Selim 'Selim' Talat
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Hey everyone ^_^

I am currently working hammer and/or tongs on a fantasy board/wargame called 'The Shadowstone saga'.

It is print and play, everything is free and all, just a question of finding players who are interested!

I was wondering if there were any similar games out there where you have cardboard counters, a board, armies that are built up using a points system and rules that are similar to regular wargames. I imagine most wargamers love their miniatures (which is fair enough!), I'm wondering if I can still appeal to them.

I really would appreciate any feedback/knowledges,

Here's a link to the battle-engine part of Shadowstone =)

The Shadowstone Saga



Adios good fellows,
Manny-of-the-Fandango
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John Smith
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Check out this review of Lost Reich by Fat Dragon Games as well as the game itself; There is definitely an audience if you can give the game something that's an eyecatcher, be it a special mechanism or great art.

http://www.armchairgeneral.com/lost-reich-miniatures-game-re...
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David Boeren
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MannyFandango wrote:
I was wondering if there were any similar games out there where you have cardboard counters, a board, armies that are built up using a points system and rules that are similar to regular wargames. I imagine most wargamers love their miniatures (which is fair enough!), I'm wondering if I can still appeal to them.


There is very little. Personally, I am definitely interested in a game like that if it's good but honestly I'm not so keen on the print & play part. That makes it more work, it will not look as nice, and I know I'll probably never meet another player or have many people to talk to about the game.

Right now there is Summoner Wars which is a simple game sort of along those lines but very popular. It uses cards in place of counters, which means the board is low resolution with squares.

If you could make something comparable with counters, a bigger board, and run bigger battles without it bogging down I imagine it would be looked at favorably.
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Selim 'Selim' Talat
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dboeren wrote:
Right now there is Summoner Wars which is a simple game sort of along those lines but very popular. It uses cards in place of counters, which means the board is low resolution with squares.

If you could make something comparable with counters, a bigger board, and run bigger battles without it bogging down I imagine it would be looked at favorably.


Thank you for the heads up =)

From searching after Summoner wars I also ran into Battlegrounds, which is a print and play wargame - I don't think it has a board though.

I am feeling quite inspired now! My gaming system does allow for fairly big battles. On average you'll have around 8 regiments (made up of around 3 counters/companies each). But it can accomodate a good 12 regiments for a 45 minute/hour long game. There's 12 pages of rules for the battle-engine, and then army lists and backstory. Hopefully that's not too big!

The counters I've made are a lot smaller than Summoner wars - I think I could up the scale too.

Also need to get better graphics - at the moment it's all done in MSPaint >_<

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Nate K
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There's not a HUGE demand for PnP fantasy wargames. It's a very small niche. But it exists. You're dealing with the demographic wherein PnPers meet wargamers meet people with a taste for fantasy-themed games. A very small group, all-in-all, but if you have a good product and you promote it, you'll be able to get some people interested.
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Selim 'Selim' Talat
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Ah, reaching that niche - tis'll be a challenge =)

I've got a session report up which has some indicator of how the game plays (but its quite narrative driven, and isn't an out-and-out tutorial).

http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/793362/the-battle-of-grey-ma...
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kurthl33t wrote:
There's not a HUGE demand for PnP fantasy wargames. It's a very small niche. But it exists. You're dealing with the demographic wherein PnPers meet wargamers meet people with a taste for fantasy-themed games. A very small group, all-in-all, but if you have a good product and you promote it, you'll be able to get some people interested.


And I still think I am the only person in the niche who wants to try a Fantasy Monster Wargame. blush Pushing orc chits hours upon hours to bash through elven supply lines.

One can dream or PnP it.
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Selim 'Selim' Talat
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Thymen wrote:
kurthl33t wrote:
There's not a HUGE demand for PnP fantasy wargames. It's a very small niche. But it exists. You're dealing with the demographic wherein PnPers meet wargamers meet people with a taste for fantasy-themed games. A very small group, all-in-all, but if you have a good product and you promote it, you'll be able to get some people interested.


And I still think I am the only person in the niche who wants to try a Fantasy Monster Wargame. blush Pushing orc chits hours upon hours to bash through elven supply lines.

One can dream or PnP it.


There is a certain charm to cardboard chits and using ones imagination!

Are you fussy about graphics, or would you play a game where the pieces consisted of an arrow, attack/defense stats and 'Focus Knights' on it? =)
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Thymen
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Graphics are a plus and selling point. Have a look at the new edition of Dragon Rage. Never found it otherwise I would have bought it. I PnPed some of the dwarfstar games as well. Demonlord is about right for me graphics wise. Symbols are beter on a small chit imho.

