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Captain Fancypants

Warlord - the state of play

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I am new to Warlord (but certainly not to RPGs or Tabletop Wargames).

Like many I have walked away from Games Workshop since they destroyed Warhammer Fantasy and try as I might I just can't bring myself not to despise Age of Sigmar which is a pathetic attempt to emulate the success of World of Warcraft.

Off-shoot adaptation games such as Kings of War, The IXth Age or Frostgrave just don't seem to cut it for me and I'm not interested in Warmachine or Hordes.

 

And so in my meanderings I have stumbled upon Warlord which I find most intriguing, with just the right sort of balance between D&D RPG and tabletop wargame.

In doing my homework I have read both good and poor reviews of the game.

Some have exhorted Warlord with many sterling qualities, qualities which have tickled my fancy. However, some of these reports seem to be quite old.

Other, more recent, reports have explained that the popularity of Warlord is incredibly limited and that many people struggle to find a game and go elsewhere.

Joining these forums I notice the age of many of the recent posts and they have me a little worried.

 

So I wanted to get it from the horse's mouth.

How popular is Warlord these days?

Living in a capital city is it easy enough to find a game?

 

Thank you for your honest advice.

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Its a fun game and is vastly replayable. The rules tend to be straight forward.  I love the game, but unfortunately there is no support aside from models from Reaper.  Any warlord gaming is usually carried on by fans and thats about it.    

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It's a great game but, as others have pointed out, not supported and I have yet to find games locally listed. I have about six warbands, play with friends and family, and love it. It is a shame the warband builder got yanked and is not supported either any longer, as it allowed one to create army lists and then determine which miniatures to buy/paint/play...something nice for the casual gamer/painter. 

 

The major upside is, if you are OK with just playing with your current group of gamers, it's cheap to build an army, only one rule book is really needed, and the system is straight-forward but with great variety and enjoyable. I enjoy playing Warlord more than my days playing WH 40K.

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As others have indicated, it's a solid system.  But, and this is a big but, there aren't players, and there's not effort to market the game to new players. The online army builder has been taken down, and with it my favorite faction (undead pirates are always cool).  I'm not sure about convention support for the game. 

 

If someone were to ask, I'd point them towards Frostgrave or the fan-published skirmish game that is pseudo-supported by Mantic (makers of Kings of War) called "The Star-Struck City."  It's a lot like Mordheim from what I can tell.

 

You may also look at Dragon Rampant by Osprey.  It's designed for larger armies than the skirmish battles of Warlord, but smaller than the all-out war of Kings of War.  It's also completely setting-generic.

 

 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Doug's Workshop said:

As others have indicated, it's a solid system.  But, and this is a big but, there aren't players, and there's not effort to market the game to new players. The online army builder has been taken down, and with it my favorite faction (undead pirates are always cool).  I'm not sure about convention support for the game. 

 

If someone were to ask, I'd point them towards Frostgrave or the fan-published skirmish game that is pseudo-supported by Mantic (makers of Kings of War) called "The Star-Struck City."  It's a lot like Mordheim from what I can tell.

 

You may also look at Dragon Rampant by Osprey.  It's designed for larger armies than the skirmish battles of Warlord, but smaller than the all-out war of Kings of War.  It's also completely setting-generic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was unaware of this book.  This makes me very happy to see, thank you! 

 

I will also note, I like Warlord, the system itself is great.  Opponents and the lack of support is difficult.  Reaper has stated they are a miniatures company, not a game company, despite a handful of one-off gaming projects (hey, they can be gamers too!). 

 

I love how the spells were done, and I'd love to expand it (mostly by adding a Frost Giant, Pirate, and Ninja book), but it needs a dedicated player base for a gaming company to build rules and for which to sell said rules and miniatures. The other problem is some of the miniatures are out of production (sniffle.. frost giant warriors). 

 

As to other similar battle scale systems, I like Warmachine and Dragon Rampant.  Dragon Rampant is the most open in that regard, as the warbands can be huge or tiny due to how the "reduced model units" work.

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At this moment: The best way to find a game is to build two armies. Then introduce someone else to the game. 

 

Speaking of AoSkirmish or Warhammer Fantasy: there are a lot of figures from Warhammer that would have a direct cognate to a Warlord data card. 

 

I have often thought that there could be an unofficial, ersatz faction, (for Warlord), consisting of refugee figures from Warhammer. Working title / name of faction: The Marauders (ahem) from Over'Sea. 

 

Basically all the grunts would be some GW figure (particularly the orphaned ones that lost any place in their original WH army list because of an edition change) mapped to an appropriate data card. The Marauders faction would be an odd mix of types allowing former GW gamers to use old figures to try out the Warlord rules. 

 

Leader figures, IDK. Maybe some Dark Heavens collection figures (that have not previously been used for Warlord) could be dragooned into being the Sergeants, Captains, or Warlords. I think the leaders should be Reaper Figures. 

 

Marauders of the Lost Lands maybe... :poke:  

 

No idea what Reaper would think of an unofficial effort to do that. 

