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Interview with Privateer Press


  • Interview with Privateer Press

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    Next up in The Hotseat is one of the giants in the miniature world, non other than Privateer Press. Producers of some of the most popular games and miniatures on the planet Privateer Press has brought us such goodies as Warmachine, Hordes , Iron Kingdoms and P3 paints.
    We spoke to Privateer's Staff Writer and Community Co-ordinator Simon BermanClick image for larger version

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    How did your company get started?

    Founded in December 2000 with the goal of producing the best games possible, Privateer Press has become known for an unparalleled ability to create and bring exciting, original worlds to life in art, fiction, and games. Privateer Press is credited with a steady series of highly successful role playing game and tabletop miniatures game products and has established the honored and acclaimed Iron Kingdoms world setting as well as the award-winning WARMACHINE and HORDES miniatures game properties.

    Will the Iron Kingdoms be getting any new minis or rule sets in the foreseeable future?

    We’re constantly developing new minis for WARMACHINE and HORDES! We’ve got some big stuff in the works for 2012 as well as our new Iron Kingdoms Role-Playing Game, set to debut at Gen Con 2012.

    How is the Iron Kingdoms RPG coming along?

    It’s coming along really well. I’m in the middle of revising a draft of a chapter tentatively titled “Life in the Iron Kingdoms” that will be a hopefully solid overview of what its like to live, work, and hopefully survive as a denizen of the nations of western Immoren. In the coming months we’ll have a lot more to say about both the game’s setting and its mechanics, based as they are in the core of the WARMACHINE and HORDES system,but in the meantime No Quarter Magazine #40 features an interview on the game with myself and Development Manager, David “DC” Carl.

    Privateer has fostered an extremely active online community. What do you think has been the key ingredient to doing so? Do you believe this has helped WARMACHINE and HORDES in their explosive growth?

    I think one of the most important factors in fostering our online community has been our commitment to maintaining an open dialogue with our audience. When we first announced WARMACHINE Mk II in early 2010 we held the Field Test; an open playtest of the new rules and our existing models. The Field Test let us gather feedback from thousands of players and helped us fine tune the game into what it is today and undoubtedly helped to create the explosive we’ve growth enjoyed since that release. More people are playing WARMACHINE and HORDES every day and speaking as our Community Coordinator, I can say that I’m extremely proud of our community for their enthusiasm and civility.

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    How difficult is it to keep the Iron Kingdoms RPG world and the WM/H world from taking off in different directions?

    It’s not an issue at all, actually! We’re setting the new Iron Kingdoms Role-Playing game in the year 608 AR, the immediate past. We chose this time period carefully since it not only keeps us from worrying about advancing the timeline and confusing the setting of the books, but also as a time where the nations of the Iron Kingdoms have entered a state of uneasy truces and ceasefires; a tense time to go adventuring, but not a period of open warfare.

    Do you think that the PP community does a better job than other gaming communities about self-policing?

    Definitely. As the person who administrates our forums, Facebook, and Twitter, I’m often surprised at how little we and our moderators have to interfere. Our forums moderators are all extremely level headed people and I think people would be surprised to learn how rarely we actually have to ban anyone from our forums. Our audience generally stays positive and polite to one another. Sometimes they let us know they don’t like something we’ve done as a company, but we’ve got thick skin when it comes to criticism, and we really value the opinions of the people who keep our doors open and lights on!

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    Is there a staff favorite alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverage?

    I think rum is probably the office favorite but I’m more of a bourbon drinker. In fact, the awesome forum moderators pitched in and sent me a bottle of really nice small batch bourbon for Christmas!

    Who's coming to TempleCon? Will there be any Privateer painting classes at TempleCon?

    I think the roster this year includes myself, Creative Director, Ed Bourelle, Organized Play Coordinator, Jen Ikuta, Marketing Manager, Lyle Lowery, Events Coordinator, Jason Martin, Director of Business Development, Will Shick, and Lead Developer, Jason Soles. We’re not running any painting classes this year, but our keynote panel and presentation at 10 AM is going to be a do-not-miss event for any fan of Privateer!

