Hello ladies and gentlemen, Harrison here from ATGN. It wasn’t long ago that I took a look at Final War, an Australian made trading card game. After playing the game at PAX I took it home and put it through its paces, producing this review. The Games Lab team were recently in my town demonstrating the game so I used the opportunity to catch up with them and hit them up with a few questions I had.
HARRISON – Today I am sitting down with Jason from the Final War development team, having a chat about the new game and what’s going on with it. For those of you that don’t know, Final War is the latest installment in the TCG landscape. It is an Australian-owned and Australian-made game, producing a really interesting game that combines a strong mix of TCG (Trading Card Game) and LCG (Living Card Game) elements. Here we are, two months on from PAX, where the game was released. Has it met your expectations?
JASON – Yes, yes, it certainly has met our expectations. We have found a lot of people in the industry and a lot of people with a lot of game experience have really taken to it, and that’s the most exciting part for us, that people who love playing games have really engaged in a lot of the top brands and are really enjoying it.
HARRISON – Moving ahead, I understand that there is a plan for the end of 2017 for a major competition to be held at PAX, is there any interim competitions that are being run by the Final War team?
JASON – Well, leading up to the Grand Melee there will be a whole bunch of small competitions, but nothing official has been announced yet. We want to make sure we have the structure right before we announce anything.
HARRISON – So these events will be all around Australia?
JASON – Yes all around Australia, and as well we are looking to do some events at Gencon (the largest Tabletop Gaming convention in North America) and people who win there will be flown out to PAX in Melbourne to compete.
HARRISON – A very cool prize to win. So out of the gate, you’ve got the very interesting decision to include boosters as well as a starter kit, which is similar to what we see in a lot of LCG games. Because of how the game works, and how you are required to have a Warlord to play, you have to purchase a starter kit to play games of FW, or at least have access to one.
JASON – Correct.
HARRISON – As well, FW has a ‘One-Of’ rule for deckbuilding for cards above uncommon rarity, the most powerful cards in the game. So, you can still open those rares and above in your boosters. But if I’ve already got a copy of the starter kit, what am I going to do with my second copy of the same rares?
Despite being sneaky, I can’t sneak two more copies into my deck.
JASON – Later on down the track you can actually make I guess newer decks and give them to your friends, there may also be a trading system. We have had people who want a whole deck full of Centaurs, and they want to have eight or nine hit column characters, and we’ve got another one who’s made a whole deck full of poison, so instead of just having one or two they’ve got eight or nine of them in there. So, there are opportunities to use those duplicates, but that is just for those particular units and heroes. But I guess those other heroes and units, the rares and up they do tend to sit to the wayside a bit. And I’ve actually used them to build decks for other people, so I’ve had some leftovers and that’s what I do with them. And otherwise I guess they are collectibles.
Addendum: Following up after the interview, Jason actually made the excellent point that future releases will contain additional Warlords. Up to Rare cards may be shared between factions. The Rare heroes from the Elf deck may be used in the Knight or Wizard decks, for example, giving a use to those spare duplicates.
HARRISON – This is the first edition of the game, and in twenty years when Final War is the biggest thing around they could be quite valuable to have the first ones.
JASON – Definitely!
HARRISON – Is there any plan to have a database or a card list to be made available to players?
JASON – Yes, we are working on that at the moment. We are just working out the best way to do that, and we’re having our artists put together some content for the page. I don’t know how soon it will be, but definitely as soon as possible. Quite a lot of people have asked for it, and a lot of people want to know what to chase. We would have liked to have that done before launch, but there were just so many things to do and we were all running around like crazy!
HARRISON – The current plan as I understand it is for two more sets of Warlords to be released at PAX 2017, some ten months from now, the Carnage and Arcane packs. Is there any plans for interim upgrades to the game? Maybe different rules that would allow players to play different styles of games?
And one of these characters will be Gloren’s Next Top Model!
JASON – Well, not right now. We are currently fine-tuning the rules. There were a few edge cases that sort of popped up. This happens when you release a new product, and we will be putting updates on our website very soon to clarify a couple of things. There may be some points that are fairly clear in the rules but just some people can get confused anyway. So, we will be putting up some more information about those in time.
HARRISON – So two months on from release, FW is alive and well, especially up here in Brisbane. We’ve had thirty players who’ve come through and taken part in the Learn to Play event here tonight. Thank you for your time Jason, and best of luck!
JASON – Thank you, you too!