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How many factions are required for this game to succeed?

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For now we have The Daqan Lords and Waiqar the Undying. Almost everybody seems to agree, that only two different factions is a major problem for the game, in order to succeed.

Most people also expect that The Uthuk Y'Llan and The Latari Elves to show up as factions. While some (but far from everybody) beleives that Dwarves of Dunwarr and Orcs of the Broken Plains could show up. Only a very few people expect anything beyound this.

So we are looking at a miniatures wargame with 4-6 armies (assumption), is this really sufficient?

I would personally believe it should be in the 8-10 range (in time). But maybe I am spoiled by my Warhammer background (15 years ago).

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Other minis games do just fine with 6 factions long-term, I wouldn't see any problem if that's where they stopped.  Warhammer has always had more than average.  I'd regard four as the minimum necessary to have enough variety.  The downside of more factions is that there's only so much developer time to go around.  More factions generally means slower releases for each faction and/or less finely tuned balance depending on where you want to cut your corners.

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Why does a rank and file game need so many? They can keep releasing content for just 2 or 3 and it should keep selling if people like the system. X wing sells like hot cakes, best selling game in fact, and it is only 3 and was only 2 for half of its lifespan to date.

This game looks really interesting and fun and I'm just curious about the "If it doesn't have at least X more factions than we've seen, it's dead in arrival" attitude.

Hope I don't sounds judgmental or anything, add that's not the purpose. In genuinely curious.

Edited by Engine25

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Why does a rank and file game need so many? They can keep releasing content for just 2 or 3 and it should keep selling if people like the system. X wing sells like hot cakes, best selling game in fact, and it is only 3 and was only 2 for half of its lifespan to date.

This game looks really interesting and fun and I'm just curious about the "If it doesn't have at least X more factions than we've seen, it's dead in arrival" attitude.

Hope I don't sounds judgmental or anything, add that's not the purpose. In genuinely curious.

Rank and file miniatures games rely on a heavy sense of faction identity. You spend a lot of time painting and creating your armies, and for longevity it helps if you have a faction that you love, with added fluff to ensure there's even some factions you hate. You have a better chance of drawing more players in when you have a large variety of interesting factions so people can find one they enjoy.

X-Wing wouldn't be the best selling miniatures game if it wasn't Star Wars. People in the forum have been arguing against that, but it's a decent game with a board game distribution model, if it had been Space Wars with a generic science fiction universe tacked on it with two factions, there's no way it'd have done as well.

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Why does a rank and file game need so many? They can keep releasing content for just 2 or 3 and it should keep selling if people like the system. X wing sells like hot cakes, best selling game in fact, and it is only 3 and was only 2 for half of its lifespan to date.

This game looks really interesting and fun and I'm just curious about the "If it doesn't have at least X more factions than we've seen, it's dead in arrival" attitude.

Hope I don't sounds judgmental or anything, add that's not the purpose. In genuinely curious.

Rank and file miniatures games rely on a heavy sense of faction identity. You spend a lot of time painting and creating your armies, and for longevity it helps if you have a faction that you love, with added fluff to ensure there's even some factions you hate. You have a better chance of drawing more players in when you have a large variety of interesting factions so people can find one they enjoy.

X-Wing wouldn't be the best selling miniatures game if it wasn't Star Wars. People in the forum have been arguing against that, but it's a decent game with a board game distribution model, if it had been Space Wars with a generic science fiction universe tacked on it with two factions, there's no way it'd have done as well.

That makes sense I suppose, but, and correct me if I'm wrong, shouldn't every faction essentially have every type of unit, with their own spin on each? For example, every faction should have hero units, but maybe one factions heroes are more support and another are mostly straight brawlers. And all factions have some sort of mounted cavalry, but one is horse archers with ranged attacks and another is mounted spiders with melee and poison/debuffs. Or something.

I don't know, I would just think it'd be better to have fewer well developed factions that constantly receive content than a bunch what are each relegated to just a few releases and then the developers move on.

I am definitely interested in this game though ,more than I have ever been for a R&F style game. The demos I've seen are really interesting. Going to try it out whatever form it takes.

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Why does a rank and file game need so many? They can keep releasing content for just 2 or 3 and it should keep selling if people like the system. X wing sells like hot cakes, best selling game in fact, and it is only 3 and was only 2 for half of its lifespan to date.

This game looks really interesting and fun and I'm just curious about the "If it doesn't have at least X more factions than we've seen, it's dead in arrival" attitude.

Hope I don't sounds judgmental or anything, add that's not the purpose. In genuinely curious.

Rank and file miniatures games rely on a heavy sense of faction identity. You spend a lot of time painting and creating your armies, and for longevity it helps if you have a faction that you love, with added fluff to ensure there's even some factions you hate. You have a better chance of drawing more players in when you have a large variety of interesting factions so people can find one they enjoy.

