This week, several announcements went live with my name attached, which was all very gratifying! It’s probably worth giving those things a bit of a mention, for those interested in my games design projects as opposed to literary endeavours.
First up is Mantic Games’ Warpath: Firefight (official announcement here). This is an interesting one, because rather than design a new game from scratch, I have the tricky job of taking a ruleset that’s been developed for quite some time, with substantial input from a hard core of fans, and develop a variation on the system. Essentially, I’m taking the large-scale, free-flowing strategic game and transforming it into a smaller-scale, squad-based tactical game. The brief, however, is to keep as many concepts as possible so that it’s familiar to existing players, while introducing lots of nuances and tactical elements to scratch that smaller-scale itch. No pressure then. This game will be developed during the forthcoming Kickstarter, with feedback from fans coming in even as I write, which is a very different way of working for me!
Next up, we have two games published by Osprey, due to hit the shelves in 2016 (announcement here). The first, and the one in the best shape currently, is Broken Legions, a game of fantastical skirmishes in the Roman Empire. The idea behind the game is that the Roman Empire teeters on a gladius-edge, and has sent out hard-bitten bands of legionnaires under the watchful eye of the Frumentarii (Roman secret service) to retrieve occult artefacts of great power. This, they believe, will stop ancient, foreign gods from threatening the supremacy of Rome, and secure Roman rule for a thousand years. Of course, the servants of those ancient gods aren’t best pleased, and so everyone from Egyptian cultists to druidic warbands are out to stop the Romans. There are even secret cults within Rome who believe that dabbling in the affairs of gods is unwise, and so they too oppose the legion.
This is a fantasy skirmish game, which has at its heart a granular D10 system, with a campaign play mode reminiscent of my old Legends of the Old West game. The faction-building rules are pretty freeing, drawing upon a wide range of ancients and fantasy ranges, and it occupies an ‘alternate history’ space, allowing you to field werewolves in your band of Germanic barbarians, and khopesh-wielding mummies with your Settites. Oh, and in some scenarios, you might encounter wandering monsters controlled by a simple ‘AI’ – anything from Minotaurs to flocks of Harpies.
The other game, which is farther off, is Chosen Men. No more details on this yet, save that it’s a Napoleonic skirmish game, where you control a small company of skirmishers, either operating under their own initiative, or fighting on the advance lines of a wider army, with various rules in place to represent the big battalions that are advancing ‘off-table’.
Phew! I actually have a couple more wargame announcements to hit later this year, but for now I think I’ve got rather enough on my plate…