This week we followed up our lava field play-test with some stat card work and re-writes. We've made some really exciting strides and are nearly ready for our next play-test. Arthur decided to have a go at the artwork for the dinosaur cards, as we decide to make our own instead of using Scott's holotypes. As much as we want to use Scott's art, we can't afford it during the production process and we may look into it again in the future, following the inevitable success of the Cretaces 2nd edition, when can pay Scott properly.
You can see the fruits of Arthur's labours below. The beauty of making our own pictures is that we can totally choose the style and character of the dinosaurs we're looking to simulate with the game.
Another exciting part of this process has been the scanning, cleaning and background removal, meaning that the original sketches are now computer files with transparent backgrounds that can be dropped onto the stat cards and the new look, shown below, is astoundingly better than we ever assumed it might be
As things move forward the stat cards themselves grow in ease of use and attractiveness. Note below the new background and the new layout (pending finalisation), both easier to read and use on the table. A new, favourite feature of ours is the multi-coloured hide area grid, which can be seen in action in the second image below.
This new, colour-coded section makes play quicker and also more approachable to new players and (we hope) more understandable for younger players who we think tend to be more visual players. As you get to know the game you'll become more familiar with each dinosaur, but this colour-coding, albeit mainly visual and just for fun, is a great addition to the stat cards.
Come back later in the week for more updates: we'll be announcing release dates and more information regarding the "build-up" process for the project, and as usual we'll be posting more playtests soon.
Wicked Wargames team.
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.
The beginning of this week was a bit slower on the cretacea front. I personally think it's healthy if a project ebs and flows, full force progress can be a bit tricky and sometimes things fall through the gaps so it's good that i've now hit the "paint wall" and that i've got something quite meditative in the form of the dino collection to get through, if i haven't brain stormed a few good ideas by the end of the next two weeks then i'm happy to call the current book complete (pending edits and playtests).
I've painted one of the raptors and it came out really nicely. I decided to go with yet another slightly odd color scheme but i thought stark white raptors could be quite attention grabbing, so i pursued it and was not dissapointed with the results.
Truthfully a large chunk of today and yesterday where just basing hours, carefully painting around the dinos feet and there are still more to add to the collection, but i really want to finish this lot first or i'll never catch up! At the moment we have:
- A Brachiosaurus family
- A styracosaurus family
- A triceratops family
- A dimetrodon family
- An ankylosaurus family (though many of the models can act as stand in for other ankylosaurids)
- A t-rex family
- A gigantosaurus family
- a stegosaurus family
- a velociraptor / deinonychus family.
i'm really enjoying the progress and the collection is going to look awesome on display, just all laid out with the colors and shapes of these awesome animals on show.
They say you need to spend money to make it. I have spent a lot in the last two weeks on dinosaurs...of that lot i am using a small percentage of them, some are total "misses" and some close calls in scale and style mean i've used less of them than i thought i would. This isn't a problem but if i don't stop now i might have one! I have decided to paint up all the good ones for now, and then decide what i need to get movign forward for conventions (and my own greedy little collection hehe).
I think (ironically) that i only really need a triceratops or two and a T-Rex for cons (conventions) but i would like to have a good range to show people how easy and how fun it is to buy toys and use them in games. It's so liberating. I can say without a shadow of a doubt that i have spent much less than if i'd bought even just one of each dinosaur from a metal miniature producer, so that's a big bonus.
I have also finished the trees as the foliage turned up yesterday so i can now start doing the principle photography for the book (the images that clarify rules in the book are a crucial component of the update). They came out awesome and i've ordered a second pack of foliage to really bulk them up for conventions and catch peoples eye.
Yesterday evening my raptors arrived and i am happy to see that they're JUST in scale. They're certainly large, and maybe even a tiny bit to large but i think given the choice between these or "minisaurs" from dinosaur tubs, it's these for now until the world starts working again and i can actually put my eyes on some models at some conventions. Once i do i might find a better fit. I'm not very good as guestimating scales and sizes online, i get overwhelmed immediately (i suffer dyscalculia) so it's a bit of a shot in the dark just continually buying dinosaurs offline whom i cannot identify before i do. For now these guys will suit just fine and furthermore they're gorgeous, so i'm glad i got them. I can rest my raptor anxiety now.
