Thursday, 4 March 2010

Interview with Rick Priestley

Just wanted to point warmaster and warhammer enthusiasts towards a new interview at in which Rick Priestley (author superb) and John Stallard are interviewed.
Very interesting hearing about the early history of games Workshop and Citadel, how Warhammer evolved and quite a few tidbits concerning Warmaster.

A small extract:
Rick Pristeley: People tend to associate me with Warhammer. But once we had started designing Warhammer, we had come up with the basic mechanics, and imagine, there I was, someone whose hobby is
designing wargames, because I have done loads of different wargames over the years, and even
used to just to design them as a game, board games too and everything; but then we had created
Warhammer, and we were all hooked into it. Well, that was 25 or more years ago. So, as a games
designer, it was a little frustrating! The opportunities to do new things were rather limited. And the
opportunities to design new games in Games Workshop are very few and far between. So I sort of
got a bit frustrated. So I started to do things in my own time and the Warmaster game system was
something that I had come up with as a concept and my personal, internal rule, whilst writing it,
was that nothing must come from Warhammer in terms of the mechanics and I wrote it on that
basis. Every mechanism had to be new and original. Then, I found that half the mechanisms
weren’t playable! I already had a few playtesters, and they all came back and said, “Great, but can
you do it like this? Can you do it like that?” So there was much gnashing of teeth and, eventually
said, “Okay, that’s like in Warhammer”. So, some of it is more conservative than my original draft.
HH: I find it very elegant.
RP: Well, “elegant” is the word that people often use, but the funny thing is that when I talk to
people about Warmaster, the one thing they often want to do is add more detail into it. More
representative detail. Especially for Ancients. And I have to tell them that I worked so hard to strip
all that detail out! I wanted to make it simple. I worked so hard to get it down to an abstract, and the
first thing they want to do is start adding all that stuff back in! And the system doesn’t suffer that
very easily, because it is elegant and precise in its own way, in the way it works. If you start to add
modifiers in, and vary the troop types, it can begin to fall apart a bit.
© Copyright Henry Hyde, Rick Priestley and John Stallard 2010

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