The team behind Warhammer 40,000: Freeblade is building an Age Of Sigmar fantasy MOBA. It's called Realm War, and we got a chance to play it at Gamescom in Germany last month. Feast your eyes on some glorious screenshots as we share some behind-the-scenes words from Pixel Toys boss Andy Wafer.
Realm War is a PvP competitive game where you're trying to take down a tower and then the opponent's general, by deploying forces into one of two lanes. Although the troops are represented by cards, the battle plays out in colourful 3D – and you can spectate replays in AR.
"After Freeblade we wanted to see what else we could do," Wafer tells us, as we look at this new high fantasy battle game on an iPad Pro. "So we came back to Games Workshop, and said, 'We want to do something else. We want to do something that maybe has got a broader appeal so that we reach the right audience. So maybe a more traditional fantasy game?' At that stage, Age Of Sigmar was relatively new."
Released in 2015, Age Of Sigmar was the overhaul of tabletop Warhammer Fantasy that divided hardcore fans. It gave the long-running game a more narrative focus and rebooted the universe, introducing the Grand Alliances that vie for control of the eight Mortal Realms which are connected by Realmgates. You're probably familiar with Warhammer 40,000, Games Workshop's gothic sci-fi setting; alternatively, Warhammer: Age Of Sigmar boasts a high fantasy setting of gods, kings and green-skinned Orruks.
In Pixel Toys' Realm War, the units are modelled directly on Games Workshop's miniatures, and you can see them in full detail on screen – or superimpose them on your tabletop in glorious AR. "These in-game 3D assets are really detailed recreations of the miniatures," explains Wafer. "If you’re a fan of the miniatures, there’s a lot of cool things!" You can see all around your favourite Warhammer models and even take a picture of them as they stand (in augmented reality) on your desk.
Although the presentation is very different, Realm War's gameplay style will be familiar to players of competitive games like Clash Royale. "The basic structure of the game is, you collect cards. And these cards obviously represent units," says Wafer. "If you successfully complete a battle, then you receive an award which delivers more cards."
There will be 40 card types at launch. "But obviously we expect to release cards every month, and expand on that," explains Wafer. "And the great thing about working with this license is that there’s a huge amount of content we can use!"
There are also cards that represent abilities. As well as their primary attack, some units have special powers, and the general also has a unique talent he can deploy. If you get three units through the upper, more difficult, lane, you also gain a reinforcement card which gives you further special attacks.
While we play, we see a unit that can leap over the tower and go straight for the general, a pilot who drops bombs from his flying contraption, and then Wafer's commander unleashes a swarm of vermin on the enemy.
Like many MOBAs, the game will be free to play with in-app purchases to speed up rewards. "If you want to progress more quickly, you can pay," says Wafer. "But you still have to be good at the game."
Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Realm War is due out in October.
You can read more about Pixel Toys on our business-focussed sister site PocketGamer.biz. The official Warhammer community site can be found here, and there's an official Realm War site here. There are lots of Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000 games out there: in the comments below, let us know which ones you're currently playing, and which ones you're most looking forward to. Will you be battling in Realm War this October?