Whether you are entirely new to tabletop wargaming or a grognard veteran, there's something for you in Sythopian Wars, which is due to come to Kickstarter on 22 February.
At Board's Eye View, we've been sampling a preview prototype of this science fiction themed skirmish game and we've been bowled over by the quality of the minis and the versatility of the rules set.
For starters, Sythopian Wars is a conventional tabletop skirmish game where you'll be mustering your competing armies, positioning and moving them against each other. There's no formal map or board - you just need a decent-sized table (at least 4 foot by 4 foot, but bigger is better) - and you'll be making use of the supplied tape measure to work out where units can move to, what they can see and where their fire power can reach. You'll also be making liberal use of the conventional six-sided dice for resolving combat, damage etc. The game uses only d6 dice, tho' for some rolls a d6 is treated as a d3 (d6 roll is halved and rounded up).
Line of sight is critical, as it is with most tabletop skirmishers, so it makes for a much more interesting game if you lay out or litter your battlefield with structures or rubble that can provide cover and maybe even elevation. We pressed some of our old Dwarven Forge terrain into service. This sufficed but ideally you'll want to use terrain that's more in keeping with this game's futuristic sci-fi setting. The core set in the Kickstarter will include cardboard buildings but the game has been designed to work with any 28mm-scale terrain.
Sometimes those coming new to skirmish wargames can find the rules overwhelming but Sythopian Wars is a very manageable package - so ideal for those coming new to the genre. That certainly doesn't mean, however, that it's dumbed down. Sythopian Wars accommodates a host of different scenarios, each with set up that can be varied according to players' preferred playing time. A 'short game' is likely to take 90-120 minutes; a 'medium-length' game will be 2-4 hours; and you can expect a 'long game' to run to more than 4 hours. We found that turns in our plays sped up as players became increasingly familiar with the scenario rules and their units' capabilities, and less clumsy wielding the all-important tape measure! Turns involve using command tokens (cubes) to set out players' commands to their units.
A standout feature of Sythopian Wars is the quality of the minis. Shown here in our Board's Eye View 360 are armies representing The Confederation and The Asylumists but there will be several other factions offered in the Kickstarter. Judging from those we've seen so far, hobby painters will have a field day!
We'll add a link to the Kickstarter when the Sythopian Wars campaign goes live.