So over the past couple of days me and my friend Tom had a great weekend of gaming.
We had planned to spend the Friday night playing a demo of two games; Guild Ball and a then unnamed game built from the ground up by Tom. For those who may not remember, Tom is the friend who is working on First Law: Override with me. The Saturday night was then going to be spent playing Override.
What actually happened was Friday night we played an intro game of Tom's game, Saturday afternoon we played Guild Ball and then Saturday Evening we played a full game of Tom's game.
Yup no Override at all!
(But that's ok, after all it's not exactly going to be squashed, and come April I have a full weekend of providing demos for this game).
Let me tell you, the game is quite literally the future of Character Driven Skirmish games!
I've heard some people describe Guild Ball as scratching the same 'itches' as Malifaux used to, and don't get me wrong, I enjoyed my game of Guild Ball, but I shit you not! This new game does all that and more!
So I proposed the idea that Tom & I include this in our 'catalogue' of games. It is such a good game that I need to be a part of it. I want to see it stand next to Override as a tabletop game that is equally great fun to play but ticks every box that Override does not.
So currently I don't know how much we should be talking about this right now, but there are a few things that I know needs to be shared:
Firstly we have the working title of Moonstone, and from now on I will refer to it as such for ease.
Next is that we are looking at a fantasy setting but not High Fantasy (Tolkenesque). No, instead it is more like European Folklore with mischievous Faeries, trickster Goblins, gruff Gnomes, revolting Trolls and stoic Giants with Humans thrown in equal measures into the mix.
It's character driven, so rather than campaign progression like you see with Override, you have static characters, each one has a role and quite often a bit of humour around their names and/or abilities, for example "Baron Fancy-Hat" or "Cloppy-Choppy" complete with his ability Charge Geooooorge! (yes it needs to be shouted when used for full effect).
It is almost entirely dice-less! Requiring dice only to reflect the location and depth of Moonstones (objectives).
All non Melee combat (ranged attacks and spells) relies on a bluff mechanic. I'm not going into detail here, but this relies a lot less of luck of the draw and mirror the exact same skills that good poker players have including trying to convince the opponent that your cards are the ones you claim they are (when really they are not), or that you are bluffing when really you are not!
It creates a series of situations where it rarely feels like you are the victim of luck, instead where having a good (or in my case; bad) poker face can be the different between killing an enemy model or blowing up yourself.
The game itself deals with movement and terrain/LOS with a very simplistic rule set which rather than detracting from the game allows you the player to focus more on the bluff mechanics of Arcane abilities or the trading of blows trying to get the perfect strike onto the opponent in melee.
To go back to what I said before about scratching that same itch as Malifaux did, I am saying this after playing Guild Ball and greatly enjoying it (will probably be picking up a team in fact) but you can take my word for it; Moonstone rocks this game's socks!
To give you an idea of how we played it, here's a photo of our game setup from Saturday night:
I'm not going to go into a lot of detail about what this photo reveals, but there is a LOT of information to be mined, at the very least you can see that unlike Override, Moonstone is played on a 3x3 board.
If that isn't enough, here is a shot of the game around the start of the final third of the game.
I'll leave you to determine what you will from these pictures.
And on that note it is time for me to say good bye! Stay safe and be excellent to each other!
- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley