Insider 05-10-2016

When we started talking about the new editions, one of the first things we did was conduct a big no-holds-barred brainstorming session. Prior to this, these sessions centered on generating ideas about the next batch of models for an upcoming expansion book. This time, however, the scope was much broader; this time, we got to throw out each and every idea we had on how to make the new editions of WARMACHINE and HORDES the best experiences yet.

Personally, I love brainstorming sessions because, despite their twists, turns, and strange tangents, they inevitably lead to incredible conversations that oftentimes then lead to an exciting new idea or direction. It was during one of these sessions that someone asked: “What if we could dynamically update game balance as needed?”

Of course, not a single person in the room hadn’t talked about this possibility before—the possibility of being able to actually dive in and dynamically rebalance certain models or rules as needed to keep the play environment as fun and tuned as possible. To any tabletop game developer, such an idea is like the Holy Grail.

“But how would we do it?”

That one question became the burning focus of all our discussions for the rest of the afternoon. Ideas were thrown out, debated, and analyzed with the utmost scrutiny. The advent of War Room and the offer of various books digitally had already made dynamic errata updates to the cards and model entries possible; in fact, we had been doing it for nearly half of Mk II. Yet we also knew that while digital had made this process accessible and easy for some, the games still very much existed in a physical space. Our primary goal for the new editions was to make them as universally accessible as possible. Thus, we knew we could not simply limit the ability to play to those who had the digital tools.

Throughout Mk I and Mk II, we had relied on errata documents to track changes to the rules and cards when required. To truly realize dynamic updates in the way we envisioned, however, we knew relying on such a document alone would inevitably become too cumbersome for the game experience we wanted. As such, whatever solution we came up with had to have a way to update the physical cards on a regular basis.

After many more months of discussion and careful consideration of how we could best handle dynamic updates in the new editions, we settled on the following, which is called out at the beginning of Prime and Primal.

It is our goal to provide you the best, most entertaining experience possible when playing a game of WARMACHINE or HORDES. To best achieve this goal, we may update model entries and rules to maintain balance in the game as it continues to evolve and grow. We will publish any such updates online semiannually at privateerpress.com/errata. Additionally, these changes will automatically be applied in War Room, the digital companion app for WARMACHINE and HORDES, ensuring users will always have the most up-to- date cards and rules information on their digital devices.

In addition to the downloadable reference documents and War Room updates, annually we will release a physical update pack containing updated versions of the cards that were affected by the previous year’s adjustments. Models that have been updated in this way will be listed on our website at privateerpress.com/errata. In order to make card versions easily identifiable, each stat card contains the year and version number and is marked with a color specific to that year. This will enable players in an official event setting to quickly and easily confirm the cards they are using are the most current versions by cross-referencing them with the stat card version sheet found at the front of the errata document.

We highly recommend that you visit this site regularly to ensure you are using the current version of a model’s rules and enjoying the best possible WARMACHINE and HORDES experience.

Now, let me call out something really important here. You’ll see above that it says, “…we may update model entries and rules….” Dynamic updates are something we only want to use when absolutely necessary. We won’t be using this new system arbitrarily. It is, and always will be, our goal to have everything we create for the games be the best it can possibly be from the get-go to ensure the games remain the most enjoyable and fun experiences possible. However, the new system not only gives us a way to address things when absolutely necessary for the health and overall enjoyment of the games, it also gives us a way to better present necessary errata (note that when I say “errata,” I mean non-balance related rules adjustments) for both veteran and new players by giving us a standard system for updating the physical cards for those who prefer to use them alongside the more easily updated digital cards in War Room as has been standard for errata updated in Mk II.

In the end, no matter how you like your information, the new editions’ dynamic update system will make sure you have regular and easy access to all the latest rules and errata while providing an exciting new tool to maintain the games’ unstoppable momentum.