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Vor: the Maelstrom -- Will it ever return?

 Post subject: Vor: the Maelstrom -- Will it ever return?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2006 1:24 pm 
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Unctuous Toady
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It seemed like Vor: the Maelstrom was just hitting its stride when FASA went out of business. I would have liked to have seen Vor mature into an established game and one that provided real competition for Warhammer 40K.

I had heard that the rights to Vor are held by Mike "Scuzzy" Nielson its creator. Does anyone know if this is correct? I haven't heard anything in a long time about Vor, much less rumors of its return. Though I do know that some company (Iron Wind?) has the rights produce the models and is doing so on a limited scale.


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Venator wrote:
The game designers themselves know these values are not realistic and they do not intend them to replace or invalidate the fluff. So let's get on with our lives and not fixate over the cosmic ramifications of game mechanics which we already know are streamlined for larger forces at the expense of detail.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2006 3:09 pm 
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Is there any rules available on the net?

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2006 11:20 pm 
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Nope. Not that I know of.

The game seems to be in limbo. Apparently rights to the game reverted to the game's creator Mike "Scuzzy" Nielson. I don't think he, or anyone else, has done anything with the game. I have heard nothing.


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Venator wrote:
The game designers themselves know these values are not realistic and they do not intend them to replace or invalidate the fluff. So let's get on with our lives and not fixate over the cosmic ramifications of game mechanics which we already know are streamlined for larger forces at the expense of detail.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 29, 2006 10:25 am 
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I had friends at FASA, and even worked a little bit on Vor. The info here is basically correct- Mike owns the rights to the game and its concepts. The problem is, he doesn't own any of the work produced for the game; the actual artwork, copyrights, printed materials, and so on all remained property of FASA, and were passed on to Wizkids.

My understanding is that Wizkids was able to sell FASA's existing inventory but they can't produce any new stuff (even new printings of existing books or casts from existing molds) because they would be open to lawsuit from Mike, as he owns the intellectula concepts behind those works.
Mike similarly can't re-print the old books or re-cast old mini's, because he only owns the IDEAS, not the actual rights to the works.

So, unless either the two come to an arrangement (unlikely for various personal and financial reasons) or Mike gets the cash / investment / partnership needed to re-do the entire game from scratch (also seems unlikely, given the current market), there's no real hope for future production or support of the game.

As for the miniatures, Iron Wind does indeed still sell them in thier online store. I'm not sure just what the situation there is, but I don't think Mike is invovled; there hasn't been any new product designs, just production castings of some mini's that were in the prototype phase when FASA closed and continued production of existing minis.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 31, 2006 9:50 am 
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Interesting Humongus, thanks for the info and the update.

Maybe Scuzzy could apply the concepts and game mechanics to a new game? I liked the Vor system, though I wasn't really crazy about the setting. But since he isn't tied to a miniature company anymore he could really play up the "use any miniatures you already have" aspect of his rules.

I think the concept of the Maelstrom was interesting and unique. It certainly created a dark and bleak setting like that of 40K, but did so without copying some 40K/Dune/Fading Suns type setting which have become so cliched.

But I really think that a more Star Wars like setting is really what gamers want. A setting where you can have large military actions or smaller hero oriented skirmishes. I think that 40K's success and domination of the market has led many to incorrectly believe that any sci-fi setting must be dark and glooming to succead. I don't feel that this is so and that Scuzzy's rules could easily be applied to a more traditional space setting featuring planet hopping in a wide open universe rather than the dead end that the Maelstrom necessitates.


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Venator wrote:
The game designers themselves know these values are not realistic and they do not intend them to replace or invalidate the fluff. So let's get on with our lives and not fixate over the cosmic ramifications of game mechanics which we already know are streamlined for larger forces at the expense of detail.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 31, 2006 4:47 pm 
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I don't think there's much demand for a naked rules set- companies give rules away to sell minis these days. A few games that came out around the same time as Vor picked up its strongest concepts, anyhow.
Nor would I expect Mike to get much personal satisfaction from selling those- I think he was more emotionally involved in the various races.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2006 2:22 pm 
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I just recently obtained a copy of the rulebook. And after reading through it I believe that it would've given WH40K a run for its money. (To all you 40k fanatics, please feel free to point and cry out 'HERETIC!!!')

There are plenty of pretty cool factions in there but sadly a few crappy ones like bionic neanderthals and rastafarian biker smurfs for example. This game has a lot of potential and its kinda sad that said potential would not be realised.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2006 3:45 pm 
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I liked the rules a lot. Except I think they should have split MP into a Movement stat and an Actions stat. As it stands now something fast can choose to be super shooty instead with no trade off. I also think the lack of an Initiative stat is very problematic. They tended to use CC as Initiative, but that was dumb. It meant that great hand to hand fighters were also super agile at dodging speeding vehicles racing at them and so forth.

