GrogHeads Advanced Research on Projects Advisory #55

frontier wars 728x90 KS

GARPA hits the speed limit!


Toulon, 1793 (Legion Wargames)
Preorder price $50, MSRP $70

An area-based game of Napoleon’s siege of the city, this game spans the latter half of 1793, and includes rules for multi-player, international cooperation, spies, and logistics.  The usual ‘siege’ necessities are present, to, of course – forts, attrition, and defensive positions all matter – but there’s a bit of room for the defenders to counterattack and maneuver if the attacker leaves the wrong opening, so it’s not a pure ‘tower defense’ scenario, especially since the whole game opens up with the French maneuvering into position for the siege in the first place.  The map is designed to evoke the period maps of the Napoleonic age and, well, you can see for yourself, eh?  It’s on preorder for $50 right now, so grab it before the price goes up as it goes to press.



Worldspinner: Fantasy RPG Worldbuilder & Map Maker (Worldspinner, LLC)
$28k of $10k, ends 30 October 2014

There’s been plenty of “build a world” tools out there, from Fantasy Hero to Aria to the Campaign Cartographer.  But rarely has there been one that combined mapmaking excellence with setting detail the way Worldspinner has.  And there certainly hasn’t been one that included the stellar lineup of bestselling authors contributing to the content.  First, you lay out the actual physical world – continents, rivers, terrain, weather, etc – and then start to drop some loose ‘cultures’ onto the landscape.  After that, Worldspinner takes over and starts to fill in some of the content for you by filling in city names, points of interest, characters, plots, storylines, etc.  It’ll give you the base, and you get to start editing with your NPCs, hooks, etc.  But you’ll never again be stuck for a random city name, or what to do when you get there.  Additionally, the Worldspinner guys have a large-format map printer, and they’re not afraid to use it!  You can order large-print maps of your world for the wall of the game room and they’ll send ‘em over.  The only ‘downside’ is that once released, Worldspinner will work on a subscription model that must be renewed in subsequent years.  Some folks are clearly OK with that, given the pledges they’ve racked up on their Kickstarter page.  Go see for yourself!



Human Resources (Uber Entertainment)
$239k of $1.4m, ends 4 November 2014

We’ve all dealt with HR departments in our lives.  And yes, they are in fact populated by otherworldly draconian overlords that treat you as a mere piece of meat to be shuffled about based on the insatiable hungers of their corporate overlords.  So what better metaphor for an RTS than a post-apocalyptic battle with “squid monsters” (read: “Cthulhu”) and giant robots (read: “Transformers”, or maybe “Skynet” or “The Matrix”) with the humans, literally, as resources for the various armies to devour to power their war machines…  Multiplayer is promised, and the sci-fi backstory sounds pretty wild.  Check out the concept art at their Kickstarter page, and decide if you want to take the plunge.



Era (World Within)
$11700 of $15k, ends 6 November 2014

30 minutes for a civ-builder?  It’s almost like that scene in There’s Something About Mary where Stiller and Ellison argue about how 7-minute abs, where everyone’s trying to cut the essential result down to the shortest possible time.  Here’s the difference, of course – no one like ab workouts, but plenty of people play civ-builders, and play them for fun, so there’s nothing wrong with a game that takes a little longer, is there?  Era’s mechanics seem basic enough: deploy your cards to boost your own units and people, and use conflict cards to hinder your opponent.  Occasional ‘devastation’ cards make life suck for everyone.  “Scenario” packs – customized decks – let you play specific eras like the Romans, Mayans, WWI, or AWI.  Check out their Kickstarter campaign and see if you want to plunk your $35 down.



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2 Responses to GrogHeads Advanced Research on Projects Advisory #55

  1. Mike O'Brien says:

    I bought into Era due to your review. I mostly play wargames and miniatures, Miniature Wargaming Society of Sacramento, and love history so this should be a great choice for me.

  2. Brant Guillory says:

    Very cool! When you finally get it, make sure you let us know if we were right in jumping on it, or should’ve more closely screened our GARPA suggestions 🙂

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