Well, what can we say? 2016 proved to be an incredibly tumultuous year for us as far as Wrath of Kings goes. We started out with strong plans for a great year, and in April we started to deliver on our promises. We had a burst of great releases to coincide with AdeptiCon, and these then filtered out into retailers around the world.
Wrath of Kings: Honor and Treachery was our first foray into a two-player starter set format. We provided two starter forces of our most popular factions (Goritsi and Nasier), quick start rules, a scenario and some 2D-punchcard terrain, all for $60. Throughout the year, this set was a good seller, very popular at all of the shows we attended.
We also released the first wave of boxed sets from the (then forthcoming) Rising Conflicts book. Nasier and Teknes saw the bulk of the love, with Infantry and Specialist boxes for both, while Goritsi received some fantastic werewolf Characters.
At CMON Expo in May, we made a few quite grand announcements about the future of the game and the way we’d be releasing the rest of the Rising Conflicts boxed sets over the year. We basically said that we’d release three more boxes in August, and then follow that up with two boxes each month until all the units from Rising Conflicts had been released. This was a very good plan, and we were very excited about it, but like all plans, it didn’t survive contact with reality. More on that later.
We were able to create and launch the Wrath of Kings Organized Play Kits (there’re two of them) in August, with the first prizes being handed out at GenCon. This is something that the community had been asking for, so we were excited to be able to provide it. If they do well, we’ll certainly look into doing more in the future.
And that mention of GenCon leads us on to the downswing in the second half of the year. That great plan wetland about earlier? This is when a number of factors beyond our control came into play and caused numerous confusing delays for us, the product, and the excitement for you, the Wrath of Kings enthusiast!
For GenCon in August we were able to airfreight in a limited number of copies of the Rising Conflicts book, the Book One Unit Cards, and the three boxes you see pictured above. These sold quickly at the show, but weren’t worried at the time, we knew our sea-freight was just around the corner.
Sadly, that was not actually the case. When Hanjin Shipping collapsed it disrupted our supply lines considerably. Stock was delayed as new shipping companies were found, another was a knock on effect for our planned Q4 releases. When the above products did arrive in our warehouse, there was confusion about the new street dates that compounded the issues, and delays stacked up.
Rather than try to air-freight in any number of the previously slated Q4 releases, we made the tough decision to postpone their release until we could be certain of the full amount of stock being in our warehouse.
All in all, there was a great deal of wailing and gnashing of teeth. Confusion reigned and we (perhaps incorrectly) pulled back from making any announcements or promises until we knew we could achieve our goals. We thank you all for your continued patience, and we look forward to moving on in 2017.
Speaking of which…
This Friday, January 13th, we have the first of the “two boxes a month” releases. Finally, the forces of Shael Han get some reinforcements in the form of the first of the Celestials.
The Celestial Gatekeepers and Celestial Tricksters are both Specialist boxed sets and the first that cover the Celestial spirits that work alongside the forces of Shael Han. The Gatekeepers are fiercely dogged guardians that will not let the enemy escape once they get a hold of them. The Tricksters are capricious spirits who seek to sow as much discord as possible, tricking their opponents into striking themselves and luring them around the battlefield.
We have another two boxes that will release in February, and Nasier gets some new Characters, while Teknes gains a couple of brutal Specialists.
Kor Kallum is a massive Rank 2 Specialist Character who was the prototype for the Greatwing project. He can not only fly, but also switch between a number of special abilities that buff his already solid melee attack or weaken the options of the opponents around him. Vallenya Rhabar is a Rank 1 Specialist Character who is the quintessential Nasier assassin: infiltrating, side- and shadow-stepping, and finding the weakness in her opponent’s defenses.
The Butchers of House Teknes are Rank 1 Specialists focused on destruction. Although their attacks are quite considerable already, as these hardy warriors suffer damage their rage just adds to the carnage they leave in their wake.
And then we come back around again to Hadross and Shael Han. With these releases, each faction will have received three new boxed sets from the Rising Conflicts book.
The Neritic Horrors from House Hadross are literally animated collections of thousands of living corals. Herdsman Deepcallers have bound Neridian spirits into these formations to create these walking reefs. These Rank 1 Specialists cause dangerous Aura effects as they shamble across the battlefield.
And perhaps one of the most anticipated boxed sets from Rising Conflicts – the Celestial Host. This boxed set contains the Infantry component of the Celestial forces, and includes a Rank 1 Leader (the Avatar of the Monkey) and two each of the other Rank 2 Infantry models (Avatars of the Elephant, Bear, and Snake). Each of these Celestial spirits has a different focus in battle, from entangling the enemy, to soaking up damage, to obviously tearing their opponents limb from limb.
It has been a rough year for us on the Wrath of Kings team. Some things have gone incredibly well, and others spectacularly poorly. However, thanks to your constant support, we stand ready to face the new year with all we have. We look forward to continuing this journey with you.
The Wrath of Kings team.