As always, I hope this newsletter will find you in good health and even better spirits, and just itching to play some quality games! As we’re approaching the much-awaited first day of summer and more and more countries are relaxing their restrictions on organizing gaming events, I sincerely hope many of you will get to see your friends and perhaps get to play some of our games 😉 As for us, we’re very eager to show our newest games and prototypes live, so if you live in the UK or Poland, be sure to check our Facebook page for updates about the events we’re organizing or participating in, such as the upcoming London’s Conflict in Camden.
You can also take a look at our official website. Some of you may have already noticed that we’ve made a few changes here and there. We’ve added the News section, soon to be more regularly updated, new links with game reviews and previews, enhanced game descriptions and a lot of new images. And if you happen to visit PHALANX’s website today, you’ll most definitely see something else – a countdown measuring time left to a certain Kickstarter campaign of ours 😉 More on that and Napoleonic-related games (yes, there are two games, not just one!) a bit later.
“Change” seems to be a recurring theme of this newsletter, and rightly so. I’ve decided to slightly shake it up for your convenience and to give it a somewhat personal touch. Henceforth, the newsletter will be divided into sections, some permanent, some less so, and there’ll be more to look at – mostly work in progress and component images, so that you’ll have a better idea as to what we’re working on at the moment at PHALANX 🙂
Stay safe and enjoy the games,
NEWS & WORK IN PROGRESS
What’s better than a Napoleonic-themed board game with a set of beautiful miniatures? Two Napoleonic-themed board games with one set of miniatures for both games!
And that’s precisely why we’ve changed the starting date for our Kickstarter campaign of Coalitions to June 16th (which also happens to be an anniversary of two major pre-Waterloo battles – how fitting!). Well, that and one other thing. During extensive playtesting of the Coalitions, we’ve discovered an excellent way to virtually eliminate downtime, which is often an issue in turn-based multiplayer games. But to develop that idea to its full potential and readjust the graphic design of the board we just needed a bit more time.
If you haven’t heard about Coalitions yet, here’s a quick summary: it’s a wareuro game for 1-6 players, set in the age of the French Revolutionary & Napoleonic Wars and focused on diplomatic and military actions. Players score Victory Points for winning battles and controlling territories while trying to set up an advantageous alliance with either the British or the French, or remain neutral in a larger European conflict. In solitaire or cooperation mode players attempt to defeat Napoleon and the French using the resources of all other major European nations.
Please click the “Notify Me On Launch” button so you don’t miss out on the campaign.
Pursuit of Victory
While I’m on the topic of graphic design – Pursuit of Victory is taking shape in that department as we speak (for which I’m partially responsible). And since a picture is supposedly worth a thousand words, here’s the current state of Pursuit of Victory mapboard art compared to one of the initial prototype boards. It’s come a long way, hasn’t it?
And what is, precisely, Pursuit of Victory? It’s a two-player wargame encapsulating the most important themes and elements of military and diplomatic realities of the Napoleonic Wars, from 1805 to 1814. Both players simultaneously play two out of 10 possible cards, one for initiative, the other one for an action or actions, usually movement, political realignment and recruitment. These cards are then “locked” and unavailable for two turns. The game is filled with tension & tough decisions, but it only takes around 120-150 minutes to play it – it’s perfect for a short evening 🙂
Brass: Birmingham – Digital Edition
Yes, that’s right – the long-awaited digital edition of one of the best board games in history (at least according to the reviews and BoardGameGeek’s rating – it’s third in the general ranking, an amazing achievement) is in the works and it’s coming later this year! You’ll be able to test your skills against an AI or play against your friends, it’ll be just like the physical copy of the game.
Hannibal & Hamilcar
A new edition of the game is in the works and there are some things we’ve decided to change – after all the games are never finished, they only get published 😉 Most of the changes are small and hardly worth mentioning, but that’s not the case with Hamilcar’s rulebook. Oh no, this is something else! The entire rulebook has been rewritten to add greater shine to Hamilcar and to a large degree it’s a different game now. You can check the new rules right here. You can also play the updated version of the game via Tabletop Simulator.
And here’s how it looks like (the image comes from an excellent AAR posted by Guillaume G. on BoardGameGeek).
The owners of the original edition of the game will be able to buy an Upgrade Pack. It will include, among other things, the new rulebook, as well as map patches and a new deck of naval battle cards. More details soon!
In our previous updates, we may have unintentionally miscommunicated how the final process of completing the game production looks like in our Kickstarter campaigns. Essentially, we’re printing all of our games in Poland, but the plastic components are produced and shipped from China. The final assembly process takes place in Poland, and all shipments begin their journey from there.
Due to delays on one or both sides, these two production stages don’t always match the same deadline, and this is what’s happening with both Successors and Total Domination.
Those of you, who’ve tracked the progress of a container ship called Cosco Pisces probably already know that the plastic components of Successors have arrived in Poland in the first week of May. The paper components of the English version of the game are to be printed in Poland throughout June, which means that the first copies of Successors will reach backers sometime in July.
Unfortunately, not everything can be printed at the same time – the scale of the Kickstarter campaign and the sheer number of copies necessary to fulfill all the pledges means that all non-English versions of the game will be printed later. In effect, those who’ve pledged the Spanish, French, Italian, Polish, German and Czech editions will receive their copies in August or September.
The good news is this: we’ve finished testing the solo variant and you’ll be able to look at it and test it yourselves on Tabletop Simulator in June.
The bad news is this: we’ve received the unfortunate and frustrating piece of information that the plastic miniatures won’t be shipped from China until January 2022. Judging by past experience, they’ll probably arrive in Poland between the end of February and mid-March. The paper components of Total Domination should be printed in February, which in turn indicates that the first copies will be assembled in March and shipped to backers in April 2022.
