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Fantasy Gamer Town Square

Public Group active 52 minutes ago

General Fantasy Gaming Discussion Group, where you can discuss anything fantasy and point visitors to your threads and activities elsewhere on Beasts of War’s Hubs and Forums.

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Fantasy, Review, Event, Community Discussion, *Gamename

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  • Avatar Image davehawes54p said 4 days, 5 hours ago:

    I had an idea for a game, a while back now, a game called Deneb. About a month ago I posted this in Backstage, and have had some great feedback from the guys there. It was suggested I post here to widen the feedback further, which seemed like a good idea!

    Having worked in the computer game industry for years, and been a keen tabletop gamer since my teenage days, it just felt like the right time to make something of my own in this area. Something entirely for the love of making a game whose world was my own, and where I could put my money where my mouth is when it comes to designing mechanics. So I got together a very helpful team for art, sculpting, designing, editing, play testing and so on, and started work.

    It’s far from finished, but I’ve wanted to widen the circle of feedback for a bit, and this seemed like a good place to start.

    All the core rules are written, plus unit rules for 4 factions (plus an unaligned collection of models), these have been through a chunk of play-testing, and it’s down to number crunching and wording tweaks at this point. The art has been created fully for 3 of the factions; the others are in progress. Sculpts are done for one starter force for one faction, and sculpts for the second starter force for another faction are in development.

    The current rules PDF can be found here; it has all the art and rules in that I mention above.

    Feedback welcome, and if anyone wants to know more, I am sure you can guess I am ready to wax lyrical about this to anyone who asks :)

    I’ll copy in some of the posts made in Backstage that answered the first questions I got (and I clearly should have answered better in my first post!)

    Enjoy the cover art below!

  • Avatar Image davehawes54p said 4 days, 5 hours ago:

    I possibly should explain some of the key things about the game that might help people decide if they want to bother looking at the PDF or not (although the art is pretty cool, so worth a peek for that at least!).

    - It uses a fantasy setting created for the game.

    - Its key mechanics are around choice rather than randomness. A game of Deneb has at most, two coin-tosses for random elements, and everything else is down to player choice.

    - It’s a skirmish-like game, but it uses tiles (which have built-in rules for elevation and other terrain effects) to build a grid for gameplay, and all movement and measurement is tile based.

    - It’s quick to play, with the smallest size games taking 30-60 mins, and the biggest 60-90 mins.

  • Avatar Image davehawes54p said 4 days, 5 hours ago:

    Thought it might be interesting to include one of the unit cards to get an idea about how the units are described. These cards in the prototype are double sided A6, so the text is decently legible. Below is the Komtur, a Captain of the Knights in the elite armed force, the Ordo Draco.

    So far we have 25 unit cards in the rules to this level of completion (more or less done) across 3 of the factions.

    We have another 12 with complete rules and card layout, but art work is not yet complete.

  • Avatar Image davehawes54p said 4 days, 5 hours ago:

    Some photos from a play-test setup!

  • Avatar Image davehawes54p said 4 days, 5 hours ago:

    In case anyone wants to try any play-testing here is the file I used to print the standee’s shown in the play-testing above.

    It’s a good idea to have some copies of the trackers as well, there is a version in the rulebook linked above to copy/print, but it might be better to have a single file for that for people to test with, I’ll dig that out if anyones interested. Also probably the quick play PDF that is intended for teaching a first game.

  • Avatar Image davehawes54p said 4 days, 5 hours ago:

    Some Q&A stuff collated from some helpful backstagers

    Q: Isn’t Deneb a property in other things?
    A: The games name got changed a few times during development to avoid collision with other things (all the names were names of stars, which has some loose relevance to the concept behind the lore). Trouble is, it seems always someone, somewhere, has used a star name! However I don’t believe Deneb, spelt that way (the actual star name) is a trademarked property.

    Q: What makes this special and different in a market that is on the verge of over-saturation
    A: I would say there were some concepts I wanted out of the game, not all of which are original, but I hadn’t seen all together in one package.

