The first playtest of our new game concept was a blast (at three separate incidents it literally was) and we learned a lot.
The game plays in an “I go, you go” format but you roll initiative rolls for every proposed miniature until all miniatures on the board have acted, if they can.
Once all miniatures have moved, it's the next turn, at which point cards are drawn. There are negative ones, like Jam Gun and Collapse Cover, and neutral ones, like changing weather and erratic civilians. Both these types must be played immediately.
After that, you can play your positive cards whenever you want, giving you effects like extra shots, actions, and heals.
The German sniper finds a good position on a hill.
Turn one was mostly moving, which helped us to understand that the game probably needs to take place on a smaller board than the 50"x80" one we were using. This is the beauty of early playtests: by playing we work out kinks in the game early one, rather than those kinks tripping us up down the road, and having such a domino effect. All future games will be swifter and easier now.
In turn one the Germans moved up the board and their sniper positioned himself with a good view across the battle on a hillside. Some of the Brits moved cautiously into the battlefield, with a few setting up cover behind a wall in the village. We also drew the neutral card “Weather”, which meant it started raining. We’re still working out many rules, like the effect of rain, but it was cinematic and useful!
The German's sniper laid down supressing fire on a distant British cover position. This was our first try of the supressing fire rules and they worked well straight off the bat. We tweaked them a little (range and damage to cover) but ultimately it was an exciting opening to the game.
We also drew two civilians cards, which means that civilians enter the battlefield and run across the board. We're still working out how they react to fire, and what exactly their effect is on soldiers, but it definitely added a tactical element; the Germans had to move into a better position to prepare fire because they were too close to the civilians.
Keep in mind we are not aiming for historical accuracy with this game, we're making it as a multi-genre/-period game. The Germans and Brits are just skins for the model types, not actual historical armies that we’re playing.
We also drew a few unseen explosives (mines), and the Germans lost a man to one but the Brits were luckier, only having the cover of one troop (a tree) collapsed in the explosion.
The Germans move aggressively, rushing down the road.
The Brits continued their cautious advance by edging into the battle and setting up defensive positions as they went. This tactic paid off in the end as they ended the game with all their models.
Three Germans in the field and the machine gun team on the left in the road end, trying to avoid proximity to approaching civilians.
A British rifleman shoots across the field at the commanding German officer.
Taking cover against the incoming attack as the Germans move aggressively.
Turn three is where the action really started coming in, but we had to call it at the turn end as had lots of notes for development and we were burning midnight oil by that point.
The civilians continued their obligatory move across the board, again coming within proximity of the German gunners. I drew two “Jammed” cards for the German side, so it made sense to jam their guns since they couldn't fire anyway.
This turned out to be a hasty decision, as they could have repositioned instead of unjamming their guns, but we live and learn.
Our sniper on the German team finally managed to pulverise the cover of the Brits behind the wall. This exposed them and prompted a snappy firefight between sides that was exciting to play, mainly because of the way the turn order works: as one model shot or moved another dove in to provide support or take his place. It was rapid and riveting.
The exposed position.
A gunner lays down supressing fire on a covering Brit, hiding behind the boxes.
The British sniper finds new cover, and returns fire against the German, suppressing him in return.
Private Atkins behind the boxes is now now longer suppressed, and joins in, blowing apart the wall that covered the German, who is now exposed.
A British light-machine-gunner dives into cover at the end of a run toward the front. The odds begin to stack against the German.
He lays down fire but fails to hit. (I.e. Charles rolls 1-3 on all his dice).
Finally the Germans get the initiative again and the German officer returns fire and supresses the British light-machine-gunner.
At the end of the turn, the Brits came in heavy weaponry and shot a missile launcher at the Germans, obliterating one but missing his allies nearby.
At this point we'd tested all the mechanics and had a lot notes and plenty of ideas to work with, and called it as a victory for the Brits.
It was a fun experience and exciting to be playtesting a new game.
END GAME POSITIONS:
Germans - Red
Brits - Green
Hey, Arthur here. I've long wanted to write a game that gives me the feeling I get when I play "Brothers in Arms" on the original Xbox. The game was a "shoot and move" type suppressing fire and cover kind of game, and it really emulated the feel of World War 2 squad combat well. It always stuck in my head, and I have thought about how it would work on a tabletop for a long time.
Although I am aware there are many games like this, I wanted to bring my own flavour to it, and my own sensibility. So born is this new game. Or at least...so drafted are the concept notes.
I drafted the initial notes the other day on the train home, after purchasing some 15mm models for playtesting. The name Shooty Shooty Bang Bang is not permanent, don't worry.
I also created 15 different cards for random events. We think this is about the right number, and multiples of the existing cards will be provided for people to use in a deck.
Some of the Germans I painted up from the 15mm collection so far.
