Talking to Will Hungerford, Organized Play Developer at Privateer Pressand to JR Godwin, Marketing Manager of Privateer PressI had a chance to sit down with Will and JR on day 1 of LVO and asked them a few questions.LVO: Hi and thanks for taking time out today to speak with us! It’s great to talk to you.PP: Thank you!LVO: Thanks for coming to and supporting the LVO event. You must be very busy with all the conventions and tournaments so it’s great to see you. What would you say your mission here at LVO is?PP: Well that’s simple. The LVO has definitely caught the eye of Privateer Press as an established and growing tournament and gaming scene, and is becoming a premier destination for games and gaming. It just felt right to be here! Our mission here is simple – community engagement. We’re here to support the growing WMH community here at LVO!LVO: Tell us a little bit about the activity we’re seeing, as well as any changes we’re seeing from the WARMACHINE / HORDES events from last year to this year.PP: Last year we were not at LVO, but it was reported we had around 40+ entrants into the WARMACHINE / HORDES Iron Gauntlet tournament. This year, we had 64 sign-ups. Overall due to a few no-shows (sic: which is common and happens) we’re right around 52 this year. It’s clearly a growing event. Also, we have something new this year, which we’re calling “8-man scrambles”. This is a new “mini-tournament” in which we support a fast, 8 person tournament whenever 8 players are available and want to get in a small round tournament. It’s supported by Privateer Press staff and is going on now and all weekend. Will himself is playing in a scramble and it’s a lot of fun!We’re of course doing the Iron Gauntlet tournament (~52 players this year) as a War Machine Weekend Qualifier event. This is a format with 50 point lists with a painting requirement. Master’s starts tomorrow. There’s not a strict painting requirement on that format but will have many players in that as well.We’ve got international attendees as well. We’ve got players from Canada and Mexico for certain. Checking into other places as well.We’ve brought more new releases to this event than any other show. We’re seeing some amazing new resculpts and casts into resin, such as the Blackhide Wrastler & new Blind Walker multi-kit, Grand Scrutator, and the new Proteus sculpt, as well as new plastics for Steelhead Halbardiers, Grotesque Raiders and Banshee kit, and others. As well as all new models – the Grolar is real and it is right here at LVO! We also have Bloat Thrall Overseer Mobius, and he’s going to be a popular model for sure, people like him.LVO: What trends to you anticipate seeing this year in the tournament / competitive scenePP: Well as it happens with WARMACHINE & HORDES, you definitely see archetype lists. You see assassination lists, control lists, etc, and they tend to be copied, and many of them tend to do well and will probably do well here. But what we see often is that it’s the innovator lists that tend to win tournaments. The guys who do well often are on the leading edge and coming up with new combinations that haven’t been tried before.LVO: Give us some examples of some of this you’ve seen recently.PP: Well, for example, Brian White and his eLylyth list was an interesting case. Before his win at a televised match-up, it wasn’t nearly as popular. He won a game with a 1-shot assassination, and now this list and variations of it have become much more popular. Another example is JVM with his Blight Wasp list at Lock n Load last year.LVO: What do you personally like about the convention scene? What angles do you find personally engaging?PP: Well one thing I find exciting is that the models that we bring to the convention are legal to use at the convention. Normally, models aren’t legal to use in a tournament unless they have been publicly released. Things that we release at the convention itself are legal to use at that convention, and then to regular tournament gaming after its formal release. We know people will come to the convention, buy the miniature in the morning, and work all day to paint it, to be able to play it the next day. One enterprising player used coffee grounds as flocking for the base, to give homage to the “all nighter” they spent getting ready to play that new model the next day. That’s particularly exciting to see that energy here at a convention.LVO: Let’s talk about Platoons for a minute. This is a particularly exciting new development in the WARMACHINE / HORDES community and as a new play style and format gives a lot of new ways to play the game. Tell us about it.PP: Certainly. As you know, WARMACHINE / HORDES is a very deep game. We wanted to come up with something that was fast, very accessible, but at the same time applied to bigger games and was in the same familiar universe as WARMACHINE / HORDES. We came up with the idea of “platoons”. Platoons typically consists of a unit or two of infantry and a few solos, and in some cases a light warjack or war beast, and will progress over time and unlock special rules for themselves over the duration of the campaign. These platoons are veterans, that have some story behind them, which makes them really accessible to a different style of gaming.Platoons are intended to be used in a new campaign called “Company of Iron”, which will be a narrative campaign. Platoons won’t be used in tournament games, but will gain experience as part of the campaign and can be played in 50 point games as part of the campaign as well.All Company of Iron campaign games will be scenario based, much like in regular tournament WARMACHINE games. WARMACHINE scenarios and terrain are very symmetrical due to the need to be consistent and fair to each player in a tournament setting – you’ll often see that the game board is set up to be a mirror image. Company of Iron games, however, will be asymmetrical scenarios, in which each player will take on a role like “attacker” and “defender”, and they’ll all be very narrative based – “go blow up that fuel dump” or “capture that steam ship”.Company of Iron campaign games should be around 30 minutes long.LVO: That sounds incredible. So will these be played on the same size table since there’s fewer miniatures?PP: Company of Iron campaign games will be played on the same size table as normal WARMACHINE games.LVO: How about terrain? Will terrain be any different? How does that play in?PP: Company of Iron games, as part of being very narrative based, will have a concept of a “battlefield” terrain load out. A “battlefield” is separate from the scenario, and is a template for how terrain should be set up. For example, you can have a beach-head invasion terrain setup or a destroyed town set up as your games’ “battlefield”. There will be one piece of terrain in each “battlefield” that has special rules to it. For example, one battlefield will have a “frozen lake”. If a warjack gets knocked down on the frozen lake, it shatters, which can cause other models to sink into the icy waters! Another one will be snow drifts that shift each turn randomly, for example. Players can mix and match scenarios and battlefields to keep things varied, fresh, and tactically challenging.LVO: This sounds amazing. What guiding principles did you use to develop each of these platoons? How did you decide what goes into which platoon?PP: First, I started with an idea, as in, what is the main concept behind them. For example, the Cygnar Saints of Corvis, I wanted them to be hardened street fighters, going street to street and knowing instinctively how to employ urban combat. Second, we came up with formulas and a play testing process, and over time and iteration worked the right models into those constraints. For example, for the Retribution platoon, the light warjack changed several times over the iterations while we balanced what fit for that force.LVO: So with the exception of 2 platoons, they’re largely shying away from war beasts and war jacks. What was the thought process on that?PP: Regular WARMACHINE / HORDES is all about the warcaster or warlock. We wanted to really focus on the infantry and put them in the spotlight.LVO: Well that sounds great and looking forward to seeing more. As we wrap up, what would Privateer Press like to see at the end of LVO – what would you like to say you’ve accomplished and what are you looking forward to in the future?PP: We want to come away from LVO having the community know that we’re here and we support you. Our definition of success is to know that you all had a great time. This is a show that Privateer Press will attend in the future!LVO: Awesome. Ok – one last question. A fun one – what’s your favorite Warcaster / Warlock?Will: Well I have to say my first love is High Exemplar Kreoss. Now I’m getting into my love of ‘gators and getting excited about Rask.JR: I love Trolls, and I’d have to say Madrak 1!Well there you have it folks. Thank you to Will and JR and all the Privateer Press team for joining us here and supporting us at LVO!
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