Category:Theme Force

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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[edit]

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.
Theme Forces (Edit)
Cryx The Ghost Fleet - Infernal Machines - Dark Host - Black Industries (Edit)
Cygnar Storm Division - Heavy Metal - Sons of the Tempest - Gravediggers (Edit)
Khador Armored Korps - Winter Guard Kommand - Legion of Steel - Jaws of the Wolf - Wolves of Winter (Edit)
Protectorate of Menoth The Creator's Might - Guardians of the Temple - Exemplar Interdiction (Edit)
Retribution of Scyrah Forges of War - Defenders of Ios - Shadows of the Retribution (Edit)
Mercenaries Hammer Strike - The Irregulars - The Kingmaker's Army - Operating Theater - The Talion Charter (Edit)
Convergence of Cyriss Destruction Initiative - Clockwork Legions (Edit)
Circle Orboros Secret Masters (Unreleased) - The Bones of Orboros - The Devourer's Host - The Wild Hunt (Edit)
Legion of Everblight Ravens of War - Children of the Dragon - Oracles of Annihilation (Edit)
Skorne Imperial Warhost - Winds of Death - Disciples of Agony (CID) - The Exalted (Edit)
Trollbloods Band of Heroes - Power of Dhunia - Storm of the North (Edit)
Minions The Blindwater Congregation - The Thornfall Alliance - Will Work for Food (Edit)
Grymkin Dark Menagerie - Bump in the Night (Edit)

Library (Edit)
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