Theme Forces are rules which essentially allow you to play a "sub-faction" within one of the core factions. The range of models you are allowed to take is severely restricted, but you get several in-game bonuses (for example extra models over the normal points limit, extra abilities, bonuses to your starting rolls, extra large deployment zone, etc).
Privateer Press have deliberately designed the bonuses you get for playing in-theme as very strong, and expect most players to be playing one theme or another. They are viewed as a primary building block in your list design and construction.
Theme Forces didn't exist at all in Mk1 (2003 to 2010), and functioned differently in Mk2 (2010 to 2016). In Mk3, however, Theme Forces were redesigned from the ground up to be an integral part of how players play the game. The reason PP did this is really quite simple - the game was getting too big. After 13 years of constant releases all of the core factions were well fleshed-out, and it was becoming difficult to add new and interesting models to the line-up without it stepping on the toes of something already available in-faction, and/or blurring the lines that define one faction from another. Also it was harder to identify a potentially broken combination of rules.
Theme Forces - Pros & Cons
Now, with players expected to be playing inside Theme Force restrictions, there are several advantages:
- Privateer Press can release new models for a Faction with rules that may be similar to existing models in that Faction, as long they're in different themes.
- Previously, if two units did similar things, players would only reach for the "best" or "most cost-effective" option. If the new model was decided to be less cost-effective, it never got looked at again.
- When PP release a new model, they can test it thoroughly in the Theme Force that it belongs to and see if there are any broken combinations. Since the Theme Force is smaller, it reduces the development and testing period.
- If there are broken combinations out-of-theme (that were missed in the dev testing), that is less of a concern because a player has to give up the strong Theme Bonuses to get the broken combination, so it's self-balancing.
However, it's not all sunshine and roses. There are several disadvantages too:
- It's harder for a player, new players especially, to 'dabble' in a new Faction. If they play out of theme, they're at a disadvantage. To play in theme, they have to invest heavily in one style of aesthetic & playstyle that they may not like in the long run. Remember how hard it was to pick your first Faction? Imagine that, multiplied by 10.
- Currently (as of 2017.07) not every Faction has a broad range of Themes. Those with more Themes have more diversity to choose from, to tailor lists to their preferred playstyle and/or opponents. Vice versa for those Factions with less Themes
- Some of the Theme Forces released at the beginning of Mk3 were rushed out the door, as it were, and can be significantly more or less powerful than their comparisons.
Rules Clarification: Theme Forces (Edit)
| Mercenaries and Partisans
|Spells||All spells - Warcaster & Warlock spells - Solo's spells - Warbeast Animi|
|Abilities||Model abilities - Weapon abilities|
|Model types||Model types - Model subtypes|
|Other||Anthology Books - Theme Forces - Special Terrain Rules|
This category has the following 14 subcategories, out of 14 total.
Pages in category "Theme Force"
The following 56 pages are in this category, out of 56 total.
- Theme - Armored Korps
- Theme - Band of Heroes
- Theme - Black Industries
- Theme - Bump in the Night
- Theme - Call of the Wild
- Theme - Children of the Dragon
- Theme - Clockwork Legions
- Theme - Dark Host
- Theme - Dark Menagerie
- Theme - Defenders of Ios
- Theme - Destruction Initiative
- Theme - Disciples of Agony
- Theme - Exemplar Interdiction
- Theme - Forges of War
- Theme - Gravediggers
- Theme - Guardians of the Temple
- Theme - Hammer Strike
- Theme - Heavy Metal
- Theme - Imperial Warhost
- Theme - Infernal Machines
- Theme - Jaws of the Wolf
- Theme - Kriel Company
- Theme - Legion of Steel
- Theme - Legions of Dawn
- Theme - Llaelese Resistance
- Theme - Magnum Opus
- Theme - Masters of War
- Theme - Operating Theater
- Theme - Oracles of Annihilation
- Theme - Power of Dhunia
- Theme - Prima Materia
- Theme - Primal Terrors
- Theme - Ravens of War
- Theme - Scourge of the Broken Coast
- Theme - Secret Masters
- Theme - Shadows of the Retribution
- Theme - Slaughter Fleet Raiders
- Theme - Sons of the Tempest
- Theme - Storm Division
- Theme - Storm of the North
- Theme - The Blindwater Congregation
- Theme - The Bones of Orboros
- Theme - The Creator's Might
- Theme - The Devourer's Host
- Theme - The Exalted
- Theme - The Faithful Masses
- Theme - The Ghost Fleet
- Theme - The Irregulars
- Theme - The Kingmaker's Army
- Theme - The Talion Charter
- Theme - The Thornfall Alliance
- Theme - The Wild Hunt
- Theme - Will Work for Food
- Theme - Winds of Death
- Theme - Winter Guard Kommand
- Theme - Wolves of Winter