X-Wing wouldn't be the best selling miniatures game if it wasn't Star Wars. People in the forum have been arguing against that, but it's a decent game with a board game distribution model, if it had been Space Wars with a generic science fiction universe tacked on it with two factions, there's no way it'd have done as well.

That makes sense I suppose, but, and correct me if I'm wrong, shouldn't every faction essentially have every type of unit, with their own spin on each? For example, every faction should have hero units, but maybe one factions heroes are more support and another are mostly straight brawlers. And all factions have some sort of mounted cavalry, but one is horse archers with ranged attacks and another is mounted spiders with melee and poison/debuffs. Or something.

I don't know, I would just think it'd be better to have fewer well developed factions that constantly receive content than a bunch what are each relegated to just a few releases and then the developers move on.

I am definitely interested in this game though ,more than I have ever been for a R&F style game. The demos I've seen are really interesting. Going to try it out whatever form it takes.

Factions do tend to have the same types but those types tend to behave differently and be more or less effective depending on the faction. In 40k for instance, there are numerous chapters of Space Marines with a different history for each chapter and their units can behave vastly differently despite sometimes even drawing from the same model pool. Dark Angels are incredible ranged combatants, whereas Blood Angels are more melee assault, etc. Eldar are heavily vehicle based, Tyranids use a lot of swarm tactics, Orks are hilarious. The faction identity is the back story and personality but that also has a mechanic effect in how that faction plays. Rank and file games almost have an RPG element when it comes to identity.

I'd like to try RuneWars, but the two starting factions don't really do anything for me, so I'll probably hold out for Elves. Likewise I skipped X-Wing due to the board game distribution model; I wanted to be an Imperial player, and had no interest in collecting Rebel ships.

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I don't know, I would just think it'd be better to have fewer well developed factions that constantly receive content than a bunch what are each relegated to just a few releases and then the developers move on.

In the short term, right after release, you are right. It's better for the game to have a small number of robust, fully developed factions ready to go. In the long term, the fewer factions there are, the faster the designers will run out of design space for those factions. The latest waves for x-wing highlight this, there are several new mechanics that have been announced that really feel like they were invented to give the designers so eyhing new to work with, rather than because they filled a void in game play.

I get the sense from your pists, Engine, that your envisioning a faction coming out, getting lots of attention for a year or so, and then getting relegated to the back shelf when the next hotness is released. That's less a feature of lots of factions and more of GW doing factions badly. Done well, having a dozen factions will see every faction getting regular releases. Those releases may come slower than they would if there were only 3 factions, but ultimately that prolongs the life of the game.

Plus, variety in a game doesn't just mean your own army. Having a dozen robust factions, each with multiple styles of play, means a greater diversity of opponents. If the factions are designed and balanced well.

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It should only need two. But 6 seems best to me.

 

Only 2 would be perfect for balancing but with more factions you can get more players into the game, because as was said several times the look and feel of a faction are very important to many gamers.

Edited by Iceeagle85

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For me, it depends on how diverse the factions are. Using RTS video games for example, if the factions are fairly similar in units, just with different aesthetics (like old Command and Conquer) Then you need a lot more of them since they have such minor differences. If, however, you have very different factions (like StarCraft) then I don't feel that you need as many. I would still prefer to see 4 factions at a minimum.

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I think 4-6 would be the minimum they need to have out as close to launch as possible, but I'd agree with you that 8-10 would be more ideal.

Six seems realistic. The way FFG releases stuff I shudder to think how neglected/incomplete some factions would feel. Better six, or even as little as four, that are supported, competitive, and have a full model range.

I wonder if an allies system would be a great way to introduce new units without having to do a full blown faction for everything? They could release a handful of dwarf, Orc, mercenaries, and free city units that can be taken by particular "primary" factions as allies or something.

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That makes sense I suppose, but, and correct me if I'm wrong, shouldn't every faction essentially have every type of unit, with their own spin on each? For example, every faction should have hero units, but maybe one factions heroes are more support and another are mostly straight brawlers. And all factions have some sort of mounted cavalry, but one is horse archers with ranged attacks and another is mounted spiders with melee and poison/debuffs.

 

I think your definition of "type" here is far too broad.  "Hero" isn't a type of unit.  That's almost like saying "fighter spaceship" is a type of unit in X-Wing.  You're defining it so widely that you cannot help but consider massive numbers of things to be the same type.

 

Two héros can be hugely different.  Ranged or. melee.  Fighting or support.  Fast or slow.  Tough or fragile.  Heroes that cast spells of all different sorts like attack, combat buffs and debuffs, status effects, protection, summoning, etc...

