Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Game Developers Diary Part 1


I thought I'd start a bit of a log as I explore my attempts of turning the Leviathan rules into a fully playable system for the sort of setting that Aeroth is developing into.

Last year I did some serious playtesting of the rules as they were and found that Leviathan had the makings of a really good game but it had several issues which needed some serious work.

The main problem I had with it was that it really needed more playtesting before it was released as there are several concepts which were not explained (I'm talking about you Tail Spikes!) and similarly, it felt like it couldn't make up it's mind what sort of game it was. Scale wise, it better suited skirmish gaming but the whole flavour of the rules are geared to mass battle.

Orc Concepts

Over the last couple of months, between moving house and work, I've spent a fair amount of time looking at my idea of what Aeroth should look like and have settled on something more like Warmachine or Hordes. Gone are the days when everyone wields bows. Aeroth is a post apocalyptic magitech world so the Orcish Horde will need blackpowder weaponry, cannon and rockets whilst the Elves are going to be even more high tech with Power Lances and a plethora of interesting equipment!

Thunderhammer Battletank

I suspect that this has stemmed from my obsession with the Dwarves as their steampunk army design, reliant on tanks, artillery and wargolems really made them stand out against the other races. With this in mind, I've been tweaking both background and rules to fit my needs.

There will be plenty of opportunity to play skirmishes where sword and axe are still vital gear but I want to move larger scale engagements into a more industrial era.

Therefore, I've gone back to re-examine Leviathan and have found that with a bit of tweaking, alterations and bodging, I have the basics of a decent system that should be able to cover anything from a platoon to company level game in approximately 15mm scale.

Orcish Wartower

At present, I'm looking at the armylists to see what alterations I need to do to get the sort of units that I want. For example, at present, an Orc force needs to have a minimum of one Orc infantry squad and two Goblin infantry squads as well as one Orc character. With aforementioned tweaking, I've developed a platoon structure that requires two units of Orc infantry and an Orc character to lead them but gives options to reinforce it, in part inspired by the old Epic 40k game.

Each army will have access to several different platoons, independent formations and characters that will be in keeping with the setting that I'm developing. I'm also looking at the stats of the assorted units as Orcs currently seem a bit feeble in close combat as they are outmatched both in Offensive Combat, Power and Toughness by the Dwarves. Part of the issue is that I need to up the size of Orc units to compensate but I have found the process rather enlightening and entertaining!

I plan on carrying out several rounds of playtesting to see how the rules work as is, what needs working on and so on before reworking things and playtesting again. I suspect that it's going to take at least six months before I'm totally happy with the rules and that the completed set will differ quite a bit from how they look now but that's part of the fun.

At the same time, I'll be trying to tie down the setting and draw up some more concept art and write down lots of background for the assorted forces.

Needless to say, I suspect that I'm going to have a very busy time of things but it will mean that I will be posting all manner of random stuff here.

Anyhoo, enough of my ramblings for today! I hope to add another entry tomorrow with further development gubbins.

All the best!


  1. I do like your artwork very much. It's got a very distinct style: cartoony, but clear.

    I've tried to write a game in the past but I find it very tricky. What I really want is something like 40k but faster, with only one roll to hit/kill instead of 2 or 3. If ever you'd like someone else to have a look at your rules, I'd be happy to have a go.

    1. Many thanks for the follow!

      I'm basing the rules off the old Leviathan game from Scotia Grendel (the pdf is free from their website I believe!) but it needs a drastic overhaul to work the way I envision the setting!

      Once I've got a playable set put together, I'm more than happy to send them over but I suspect it may be quite a while, especially with my obsession with starting new projects at the drop of a hat...

      All the best!