Dark Venture - BATTLE of the ANCIENTS

Created by Rob Lemon

A tactical strategy game set in a dark-fantasy future where players control asymmetric factions engaging in brutal conflict.

Latest Updates from Our Project:

BACKERKIT orders to be Locked and Processed on Friday, April 23rd!
over 1 year ago – Wed, Apr 21, 2021 at 07:18:58 PM

Hello Backers!

I'd like to remind everyone that all BackerKit orders will be locked and processed (for games, add-ons, and shipping) this FRIDAY, APRIL 23rd, 2021.  We're finalizing our manufacturing numbers next week and require an accurate count of what will need to be produced. 

A short (and EXCITING!) PROJECT UPDATE: The CORE GAME books are 100% content-complete (all rules and scenarios have been written). Now that the writing is done, I can safely say that this game has a lot of content. The 'SCENARIOS A' book filled up quickly (it is packed with standalone scenarios that can also be played in order as a 'campaign'), so we've added spreads to the FACTION GUIDE containing additional scenarios (half is the FACTION GUIDE, flip it over for the other half, SCENARIOS B). 

...But the big news today is that we're adding 1 ADDITIONAL BOOK to the CORE GAME!

There was not enough space to fit all the game content into 3 books. I assumed that this might be the case (and had quoted a price for an additional book with the manufacturer), but wanted to write and typeset everything before confirming the 4th booklet. The 'UNDERGROUND ADVENTURE' will be printed in this separate book which will also include a series of event tables, an alternate 'BASIC SETUP' for the Underground map, and a 'bonus' play mode (utilizing the tables and the Underground map).  

I'm very happy with how everything is turning out.

That's it for now. Thanks, and stay safe!

Rob

Hex Dice Trays SHIPPING!
over 1 year ago – Tue, Apr 06, 2021 at 05:02:35 PM

Good morning!

A quick note to say that we are shipping all HEX DICE TRAYS right now. We started over a week ago, and will be finished sending them out by the end of this week, so if you receive a shipping notification, it's not the game...it's the dice tray! 

I'll share a bigger production update later this month (the UNDERGROUND ADVENTURE scenario is content-complete!!), looking forward to letting you know more about how things are going!


Thanks,

Rob

Update to the Update! The REAL Box Insert
over 1 year ago – Fri, Mar 12, 2021 at 05:37:58 PM

Hello Again!

That was quick. There was a slight mix-up with the images of the box insert in the last update, here are the correct ones (along with Matt's explanations/descriptions). Enjoy!

Overview:

The prelim design is shown below. So, keep in mind that this design is NOT final. The manufacturer has not seen it yet.  

Cards and Dice

The bottom section of the insert is for the card and dice storage. The bottom of the left well is for the dice. The poker sized cards fit on top of the dice and act as a lid to keep the dice in place when stored or transported vertically. The wells on the right are for the mini cards which will be stored vertically. The middle compartment will hold all of the un-sleeved cards. Since I wanted to make sure that the insert would accommodate sleeves, I added the compartment on the right to accommodate the added thickness of sleeved cards.

Middle Section

The middle section holds the 1 inch and ½ inch circular tokens.

Faction boards, Booklets, minis, ¾ inch tokens

The top section is for the remainder of the components. There are 245 ¾ tokens that will be stored in the bottom of the well on the right. The booklets then sit on top of the tokens, the large cards sit on top of the booklets. The well on the left holds the minis. Finally, the faction dashboards and points track sit on top of everything.

Game Board: Finally, the game board will sit atop the other components. It will act as a lid and will help to keep the parts in place if the game is stored vertically. This does not mean that vertical storage is guaranteed to keep everything in place, but the board/books and dashboards will help.

That's it! Please let Matt know if you have any questions, he will be monitoring the comments.

Thank you,

Rob

Locking Dice Tray Orders on March 15th and the Box Insert Design!
over 1 year ago – Fri, Mar 12, 2021 at 03:41:28 PM

Hello backers, I hope you are well. 

There are three main parts to this update:

1. On MONDAY, MARCH 15th, 2021 we're locking and processing BackerKit orders that include DICE TRAYS and T-SHIRTS. All additional Backerkit orders and charges (for games, add-ons, and shipping) will be processed on FRIDAY APRIL 23rd, 2021.
 

