Our chosen map for this special playtest.
Small note from Arthur: Charles wrote out this next battle report, one of the things I wanted Charles on board for was his creative writing chops. Charles is less familiar with the bulk of the rules for Cretacea and Dinosaurs in general, but this makes him valuable to the team and the game. It is this learning approach that allows us to create a rounded and fair game as he questions things and helps make valuable changes. Enjoy the read!
Following last week’s playtest, Arthur and I have gone through the rulebook and clarified things, like sorting combat into phases, and added cool, new stuff, like the entrapment rule, both of which we'll see in the battle report below, detailing our latest playtest.
We added more dinosaurs for this game, with me fielding the three hungry suchomimus dinosaurs on the left and Arthur with the tank-like ankylosaurus on the right (who he called Uncle Anky), and two tiny kosmoceratops (Which are new to me and are like a smaller edition of the triceratops) hiding behind the rocks (and who he called Kosmopolitan and Kosmometro, from top to bottom).
We named our dinosaurs as we thought it was fun.
Evelyn and Leila, from top to bottom, left), and ready to charge forward at Uncle Anky.
I didn’t know the defence values of Uncle Anky, but it’s clearly a heavily armoured creature, and so I deployed the girls together, ready to overwhelm Uncle Anky by number.
Either our jump system is to easy or i rolled to well but all of the girls managed the rivers of lava without hesistation...maybe they where just hungry?
Above, the girl-gang rush forward, but are the jump rolls too easy?
What games have you played with cool jump mechanics? Let us know in the comments! At the moment we’re looking at linking a jump-skill to a dinosaur’s leg-hide.
We used the built in pen tool to breifly determine which lava spots where active and dangerous.
The first two turns saw no combat but were not without peril. Viola and Leila passed their smell-checks on turn one and therefore got a free move on top of their regular move, while Evelyn passed hers on the next. All three of them passed their jump rolls over the rivers of lava, leaving them unscathed for combat.
Uncle anky as he was rammed against the board edge.
Here we see the end of turn three and an example of two important mechanics: grazing for victory and entrapment in combat. Let’s break it down:
Kosmometro and Kosmopolitan on the left have failed all their spot-checks so far and have peacefully grazed along the board, not even seeing Uncle Anky being charged behind them. This means they can’t react to the combat but also that they’ve managed four of the eight grazes necessary for victory!
A picture from turn two demonstrating the grazing.
Uncle Anky grazed once, and then spotted Viola approaching on the right. Fleeing in reaction, he found himself in safer spot and chose to graze again. However, Evelyn, in the middle, then charged his side and trapped him against the board edge! Note that Uncle Anky doesn’t have space to turn (his base can’t move off the board-edge, to be precise), and therefore he can’t use his frontal attacks: ram and bite; nor can he swing his great tail! He does however manage to stomp her head as she snaps at his legs!
The new entrapment rule ensures that herbivores are more weary of that "safe" zone near the board edge.
Most dinosaurs have a preferred area of attack and this will be noted on profiles in the new edition, in this photo Uncle anky get's ready to use his tail whip.
How will Uncle Anky possibly survive!? What do those arrows mean? And what’s with the “+6”?
Well, dear reader and fellow dinosaur enthusiast, let me first show you how brutal dinosaur fights can be and second how tough the Sherman-tank-armoured ankylosaurus is.
Arthur decided here to have Uncle Anky disengage from Evelyn’s attack, move forward, showing his rear, and then swing his enormous club of a tail at her. At this point we discussed whether dinosaurs (Anky in this case) could charge or sneak while backing up into combat, but promptly found that silly, so no charge-bonus for Anky here!
Viola roared to bolster Evelyn’s attack and Leila roared to intimidate Uncle Anky. Here’s how the attack went down:
I rolled a 1D6 for Evelyn’s bite at Uncle Anky’s legs and needed a 5 to deal one damage or a 10 for double damage. I didn’t know the ankylosaurus’ defence stats, but guessed (accurately, I later found!) that even with a defence of 5 the ankylosaurus’ legs are still its weakest hide area!
