We began our Wild West Exodus journey with the Gunfight at Red Oak 2-player starter set, which you can read about here. With that 2-player starter set, you get the Lawmen and Outlaws factions. If you don’t want to play either of those and you know which faction you would like to play, you can go straight into another faction with a themed posse starter set and still get everything 1 player needs to play.
The faction theme posse starter sets are a combination of a faction themed posse box, plus the accessories that you need to get you going with Wild West Exodus. The full contents of the Starter Set upgrade are:
- A Softback A5 Rulebook
- Condition Tokens
- Blast and Torrent Templates
- 4x Custom D10 Dice
- 1x Action Card Deck
- 1x Adventure Card Deck
The Faction Theme posse sets are available without the starter set upgrade and are great value for money. The miniatures contained in them are restricted for use with the factions that are listed on the box but can be added to any force of that faction, and not just the posse in the box. For example, the Tribal Retribution box is a Warrior Nation faction box, so can only be included in a Warrior Nation force. But you don’t have to use all the miniatures together if you don’t want to. You can pick and choose some of the miniatures from Tribal Retribution, along with other miniatures available from the collection.
There is an incentive to using the themed posse though, in the themed posse list abilities. Each faction has a list building card. These cards are used to restrict players taking the same powerful unit several times and balance the factions out. If you don’t want to use the faction list, you can use the themed posse card. If you meet all the requirements on the themed posse card, your force gets access to the special abilities listed on the card.
There are several factions available for Wild West Exodus, and we’ll give each faction an overview at the end of this article, along with a developer interview.
As part of our journey into Wild West Exodus, we wanted to experience play straight out of a faction themed box, so we pitted the Ranger Showboat box versus the Tribal Retribution box.
The Ranger Showboat are a character heavy list. Every unit is a named character. There are no faceless troopers with the Showboat. This means that there are a lot of special abilities flying around, as well as making all of the characters difficult to remove as they all have Mettle and Quick and the Dead, giving them opportunities to avoid being taken out.
The Ranger Showboat also have a lot of synergies if they’re within certain distances of each other, so they can operate as small cells, or be kept together as a band for maximum effect.
Tribal Retribution are a close-combat heavy warband. Walks Looking, Little Claw and White Buffalo are dangerous in combat. They have some limited ranged in thrown tomahawks, but most of the heavy shooting is done by Ravenseye and the Braves. Getting the posse in close is essential and roughing out some damage on the way in is an unfortunate necessity. But once they’re in close, they can easily remove enemy characters.
We played the Attack the Camp scenario from the Badlands Adventure mission booklet, where one side is defending a central area of the board and the other attacking. We randomized attacker and defender, which put the Showboat in defense. This suited them perfectly as they got to group together and defend out. Tribal Retribution deployed around the edges, splitting up their forces in an attempt to split the fire of the Showboat.
It was a poor couple of first turns for Retribution. Ravenseye wasn’t able to remove any enemy shooters, and the Showboat were able to rain down some very accurate fire. Especially Nate Berenger who was able to take out the Braves early on with his indirect fire over the top of a building.
White Buffalo was taken out charging in, but his sacrifice allowed Little Claw to take out Calamity Jane in combat and Walks Looking to drive straight into the enemy center. Walks Looking made short work of Wild Bill and Rebecca Copelie but was overpowered in the end, along with Little Claw as she tried to close the gap on the remaining Showboaters. We called it with only Ravenseye remaining as there was no way she could take out Nate, Missy, and Grace.
Even though Tribal Retribution took some very early losses, Walks Looking was able to solely take the center of the board. If she had been able to get a single supporting character with her, it might have been a different story. It was a great game to play, with some equally stellar and horrendous dice rolling on both sides. Both factions out of the box are fun to play and have their own style. Adding to the lists, to either capitalize on these strengths or building to cover their weaknesses adds some interesting dynamics.
There are several factions available to play in WWX, each with its own style of play and dynamic.
