(L’interview est dispo en français par ici)
Generation Wars 2184, a skirmish miniature wargame, just came out. With a rulebook available for less than 15€, I did not have to think too long before going for it. But aside the small price, I bought it for two reasons:
– The game is simple and really easy to play, with a great dose of campaign-linked games and boss that could learn new trick through experience points.
– The game was written by a French guy (call it chauvinism, I’m fine with it :)
I’ve had a couple of test games and I’ve really enjoyed the mechanics (easy to play, hard to master!). I’m not going into details here as I’ll write a review to share what I think about it all (sorry though, that article will probably only be in French).
But I’ve got in touch with Maxime Cargol, humble author of the game, who kindly accepted to answer an interview that I’m now sharing with you, lucky fellows that you are.
So you want to know more about the guy who makes us play with little guys? Well here you are!
I’d like to warmly thank Maxime who was super reactive and very friendly. I can tell he’s a passionate guy who’s dying to share more about his game.
So thanks again, and long live Generation Wars!
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– So who is Maxime Cargol?
I’m 38, married with 2 children and I live in Perpignan (South of France). My game-related resume is probably very similar to many hobbyists out there, but it goes mainly from miniature wargames to board games. I’m passionate for both types.
I’ve been writing for “Petit Peuple”, a board games web-magazine that no longer exists. I’m addicted to games and I really guzzle them (I do buy and sell a lot of them though, my space and wallet being limited).
My game console has been picking up dust for years and apart from a rare DVD, I haven’t watched TV since 8 years. My main hobby remains board gaming in the wider meaning.
– When and how did you discover miniatures games?
Very young, I was 13-14 years old when I discovered the first edition of Bloodbowl thanks to my cousin. It was with the cardboard models and I’ve played it like crazy…
Then came Warhammer when I was 16 and it lasted for years. Warhammer 40K as well but less than the Fantasy version. Bloodbowl came back to my gaming life when I went to college, but this time with the miniatures and I’ve also played Necromunda a lot back then. Originally I’m a miniature wargames player, but board games have taken more and more space on my shelves over the years as they are less time consuming.
I constantly throw myself into a new miniature wargame (I do guzzle, I told you…), but this time the approach has changed: I’m creating!
– Do you see yourself more as a painter or a player? (or maybe both?)
I’m more of a player. Painting is a way to sublimate the game for me. I don’t really enjoy painting (not anymore at least). It’s a tedious thing to do with bright sides: satisfaction of the work achieved and a good way to evade. I can focus when I paint and I even learn new things as I often listen to history documentary on youtube.
But the real bright side comes when playing with painted material as it really boosts the gaming experience. And I’m not talking about the games I’ve tuned like a maniac, lol!
– What games do you prefer? (apart from Generation War of course!)
I guess the question is more about miniature wargames, right? So I won’t digress on board games.
Bloodbowl is like a cult to me. I was really into Necromunda, it was awesome back in the days. Recently I’ve enjoyed Frostgrave a lot. I’ve also had a good time playing Age of Sigmar and even if I’ve got tired of it for some reasons, it was great fun. I’ve tried many others, but these are the most significant that I’ve played.
I’ve also enjoyed Battlelore V1 and Tannhauser V2 as they are a good compromise between fun and easy to play, besides being mid-way to board games and miniature wargames.
– The game by its author: can you present us Generation Wars – 2184?
2184 is a skirmish game that takes place in a futuristic world. Each of the 6 clans is made of 6 to 12 models. The rules are simple so the game is fast paced and lethal. With 2184, I wanted to create a game both deep and well detailed but fast to play… A rather rare bird. The idea came up because I had been looking for that kind of game for a long time but never found it.
The recipe of my game is: simple and tactical rules, short games, small area (24’’x24’’), skirmish, evolving characters, campaign with interesting and numerous scenarios, avoid the supremacy of advanced war bands after a couple of scenarios to keep the game balanced, easily playable from 2 to 4 players.
I also wanted players to be totally free to play with the models they want and/or to use the models they already have.
– What inspired the creation of your game?
