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Thread: Above the seven seas; Steampunk battles between airship fleets

  1. #1
    Chapter Master Neknoh's Avatar
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    Above the seven seas; Steampunk battles between airship fleets

    Long have I spoken of this, and long have I worked. A mere few minutes ago, a sealed and stamped envelope containing a printed copy of the rules arrived in my mail. Meaning that I now have the proof I need (that I was first basically) to dare put it on the net for your playtesting.

    The game is a try to move away from GW's and other companies typical set of gaming, and as such, I have tried to go for the more chess-like aproach of only allowing one activision per turn. I have also strived to achieve whatever level of realism I could in this, which is the reason as to why broadsides always will hit, and why morale and efficiency may well sink. This has however led to bookkeeping being necessary, something I am not proud of, and it does indeed detract slightly from the gaming experience, but as long as you remember to note down what happens emmediately, this should not be a problem. There are a few other points I'd like to make before introducing you to the game itself though.

    First of all, the game is designed to be played with Airships, one can do battle with armies of Hunter Squadrons facing off, however, this often results in a pure meatgrinder where manouverabillity doesn't really matter much. So I advice you to play using at least a Light Class Interceptor or two allong with Hunter Squadrons when playing small gamelevels. Furthermore, I advice players not to send in one ship at a time into the slugfest, this may seem simple and good, however, you will come to notice that you actually do need to keep all your ships active through the use of manouvering in order to win. A mere grindfest will result in the player first realising that it may be an idea to do something else winning.

    I am also currently working on objectives, however, I need help with this, so, if anyone after playtesting can come up with ideas on how to do objectives, I am open to suggestions. So, at the moment, it's "Kill or be killed" that the game circles arround.

    I have yet to find an ideal size for the gaming board though, 15 by 15 or 20 by 20 squares is probably one of the better options I'd say, but feel free to try different sizes of your board.

    I am also open to other forms of critique as well, I am putting up this first public version of the rules for a reason. I need playtesting from other people than me and a handfull of my gaminggroup (big thanks to BattleofLund) to make this a good game which I can produce models and expansions for.


    Now, onto the world:

    http://warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=124163

    For those who can't be bothered to check the above link, it includes artwork and the following information

    The world is earth, the timeline however, is alternate. The game is set during the late nineteenth century (say 1870) through the early 20th century (say up untill 1910 or somesuch) just to give you an idea of the general feel of the world.
    It's steampunk, or at least mainly steampunk. The world has been at war for over thirty years, and during this time, ground invasions and sea battles have been important, however, there is one thing that has taken even more importance, the airships. Massive fleets of airships and Hunter Squadrons have taken to the skies during the latest years. They have almost always been there, but never to this extent.

    The two first nations to be introduced will be the Indragan Lands (still to decide on a location) and the Lurini Commonwealth (name is still pending, location is the contries and areas arround the mediterranean).


    The Indragan Lands has been known for heir brutallity and cunning at war, and especially for one thing, their focus on Hunter Squadrons, I have tried to emphasise this by designing their Massive Class carrier similar to a modern Carrier, and their Hunter planes have been designed with both Double Deckers and WWII planes in mind.

    The Lurini Commonwealth has risen through the 19th century and is an alliance of Greek and Italian origin, where the two nations set out to conquer the world like Cesar and Alexander before him. They build a heavy nationalist feeling upon their heritage of poetry, legendary heroes and powerful cultures. They specialise in big things, their Massive Classes are the strongest arround and they are also the largest. I have tried to draw lines similar to both gyro-punk and old greek and roman ship-designs.

    There are also bits and pieces on the different nations found in the rules themselves.

    That is what I've got so far, however, once I've balanced and completed the two main nations, Lurini and Indragan, I'll start development on another two fleets which I plan to release as an expansion to this.

    Anyhow, I take it you guys want the game as well?


    Do note


    When selecting the attatched document, you hereby agree that you are of legal age of consent of your country (or have the consent of your guardians) to do so.
    By downloading and/or opening the attatched document, you agree that you will not use or reproduce the document, information found within or based on the information contained within the document for commercial purposes. Furthermore, you agree that you will inform any person to whom you supply a copy of the below material of these terms and that the only reproduction of the material allowed is reproduction for non-commercial use. You also agree that neither you, nor a person to whom you supply the original file or a copy thereof will try and cheat this agreement by handing it to a person whom in turn will hand it to someone else, who will be responsible for using it for commercial purposes and/or personal gain.
    You also agree that you are fully aware of the above terms and any break against these may result in legal actions.


