DGS Games

Spearpoint 1943, Kickstarter Preview and Interview with Designer Byron Collins

Byron Collins has launched a new Kickstarter campaign for the Spearpoint 1943 system, and is closing fast on his funding.  He took a few minutes out of his busy days pimping this excellent card-driven WWII game to, well, to continue pimping it, but with GrogHeads!

Brant Guillory, 14 December 2013

 

Give us 3 words to describe Spearpoint 1943 as a game system.

Quick, Fun, Deep

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OK, now give us the short paragraph – what’s special about the way Spearpoint 1943 plays, and where are wargamers likely to fit this into their staple of wargames?

Spearpoint 1943 is an expandable card game at its core (non-collectible).  It’s highly portable with its small box and small footprint of play.  It’s quick, deep, and keeps players interested because as you play, the game really tells a story.  For players who want even more depth than just playing with cards, they can optionally expand it with the Village and Defensive Line Map Expansion that got a 2013 Origins Award Nomination for Best Historical Boardgame.  The Map Expansion adds terrain boards that set up differently each game- it really changes the game and takes it even deeper- offering new challenges to Spearpoint players.  It’s a very scalable system.  Spearpoint fits nicely into a gamer’s library who seeks a great fast filler that’s easy to teach (even to teenage sons/daughters), yet scratches that tactical itch without drowning players in minutia.  It’s also been called an excellent ‘filler’ game between larger wargames.

What was the genesis behind Spearpoint 1943 and what were some of the design challenges you experienced along the way?

Spearpoint 1943 came about at WBC one year.  I was trying to demonstrate my very first design, which was much more complex (Frontline General: Italian Campaign Introduction).  I didn’t have time to show such a complex game, so focused on demonstrating just one element of it- combat.  From there, Spearpoint was born.  After honing the game to be a standalone card game, the combat system became even better and more fun.  Breaking it out of my first game made me realize that everything else I had done with that original design wasn’t quite as fun as just focusing on the combat.  The original Spearpoint 1943 is my best-selling game, was my first game in distribution, and remains popular- hence the expansions and new standalone game- Spearpoint 1943 Eastern Front.

What’s your favorite mechanic in the game?

Damage Cards.  There are 4 effects per card based on unit type- Infantry, Vehicles/Tanks, Aircraft, and Guns.  If a unit is damaged to half its endurance, a Damage Card is drawn and the effect is applied to that unit.  These effects vary quite a bit and design-wise I can really switch up how those units become less effective as the game progresses.  Damaging a Tank becomes a big deal- and the opponent cringes, as the card is drawn- every time!  Some effects are even temporary- like infantry becoming pinned- to aid in tracking that, a built-in turn counter is provided for all temporary effects.

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What is the current product range for Spearpoint 1943?  Where does the new Kickstarter campaign fit in with that suite of games?

Frontline General: Spearpoint 1943 is the original US/German card game.

Frontline General: Spearpoint 1943 Village and Defensive Line Map Expansion is the terrain-based expansion for the game (Origins-Award Nominee)- also compatible with Eastern Front

Frontline General: Spearpoint 1943 Eastern Front is the latest in the series currently on kickstarter.  It’s a new standalone game like the first- that has all new cards and adds the Russians.

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Tell us some more about the current Kickstarter project and what’s in it.  What sorts of stretch goal rewards should we be helping you get to?

The current Kickstarter is to raise production funding for Spearpoint 1943 Eastern Front.  The MSRP of the game is $39, but kickstarter supporters can grab a copy for just $29, and that includes shipping in the USA.  International shipping is just $10 additional.

Each Kickstarter supporter gets their name in the rulebook, a signed copy of the game (2nd Lt and higher), and options to add on some really cool enhancements like a paper map copy of the Winter side of the Village and Defensive Line Map Expansion to try out the terrain rules, extra Unit Card Decks, tracking counters, or even a commemorative professionally-painted miniature tank- either a T-34 or a Tiger I in 15mm, based, painted, and mounted on a plaque-like piece of wood by J.R. Sharp.  There are also some excellent bundles at a great price for those who want to jump in to the system and not miss a game.

We haven’t yet revealed the stretch goals- but the first goal will certainly involve adding more Unit Cards to the game- most likely voted on by the backers of this Kickstarter.

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After your Kickstarter campaign gets funded and this new standalone game is on the way to customers, what’s next for the Spearpoint product line?  How can fans weigh in on what they’d like to see next?

We asked fans a long time ago what game they’d like to see next- and Eastern Front was the poll result.  We may ask again from a list of choices we’re considering- including an ACW version, a 1944 D-Day version, and even World at War: Spearpoint, set in the Mark H. Walker (Lock N’ Load Publishing) World at War universe (modern 85ish alternate history).

What didn’t we ask you that we should’ve asked you?

When does the Kickstarter end?  😉  The Kickstarter is officially over January 20th.  If we do not reach our goal by then, production will not occur, so please do consider supporting us.  We have one successful kickstarter under our belts (2012, the Map Expansion) that led to an Origins-Award Nomination.  This will be the fourth game published by Collins Epic Wargames and third in a line that we want to keep expanding for our fans.


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