This is the second part of my interview with Natalya Faden about here amazing Torn Armor miniatures board game. If you haven’t seen the first part of this interview, read it here!
And don’t forget to give the Torn Armor Kickstarter a good look. The sheer amount of cool stuff found there is mind-blowing!
The first part of the interview covered – roughly – Natalya’s love for fantasy games and the original inspirations and ideas for Torn World and Torn Armor. The second part gets down to the nitty-gritty, as Natalya answers my questions on the miniatures themselves, the game-play of the Torn Armor board game and the long-term plans beyond the current Kickstarter-campaign.
In this part of the interview Natalya talks about
#4 – Torn Armor Factions
Zweischneid: What I like about the Torn Armour are the (so far) two very different factions – the Sisk and Maychians. They are clearly nothing like, say, Orks and Humans or High and Dark Elves. Where did the inspiration for those two come from?
Natalya: The Sisk are drawn from my deep fascination for the Greeks, Spartans, and Romans. How advanced they were culturally, and then how they went about conquering the world around them. To the Romans they were doing the right thing, bringing their magnificent culture to a barbaric horde. And – let’s face it – their war machine was an incredibly sexy thing to behold. Talk about being super advanced in so many ways.
And that concept is incredible to me: that you effectively have a super-power not only in arms and might, but also in technology … and that’s what I wanted to add to Torn. Thus were born the Sisk, and their main technological advantage is their war golems.
The anthropomorphic races – The Maychians – are from a spread of continents in the northern hemisphere.
I wanted to do something different, break the mold a little, and actually create countries in which humans, elves, dwarves were not only NOT the major races, but they didn’t exist at all!
I am also a great fan of Egyptian, Mayan, Aztec and Incan cultures and thought it would be a twist if their animal-headed gods were animal headed for a reason: because the people themselves are animals. And, let’s face it, we have animal headed creatures already: wemics, minotaurs, the animal lords, were creatures etc. So lets take that one stage further … let’s make the entire populace be anthropomorphic and tap into those incredible Mayan/Aztec/Incan cultures in the process. And thus the Maychians were created.
They are not the only factions in Torn, but they were certainly mold breaking when it came to narrowing this down to “2” for the core set!
#5 – Torn Armor Miniatures
Zweischneid: You are working with Center Stage Miniatures for the miniatures themselves, which will be “lead-free”? Sounds like metal miniatures? Resin? Or will these by plastic miniatures? Something similar to Reaper Bones?
Natalya: Well a little clarity here. We’re not working with Center Stage Miniatures in that way. Center Stage have an agreement with us to produce a line of metal miniatures that are unique characters: Red, The Lich King, etc. They wanted to tap into the darker and unique side of Torn.
But Torn Armor is going to be through ourselves. We will be working with a company called Valiant (who are a behind the scenes fulfillment company that serves a great portion of the industry) to create the mini-stretch goals in metal and/or resin.
The core Torn Armor game is going to be produced by the same company handling Fantasy Flight’s DUST, and that will be in a combination of two plastics: Polysterene and HIPs.
Both plastics are hard and firm. One is slightly harder and will be used for larger pieces and weaponry (no bendy weapons here mister!), while the slightly softer plastic will be used for bodies, smaller miniatures and such.
The final quality is exceptional and is the opposite of those terrible cheap plastic minatures you get in blister packs and such.
#6 – Torn Armor Gameplay
Zweischneid: For the game itself, an important aspect you stress on Kickstarter and on your homepage is that Torn Armour is easy to set up, fast to play and without the steep buy-in other fantasy miniatures games require. What exactly makes Torn Armor so good for casual play?
Natalya: Well when we conceived of this idea – and remember my roots are in week long Napoleonic campaigns spread over 20 square feet of loft space! – we felt that what the market was missing was something that you could easily get into, something accessible, even to a casual gamer, and something that did not require a massive army, lots of money to get into, and lots of time and room to play.
So let’s throw away the rulers, let’s boil this down, and let’s create something that has a small footprint, is quick to set up, comes with everything you need to play in the core box, and can be played in 30 minutes or so.
So here we are: we have a game that you can pick up and play within 20-30 minutes, the rules are very easy to digest, and the gameplay romps along quickly – there’s no half hour pauses between rounds, there’s no need to dedicate 4hrs to gamplay. Invite your friends, go to the local coffee shop if you like, and bang out a few games in less than 2hrs.
But the beauty about it is that it’s expandable: slot on extra battle maps, bring in extra units, double up on the gold value allowed for each side, add in the optional rules. So the game is appealing to casual gamers, but limitless in its expandability, which then appeals to the hardcore wargamers.
#7 – The Future of Torn Armor
Zweischneid: Assuming your Kickstarter will be a success (and I have little doubt there), what have you planned for supporting the game (and world) of Torn Armor after the Kickstarter? What’s your vision on the future of Torn in the long run?
Natalya: We have a production plan out through to the end of 2014 as it stands and limitless possibilities beyond that.
I want to immediately expand on the two core factions by adding additional units and variations so you can field elite hoplites, or militia mu, that type of thing: really broaden and deepen the possibilities and options.
I want to expand certain races to the point where you could field an entire vanaran army if you wanted to!
And then I want to get into the other factions: the Kyukoku samurai elves, the heavy knights and shock dwarves from Druath Glennan, the innumerable undead hordes from the Valley of the Lich King, the desert tribes of Topec, and even *whatever* lies in that other alien world over there
Let me know what you think in the comments below!