2. We have received prototype DICE and WOOD TOKENS!
 

3. Special guest MATT HEALEY is going to talk about the CORE BOX INSERT!
 

First, DICE TRAY ORDERS: We will be locking and processing the BackerKit orders that include the HEX DICE TRAYS and T-SHIRTS next MONDAY, MARCH 15th. If you would like to add either to your order, now is the time as we are calculating the exact number (with very few extra) that we will need, and will be confirming our final manufacturing order next week.

The dice trays are being manufactured by C4Labs in the USA, and unlike the game and expansions (which have EU, AU, CA, and US friendly shipping), the trays will be shipped out of the US (as originally noted on the Kickstarter, for the dice trays, other import taxes may apply to the shipping price when shipped outside of the US).

I’m really happy with the prototype dice tray, I use it every single day to test Dark Venture, Battle of the Ancients, and to play other tabletop games and RPGS, when I can find the time!

All additional Backerkit orders and charges (for orders with only the games, expansions, other add-ons, and shipping) will be processed APRIL 23rd, 2021. Shipping addresses will be left open until we are ready to fulfill orders.

Secondly, we have received the initial ACTION, ATTACK and DEFENSE DICE, and WOOD TOKEN prototypes! The tokens look great, judge for yourself!

The wood tokens are tactile, colorful, and add some dimension to the game without making it unwieldy. Pencil for scale.

They help to differentiate the units from the other tokens in the game, augmenting the gameplay in a way that I didn’t initially consider (for example, you can easily see when a unit is carrying a resource, and can quickly count the number of units on a space). 

The faces of the dice are crisp and well-molded with very high detail resolution.

For the third section of the update, a deep-dive into the BOX INSERT, say hello to Matt Healy. He designed the initial insert and will be working with us and the manufacturer to create the final production design! Take it away Matt:

Over the past several weeks I have been working with Rob to develop a custom insert for Dark Venture: Battle of the Ancients. At this point we wanted to share the initial design. Please keep in mind that this is a preliminary design and has not been approved by the manufacturer and is subject to change. Also, I want to say this upfront and in BOLD because I always get questioned about it: YES, IT WILL ACCOMMODATE SLEEVED CARDS.

Overview: The prelim design is shown below. So, keep in mind that this design is NOT final. The manufacturer has not seen it yet.

 Cards and Dice: The bottom section of the insert is for the card and dice storage. The bottom of the left well is for the dice. The poker-size cards fit on top of the dice and act as a lid to keep the dice in place when stored or transported vertically. The wells on the right are for the mini cards which will be stored vertically. The middle compartment will hold all of the un-sleeved cards. Since I wanted to make sure that the insert would accommodate sleeves, I added the compartment on the right to accommodate the added thickness of sleeved cards.

Middle Section: The middle section holds the 1 inch and ½ inch circular tokens.

Faction boards, Booklets, minis, ¾ inch tokens: The top section is for the remainder of the components. There are 245 ¾ tokens that will be stored in the bottom of the well on the right. The booklets then sit on top of the tokens, the large cards sit on top of the booklets. The well on the left holds the minis. Finally, the faction dashboards and points track sit on top of everything.

GameBoard: Finally, the last parts of the game, the game board sits on top of the other components. It acts as a lid for the other components and helps to keep the parts in place if the game is stored vertically. This does not mean that vertical storage is guaranteed to keep everything in place, but the board/books and dashboards will help.

So, that is the preliminary design. As is my usual custom, I will monitor this update and answer as many questions as I can. I hope that this insert makes setup and breakdown easier and contributes in some way to your enjoyment of the game. Personally I am eagerly awaiting my copy.

Rob here again, thanks a lot Matt! That’s it for this update. I wanted to reiterate the first point, that we are LOCKING ORDERS WITH DICE TRAYS this MONDAY, MARCH 15th. If you’d like one, please add it to your order before then.

Again, thank you for backing the game. Until the next update, stay safe!

Rob

February Production Update and MORE!
over 1 year ago – Tue, Feb 16, 2021 at 01:52:23 AM

Hello backers!

I hope this update finds you well. 

Let's get right into it, without delay! The production of Battle of the Ancients has been moving at a speedy clip. Here’s a quick look into what I’ve been working on.

MORE CARDS: One of the first things I did after the campaign completed was to start drawing, inking and painting new art for the MERCHANT cards. In games where the Merchant (‘Darvin the Sour’, he’s part of the BEASTS & EGGMEN expansion) is included, players track Victory Points that can be spent to purchase items, spells, and mercenary units (HEROES too!) from an inventory of over 50 cards.  Cards that direct his movement on the map and refresh his store offerings are also added to the main Action deck.

The Merchant dashboard, a sampling of Merchant cards, and the Underground map with Darvin's token on it. Cards and the dashboard are still being tested and edited, they're subject to change.

Darvin's items are some of the wildest in the game: There is a 6-piece set (broken up into individual weapons) that can be ‘merged’ for added bonuses, a temporal weapon that allows units to ‘blink’ on and off the map, a Sarkag Wolf pet, and a chainsaw (auto-harvest wood...and add a grisly attack bonus to a unit), among other things! Have you ever witnessed an angry, teleporting varpen with a chainsaw? Hope that you never do. 

I’m also adding additional cards to the core ITEM and ACTION card decks. Having a variety of powerful and weird items (like a wand that can attack all units in a line of sight from one side of the board to the other, for example) will help to make every game that you play unique, so I’m making sure that there is a lot of variation.

3D BUILDINGS: I’ve been experimenting with the die-cut buildings in the game, designing a ‘BUILDING CLIP’ (patent pending) that can be used to clip onto the floors to easily create 3D structures! The clips are simple to use and minimal, but completely change the look and feel of the game. I’m working out the cost now (I'm not sure that they can be added to the core game based on money, weight and time), at the very least I will make the a 3D model of the clip available (for home 3D printing). Additionally, I’ve found that the clips are very useful in other tabletop and RPG games, to create buildings and to lift up components!

This photo shows some of the other things I've been modeling and 3D printing: Stacking token chips, card trays, and token 'silos' (for storage).

MANUFACTURING: Over the past weeks, I have been working with our manufacturer, Whatz Games (check out their website here: http://www.whatzgames.com/Home/PastProjects ) on production details. They manufactured our past Dark Venture games, so we are sure that the quality of Battle of the Ancients will be impeccable. Most recently, they’ve completed prototypes of the WOOD UNIT TOKENS and the ACTION, ATTACK and DEFENSE DICE. I expect to receive samples in a week or two (they're currently in the mail),  I will show them off as soon as I receive them.

PLEDGE MANAGER: The pledge manager has been open since January and many people have added to their pledge, THANK YOU! The WOOD UNIT TOKENS were unlocked very quickly and we’re happy to have them included in BackerKit as an add-on. 

For those who haven't completed their BackerKit survey, please try to finish it up as soon as you’re able to can so we can have a better idea of the quantities we'll need to manufacture. Here’s a link to the pledge manager: https://dv-battle-of-the-ancients.backerkit.com/ FYI: To track your pledge, BackerKit uses the same email address that you use to log into Kickstarter.

PRE-ORDERS: If you know someone who might enjoy playing Battle of the Ancients and missed the Kickstarter,  please let them know that they can PRE-ORDER the game right now! Here is a link to the PRE-ORDER STORE: https://dv-battle-of-the-ancients.backerkit.com/hosted_preorders

FINAL THINGS: Here's what I'll be working on over the next month. Firstly, I’ll be finishing up a draft of all the writing in the core game. The 15 initial ‘campaign’ scenarios are written and the story arc is complete (I’ve made sure that each of these 15 can also be played as a repeatable ‘stand-alone’ scenarios too). The additional scenarios in the core game are also complete (there are 5 more), and I’m working on the typesetting and layout of the SCENARIO BOOK. The Scenario book, Core Rules and Faction Guide will enter editorial review (and finalization) in March. The ADVENTURE SCENARIO utilizing the Underground map as well as the first draft of writing for the expansions are also coming along and should be editor-ready quite soon. Testing will continue, and I hope to launch the full core game on Tabletopia late February/early March. There is a lot happening right now!

Izzy, that's not helping. Bad tester.

For the moment, that’s it. Thanks again for backing Battle of the Ancients. I can’t wait for you to experience this truly unique game!!

Rob