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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.

This Project is Active

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

Painted Wood Mother

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Thanks to our friends at wingsmoothpainting.com here we have the next of the studio painted pieces. The Wood Mother for the Coven faction!

Wood MotherWood Mother

Learn more about the unit and the faction here

Rules Card for the Wood MotherRules Card for the Wood Mother

Painted Blood Mother

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Thanks to our friends at wingsmoothpainting.com here we have the next of the studio painted pieces. The Blood Mother for the Coven faction! Some of you may remember this model from my original attempts to paint it!

Blood MotherBlood Mother

Learn more about the unit and the faction here

Rules Card for the Blood MotherRules Card for the Blood Mother

Rules Update!

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Finally! Beta version of the rules (v0.92) now available here

Please note this version is compressed for web, so graphics are much blurrier than in the final print version of the PDF.

Miniature photos and art finalised. Just waiting on another proofread to comeback. Once the edits from that are integrated it will probably be the last update before getting prototypes printed for beta testers.

 

Painted White Witch

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Thanks to our friends at wingsmoothpainting.com here we have the next of the studio painted pieces. The White Witch for the Coven faction! We had some trouble with the 3D printing on this model, so we will be working to resolve that. However, wanted to share what we have now regardless.

White WitchWhite Witch

Learn more about the unit and the faction here

Rule card for the White WitchRule card for the White Witch

Ostia

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As promised, Ostia. This is another of a small selection of pieces aimed at revealing a little bit more about the world itself and some of the key locations.

OstiaOstia

Situated in the drier, warmer southeastern tip of the continent, Ostia, the city by the sea. It has been both a major port for trade across the endless sea in times-gone-by to primarily a fishing town. Most of the trade ships now are from other parts of Xi trying to avoid tax or bandits to get goods onto the markets along the River Thefarie.  Passenger ships and fancier goods (silk and spices) primarily use the western docks on the rich-side of the river. The heavy fishing industry and less valuable goods operate out of the eastern-docks.

East of the river, behind the docks, everything grows progressively more poverty-stricken and disease-ridden as you travel away from the water. Shanty towns, street urchins, cut-throats, brothels and taverns where if the drink doesn’t kill you the clientele will. West of the river you’ll find moneylenders, merchants, courtesans and bistros’ that charge more for a bottle of wine than most people in the city earn in a year. Not to mention a market-place with some of the rarest goods in all of Xi. 

The question of who runs the city has two answers depending on your point of view. Some would say it was run by the Maeb syndicate, a criminal organisation that has a hand in just about everything that goes on in the underworld of the city. Others would say it was the duly elected Governor Mattia Russo.

You can hear rumours from across the world in the city by the sea, but the greatest secrets whispered in the dark alleys of Ostia concern the practically mythical organisation of assassins known only as the Shadow.

Map location of OstiaMap location of Ostia

Key dates in the history of “Ostia”

This was making it difficult to browse the whole project, so moved to the comments on this post for anyone who is interested.

Some updates...

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I’ve recently made some fairly major edits to previous posts which featured art for various parts of the world of Deneb, primarily to integrate two things.

  • An edited version of the world map designed to highlight where in the world that particular location is situated.
  • A timeline of key events that have some relation to that location. The timeline posts are a little rough, but give a good insight into the world history.

The posts in question are

  • The Lair: A military location controlled by the elite dragon riders of the Draco Republic.
  • The Black Oak Grove: At the heart of an ancient forest, where the greatest witches in the Coven meet.
  • Tower College Armand: Where Mages to this day learn the art of aethermancy.

The next area to be covered will be the Lyran port city of Ostia!

A note on dates in the world of Deneb

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As previously mentioned, I will be posting a few notes highlighting certain areas on the map, and talking a little about their history. I thought it might be helpful to talk in very broad terms about the history of the world and the date system used. The lore and history for the game are primarily written as if the reader had access to the great library at the centre of Deneb. This not only contains a vast sum of human knowledge, but also books from pre-human civilisations, and as such is an excellent resource. However it is biased by the perceptions of those who have contributed to it, and it is certainly not infallible. All the same, it is a good start to understanding the world.