    The above is jut a small piece to make sure no corporate worker yoinks it and sells it to some bigshot mini-company To everyone planning to do so, do remember that I have a sealed envelope with a post office stamp on it, containing the rules presented below. Yes, I am paranoid

    Now, enjoy. And suggestions as to improvements and the likes are most, most, most welcome. And I urge you, playtest the game. Do note, the filesize I originally used was not allowed on Warseer, and as such, I had to cut the Example images from the original document. The examples are however, attatched in a J.Peg document, I suggest to print them as well (or copy them into the text of your copy where you find appropriate).

    Enjoy :d
    Fleets of steampunk airships need playtesting; Above the Seven Seas andSteamflight Games - the, now official, website of Above the Seven Seas
    Cross of Roses ANOTHER system? You ask... yes, I am that mad, thisone will be skirmish-sized

    The Dark Fae, my Warriors of Chaos army with a different theme than normal. Updated 28/2 09

  2. #2
    Chapter Master Neknoh's Avatar
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    Re: Above the seven seas; Steampunk battles between airship fleets

    FAQ: I think one of these may be needed, any questions, simply contact me via PM after checking the FAQ, if I realise the question is a big "What the?" moment, I'll add it to this FAQ. After a few suggestions on changes to the game have been considered, new versions of the game will be posted, removing the need for all FAQ questions untill then (hopefully), so I'll wipe this every time a new version comes out.


    1.
    Q: "Where is north?"

    A: Before deploying their armies, each player should agree on a side of the board that is to be considered North for the remainder of the battle.
    Fleets of steampunk airships need playtesting; Above the Seven Seas andSteamflight Games - the, now official, website of Above the Seven Seas
    Cross of Roses ANOTHER system? You ask... yes, I am that mad, thisone will be skirmish-sized

    The Dark Fae, my Warriors of Chaos army with a different theme than normal. Updated 28/2 09

  3. #3
    Chapter Master de Selby's Avatar
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    Re: Above the seven seas; Steampunk battles between airship fleets

    Dear sir, your ideas interest me and I would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

    Intriguing premise, and I will check out the rules at the weekend if I have time. I've been fiddling with aerial combat rules for a while (as a 'free' alternative to aeronautica imperialis), but this is something completely different!

  4. #4
    Chapter Master Neknoh's Avatar
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    Re: Above the seven seas; Steampunk battles between airship fleets

    I'm afraid I don't have a news letter... yet But as soon as I get underway with starting the greens, I'll do my best to organise one. For now, I'm afraid people will have to do with subscribing to the thread.

    And I am most certainly awaiting your feedback, enjoy your gaming this weekend
    Fleets of steampunk airships need playtesting; Above the Seven Seas andSteamflight Games - the, now official, website of Above the Seven Seas
    Cross of Roses ANOTHER system? You ask... yes, I am that mad, thisone will be skirmish-sized

    The Dark Fae, my Warriors of Chaos army with a different theme than normal. Updated 28/2 09

  5. #5
    Commander Blagrot Squigbreff's Avatar
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    Re: Above the seven seas; Steampunk battles between airship fleets

    There's a bunch of random geeks infesting my house at the moment and I might need something other than the football to distract them so some playtesting will probably happen.

    There might even be Batreps but the quality/quantity of those will probably be dependant on the amount of liquid refreshments, do you want us to use this thread for anything we write?
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  6. #6
    Chapter Master Neknoh's Avatar
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    Re: Above the seven seas; Steampunk battles between airship fleets

    I'd say feel free to post the any sort of feedback and such in this thread, then it's up to you to choose where to post the battlerports, however, I think that posting in this thread or in one of the "other games" threads would be the place for that.