The thing that inspired this process was the purachasing (and discovery) of the Steve Jackson Games army dice the other day, which spurred me on to thinking how cool it would be to use those dice to play our own military game.
The game is meant to be used for multiple time periods but regardless I imagine we will do a breadth of playtesting in the world wars.
Check back tomorrow for updates on our first playtest, Brits against Germans in normandy!
Tensions and rivalries in camp rise with the latest letter in the playtest of our new game, Kingdom and Command.
This is the third letter, from Rivas, our mage character. In it he details the reaction of the camp commander, Lucius Sextus Galvanus, when Rivas walks into his Galvanus' tent with a snake (of which Galvanus is deeply phobic) and demands the respect and command-position warranted for himself, a prince of the realm.
Persilious Grimm (Arthur) reads the latest news "with thorough joy".
Below is the map charles drew for an overview of the strategic situation.
Rivas tells of how a rumour in camp quickly and inadvertently turned to bad morale, which escalated to a brawl and an armed standoff.
To avoid inter-camp bloodshed, Galvanus and the young prince Rivas were forced to split their forces, exposing both to the hostile Formonians to the North. Additionally, Galvanus controls the religiously/magicly important ancient grove, while Rivas has all the mages on his side.
For now we await news from Persilious, who is facing off against the Formonians, their summoned 8ft ogres, and searching The Caves of Carras for the Sword of Mystery.
Transcript of Rivas' letter:
Dear brother, I took your advice, and what change it has brought! I took your advice: found the mage in question, and persuaded him to part with a snake (Galvanus needn’t know it’s docile). Marched into Galvanus’ tent and left your note to him on table (he refused to take it within arm’s length, haha!). Allso demanded my rightful place in command tent, to which he angrily agreed, if no snake.
Since then everything changed quickly! A rumour spread that I had demanded supreme command (not true!). The next day officers and men came to my tent and pledged loyalty to the crown (I thought it kind). In the next few days I saw increasing indiscipline of all sorts, but mages are with me of course. A week passed and whole camp divided (even tents moved!) Two cohorts brawled yesterday. Weapons drawn, standoff, but no blood shed. Galvanus and I interceded, but he was furious. Told “rebels” and myself to leave and re-manoeuvre to new position.
Don’t know if I was commanded, banished or if it was only peaceful solution at standoff. Took ca. 40% of his men, am told. Both Galvanus and enemy is within two day’s march. Officers tell me we must watch both. Very strange situation, but got my wish for command tent, haha! Have you ever faced similar?
White Horses is now barren: fog and rain, but when clear has long, beautiful sunsets across plains. Foragers from three forces have picked area clean. Scouts tell me Galvanus’ tents shadows them at sunrise, and we see our shadows cast on his scouts at sunset. Formonians to North, no movement from them in force yet, apart from skirmish at runes, now defended only by Galvanus + without mages!
Yes, I know Freeden. Skilled mage, bookworm who didn’t return books. Threw one in anger once when he kept nagging. Regret now my harsh words.
Please keep me informed! Am intrigued by sword of mystery (enchanted weapons in tower only rarely demonstrated), and spirits are known to be knowledgeable of such things. Ogres are amazing! In mage’s tower they are 7ft max! Fascinating that these are larger! Advise to follow most, biggest and meanest into caves. Sword may have amplified Formonian magic, but Formonians could also be seeking sword, or they may simply have discovered caves as magical and convenient place to summon ogres. Do not let them get sword!
Last week we had many interesting tasks, one of which was making a new terrain matt. This is a simple but extremely fun craft.
In this post, we'll talk about how we did it and, by extension, how you could do it! Arthur has been crafting for well-over a decade, so if you have questions, let us know either on our Facebook page or on the contact form on our Home page.
We started with a large sheet of faux leather and used a caulking gun with gutter rubber (the rubber material used to fix gaps in guttering and pipes), and spread it liberally over the sheet.
Using a putty knife, we spread the rubber over the sheet, working quickly and in sections to prevent it drying.
We then spray painted it with a mix of colours. We forgot to photograph this stage but it's quite simple: spray one colour at a time, working in layers. Cover the matt with your base colours for setting the tone, and then add splotches of your preferred colour for patches/islands of terrain. These patches will help the flocking, to be added later, stand out.
Arthur demonstrating the size of the new gaming matt.
With a big brush, we dry-brushed the whole matt with a beige tone to bring out the texture from the first stage of the build.
After that, we applied paint and drizzled on the flock and static grass.
The final matt looks awesome and did its job excellently.
During playtesting we found that the larger the matt -- the better, though there is a peak size in our opinion. Generally 40" by 60" is a great size for most games and points counts so that's the size we chose for this matt and what we recommend in the book.
This size is hopefully something a lot of wargamers can accommodate, and we'll be taking it to conventions, so you'll be able to test it and Cretacea there for yourselves!
In this blog you can find regular updates regarding the development and playing of Wicked Wargames systems.