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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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Shadow Faction - Carcano Sculpt

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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

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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!

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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!

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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

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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

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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!

Vassal Module For Deneb!

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In order to make it easier to work with play-testers further afield, I’ve put together a Vassal module for Deneb.

 

Testing Screenshot!Testing Screenshot!

You can download the beta version here

 

It has the unit cards and counters for all 37 models in the core book, and handy quick-reference sheets for all the factions and scenarios.

 

Also some ease-of-play features (main one is a menu option to automatically create all the tokens you need for the unit tracker you have for each model).

 

It doesn’t do anything to enforce the games rules, so you’ll still need the rules (available to download from here).

I am sure it will have some bugs and glitches, but hopefully get those ironed out as part of using it for further play-testing!

I have to say the Vassal module editor is really quite easy to use, and there are some great youtube videos out there for helping with some of the trickier things.

Deneb at UK Games Expo! - Stand 2-581

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As some of you will know, I’ve had various things come up that have prevented me in engaging in hobby for the past couple of months and unfortunately slowed the progress of Deneb somewhat. However, that is all sorted now and hobby is back on!

Which for me includes working on my labour of love, Deneb. I am especially excited as we will be exhibiting at UK Games Expo this year!

Our stand will be on Indie Games Avenue in Hall 2. We’ll have prototype copies of the game on hand for people to give a go. I very much look forward to getting to introduce Deneb to a much wider audience and hopefully get some great feedback on the game as it stands.

Just super exciting to see the Deneb logo here

Even if I did manage to get it listed under my name (Dave Hawes) rather than Deneb! I’m bad at filling out forms 🙂

I very much hope anyone who is planning on heading to the Expo will stop by and say hello!

Play testing Session at Durham Raiders Wargaming Club

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Huge, huge thanks to the organisers and kind attendees of the Durham Raiders Wargaming Club for letting me bring Deneb into the club and for the various volunteers playing games and giving feedback.

 

Its always massively useful to hear feedback, and gratifying to see people (hopefully!) enjoying the game. Getting input from a wider circle, and getting some fresh-eyes on a project is just an invaluable part of the game development process. It’s always pleasant to be able to do so in such a warm and welcoming atmosphere as well.

Book Proof!

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Apologies for the rough photos, but I just had to share the proof of the core book. Some minor tweaks needed, but it’s looking beautiful. Very pleased with the results, we are a few tweaks away from being able to produce a limited run of complete prototype starter sets.

Book Proof!

Ordo Draco Introduction Video Part 2: Gameplay

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The 2nd and final part of the Ordo Draco Faction introduction. I talk about their gameplay and the models you can select for an Ordo Draco strike team.

 

As I note in the video I don’t yet have painted miniatures or even sculpts for this faction (unlike the Tower and Coven videos). However, once these are completed I will do a re-edit of this video to include them.

Ordo Draco Introduction Video Part 1: Lore

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An introduction to the Ordo Draco faction. Split into two parts, this first part is all about their history and lore in the world. Part 2 will be more about their gameplay and the models you can select for an Ordo Draco strike team.

Coven Faction Introduction Video Part 2: Gameplay

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The 2nd and final part of the Coven Faction introduction. I talk about their gameplay and the models you can select for a Coven strike team.

Apologies for so many cuts in the edit. I had a nasty cold whilst filming this one, so lots of breaks for coughs and sips of weak cordial!

Coven Faction Introduction Video Part 1: Lore

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An introduction to the Coven faction. Split into two parts, this first part is all about their history and lore in the world. Part 2 will be more about their gameplay and the models you can select for a Coven strike team.

Tower Faction Introduction Video Part 2: Gameplay

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The 2nd and final part of the Tower Faction introduction. I talk about their gameplay and the models you can select for a Tower strike team.

Tower Faction Introduction Video Part 1: Lore

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So I made another video! This time an introduction to the Tower faction. Split into two parts, this first part is all about their history and lore in the world. Part 2 will be more about their gameplay and the models you can select for a Tower strike team.

Video recording is still not great, and I did get an issue where the cameras colour balance seems to jump a few times during filming this. Hopefully doesn’t spoil it too much, and hopefully, the map-graphics help place things a little better.

Still doing more work on photographing some nice scenes as well.

Battle in the Square!Battle in the Square!

Video Introduction To Deneb

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Ok, so I made a video to give a bit of an overview of how Deneb plays. It ended up waaaay too long at 45 minutes, but it ended up being a general introduction to the game. The game actually flows really nicely once you get used to it, but I am stopping a lot here to explain things. You can skip ahead to about 15 minutes in to see some actual gameplay!

 

As I say in the video, any comments welcome. Apologies in advance for the poor video quality and rough editing!

Also been doing some work on taking some nice scenic photographs of the miniatures.

Gatekeeper Vs AxemanGatekeeper Vs Axeman

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