To round off the day i started undercoating all the currently based models. I am so excited to do some big group "herd" shots and i can't wait to get some mad perspective shots with the big brachiosaurus! As per colors i stuck to natural ones except my gigantosaurus models which i am leaning into an odd but striking blue. Some of the models didn't take paint to well, so i'll probably try basecoat them tomorrow after a grey primer to help the paint stick.
All in all a really busy day, an interesting one regarding the craft and build side of things and an exillerating one regarding model photography as i just about managed to start taking pictures for the book rule clarifications at the end of the day. Awesome stuff. Enjoy this pic below that is in the book.
Today was pretty wicked. I got so many pages of the book to a closer "finished" standard. This time around i am not shying away from depth when it comes to the tutorial section. When i was a child i would read the same tutorial pages again and again (literally for weeks) and i am i think a commission painter now due in part to these great pages of old. i've slapped some watermarks on these are they're close to finished so i don't want to give away to much but oh gosh somuch exciting stuff to read and delve into!
I'm excited for the fun feedback which i imagine there will be when the book goes out and people sharing their painted dinosaurs! It's going to be so fun.
I also started sketching again last night. I have been trying to draw side on views of my fave dinosaurs for the book stat cards (jus tin case scott harmon doesn't get back to me by the time of release RE his holotype imagery) and i decided to stop trying so hard and jsut sketch. This parasaurolophus is the result and i love him. Parasaurolophus is my favorite dinosaur and i really enjoyed drawing him, scanning him in and plopping him on the appropriate page. What joy.
You can see him behind the roar chart below.
All in all a great day. I can't wait to launch the KS but because i'm putting the production values so high i think the ks will run in a couple of weeks instead of the proposed "a week or two from now" and i will be putting the print supply toward the end of the year so that the game can exist in a "beta" period, and i can ask my most enthusiastic backers to have a read and give feedback. As a lone gamer in a house of non gamers it's hard to find consistent help for playtesting. Because the game is basically formed anyway it only requires ironing out, but i'm glad for the new playtest period and i think players will be glad to get a book that has had a chance to be glanced over before it get's printed. it's going to stint the release (marketing wise) but it's a nice way to do it for avid and helpful gamers (which i have discovered populate the Kickstarter pages in full.)
More to come soon.
The current w.i.p's. A nice mix of theropods, stegorsaurus, tricerotops (some other ceratopsids), some ankylosaurids, a few dimetrodon and a really cute little edmontonosaurus. I hope to get a few more of that guy.
I did a little converting on the Centrosaurus gang (i've got four!) so we've got a bit of variation. I also did some patching up with putty (as you can see on the two closest theropods).
Welcoming a legend...I knocked up an allosaurus stat card. I also painted a great Allosaurus model (photo coming) in a blue green color mix. I modelled the stat card after the suchomimus stat card but i made a few alterations. I also came up with a special rule (the first non advantageous special rule for a predator) which makes the allosaurus a seflish lone wolf. I see Allosaurus this way, they where fairly early dinosaurs and i personally don't imagine them as pack animals but rather a bit more selfish.
I am excited to share that i'm doing more work on the stat cards of the dinosaurs. After my solo playtest the other night i realised that the cards could have all three movement distances listed (sneaks/ walks / runs, charges and barges) as well some re formatting and that it'd be helpful to have the specials to hand. I decided to put the specials on the back, it's less distracting to just flick it over in my opinion than to have them written in really small writing at the bottom.
i'm much happier with this layout, it's still very basic and blank but i'm going to work on backgrounds or textures this week. I want to get the format perfect first.
Also now that i've gotten the template down i can begin to add other dino's. Firstly i want to add Allosaurus and Sarchosuchus, a few new predators would add a lot to the game. I also want to work out stegosaurus and brachiosaurus.
There is something special about cretacea. When i work on it i turn into a fiend, working all hours, writing notes, coming up with ideas. I don't know why this happens, i like to think it's because cretacea is a "green light" for me and i can feel it in my bones. I have been working on the book this week but i have been focusing on the terrain and miniatures. In just one week i've expanded the collection to a much more comprehensive one, i'm waiting on just one more adult brachiosaurus to round out my herd (yes you "herd" that right...)
