Monday, 2 October 2017

Reflecting on the Summer Campaign 2017

With the Edge of the Abyss Summer Campaign drawn to a close, I thought I'd best get down my reflections before I get stuck into the next thing.

Overall, my feelings about it are positive. I had a lot of fun playing and tracking games, and I'm really grateful to Mantic for giving this a shot. I feel confident that they'll want to do another in the future. As with all first attempts there are lessons to be learned, and without any claim to any form of expertise in the matter (be it programming, business management, whatever) I'd like to offer some feedback purely from a player/participant's personal perspective.

While a lot of this may seem like criticism, I just want to re-emphasis that I really enjoyed the campaign overall.


The "summer" campaign needed to be more comfortably placed in the summer period. For my part, my brother and I were planning at least one game every two or so days during the summer, however the bulk of the campaign being in September meant fitting participation around university. I'm sure we can't have been the only ones who'd have been able to get more out of it were it even a month earlier.


I loved the special rules being added for limited windows, but I think that easily could have happened more than twice in the campaign. I'd have thought once a week at least once the BoW site was up.

This is actually related to another aspect that I feel could be improved: updates and communications from Mantic/the warconsole. At first I was logging onto the warconsole every day during the campaign, but during the last two weeks I only did so to upload battles or occasionally to read some other reports. I really, really think the campaign site needed daily updates. The temporary site that was up before the BoW site actually had this, and it was PERFECT. 150ish word narrative updates on key movements and battles from the day before. A large part of what seemed to be the point of the campaign was to give more of a sense of narrative investment to KoW players, and something as simple as those little daily updates really delivered that.

In comparison, the BoW site, while having many great features, felt robotic and disconnected. Many players did a great job writing some excellent fluff into their reports, but the lack an official, overarching "narrator" voice was really noticeable.

Also, during the first week of the campaign (I believe) Mantic had a blog post highlighting some of the best/most interesting battle reports they had received. This was never repeated as far as I can tell, which is hard to understand given the ease with which they could have linked to "best of the week" battles, or something like that.


This one is clearly not Mantic's fault, but the BoW site had some irritating bugs. Rather than discuss all the ones I read about, I'll stick the ones I experienced myself.

One I'm sure many players came across is that the gallery function seemed to put the pictures in reverse order, and this would often result in players submitting battles that seemed to move backwards (I know this isn't technically a bug but you know what I mean).

Also, if you submitted two different pictures, to two different battle reports, that happened to have the same name ("Elves Turn 1", say) the site would freak out and start either not loading one of the images or load the image from the other battle. I even had this happen across two separate accounts (I had one for Ratkin and one for Elves), and so on one of my Ratkin battles, if you clicked one of the pictures to fullscreen it would appear as a picture of my Elf army after deployment.

Click this image...
...and get a fullscreen of this image!


A great idea, and mostly good ideas for the achievements themselves. The massive points given to writing on message boards on the site and for leaving lots of comments seemed like an odd priority, when you consider that there wasn't an achievement for getting a draw, for example (or for getting four draws, "Drawn and Quartered" they could've called it! Eh? Nobody?). I think there was room for more wacky achievements that would be hard to engineer winning, maybe for something like getting a Pyrrhic victory, or losing by 1 objective point etc.

And back to the good

The opportunity to play a part in shaping the narrative of the game world is something I absolutely loved, and I can't wait to see what Mantic do next. Locally the campaign got my brother and I playing a lot more in our FLGS, where we may have been able to spread a little of the KoW bug around.

So thanks Mantic! Get to dropping that sourcebook so I can give you more money.

Long live the Kings of War!


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  2. Definitely agree on the input from Mantic. Would have been great to know that Mantic was paying attention and weaving a story (not sure if BoW was supposed to).
    The timing was awkward though. Earlier would have been at the same time as Konor and I don't think competing with 40k for attention is wise. It seems companies have been avoiding each other's time though. WOTAN (Infinity) was done before Konor (40K). Konor overlapped with Edge of the Abyss though, now Wyrd is staring their Malifaux campaign soon.

    1. Interesting. I had no idea about any of those other campaigns/events. I guess it makes sense not to want to force those who play multiple systems to choose, but perhaps they just need to trust in their game's appeal and ignore the rest. I don't know, but either way when the bulk of your campaign is in autumn, probably should stop calling it "summer" haha.