With the first halfling releases now available to pre-order, we spoke to Kings of War Rules Committee chairman Matt James to find out a little more about the process for creating army lists for a new faction. You can download the beta army list here.
This is the first all-new army since Northern Alliance – what’s the process when it comes to creating the rules for a new army?
We will be told by the Mantic studio team what is on the horizon, with an approximate release date. We’ll then be given some details on what units and models the army will be getting, along with some background. From there, we will all go away and have a think about what rules would be best suited to each unit, and then reconvene, typically on a call, to review the suggestions and put together a first draft, before playtesting begins.
How much does the background influence the direction of the rules?
Background has a big influence. We want to make sure that the rules match the aesthetic and background of the army as much as possible. Certain things we might have to use a bit of “artistic license” to make fit within the game mechanics, or to make the army balanced.
What are the challenges when creating the rules for a new army?
One of the big challenges is not seeing everything at the start – a lot of the models won’t have been sculpted yet, so we work on rules from their description, but then there may be a detail on a model that we weren’t expecting. The Harvester gained some rules when we saw that quite late in the process, which meant amending the points and rapidly getting it tested!
With the Halflings the sprue also includes cavalry options – how did that influence the direction of the army? Are they possibly more mobile than the ‘traditional’ view of halflings?
We have tried our best to make sure that it is feasible to include a bit of both in your force. The good thing is that the kit makes multiple different units, and there are a few different types of both cavalry and infantry so you can really mix it up depending on your playstyle.
How would you describe their play style? Do you think people will be surprised by how the play?
They’re a real toolbox army. Whereas armies some armies do one thing, and do it really well, Halflings are probably best run as a combined arms force, with a real mixture of unit types.
Are there any key units that people should watch out for? Any that you think will become particularly popular?
Whilst it’s easy to look at the shiny toys like Forest Trolls, Grenadiers and Aeronauts, the Halfling Sauceror has a unique type of magic which I’m really looking forward to seeing in action.
What’s your favourite unit? Can be in terms of rules or in terms of model.
Anything that kills Goblins, Rob.