Secondly i finished a suchomimus pair (they're basic and not really suchomimus models but by jove is it very hard to find affordable therpods!) On top of that i painted a few other bits, undercoated tons of models and i got a big delivery in the post of probably a hundred dinos. Sadly many of them are "un usable" for my own colection but they may not be for someone else so i may just set up an exchange program on the facebook and keep them moving. People can take what theyw ant, add what they dont and send it on. It's a quaint idea don't you think?
Among the lot was some cute dimetrodons, a bunch of awesome ankylosaurs (including some great polocanthus stand ins and some baby ankylosaurs) lots of baby dinosaurs including stegosaurus and triceratops (herd animal babies are awesome for photography and campaign play), some great hadrosaurs, a few baby sauropods that i can make work and a but load of out of scale theropods. The last is a shame but i think i can salvage some bits from them.
I also started working on the giant redwoods i want to inhabit my main table for the game. I seem to have taken less pictures than i thought i did but i've gone with a basic loo roll/ papier mache and hot glue method (the same as i did for the first book) only i've put a few more hours work into them to make them seem more tree-ish and i also worked harder on the papier mache and hot glue bit, really taking my time to run the "veins" of the roots in the appropriate directions.
I will be working on the project over the weekend but i have a few other bits to get on with, so i will likely post little updates with a bigger one on monday. We are so close to the photography stage of the book development, i'm so excited and i just need to get some good T-Rex's done for that. The one i have currently is blue, which is cool but i think it'll hurt some of the moany older peeps who need their T-Rex...to not be blue haha, however i decided to keep him blue, maybe use him as a different dinosaur and paint a "traditional" T-rex to use for the pictures. Leep your eyes peeled for more.
Yesterday i powered through the end of the edit which included a re draft of the old dinosaur cards onto more detailed and expansive ones. They are basic at the moment and i haven't yet secured the rights to the Scott Harmon art but i'm crossing all my digits as his is the best i could find and i really want this book to look the best it can.
The pre existing herbivores
Re Drafting the pre existing herbivores was a lot of fun. The next ones to add to the list are Stegosaurus and Miragaia, both prominent and colorful examples of powerful herbivores from the time of dinosaurs. I hope to add more predators than prey in the new book, yet to keep things short and sweet where possible, adding more idnosaurs (monthly likely) after the book is finished. This will ensure we can cover all the dino's that people want as During this re draft for the herbivores i made sure that Sauropods where a class apart in their strength and as such the subsequent stomp and tail whip are more deadly than before from sauropods.
Few changes came to the predators but i changed Deinonychus speciality to it's claw attack as this makes more sense. As per adding more predators i'd like to add as many non therapods as possible but i imagine that's going to be hard (bit like trying to add predators for a modern safari game without using cats) so i will likely use special rules to further destinguish models. Some points costs changed also in both herbivores and predators. For both teams i added
1. Checks values
2. Enviroment (pick one per dinosaur).
3. Condensed bite and teeth into the same stat.
4. Attack rolls (e.g. each dinosaur now has the encesary math listed to roll for attacks to save time.)
5. Where possible i want to use holotype images to give flavor to these cards. I will also work more on the layout but for the time being it is functional!
Itching to go and trapped in a lockdown i decided to boot up tabletop sim, move some trees around, import the character sheet JPEGs and play a solo game. I chose to go for 150 points which is the top end of a suggested starting match. I balanced it out with 3 Parasaurolophus (Paras for this article) and 1 Saltasaurus (Salty for this article) vs 1 Carcharodontasaurus (carco for this article) and 3 Deinonychus (Deinos for this article).
Next to each card i put a red token so i could track alertness and the relevant amount of black ones for their HP. This way i could lay them on top of the relevant hide areas as they got knocked out.
I played a four turn game using a marker to indicate who had initiative. In this game the initiative went Predators X2 followed by Herbivores X2. It was an even matching almost and it really helped the Herbivores to turn the tables later in the game.
I set the Carco up on the one corner and the raptors are on the other (barely visible behind some trees in the above image). They all failed their smell checks (except one raptor) and except the one guy they dordled about in the general direction of the prey models until combat ensued in turn 3.
The Herbivores tactically grazed the first turn gaining a whopping 4 grazing points for the team, in the second turn they managed to spot the incoming Carco and three of four became alert. The final becoming Alert as a meander roll bought him into a clearing and he suddenly saw the combats ensuing!
Combat was a messy (and literall) Tet-a-Tet with th Paras on the left flank running into pre-emptive combat and one of the Paras on the right flank also doing the same. Both un ocupied herbivores used their "bolster" rawr to increase the combat efficiency of the attacking herbivores. All of the herbivores on the board also have the "Herd Animal" & "Reptiles Song" special rules so as long as they consciously stayed within a certain range of each other the Herbivores where hitting very hard in this game. (A total of +4 on the left flank and +5 on the right meaning those poor raptors where fighting against +5 attacks even before the Paras own modifiers, for the record...most of his attacks where at +8 or so in this.
Right flank Para won this one for the herbivores!). Because of the hard hits the dinosaurs where almost trapped in combat, running away and risking attacks of oppertunity was un ergonomic so the two teams fought to the last bitter second, most of the time causing double score damages across the board.
The Salty on the right flank did wonders for his Para buddy and he really bostered his attacks a large amount with his bolstering rawr. I did find that if one thing stood out in this game it's that there is a discrepency between the distance of your roar and the strength of it, i think rawrs need a little looking at, but as with most of the re draft changes we are talking minor and only positive changes.
As the game hangs in the balance in the last turn the right flank para turns about and whips the raptors with his tail, a devastating +5 on top of his +3 (already) tail whip gives him +8 on the dice, he scores a 9, an 11 and a 12 and he knocks them out with one fell blow. So goes the story of comradre, if you support you're buddies, you make them unbeatable machines (not bad real life advice that).
END RESULT: The predators killed one of two target animals necesary to win the game. The herbivores managed to graze a total of 6 points, though not the 8 they need to win by grazing they outlived the Predators so they won the game. Those raptors will think twice before messing with that Parasaurolophus again!
THOUGHTS: Not many to be honest, i only wrote down two notes and i had a wail of a time. The hardest thing to justify in Cretacea is why predator players wouldn't jsut set their models up with line of sight to enemy models IF that is a possibility. The answer is "controlled and appropriate levels of meta gaming" so as to culitvate a good and fun atmosphere, i myself don't mind it, but i can't imagine a lot of gamers do. I might re jig that but i feel like it could be covered with a simple "this is jsut the rule" approach also. Let's see what people make of the new "meta gaming" dscription in the new book.
I also noted about Rawrs as mentioned before and also that it should be mentioned in the book that when a hide area is broken in a combat, and subsequent attacks in that combat (damages) are to be added to the character, they go to the HP but that the broken hide area may NOT be intentionally attacked again, as it is broken. I might make this so that it can be, but that it's at a -1.
Until next time i hope you enjoyed this, it was SUPER easy for me to do, so i think i'll do more as i go along!
Cheers for reading.
In this version of cretacea i'm initially aiming to be less precious about what dinosaurs i think people want to see and putting more impetus on what i want to field. I feel that this is a really authentic way to provide people with the truest and most passionately playtested types, and i'll enjoy working on others more when people start requesting them (i aim to cover as many dinosaurs as people want, one of the things i'm working on this time is a follow up plan, so i'll be releasing single page "insert" PDF's for your existing book at least month by month.
One of the dinosaurs i love most is Brachiosaurus, as suaropods go they're a bit wierd, and i love that. They've got those long front legs which kind of makes them look like they where put together backwards by a playing toddler and they have that mottled whale like skin that just dominates any image they stand in. I decided to repaint the two i have so far since i ordered £50.00 of dinosaurs of ebay last night and they're gonna arrive soon! Among them is some mommy and daddy brachiosaurus. These two in this image are only scaled correctly to play teenagers more or less, but i love the models so heck, i'll use the modificication rules to field them as teens then.
I used black spray to undercoat them then i stood further away and gently sprayed them with varying greys until i got a look i liked. Then i spotted them with white and black by gently pressing down the nozzles. When i got them to the paint table i picked out their fingernails and their eyes (i went for a sullen yellow) and i used a paint brush and soem brown eye shadow to work that lovely muddy "dust" on their bellies, legs and a bit on their necks. I think it's a really simple and quick way to paint them to a standard i'm super happy with. Plus i need to paint a few next week using the same method so i thought i'd keep it simple for now.
Seen here with my current ankylosaurus (but i hope to replace him very soon for a better one from ym ebay haul). I use basing paste for my dinos which is jsut polly filla and it keeps my basing simple and consistent and doesn't subtract from the mighty dinosaurs i aim to represent.
More on these guys soon. Here is another hint from the book re draft, Sauropod line of sight makes more sense as they are able to see over things (as in real life) but it is linked with grazing and alertness, so a grazing suarupod has a reduced LOS.
More hints soon!
I have these two cans of "textured" spray that i bought to experiment with so i decided to use them to coat these pieces. As it turns out the black was fine but the brown was almost red.
With that disapointment to deal with i decided to re coat black and then rely on the basecoat of paint, which truthfully i was hoping to avoid needing.
Lockdown has meant that i have to egt all the supplies i usualy get from different places in town (for a pittance) online instead, and spending ten to fifteen times more most of the time. I refused to risk buying burnt umber in bulk online (my main basing brown) and so i got one from wilko, sadly i had the exact same problem as the brown spray, this was also red, like martian earth. I decided to run with it.
It didn't dry any better, so i needed to work it in a bit with other browns.
Using some craft paint i half drybrushed / half smudged orange, yellow, earthy brown and a much darker brown onto them. Now they're starting to look good. I also made sure to limit my effort on the drybrushing as i wanted to leave all the colors underneath and also the black where it still showed. As i want these to be convention friendly terrain they really need to have high contrast colors, it will also look beautiful in the book with multi colored earth tones muting out all the bright greens.
Further into the adventure for contrast i painted some yellow, greay and light grey stones. I made sure the two grey tones where quite apart and i picked out some big ones and some small ones on each piece. I found that it looked best when i picked out a big one then maybe two of three around it in the same color, this gave a nice look as though bits of stone had erroded over time.
The last thing i did was to sue a large brush and lightly dry brush the whole lot with beige (i used a tester paint pot from wilko but any beige would do). I was very sparing then as and when i could see darker patches that seemed uneven i would dab a bit more one. The big stones especially got attention and it really makes them pop out at you.
For flocking i chose a spring/summer mix from ebay i got a while back and i also put sprigs of silflor flowers and tufts around the pieces. This final touch really brings it all together and something about them at this point just reminds me of the old flat hills you'd get in photographs in the lord of the rings magzines i collected as a child. Just bumpy and cool looking. I should say the yellow isn't quite so yelloe in real life, it looks very similar but the brown levels in the yellow i chose are just enough. These pieces would work just as well with three tones of grey or more tones of brown.
Something that always amused me baout terrain making is that between the laborious processes and drying times you can often spend days (literal days) doing some part of a job, then suddenly you get to the end, plonk on a bunch of details and BAM, it's just done. This was one of those cases.
To place the plants i would rip them by hand from their plastic branch and clump two or three together tightly then inserting them into the holes i drilled before while putting a dab of super glue in the hole to.
My hands got covered but the result is SO clean and so lovely and there isnt a big ugly blob of hot glue in sight! For the bigger bases i made sure to clump larger concentrations of plants in the middle so that we could really have some seriously thick obscurring cover.
The result is simply and absolutley beautiful, and because of the meticulous construction they almsot actually look alive, they'd certainly be super suitable looking inside of a natural vivarium.
I took a few set up shots on the battle mat (i didn't really set them up but if i took my time can you imagine, with lighting and a smoke machine and oh my gosh i just have so many ideas.) I hope you enjoyed this little two part tutorial and that it inspires you to get creating. I obviously had the tools for this to start but you could do something similar with poster board for so affordably.
