The era of Skyrim is approaching …
By Matt Purslow
The world of Skyrim lands on the table in a new miniatures board game: The Elder Scrolls: Call to Arms.
The new game was developed by Modiphius, the company behind the Fallout: Wasteland Warfare miniatures game. While using the same basic mechanisms of Wasteland Warfare, the systems have been rewritten and reworked to match the Elder Scrolls setting.
A skirmish game with miniature characters in 32mm resin (think Warhammer, a little more in Norwegian), players take control of a hero of The Elder Scrolls games and lead a group of minions in dungeons such as the Dwemer ruins and the northern tombs. But while many miniature games focus on the main objective of defeating an enemy, The Elder Scrolls: Call to Arms focuses on something different.
"We are not trying to create a competitive wargame like everyone else," says Chris Birch, founder of Modiphius. "So we went through a lot of narrative. Battles will be part of it because they are fun, but you have a story. And you can play can play in cooperation. The classic problem with wargames is that two people come to a table to play and one leaves happy. This is different. History has been very important to us, as much as to the video game itself. "
The stories are read from a quest game, which changes depending on the environment you are exploring. Beyond simple skirmish-like dungeons, there are a variety of quests that unveil the Skyrim stories and lead you to several key locations in Tamriel, allowing you to capture and rebuild forts as you wish, or hunt down your enemies in nature. And, as in the video game, you can expect these quests to reward you with the development of heroes.
A narrative angle is not the only way Modiphius pushes Call to Arms. The focus is also on a variety of ways to play. "We have really tried to create a cooperative wargaming experience where you can play as well," says Birch. "You can also play solo. Maybe your gaming group does not meet regularly, so being able to play solo really extends the gameplay. "
In single player mode, the enemies of the game are controlled by an artificial intelligence system. Players roll a die and compare the score to a reference sheet to trace the actions of the enemy characters. Alternatively, another player may act as an enemy character in a more traditional dungeon-like role.
The game will be extended to a number of wave launches, but will start with the most popular side of the universe of The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim. Players will participate in the Skyrim Civil War, alongside the North Stormcloaks or the Imperial Legion.
"Skyrim is a good base because of the civil war," says Birch. "It just seemed like the best place to start, with very strong and advanced factions."
The two-player starter kit includes heroes such as Hadvar, Ralof, Yrsarald Thrice-Pierced, Marcurio, Mjoll the Lioness, Ulfric Stormcloak, Galmar Stone-Fist, General Tullius and Lydia. There are also sets of reinforcements that include Stormcloak and Imperial Legion troops.
Naturally, it would not be a Skyrim game without a dragon slayer, so there is also a Dragonborn set that adds a particularly chic model to the game. "This is a set of solo players, whose price is cheaper, "says Birch. "It's just the Dragonborn against a Draugr wandering in an old ruin for a little personal quest. It's a good starting point. Then, from there, you'll be able to say, "I'd like to add Stormcloaks because I really like those numbers," and then start playing Stormcloaks with the Dragonborn by their side. "
Beyond the first wave of Skyrim-based outings, Modiphius plans to add a variety of characters covering races and famous characters from other games in the Elder Scrolls series, including Oblivion and The Elder Scrolls Online. In addition, like the Fallout game from Modiphus, many additional accessories are available, such as metal tokens, dice bags and other extra items.
The Elder Scrolls: A call to arms will be available from Christmas 2019, but the Dragonborn model is available now. So you can make sure that it will be ready for your first game later this year. Modiphus plans to launch other promotional figures in the run-up to the game's launch, although anything you miss will be made available after it's released.
Matt Purslow is the editor of IGN for news and shows in the UK and the painter Battle Ready for small plastic soldiers. You can follow him on Twitter.