After the announcement arrived a few months ago that something was boiling in the pot, here is finally the official presentation: Small World of Warcraft arrives
The history of World of Warcraft board games is troubled, with ups and downs, out of print and unobtainable pieces, legendary expansions and quite obvious flops. However, she has always managed to stand on a hard core of diehard fans, who for several years had been dry-mouthed. Until now.
The ingredients for the right Alchemy
A world in conflict? There is. Races with mixed fortunes fighting for control over the territories are there? There is. Characterization and asymmetry of each people? There is. In short, the premises for this crossover were there and we knew, but how far do they go?
Apparently, quite a lot: even faction loyalty, Artifacts and Legendaries have been included (although it is not equipment, but territories).
More generally, the game materials were rendered in the Warcraftian style; therefore in Small World of Warcraft we will have the Watchtowers, the Wisps, the faction banners, and so on.
The Class is not Race
Unfortunately the Classes are not mentioned, not in the traditional sense at least, but the races and how: there will be sixteen. At this point speculations begin, because sixteen is a number that seems incomprehensible. The playable races are six per faction, so a total of twelve; adding the Pandaren, the neutral race, we come to only thirteen "traditional" races. Could it be that among the three remaining races are the much-loved Murlocs? Well… no, probably not. But let's not despair, because Murlocs are mentioned in the game material list, so they will certainly be included one way or another. Whether they are Ogre, Ethereal or Naga, we wait to find out as more information will be revealed.
The choice of including Friuli-Venezia among the game territories is interesting.
Small World of Warcraft: un banale reskin?
The doubt frankly emerges, especially considering the trend of recent years that Blizzard seems to have taken in wanting to monetize any product without decoration (* cough cough * Warcraft Reforged * cough cough *). However, in this case, to the fresh and captivating graphic sector, it seems that the author, the Belgian mathematician Philippe Keyaerts, has added a new mechanic, namely the exploration of large spaces. It just seems perfect for a game like Small World of Warcraft, and frankly, the idea of discovering how oxymoronic concepts like the claustrophobic struggle of a patch of land and long journeys and commutes can be combined is truly intriguing.
The Small World of Warcraft Legacy
As mentioned in the incipit, Small World of Warcraft carries a considerable burden on its shoulders, or the expectations of all its predecessors. The choice of Blizzard to return to enter the world of boardgaming with a game that is not a simple party game, will surely raise the antennas of many historical fans.
The first problem that is disputed across the board games of Warcraft is that they are complicated and not very accessible; even the Adventure Game, which is supposed to be the light version of its big brother, is far from understandable in relation to the fun it offers. In this case, however, I believe that this problem can be considered solved, as Small World of Warcraft is not already an original game, but rather an adaptation of a pre-existing title.
Second, the distribution; a sore point, actually common to several Fantasy Flight titles. In the case of the most coveted and sought after titles, then World of Warcraft: the Boardgame and its expansion, the failure to reissue combined with good success and emotional attachment has caused an increase in the rarity and prices of these titles over the years. It's true, World of Warcraft thrives on collecting, both online and offline, but let's not exaggerate; in this case, fortunately, the distribution is entrusted to Asmodee Spain, the undisputed leader in the sector, from which we can expect seriousness in this sense also in the future.
Will a Small World be enough for Warcraft?
The positive constant of Warcraft board games, that is to perfectly return the sensations of the game, we do not yet know if it will be respected. Starting from the empirical observation, in the games developed from scratch, even with all their defects, the flavor was fully restored; in the lighter games instead (such as Monopoly and Trivial Pursuit or, going a little further, Bang) we were limited to simply a reskin.
In the hope that, as mentioned above, this is not just a new outfit for Smallworld, but a true fusion with World of Warcraft, the unknown is how and if this feeling will be rendered. In short, waiting to be able to try it this summer, let's cross our fingers and get ready to take down some ogre: for the Alliance!