Please send in your own dino flora for us to post and share your creations! We are using the email of our sister company EZPainter right now so send emails to email@example.com
To really get my teeth into the prep for the game i've been painting all the dinos i have in my current collection. I am not being to picky about what dinosaurs i will play with this time around (although i'm picking ones that lean into slightly more naturalistic sculpts over the vintage styles). I am also being less picky with what actual dinosaurs are in the game, so i've some stegosaurus ready to reak havok and i've got a few big ebay job lots on their way in the post from which i hope to build an entire brachiosaurus family for a big heard shot in the book!
Something else i have been doing is building tropical forest bases as they look great with dinosaur games. I don't aim to be very precise with the flora i represent in this way, i'm going for a general look and maybe later i will make over enviorments to play dinosaurs in but for the core book we will return to tropical forests as they tend to look so lovely with the mulit colored hides of dinosaurs as their foreground.
I'm using the same techniques as with the first book only i'm using power tools (i've discovered a passion for woodwork during lockdown) so i've got some ply wood and cut out bases and sanded them down with a planer.
After this i mixed a liberally sized pot of gorrilla glue and basic pva (as i want the bases to be very strong, i'm hoping to make them good enough to take around to conventions but also portable and low impact) and i used sand from a bag of builders sand which is a mix of all sizes of sand and stones. I think this one was cleaned up and left after a job at our house before we moved in, so i can't speak to the quality and consitency of other builders sand. I used a large make up brush to apply the glue and a plastic cup to pour the sand over the bases, it got pretty smokey in there with all the dust.
The finished result is strong and has a lovely texture plus the bevelled sides scream of 90's wargames boards which is a look i adore, i have never really been one for total immersion, i personally like to be reminded i'm playing a game as i do. Consequently i left the bevelled sides mostly blank.
The next step is to drill holes in the wood for the plant stems. I used a small drill head and twisted it a little in the holes to bevel them a little as some of the plant stems are bigger than others. I also discovered that this might be a fun way to do egg nests in the future, perhaps just coating the sawdust piles with glue and adding some mini green stuff eggs or small rice.
Next i did a dry fit of the plants. I decided i'm going to pick them off as i use them instead of creating big piles of prepared plants, this way i can maybe add some bigger ones and smaller ones before i take them all apart. It also occoured to me i can use the plants from the original pieces, which is a fun idea!
To finish off the pre basecoat prep i attached some small rocks, and then some larger pebbles from outside of the house. After the small rocks i added another sprinkle of sand. After a stressful week it was really sensory and fun to get my hands in the sand box and sprinkle it over.
This is how they looked before the big pebbles. The one on the right has had the second sprinkle of small sand. You can see how it really helps to integrate those rock piles, give the impression of a fallen cliff face long ago instead of just a pile of rocks that someone dropped there.
Now it's time for the big pebbles. Some of these where a bit dirty so i generally avoided using them as the mud would create issues further down the line, i started by splodging them in the existing piles but i found soon that it was better to put a blob of glue down and then plonk a few pebbles in by hand.
The finished pieces are looking awesome, i will get some twigs tomorrow and spray the bases in the morning, give them a paint up, stick in the plants and add the twigs then finish them off with a few spritzes of spray for weathering. I'm quite excited!
Next up, big stones!
This week i had a read of Cretacea and i decided a few things.
1. This is an awesome game.
2. It deserves more love.
3. It literally holds a corner of a tiny market that i guess i hadn't realised it does. which is amazing.
4. It could be bigger, it could encompass every dinosaur in history, not to mention prehistoric models and maybe even gangs of roaming cavemen.
5. I have held my self back by not starting a new company for my games, and in doing so i hope to establish myself in the market more.
So with this in mind i started binging dinosaur shows (basically how i research for my books) and i've been making lots of notes and changes to the book.
The game is the same, not much has changed mechanically but i've just explained things A LOT better and i've made a conscious effort to make it easier to understand as well as including lots more exmaple and clarification sections.
Check out the below video for more info and a preview of some of my home painted dinosaur toys.
Keep your eyes peeled and follow this blog (rrs code at top right) for more info to come!
In this blog you can find regular updates regarding the development and playing of Wicked Wargames systems.