Edited by TGP
Added "(for Warlord)" to clarify, along with some other clarifications.
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18 hours ago, Darkmeer said:

Reaper has stated they are a miniatures company, not a game company

 

Funny, how I hear that a lot about Reaper miniatures. the last I checked miniature games are played with miniatures. It's sad that Reaper has a great game and it just stuffs on it, why should I buy Reaper miniatures when other game companies have rules and miniatures for their. games     

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Well, one way to look at it is that Reaper accomplished what they wanted with Warlord.  First edition with 10? Factions.  Second edition to fix the balance issues, along with an expansion with even more factions.  Balanced well enough that there were No run away must have lists.  They produced just about every required figure (some are currently out of print but we're available at the time.  

 

To continue, they would have to either revise the ruleset (and how often do people moan about that happening to other games) or keep creating new factions and quite possible ruin the balance.  Nothing is stopping people from playing the game.  You can still buy the rules and figures.  So from that point of view, the game is supported.

 

The only thing they aren't doing is creating more content (factions, scenarios) or running official tournaments.  It seems like they feel that the game isn't worth the effort (or need) to change and that their resources can be better spent elsewhere.  

 

Reaper is still a small company as far as number of employees go.  If they feel that they should focus on their core competency, then far be it for me to second guess them.

 

TL;DR: I see Warlord as complete.  The game is very playable and enjoyable in its current form.  It just never caught on with enough players to sustain itself.

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The continually rising material costs to produce the metal figures hasn't helped the game either. The figures were already kind of pricey, although well worth it...even the grunts are amazing sculpts, at the outset. Unless they have a large enough motivation to shift the entire line to Bones I'n not expecting any major resurgence. I for one would love to see Warlord figures in Bones with three per blister. 

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5 hours ago, Andrewithasword said:

 

Funny, how I hear that a lot about Reaper miniatures. the last I checked miniature games are played with miniatures. It's sad that Reaper has a great game and it just stuffs on it, why should I buy Reaper miniatures when other game companies have rules and miniatures for their. games     

 

1 hour ago, Dilvish the Deliverer said:

Well, one way to look at it is that Reaper accomplished what they wanted with Warlord.  First edition with 10? Factions.  Second edition to fix the balance issues, alone with an expansion with even more factions.  Balanced well enough that there were No run away must have lists.  They produced just about every required figure (some are currently out of print but we're available at the time.  

 

To continue, they would have to either revise the ruleset (and how often do people moan about that happening to other games) or keep creating new factions and quite possible ruin the balance.  Nothing is stopping people from playing the game.  You can still buy the rules and figures.  So from that point of view, the game is supported.

 

The only thing they aren't doing is creating more content (factions, scenarios) or running official tournaments.  It seems like they feel that the game isn't worth the effort (or need) to change and that their resources can be better spent elsewhere.  

 

Reaper is still a small company as far as number of employees go.  If they feel that they should focus on their core competency, then far be it for me to second guess them.

 

TL;DR: I see Warlord as complete.  The game is very playable and enjoyable in its current form.  It just never caught on with enough players to sustain itself.

 

I think both of these points are valid. 

 

Andrewithasword:  The biggest thing about Reaper is that, at the time, they were creating miniatures for games that didn't have their own official line.  D&D did not since the Ral Partha days (plus 25th anniversary and the failed Chainmail experiment, despite quality miniatures), but they were generic enough to use in settings/some historicals (Anhurians anyone?).  So, in a way, they filled a niche that wasn't being filled by the other companies, and they do an AMAZING job with it. 

 

Dilvish:  I also think your assessment is correct about the ruleset.  It is complete.  I just wish they had expanded to the other giants, especially with the success of the Bones line (and the loss of the two Frost Giant Warrior models with the loss of the P-65 line).  I'd have loved to have seen the Fire Giants in a more "tropical" part of the world. 

 

And, as I'm typing this:  Sergeant_Crunch:  I completely agree about the metals pricing.  I'd love to see the Warlord line in bones, even more if the line were more rigid.  Grunts at 3-5 per blister would be perfect (3 would be normal based on Chronoscape). Heck, I'd probably buy into all the factions simply because the minis would be totally worth it IMO.

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It should also be noted that the past few months has seen a bit of resurgence in this section of the forums. It might not mean much but I find it worth noting.

Edited by EvilJames
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6 hours ago, Andrewithasword said:

 

... why should I buy Reaper miniatures when other game companies have rules and miniatures for their. games     

 

Me, I buy Warlord figures not for the Warlord game but because they are fun, well-sculpted, full of character, interesting, and reasonably priced.  I use them for other game play and I like them.

 

However, it's perfectly reasonable if you or anyone else prefers to buy other minis for other games with more active communities.

 

It's best to go with your heart and get figures you will be happy with.

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I think that a huge problem is that the gaming market in general is pretty crowded.  It would take a pretty big push to get Warlord going again and a lot of effort to keep it going.  Perhaps the best chance would be spinning the game off like they did with CAV.   Still the best chance might not be that high.

 

I agree that Bones models would be interesting.  

 

 

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