I rolled a 3 and got:
The Kosmoceratopses, who had up until this point both been meandering and grazing along the board edge (in a passive state) now become alert due to the fleeing Uncle Anky moving into their peripheral field of vision. This made them alert, giving them more agency over their actions, and Arthur sent them into combat to support their Uncle Anky. (That’s right, they’re a cute, little family)
Above, Kosmopolitan turns and supports Uncle Anky with a bolstering roar, while Kosmometro moves around the terrain and charges Leila from behind.
Uncle Anky pivots to block the passage against Evelyn and prepares to swing his massive tail. He then walks into combat, stealing away from Evelyn her ability to charge and get an attack bonus.
Now I originally planned on sending at least two of the girls at Uncle Anky, but as it stood, both of them would have to face down his dangerous tail, but now Kosmometro showed himself, so I thought Viola and Leila, two badass suchomimuses in a larger size class could easily take him down, right?
Here’s the thing, alert dinosaurs that are charged are allowed a reactionary attack, and a Kosmoceratops is like a cute, little version of the triceratops, but with no less deadly head attacks, as I soon found out:
Leila charged and Kosmometro dealt double damage to her legs as she went in. This was one of the best moments in the game; narratively speaking, it was badass to see a tiny Kosmoceratops hold his own against to, giant suchomimuses.
This playtest gave us a lot of new ideas to work with, mainly the introduction of the “Opportunity Phase”, where a player makes attacks of opportunity, such as reacting to charges and attacking a fleeing enemy. This means that the movement phase is kept just for movement and the combat phase just for combat.
It’s fun and satisfying to see improvements with every play-test, and especially so when we know people already enjoy the Cretacea 1st edition and are excited for the second.
Do you want to see any dinosaurs play-tested? Are you just excited for the game? Please tell us! When it’s just two blokes working on a game for the world it’s motivating to see people as hyped as we are!
Last weeks playtest was very fun. We dragged it out over a few work sessions and we made ammendments to the rules (and have more to make today and this week). One thing that really helped was adding bases to our dinosaurs as we where using dinosaurs without bases (which directly contracdicted our own advice in the book). Once we did the roar and attack distance rules where much easier to clarify.
(Above you can see a very valuable bolster roar in effect).
In our main game the edmontosaurus was the hero, striking fast and hard with the moral support of his triceratops friends. He took out the T-Rex head hide very qucikly, disabling the T-Rex somewhat and we had fun with blood effects on the board. As with many Cretacea games the one big fight was the focus of the game but external factors such as supporting triceratops and their own grazing perogatives (or even whether they could while supporting) where integral.
The fun thing about playtesting on tabletop simulator is that you can grab resources at the drop of a hat. We needed something to work out "field of view" or "line of sight" as it's called in our game. We quickly grabbed this great semi transparent piece which helped a lot and made the game smoother. We will include something like this in the book and maybe even commission an acrylic laser cutting service to make a large square one for the game that encompasses Direct line of sight, Peripheral vision and Blind spots also. (As in the image below, WI.P From the book update)
At the end of our main test game the Herbivores won out through survival and the Predators lost the game by a narrow margin. It was a really fun game and some great rolls where had, including a few exciting and narrative bending double damage rolls.
All in all there where so many helpful comments and ideas from both of us, by the time we got round to editing the book we where full of excitment and gumption for the process and it was really handy after near two weeks of admin and setting up the new partnership.
Keep your eyes peeled this week for more updates.
Hey everyone, Arthur Here.
Today Charles and I began the playtesting part of the writing process. We've done playtests of Cretacea in the last few months but this is our official beginning of the "official" partnership playtesting under our new contract. Most of the week prior was spent sorting out contracts, plans and ideas (as well as some tech stuff) but now we're underway.
Little "Wicked Wargames" trivia, we named some of our contractually obliged meetings after lord of the rings moments. Our monthly financial meeting is called "Durins Day" and our pre release meeting is called "The council of Elrond" - This gave us a solid giggle and definitely helped us to remember that we're running a games company, and not something to grey and dreary!
Our first few playtest games will be smaller games as one of the factors we want to focus on is minimising the model count for people who are starting out. In this game we play a small predator side of T-Rex and one Deinonychus VS Two Triceratops and and Edmontosaurus. We're filming all of our playtests to keep track of things and soon we will be releasing some playtest videos for you all to watch and be part of the process with us.
