Hello friends. Today we are looking at the releases for July, including our first printed content expansion, Histories of the Empire Volume One: The Stormcloak Rebellion. We’ll also look at the two figure sets we are releasing alongside it.
Family Against Family
This month sees the early release of Histories of the Empire Volume One: The Stormcloak Rebellion (HotEV1:TSR). This is our first major content expansion for The Elder Scrolls: Call to Arms and is available as an 80 page soft back book in the same format as the core rulebook. Within the pages you will find 20 new Delve and Battle mode scenarios, new rules, a map based campaign system, a new faction and rules for solo and co-op play using the Call to Arms AI system.
I grabbed Ethan and Jono from the Development team and posed them a few questions to help explain a little behind the background and development of The Stormcloak Rebellion:
Can you give us a brief overview of what we will see in HotEV1:TSR?
Histories of the Empire 1: The Stormcloak Rebellion is our first expansion book for The Elder Scrolls: Call to Arms which is based upon the Civil War questline featured in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
In the book you will find rules allowing you to theme your battlefields within one of the nine Holds of Skyrim, an expansive narrative driven campaign to determine the fate of the province and even a new faction!
How did The Stormcloak Rebellion come about?
We always knew we wanted to support each new chapter with additional content, like new rules and scenarios. The Histories of the Empire was designed to be a thematic set of new content that was linked to the releases in that chapter.
The initial release chapter for TES:CtA was themed around the Civil War, fought between the Imperial Legion and the rebellious Stormcloaks, so logically it made sense to design a campaign book focusing on the feud between the Legion and the Stormcloaks.
How did you approach bringing such a core storyline to the tabletop?
We followed the same principles of writing any good story; beginning, middle and end. Luckily Bethesda put a lot of detail into their video games so we had a lot of great material to work with. We have tried to stick to the main story beats presented to the player in the video game, including many of the branching outcomes.
What were the challenges you faced?
Much like the people of Skyrim, we were torn between choosing a side. Balancing the campaign and making sure both sides had equal opportunities to win was very difficult, especially when nobody wanted to see the Stormcloaks win.
There are 20 new scenarios in the book. How did you go about converting the scenes from the source material into an exciting tabletop experience?
For the iconic pitched battles we spent a good amount of time analysing the source material to make sure we were able to recreate the main focal points of each scene. One of the perks of developing a wargame version of these events is the creative license we got; being able to really cherry pick the best parts of the story and formulate them into fun scenarios.
With the less campaign oriented scenarios it was more just thinking about what additional elements would go into a civil war which we have not yet presented: raiding, stealing information, torching resources, that kind of thing. We then brainstormed what would be around and who would be affected by these things. We ended up writing more scenarios then we had space for, so not all of them made the cut. Maybe one day we’ll show you the infamous ‘Mammoth Cheese’ scenario ;)
As well as scenarios, there are lots of new rules to try out. Do you have a favourite new aspect that TSR brings to Skyrim?
I think one of our favourite new additions to TES:CtA are the new rules for theming your battles within certain Holds of Skyrim. Each Hold now has a; Climate, Battlefield, and Special Effect rule to bring to life each of the diverse environments found within Skyrim, as well as giving players a multitude of options for replayability.
With Solo Narrative Wargaming on the rise, how did you cater for the solo and co-operative gamers?
With the way TES:CtA is designed, it’s been pretty easy to adapt scenarios for solo/co-op play. Although the heart of the game is a miniature skirmish game, the more intimate delves of just 1 or 2 characters can really bring that nostalgic feeling of playing the video game, which I think a large part of our fanbase enjoys and resonates with. One of the core principles we followed whilst making this was holding on to that feeling whether you’re playing solo, co-op or skirmish. Additionally we provide an appendix on how to play the Campaign solo.
Will we see more HotE expansions?
You will! We currently have the next HotE expansion based around the Dark Brotherhood and Dwemer in external play testing.
Call for Reinforcements!
The Imperial Vanguard set includes six new figures to bolster the Imperial forces. CAPTAIN ALDIS training makes your Imperial forces all the more deadly, whilst LEGATE FASENDIL lets you take advantage of critical opportunities. ADELAISA VENDICCI brings the might of the East Empire Company to the side of the empire and three IMPERIAL RECRUITS join the ranks as reinforcements.
Ensure Skyrim is for the Nords with the Stormcloak Shieldbreakers. Let word of your deeds pass into legend through the words of GONNAR OATH-GIVER. The ferocity of THORYGG SUN-KILLER inspires your Stormcloak soldiers to cut down their enemies. Support your troops with NURA SNOW-SHOD as your ally, healing their wounds and ensuring the strength of Talos flows through them. Crush your enemies before you with three STORMCLOAK SOLDIERS WITH AXES.
Ancient Evil, Legendary Heroes
We also have the long awaited PDF cards to support our Elder Scrolls Online Character Pack (https://www.modiphius.net/products/elder-scrolls-call-to-arms-online-character-pack)
The cards feature the Hero cards for the four iconic heroes and Mannimarco from the epic Elder Scrolls Online cinematic trailers, as well as a slew of supporting cards including the Staff or Worms and Adversary versions of the characters. As befitting their epic powers, these heroes are on the more competent side and Mannimarco is a veritable army all by himself (with, perhaps, a few crumbly, mouldy friends…)
The cards are available as PDF’s now and will be included as print versions in the forthcoming Chapter 3 card pack. You can download the PDF’s from the Elder Scrolls Downloads page here: