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Cult card game Warlord: Saga of the Storms plans a grand return of “the game you already know how to play”

There’s a new warlord in town.

Image credit: Alderac Entertainment Group/Kingswood Games

Warlord: Saga of the Storm is reappearing from the mists of memory thanks to a new edition called Into the Accordlands. The collectible card game will launch a Kickstarter campaign next month with new publisher Kingswood Games at the helm and a dedication to refining and mastering the old titles’ most beloved bits.

Originally designed by Oliver Schaaf and Dave Williams, Warlord: Saga of the Storm is a competitive CCG that originally advertised itself as “the game you already know how to play” owing to its D20-based action resolution system that intentionally carried shades of Dungeons & Dragons and other tabletop RPGs with a similar emphasis on combat. Players would add or subtract their relevant modifiers depending on the situation and then simply do or not do the intended action, whether that was taking out an enemy troop or defending themselves from a blow.

Warlord’s biggest innovation was in its deployment of cards. Instead of designing an entire resource system, the creators opted for something called Rank & File - a character’s level and location on the table determines what equipment they can wear, as well as what (class-specific) actions they might carry out. Additionally, the overall rank of a formation determines whether or not a new character can be added. It sounds a bit complicated on its face but was designed to mimic popular RPG play, and its 20-minute rounds could fit in before or after a session at the table.

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Alderac Entertainment Group handled Warlord’s initial 2001 release and managed the game until its cancellation in 2008. The licence then fell into Phoenix Interactive, which released 4th Edition that same year. No official products (aside from a 20th anniversary re-printing) have been released since 2012, but now AEG has partnered with Kingswood Games to design and produce Into the Accordlands, a wholly new edition that’ll hit Kickstarter on May 7th.

The Kickstarter campaign will attempt to fund a new starter box that contains one deck for each of the fantasy setting’s six ruling factions, and all of them will be ready to hit the table immediately. Kingswood Games promises in a press release that veteran and returning players will “rediscover the game they love”, now with refined mechanics, more worldbuilding work and general streamlining for accessibility.

Expansions are already on the horizon that will reintroduce Warlord’s original set of cards with fresh artwork and improved frames from illustrators such as Jason Engle, Jeff Menges, Chris Seaman and Steve Ellis. The designers specifically mentioned Overlords, Dragon Lords, Medusan Lords and the Box of Greed as targets for future releases. Kingswood Games seems as though it was spun up chiefly for remastering and rereleasing Warlord, and is apparently composed of former players and veteran designers. More information can be found on Warlord’s new website.

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