Will have a look at your rules.
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Selim 'Selim' Talat
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Thymen wrote:
Graphics are a plus and selling point...I PnPed some of the dwarfstar games as well. Demonlord is about right for me graphics wise. Symbols are beter on a small chit imho.

Will have a look at your rules.


Please do feel free to ask any questions! I have 52 different regiments now too, so lots of variety in army selection.

Demonlord looks great, I absolutely love the characterful counters. Wood Chief FTW! I think I'll be hunting down a copy myself =)
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James Hutchings
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MannyFandango wrote:
Please do feel free to ask any questions! I have 52 different regiments now too, so lots of variety in army selection.


It might be a good idea to try and think of ways that you can keep that variety, without requiring the player to print out and construct more counters every time they want to play a new army.

Perhaps you could have counters that represent the basic type (heavy infantry, archers etc), which are used regardless of which faction or species the player chooses?

Then you could have printable rules cards that give the modifications to the basic game for each faction. For example elves might have better than usual archers.
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David Boeren
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MannyFandango wrote:
From searching after Summoner wars I also ran into Battlegrounds, which is a print and play wargame - I don't think it has a board though.


Correct, Battlegrounds does not use a board - just a tabletop. It's basically trying to be like a minis wargame where having a board would be highly unusual and somewhat looked down on. Minis wargamers are used to free-form movement and being confined to a grid would make them feel like it was a simple game. Hexes are better, but still more work for less realism.


Quote:
I am feeling quite inspired now! My gaming system does allow for fairly big battles. On average you'll have around 8 regiments (made up of around 3 counters/companies each). But it can accomodate a good 12 regiments for a 45 minute/hour long game. There's 12 pages of rules for the battle-engine, and then army lists and backstory. Hopefully that's not too big!


Sounds reasonable from a size/length point of view.

I've kicked around a few ideas for a similar type game and generally come to the conclusion that thick tiles are the way to go. They have enough presence that they don't look like cheap 70's wargame chits but avoid the expense and storage issues of minis. If you want something more mini-like then maybe do standups.

I wouldn't worry too much about art until you feel you're getting close to done. If you're still at the prototype stage I wouldn't put much money into art that may still change.
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Selim 'Selim' Talat
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dboeren wrote:
I've kicked around a few ideas for a similar type game and generally come to the conclusion that thick tiles are the way to go. They have enough presence that they don't look like cheap 70's wargame chits but avoid the expense and storage issues of minis. If you want something more mini-like then maybe do standups.

I wouldn't worry too much about art until you feel you're getting close to done. If you're still at the prototype stage I wouldn't put much money into art that may still change.


Keep on kicking those ideas around dude, there are few games I know of this type, and the more we get ideas like this out there the more people we get playing our respective creations =)

I printed off my counters and stuck them to cardboard from a tea box, and it works quite well! But oooh, thick cardboard tiles a la Space Hulk, mmmm, one can dream eh ^_^

-------------

A core strategy guide is now up incase prospective players would like an insight into the game mechanics/units =)

http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/793775/core-units-strategy
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David Boeren
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Thanks, I will

Another game I wanted to mention is Battlegrounds: Fantasy Warfare. I just got to try this out for the first time on Saturday and it was pretty good.

The idea is that it's supposed to be just like a minis wargame except without the minis. Instead, you use cards to represent formations of troops. Each card has a picture of a top-down view of a bunch of swordsmen, archers, or whatever on it and you maneuver your cards around the table as if they were your armies. The cards have all their stats printed on them too and are laminated so you can mark off health, etc...

It's sort of the next level up in realism from Summoner Wars. There is no grid, movement is in inches rather than spaces, and you can move/fire in diagonals. The downside is that it's considerably more fiddly. Also, there are not as many special abilities as Summoner Wars - so there's another tradeoff. But, when you're done it feels much more like you've played an actual battle.

Because the units are cards, it seems like it would easily work with a print & play system. I'm actually a little surprised that I haven't seen fan-made army decks available to print on services like Artscow. Perhaps the card dimensions don't match or something.

Anyway, the key mechanic in the game is their order system. Each unit has standing orders, which are marked on their card with dry-erase. They'll keep doing that until you tell them otherwise whether it's a Close order, Hold, etc... Then each turn you only have a few command points which can be used to:
1. Change a standing order
2. Take manual control of a unit, overriding their order this turn only
3. Draw a battle card - these can be played for various bonuses
4. Rally a unit that has failed a morale check

So, you must plan ahead and try to give orders that will remain "good" for a few turns when possible. Also, maneuvering is a big deal because you can get bonuses for attacking someone on the flank or for "pinching" which is attacking someone with two units on different sides, typically a frontal attack + flank attack.
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