Well UKGE 2019 might now start to feel like a distant memory, but one part of the show was very fresh in my head. Ares Games, creators of some of the finest miniatures games in all the land, agreed to sit down with me and talk about two of their upcoming titles: Battlestar Galactica: Starship Battles and Wings of War: Tripods & Triplanes.
Battlestar Galactica: Starship Battles
Battlestar Galactica has been one of the most popular and successful sci-fi franchises in the world for quite some time now. It's been transcending different media left, right and center since it was first released in the 1980s, and the trend doesn't seem to be stopping anytime soon. Roberto Di Meglio of Ares Games sat down to talk with me about their upcoming adaptation of the franchise, Battlestar Galactica: Starship Battles.
The birth of the game was a little bit of luck combined with good ideas and even better timing. Ares started out wanting to produce a game which featured realistic space combat as the primary focus. The Battlestar Galactica IP came along as an option which fitted the style of game being designed perfectly.
While the IP chosen might owe a little to fate, it has certainly produced a perfect combination. Roberto made it clear that the company hopes that the Battlestar Galactica IP will not only help to draw in fans of the series but will also give a wealth of expanded universe lore which can help when crafting further content for the game. In fact, there are plans to use some of the more obscure ships from the series 30+ year long history.
Battlestar Galactica: Starship Battles also hopes to attract the attention of strategy and space combat enthusiasts, with both a simple set of rules which are quick to learn, as well as more advanced rules for veterans. There are some similarities between Ares' game and FFG (Fantasy Flight Games) title Star Wars: X-Wing, although the more advanced rules of Battlestar Galactica actually account for quite a large suite of gameplay options.
The advanced ruleset allows players to factor in altitude, direction, and velocity to pull off some impressive maneuvers, all wrapped up in the planning, movement, shooting phase core rules. In general, there is rather fine attention to detail in all elements of the game. Each ship comes with a token as well as a figurine, in an attempt to minimize damage to miniatures during potential collision manoeuvrers. Not only that, but each has notched firing sections to easily show where they can aim and can be rotated in their bases to pull of strafing attacks.
All-in-all Battlestar Galactica: Starship Battles is already shaping up to be a stunning game, especially for fans of the series or of realistic space combat. The rules are easy to learn, and deeply involving once you break into the advanced stuff. Roberto also made it clear that some classic ships will be coming in the near future, with the colony Raptor ship coming in Q3 and the Viper Mk7 coming in Q4. Possibly the biggest announcement that I was clued into was the plans for huge ships, around 1 ½ foot, to be released for both Humans and Cylons at some point in 2020! count me in.
Wings of War: Tripods & Triplanes
The other big talk of the show for Ares was the standalone expansion for Wings of War based on H.G.Wells' famous novel War of the Worlds. Tripods and Triples feature the tripods from the famous story and has them facing off against human fighter planes in the skies over rural England.
For players of the original Wings of War, things will be familiar, but there are some fresh additions to the gameplay provided by the new expansion. Firstly, though the expansion is completely standalone, it can be used with pieces from the base game. Also, the planes included in the expansion function identically to the way that planes worked in the original, so the person in control of the human side won't have much trouble picking it up.
The tripods are where things start to get a little more interesting. The alien tripods might be famed for their power, but they suffer in the area of mobility compared to the sprightly human flying machines. It can take several turns to aim and fire the tripod's main weapons, but if it hits the results can be devastating for the other players. In general, being the alien player will mean a much more methodical style of gameplay, relying on knowing where the opponent is going to be before they even move there.
Tripods & Triplanes being another classic IP, Roberto was quick to make sure I understood Ares' designing methodology. Apparently, Ares Games are very careful about their designs, meaning that their production process can take a long time to complete. The appeal of Classic IP's is that they've already stood the test of time, meaning that there's no need for Ares to rush their design or manufacturing processes to release at the same time as any accompanying media.
It really seems like Ares like to take care of their designs, and that comes across in their games. Both Tripods & Triplanes and Battlestar Galactica: Starship Battles have been designed to be great games, and then had appropriate IP's added after the fact, and they both have decent attention to detail in both their function and their physical elements. I can't wait to try them both out in the future, and Ares has definitely impressed me with their approach. Thanks to Roberto for taking the time to talk to me, and keep an eye out on TechRaptor to see our future coverage of Ares Games' work.Are you looking forward to Battlestar Galactica: Starship Battles or Tripods & Triplanes? Do you have a favorite amongst Ares' work? Let us know what you think in the comment section down below.