 

The history of the world is split into distinct eras

The 1st era: Before Life

Little is known of this time when the world was first formed. There are many theories and stories about, but little is known for sure.

The 2nd era: Dawn of Life

A period that lasted for around 270,000 years. It saw the rise of the first intelligence life, the Siblings. The true dragons were born, the Wyrms. The discovery of the aetheric world between worlds. The manipulation of which allowed feats that would seem like magic to many. The Draug tribes gradually conquered the frozen land of Nifl. The Khepri race rose to build an empire along the equator of the world, which would eventually conflict with the Dragons and the Siblings. The terrible war that ensued significantly reduced the Sibling population, but ultimately wiped every last Khepri from the face of the world. The Dragons returned to warring with each other, changing the mountains across the world as they sought larger lairs and tactical advantages against neighbouring families.

3rd era: Fury of Life

A period that lasted for around 140,000 years. It was early in this era the first humans evolved from ape-like creatures. These early hunter-gatherer tribes were recognisable to the Siblings as much like their ancient selves, though more warlike in nature. The Siblings sought to teach humanity, to guide them. This had dire consequences. Dragons and humans began to come into contact, often with the Dragons becoming objects of worship. Whether they were benevolent or tyrant gods, very much depended on the attitude of that particular lair of dragons. At least one dragon grew so large he travelled beyond the northern barrier mountains and triggered a sequence of event that would lead to the Draug ending their nomadic lifestyle and founding the city of Skiringssal. The pact that would end the true dragons as they had been since the 1st era was unleashed by humanity during this era. Eventually, Siblings and humans would work together to try and undo this curse, but the damage was done and dragons would never be the same again. This is also the era where the largest human civilisation in history, the primitive kingdom of Lyria is formed. Towards the end of this era, the Siblings ascended to what (from a human perspective) appeared to be god-like beings. This was not under ideal circumstances, and many Siblings disagreed on how to proceed at this point. One, however, The Obsidian Sulcata (or simply Sul), as it was known, was convinced that humanity was key to the future, and sought to correct past mistakes when it came to teaching humans. Sul travelled to the heart of the western continent of Xi (as the Siblings had named it). There was a burgeoning human settlement, one that Sul quite openly conquered and took governance of. That city was Deneb.

 

4th era: Civilised Life

The current era, many human calendars consider this to be the beginning of the modern time period and refer to dates as P.D. or Post Deneb. In part, because of the seemingly eternal and consistent nature of the city (at least from a human perspective). So 1 P.D. would be 1 year into this era (when Sul first took over Deneb, and when the construction of the great library first began). 1450 P.D. is 1,450 years after this era began, and is “present day” for the purpose of the core book. So all conflicts that would be played out now are likely to be set during the year 1450 P.D. for narrative purposes.

 

Painted Grimalkin

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Thanks to our friends at wingsmoothpainting.com here we have the next of the studio painted pieces. The Grimalkin for the coven faction! Like many of these pieces, still work to do on the base, but I think it’s still cool to see at this stage.

 

GrimalkinGrimalkin

Learn more about the unit and the faction here

Rule card for the GrimalkinRule card for the Grimalkin

Painted Aegis Mage

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Thanks to our friends at wingsmoothpainting.com here we have the next of the studio painted pieces. The Aegis Mage for the tower faction!

Aegis MageAegis Mage

Learn more about the unit and the faction here

Rule card for an Aegis MageRule card for an Aegis Mage

Map of the world!

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I shared a WIP version of this recently, but this is more or less final as it stands. This includes full labelling and a scale. This shows the continent where the city of Deneb is situated. As per the wonderful suggestion from @oriskany, I will be including a few more posts highlighting certain parts of the map and telling a little of the story of that part of the world.

Map of XiMap of Xi

Painted Axeman

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Thanks to our friends at wingsmoothpainting.com here we have the next of the studio painted pieces. The Axeman for the Coven faction!

AxemanAxeman

Learn more about the unit and the faction here

Rules card for the AxemanRules card for the Axeman

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