Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Edge of the Abyss - First Impressions

Greetings!

I have just received my copy of Edge of the Abyss - a Summer Campaign in the world of Mantica for the game of Kings of War. 

It was greatly anticipated as it is the very first global campaign for Kings of War and I personally hope it will attract a lot of attention from the players all over the world.

One of the advantages of being on a sick leave is that you may have a bit of time to read. I was glad then I got the book I was waiting for now and I started reading it immediately. 

I decided to use the short periods of time I could sit and write to provide a bit of first impressions on what I have read. 

Although quite a lot is already known there are also parts that I was not aware of and would like to mention. I don't plan to give exact details though. I don't want to spoil all of it before you read the book by yourself! :)


Edge of the Abyss - What is it?

In short, Edge of the Abyss is a campaign that is  going to take between 21st August and 30th September and that aims at developing the narrative of the world of Mantica. It is designed so that the results of battles played by players all over the world will have an impact on the future shape of the world. 

In order to play battles during the campaign you need a copy of the campaign book that you may order online as hard copy:


or in digital version:


The books is going to available from other sources too but I mentioned the above online options simply because this is how I ordered mine. 

There are already quite a number of the good articles on manticblog about the campaign and I would recommend starting with the following two:



Edge of the Abyss - What's in the book?

The book is 64 pages thick and contains some narrative to explain what is happening in the world of Mantica. Some of the stories are more general, some are from the perspective of the factions represented in the book. Fourteen of the armies have the pages dedicated to their heroes, units and formations. 

There is, of course, a description on how the factions are going to align in this campaign. There are only two sides, Good and Evil and while for some of them it is obvious which side they are going to support it was interesting to see how others are being considered. I can only say that Neutral armies are not Neutral for the purpose of campaign and one evil faction is actually fighting on the Good side!

There are seven scenarios in total or rather seven battles described in the book. Six of them are meant to be one on one games but the final battle is designed for a multiplayer encounter. 

In addition, there is an information how players can submit the results of their battles in order to participate in the campaign and shape up the future of the Mantica.

Edge of the Abyss - New Heroes and Units!

As it was announced here: Edge of the Abyss - New Heroes!

the factions that are represented in the book get new heroes to be used in the campaign. Some of them got new miniatures already! I am not sure what are the further plans for the release of the new miniatures for each army but those that were already showcased look really, really good!

ECKTER (PLACODERM DEFENDER)

Each of the represented faction gets new units too! These are very often retinues of the above mentioned heroes so while you may have only one of each I am sure they will bring more character to the armies and would personalize the games nicely. 

The new units look to me as the existing units in the factions with additional abilities. I think it is a good approach as with a single unit of its kind it will not unbalance the army. While basing the new unit on the existing one should make it easier to assess their abilities both by the player who uses them and the one who is going to face them.

Edge of the Abyss - Formations!

Formations is another interesting addition to the campaign and at this stage they are planned to be used for that purpose only. Basically, formation is the group of specific units and sometimes heroes where you pay extra point cost for an additional ability. For example, in the case of the Elven Kindred Borderguard you have 2 Tallspears Regiments, 2 Archers Troops and 1 Elf Prince that for additional point cost gain Vanguard special rule. 
 
Two Elven formations.
 

You can have a look at some of the formations here: Edge of the Abyss - Formations

I think it is a brilliant idea to add some variety to the existing armies and to promote less popular units too. Although I personally don't plan on using them (mainly due to the fact that I would need to change my painting plans!) but I am very curious about choices other players are going to make.

Here are the factions represented in the book and that receive new heroes, units and formations for the duration of the campaign: Abyssal Dwarfs, Basilea, Dwarfs, Elves, Empire of Dust, Forces of the Abyss, Forces of Nature, Goblins, Ogres, Orcs, Salamanders, The Trident Realms of Neretica, Undead and Varangur.

I don't know what are the plans for other factions at the moment but I hope there is a role for them to play too. 

Edge of the Abyss - Battles
 
There are seven battles described in the book, each taking place in seven different locations in the world of Mantica. If you want to check where they are going to be fought and what may be at stake, here are the names:
 
1. The Edges of the Abyss
2. Rhyn Dufarris
3. Hokh-man (Serpent Mouth)
4. Twilight Glades
5. Ardovikian Plains
6. Forest of Galahir
 
They are also described as being in chronological order but at the same time one can play them in any order. My assumption is that they will be played in each week of the campaign but this is just a guess. 
 
The last game is meant to be multi-player one when the all forces of Good and Evil gather for the final  battle. While the results of the previous games have certain consequences for the narrative, it does not seem that they are going to affect the conditions in which the last battle is going to be played. 

Each battle has a scenario assigned to it and it may have additional rules too. For example, one of them treats terrain pieces as objectives!
 
Edge of the Abyss - How to Participate?

First of all, check your local store, club and group of gaming buddies. I know that our fantastic tournament organizers are already planning to play games in the settings of the campaign:
 
 
If you like to play online on Universal Battle then I have just noticed that some players are organizing themselves on this FB group:
 
 
In any case you can post the results of individual games too but we need to wait until official start of the campaign to see how it is done in detail. At this stage it is only known that Beast of War is going to host the campaign and collect the results. 
 
Edge of the Abyss - My Plans
 
I really hope that I will have time to play as I am very interested in how the narrative is going to develop. What is more, I also hope that this campaign will help players to find new enthusiasm in playing this game and that the number of followers will keep growing! 
 
My plan is to keep painting my units so that every time I play I should have some more to add and make the army look nicer. 
 
Ideal would be to play once a week with the rest of the ACT players and if I could add a game or two on Universal Battle that would be absolutely fantastic! 
 
And last but not least the campaign may help me to find some inspiration for some stories for the Outcasts and their new journey in the Mantic world!

4 comments:

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    1. It does! I am really looking forward to it.

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  2. Hope you enjoy the campaign! Lots of hobby progress on the way now, I hope!

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