The following factions are available in WWX:
- Lawmen – Classic Western good guys. Great ranged options and synergies between units.
- Outlaws – Classic Western bad guys. Lots of options with no real specialty.
- Union – The Western regular army. Can be very troop heavy and have access to some big guns.
- Watchers – The Alien saviors. A low model count elite force, with some hard-hitting troops.
- Hex – The corrupted outsiders. They have lots of board control options and some nasty creatures.
- Tribal Retribution – Native Americans. Very melee based, with the movement speed to get them into combat.
- Order – The natural enemies of Hex, they are the spiritual forces in WWX. They have lots of elites units that will often be outnumbered. Very specialized.
- Enlightened – The scientist Steampunk zombies. Have access to horde tactics and are able to reanimate their forces.
Wild West Exodus Developer Interview
We chatted to Chris Pond, Assistant Studio Manager at Warcradle about Wild West Exodus and how new players can start playing.
TechRaptor: Hi Chris. So WWX has been going for a while and there are quite a few products available. With the Gunfight at Red Oak Starter Set, and the Starter Set bundles available for each faction, which would you advise new players to go with for their first purchase?
Chris Pond: That really depends on what the customer wants. If they love the game but are not sure what faction to play then the Gunfight at Red Oak is a great starting purchase. It has everything they need to play the game and a good selection of miniatures. After a few games and once they’ve looked at more options they can then start looking at Posse boxes.
If someone falls in love with a faction straight away then it would be better to go for a faction specific starter box or a Posse set and a Gubbins box if a faction doesn’t have a starter set. We want to make it as easy as possible to get into the game with whatever faction or miniatures they want.
TR: Once a player has got a faction starter box for a force they like, what’s the next purchase they should start looking at?
CP: The rank and file of Hands units are a great next step along the road. A box is a great way to flesh out pretty much any Posse and gives you something you can use across the whole faction. The Hands boxes are also great value for money so you get a lot of bang for your buck!
TR: Any advice for new players on creating their army?
CP: Pick miniatures you like the look of or that fit thematically with what you already have. Overbearing synergies and metas don’t really play as much of a part in Wild West Exodus so choosing something you like the look of can be great fun and it shouldn’t cause you any disadvantages in gameplay.
TR: Any advice for new players on playing the game? What should they watch out for? Any handy tips/tricks?
CP: We like to think the rules are fairly intuitive and easy to learn. Like any game, the more you play, the easier it becomes, grab your dice and get playing.
TR: What has been the biggest change in the development of WWX?
CP: The biggest change from First Edition was moving away from the heavy book-keeping to track health, hitpoints, lifeblood, whatever you want to call it. With Wild West Exodus being “one shot and your gone” the game changes drastically to a brutal gunfight where cover and placement are really important. That makes Second Edition very tactical.
TR: What’s the next step for WWX releases? There are a few incredible looking faction themed boxes on the horizon, what’s after that?
CP: Now that would be telling! All I can say is we will continue to push the boundaries on really nice miniatures and exciting narrative developments in the Dystopian Age.
TR: Thank you very much Chris. We look forward to seeing what comes next in the Dystopian Age.
Next, we chatted to several of the Warcradle Team about their WWX experience. We chatted to:
- Roberto Cirillo, Studio Art Director
- Daren Mcaninch, Lead Studio Painter
- Brandon Beren, Lead Digital Sculptor
- Neil Googe, Studio Illustrator
- Jon Cartwright, Lead Graphic Designer
TR: Which is your favorite WWX faction and why?
RC: As a professional artist I’ve learned to appreciate all artistic styles and genres within the industry but personally, as an artist, I’ve always been particularly fond of horror, gritty sci-fi and the uncanny, so I would have to say for me the Hex and Enlightened alike. In short: give me a bit of unexplained dark tech-science, throw in a pair of twisted looking ‘creatures’ add some RJ and you’ve got my undivided attention!
DM: Hex, because I love body horror and rednecks. They give me both in droves.