    Despite being a bit late, I'd still like to wish happy gaming
    Fleets of steampunk airships need playtesting; Above the Seven Seas andSteamflight Games - the, now official, website of Above the Seven Seas
    Cross of Roses ANOTHER system? You ask... yes, I am that mad, thisone will be skirmish-sized

    The Dark Fae, my Warriors of Chaos army with a different theme than normal. Updated 28/2 09

  7. #7
    Chapter Master Neknoh's Avatar
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    Re: Above the seven seas; Steampunk battles between airship fleets

    Had this suggestion from Rampaging Ravener;

    When selecting a ship with an Integrity Score equal to or below half of the original Integrity score, instead of moving said ship, a player may elect to force a landing.
    Roll a dice, on a 1-3, the landing results in a crash and the ship is lost, remove it and deduct the appropriate ammount of Morale.
    On a 4-6, the landing is a success, remove the ship from the game, for all intents and purposes, the ship has left the game. Do NOT remove Morale for ships who achieve successfull landings.

    This would allow players to keep their Morale in check better whilst getting to decide wether or not it's worth it to keep a ship going or try and land it safely.


    Now, what are peoples thoughts on this? Would you appreciate the mechanic?


    Also thought you guys might be interested in having a look at the playtest currently going on between me and Rampaging Ravener:
    http://warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=124435
    Last edited by Neknoh; 26-01-2008 at 22:52.
    Fleets of steampunk airships need playtesting; Above the Seven Seas andSteamflight Games - the, now official, website of Above the Seven Seas
    Cross of Roses ANOTHER system? You ask... yes, I am that mad, thisone will be skirmish-sized

    The Dark Fae, my Warriors of Chaos army with a different theme than normal. Updated 28/2 09

  8. #8
    Chapter Master de Selby's Avatar
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    Re: Above the seven seas; Steampunk battles between airship fleets

    Just wanted to say that although I read through the rules over the weekend, I didn't get a chance to test anything and I don't have any useful comments at this time. I like the airship drinking song (or perhaps lament).

    However you have encouraged me to think about my own air combat rules, and I've enjoyed reading the playtest thread so far. Keep it up!

  9. #9
    Brother Sergeant Savior117's Avatar
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    Re: Above the seven seas; Steampunk battles between airship fleets

    Neknoh any chance you've ever played Crimson Skies? Might give you some ideas.
    You looking for feedback/questions/comments/suggestions here or in a PM, I've got a few ideas for ya.
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  10. #10
    Chapter Master Neknoh's Avatar
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    Re: Above the seven seas; Steampunk battles between airship fleets

    Looking for feedback in the main thread.

    And sorry for this going dead for a while guys, had a lot of handins in school, big and important ones at that. But now it's hollidays for a while.

    And no, I haven't played Crimson Skies
    Fleets of steampunk airships need playtesting; Above the Seven Seas andSteamflight Games - the, now official, website of Above the Seven Seas
    Cross of Roses ANOTHER system? You ask... yes, I am that mad, thisone will be skirmish-sized

    The Dark Fae, my Warriors of Chaos army with a different theme than normal. Updated 28/2 09

  11. #11
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    Re: Above the seven seas; Steampunk battles between airship fleets

    Psh, you should have mentioned Last Exile in one of your posts, I would have downloaded the rules a lot more quickly

    This might sound lame but one thing I think would be helpful (as I don't play any ship like games) are basic little designs to indicate the size of the various ships so that we could cut them out and proxy play. Nothing complicated, and in case I'm not clear just something like a box made of symbols:

    *--------------\
    ~*AAAAAAAAAAAI\
    ~~*AAMassiveAAI| ~~~~~ RAMMING SPEED ENSIGN!
    ~*AAAAAAAAAAAI/
    *--------------/

    I know it looks cheesy but this would allow you to start building things in the sense of scale that you want and it gives us an easy way to start playing if we can rustle up a friend willing to try it. Wow this forum has funky rules for trying to "draw" something >.>
    Last edited by Teran; 25-03-2008 at 23:18.

  12. #12
    Chapter Master Neknoh's Avatar
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    Re: Above the seven seas; Steampunk battles between airship fleets

    Heh, my bad Honestly thought I did mention it

    Now, I did some quick fiddling arround in Paint and now I've got approximate (very rough) sizes. Obviously ships might actually be even bigger, but this should give an approximation of the base sizes for the different ships.

