GARPA 11 – GrogHeads Advanced Research on Projects Advisory

frontier wars 728x90 KS

by Dan Pinkham and Lloyd Sabin

garpaAnother Friday means a lot of things, not least of which is another GARPA. Like a bad rash we just won’t go away. But another GARPA also means plenty more projects to sink your paycheck into.

Join us as we take you around the crowd funding scene and pick out some of our personal favorites this week, which will know doubt become some of your personal favorites because, well, we’re awesome.

See something you like? Leave a comment on forums so we can discuss it. See something you don’t like, well we’ve got a guy for that. Leave your name and number and he’ll pay you a personal visit. His name is…well never mind what his name is. You’ll know him when you see him (or don’t see him).

Let’s get on with it!

Board Game Projects

Gettysburg 150 by Worthington Games

Available for pre-order at a discount11

With the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War well under way, Worthington Games recently announced that Gettysburg 150 is available for pre-order. This division level wargame is meant to honor the 150th anniversary of that climatic battle. Gettysburg 150 utilizes and improves upon another of Worthington Games’ fine products, Hold the Line. Both games share many of the same concepts such as command action points for attack and moving, while units’ power and strength have been modified to reflect the associated scale.

Perhaps the biggest difference between the two games is the fact that Gettysburg 150’s game board will not be modular. The 25 x 22 mounted map displays the important features in and around the town of Gettysburg and is sufficient to play the four scenarios that ship with the game.

Each of the scenarios covers a different day of the battle, with the fourth covering the Confederate attack on Little Round Top. Each scenario can also be completed in an hour. But what would a Gettysburg game be without a complete three day battle scenario? Never fear, Gettysburg 150 includes this scenario for those of us who are in for the long haul. To pre-order a copy or to check out the game board art head over Worthington Games’ website.



Sergeants Miniatures Game: Red Devils by Jeff Billings and Lost Battalion Games

$31,411 of a $30,000 goal funding ending February 25th

11Red Devils is the next story line from the Sergeants Miniatures Game (SMG) series. While the first SMG game and subsequent expansions covered the 101st Airborne, this game is based on the exploits of the famed British Airborne unit, the Red Devils. The SMG series can best be described as a miniature, board, and RPG game hybrid. The game ships with everything needed to start, including 20mm hand painted miniatures. Battles are waged across a map made up of doubled sided tiles that can be arranged in a variety of ways depending on what the scenario calls for. Game play is card driven using a unique impulse system that helps randomize the player order as well as carry out figures’ actions.

Speaking of figures, each miniature figure is unique with a corresponding name and unit cards that make up the player’s hand. These cards contain the traits, good and bad, of the troops you command. As you can guess there are no dice in the game and, surprisingly, no charts. The action cards, board tiles, and player aids contain all the relevant information to execute a proper battle. Oh, and did I mention the random events that create a unique story every time you play the game? I could go on but you should probably just go check out the project page for yourself.


Wizard’s Brew – Race to create the Elixir of Life! By Gryphon and Eagle Games

$2,630 of a $10,000 goal funding ending March 5th

11“An interactive board game by designers Alan R. Moon & Aaron Weissblum involving auctions, a race & beautiful art. What’s not to like?” Color me intrigued, that’s quite the hook line to open a Kickstarter project with. For those unfamiliar, Moon and Weissblum have helped create such games as Ticket to Ride, Union Pacific, and San Marco…you get the idea. Boasting just four pages of rules Wizard’s Brew puts the players in the role of wizards who must travel the land in their quest to brew the Elixir of Life. Yes the game title kind of gives that away, but bear with me here.

Using ever-changing spellcasting cards, the players use their magic to find the ingredients for this elixir. However, you only get two spell cards to start the game and must bid on more during auctions throughout the game. You generate element cards from these spell cards which are used to collect and bid on the ingredients that all players are racing to collect. You might also want to collect energy cubes at the end of the round in order to use your spells. Sounds simple enough.

The game also encourages lots of interaction between all the players and sets up differently every game so you don’t get burned out. So grab your staff and wizard’s cap and check out Wizard’s Brew project page to see if you can create the Elixir of Life.


Worra Realms – Fantasy RPG by Chris Haskins

$4,582 of a $2,000 goal funding ending February 9th

11In the never ending quest to create the ‘perfect’ role playing game, many have been made. Worra Realms has taken to Kickstarter with what they describe as “a revolutionary 2-6 player tabletop RPG that does away with character sheets and huge guide books.”

When the term ‘revolutionary’ is used a deeper look is required. Upon closer inspection Worra Realms has many of the standard RPG conventions. There are quests, dungeons, creatures, and lots of treasure. The game can also be played with or without miniatures.

Where it stands apart from many other RPGs is the lack of character sheets and instead the inclusion of cards that help a game master create a campaign. From character cards you create your character by picking from race, history, profession, class, and perk cards. Then you equip your character using equipment cards, some of which are limited to certain classes and races.

Finally you pick abilities for your character and then you are ready to play. The GM then uses the included terrain, encounter, item, loot, creature, and adventure cards to physically create dungeons and adventures by laying the cards out on the table as the adventurers explore. Encounters and combat are resolved using a standard D20 system.

