Insider 10-30-2015

The New Year is fast approaching, and with it comes many questions regarding organized play events in 2016.

When does the new Steamroller drop? What is next year’s narrative league? What does Masters Season 3 ADR look like? Don’t worry. I’m going to shed some light on these inquiries and much more. Stay awhile and listen.

First let’s talk about the biggest news for organized play in 2016—the new release schedule. In the past, the new Steamroller rules (along with the new narrative league rules) would release around January of each year. Then the new Iron Gauntlet rules would be ushered in after the Iron Gauntlet World Finals at Lock & Load each June.

Since we crown our WARMACHINE & HORDES world champion and show off all kinds of awesome new products, it only makes sense that our organized play seasons will now line up with this special event as well. Lock & Load has truly become the epicenter of all things WARMACHINE & HORDES.

What this news means is that the new Steamroller, Masters, Iron Gauntlet, and…Hardcore’s replacement (we’ll get to that in a second) aren’t going to release in January of 2016. Instead they will release just after Lock & Load 2016. Our organized play seasons will now run from Lock & Load to Lock & Load with the new rules documents dropping the week after the show. A brand new Journeyman league format will drop that same week as well!

Before we move on, you may have noticed I mentioned Hardcore will be replaced. While Hardcore served as one of our three premiere competitive formats for years, we’ve listened to the community feedback and decided it’s time for something new. People have repeatedly asked for a “limited” format for WARMACHINE and HORDES, and we agree. When I say “limited” here, I specifically mean that not all models will be available during list construction.

Right after Lock & Load 2016, you’ll get your first look at our new competitive format, Champions. The main feature of this new format involves the concept of the Active Duty Roster (ADR)—a rotating cast of warcasters and warlocks that provide a benefit, known as the Vanguard, if all of your army lists are lead by ’casters on the ADR. You probably know ADR was first introduced in Masters, but Champions changes it up. In Champions you don’t get a bonus for using ADR—you MUST choose ’casters on the ADR! That means the ADR rotates constantly, giving Champions one of the fastest changing metas in all of our competitive formats.

And Hardcore’s spirit will live on. Much of it has been transferred over to Champions. For example, Champions is a fully painted format just like Hardcore was. Additionally, prizes are available for more than just first place—a player can win awards in Champions for “best painted,” “most control points scored,” and “most army points destroyed.” Keep an eye out in the future...we’ll be talking more about Champions soon.

Of course, competitive play is just one aspect of organized play in WARMACHINE and HORDES. Narrative leagues such as Machinations, Scars of Caen, or Path of Devastation are all excellent ways to enjoy the game in a fresh and interesting manner. Since our organized play season will now run from Lock & Load to Lock & Load, our narrative leagues will also run for the same time. With this change comes an exciting opportunity to run “end of league” special events each year at Lock & Load to cap off the league storyline based on how you, the players, perform at the special event. We’ve got some really big ideas for how this will play out in the future, so brace yourself for awesomeness.

Since our next full narrative league will not begin until June 2016, we have a big gap to fill for the first half of the year. So the rules and prize kits for a standalone narrative league called Company of Iron will be released around March of 2016. This league will run for six weeks and can run at any time unlike the other narrative league seasons.

Company of Iron focuses on famous (or infamous) platoons of soldiers that you can take control of to play unique Attacker/Defender scenarios in a very WWII-flavored league. Each faction gets it own unique platoon, such as Cygnar’s The Saints of Corvis or Khador’s The Fel Twelve. One of my favorite features in this upcoming league are the platoon skirmish scenarios where you don’t play with a full 50-point army, instead you play with just your platoon! That’s right. No warcaster and no warlock, just this selection of models in a small-scale skirmish battle with asymmetrical scenarios. Of course, there are normal scenarios where you play a full sized army, and in these you can bring your platoon along to join in the action.

Finally, I think it’s appropriate that we end this wall of text with some pretty pictures don’t you? Even though we’ll still be using Steamroller 2015, Hardcore 2015, Masters 2015, and Iron Gauntlet 2015 until the new organized play season starts in June, it doesn’t mean the ADR won’t rotate like normal. So check it out—here is your first look at the Masters Season 3 ADR going live this January and running through Lock & Load 2016.