I really like the idea that you could create your own armies from a universal system. The one in the back of the book was just a teaser. They were working a full sourcebook for custom forces before things blew up for FASA. If that had ever been published then maybe this message board might be dedicated to Vor and Necromunda instead of 40K and Necromunda. :-(

I wasn't impressed with the background for Vor. It was clever and original, but over all I think it sucked pretty bad. It was too limiting. Only two human factions?!? No intergalactic travel?? No human empire (in decline or in ascension)? Even if Vor had taken off, I wouldn't have played with any of their pre-made armies or force books. The whole "codex driven" game setting has been done to death by 40K and all its imitators.

Don't get me wrong, I think that the hobby could always use another set of good rules. And Vor was certainly a great set of rules. But I think the real potential of the game lay in the build your own custom forces angle and not in yet another lack luster setting invented by a game company to sell miniatures.


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Venator wrote:
The game designers themselves know these values are not realistic and they do not intend them to replace or invalidate the fluff. So let's get on with our lives and not fixate over the cosmic ramifications of game mechanics which we already know are streamlined for larger forces at the expense of detail.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2006 7:29 pm 
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I agree with most of that assesment, Truckler.

I don't think it would have been heavy competion with 40k, though. 40k was to entrenched even back then, and FASA never even marketed its best seeling games all that well. Plus, having played it a fair bit, I can say playing it was hard work- there can be a LOT of info to remember from turn to turn, or within a turn.

And yeah, the move MP vs Shoot MP thing was already an evident issue with the game, with their being a consideration in the custom force rules to make moving cost more or less MP (such as by buying a "fleet" ability) or shooting cost more or less MP. Shooting is the easier one to adjust, obviously; if you want a fast moving unit that can't move and shoot, just up the MP cost of its shooting. A slow unit that can shoot a lot gets low MP, but "cheap" shooting.

I'm really surprised the custom force rules are seen as such a big deal. If you wanted, you could work up a similar system for almost any game system. I don't know why no other company has tried, and in fact I think the makers of Warzone were doing something similar- iirc, there was talk they were gonna cut a deal with FASA to cross-port all the Vor races to Warzone, and vice versa.

And why couldn't fans come up with a "custom force book" for some game system? Is there some "open source" miniatures game system that such an effort could be based on? It likely wouldn;t be perfect, but trust me, Vor's custom force system was FAR from perfect, in terms of game balance.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2007 5:29 am 
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Back on the thewarp.net, oh, six years ago, the Vor forum was probably the most popular and was filled with threads concerned with balancing and fine tuning the custom force material.

Does anyone know if any of thisd remains to this day?


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2007 6:22 am 
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If that had ever been published then maybe this message board might be dedicated to Vor and Necromunda instead of 40K and Necromunda


Hehehe. I love how Necro is in there no matter what. Even if God himself (if you believe in that sort of thing, bla bla bla!) came down and told us Necro sucked, I can see a few middle fingers being raised :lol:

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2007 7:24 am 
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Vor was a great game.

Unfortunately, it was lost in the US legal/copyright system.

The owners of the miniatures, their design, and original artwork, was Ral Partha.

Most of the Ral Partha company was purchased by Wiz Kidz, Inc when the owner of RP died.

Mike "skuzzy" Nielson, owns the rights to the background, stories, and game system.

He tried to publish the game system, without the use of the Vor name or miniatures.

Unfortunately, he ran into funding issues last I heard.

Vor, has been lost in the Maelstrom ever since.

-Dr R>

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 Post subject: Re: Vor: the Maelstrom -- Will it ever return?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2008 5:56 am 
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Truckler wrote:
It seemed like Vor: the Maelstrom was just hitting its stride when FASA went out of business. I would have liked to have seen Vor mature into an established game and one that provided real competition for Warhammer 40K.

I had heard that the rights to Vor are held by Mike "Scuzzy" Nielson its creator. Does anyone know if this is correct? I haven't heard anything in a long time about Vor, much less rumors of its return. Though I do know that some company (Iron Wind?) has the rights produce the models and is doing so on a limited scale.


Truckler


Looks like the answer to all this is YES.

http://ironwindmetals.com/agora/viewthread.php?tid=796

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PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2008 8:07 pm 
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Vor 2.0 baby! I have already started on my new Union army!

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 7:44 pm 
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Or, for a bit more nicer forum (created by Skuzzy) - http://bioplazm.com/forums/


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