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Deneb

Deneb

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Project Blog by davehawes Cult of Games Member

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About the Project

Deneb is a highly tactical miniatures game featuring small skirmishes in a unique fantasy setting designed and created by me! This project carries on from the forum on the old site (will add a link when I find the archived content) that details my progress on bringing this game to life.

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Unaligned Sculpt - Sellsword

Tutoring 2
Skill 3
Idea 3
No Comments

Sculpt from the unaligned faction – Sellsword. Feedback welcome as always. In his design we’ve tried to show both his bag of marks, and his mismatched armour. Bought, stolen or scavenged at various points in time in his life as a soldier of fortune.

Common as dirt and about as clean, they have moderate skill with a blade, no sense of belonging and a love for marks. These are not the trained and disciplined blades of a La’Certa private company, but they are dangerous nonetheless.

The Sellsword is a member of the unaligned faction. The unaligned are a catch-all faction. For those assets which either due to being mindless constructs, or because their loyalty is easily bought, or otherwise fickle, might fight for just about any organisation at any-time.

The Sellsword is an excellent choice for players who prefer to not make heavy use of the Marketplace or Upgrades. It gives you somewhere to spend your marks to directly power a model’s actions. Even if you do like spending marks, the Sellsword’s Pickpocket action can be used to take them from your opponent!

Learn more about Deneb on the official site here

Sculpt & card artSculpt & card art
Unit cardUnit card

Unaligned Sculpt - Wyrm Fury Crystal

Tutoring 2
Skill 3
Idea 4
2 Comments

Sculpt from the unaligned faction – Wyrm Fury Crystal. Feedback welcome as always.

 

It is said that when the first dragons warred during the ancient times it was due to a curse put upon them by the first Witch. Some refused to partake in their noble races self-destructive rampage. The unilateral slaughter of kin disgusted them. Enraged by their perceived cowardice, many of their own brethren sought and slaughtered these pacifists. This act of fratricide was thought to have driven these mighty dragons mad with rage. They abandoned all reason and lost themselves in an endless blood lust. When they finally died in battle, their bodies wasted away. Where there should have been the rotting flesh of a once great heart, instead stood a pulsating red crystal, emanating unbridled fury.

The Wyrm Fury Crystal is a member of the unaligned faction. The unaligned are a catch-all faction. For those assets which either due to being mindless constructs, or because there loyalty is easily bought, or otherwise fickle, might fight for just about any organisation at any-time.

The crystals are an unusual group of objects found amongst the unaligned with unique properties. They grant an action to all the other models in your strike team in the form of their gift. In this case Beserkers Fury allows your characters to make a powerful, if risky melee attack. Crystals also have an aura and attributes that grow in power as the crystal charges. In this case the crystal gains power whenever models with the “Coven” keyword are destroyed. Making this the perfect anti-witch model.  The aura can also allow allies to take actions with the Aggression requirement, without actually being in the Aggression tactical commitment.

 

Learn more about Deneb on the official site here

Sculpt & card artSculpt & card art
Unit cardUnit card

Unaligned Sculpt - Nautilus Crystal

Tutoring 3
Skill 5
Idea 5
No Comments

Sculpt from the unaligned faction – Nautlus Crystal. Feedback welcome as always.

Shimmering blue, looming and smelling strongly of briny sea and salty breeze. An inauspicious offering from the great sleeping one, sent forth from the sunken city. Seen by many as exactly what the world needed to keep the magic of the Tower in check, but others have warned other to beware any gift from the abyssal depths.

The Nautilus Crystal is a member of the unaligned faction. The unaligned are a catch-all faction. For those assets which either due to being mindless constructs, or because there loyalty is easily bought, or otherwise fickle, might fight for just about any organisation at any-time.

The crystals are an unusual group of objects found amongst the unaligned with unique properties. They grant an action to all the other models in your strike team in the form of their gift. In this case Abyssal Wave allows your characters to force their opponents to choose between being pushed back or suffering damage. Crystals also have an aura and attributes that grow in power as the crystal charges. In this case the crystal gains power whenever models with the “Tower” keyword are destroyed. Making this the perfect anti-mage model.  The aura can also allow allies to defend against fire-based  attacks.