    Going from largest to smallest:

    Massive Class
    Heavy Class
    Light Class

    Round = Hunter Squadron


    The size of the squares should probably be arround 8 cm for the final versions of the game, however, it has been playtested using somewhere arround 4 or 5 cm squares and it works fine as long as you use different tokens for the different ships. Seeing as the ships are actually all made to fit in one square.

    I can highly reckomend coloured glass beads (such as the counters used in magic) to represent different Hunter Squadrons, they make for excellent markers in that they can simply be shifted arround easely on the board.
    Now, for the larger ships, anything with a facing should do, just remember to keep bases or the ship-representatives within one square.

    Enjoy the gaming
    Fleets of steampunk airships need playtesting; Above the Seven Seas andSteamflight Games - the, now official, website of Above the Seven Seas
    Cross of Roses ANOTHER system? You ask... yes, I am that mad, thisone will be skirmish-sized

    The Dark Fae, my Warriors of Chaos army with a different theme than normal. Updated 28/2 09

  13. #13

    Re: Above the seven seas; Steampunk battles between airship fleets

    I like your game, I really do, It Intrigues me.
    But I must say, when I popped open the rules and started to read them, my edit-fu/OCD kicked in.

    No offense to you, but the rules have loads of spelling mistakes, several insanely long run-on sentences and the sequence that the rulebook teaches you the rules is not exactily condusive to learning them.

    So, on a whim, I did a quick bit of editing and re-organizing of the book. Its still the same game, I just corrected some tidbits, edited a couple parts for clarity and re organized the sequence in which the rules are listed in the book (so that its easier to learn as you play).

    Its some minor stuff really, but I hosted it on media fire anyway:
    http://www.mediafire.com/?tywgs9hqmrs

    Also: Are you kidding yourself?
    The Indragan are obviously Germans

  14. #14
    Chapter Master Neknoh's Avatar
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    Re: Above the seven seas; Steampunk battles between airship fleets

    How do you know they have developed exactly the same as in our world

    Thanks for the editing, and it is indeed better phrased than mine. I got a bit shocked when you changed "efficiency score" to "effect score" in the beginning, thinking you had changed every instance of the word "efficiency", however, you did not. I'm impressed.

    Now, go try the game as well.
    Fleets of steampunk airships need playtesting; Above the Seven Seas andSteamflight Games - the, now official, website of Above the Seven Seas
    Cross of Roses ANOTHER system? You ask... yes, I am that mad, thisone will be skirmish-sized

    The Dark Fae, my Warriors of Chaos army with a different theme than normal. Updated 28/2 09

  15. #15

    Re: Above the seven seas; Steampunk battles between airship fleets

    Necro post alert.
    Hows this going love to see this take off with models being made.

    BTW ever thought of translating this to the mighty empires tile set?
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    Chapter Master w3rm's Avatar
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    Re: Above the seven seas; Steampunk battles between airship fleets

    This is pretty flippin' cool. How do you suscribe to a thread? So you are looking for test players? I like it alot. Are you going to make and sell models?
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  17. #17
    Chapter Master Neknoh's Avatar
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    Re: Above the seven seas; Steampunk battles between airship fleets

    W3rm, project is being overlooked by me atm, aiming for more balance and less complicated rules in some areas, but mostly, I think it's only the ships that need balancing.

    As such, playtesting would be very much appreciated.

    Alsharoth, I know it's over a month ago you replied, but I like the sound of that, could you please try and further explain it? I know it's all semi-threadomancy, however, now that my gaming is looking up in general, I am deffinately overlooking this project once again.

    Edit: if you pick "go advanced" when replying, you can click a square called "Subscribe to thread"
    Fleets of steampunk airships need playtesting; Above the Seven Seas andSteamflight Games - the, now official, website of Above the Seven Seas
    Cross of Roses ANOTHER system? You ask... yes, I am that mad, thisone will be skirmish-sized

    The Dark Fae, my Warriors of Chaos army with a different theme than normal. Updated 28/2 09

  18. #18
    Chapter Master Neknoh's Avatar
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    Re: Above the seven seas; Steampunk battles between airship fleets

    Update! New Rules Suggestions

    And it's about damn time I dare wager

    So, after long talks with a friend who came to visit from Gothenburough for some boardgaming goodness and some aikido flying, I might have finally found new ways in which to balance Hunter Squadrons against eachother and other ships. I have also thought of how to fix simplicity of book-keeping etc. As well as put some thoughts into the modelling.