As a result, we’ve decided to keep the late pledge open until the end of the year. You can freely modify the contents of your order (for instance choose one of the language versions or buy one of the add-ons) and change the delivery details.
As always, you can play Total Domination on Tabletop Simulator or Tabletopia. It’s an earlier version of the game, but as I’ve mentioned we’re going to change that this June, specifically to introduce the solo mode.
You’ll find links to the games below:
Tabletop Simulator: https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=2050634739
1941: Race to Moscow
In the case of 1941: Race to Moscow, we’re still on track – the plastic components are to be shipped from China at the beginning of June and should arrive in Poland 4-6 weeks later. The printing of paper and cardboard elements of the game and the packaging will start at the end of August, and that means our previous estimates of first copies reaching backers in October (or even September) are more and more likely to turn out to be accurate.
You can play Race to Moscow online as well, on Tabletopia:
We’ve had to face some difficult issues over the past year with regards to our Kickstarter projects and as you can see they’re not over. We’re gamers just like you. We love games in all their wonderful diversity, be it wargames, eurogames or miniature games (I’m a particular fan of those myself) and we’re Kickstarter backers ourselves – just like you we want all the games we’re supporting to reach us as soon as possible. But some things are simply beyond our control, despite our best efforts.
Delays connected with various unexpected global events and the continuing COVID-19 pandemics, still resulting in local lockdowns and disruptions (as was the case in Poland during the last few months, especially between March and May, where we’ve had to deal with an extremely high rate of infections that is, thankfully, rapidly subsiding), are extremely frustrating to us, but we hope the situation will eventually go back to normal.
Designer’s Diary – Andrew Rourke about the Coalitions
The theme of the game
For 35 years I’ve read about and researched the Revolutionary and Napoleonic period. I have researched, painted and collected over seven thousand 28mm Napoleonic figures from every army involved in the wars. I’ve researched numerous battles for the purposes of re-fighting them, so when I needed a theme for a game it seemed the obvious choice as that is what I know.
Basic concept of the game
With Coalitions I wanted to design a game that was fun and sociable, able to be played by up to six players, that had simple and elegant rules which were easy to pick up but deeply tactical and challenging. The game needed to centre around players’ decisions. I wanted them to negotiate and deal with other players, making their own decisions based on the situation as it appeared. When starting the design I laid out a few rules for myself;
- The game should have no dice; I wanted to take luck out of it.
- The game should not be card driven; I wanted all decisions to be based on the players’ interpretation of the situation on the board.
The Activator idea
I wanted one player, to enable another player to do something, for which they would receive a reward. This generates a win-win situation which is great for negotiations. Even though both players are potentially winning out of the deal, each player needs to judge if their reward is equal to their opponent’s gain. Diplomacy within a game of this type is critical and this Activator mechanic allowed me to abstract diplomacy in a way that was open for all players to see, without the need for secret negotiations or written notes. A nation may not choose an Activator from their own coalition, thus you must deal with your potential enemies forcing the difficult choice of who is the least dangerous to deal with, which of course changes during the game as nations’ fortunes rise and fall.
Unique theme. High replayability. Variety of scenarios. Easy rules. And that board <3 What’s not to love? Check it out:
1920 is an exciting hex-and-counter wargame for two players (with a three-player variant) simulating the largest military operations of Polish-Soviet War. Players try to capture or hold strategic positions and optimally manage diverse types of troops in a huge area stretching from Smolensk and Kyiv to Krakow and Warsaw. Will the Red Army prevail and bring happiness and peace to the German and French working classes or will the Poles pull off a magnificent victory one can only describe as a ‘miracle’?
Interested? Or maybe you’ve already pre-ordered it? Regardless, we need your help to make this game happen. For 1920 to reach the printing stage, it requires at least 300 pre-orders. We count on your support to spread the word about the game anywhere you can, this may be the only way to finance an English language edition of 1920.
Almost two hundred years ago the Greek city of Messolonghi fell after a year-long siege by the overwhelming forces of the Ottoman Empire. Freedom! has told this story so well, that the first print run of this two-player card-driven game by Vangelis Bagiartakis, has been sold out. But fear not, for we’re in the process of developing a second print run of the game.
The game is available for pre-order not only in English, but also in German, French, Spanish, Polish and Greek. To reach the printing stage, each language version of the game requires at least 200 pre-orders. So far, the Polish version has made the cut, with over 211 copies ordered, with the English and Greek slowly, but continuously closing in.
Quiz & Newsletter Winners
Each month you’ll find a new game and history-related quiz on our website, and each time the winner of the quiz will receive a prize of €100 to spend in our store. In May, we’ve had a quiz about the 1920 game and history related to it. I’m very pleased to announce that the winner of 1920 quiz is… Michał Wasil from Poland! Congratulations!
Since we’re launching a Kickstarter campaign for Coalitions in June, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that this month’s contest is all about the Coalitions, the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, and things related to them – there are some questions about the literature and even one about a certain movie made by a very well-known film director. I won’t say more; in any case, if you find the questions too easy or too hard, blame me, I’m the one responsible for coming up with them 😉 But to sweeten the pot, this time the prize for winning the contest will be higher: €150, not €100. Nice, right? You’ll find the quiz in English here, and in Polish right here.
And last but not least, time for our lucky newsletter subscriber. Each month we randomly draw one e-mail from among newsletter subscribers and the person using it receives a €100 prize to spend in our store. And so the May Newsletter Award goes to… SFabries! Congratulations! Please contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org to receive the award.