Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Gang War: Pre-Alpha Pack

It's here!

That's right! Greetings friends, family, ladies and germs!

After about (3?) or so months of talking about it, the Pre-Alpha Pack for Gang War the First Law: Override Sci-Fi Campaign Skirmish Game has finally seen the light of day; and you can grab it Here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/g4ee2h6c1dfnaew/Gang%20War%20Pre%20Alpha.pdf?dl=0!

What is Gang War?
Ok well before I begin I should probably explain the origin of the game.

Originally titled First Law: Override - Gang War, this was a game that was designed almost exclusively for the purpose of testing another game only without some of the more complex rules (AI Cooperative rules among others).

Since then Gang War has grown and now is a game on it's own rights, where as the name First Law: Override has become the name of the setting or universe that Gang War is set within.

So anyway; what is Gang War?
It's a sci-fi campaign lead skirmish game for 2+ players.

What that means is that it is set in the future on the alien world of Honos and takes the form of a game with a small number of models per side (say, 6-12) where 2 players battle it out over the tabletop for territory, cash, guns and mechs, all the while gaining experience and notoriety to become better and stronger at what they do.

So that is what is in this Pre-Alpha Pack?
No; not at all.

You see, as I started writing this game it occurred to me that there were so many variables that I needed to take into account, and considering I was originally writing Gang War as a way of eliminating additional variables, this seemed like an issue for me.

So I decided to try and keep things simple.

Out went the different alien races, weapon varieties, equipment experience, skills, injuries and mission types therefore ensuring that everyone who played the Pre-Alpha Pack was playing with the same weapons and models trying to achieve the same objective (kill the enemy).

What fun is that?
Well it is with hope that the fun is in the mechanics itself, that the game plays well and feels comfortable enough to expand with what was removed in order to not cause unnecessary bloat.

The plan is to release smaller rules packs over time, the next build will take into account any and all feedback from this pack and add to it two additional unit profiles:
The first will be the Hacker, something designed to make hacking objectives easier.
The second I am umming-and-arring over a lot, and it is the Veteran which is like it sounds. I'm unsure if this will add or detract (I am leaning towards detract myself).

In addition to this there will be an additional mission type that makes use of Hackers massively and adds a bit of variety to gameplay (think of a miniature version of Capture the Flag).

After this we will see the first alien race being released complete with their own types of weapons, followed by more and more races, weapons, equipment and missions until we are at the final alpha product.

Once Alpha is complete we move into Beta which is the production and testing of the Experience & Injury system complete with Notoriety and Marketplace.

That all sounds great, but why can't we use it now?
The why here is very important and simple: because it's not ready yet.

If I was to hold off longer and work on the rest of it to be pushed out in one go we would have one massive buggy mess full of imbalances that was not fun to play and no idea of where to fix it.

By releasing this in various builds I am able to make sure that each build is as tested and balanced as possible before moving onto the next one.

For example, if after playing this build the collective We agrees that the Human Gang in this is balanced, and then the next race is released and the new race either trumps or gets trumped in every game, then we know the issue is with the newly introduced factor, this allows for a more focussed testing process and means that my head doesn't want to explode every five minutes.

Ok! Well I've read the build and on paper it sounds great! How can I join in and help test?
There are two ways of doing so.

You can be part of the dev team, either as a sounding board or with direct involvement. Doing so will help this game be so much better than it ever could by itself.

You can be part of the test team. If so I will email you with links whenever a new build is available and if required suggestions on what in particular needs to be tested. This will still have a very high impact on the final product, but you will only be privileged to the builds after they are released, the dev team will be more than aware of what is going into each build as they will have helped create it.

If you would rather stay out of the process all together then I would say keep an eye on the blog and other places as with each completed state (Alpha, Beta and Gold) we will see releases put out for people to get their teeth into.

So anyway; what are you still doing reading this? Go my pretties! Fly! Read the rules! Test the Units and feedback to me about how excellent or rubbish you think it is!

Until next time; be excellent to each other.

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

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