    The most important thing for me was to try and make a game where everything was player choice driven, as opposed to dice rolls or card draws. I could go on a lot about the theory of tension and conflict in games, and why randomness is a really good solution to this problem. However, I’d rather say, whilst I LOVE dice and cards, and have had a lot of fun with them over the years, I really wanted a game where at the end you go “Ah, I lost it when I made choice X”. Rather than, “I lost it when I failed roll X”. Balance is key for something like this, and the aim (and so far play-testing has borne this out) is to not know who is going to win until pretty late in the game. It’s definitely hard to get a mechanic like that right, but I feel Deneb does it well.

    I wanted a game where movement, cover, terrain and line of sight was very clearly defined. No debate, and very easy to determine. Primarily for speed, but also to avoid arguments in more competitive games. It’s not the first game to use this kind of grid mechanic, but as I say not in conjunction with all the other factors I liked.

    I wanted something I could play quickly, and with minimal financial and time investment. Something where once you know the rules, you can pick-up a single starter box, paint 5/6 mini’s, and be good to go. Also where those games take around an hour usually.

    Despite wanting all of the above factors (which I could have played other games to get some mix of those things), I also wanted to build army list. I love that construction aspect that let’s me read cool lore and abilities, and mix up models to create interesting synergies. Despite my love of strategy, I didn’t want chess (great game though it is) I wanted something that had cool characters, and whose abilities I could mix and match. Hence the strange allies rule, which makes balancing all the more difficult, but allows you to use pretty much any model from any faction in any list (there are some limitations of course!). The point was to give a lot of variety to army construction.

    An extension of this; was to make something where individual models really carried a bunch of interesting flavour with them. I like when rules and flavour really feel in synch with each other. Related to that, when a model feels like what it does is really its thing, and not “this is a power 6, defence 4 as opposed to a power 4, defence 6″. I want people to go “oh that’s the model that can create walls, I know how I could use that.” To make that playable, it was important for me that wherever possible, a rule that isn’t standard rule is written on a models card, as clearly as possible so you don’t need to look rules up in a book during play.

    The rulebook itself might not be the easiest to grok, and any advice to improve that is appreciated. I am working on a quick-play that is short, and should help get people up and running. I’ve found when teaching the game, people usually after one turn, have grasped the key rules and can play on their own after that, just asking the odd (usually unit specific) question after that.

    Lastly (and to an extent, least important) I wanted a game whose aesthetic I liked. To that end, I mean somewhat realistic (as opposed to cartoony) art style, and a fantasy setting. I do like things that are cartoony and all kinds of settings, just not as much as I like this style.

    Thanks for taking an interest and I hope you do get a chance to read the rules, and if you do, I look forward to hearing your feedback.

    Q: How do you plan to fund and distribute the game? Kickstarter?
    A: We have sufficient funding to complete the development, art, sculpts, tokens and so on, as well as to create a limited prototype run for demoing at cons and so on, though we are still a bit away time wise from doing all of that!

    Beyond that, Kickstarter is an option, but it’s not the only thing we are exploring when it comes to getting together everything logistically and financially to allow order, production and delivery of the final starter box set.

    Q: What size are the cards?
    A: The unit cards are going to be A6, so roughly double “normal” card size. So if you imagine the image above printed twice on an A4 portrait page (so one filling the top half, and one filling the bottom half). That is the actual size it ends up. As they are double-sided A6, so the front half has the image, main stats, and starting rule text, then the back-side has the rest of the rules text.

    I was worried about legibility, and I don’t think you can smaller in terms of card size, but I think it’s ok at A6. Less text is always better of course!

  • Avatar Image davehawes54p said 4 days, 5 hours ago:

    As noted above currently working on the Shadow faction unit cards (the 4th core faction to get it’s art and cards completed). First one of those has been finished off today, thought it might be nice to share it here.

    The Shadow are a slightly trickier faction to master, and but very good at taking out enemy targets when you get the hang of them.

    This is the Balestrieri…