Today we hit a wording snag in the rules so we posted it in the group on facebook and got an immediate answer. What a lovely crowd we have!
WARGAMES VAULT "DEAL OF THE DAY" FOR ORIGINAL CRETACEA
Tomorrow (10 am us central time) the original Cretacea will be up for sale on Wargames Vault for $5.88 (price of a coffee!)
(Above, my lovely brother helping me out with the original)
Remember that everyone who has a copy of the game will get a FREE copy of the new game that will include everything in their current copy. Some parts may be ommitted from the free version but we promise that -
EVERYONE WHO OWNS ONE - WILL GET A FREE UPDATE!
EDIT: THE FREE VERSION IS THE RE RELEASE RE-WRITE THAT WILL HE GIVEN FOR FREE TO ALL PEOPLE WHO HAVE EVER PURCHASED A COPY OF THE BOOK OR PDF. THIS WILL COVER ALL THE NEW NECESSARY UPDATES THAT CHANGE GAMEPLAY. WHEN WE SAY OMMITTED WE MEAN THAT THE NEW KICKSTARTER VERSION MAY HAVE SOME ELEMENTS THAT ARE AVAILABLE TO BACKERS ONLY. BUT THE UPDATED GAME IS FREE FOR ALL PREVIOUS OWNERS.
This is a great way to "reserve" the new book in a way with the updated rules about enviroments, dinosaur ages, enhanced and clarified existing rules among a lot more. Let me leave you with this glowing review from wargames vault that always reminds me why we're re-releasing this game...and also why we miiiiiight be adding cavemen in the future - SSSSHHHH! Don't tell anyone ;) - Ask and thou may receive Michael.
Meet Pete. Pete is a friend of the family (litterally) and the owner of Beacon Printers in Penarth, Wales. Penarth is my home town and i popped down for a two day visit just to meet up with Pete and discuss our incoming business venture with Cretacea (i also touched base with some relatives which was lovely following the nightmare of covid!).
Pete's business offers many types of printing but the type we will be using is his Lightographic service, a sustainable and green alternative to normal printing. In this day and age it feels like everyone "claims" to be green, but not everyone truly does choose the green option. There are thousands of products that don't that maybe you just don't notice. From Beacons site: Beacon Printers are one of just a handful of printers across Wales to offer a ‘green’ lithographic printing service, using a state-of-the-art chemical free, environment-friendly waterless printing system
By keeping things in house, in the family and local we save some costs but mainly we are able to offer a very "friendly" product to you that you know was made with love and with care.
Pete and Beacon have printed all the books produced under the previous "EZPainter" sub company "Paint.Play.Enjoy" and he is a lovely dude.
As more information becomes available regarding the printing process or production of the upcoming book we will share it.
The previous book produced by Beacon, slightly more of a very thick pamphlet, but the new one is going to be much larger (page count) with more content to boot as well as perfect bound and laminated. We are extremely excited at WW HQ.
Today Charles and I began our first proper shift working together as a new partnership in Wicked Wargames. Charles is a welcome addition to the team of one (now two!) and brings a sharp eye for detail, expression in writing and an enthusiastic background in gaming on the table with his friends. Charles has been an integral part of playtesting the first few books (Cretacea, GGA andmy board game "Capn's Hoard") and he is welcome with open arms as far as i'm concerned. Today we went through lots of technical logisitcs (distanced working) and wet our gaming appetites with a few rounds of chess, Charles always beats me but i'm getting better and it is always a good idea to play some games...if you're running a game company!
One of the ongoing concerns for us both leading up to this as we closed our other affairs and tied up loose knots, ready to set sail to freedom and fate was whether we would be able to actually work remotely given our different temprements and approaches but mainly due to our concerns regarding technology (of which we are both, at best, badly versed). Our chess game today was not just a creative mind flex but it was a crucial component to the work day, being that we know now with surety that the tabletop simulator system we aim to use for a large part of the remote playtesting works well on our internet connections and that we can use it for them in the coming weeks.
I look forward to working with Charles and he is going to write a post introducing himself directly onto the Facebook Group, so make sure to pop over and join for more information.
In this blog you can find regular updates regarding the development and playing of Wicked Wargames systems.