    Is there any chance of digital PDF copies of the WARMACHINE & HORDES books being sold so that people can have a ready reference for their preferred e-reader or laptop?

    We’re definitely aware of the growing demands for digital print among our community and we’re exploring new options for the future. We’ve already taken some steps in this direction by making out of print issues of No Quarter Magazine available in PDF, as well as the original d20 Iron Kindoms RPG books. All of these items are currently available through

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    Do you think the global economy is affecting Wargaming?

    I think it’s hitting every industry hard. But the replay value of miniatures war-games, as well as the hobby aspects, helps buffer us. You get many more hours of entertainment out of painting a new warcaster or warjack and then playing games with it than you would in seeing a two hour movie in the theater. There are certainly economic challenges, but Privateer has seen our most explosive growth ever over the course of this past year, so there are definitely ways to deal with it.

    Given the cost of metals in the market and other mini manufactures steering towards plastic and resin alternatives, does Privateer plan on heading towards more plastic or resin in the future?

    We’ve been experimenting with alternate materials for several years now. The recent success and reception of our hybrid resin/white metal kits has been great and we’ll certainly continue to explore options to help stabilize the cost of our figures.

    The internet has changed how we interact with each other; do you think technology will become more prevalent within the hobby? Does Privateer envisage any electronic integration to its game systems in any way?

    Again, we’re aware that our audience would love to see something along these lines and we have some pretty cool ideas to explore. It’s also challenging to find a way to integrate a traditional tabletop experience with electronic items without invalidating the things that make that visceral real-world experiencing. That said, I’m confident we’re going to rise to that challenge and give our audience something pretty awesome.

    Video gaming is such a dominant force within children’s spare time these days. Do you think this is harmful for bringing in new blood to our hobby?

    It’s certainly a challenge, but I think this change in the audience has leveled off within the past decade. The fun of playing a physical miniatures game with beautifully painted miniatures on a table full of cool looking terrain is a visceral pleasure. I think there will always be a market for that experience.

    Do you have a dedicated team of painters or do you hire freelance painters to paint your models?

    Both! We’re lucky to have two immensely talented in-house painters, Matt DiPietro and Meg Maples. Matt and Meg handle the majority of our painting needs but we do sometimes hire freelancers to help paint models for No Quarter Magazine and other projects. Our Studio Director, Ron Kruzie, pitches in sometimes as well.

    Does PP utilise digital sculpting and printing, or plan to in the future?

    Ben Misenar is one of our studio sculptors and he works entirely digitally. We’ve been using both traditional and digital sculpting methods for several years now. However, we very often combine the two disciplines when creating our more elaborate models. The Protectorate of Menoth Vessel of Judgment is a great example of how we have combined traditional and digital sculpting methods to create a really breathtaking centerpiece model. Ben created the body of the Vessel digitally before it was handed over to our traditional internal sculptor Sean Bullough. Sean took the body and sculpted tons of intricate filigree over the Vessel, infusing it with the kind of lavish detail that defines the Protectorate aesthetic. And while Ben and Sean were working diligently on the Vessel itself, the crew were being worked on by a third sculptor!

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    Which Privateer minis are revered as favourites by Privateer staffers themselves?

    I think everyone here has their favorite figure and I wouldn’t presume to speak for anyone but myself. For me, I think my favorites are the three Iron Liches of the Withershadow Combine. They hit everything I like about the look of Cryx, and each lich is a unique looking character within the unit, particularly Tremulus and his creepy little skeleton marionette.

    Who would win Bear v Shark?

    That’s tough, but my favorite movie as a kid was Jaws, so I’m going to have to vote shark.

    Simon Berman ~ is the Community Coordinator and a staff writer at Privateer Press where he writes fiction for WARMACHINE, HORDES, and the upcoming Iron Kingdoms Role-Playing Game. Simon has been writing for Privateer since 2008 and managing Privateer’s social media and online communities since 2009.

    A massive thank you to Simon and Privateer Press for taking the time to answer our questions. It's great to hear from one of the biggest names in the industry ad gain an invaluable insight into how they see things.
    Privateer Press produce some cracking products, whether it be miniatures,paints games or accessories, definitely worth a look at their site which can be found here: Privateer Press

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