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Warmachine revival starts with a plastic 2-player starter set

Steamforged Games announces a starter set with Warhammer 40k-quality plastic as the first order of business for the newly acquired wargame.

A blue Warmachine cygnar warjack

Warmachine, the miniature wargame of steam-powered robots and arcane magic, is getting a new two-player starter with models cast in HIPS  – the same plastic used to make Warhammer 40k figures, model aeroplanes, and similar high grade kits. New owner Steamforged Games has revealed much more about its plans for the game since Monday’s announcement that it had acquired the rights from original publisher Privateer Press.

A new ‘manifesto’ blog post by Mat Hart, co-founder of Steamforged Games, reveals a new two-player ‘Command Starter Set’ for Warmachine. The heavily-armored Khador Winter Korps will face off against the electro-charged Cygnar Storm Legion. Both sides will get a new Warcaster – war-wizard – character Warjack – magically animated robot – character solo, and character unit, plus terrain. The set will release “later this year”.

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Currently, most Warmachine models are produced in a process called ‘Direct Resin’ – effectively, batch produced on 3D printers. Steamforged will partner with Privateer Press and continue to produce the miniatures this way, “as well as expanding with new partners in the UK and Europe”. It adds that this is “one of multiple routes to market we’ll continue to explore”.

The blog gives some indication of the role Steamforged Games and the staff of Privateer Press will play in developing Warmachine further. Hart states that the “current edition of Warmachine will continue as planned… with the Privateer Press development team in place”. If you’re already playing Warmachine Mk IV, nothing changes.

A painter painting a Warmachine figure with formula P3 paints

Hart adds that Steamforged’s vision for Warmachine “is pretty simple: we want a game that appeals to a broad range of gamers, be they casual, competitive, or hobbyist”. This is a shift in focus for the game – as we noted in our retrospective on the impact of Warmachine on Warhammer 40k, Privateer Press marketed it heavily towards competitive gamers, though it always had a strong narrative and excellent minis.

As well as setting a new direction for the brand, Steamforged will support the game by “strengthening the supply chain” to ensure that models, and other products like P3 paints for miniatures, are “always available without interruption”.

Hart says that “expanding the game’s reach” is another priority, “to help more gamers discover (or rediscover) the Iron Kingdoms” via social media, plus providing “organised play, cool events, and narratives for gamers to enjoy”.

Warmachine key art - a mercenary general stands in front of a huge warjack

For the time being, Steamforged is focusing only on Warmachine, the Iron Kingdoms Roleplaying Game, and P3 hobby product line, from among  the properties it has acquired from Privateer Press. If you used to be a Hordes player, worry not – that still exists, but Privateer dispensed with the branding a few years ago. Steamforged is “awaiting a time when we can deep dive before any decisions are made” about Warcaster, the sci-fi spin off from Warmachine, and Riot Quest, the character arena-battler.

The sheer difficulty of getting stock is one of the features that kept Warmachine off our guide to the best miniature wargames, so the news that Steamforged is putting its efforts into the supply chain is welcome. Of course, there’s another plastic starter set releasing some time this year – we’ll let you know as soon as we have the Age of Sigmar 4th edition release date pinned down!