Thursday 22 September 2016

General update on activities and projects

As the days get shorter and the night draws in, I thought it would be a good time to stop for a moment and assess where I am at with various projects. It has dawned on me, over the last few months that, while it is far from a full time career, I might just be a designer/writer of wargaming rules. I never meant for it to happen, it just kind of... did. In order of publication, I can humbly hold up a portfolio comprising Irregular Wars: Conflict at the World's End (2011 - 2nd ed. 2014), Song of Shadows and Dust (2013), Galleys & Galleons (2015), and now Faustus Furius (2016). 

In case you missed my excitement in earlier posts, Faustus Furius has now also been translated into Italian (thanks to Massimo Moscarelli). Ganesha have been selling hard copies at conventions in Italy, and the pdf should soon be available from the Ganesha website. There is also a deck of turn order cards for the super-enthused which have been finalised and should soon be available via DriveThru Cards. These will be professionally printed versions of the cards provided in the book, along with a few others to allow players to have quasi-customised cards for their favourite teams.

I'm also very pleased to be able to say that the expansion for Galleys & Galleons Fayre Winds & Foul Tides - is finished and with Ganesha Games, waiting to be officially released shortly - after the end of the current Ganesha Kickstarter (Axe and Brimstone).

Satyrus the thraex striking a pose for his fans
Now, some of you may have noticed an increase in gladiatorially themed posts over the last couple of months. I was planning on just sitting back and resting on my laurels for a bit. But one of the laurel leaves was tickling me, and as I scratched away, I started making notes for a whole new game. A gladiator game. 

I wanted a system that was fast, easy to learn, cinematic, and viable for one-on-one duels. Thus was born Blood Sweat and Cheers. The game is a tactical, two-player, card and dice game. Cards are used to abstractly represent the different options available to a player’s gladiator during the ebb and flow of a gladiatorial bout, while dice are used to resolve interactions. The watching crowd interacts with the gladiators in the arena by rewarding showy attacks and spilt blood with favourable cheering which may in turn be utilised to buoy up a gladiator’s performance. 

The artwork is still being done, but using the black and white concept images I have started playing around with some designs for the cards which, I think, are working out quite nicely. The rules themselves are only two A4 pages long, and after their first game, players should be able to manage with just their gladiator's profile card in front of them along with their gladiator miniature, 1d6 and their hand of cards drawn from the play deck. Bouts between gladiators take between 5 and 20 minutes, depending on the gladiators involved, the cards drawn from the deck and the players' own choices.

The game does not use the familiar Ganesha core activation mechanic, but it will be published by Ganesha Games (look for it before Christmas this year!). When players buy the game, they will get a pack consisting of the play deck, 10 gladiator profile cards, two cards used to track the favour of the crowd, two action summary cards and the double-sided A4 rule sheet. Everything they need for one-on-one, bloody, sweaty action.

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