Visions in the Flames: What the Future Holds

The flames rise up and with them we see flickers of what the future holds for the game, loyal Bannermen...

Michael Shinall here, designer of A Song of Ice and Fire: Tabletop Miniatures Game, and this is the first in a series of articles going over some revamps and changes you’ll be seeing coming to the game early next year.

You may remember at the beginning of this year, with our 1.5 Updates, you saw numerous revamps across the factions to units to give them boosts and adjustments. This was handled via our website and the War Council App (highly recommended download if you haven’t already).

Many players requested physical card packs for these updates as well, and it was an item we were indeed working to create until... Well, 2020 happened. This unfortunately caused our production timetables to be moved back and become rather erratic. One item that was heavily affected by this was the updated card packs, which would have been a collection of allthe updated cards across all the factions (since the individual faction changes just weren’t numerous enough to package on their own).

By the time this specific item was ready to be moved into the general pipeline, however, we had actually set our sights on... grandeur plans... You see, since so much time had passed, we decided to further evaluate our plans. We had said previously that we planned to evaluate the state of the game on a yearly basis, and had planned to release the update pack to coincide with that... Well, the aforementioned delays in the world were going to push us right back into that year territory anyway... And we were going to release an update pack anyway... So, we decided to take the opportunity to affect things on a largerscale. The game has been out for almost three years at this point, and while we are very happy with the core system and dynamics, we have learned a lot over the course of that time-refining the system, seeing what works, what doesn’t, and how things have actually shaped up since release. Mostly, we were happy with things... But we knew some areas could be improved.

It was with that mentality that our new grand plan came into existence:

2021 will see the release of full Faction Packs for each army. This will not only give players the full opportunity to own a physical copy of everything for their faction (released up till that point), but it also allowed us to do a full pass on every individual Unit, Attachment, and Tactics card in the game. As we mentioned, we are happy with the core system and dynamics, so first and foremost we don’t want anyone to view this as some new edition of the game or anything-this was just a chance for us to do a full balance pass and consolidation across... Well, everything. It was a huge undertaking, but we are supremely satisfied with the result. As mentioned, we took this time to evaluate every-single-individual piece of the game. Every Attachment, every Unit, everything.

Now, that might seem like a scary prospect to some: “Everything is different andscary now!” but, to set expectations here - most things didn’t change. As we mentioned, we were happy with the majority of items, and the passes we did were mainly to balance some numbers and, most importantly, streamline a lot of things. It’s quite a lot to cover, so we’re going to have more articles released talking about specific points and whywe’re doing them, and their overall impact on the game. Each article will focus on its own topic, with some examples into the process and reasons for the changes.Again, usually its minor numbers tweaks, but in some cases an existing design just clashed with where we wanted things to be, so a more dedicated “revamp” had to be done. This was rare, however, but again we’ll go into the specifics in greater detail when their time comes.

Just to give some insight into these topics which you’ll be seeing in the coming time:

- Faction styles and roles (“what makes this faction cool and how can it do it better?”)

- Impact of Tactics cards and free Actions. (You gotta earn it!)

- NCUs, Attachments, and the focus of Combat Units. (Levels of power)

- Combat Math (How “killy” is “too killy”?)

- Elements of Control (Do what you want, when you want... Or not?)

-Streamlining Usage (Refining “game language”)

Those are some examples of what we’ll be covering as we move forward. Another aspect worth mentioning is that you’ll notice we’re also showcasing off a number of House Greyjoy spoilers as well. Astute readers may notice that many of the philosophies and executions of these topics are readily seen when it comes to that faction, so you can almost view them as a giant vision of things to come as well!

... Of course, we also couldn’t just leave you without some formof spoiler until our next Visions, so let’s showcase the revamped Stag Knights, who we will discuss in greater detail when we go over the combat elements overview.

Until then!

Visions in the Flames: What the Future Holds

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