BB: My favorite faction is the Hex. I easily have the most fun making all the creatures and beasts of the Hex.
NG: With a rich world like Wild West Exodus, it’s actually hard to put my finger on who I like the most. If I was forced to pick one, it would be the Watchers because… Greys… and I’m obsessed with UFOs (for the record, I don’t actually think we’re being visited by Greys, but I do believe in other life in the cosmos).
However, I also like the enlightened, due to all of history’s famous scientists and the like… (excerpt the dirty traitorous Tesla of course) and the Hex. I’ll make this one easy. Legendary Marie Laveau and my love of Lovecraft… I’ll let you do the math. But honestly, every faction has something to love, both in the story and the visuals so its a hard choice.
JC: I think I’m fairly torn between Hex, Enlightened and Union! At a push, I’d say Hex.
The overall design and idea of the Hex really appeal to me. At first glance, they’re a cool, creepy looking faction, but the Hex in itself isn’t an evil force.
Also, I love seeing the Hex’s effect on other factions (check out the Tainted cards), which has led to Posses like Dark Nation or units like the Hex Cutthroats & Gunmen (Outlaws under Hex influence).
TR: Which is your favorite WWX model and why?
RC: So many great models I could pick from and so many more great models still to come: this is going to be very hard to answer with just one pick!
So, assuming I had to make a ‘life and death’ decision and I was truly forced to pick only one (out of dozens of true potential contenders) it would have to be Legendary Gustave Eiffel – for me, this miniature solidly thresholds an appropriate amount of ‘creepy’, ‘weird- tech’ and is a large sized model.
DM: Gustav Eiffel. He was so much fun to paint.
BB: This is a tough question. I know it’s not one model, but the daughters of Alcon in the new Death from Above Posse. They were a recent challenge and as a result of hard work they came out fantastically.
Otherwise, I would have to say Legendary Walks Looking. Her sense of movement was a particular success.
NG: Legendary Marie Laveau… see above… and there is a rather large model coming that I love… but… it’s not been announced yet… so you’ll have to wait 😉
JC: Either Vor Khet or Khali, probably Vor Khet: he’s huge! A lumbering beast that used to be human, reminds me of Hellraiser. Our miniatures have so much detail to them and I feel Vor Khet is a perfect example of this. He has to be seen to be believed!
TR: What tips would you give a beginner just starting out with WWX?
RC: I would just dive into whatever makes my imagination run wilder on the tabletop: there is plenty variety across the current Wild West Exodus factions. Find the faction(s) that you feel most in sync with emotionally (from your imagination point of view) and go for it!
DM: Pick the faction that resonates with you and get the models you love. Worry about the rules and lists later!
BB: Watch a demo with Daren (Daz) on the Warcradle Studios or Beast of War YouTube channel or have a demo at your FLGS.
NG: This would be the same tip I’d give to anyone in any game… and I think is reflected in what I’ve said above.
Pick a faction you like the look of or you like their story. Games are tough due to balance, and not all models you love will always be the best choice, but, in each faction, you’ll always find models that work for you to go along with the model you love.
So look through the catalog, read some of the fluff, WWX has some stunning models, with an amazing history and setting to fit anyone’s taste. You’ll definitely find something you want to put on the table…
JC: Pick a faction based on the models that stand out to you or a story that grips you. Every faction has its strengths! The Wild West Exodus website is full of tales about each faction and the Dystopian Age; our Facebook community page is also a great place to say hi to other players.
Thank you all for answering our questions!
These copies of Tribal Retribution and Ranger Showboat were provided by Warcradle Studios.
A big thank you to ABZ Games in Aberdeen and Jinxy for their help in getting into the game. Also thank you to Eric Huffman, Yann Folange and Paul Reg who helped us research this article, we’ll be interviewing them in the next article about their advice for new WWX players.
Have you played Wild West Exodus? What’s your favorite faction? Let us know in the comments below.