sultanates blood mage

February Progress Update

sultanates blood mageWe just wrapped up our fourth open alpha test, and the biggest takeaway for me: people genuinely had FUN! There were people cheering for their characters in sticky situations, there were emotional highs and lows as you fought battles, and people seemed truly invested in the mini’s they fielded. This is particularly amazing considering we had almost entirely new players, and that those players were using proxied models! These models were not lovingly built and painted; they were pulled out of a box as stand-ins while we continue to get out own mini’s created. Truly amazing, in my opinion.

There were some comments and criticisms from the game play, and Neil has taken steps to address them where needed. The following changes have been updated in the ruleset:

Reducing Dice and Offense Tweak
– Tweaked the purple die down a few notches to reduce lethality.
– Tweaked the Red die down slightly to basically match the current Orange Die.
– Removed the Orange Die completely.
– Updated Rules and Roles due to loss of Orange Die.
– Removed the Pink Die. We will now use the other side of Black for it.
– Added rules about the Tactical Contest which is now the way Tactical gets rolled in. It happens after Wound Allocation. This way you can roll blacks and not get them confused. This also adds a new element to the game that we can tweak with special rules. Overall should be a good mechanic.

Volley Fix
– Volley no longer has a minimum fire number. Realized that you basically already have a minimum effectiveness anyways with Volley due to the way Defense gets generated. So, I think it was not needed anymore and annoying when people couldn’t shoot.

Tactical Contest
– Part of Combat after Wound Allocation. This is where you roll Tactical dice to generate Tactical to flip flags or what have you.
– Still have to allocate dice to it so Models can’t really fight and do tactical.
– Allowed me to tweak rules to better explain how Models must be alive and touching objectives as per before.
– Opens door for special rules which specifically target the Tactical Contest.

Terrain
– We largely didn’t incorporate the expanse of Terrain during this Alpha Test which showed with some general feedback about Terrain not interacting much.
– Review terrain and it’s largely there we just need to use it next play test.
– Also added 3 new terrain types which should be fun to play with.
– Added a feature where you can now Occupy Terrain to get a benefit. Works very similarly to how one claims and holds objectives. These new Terrain features are Fortified, Cramped, and Trapped.

Sultanates
– Fixed and upgraded various Orange Dice to Red Dice.
– Figuring out naming scheme issue still.

Forest Clans
– Removed Werewolf Model. Added Feral Monster model. Basically same thing but isn’t a Werewolf now which doesn’t present the same types of fluff misconceptions.
– Various Orange to Red dice fixes.
– Various Volley fixes.
– Druid’s Geomancy abilities changed to be a bit more fair and still lots of fun. The way it works now is you place the Terrain but are only allowed to select 1 Terrain Feature for it from all available. So, for example, could be Impassable but doesn’t block LoS. Could be Fortified or any of the new stuff. Difference now between Wall and Swamp is simply shape of the Terrain piece.

Arkland
– Clarified language on Battle Groups and Fighting Formations to only apply to the Attack Phase.
– Various Orange to Red fixes.

For Next Play Test:
– We will play test more Terrain features.
– We will play test more Relics and Armory Upgrades.

Whew, lots of little tweaks but this game is really getting some polish on it now! We’ll be looking for a 5th alpha test to vet some of the changes above before moving officially into our beta testing stage.

On the modeling front, we’re continuing to get some amazing concept art and sculpts done. We’ve got our first full 3d sculpt for the Chieftain (sneak preview below), and are starting our initial concept art for the Warrior of the Realm. Let’s just say, she looks MEAN. We really have lucked out with finding great artists for this project, but we’re always looking for more. If you or someone you know has some art chops and wants to get involved in an up-and-coming tabletop game, let me know!

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