 

Learn more about Deneb on the official site here

 

 

Sculpt & card artSculpt & card art
Unit cardUnit card

Unaligned Sculpt - Tempest Crystal

Tutoring 3
Skill 7
Idea 6
2 Comments

Sculpt from the unaligned faction – Tempest Crystal. Feedback welcome as always.

Once held in the vaults of the La’Certa Royalty, a gift to the founders of the line in eons past. This bright yellow crystalline structure, all spikes and shards like an organic growth, large enough to be used as a throne at one point. The sparks of energy that leap from it’s surface, arcing towards any significant chunk of metal is one of the reasons why it was relegated to the vaults. Apparently an entire retinue of Knights guarding the King where left little more than smoking charred skeletons in their armour. The Tempest Crystal is a member of the unaligned faction.

The unaligned are a catch-all faction. For those assets which either due to being mindless constructs, or because there loyalty is easily bought, or otherwise fickle, might fight for just about any organisation at any-time.

The crystals are an unusual group of objects found amongst the unaligned with unique properties. They grant an action to all the other models in your strike team in the form of their gift. In this case The Storm allows any of your strike team to create cover at will. Crystals also have an aura and attributes that grow in power as the crystal charges. In this case the crystal gains power whenever models with the “Draco” keyword are destroyed. Making this the perfect anti-knight model.  The aura can also grant allies bonus AP.

 

Learn more about Deneb on the official site here

Sculpt & card artSculpt & card art
Unit cardUnit card

First Unaligned Sculpt - Black Oak Crystal

Tutoring 3
Skill 5
Idea 5
No Comments

The first sculpt from the unaligned faction – Black Oak Crystal. Feedback welcome as always.

The unaligned are a catch-all faction. For those assets which either due to being mindless constructs, or because there loyalty is easily bought, or otherwise fickle, might fight for just about any organisation at any-time.

The Black Oak Crystals are naturally crystallised from the sap of the great Black Oak, that lies at the heart of the Pallas Forest. Eight foot tall, a dark, almost black green gemstone held in place by a thick growth of gnarled tree trunks and heavy vines. Crafting these stones has long since been an ancient secret of the Coven. However after an unknown group used assassins to try and wipe out the Crone Council, Crone Annis modified the process and paved the way for these Crystals to be traded around the world as a ward against assassins

The crystals are an unusual group of objects found amongst the unaligned with unique properties. They grant an action to all the other models in your strike team in the form of their gift. In this case nature’s reach allows any of your strike team to manipulate the positions of enemy models. Crystals also have an aura and attributes that grow in power as the crystal charges. In this case the crystal gains power whenever models from the “Shadow” faction are destroyed. Making this the perfect anti-assassin model.

 

Learn more about Deneb on the official site here

Sculpt & card artSculpt & card art
Unit cardUnit card

Ordo Draco Faction - Blitz Dragon Knight Sculpt

Tutoring 2
Skill 3
Idea 4
No Comments

The 4th sculpt for the Ordo Draco – The Blitz Dragon Knight. Feedback welcome as always.

Of the hundred or so Ordo Draco who ride into battle atop a dragon, around half do so on the Blitz dragons. These dragons have the strongest flight muscles, the largest wings, and the greatest aerial skill. Like most dragons they can breathe fire, but not in quantity or temperature sufficient to be useful as a weapon in combat. With this model we are trying to tell the story of a dragon that has recently dropped off some Knights and is starting a strong wing downbeat to gain elevation.

The Blitz Dragon Knight is extremely mobile. Able to fly at various speeds and elevations giving maximum aerial flexibility whilst avoiding impassable and difficult terrain on the ground. The benefit of this is maximised through their ability to pick up allies and ferry them around the battlefield. Properly timed this can make the normally slow Knights feel able to get wherever they need to win, and do so in time. Blitz Dragon’s also make excellent objective grabbers due to their free flight movement. If they need to they can also pack a punch in combat able to deal damage to multiple enemies at once via Claw & Tail. They are a costly resource to field, but no Ordo Draco strike team is complete without at least one dragon.

