Gwent: The Witcher Card Game (Our Review) has been continually evolving since its final release last year in October, which also evolved from two grueling years in beta. Last March we also saw the release of its first major expansion, Crimson Curse, which revitalized the game in many ways. It's surprising even to me, as a casual Gwent player, to see another major expansion announced so soon. The expansion is called Novigrad, and, you guessed it, it is set in the city of Novigrad, which we saw in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (Our Review).
The new expansion will introduce a new faction to Gwent, called Syndicate. Until now, since the beta versions, Gwent had five factions: Monsters, Nilfgaard, Northern Realms, Skellige, and Scoia’tael. All of these are mostly based on both Sapkowski's books and the games. Syndicate seems to be the first faction that's based more on the games, more specifically the underworld of Novigrad as seen in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, which didn't feature quite as prominently in the books (the closest I recall is the story "Eternal Flame" in Sword of Destiny, which featured the doppler Dudu and his shady business transactions).
Novigrad will include five new leaders with the Syndicate faction, three of which have been confirmed as "the reckless gang leader Cleaver; [...] the elusive, yet ever present King of Beggars; [...] Hemmelfart, the city’s ruthless hierarch." Hemmelfart does appear in the final book of the saga, The Lady of the Lake, but I'm quite sure the other two are only characters from the game. Based on the poster for the expansion, it looks like the other leader is Whoreson Junior, and a woman with a mohawk braid. [Update: This woman has been identified by Gwent Game Director Jason Slama as Gudrun Bjornsdottir, a brand-new character in the Witcher universe.]
Gwent: Novigrad will be available on June 28 for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. You can find more information about the new faction and some new mechanics in the Gwent blog post. Some of the revealed cards can also be found on the Facebook page. You can also pre-order kegs for the expansion with two different offers from the official website.
Are you hyped for a new Gwent faction? Do you think it will fit in with the other factions? Let us know in the comments below!