    Onto the rules!



    1. Currently, the Hunter Squadrons suffer when attacking larger vessels or even opposing hunter squadrons one on one, this is understandeable and as it should be, but this leaves them for nothing but suicide missions. As such, I have been thinking of increasing the ammount of ships able to activate a turn to something allong the lines of:

    1 Massive
    2 Heavy
    2 Light
    3-5 Hunter Squadrons

    Note that these figures are not the final ones, but rather a few I have been thinking of that should be reasonable.

    And adding rules for attacking with multiple ships at the same time. When attacking with multiple hunter squadrons on one target, you would then also declare which of two formations you pick, Spearhead/Wedge or Wall/Line.

    A Spearhead/Wedge would result in you nominating primary, secondary, tertiary etc. hunter squadron. When you then attack and the opposition rolls the Anti Hunter Efficiency, you would deduct Efficiency from the planes in the order you've nominated them. As such, likely sacrificing a squadron or two but still keeping more squadrons able to attack.

    A Wall/Line formation however would have the damage distributed relatively evenly across the board, with the opponent getting to decide where odd ones go. Basically, you need to damage each hunter before you can assign damage to one that's allready sustained hits in the same combat.

    The Wedge Formation would only be doable if the planes attack from the same innitial square, whereas if they attack from different squares surrounding a ship, they would default to the "wall" formation mechanic since they simply fly on their own.

    This would allow for Hunter Squadrons to challenge and even take down larger ships AND enemy hunter squadron groups easier.

    Another option would be simply to increase the Efficiency of Hunter Squadrons and thusly also increase their points, it would remove the need for formations, but it would also decrease the ammount of hunter squadrons, a model representing a very large ammount of hunters rather than a handful.




    2. Hunter Squadrons can deploy on any Massive Class Battleship instead of starting the game on the board, and can, at any turn, be deployed, being placed in the same square or the squares surrounding the massive class. This can serve to create a good "Beehive" effect around the Massive Classes. It would also allow for transporting hunter squadrons without needing to loose a lot of Steam Power on the way whilst also loosing some of your attack power untill the point where you go Beehive.




    3. When in the presence of a Carrier, hunter Squadrons only return after 6 turns if being 6 or more squares away from a carrier when refueling. If they are 5 squares away, they will refuel in 5 turns, 4 squares away, 4 turns etc.




    4. Remove ALL Morale effects from the current Battle Damage table and instead, add another, large table as well, where you add up the dice total and check the result. This table would have mainly Morale effects to it.

    For instance, you roll 5 dice on the Battle Damage Table and you score 1, 2, 4, 4, 5, the total result is 16.

    You apply the results of the Battle Damage table, and then you go to the Table of Effects or whatever it'll be named, and apply the effects of Nr 16 to the enemy ship/fleet.




    5. Mobile objectives to encourage the use of Light Class, or perhaps some form of objective markers that you want to capture and move to certain areas. This would however, not constitute full victory conditions, since it would then only be a race to capture them. Perhaps a way to boost Morale would be to capture certain points? Thusly, I could see Light Classes being sent out first, capturing points (which would need to be held for three turns or something and then vanish), people sending Hunter Squadrons to deal with the Light classes guarding the points, and when the points are gone, the heavier classes and hunters start moving in toward the opposing army instead.




    6. Been thinking of adding a unique ship-type to each fleet, a Flagship for the Lurini with some form of Morale Effect and some sort of Super Carrier to the Indragan for boostage of Hunter Squadrons.




    And now, onto the modeling and book-keeping thoughts!


    1. Having played against Tomb kings this weekend, and the player not having all of his models done, he had an unpainted Chariot sized base handy, I looked at it and I emmediately realised that really, THAT is the size I want for the bases of the Massives. It would also simplify the making of squares etc. for battles. It would require a large area and I need to find an optimal size for the actual gaming grid.

