Nope, not talking about cars – thinking about games!
Mantic does 2 things – makes games with miniatures part of which is collecting and designing your own force. The army collection bit is part of the fun (as is the painting). The ‘pinnacle’ (i.e. hardest work, but probably most rewarding) is the wargame – 2000 points of mass battle actions. It can be sci-fi or fantasy – both have their own flavour but both based around a big battlefield and lots of troops. The other thing Mantic does is create worlds these games are set in – which hopefully we can also get other companies to set games in too – like card games and computer games, and we can flesh out with books and novels and other cool ideas.
However, we don’t always have the time to collect, build and paint a 2000 point army (plus the scenery). We want a bit more action – and we want it now!!!!!
And that’s where our skirmish level games come in – or even those games that are played on a board’…but clearly aren’t bored 😉 games! Are they cross-over games or Hybrids – a mix of the best elements of a board game – with easy access, and quick to get playing, while retaining the best aspects of the wargame – with choice over units, armies, weapons.
If I think back to, I aspired to play wargames – but I usually ended up actually playing skirmish type games. There have been some genre defining games in this space – some that lean more towards the board game end, such as Heroquest, Space Hulk and BloodBowl and other closer to a small wargame – games I remember like Necromunda and recent additions like X-wing.
The charm of these crossover games is the ease which you can get into them – but how well they can keep your attention. Dungeon Saga and DreadBall are both positioned directly in this space – both close to the board game – they are both played on a board, rather than a defined space, in Dungeon Saga, at least, the models are immediately playable and the game is easy to teach your friends so finding opponents is not difficult.
I think hybrid games ae closer to the wargames ends of the spectrum. You play over terrain (preferably 3D terrain) with a small force and lots of flexibility in your choice of troops, upgrades and equipment – both Deadzone and The Walking Dead are in this space. Deadzone is closer to the wargame end – and with a sci-fi setting you can have Stage 1 Plagues walking through walls, and full customisable forces. The Walking Dead will live closer to the board game end – you can pick a few models with the character sheets, pick their equipment and your good to go – and with the models coming assembled your good to go. Next game, change the model, swap out some equipment and now your force will fight differently – so you can constantly change and develop – until you get the ultimate group!
Anyway, apologies for my random musings. I just through with Deadzone hitting retail in late April and The Walking Dead running on Kickstarter now the similarities and differences got me thinking. With us all so time starved both allow us to have real wargame experiences – with collecting, army building and modelling to go along with the gaming.
Interested in more Hybrid Gaming? Check out The Walking Dead: All Out War Kickstarter now! Stay tuned for Deadzone, on pre-order soon!