Michael Cavacini

An award-winning arts and culture blog.

Preview – The Elder Scrolls: Call To Arms

Skyrim, the fifth entry in the wildly popular Elder Scrolls video game series, has sold over 30 million copies across various systems since its release in 2011. I’m currently enjoying this timeless classic on my Nintendo Switch, as well as The Elder Scrolls Online on my PC – which is my new favorite game. With this in mind, I was intrigued when I read that Skyrim’s open world is coming to a tabletop game created by Modiphius entitled The Elder Scrolls: Call to Arms. This game is slated to start shipping in May. However, with the current coronavirus crisis the world is experiencing, that could change. What follows is a preview of the game; and I hope to get a copy, so that I can provide you with a detailed review once it’s released. I’ve never owned or played a tabletop wargame like this before. However, this seems like a great entry point for me and others.

​The Elder Scrolls: Call to Arms builds on the core mechanics of Modiphius’ Fallout: Wasteland Warfare game system. However, it has been rewritten and reworked by designer Mark Latham (The Walking Dead: All Out War, The Harry Potter Miniatures Adventure Game, Editor White Dwarf Magazine) to suit the world and inhabitants of The Elder Scrolls franchise.

This game features high quality 32mm multi-part hard plastic or resin figures (each with its own unique custom base). The skirmish system sees fan-favorite heroes like Hadvar, Ralof, Yrsarald Thrice-Pierced, Marcurio, Mjoll the Lioness, Ulfric Stormcloak, Galmar Stone-Fist, General Tullius, and Lydia. The player’s heroes lead groups of followers on adventures inside Dwemer Ruins, Draugr-infested Nord Tombs, and through the frozen wilderness.

In addition to controlling troops, players will need to manage the stamina and Magicka resources their models bring to the table, all while watching out for hostile AI-driven enemies and narrative events that can change the flow of battle. Players can play against each other, team up, or play solo to take on all manner of creatures and adversaries driven by Modiphius’ advanced AI system. After reading the game’s quests book, I can safely say that I’m impressed by the number and diversity of the scenarios available. Considering The Elder Scrolls games are predominantly solo endeavors, I appreciate that Modiphius made sure to include one-player adventures in this game.

​The Elder Scrolls: Call to Arms will feature scenarios ranging from dungeon delves, where you seek out lost treasure, to running battles across the ruined outposts that dot the landscape of Tamriel, all while fulfilling quests and narrative-driven scenario objectives that will see your band of heroes grow from game to game. Newcomers to tabletop wargames have nothing to fear. The quickstart guide and in-depth rulebook Modiphius created (both physically and digitally) do a great job of providing logical, easy-to-understand instructions for how to dive right in and enjoy this game to its fullest.

In the first wave, players will raise their banners in the fight for the future of Skyrim as they lead the forces of the Stormcloaks or Imperial Legion in the battles of the civil war. Forces will typically comprise 1-6 heroes and 3-15 troops. The first wave of releases will be a Core Rules Box with accompanying sets of hard plastic or resin miniatures for both the Stormcloaks and the Imperial Army. There will also be a Bleak Falls Barrow Delve set including the fearsome Draugr and the Dragonborn. Players can expect more races and characters from across the Elder Scrolls stories and plenty of reinforcements for their favourite factions. A host of accessories like scenery, metal tokens, deluxe dice bags, settlement journals and more will expand your options. Planned releases will expand on The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim®, as well as adding releases from The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion®, The Elder Scrolls Online®, and more. Being that Oblivion was my first Elder Scrolls game and that I adore The Elder Scrolls Online, I’m very excited to see these future releases.

From everything I’ve read and seen, The Elder Scrolls: Call to Arms looks to be an exciting and fun adventure tabletop wargame set in the world of Tamriel. For all of the details regarding options and pricing, check out Modiphius’ site here. I hope to get a copy of The Elder Scrolls: Call to Arms, as it will be my first foray into the world of tabletop games. Doing so by playing one ensconced in Tamriel – a fantasy world I, and millions of fans, have inhabited for more than 25 years – sounds perfect. Let the games begin!

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