    This would also allow me to make bases for the different ships based on their individual sizes, and it so happens that, before I make my own bases, I can try it out with 50x100, 50x50, 50x25 and 25x25 bases for the four different Ship Classes, enabling them to go into 10cm squares with relative ease. It would also distinguish the Massive Classes as truly massive, twice as long as Heavies and Light classes and easely a lot broader (since it can be longer). Heavy Classes could possibly be put on 50x75 bases otherwise as well, not allowing two to line up in front of one another, but having to line up side to side whilst not having enough space to properly flank Massives/Heavies in the same space. I think this might be an even better size for them due to this.


    2. Book Keeping, I have two options here, A and B

    A. Would be to create bases with built in roller-markers, much akinn to several game systems, presenting the Steam, Efficiency and Integrity of the individual ships on there. As such, it would completely remove the need for paperwork other than to keep track of Morale points.


    B. Create and then print cards, noting the Efficiency, Steam and Integrity of the individual ships. This would allow for the creation of artwork on the cards and setting even more of a steampunk design to the border etc. It would also remove the need for Very Special Bases.

    It would also allow players to keep track of the three values either by placing tokens on/next to the card, or by slipping it into a plastic sleeve and noting down the changes on there, both viable sollutions.





    So, people, what do you think of the modelling/book-keeping suggestions? Would 10cm squares be too large?

    What do you think of the new rules? Do they look good? Are they catastrophies waiting to happen?

    Comments and Criticism are most welcome
    Fleets of steampunk airships need playtesting; Above the Seven Seas andSteamflight Games - the, now official, website of Above the Seven Seas
    Cross of Roses ANOTHER system? You ask... yes, I am that mad, thisone will be skirmish-sized

    The Dark Fae, my Warriors of Chaos army with a different theme than normal. Updated 28/2 09

  19. #19

    Re: Above the seven seas; Steampunk battles between airship fleets

    Hmn Ill ad my thoughts here (will need to reread old rules doc later)

    Book keeping
    As to cards, Warmachine by privateer press uses them
    Demo cards. In my club we put the cards in poly pockets (card protectors) and use dry markes/felt pens to tick of damage so cards get my vote.

    Behive?
    Hmn if a massive has been be-hived then perhaps it could nominate hunters to take the damage to represent a hunter intercepting the shot to protect the Massive.

    Alsharoth, I know it's over a month ago you replied, but I like the sound of that, could you please try and further explain it? I know it's all semi-threadomancy, however, now that my gaming is looking up in general, I am deffinately overlooking this project once again.
    Ok mighty empires uses hex tiles as its board. I preposed a movement system for a AE movement system were one roles a dice and that decides how many tile a player can move. The tiles also can help with movement eg.
    hunters can turn and come back on the next tile, Lights on a 3 tile circle, Heavy on a 5 tile circle and Massive on a seven (board maybe to small so they would travel along the board moving from side to side.


    Tis a bit confusing but Ill try to get a layout and sample pics using epic aircraft when I can to better explain this.

    Just been Watching the first episode of a series called Elemantal Galade http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1USjBSboQHg Might help you with a few ideas.
    Last edited by Alsharoth; 23-02-2009 at 16:59.
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  20. #20
    Chapter Master Neknoh's Avatar
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    Re: Above the seven seas; Steampunk battles between airship fleets

    I think I get it.


    And yer, most gaming systems other than GW does use cards for this very purpose, and I really think it'd help the gamers getting started.

    Basically, I could produce two sets

    One downloadable, free PDF Rulebook, very basic, rules only, lists. Also a downloadable kit of cards for each ship etc. This way, people could get the game for free and make their own models.

    BUT

    They would be able to pay moneys as well, and buy

    The Book, Rules, Artwork etc.
    The Models, coming with cards
    Separate Deck of Cards for specific fleets.


    But yer, cards is the easier way, no need to worry about IP when it comes to the Mechwarrior/Clixx-bases either
    Fleets of steampunk airships need playtesting; Above the Seven Seas andSteamflight Games - the, now official, website of Above the Seven Seas
    Cross of Roses ANOTHER system? You ask... yes, I am that mad, thisone will be skirmish-sized

    The Dark Fae, my Warriors of Chaos army with a different theme than normal. Updated 28/2 09

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