The Dystopian Wars Framework

Posted by on Sep 2, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

The Dystopian Wars Framework

Written by Spartan Neil | Tags: ,

They say you always need a plan, and in the case of our Dystopian Wars Victorian Super Science Fiction game that plan has been around for quite a while, sometimes a little fuzzy around the edges, but we figured it was now time to share it with you all.

Our recent Campaign Book release – Operation Sirocco – fleshed out even more background of the World War that engulfs the world we have created with DW, but it also acted as the delivery platform for our Armoured Clash (AC) ground warfare rule set. So where does AC fit into the world of Dystopian Wars?

The best way to explain this is to step back and define the whole Dystopian Wars picture for you all. Take a look at this diagram:

The Dystopian Wars Framework

The Dystopian Wars Framework

Dystopian Wars was created as a platform for multi-theatre warfare, encompassing Air, Sea and Land. So if you want to play a game at home or at your gaming club where your naval ships can bombard each other, or airships can bomb the ships, or ground-based artillery can unleash hell upon an opponent – then Dystopian Wars is the perfect game for you.

So for Dystopian Wars we created a large and continually expanding range of 1/1200th scale models that feeds the needs of all three theatres. Tanks, Airships, Battleships and more that will eventually cater for over 26 world nations.

Although a broad and detailed system, the Dystopian Wars rules engine has some limitations. If players want to play particularly large games it can take quite a while within the existing engine, and although the multi-theatre approach is very exciting, more nuance can always be reached by narrowing the scope a little.

So what happens when a player wants to fully explore a specific theatre of war? To facilitate this we have defined three expansion rule sets, denoted by the vertical columns on the diagram. The key thing here is that we made sure that the same 1/1200th models were usable, the logic being that a customer has multiple uses of their investment all within the same exciting game setting.

The idea of a gaming table full of armoured vehicles, moving around in large Battalions and put into Regiment level formations very much appealed to us at Spartan Games, and from feedback we got from our customers it did to them as well. Step forward AC, a fast paced game of massed armoured combat that allows you to play monumental tank battles in the Dystopian Wars world.

Here are a few words from our Rules Team on their thoughts when creating the Armoured Clash rule set:

Whilst we had all had great fun battling with the Land Ships and Heavy Walkers of Dystopian Wars, we always had the urge to go bigger – getting as many tanks onto the tabletop as possible. Unfortunately this tended to reach a critical mass, where our epic games where taking hours and hours to play.

So we embarked on creating a streamlined engine that would let us (and our players) take massed armoured formations to battle. We bunched the models into tighter blocks and simplified movement to give a feel of sweeping manoeuvre. We also pared down the Dystopian Wars combat rules, making it faster and more brutal – necessary if you’re trying to smash your way through an entire Brigade of tanks!

Overall we were aiming to give the game a feeling of ‘higher level’ command. The player is now a Commander in charge of a whole Brigade, so we wanted to place emphasis on planning and grand tactics. This is where mechanics like Command Points and setting the Order of March came in, encouraging the player to think ahead and actively manage their army’s resources.

To this end the Brigades themselves took on a slightly more rigid structure. Although the force composition is still flexible enough to give players plenty of choice, setting it within a more obviously military framework instantly increased the idea of scale and top-tier command.

Dystopian Wars is still the best way to play smaller, more detailed engagements, with more granular mechanics and the multi-theatre approach. However, combining the above with several other new mechanics, Armoured Clash came together as a great way to experience the enormous tank battles we envisage for the Dystopian world.

This is an as yet unnamed rule set that uses a new aerial combat game engine we designed back in 2012. This is not a large scale combat game; instead focused on a compact Aerial Battle Group that not only engages other Aerial Battle Groups, but can perform missions to assault, or even capture, objectives such as ports, towns, military installations, airfields, oil fields and so on.

Right now is the wrong time to delve into too much detail on this new rules set, and the various component parts, but what it does share in common with Armoured Clash is the ability to use the same set of models that are available across our ever expanding range of 1/1200th scale aerial models.

Right now this is nothing more than a set of notes and an internal conversation amongst the crew about whether or not a naval only set of rules is needed, but as Dystopian Wars delivers such a cracking game of naval combat, with a dash of aerial combat when required, we really are not sure if another set of game mechanics are needed by our community. Dystopian Wars services this theatre of warfare perfectly, but we included the concept for completeness.


Covenant of Antarctica - Iron Man

Covenant of Antarctica – Iron Man
Pictures of the Antarctican Commandos coming soon, but in the meantime we thought you’d like to have a
first look at the Iron Man

In the 1870s of the real world timeline, infantry played a critical role in warfare. While ‘Dystopian science’ has created giant Land Ships and towering walkers, we still see infantry as a vital part of the raging war. Dystopian Legions changes scale to represent this infantry combat at a Platoon level, with each nation’s warriors locked in a bitter struggle over battlefield objectives.

So we went about creating a range of highly detailed 32mm (foot to eye) miniatures. Over time we will develop and release a large array of varied models for the core nations, ranging from humble infantrymen to elite flying troops and embracing many forms of vehicles, from small Tankettes to hulking Tanks and even Flyers.

We currently have four nations in Legions supported by miniatures; Kingdom of Britannia, Federated States of America, Prussian Empire and Empire of the Blazing Sun. We are set to release the much anticipated Covenant of Antarctica and following this the Russian Coalition and Republic of France.

Currently being created is the Dystopian Legions Master Rule Book and what we refer to as Field Manuals for each nation. We are very excited about the book side of Legions, and we can’t wait to bring them to your gaming tables around the world.

We’ve hinted at the idea of this for a year or so now and we are currently working on a fun engine that sits behind all of the Dystopian Wars rules and pulls it together for players into one campaign framework. You are going to have to bear with us on this as we keep developing it, and we soon as we have more to share we will.

We have been asked about this style of game since the first we created the Dystopian Wars game setting, and we still receive questions on a weekly basis. It is fair to say that creating such a beast is not within our core strengths, and as such we are in talks with partnering on a project such as this with a company that has more speciality in creating such a product.

As you can see we have a lot of activity taking place in the Dystopian Wars world as it currently stands, and that doesn’t even include us talking about the ideas that sit on a whiteboard somewhere in our offices as we think about all sorts of other stuff.