In the end I am not sure revolutionary is the right term, but Worra Realms is certainly unique and almost has a boardgame feel to it. I believe it would make a good introduction to the RPG genre for someone who has never played one. If this sounds like something that interests you I encourage you to check out the videos explaining the game in more depth over on their project page.


PC Games

Ritual Dementia by Sithog

$210 pledged of $10,000 goal, funding ends Friday, March 1

Ritual Dementia is…odd. Just posted to Kickstarter literally a few minutes before I turned my portion of this article over to my editor, the lore of the game mentions that it was developed in the 1990s its original creator disappeared. It also mentions that the game is cursed and it has a potentially fantastic link with bathroom humor.

11Players are cast as a ‘Paglin,’ mythical beings who are divided into tribes and hunted by the unpleasant sounding Lord Behind the Door. As one of a decent sort you are charged with escaping from the slavery of the Lord and from there freeing all your Paglin brothers and sisters.

The game is set in an oddly styled world of natural environments including hills, forests, and valleys as well as more creepy settings like dungeons and castles. Besides regular survival, your in-game character is also charged with preparing for the future by not losing its mind after encountering some of the more bizarre scenes in the game, hunting and gathering food, and raising a family.

Ritual Dementia is definitely a strange entry on Kickstarter, infused with a goodly helping of humor, both dark and otherwise. Perhaps you will enjoy it? Check it out here.


Asylum: Kickstart the Horror by Agustin Cordes

$23,395 pledged of $100,000 goal, funding ends Thursday, February 28

I am feeling a theme come on with this installment of GARPA. A sinister theme. Or perhaps dark and spooky. We’ll know when it’s done, I suppose. From the bizarre world of Ritual Dementia above we now come to the outright frightening setting of Asylum: Kickstart the Horror. If you’re like me…no, not short and swarthy, I mean more like into the horror genre…when you read or hear the word ‘asylum’ you automatically think of one person. And no it’s not Brant Guillory. It’s H.P. Lovecraft! And Asylum: Kickstart the Horror is darkly and delightfully based on Lovecraft’s Arkham Asylum. Interested yet?

11Agustin Cordes has an excellent pedigree of fear…he created the very scary Scratches PC game that was released a few years ago, which scared the panties off more than a few players. With Asylum he hopes to up his game of terror a bit. Details of the plot are intentionally being withheld but the game itself will be created as a point and click adventure promising gobs of detail and fear in every room of the game’s asylum. The trailer for the game can be found here and Cordes insists that it includes all the horrific detail we need for now. Maybe we can’t handle any more than that.

What we do know: Hanwell Mental Institute contains over 100 rooms. Each room is accessible to the player. Will you actually want to access each one or will you more likely be soiling your drawers? Well that’s the rub. From what I was able to read about the game, it looks very heavily influenced by Lovecraft and the movie Session 9. If you like creepy, disturbing, hard to forget films, you will love Session 9. And as a bonus it includes David Caruso starring in it without The Who audio cue every time he finds something important. That’s actually like getting bonus content by taking something away!

Asylum looks to scare the crap out of you, ok? That’s really all it comes down to. If you like to be scared, Agustin Cordes has the proper pedigree, along with the Lovecraft and film influences. Additionally the box for Asylum will include ‘feelies.’ Feelies are not as cool as they sound, but still cool…extra content related to the game, like an oldie-time record book from the Hanwell Asylum as well as background information on in-game characters. Asylum is an ambitious project with a solid pedigree, making it worth watching…unless of course you’re too lily-livered to be scared out of your mind…so to speak.


Unwritten – That Which Happened by Roxlou Games

$26,631 of $75,000 goal, funding ends Wednesday, February 13

The dark and brooding mood of this installment of GARPA ends here. Now we move on to the promise of founding an enduring civilization. Or at least a tribe. Maybe a clan.

11Unwritten is designed as a TBS game in which the decisions of the player are permanent, just like the changes Geddy Lee sung about. The player starts out as the leader of a nomadic clan trying to survive in an icy tundra. Everything about the experience is randomly generated: maps, units, enemies, etc. While exploring the randomly generated world, The People, as the game calls your tribe, set out to find their god. Along the way, The People will write their own lore and history, choosing how history will remember them.

Death will be permanent in Unwritten…once the game is lost, it’s over. But the random generation with each game set-up promises an original tale each time. Unwritten also focuses heavily on story and storytelling. From the game’s description it sounds similar to a Choose Your Own Adventure book for adults, taking place in prehistory.

Story fragments, which make up the bulk of the content, will be randomly generated exactly like other components of the game. So if one strategy doesn’t work out while leading your people to the promised land, try another. After you die a horrible death at the hands of wild beasts or competing tribes, that is. So much for kicking that dark and brooding mood.

Click here for more information on Unwritten – That Which Happened.


That wraps up this installment of GARPA in a bright red bow. We hope you have enjoyed it. If not, send a strongly-lettered email to the dude mentioned up top.


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