Skorne players, your long wait is over. While we would have preferred to include these changes with the general errata document that went up last month, some things are worth waiting for. However, rather than just handing you the errata document along with our developers’ notes, I wanted to take the time to write a few words about our revision efforts.
In the run-up to the release of the new editions of HORDES and WARMACHINE, we made a few mistakes. These errors were exemplified by the state of the Skorne Faction at the time of release. I won’t dwell on what went wrong, so I will provide as succinct a postmortem as I can.
In my mind, the Skorne Faction primarily suffered from a series of big changes we wanted to see made to the game as a whole. While not targeted directly at the Skorne, these adjustments compounded and had a distinct effect on how the Faction would play going forward. They were also coupled with a desire on our part to generate design space for future growth and with an unfortunate lack of time for troubleshooting. We ran out of time to double-check our work and ensure the quality of play was maintained for all the game elements that we altered.
Even beyond this, I feel the Skorne Faction was long overdue for a thorough review. During the later development of Mk II, I think we started to paint ourselves into a corner with Skorne. New model concepts started to feel a little redundant, and I don’t think we went far enough to exploit the differences between the warlocks to guarantee that each provided a distinct play experience. The Faction identity we had imposed was so clear and rigid that we seldom stepped outside of it. The situation was further exacerbated when a number of the changes we made undermined some of the well-established pillars of the Skorne play style, so that even our preconceptions about Skorne shifted in subtle and unexpected ways we did not have time to thoroughly evaluate.
So, I leaped at the opportunity when we decided the Faction required an in-depth review. Expanding our mandate, I pushed for a complete overhaul in which we would closely examine and reassess every model to ensure its place in the Faction.
In all we made nearly a hundred changes to nearly fifty models. We reevaluated virtually every warlock to make sure each had a distinct play style. We strove to make sure each warbeast was worth its point cost, and we sought to distinguish the role of every unit and solo in the Faction. While we made these adjustments and playtested them internally (with the aid of some external playtest groups), we also leaned heavily on feedback generated by our Skorne players. We owe a debt of thanks to those of you who took the time to play with your models, making the best of them and documenting your experiences as well as your thoughts for improvement. A lot of the ideas we worked from came directly from you, our community.
It is not every day you get a second chance to set the record straight, and we owed it to you not to miss the mark. And so we worked through a mountain of adjustments, second-guessed ourselves, and rechecked our work—breaking a half dozen warlocks and putting them back together again along the way. While it is unlikely every player will agree with every change, I hope we have at least succeeded in breathing new life into the ancient empire of the Skorne.