When we first approached Skybound about the Walking Dead license one of the things that excited me most was that this could be a proper wargame. There were lots of different and interesting characters, with traits and skills, all of which would make for exciting rules on the tabletop.
Our first mission when we approached the IP was to achieve two things:
- Ensure those Walkers were scary as heck, and they were central to the game experience. I think anyone who has rolled 10 (or more!!) dice for a Walker herd will testify that was goal was achieved!
- Then we wanted to allow gamers to recreate Rick and the other survivors’ journey, from Atlanta through the Greene Farm and the Prison, right up until they got to Alexandria. With wave 5 ‘Fear the Hunters’ and Rosita, Abraham and Father Gabriel et al releasing a month or so back, I’m going to call that done too!
And that means we can now look to the future and plan some seriously exciting further developments. These fall into two categories – what have we got and how do we build on that, and also what have we missed, and how do we provide it….
And it’s that thinking that has driven the next few waves of releases.
Wave 5 was the last expansion in the narrative format. We all feel that the story changes once Rick gets to Alexandria from a fight for day to day survival to one about creating a new society – and sometimes you have to fight in defence of your beliefs! This means that releasing a wave around a narrative story arc and some supporting boosters ends with wave 5 – so if you have them all you’ve got that whole narrative story arc. If you still need to pick up Wave 5, then there’s a handy bundle here. This doesn’t mean we will not be doing more story driven or solo scenarios – it just means we won’t be releasing them in big waves with multiple boosters and a big expansion box.
And this in turn frees us up to release other waves in cool, and exciting ways… such as a young Negan with his fresh-faced Lieutenants taking over the Sanctuary (well mostly his lieutenants, with Negan causing trouble and dealing immediate justice, as they all fight for Negan’s favour).
We are releasing this as a stand-alone board game, which also helps keep new people coming into the game, because of the wide appeal of the board game genre. All the miniatures (of course there are minis) are in the same scale as All Out War – so you get some minis for Negan’s faction at the same time (almost like a freebie bonus!) In fact, if you pre-order Here’s Negan you’ll get the character cards for free. Following that, we’ll eventually be making them available via Mantic Points too.
….and why exactly would you want Negan’s faction I hear you ask? Well you’ll obviously want that for the updated, hard core, game-face-on PvP book that we are currently working on to allow some good hard core competitive fighting. We feel there currently isn’t a contemporary Skirmish game – that’s not only PvP, but also everything else on the gaming table is trying to kill you too! The plan is to streamline the narrative game we currently have to allow more figures and a bigger battlefield, with new scenarios, to allow the current game to scale up, and give more scope for faction building, and synergies between the models. It’s early days yet, but so far things are moving forward rather nicely (i.e. lots of killing and death!). We talk a little bit about the new game in this video from the Mantic Open Day.
So, from today it’s all about bringing the Walking Dead’s anti-hero into the game. Please watch out for why we think this is a very cool game, and does something not really seen before in the miniatures genre. And do keep watch for all the cool plans we have to further develop both the narrative and competitive play, all the while releasing those last few characters to flesh out the full cast.
Best wishes, and please do enjoy Negan week(s)!