WAR Talk with Erik Mogensen
An Interview with Games Workshop
While Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning may be the next big thing in gaming, the history of Warhammer goes back almost 26 years. Games Workshop originally launched the game in 1983 and their miniatures were well known to us in the fantasy tabletop world even if you didn't play Warhammer. We were lucky enough to get a chance to talk a little WAR with Erik Mogensen, Licensing and Acquisitions Manager for Games Workshop, and here's what he had to say.
Ten Ton Hammer: I recently noticed that some of the descriptions for the miniatures (specifically the White Lion class) changed and now more closely resemble the class descriptions for Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning. Was this a planned move to allow you to capitalize on the games hype or was this something that you had planned to do all along?
Erik Mogensen: Our designers are, first and foremost, Warhammer fans themselves. They keep their eyes and ears open, and when they see something particularly cool that a licensee (in this case, Mythic Entertainment) has done, they may be inspired to incorporate it into whatever theyre working on at the time. Its not a big strategic decision by Games Workshop to do this it happens organically. So sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesnt the important thing is that no matter what the medium, its all still Warhammer!
Adam Gershowitz enacts the Battle of Ekrund
Ten Ton Hammer: Are you planning any events to coincide with the launch of WAR (for instance, like the Battle of Ekrund scenario that was played out last winter)? If so, what can fans of the miniatures games expect to see?
Erik Mogensen: Weve recently run a great feature on WAR in White Dwarf (our dedicated tabletop magazine), and it has a great presence at our Games Day events (imagine a Con devoted to all things Games Workshop) around the world this year. On top of this, its very unlikely that any of our customers who might be interested in WAR havent heard about it already, so were not planning specific tie-ins in our Hobby Centres at launch. Between the activities weve already done, and EAs great marketing campaign, Im certain that theres going to be a lot of fan fare surrounding the launch as it is.
If anyone plays WAR and is interested in finding out more about the tabletop game which started it all, Id urge them to go to one of our Hobby Centres and ask for an intro game. If one isnt close, there is plenty of great information available at www.games-workshop.com
Ten Ton Hammer: Do you plan to release miniatures that are based off of Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning? If so, how many can we expect and when will they be released?
Erik Mogensen: It doesnt quite work that way, actually. You see, very little in WAR is directly copied from the tabletop game in the first place. We like to imagine the Warhammer World as a living, breathing place (figuratively speaking of course ) and so weve always encouraged Mythic to create MMO interpretations of White Lions, Squigs, Bright Wizards, etc. rather than copying specific miniatures designs. Look at the named heroes of legend for example - the Tyrions and Malekiths and Karl Franzs. Their in-game models have a lot more detailing than their tabletop counterparts because of the difference in medium. Copying from one medium to another is rarely as successful as re-interpreting the image in a manner that suits the new medium best.
Likewise, we plan to continue to release great new miniatures and rules for each of the Warhammer races forever. In plenty of cases the work Mythic has done will inspire our designers and sculptors and youll see it reflected in their work, but there is no over-arching plan to specifically take bits that theyve done and literally turn them into tabletop miniatures.
Ten Ton Hammer: Can the special Grumlok and Gazbag miniature thats included with the Warhammer Online Collectors Edition be used as a tabletop miniature? If so, would it be considered a special character choice as Grumlok and Gazbag are unique to Warhammer Online?
Erik Mogensen: They turned out so massive that you might have trouble getting them to rank-up with your boyz, but if you can manage it then of course you can use them as an Orc Warboss model. We dont have plans to release rules for them right now, but you never know what the future might hold. Id encourage Hobbyists to create their own house rules based on what they see of those two in WAR, and try them out with their friends for a bit of fun.
Ten Ton Hammer: We know from a previous interview that Games Workshop is very involved in many aspects of WARs development currently. After the WAR is released, will this still be the case? Are there plans to design future expansions at this time?
Erik Mogensen: This is a sneaky way of trying to get me to reveal something Im not supposed to, isnt it? Nice try! The answer is quite simple really: any content that has been or will be generated for Warhammer Online will have GW involvement and approval at every stage. Of course Id like to see the game be very successful and spawn loads of content updates and expansions, but well all just have to wait and see.
Ten Ton Hammer: Wizards of the Coast has opted to change the Dungeons and Dragons classes and rules to be more in line with MMOGs citing that this is what most of the players are familiar with in this day and age. Can we expect to see any rule changes to the core Warhammer rules based on this philosophy?
Erik Mogensen: Our tabletop Hobby has always flourished in its little niche, and we have every reason to believe it will continue to do so. Warhammer is great just as it is, and while well always make little tweaks here and there to improve the players experience we have no plans to change the core gameplay.
I feel pretty... oh, so pretty
Ten Ton Hammer: With the popularity of MMOGs at an all time high, do you think that there will be room for both in the future or will tabletop play eventually be assimilated into the virtual world?
Erik Mogensen: There is no way to replicate the feeling of holding a freshly painted miniature in your hand, or the feeling of looking down over your lovingly assembled army on a finely detailed terrain board. Its a bit like asking will the movie industry stop people from reading books. Both are great things, and theres no reason they have to be mutually exclusive.
Ten Ton Hammer: So we have to know, whats your army of choice?
Erik Mogensen: Thats easy. Just ask Mythic which approvals I was always the pickiest about! Im a Dark Elf man, through and through. Ill leave you to decide what that says about me
Ten Ton Hammer would like to thank Erik for taking some time to talk with us about WAR
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