 

Same with units.  You can have two melee infantry units with very different stats, dials, and special abilities.  They will not feel the same on the table or take the same roles.  If you try to use your fast charging berserkers the same way as your super-cheap goblin tarpit unit then you're going to lose.

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According to Rune Age, rule book, their setting. We Have the Latari Elves, the Daqan Loreds (Humans), Waiqar the Undying, and the Uthuk Y'llan (Humans with Demon Blood).

 

Thais a solid 4 to start with.

 

Rune Age expansion introduces: Orc, Dwarf, and Mercenary.

 

Now were up to 7!

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Six seems realistic. The way FFG releases stuff I shudder to think how neglected/incomplete some factions would feel. Better six, or even as little as four, that are supported, competitive, and have a full model range.

I wonder if an allies system would be a great way to introduce new units without having to do a full blown faction for everything? They could release a handful of dwarf, Orc, mercenaries, and free city units that can be taken by particular "primary" factions as allies or something.

 

Two excellent points.

 

1.  Given that RuneWars is less of a "slam dunk" success compared to a more well known license like Star Wars, it makes sense to me that they will want to be conservative early on and see how things go.  So maybe fewer factions with not-too-fast releases, with the option to add more and hit the gas a little bit if it happens to become really popular?  The flip side is that these are the same factors people are evaluating when deciding to get into the game.  If you play it safe and don't announce more factions at startup then the players will take a "wait and see" stance and this can easily end up in the game never getting the popularity it could have had if FFG had just been bolder.

 

2.  Almost every traditional tabletop minis game has some sort of Mercenaries concept of neutral models that can be fielded with several or sometimes all of the normal factions.  So it's not unlikely that FFG will do this here as well because it brings good benefits.  Testing one new unit brings a new release to multiple factions.  And the more factions you have, the better the improvement on ROI you get for doing Mercs.

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I think 4's plenty to begin with. Dropfleet Commander started with 4 and didn't get a 5th faction until a couple years after launch, and was in a similar position as a relatively unknown property. I think we sort of have to realize that GW's dozen-odd factions is something of an anomaly allowed by the fact that the game and its universe is like 30 years old.

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To be RUNEWARS the miniatures game, it has to have 4 main factions. DAQAN Lords, the Latari Elves, the Uthuk Yllan and Waiqar the Undying. Otherwise it is NOT Runewars.

 

The Dwarves and Orcs are optional factions that could also be included, and likely will be if the core game is successful. Additionally, there are various neutral units and a host of monsters and such that could be drawn from all the Terrinoth Lore and other games that have introduced said creatures/factions. Like the Dragon Lords or the Lion people. (Name escapes me)

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I think 2 would work for the mean time. Dust Tactics started with just 2 blocs and went on for years before introducing a 3rd one. The ability to customize each unit, gamewise and aesthetically will compensate for diversity within the early stages of the game's lifespan.

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I would be a little surprised if this game has more than 4 factions until it has existed for awhile. Privateer Press shows the way in this regard, where they launched with 4 (and a half if you count Mercenaries). Once that was established they got 4 more (easily abbondaned if they didn't work out). and now they have 10-16, depending on how you care to count. Warhammer, before it was discontinued, had around a dozen with varying degrees of support as well.

     All that being said, there is a critical difference between Privateer Press, Games Workshop , and Fantasy Flight Games. FFG doesn't own their means of production. They contract it out after the design to a fabrication company. Factor that against the fact that Games Workshop is a Model company to the core and they STILL let entire faction lines languish utterly unsupported for entire editions of their games (I.e Dark Eldar from 2nd till 6th; Brettonia got nothing for the last 4 editions till entirely discontinued in the age of Sigmar changeover). No new models, no updated rules, not even a compatability doc to bring those factions up with newer rule sets.  

     Bottom line, Fantasy Flight is a board game company. You can see this core identity heavily reinforced in the current minatures games it supports as well as the LCG distribution model. I would not expect this game to have more than 6 factions ever, and not more than 3 or 4 for a good while.

     That being said, they are showing a different side of themselves with Destiny being a Collectable game, which they have not done for a long time.

 

Maybe I am wrong. I wager we will know one way or the other by Gencon '18 though.

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  All that being said, there is a critical difference between Privateer Press, Games Workshop , and Fantasy Flight Games. FFG doesn't own their means of production. They contract it out after the design to a fabrication company.

I have heard that FFG is starting to invest in production equipment. I don't know if that's true, and it may just mean for the cardboard components, but that us what I have heard.

Also, amusing story about privateer not owning their production facilities. Several years ago I bought a copy of Dreadball from mantic games... It included a Privateer Press Menoth Jack from Warmachine.

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