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Subject: Additional Factions? rss

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Jon Snow
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For various reasons, game publishers often keep much of the development of their designs close to the vest. I've now received my Cry Havoc Aftermath expansion to consider, although I haven't played it yet. Seeing how much they put in that small package makes me wonder about the future of this popular design. People seem to either love or hate this game, due to its very distinctive design elements, especially the balance among the four factions. With all of the many variations in the just released expansion, I wonder what else could be added for them, since the flexibility seems to pretty much go as far as one could in adding variable powers, without overwhelming their players with choices. It has already been noted that you probably won't want to use the expansion when introducing new players to the game.

Back when Cry Havoc was first published, the loudest clamoring from the players was "when do we get more factions?" This was a normal fan question, as most 4 Player board games if they sell add expansions allowing for a 5th and or 6th player these days. But Grant, the original designer, was very emphatic that he didn't see any coming in the immediate future.

Since the expansion, while Grant has been here on the boards to answer questions and comments, he has not answered the question of how involved he was with the expansion--the only one of many, many questions he has not responded to, as far as I know. A different Portal spokesman seems to be presenting the expansion material now in detail, while it was Grant who posted often and included several videos as well before and after for the core game's launch. It would seem that he was less involved in Aftermath than with the original design. Aftermath only lists him as one of several designers, and the others are not the same as those he shared credit with for the core game. I mention this only because of his apparent lack of intention in creating more Cry Havoc factions in the past, despite the stated interest and greater sales that would result from a more variable player count.

More factions could of course be added just to replace an older faction in a 4 Player format. Substitute a purple HQ tile for an older color and you're off, creating an entirely new "balance of power" in the game! You'd probably have to keep the Trogs in. But the real question of expanding the format is more complicated, as it would probably require another and larger seperate game board (and even more Trogs). This could certainly be done in a first large CH expansion. After all, we already have two different boards--one for 2 players and one for 3-4.

Will Portal Games eventually create more factions? Once the discussion of the first small expansion has progressed, I expect we'll be hearing from Portal, if not from Grant, revisiting this issue. It might even please those commentators who have trouble with the Pilgrims or Machines, which have a steeper--but not too difficult--learning curve in playing them well!
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Rustan Håkansson
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I made initial sketches for 6 completely new races in May: https://bgdev.club/game/new-races-cry-havoc

Then I waited for Aftermath, and have not worked on them any more. If others are interested in collaborating on those I would be happy to continue, but due to other projects I am not very likely to continue on them by myself. The primary reasons were that I saw some parts of the game under-utilized for race specific exemptions and special rules. Several of my ideas (especially the ones I started with and saw as most obvious gaps) were of course in Aftermath too, so the races would need to be reworked a bit to not overlap at all (if that is needed, I do not know how important that is). For Neuroshima Hex for example each army has much smaller variation with lots of re-use and overlap, and they still feel different.

Even if they do not reach a level of extreme polish and balance it could be fun to have them available as fan expansions. Possibly we could pick miniatures from some other popular game that many have and use as miniatures. Then it would be only cards and chits to PNP.
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Grant Rodiek
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All I can say on this topic is that sales dictate everything. If Aftermath does well and helps move more copies of the base game? Portal might do more. If they don’t? Portal moves on.

Basically that simple. How much? I have no clue. But this stuff is expensive and risky and sales determine the next steps.
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Jon Snow
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Speaking of expensive, I suppose another way they could go would be to provide a second mini sculpt for each faction, with slightly different characteristics. However, in a game where "extra" powers and abilities are generated by cards, tiles, and markers, I wouldn't expect them to go there. They didn't for the Leaders, for which I was at first expecting new sculpts, since they'd only have to provide one (or okay now, two) per faction!
 
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Grant Rodiek
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chas59 wrote:
Speaking of expensive, I suppose another way they could go would be to provide a second mini sculpt for each faction, with slightly different characteristics. However, in a game where "extra" powers and abilities are generated by cards, tiles, and markers, I wouldn't expect them to go there. They didn't for the Leaders, for which I was at first expecting new sculpts, since they'd only have to provide one (or okay now, two) per faction!


Sculpts have a pretty significant up front cost, including paying a concept artist to design them, a 3D modeler to design them, and creating molds from the factory. It's a really big cost, not to mention it increases the cost of every product sold (and increases the cost to consumer). It's not a mild undertaking.

Let's say aggressively 20% of consumers who bought Cry Havoc return for the expansion. And I'd say 20% is a pretty high rate. So, if you have 5000 units sold of the base game (it's more than that, but let's use simple math), that means only 1000 will buy an expansion.

That's very very expensive for a much smaller percentage of your audience.

So, four new sculpts (one leader per current faction) is a huge cost for an expansion.
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Adam McLean
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A couple new factions would be cool ... but, as mentioned, miniatures/sculps are fairly expensive. [Aftermath is already on it's way to me], but, I wouldn't mind seeing an expansion with 2 new factions, cards, 6 buildings (more or less depending on the faction, like Machines), and so forth.

But then you are getting into whether or not to make the 2 new factions are potential replacements (i.e. - still 4 players, but they have their choice of Pilgrims, Machines, Humans, New 1 , New 2) ... or you have to include a new game board or overlay to make it a 6 player game. That would also be cool, but unsurprisingly ... more expensive.

Cry Havoc is a huge success in our game group, and we'll buy everything for it (already have Secret Orders and New Orders, just need to get my hands on the Essen 2017 promo), but I also understand logistics, sales, and so forth ... bottom lines rule the day.
 
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Rustan Håkansson
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oatesatm wrote:

But then you are getting into whether or not to make the 2 new factions are potential replacements (i.e. - still 4 players, but they have their choice of Pilgrims, Machines, Humans, New 1 , New 2) ... or you have to include a new game board or overlay to make it a 6 player game. That would also be cool, but unsurprisingly ... more expensive.


The trogs need to be in the game either as a player or as a bot, but otherwise I would randomize what factions to play. Especially with aftermath where the number of rounds is fixed, then it is easier to see who you need to do something about. So much of this game depends on players keeping each other in check that pairing up which factions to play with is not a huge deal (as long as they can all somehow affect each other).

I would not want to play this as a 5 player game, that would make the game state too large and end of round battle resolution downtime too high.
 
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Jon Snow
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I'd like to see a Large expansion with new factions and a higher player count, even though I can't usually raise larger numbers. The next best thing for me would be a series of expansions, with one new faction each.

Portal does seem to do expansions for its games. Although I don't own their other designs, I played their signature Neuroshima Hex when it first came out, and they've been expanding it ever since! So I have some hope.

Also, of course, Cry Havoc was very successful in its first year.
 
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Stefano Di Silvio
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I also would love to see a couple of new factions for Cry Havoc!

And I know designers/publishers keep these things close to the chest... but I guess we can safely assume that, judging from the production of the base game (i.e. HQs are tiles and not printed on the board), they have at least prepared for the possibility of future other factions.

I believe that, as Grant said, if the sales will be sufficiently high the new factions will come. I'm keeping my fingers crossed!
 
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