Privateer Press began in the gaming industry in 2001, creating the Iron Kingdoms campaign setting for the third edition of Dungeons & Dragons. Their first trilogy of adventures in this steampunk-themed fantasy setting received Ennies for “Best World” and “Best Art.” That began a series of roleplaying supplements for their setting … and that setting evolved into the basis of the miniature wargame Warmachine, for which they are now best known. They eventually published a new edition of their game, built around their own gaming ruleset, rather than using Dungeons & Dragons as the mechanical basis of the game.
Their big announcements every year come out earlier in the summer than Gen Con, at their own Lock & Load convention. This year, the convention was of course remote, but they still had a lot of announcements … including that they were releasing a new edition of Iron Kingdoms, which would return to using Dungeons & Dragons as the rule system, although this time the game would be 5E compatible. The game, called Iron Kingdoms: Requiem, is being funded and initially released via Kickstarter, though the date for when that will start hasn’t yet been announced.
Back in February, I talked about the massive setting changes that are taking place in the Iron Kingdoms setting this year. The Requiem setting is built in the aftermath of the Oblivion campaign. The nations have somewhat of a truce developed, having joined forces to battle the major threat of the Infernals that was introduced in that campaign. And Warmachine will also be continuing its evolution through 2021, with new models coming out and the storyline progressing… no doubt in ways that resonate with their Requiem releases.
If you want the information about all of Privateer’s upcoming products at once, the Lock & Load Keynote Stream is available on YouTube. Here is a list of all of Privateer Press’s Gen Con Online events over the next few days, and it includes a YouTube that will be entirely focused on the developers talking about Requiem … so maybe the date of the Kickstarter will get announced then.
Before I go into some of their other game announcements, I’ll take a moment to throw a shout out to their kaiju game Monsterpocalypse. I’ll be honest in saying that I’ve never played this game, though I have watched games unfold at conventions. It looks like a lot of fun, but you have to draw the line somewhere. (Or so my wife tells me.) So I figured it was good to declare one product line at Privateer Press that I won’t become obsessed with, and Monsterpocalypse is that line. But they do have some really impressive things lined up for Monsterpocalypse, such as the alternate universe human invaders of the Zerkalo Bloc and the unfathomable Masters of the 8th Dimension faction, so that’s definitely worth looking into for people who want to decimate cityscapes with giant monsters.
For years, my main Warmachine faction has been Cygnar. This faction is a sort of British Empire style law-and-order kingdom. The closest thing to the “good guys” in Warmachine (although even that classification would, obviously, be contested by those who find their form of law and order oppressive). One thing that I loved about them was their engineer teams, which included a group of gobbers (the Iron Kingdoms name for goblins) who repair the warjacks. The idea of these gobbers banging on the massive warjacks with wrenches, getting them to sputter back into operation, is something I’ve always found charming. Ever since I first encountered this aspect of the game, I wanted a model that had a goblin riding a warjack. I have been advocating for this off and on for about 15 years.
And now, thanks to Riot Quest, it exists.
Malvin & Mayhem (Privateer Press) are a recent expansion for Riot Quest (Privateer, Amazon), introducing a cooperative mode to the game. In this alternate version of the game, everyone is teaming up against them in a Boss Fight mode. Or, alternately, a player can use Malvin & Mayhem as one of the members of their own crew in a regular Riot Quest game. The model comes with two different cards, since there are different rules for the character in each
Malvin & Mayhem isn’t the first model release that has also modified the play of the game. The gremlin-shooting Weird Wendell (Privateer, Amazon) provides a different set of Bounty cards and Flugwug the Filcher (Privateer, Amazon) comes with a new set of Treasure cards.
These models are all part of the first season of Riot Quest, the “Mayhem” season. The next season is called “Wintertime Wasteland.” The Kickstarter for it began with Lock & Load … but I’m sorry to say that at the time of this posting it has already completed! The last half hour or so of the Lock & Load Keynote Stream video goes through all of the models slated to be released as part of the Kickstarter, if you’re interested, but it’s too late to back them. Unfortunately, I hadn’t realized that the Kickstarter was only running for two weeks. Apologies for dropping the ball on this one. However, the Kickstarter webpage does have all of the promotional material, and contains a wealth of material about the models that are coming out … so if you’ve already begun playing Riot Quest and are looking to see what is slated for the coming months, it’s still a great place to get that information. Wintertime Wasteland is scheduled for a December fulfillment of the Kickstarter, so I think it’s likely that it will be available for sale to the general public in early 2021, with the subsequent expansion models available throughout the year.
Back in March, I posted about the Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign for Privateer Press’s newest game, Warcaster: Neo-Mechanika. This new science fantasy game mixes thematic elements familiar to Warmachine fans with a different game design, setting, and team designs that include swappable weapons on the warjacks.
As a supporter of the campaign, I received my copy of the game last week and have played through a skirmish game to learn the basic rules. I’m going to hold off for a few more games to do a full review of this game, when it is available for anyone to buy. What I will say that I really like about this game, aside from the aesthetics of the models, is that it’s an extremely fluid game. Part of the premise of the game is that you are constantly recalling units by teleporting them off the battlefield, and you can summon new models into the battlefield through void gates. If a unit is destroyed, it (or a replacement, I suppose) can be summoned back through the void gates as well. I knew this from the information provided in the Kickstarter, but playing it out – even with a particularly small skirmish force – makes it clear how this can be applied tactically to really keep the players on their toes.
You can also learn more about the basics of the game through the Warcaster website if you can’t wait for my full review.
Also of Interest:
- Gen Con 2020 Online
- Privateer Press Lock & Load 2020 Keynote Stream
- Evolution of the Iron Kingdoms
- Tabletop Looting in Riot Quest
- Privateer Press’s Warcaster on Kickstarter