Learn more about Deneb on the official site here

Sculpt & card artSculpt & card art
Unit cardUnit card

Ordo Draco Faction - Zweihänder Sculpt

Tutoring 2
Skill 2
Idea 3
No Comments

The 3rd sculpt for the Ordo Draco – the Zweihander. Feedback welcome as always!

Only the largest and strongest of the Ordo Draco recruits ever master the great two-handed swords required to join the most aggressive Ordo Draco infantry; the Zweihanders. With this model we are trying to tell the story of one of these knights leaping through the air about to bring a devastating blow down on their enemy.

The Zweihander is a damage dealing machine. Able to deal out both area effect damage, and one of the highest damage single target actions in the game. With a cutting augment and proper formation the Zweihander can move and deliver a damage 3 strike that will crit-kill most enemies. Without careful planning they can be slow, so you need to keep that in mind. Fortunately, they are quite tough with VIG 2. 

Learn more about Deneb on the official site here

His sculpt & card artHis sculpt & card art
His unit cardHis unit card

Tabletop Simulator Mod!

Tutoring 3
Skill 4
Idea 4
No Comments

Put together a Tabletop Simulator Mod, so you can play Deneb not just on Vassal whilst in lockdown but on TTS as well!

Everything we have sculpts for is in as a model, everything else is in as a standee. Rules, tokens, cards, quick reference and all that good stuff all in there.

Scripted for setup for, including list builder and scenario setup.

Anyone wants a demo game, give me shout!

https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=2200888913

 

Learn more about Deneb on the official site here

Tabletop Simulator Mod!
Tabletop Simulator Mod!
Tabletop Simulator Mod!
Built-in List BuilderBuilt-in List Builder
Standee for the Blitz Dragon for the momentStandee for the Blitz Dragon for the moment
Tabletop Simulator Mod!

New board and tile art

Tutoring 5
Skill 6
Idea 6
No Comments

One piece of feedback we’ve had at previous events is regarding the art for the battlefield and the 2D terrain tiles. So we’ve had a major revamp of both.

 

The game can be played with 3D terrain, but to be able to get up and running quickly we have 2D terrain tiles to drop-in to represent various kinds of terrain. These have been re-worked to look a lot nicer, and to fit in with the new battlefield as well.

The battlefieldThe battlefield
Terrain TilesTerrain Tiles

Ordo Draco Faction - Komtur Sculpt

Tutoring 5
Skill 7
Idea 8
No Comments

The 2nd sculpt for the Ordo Draco – the Komtur. Feedback welcome as always!

These experienced knights lead from the front. Veterans of many sorties against the enemy, their wisdom, guidance and courage significantly improve the effectiveness of the younger Knights around them.

Here we are trying to tell the story of a Komtur standing atop a battlement and directing a Dragon rider on her strike team.

The Komtur is excellent at supporting other models in the strike team, whilst still being able to deal damage if the situation demands it. Armour Expertise can provide a huge benefit allowing allied models to use their armour against any attack, a major strength given how many Knights have high ARM values. Inspiring Leader can also be used to really maximise Ordo Tactics based abilities of other Knights.

 

Learn more about Deneb on the official site here

Her sculpt & card artHer sculpt & card art
Her unit cardHer unit card

Ordo Draco Faction - First sculpt - Schilten

Tutoring 5
Skill 6
Idea 7
No Comments

With all the starter set sculpts completed for the Coven, Tower and Shadow, we now just have the Ordo Draco to go. We get started with the Schilten – feedback welcome as always!

The first position most Ordo Draco knight serves is the elite armoured infantry of the Schilten, fighting with bastard sword and kite shield. They use both tools for offence and defence.

Here we are trying to tell the story of the Schilten bracing behind his rather impressive shield, weathering a hail of arrows, or ready to take a powerful attack. With the benefit of the Komtur’s armour expertise ability he can even use his shield to defend himself against magical blasts.