2184 Generation War is the result of all my miniature wargames experiences. I’ve been indeed inspired by different games, and I’ve mentioned the main ones earlier, but the funny thing is their flaws inspired me more than their qualities. As I don’t want to flame any specific game (I’ve noticed areas of improvement but I still enjoyed playing them) I’d refer to my recipe above.
I also have a fairly rich experience with board games and I might have been unconsciously influenced by them. It’s hard to tell, but maybe experienced players could map all different inputs better than me.
The game is also innovative on many aspects and I humbly think that passed its simplicity, Generation War is unique with a great mechanics and fills a gap in the miniature wargame universe.
– How much time did it take you to develop the game?
It’s hard to tell for the game itself as I did come up with other small game mechanics before. So I could be arrogant and reply it took me years, but months would be the humble answer… It’s highly relative.
The final formatting of the book itself took us 3 months with the designer, because he’s really good and on top of things! Nights were short.
– Best and worse memories of the creation of Generation Wars?
The worse memory is… the day before release. No one wants to read “this game sucks” so it’s a great deal of stress, but not to the extent of laying on a shrink’s couch for 50€!
My best memory is… pretty much everything. My friends supporting me, meeting the designer and the great relationship we have now. We’ve been on the same page from the start, it’s so great.
– Franck Roux (Mayoketchup Studio) is behind the artworks of the book, could you tell us more about your sidekick?
Before all, Franck Roux is a true meeting. First at random on TricTrac (www.trictrac.net). Then a few emails to share some sketches and then on the phone. Bottom line is: he’s way more than just the designer. We shared a lot on the project. I’d rather give a few simple, well-thought and genuine words than too many statements: kind, hard-worker, committed, talented, funny, respects time limits.
I gave him carte blanche for the artworks considering the game is not linked to any miniature brand… The guy must have red my mind as he nailed it with every new sketch. He keeps blowing my mind because he’s currently working on free contents that should come out soon and we share about pretty much everything around the game.
– The evolution of the boss and his replacement by his offspring is one of the keystones of the game, what took you do this approach?
It came from the frustration I’ve had in many games, when a player gains experience faster than the others and after a few scenarios the game is unbalanced and not attractive anymore. However, to answer precisely, I would say this is not a keystone but one of the innovative parts of the game, together with the simple set of rules and the multiplayer experience that remained key elements while developing the game.
– On the Warmania forum, you told us about free campaigns and contents to come; could you tell us more about this?
A campaign introducing an alien xenomorph as a NPC – a one-player scenario (playable by 2 players coop) – optional war walkers – a campaign designed for 3 players. This is what’s up next, but my mind is full of ideas.
The alien campaign will be released first and there’s no set order for the rest of it for the moment… I could be influenced by queries and feedbacks for the community on the web.
– Generation War is available for sale in English and French on Amazon, do you consider other distribution mode? (hobby and game stores for instance)
No, only on Amazon. I find it really convenient with only 1 cent for shipping. It’s just 2 people, I and the designer, and we both have a job so we don’t have to think about it. The core business of Amazon is book selling, and they do it well.
– ‘’Free to choose your miniature brand‘’ is an important aspect of you game, but what models do YOU use?
I currently play with the miniatures from my partners on the project: Khurasan Miniatures, The Ion Age and Rebels Minis. They allowed me to use the pictures.
The prototype was played with the Warhammer 40K, Deadzone and Necromunda ranges.
– Let’s say you have a magic wand and can change one thing to the miniatures game hobby in general, what is your choice?
Honestly… Nothing. I think the offer is mature now. Terrains, miniatures, gaming mats, you can find what you need and I like it.
And when I see how well the community welcomed my game, it does not make me want to change anything :)
– And the question everyone is secretly asking: why 2184?
It’s a reference to George Orwell’s book 1984, written in 1949, that I love. I’ll quote Wikipedia about it:
“As literary political fiction and dystopian science-fiction, Nineteen Eighty-Four is a classic novel in content, plot and style. Many of its terms and concepts, such as Big Brother […] have entered into common use since its publication in 1949. Nineteen Eighty-Four popularized the adjective Orwellian, which describes official deception, secret surveillance and manipulation of recorded history by a totalitarian or authoritarian state. In 2005, the novel was chosen by TIME magazine as one of the 100 best English-language novels from 1923 to 2005.”
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