UKGE 2019 was one hell of an expo with plenty of super exciting new games on offer, including some newly announced titles. I got the chance to sit down with Chris Birch from Modiphius Entertainment to talk about some of their most interesting upcoming releases.
Elder Scrolls: Call to Arms
After the huge success that was Fallout: Wasteland Warfare, it was a no-brainer for Modiphius to try for another hugely popular gaming IP. The Elder Scrolls was a perfect fit for their brand of tabletop miniature gaming.
The first wave of The Elder Scrolls: Call to Arms is going to be heavily focused on Skyrim, as the most recent main series game. With such a huge amount on offer, it was important to the team that they really chose some of the most iconic elements to create for their players. In particular, the team saw no point in producing stock, generic ‘fantasy’ style houses when so many were on the market, so instead, their focus has been on elements unique to the Elder Scrolls universe.
Features like the Dwermer ruins, or the caves and pits inhabited by the Draugr are going to be heavily featured in scenery packs. Modiphius has plans to engage a lot with the players too, to make sure that they’re producing the most sought after scenery boxes first. The community interaction doesn’t stop their either. There are plans to poll players for the most requested factions too, making sure that the groups which players really want to control will be available as soon as possible.
A lot has been learned since the release of Fallout: Wasteland Warfare. While that game was plagued with minor issues with supply and demand, Call to Arms is being much more carefully planned. Modiphius have stepped up their resin production to meet a large demand, and on top of that have staggered the releases of each set. Instead of releasing months worth of content all at once and then trying to keep up, there are plans to release core sets first and add things as they go.
The gameplay style behind Modiphius’ miniature games is perhaps the most interesting element. According to Chris, they wanted to steer away from the ‘two sides meeting on the battlefield’ style of wargames and instead focused on the narrative. Considering how the world of Skyrim, in particular, is set up for this type of narrative conflict as well as the general wealth of content, it’s hard to disagree with the decision. The civil war setting of Skyrim, along with the dragon encounters provide a wealth of opportunities along with a large variety of other quests and concepts for Modiphius to draw from. In general, it’s nice to see more narrative focused miniature games coming out, instead of the standard battlefield style used by most.
Agatha Christie – Death on the Cards
The other big recent announcement from Modiphius has been Agatha Christie – Death on the Cards, a new card game based on the works of famous mystery novelist Agatha Christie. The game was an interesting move for Modiphius, in Chris’s own words it was something which they felt would bring them out of their comfort zone. A family-friendly murder mystery card game is certainly a far cry from the general sci-fi and fantasy themed games in their back catalog.
It was apparently the newer takes on Agatha Christie’s works, such as the recent Murder on the Orient Express movie, which inspired the radical change in design. Far from the art deco inspired look of the classic adaptations, Death on the Cards has a very cartoony art style, a bold step for such a dark subject matter as murder. It was in the interest of drawing a new audience into Christie’s work that the new art style was decided upon.
Death on the Cards will feature a lot of social elements, forcing players to try and uncover each other’s secrets while striving to keep their own hidden. It feels very fitting to the spirit of the original text. A game filled with mystery, even beyond the eventual murderer. Everyone’s motives remain a secret, as does their past. It was a good choice, at least in my opinion, to try and focus on the entire body of work which Agatha Christie produced, rather than picking one of her more famous detectives. If the idea is to help draw more people into the universe she created, then introducing as many of her characters as possible was certainly a wise move.
Both Agatha Christie – Death on the Cards and Elder Scrolls: Call to Arms are expected to be released around the Christmas season 2019. A big thanks to Chris Birch for taking the time to talk to me.
Which of these two games are you most looking forward to the most? Will you be taking part in the community polling when it happens? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section down below.