The Schilten is one of the toughest models in the game. They have a moderate ability to deal damage and they can force opponents to move. They have unrivalled armour values when they use their shield in formation with other Knights. When it comes to holding ground, these are some of the best.

 

Learn more about Deneb on the official site here

His sculpt & card artHis sculpt & card art
His unit cardHis unit card

Shadow Faction - Carcano Sculpt

Tutoring 7
Skill 7
Idea 7
1 Comment

Fourth sculpt for the Shadow faction – Feedback welcome!

Here we are trying to tell the story of a  Carcano who has just loosed an arrow and is reaching back for another. One Carcano will be included in the faction set. Carcano’s specialise in dispensing death from afar. They are extremely patient, often lying hidden, waiting for  days for a target to cross their sight lines. Climbing any high structures, natural or otherwise to find the perfect vantage point. They are a member of the Shadow faction.

As a sniper, a Carcano is the longest ranged model in the game. She is capable of launching a flurry of arrows to wipe out closely packed targets, and single perfectly aimed arrows to kill at incredible distances. She is very unusual in having 2AP, and being able to directly deal damage.

Learn more about Deneb on the official site here

Her sculpt & card artHer sculpt & card art
Her unit cardHer unit card

Shadow Faction - Spia Sculpt

Tutoring 5
Skill 7
Idea 8
1 Comment

Third sculpt for the Shadow faction – feedback welcome!

Here we are trying to tell the story of the Spia, a master of disguise and sabotage, sneaking up on an enemy position. One Spia will be included in the faction starter set. Capable of hiding amongst your enemies troops, altering opponents tactical commitments and even scoring objectives using your opponents models. This manipulative spy is a master of winning entirely through covert means. They are a member of the Shadow faction.

Misdirecting their opponents, sowing the seeds of dissent. Even convincing the disaffected to betray their own strike team. If knowledge is power, then what influence can you wield when you have the knowledge of your enemy?

Learn more about Deneb on the official site here

Her sculpt & card artHer sculpt & card art
Her unit cardHer unit card

Shadow Faction - Cinquedea Sculpt!

Tutoring 5
Skill 6
Idea 7
No Comments

Second sculpt for the Shadow faction – feedback welcome!

Here we are trying to tell the story of a  Cinquedea leaping from rooftop to rooftop, before descending on unaware enemies for a sneak attack. One Cinquedea will be included in the faction starter set. Masters of infiltration, often striking before an opponent knows they are under attack. Even those who do manage to rally a defence will have to cope with the dizzying assault of parry, cut and thrust from these dangerous melee maestros. They are a member of the Shadow faction.

Appearing seemingly from nowhere, wielding their dual long knives to sudden and deadly effect. Vanishing a moment later, leaving behind nothing but blood and misery. These are the Cinquedea, when people say they have crossed paths with an agent of the Shadow, if it truly was the Shadow, it was probably a Cinquedea they witnessed.

Learn more about Deneb on the official site here

His sculpt, card art, and a depiction of Ostia the city from where the Shadow faction are rumoured to be basedHis sculpt, card art, and a depiction of Ostia the city from where the Shadow faction are rumoured to be based
His unit cardHis unit card

Shadow Faction - First Sculpt!

Tutoring 7
Skill 8
Idea 8
2 Comments

After the survey and discussions with various people it’s starting to look like we will need to make sure we have faction starter sets available for all four core factions for launch. So with that in mind, we needed to get sculpts done for the Shadow and the Ordo Draco.

Check out the super cool sculpt for the Balestrieri miniature! I really wanted to capture the feel of her leaping back just an instant after she has loosed bolts from both of her weapons. Feedback welcome!

Two Balestrieri will be included in the faction starter set. Short range experts, the Balestrieri use a pair of pistol crossbows. Able to deliver accurate and deadly bolts into their targets weak spots, they are dangerous foes. They are a member of the Shadow faction.

The Shadow prefers to employ them against targets known to be quite lethal in melee themselves, and who know how to use cover to avoid a sniper. The Balestrieri will sneak in past any cover, but stay just out of the reach of a sword. Then when their target least expects it, she will deliver crossbow bolts to the head & heart!

