Confrontation Coming Back

By Polar_Bear
In Fantasy
Feb 14th, 2017
20 Comments
2590 Views

Fan-favorite game, Confrontation, is going to be making its way back to tabletops soon. Sans Detour has acquired the right to the game world of Aarklash and are going to be making a new miniatures skirmish game, a board game, and a range of miniatures to go with them.

From the announcement:

The french edition company “Sans Detour” has announced, via a new facebook page, that Confrontation will be resurrected in 2017.

They have acquired all rights and licences for the Aarklash universe and have announced a new range for a skirmish game, a board game and a range of collection miniatures.

They have already announced that they want to keep the legacy of the old Confrontation intact and such keep the quality the game was well known for.

Sans Detour is an rpg editing company. They are known for having developped and edited in France the new Call of Cthulhu RPG.

More to come in the upcoming weeks.

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  • Gentle_Ben

    I’ll believe it when I see dates, photos, an actual release schedule, etc.

  • Can anyone help me understand why this game is always talked about on the fringes of the industry? Were the rules amazing? The miniatures? Why has it lasted so long with a cult following of sorts?

    • Daniel R Weber

      It hit at the right time. Amazing artwork, I guess a decent setting (never really read up on it until the last version which was then too late), skirmish scale when at the time the only other ‘big’ company was pretty much just GW (PP was still coming along), pretty amazing figures assuming you like fiddly bits on the smaller ones, amazing paint jobs, a rabidly loyal fanbase, and ‘decent’ rules. They suffered from balance issues, confusion on releases, and of course awful translation (Hard to Cook being my favorite special rules in 1e). So to sum up: great art/nice figs, decent rules, skirmish scale all hitting at the right time. That’s about it.

      • Gentle_Ben

        Yeah the paint jobs were and still are one of the best things they had going for them. I still keep one of their catalogs around for inspiration. Those guys could do things with color I’m still trying to wrap my head around.

        • odinsgrandson

          That’s true- their paintjobs were way above the meta. Revolutionary, you know?

          Of course, now the painting meta has passed them up now. But the minis are still nice enough that we often see them show up in the big competitions.

    • Gentle_Ben

      It was the first game a lot of folks were exposed to outside of GW. For years (in most LGS anyway) there was only Warhammer. Then suddenly: Warhammer or Confrontation.

      People will tell you the rules were great, but these poor souls have fallen prey to nostalgia. They were actually quite wretched.

      The miniatures on the other hand were splendid. There was a lot of great concept, design and detail that went into them. They just had this certain quality that for a lot of us nothing else has quite matched. Someone set up a page where you can look at them all if you like. A lot of people say they don’t think they hold up but I still love them. Maybe I’m also victim to some nostalgia.

      http://rackhamminiatures.yolasite.com/

      • Daniel R Weber

        I think they hold up pretty well. Especially when you compare the art from Wrath of Kings to Confrontation, clearly similar/same artists/styles in place. There was some variety on the quality of the figs, but overall the line should get an A.

        • odinsgrandson

          Back in the day, Confrontation minis were probably the best line out for a game. Mind blowing at the time- they were WAY above the curve.

          Confrontation really set the pace for the minis industry that we have now (they even started stat cards with the minis).

          I think the minis still hold up, but they are far from head and shoulders above the rest now that we have so many options for high quality minis.

      • At my shop, Confrontation and Warmachine pretty evenly split the crowd at the start. Yes, all of us picked up our particular game to play as “a quick, small, skirmish-sized game when we didn’t want to play a big game of 40k/Fantasy.” It was also a fairly even split that primarily-Fantasy players went with Confrontation while primarily-40k players went with Warmachine.

        But I agree with you about the horrible rules. First, they were scattered across a bunch of tiny rulebooks throughout the blisters. Then, you needed a friggin’ referee to keep track of everything that was supposed to go on. “Ok, I drew a card, but it was yours, but you had this thing where you could swap cards, so you moved this other guy, instead, and… whose turn was it?” That, and the “call your shot” dice mechanic with wounds reducing your die roll meant that two mostly-dead guys would just slap-fight each other turn after turn after turn without anything happening.

        To be very honest, if you liked the “dice pools for attack and defense, and your opponent and you can both get hurt during combat” go play GCT Studio’s Bushido. You get your skirmish size. You get your attack/defense dice pools. You get multitudes of special attack types if you wish. But it’s all simplified down so you and your buddy can play a game and not need a 3rd set of eyes trying to keep track of everything. It’s fantastic, honestly.

        Oh, and post-script: Confrontation flashed in the pan and died out super-quick at my shop, while Warmachine is still going strong to this day.

        • Gentle_Ben

          Yeah. This whole thread had me thinking Bushido’s rules would be a great jumping off point for a new edition of Confrontation. Maybe give just the heroes something equivalent to Ki while letting the rank and file models activate in three man units. Create an interesting dynamic between model types. Or something. Of course those of us with old Rackham models could just proxy them with Bushido since GCT is nice enough to put all their rules and cards online. Personally have a ton of both.

          Warmachine never switched to a system with terrible pre-painted models and an even worse set of rules 😀

          • It kind of reminds me of people who do their best to make really-super-intricate-looking food, but when you take a bite, there’s just really nothing there. I’d rather have an “ugly” meal that tastes fantastic than a “pretty” meal that takes mediocre, or worse set, bad. Confrontation was that super-pretty plate of food that just tasted bad. “But it’s pretty!” is no reason to play a game that’s just bad.

