7 January 2009

The Freedom To Choose

Developer Nate French sheds light on what Warpacks offer

by Nate French


One of my favorite things about the Mutant Chronicles miniatures game is its scalability. Whether you're looking to play a handful of lunch-hour skirmishes, an evening tournament at the local game store, or an epic campaign on a tremendous battlefield in your basement, Mutant Chronicles has a fomat for the occasion. A "skirmish" game can be played in 10 to 15 minutes, with about 4 or 5 figures on each side. A "tournament" game will feature between 10 and 20 figures on each side, and should last about an hour or two. And an "epic" game allows each player to field more than 100 units, and the battle can last for days, weeks, or even months. The release plan for the Mutant Chronicles miniatures game works in conjunction with the game's scalability. The first wave of Warpacks released in the fall of 2008 all come with two to four figures (most of them come with three). Also, all of the figures in any given Warpack belong to the same faction. This means that with your very first Warpack purchase, you can jump right in to the customization of the skirmish armies included in the Mutant Chronicles starter set.

If you're playing the Algeroth faction, you can immediately add some serious long distance fire-power to your army by picking up the "Gommorian Hammer" Warpack. Or you can add to your armies leadership by picking up Alakhai the Cunning and Golgotha in the "Nepharite Overlords" Warpack. If, instead, you're taking up the cause of the Capitol megacorporation, you can add some fast, shifty flying units with the "13th Banshee Division" Warpack, or you can build around the Capitol Rangers with the "Advanced Recon" Warpack. Of course, you don't have to limit your choices to Capitol and Algeroth. In Mutant Chronicles, human factions can "mix" with other human factions, so any of the Bauhaus or Brotherhood Warpacks will make for a nice addition to the Capitol forces in the starter set. And, conversely, Dark Legion factions can mix with other Dark Legion factions, so Ilian Warpacks like "Undying Legions," or "Golem of Ice" can be used alongside the Algeroth forces in the starter set. The point is that you can take your army in any direction you desire, purchasing only the units that you need for your army in the process. 


After trying out a couple different types of skirmish armies, you'll start to get a feel for the capabilities and potential of the different pieces, and you may start wondering how they'd perform in a deeper, more open-ended context. As your collection grows, the game grows with your collection, and when you have enough pieces and are ready to move on to a longer, heavier game, you can assess your collection and start constructing the tournament army of your dreams. Tournament play allows the Mutant Chronicles miniatures game to be enjoyed on an entirely new level, with numerous combinations and strategies and tactical situations that you would never see in a skirmish game. As your tournament army matures into a fine-tuned weapon, you can test that army out against other Mutant Chronicles enthusiasts at exciting oraganized play and championship events. And you can get to this point by only investing in pieces that you feel will help the overall build of your army. And what if you've collected and played several different tournament armies and still need more? That is where the epic game comes in, where you can use all of your Mutant Chronicles figures in a massive battle with ranks and ranks of pieces squaring off against one another in a conflict that makes the once daunting tournament format seem like little more than a skirmish. Epic play is not for the faint of heart... There is one final product that really brings this idea of scalability full circle, and that is new Mutant Chronicles terrain maps. A series of new full-color maps and terrain overlays that will allow Mutant Chronicles to be played on a completely customizable battlefield will be available for free download from the FFG website beginning January 12. These maps can be organized and re-organized in any possible configuration, and they also work extremely well with the game's scalability. Use two boards side by side for a quick skirmish game, or set up 6-10 boards for a tournament game, or use dozens of them for an epic confrontation. In Mutant Chronicles, the army, the battlefield, and the size and scope of the confrontation is completely under your control, and every purchase can be made with the knowledge that you are getting exactly what you need to play the game of your choice.

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