Learn more about Deneb on the official site here

Her sculpt and card artHer sculpt and card art
Her unit cardHer unit card

Deneb Starter Set Survey

Tutoring 5
Skill 5
Idea 6
No Comments

Community-feedback has always been at the heart of how I’ve wanted to move Deneb forward, and I always intend that to be the case. A big piece of feedback I’ve been getting at various demo events is about being locked in with the Tower and Coven factions in the starter set.

I am super grateful for everyone who has said they want to be able to buy the starter set as demoed. But I also have to take into consideration everyone who has said they would rather have different factions available.

To that end, I’ve created a survey to help decide how to move forward. So I can only ask, please take 5 minutes and answer 3 simple questions in this survey to help us shape our starter sets.

Doing so will really be a huge help to us!

Take the survey here

First Deneb stuff in 2020!

Tutoring 5
Skill 5
Idea 9
1 Comment

Well as all too often happens other things in life are taking a lot of time away from the hobby. But I am very excited to be taking Deneb to an event in February. Specifically “Gotham To Samaria: First Skirmish 2020”.

 

It’s a wonderful social group of wargamers, and it’s going to be 3 days of wargaming fun with 35+ gaming systems in action.

 

I hope some members of the OTT community will be there, and maybe we can have a game of Deneb together.

 

Find out more about the event here

Standees for all models!

Tutoring 7
Skill 8
Idea 9
No Comments

Well, it’s taken longer than I planned, but I’ve finally managed to create standee templates for all the models in the core book. Model proxies work just fine, but I think the standee art looks pretty nice.

 

I’ve grouped them into a template for each faction for easy print and play. Included them in the image gallery in this post, but they’re also with all the other print and play stuff on our website here

Scenario Supplement!

Tutoring 6
Skill 6
Idea 7
2 Comments
Scenario Supplement!

Well after getting back from UKGE I’ve been working away on all the great feedback we got from the experience.

To address a chunk of the game-play feedback I’ve created this scenario supplement. This is the first version of it, and no doubt it will get refined through play-testing and more excellent community feedback.

 

So what is the purpose of this supplement?

  • Introduces rules for 3 and 4 player games of Deneb.
  • 5 scenarios from the core-book re-written.
  • A new scenario uniquely for 3-players.
  • A new scenario uniquely for 4-players.
  • Extensive guidelines for creating your own scenarios.

Hopefully, this will address some of the feedback we got about Deneb at UKGE from the various kind people who came to give the game a go.

Download the supplement here

 

Vassal Test Games

Tutoring 5
Skill 5
Idea 6
No Comments

So I will need to do a proper battle-report soon, but I need to stop getting so into the game enough to take better notes! Spent most of Saturday this weekend playing games, so going to talk about some highlights from one of those.

Russ took the Coven, specifically

  • Bone Maiden
  • Puppeteer Crone
  • Wood Mother x2
  • Axeman

I took the Ordo Draco

  • Komtur
  • Ironshod
  • Blitz Dragon Knight
  • Zweihander
  • Schilten

We played Sul’s Court, a scenario where two teams are fighting to control one central objective in the city of Deneb.  We earn VP for contesting, and more for controlling the objective at the end of each turn. First to 6 VP wins.

I tried to keep my main Knights up the deployment zone and out of trouble early on. Deploying my Blitz Dragon late to grab them, fly them over the objective and combat drop them in to contest it.

Russ sets up his Wood Mothers in opposite corners, and both summon their Grimalkin and use the cats speed to get models in to contest that objective right away.

I bring in the Komtur and Ironshod, ready to buff as needed, from the bottom left. Unfortunately, I hadn’t counted on the Puppeteer Crone being able to create her Wood Effigy via one of the Grimalkins on the objective. Leaving my poor Komtur with a creepy wooden doll following her around.

Just as turn 1 is ending.Just as turn 1 is ending.