            Of course, what would be best is a great-looking game that also plays well. To me, that’s where Guild Ball and Bushido are at. Bushido has come a very, very long way with their miniatures since the game first came out. I think a lot of people turned it down on principle because some of them were just not very good. Well, they’ve come a very long way since then, now having, what I think, are some really fantastic-looking figures. Guild Ball started out with some great figures, and the game’s gone through some refining along the way in its couple of years of being out that makes it a very strong rules set.

            Of course, if this new Confrontation game does give you both awesome minis and great gameplay, then that’s awesome. But, like you, I never understood why there was such this huge craving for the game to come back when, as we both agree, the rules were just atrocious in their original incarnation.

          • KelRiever

            As I mentioned before, the rules for Confrontation, imo, were absolutely no worse than Games Workshop’s 40k compare lists and see who wins before putting figures on the tabletop. Seriously, at least in Confrontation, any figure could kill any other.

            Honestly, I think that’s what people didnt like about it, and the thing I loved. Not you, but because Confrontation ‘didn’t look like’ d6 basic Games Workshop, people didn’t take to it. I found the rules far more interesting that GWs, and far more playable from a balance perspective. They needed work, but I hate to say it, I think they were as good as Warmachines. And led to more interesting games. So, there’s a different opinion for ya there 🙂

          • Of course, everyone is going to have their favorite games. And no two gamers will ever entirely agree on what makes the best rules. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. The Confrontation rules, as I played them (I forget what version the mini rule books were. I know they came out with “proper” rule books later, but by then, the game had died at my shop) were just sooo far from what we wanted, that it was hard to see any sort of wide appeal for the game (besides the models, of course, which are awesome). And we weren’t just grumbling that “this isn’t 40k” (not to say that you were insinuating that that’s why we dropped it). It was the “needing a referee” and “keeping track of dozens of token effects” and “two wounded models slap-fighting each other for a bunch of rounds with nothing happening” that did it in. I’m all for innovative rules sets. And as I said, I think Bushido took what Confrontation’s combat mechanics were and refined them to near-perfection. I would love to see all the old Confrontation players give that game a try and see what things could’ve been, and then give their zeal for the game over to Bushido, because I feel it’s honestly one of the 2 best games out there (the other being Guild Ball).

  • Davos Seaworth

    I dunno, the minis gaming landscape has changed a lot since Rackham shut down. The minis gaming market is practically flooded these days, and I’m not sure what the Confrontation brand really brings to the table anymore. Although I remember Age Of Ragnarok (and AT-43) being two of the last pre-painted minis games on the market.

    • Daniel R Weber

      Age of Ragnarok was a horrible excuse for what the Cfron game was. It was a bad gamble the industry would go toward prepaint like they thought it was. The rules were even worse than their regular game (which wasn’t abysmal but could really use a ground up rework to be viable today).

    • Jericho Kilmister

      Age of Ragnarok and prepainted minis killed Confrontation. Instead of fine metal minis we got shitty plastic horrors, instead of a skirmish game we got the worst war game ever (a game could be reduced to the roll to see who had the right to go first and end the game straight away). Hope these guys will not resurrect that shit, I want Confrontation back, not that shitty fantasy version of AT-43

    • disqus_obVvdNrjRx

      I always find it funny when people say Confrontation rules are bad. Do you know what rules are bad? Games Workshop rules. And mostly the rules from almost every single miniature game in existance.

      While Confrontation rules were unusual, and not great from 2nd edition, they were heading the right direction with 3rd. But when ‘3.5’ turned out to be a testing ground for Age of Plastic, within I think a span of a year after the hardcover book came out for 3.0, people had had enough, along with the conversion from miniatures to plastic toys.

      For me, I still play 3 with friends and it has its problems but it is no worse, in my mind, today, than most of the games people play. The problem with a new Confrontation game is, again, I’ll believe it when I see it like someone said. And it’s going to have to scratch the same itch as Confrontation did with great miniatures, unique and not-dumbed down rules, and people dedicated to the hobby and not just some store tournament game for it to matter to me. Otherwise I’m happy with it the way it is now, still.

  • hvedhrungr

    Again?
    I mean, don’t get me wrong, I adored the Confrontation miniatures when Rackham first released them, and I still have scores of them that I use bit by bit (just put together a small warband for Frostgrave using some Celts and Lions).
    BUT the system was never all that it’s cracked up to be. Back in the day, I played Mid-Nor because I found the miniatures and background awesome. The rules? Not so much. Over-complicated, unbalanced, hard to grasp and you still always ended up doing something wrong. Besides, the amount of overhead was simply staggering, keeping track of 437 different things in a skirmisher is not exactly what I call a good time these days.

    All that said, I wish them luck. Confrontation has had a huge influence on miniatures war games, and if one game deserves to be brought back with flair, it’s this.
    But, remember how CMON tried to bring it back? Legacy games? There’s places on the internet where you can buy newly cast miniatures of the old Confrontation designs, so clearly the situation is murky at best. More than once I was tempted to buy a budget Confrontation dragon simply for the fun of it. Also, those Scorpion beasts…

  • Chad_Caughmann

    I’m anxiously (and cautiously) awaiting to see what this could be. I never got invested in the skirmish game much, but was quite into Hybrid and Cadwallon (the RPG). I did like the Aarklash lore and individual character stories, and the minis were, and “are”, beautiful.

    I really don’t know what to expect with this, and I’m not even completely sure what I want it to be… I just hope that it does justice to the legacy of the line. I am mostly interested in what the board game will be…as that’s the part I will most likely play. I’d like to see some combination between Hybrid and Cadwallon, as I always felt there was a potential in that, even back before Rackham folded.

  • BDUB

    If it was Streets of Cadwallon skirmish, I might be tempted.