Confrontation is a name that not many gamers have likely heard about. From the looks of these screenshots and videos, you just might be hearing a lot about it soon.
So what is Confrontation? Originally, it was a fantasy-themed tabletop miniatures game by a French company called Rackham. People would buy the rulebook, buy miniatures, paint them, and then set aside a few hours on a Sunday to engage in fantastic, strategic battles across elaborately designed miniature terrain.
What separated Rackham’s miniatures apart was the amazing detail in the miniatures. A talented painter could create a true work of art that would put rival games such as Warhammer to shame. Unfortunately, the studio was also burdened by an incredibly elaborate set of rules that took more work than most people were willing to spend to understand the game. Throw in the higher cost of getting an army up and painted than, say, Warhammer, and Rackham tragically went out of business.
So it was amazing to see Cynaide studio (the same folks that took on the ambitious task of turning the elaborate politics of the Game of Thrones world into a strategy title) pick up the license to a defunct brand.
I’m glad they did though, because this is a seriously good looking game.
There’s a number of advantages that Confrontation brings the video game form. It’s small scale, with skirmishes featuring just a handful of miniatures each on each side. Anyone who has played a tactics game knows this formula works, and is usually quite accessible.
And Confrontation was a seriously impressive fantasy, with some amazing factions and spectacular creatures involved. That gives Cyanide a lot of room to make an interesting story out of the game. It also goes without saying that the power of AI and programming can turn that elaborate gameplay system into something much more digestible for the more casual gamers.
Finally, there’s the fact there are a lot of factions, and a lot of units within each faction. Building the ideal army, and taking that army to online play could be our chance to finally get back into playing a game many of us had given up on.
So we have our fingers crossed for this game, and we’re expecting big things from Cyanide when the game goes live soon.
Don’t let us down, guys. With the Warhammer license being used for anything but strategy gaming, perhaps Confrontation will find itself with a gaming niche all to its own.
Waitwaitwait. Back up.
Confrontation had denser rules and a higher price point than Warhammer?
Is that possible? Warhammer costs so much money and is so confusing it's hard to imagine anything being worse! No wonder it didn't take off as a table-top game!
That being said, this looks pretty cool. I'll definitely keep my eye on this in the future. Thanks for the heads-up, man!
Haha, yeah, I don't think I ever properly understood how to play Confrontation. Played quite a few games of it back in the day, but always found myself making mistakes and learning new rules.
As for the price, well, the lowliest of miniatures was an incredible jump in quality over the best of Warhammer miniatures, so really, you did get what you paid for.
It's just that not many people wanted to pay for it 😛
I've still got the rulebook and some miniatures floating around somewhere. I'll have to brush up before I play this game to see how they compare.
I used to collect Warhammer stuff; I was really into the 40k universe (still am, really) and started with the Space Marines before settling with the Necrons (because who doesn't want to have a field full of Terminators — amirite?). I even dabbled with Wood Elves and Lizardmen with the fantasy Warhammer before deciding to just call it quits.
It was fun while it lasted but I liked playing the game, not painting the figures. Hell, I'd probably be willing to pay someone to paint the figures for me as long as I got to play with them! (This was largely why I settled on the Necrons — all I had to do was drybrush the figures with silver and call it a day!)
The painting was one of the main factors I stopped, but there were others: for instance, the price for admission is so high and, more importantly, I didn't have any friends who were willing to devote that much time and money. Still, it would be fun to get back into a game like that!
I gave it away for much the same reasons you did: money, time, a lack of people to play with, and a distaste for painting the darned things (undead for me).
There's been some good alternative games over the years. Wargods was another good one. It's just such a niche hobby that there's only room for one long term, big player.