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Saturday, 2 December 2017

Warcradle introduce the Dystopian Age

Well, it's perhaps slightly coincidental that I manage to post on the blog only just to find out there's another reason for me to write moments later! Here's why;

Yes, Warcradle are "rebooting" the DW universe and integrating their existing WWX universe into it.

Now, there's been a mixed reaction to this, but for the life of me I can't really see why. I mean, two steampunkesque universes sold by the same company, who would have thought they'd merge them? For me, it makes perfect sense - it's exactly what I'd have done in the same situation. Now you have a scalable set of games (1:1200 fleet, 10mm  army and 32mm skirmish) all under the same roof. They have reasonable explanations of the differences apparent in WWX to the other SG-origin franchises. It seems to make good sense.

The other point to me is that Warcradle are doing two things here that Spartan were never good at;

1) They are world building on a grand scale.

For those who didn't know Neil at SG, DW was his baby, and it was his ideas, background (though often written by freelancers) and alterations - he talked them through sometimes, but essentially it was not a discussion, and there was never any grand over-arching strategy to the world, it was more what models could be made, so what games were needed and how did that fit it. To me it seems Warcradle are approaching it from the other direction, and building out the universe with an integrated team (always better) and fitting the games to that universe. This is what I think is the best way of creating seamless integrated games, and allowing a smooth flow and choice for players.

2) They are engaging the community and communicating effectively.

Warcradle have released a 20-odd minute long video explaining what they're doing, why they're doing it, explaining that they're not invalidating people's old armies for AC with scale change, promised clear PDFs and they're hosting a QnA session in a week's time. Oh, and they showed concept sketches and new models too. What more can people ask for??

Now I get it, right - some people are attached to the background as it is, and feel there are substantial differences, but Warcradle has made definite business decisions here in a planned way, and they're handling it as well as I've seen any company do this kind of thing. I'm not sure how they could have done this better other than preserve the settings in aspic, which helps no-one.

I think it's way too soon for anyone to cry "the sky is falling". From a business perspective, this seems an obvious move. It creates an integrated universe which could result in cross-pollination between two sets of steampunk games players. It's a "no-brainer". They're being open about it and up-front before they roll the changes out, and people are shooting it down before anything is released...come on guys, even I'm not THAT cynical!

Maybe it will be a clusterfuck, but give it a chance. Now some will think I'm being hypocritical here - "you wouldn't have cut SG that slack" I hear you cry...well, no, I wouldn't, but that's because SG retconned their own thin material several times and had a track record of messing stuff like this up. Here we have a new company rolling out something after a track record of pretty sensible and creative changes. Not everyone might like 100% of it, but maybe - just maybe - the changes will be positive and work well. If I were a DW player, I'd be quite excited.

Now I mentioned they showed some concept art, and here it is, this one of a really interesting ship with a whale launcher!;

And here are three versions of the whale construct;

They also showed some renders (in spin-around 3D) of three battleships for the Crown, Union and Celestials...

Not only that, but they showed us physical models - the first of the Union Battleship shown above;

This is a beast of a ship, but it retains many elements true to the original Spartan theme of the FSA. The last models shown were from Armoured Clash, and incorporated both DW and WWX elements;

Honestly, if Warcradle handle the Firestorm universe with half as much integrity and openness, it's looking to be a bright future for Armada and Planetfall in 2018. Let's see what next Friday brings!

Take a look at the video for a full explanation - it's well worth watching.

Note all images are taken from the video, and remain copyright of the original material.

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