes with 2 games, dice, templates, rules and a board to play on. That’s right, you can play new Necromunda on a board with no scenery using a ‘2D’ rule set. This is quite a dramatic shift and is really solidifying the idea that the Specialist Games team are putting a lot of work into making the products suitable for a wide audience. How this will work and play out he wasn’t giving away but he did say a small game on a board similar in size to a Bloodbowl board should take 45-60 minutes and then as you add levels and take the game 3D the complexity and length of game will increase Personally I found this quite innovative and exciting and I’m looking forward to see how it ends up looking.
After talking to Tony I caught up with the miniature designers who were very enthusiastic about the project. Drawing from Jes Goodwins’ original designs and the vast array of artwork they are trying to keep the character of the game whilst using all of the modern sculpting techniques available. Personally I think the models speak for themselves and can’t wait to see what else turns up as the release gets nearer, I did ask about the difference in base size for the Escher and Goliaths and apparently it was solely down to the fact that the Goliaths didn’t fit on the 20mm bases the other gangers were on.
The last person I spoke to was Borja Garcia, who has been painting the new range, and he said all he thinks about is Necromunda at the moment as there is so much work being done on it, which hopefully means lots of models for you and I in a short space of time.
Overall I was a little underwhelmed when I realised Necromunda had leapfrogged Titanicus on the schedule but after talking to the team I felt quite enthused about the whole thing. Soo is the best that I could get on a release date but the logic suggests putting it up against last years Bloodbowl release in stores is the smart choice financially.
Titanicus is a game close to my heart and I was eager to find out where it was at. Recently It has been re-branded to Horus Heresy Titan Legions and been bumped to behind Necromunda in the schedule. I couldn’t get any info on mechanics but Tony did talk at length about the models stating they were of a larger scale as that allowed the team to get all of the detail from the 40k kits onto the smaller scale version. Apparently everything is there and they will be just as posable. When pushed on size it seems a Warlord will be roughly equivalent to maybe a Thanatar or Leviathan in scale and that sounds fantastic to me. There will be a huge array of weapon options harking back to the days of boarding torpedoes and flails so customisation should be easy to achieve. My instinct is that we will hear more about this at the Heresy Weekender in February, maybe even to the detriment of HH book 8. Honestly I had hopped to get more info on Titan Legions but what I did get sounded very promising.
The new Minotaur was there as part of the Mongrel Horde and is a lovely git, there were a couple of variants around in resin as well including a crab clawed version which looked very cool. There was also an Ogre holding someone’s leg which looked to be a resin conversion for the plastic kit. The next team unsurprisingly is going to be the professional Elves and the two on display looked nice and characterful. My guess is the release for these is close but they were playing it down a little to keep the focus on Necromunda.
The Neoprene pitches looked good and realistically a release of the templates individually would mean getting into Bloodbowl would be massively customisable and I would encourage GW to do so, especially as at £40 the pitches seem a touch expensive if I have to buy the boxed set to have access to the templates. The idea of a pitch mat, my team of choice, team specific dice, templates and digital rules and dugout I’d far more appealing.
Fires of Cyraxus
Well this was a disappointment. No one would talk to me about this or even confirm it even existed. The best I got was from Darren Parwood who suggested he had something on his desk but it had been there for a long time and wasn’t a priority. I also tried to find out about the final Thanatar variant which apparently “Will had talked about”. There was some new Tigersharks for the Tau which looked very clean with some weapon variants and nothing else of much interest. I was hoping for so much more in this area as I had been holding out playing 8th in the hope some of my 30k Mech army could make it across. Seems I will have a long wait on that still.
And the rest
The Khorne Lord on Dragon we have seen a few times is nearing completion, Trish said February time but as that is Heresy Weekended I’m going to hedge my bets that we see it closer to the AoS open Day in May.
The Horus Heresy stuff at the show was pretty low key, all things we had seen before and a lonely Space Wolf. Apparently all of the Space Wolf bits are pretty much good to go so we should start seeing them soon but I didn’t get to talk to the sculptors about specifics.
There was some Hobbit stuff which all looked good but nothing new that I could see.
A last note on Gothic and Mordheim, apparently all of the Specialist Games have had some preliminary design work done and Gothic looks to falling under the Horus Heresy bracket so we can look forward to seeing all the ships from the books represented at some point, a ver exciting time!
Overall I enjoyed the event, as always the team are good to talk to and very enthusiastic about the projects on show and guarded about what isn’t. Happy to talk though and share any tips or ideas they have. They seem to be getting stock levels right with only one of the Sicaran variants running out and this combined with what I imagine to be very imminent release dates should put the scalpers off.
The venue is great but the catering does struggle on the bigger events. The food takes a little and isn’t as good as when it is quiet. My one issue with this is trying to get something that isn’t a huge pile of carbohydrate, sure they may be aiming at their audience but personally there wasn’t much I wanted and specials such as the huge burgers and giant eclair seem to be encouraging a very negative mindset from the clientele, a bit of responsibility towards their younger customers wouldn’t go amiss.
And finally the one thing I want to complain about. Forge World best in show. Now I wasn’t going to enter and didn’t take a competition level piece expecting the like of Neil Hollis or Rich Gray to blow me out of the water. However after the mild controversy last year there was very few competitors so decided to put my Thanatar in. Now there is no categories so I understand my chances are low but realistically I thought it was maybe in the top 4 minimum. So judging was done by some people looking at the models in the cabinets and then the winner was announced. There was no real judging and no opportunity for feedback on my piece, unlike at a Golden Demon. In all fairness I do think the best painted model won but I was a bit disappointed to find out it had previously placed at a Golden Demon event. Personally. I don’t think you should be allowed to enter a piece once it has placed and it didn’t sit well with me that the rules were non specific on this. I really hope they look at the painting completion and get it to a point where the prestige is back and there is some reward beyond first place.
I feel like next year this will just be a Specialist Games open day to sit alongside 40k, AoS and the HH weekender. Hopefully that will fix this issue and a Specialist Golden Demon will be instigated. The non specialist or HH elements of Forge World are getting very minor and could easily be integrated into the game specific events and by then we will hopefully have another two specialist releases in play and a new one on the horizon.
If you haven’t been I would definitely recommend the trip, the fact It is a £12.50 ticket that gives you access to the museum also is a good price and it’s nice to be able to chat to the teams. The gaming looked good but it’s not my thing so I won’t comment on how it was run.
Well I hope you all enjoyed my review, if you want to chat about it further find me on any of the social media options at the top of the page or in the comments below. I’d love to know your impressions of the day and anything I missed.