Still, I am ready to fight back. My Blitz Dragon Knight lands, I buff him with an augment from the market place to up his damage, and his claw and tail attack is able to crit both Grimalkins killing the pair. I’m feeling pretty good, but I might have played right into Russ’s hands as gleefully put down Bone Piles for the two dead cats, ready for his Bone Maiden to use.

 

Worse his Puppeteer Crone activates and the fragile wooden puppet, now fully attuned to my Komtur works his way back towards the Coven models, who will no doubt strike down the Voodoo doll, also killing the Komtur. I try and get as much value out of her as possible in the meantime, Her Armour Expertise buff and the Schilten’s shield wall keep him more or less implacable against the attacks of the Axeman.

 

So far the Zweihander has been sticking in Defence to make sure the Schilten gets the best possible formation bonus, but I might need him to go more offensive shortly.

Pretty sure Russ hasn't set all the active tokens here...Pretty sure Russ hasn't set all the active tokens here...

I have a plan to try and win the initiative, buy an upgrade for the Komtur and get her to use efficient tactics to grant an additional ap to my Zweihander. Russ uses his Bone Maiden to take the initiative, and despite my Komtur preparing to try and ensure a win on initiative, I missed that the Bone Maiden prepared last turn, I am due to concede on a draw and so Russ gets the initiative. The landed dragon is a tempting target for the Axeman, for a moment I think he might ignore the puppet and let me get that ap tranting boon in. However, Russ wisely checks what abilities my cards have, and figures out my plan. A blast of hex-filled curse energy obliterates the Wood Effigy and it’s Voodoo like sympathetic magic means the Komtur gets torn apart as well.

I bring up the Ironshod ready to get into the action with his iron quarterstaff. Russ responds by having his Axeman hurl a magically enhanced well-aimed axe into the landed Blitz Dragon, killing the mighty beast.

Time to get some revenge though, the Zweihander goes aggressive and puts some hurt on the Wood Mother across from him. I upgrade the Schilten with co-ordinated assault, which along with his brother-knights formation support to finally kill the Axeman.

All these bones play into Russ’s hands though, and the Bone Maiden is soon summoning an Animated Skeleton to help contest the objective.

 

My trackers looking a lot more lonely after losing two models this turn.My trackers looking a lot more lonely after losing two models this turn.

The Ironshod manages to sweep the Crone off her feet, but he doesn’t get much of a chance to celebrate before one of the Wood Mothers (who had turned into a Raven and flown into the fray earlier) transformed back into a human behind him and blasted the life out of him with a curse.

 

I upgrade the Zweihanders weapon to a greatsword, and a sweeping extended cleave manages to injure one witch and kill two others. Russ was wise enough to hide his Skeleton out of reach so it could continue to contest the objective.

The smell of death surrounds the Zweihander, my lone model. The smell of death surrounds the Zweihander, my lone model.

The Bone Maiden gets an upgrade to a Bone Mother, and is soon animating more skeletons and commanding those already animated to close in on the Zweihander. Unfortunately there isn’t much I can do now. I’ve managed to contest the objective all the way through, and one more big cleave could have made all the difference, but I’d run out of time. We both hit 6 VP, but as I had one fewer surviving non-surrogate model, I would lose the game.

 

It was a pretty fun game, and it showed just how strong a little formation work can be for Ordo Draco. Keeping them more or less unhittable in the early rounds before cutting through the enemy like ribbons when going on the offence. At one point Russ did manage to even summon a mighty Skeletal Abomination, only to have my Zweihander cut it down before it could do anything. Still, absorbing that attack might have saved the witch that would have let me eke out another turn, maybe I should have let the abomination live and focussed on the Wood Mother?

 

We played a few more games, experimenting with different forces and scenarios, as well as finding a few things to tweak in the Vassal Model to make life easier, like colour coded aurae for helping keep track of which surrogate belongs to which witch 🙂

 

An updated Vassal module has been uploaded recently along with v0.94 rules with a few more clarifications based on the latest round of games. No significant changes, just clarifications. Hopefully, I’ll post again soon with another battle report where I’ve managed to take more shots, and notes about what happened each turn!

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