Yesterday we kicked off our Warpath rules coverage with an article on Warpath: Firefight, and today I’m here to talk to you about Warpath itself.
Especially in recent years there are plenty of great sci-fi games on the market, and as such we decided that with Warpath we wanted to do something a little different, and not directly compete with those other games. Warpath was born out of the desire to create something aspirational and yet achievable. It’s that big exciting battle that you always built up your collection to play but rarely, if ever, actually played. Warpath makes that goal both affordable, and playable in just a few hours with abstracted rules and simple mechanics.
This sort of game isn’t for everyone of course, and I firmly believe that creating the Firefight rules was the right thing to do for those who want something a little more detailed. However who says we have to have just one set on rules? On with Warpath!
Warpath focuses on units rather than individuals, with small fire teams the base-level entity in the game. Essentially that means one statline for five figures rather than one for one, to improve the speed of play. There are still detailed choices to be made about the composition of your units, but these are restricted to the army-building stage so you don’t have to worry about them in the middle of a game. This squad focus does two things.
Firstly it focuses the player’s attention on overall strategy and tactical choice – the game is a lot more about which units to put where, which targets to shoot at which time, when to combine fire, when to split fire, and so on. It is less about the impact of each individual soldier, and takes more of a general’s view of the battlefield as opposed to a sergeant’s. This tactical decision making is reflected in the mechanics – suppression, charge reactions, the order of activations and Warpath’s Orders system are all designed to maximise tactical choice without adding complexity to the rules. Obvious choices are the bane of all games – it’s really important that the outcome of the game is directly influenced by player decisions to make those decisions feel meaningful.
Secondly, it means that the game can be more fast and dynamic, and that players can smoothly expand to bigger and bigger games without the game becoming clunky. We had the same goal with Kings of War, and we have successfully run 16,000 point games at our Open Days in just a few hours. We want to do similar things with Warpath, and recreate some truly epic battles.
Before anyone gets intimidated by the size of the game, Warpath is designed to work with forces of just 30-40 figures – the mechanics will work just as well at that size, and of course your games will be even quicker. The army selection mechanics are not fully developed yet, but we are planning that “standard” tournament-sized games will be in the 50-60 model region for elite armies like the Enforcers, with 100-150 models for horde armies such as the Plague.
Both Warpath and Firefight are perfectly valid games depending on your personal choice. Some people will only play one, and will play Firefight even on an apocalyptic scale for the cinematic experience, and others will prefer Warpath even at the smallest size for a more fast-paced strategic game. Others will start with Firefight for smaller games, and build up to Warpath for the bigger games. Whichever you prefer, I urge you to at least give both games a try – you might surprise yourself!
Look out for an updated version of the alpha rules coming soon, with all of the feedback from the community Alpha test implemented. These rules will stay in an alpha state while the alterations are tested, and we will be taking on feedback throughout the Kickstarter. Once we have everyone’s comments, we will solidify the game and go to an open beta, with plenty of time to get all of the testing done to fully balance the forces. We want to make Warpath the Kings of War of the sci-fi world, and it’s worth putting in the time to do it.
We look forward to your comments!
Remember, the Kickstarter goes live at 1:30pm BST on Monday 21st September.
Previous Articles on Warpath: