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 Pledge Manager and Late Pledges This Week!
over 1 year ago – Tue, Jan 12, 2021 at 06:24:04 PM

Hi Backers!

I’m happy to announce that the Battle of the Ancients pledge manager SURVEY EMAILS (from BackerKit) will start going out TODAY! In the survey, you can review your Kickstarter pledge, add additional items to your pledge, and make pledge option choices if necessary (choose your t-shirt size, for example). The survey emails will be staggered, some being sent today and the rest soon after. It’s important to answer your survey quickly, as we need this information to finalize the number of games and expansions we will need to manufacture.

After you respond to your survey, you can go back later and change your responses at any time (before we close them later this year, spring for most pledges).

If you need to review your information or pledge, you can return to your survey by clicking the link in your survey email or requesting your survey link under "Lost your survey?" on our BackerKit project page at https://dv-battle-of-the-ancients.backerkit.com .

Also, if you know someone who might be interested in Dark Venture: Battle of the Ancients who missed the campaign, we have opened a pre-order store to make LATE PLEDGES. It's LIVE right now. Follow this link to get there: https://dv-battle-of-the-ancients.backerkit.com/hosted_preorders

A lot is happening right now with the production of Battle of the Ancients. Here are some of the things going on behind the scenes:

VAT UPDATE: We have been discussing the UK and EU VAT and shipping changes with various fulfillment partners and tax consultants and they have all told us the same thing: import taxes, sales taxes, and shipping prices are increasing in 2021 (in the UK, changes were implemented on January 1st). As I have mentioned, we are absorbing some of this cost to mitigate (reduce) some of this increase.

DICE SAMPLES SOON: I just received word that we will be seeing actual samples of the dice (ACTION, ATTACK, and DEFENSE dice) from the manufacturer very soon. I'll post pictures when we get them. 

TABLETOPIA UPDATE: I’ve been working on adding the full version of the game to TABLETOPIA (currently, you can check out the four DEMO SCENARIOS, follow this link here: https://tabletopia.com/games/dv-battle-of-the-ancients ). I will let you know as soon as the full version is available!

A view into the 'RITUAL CHAMBER'. This photo depicts part of the 'Basic Setup' on the UNDERGROUND map. A HERO (Wester) is about to clash with ORPAL forces!

ADVENTURE SCENARIOS: The adventure scenarios for the core game and expansions are coming along very well! Most recently, I have been working on a part of the scenario that utilizes the ‘UNDERGROUND MAP’ (included in the core game), and it’s quite exciting. I designed this map with a variety of evocative locations and ‘event’ possibilities. For example, if you follow the tunnel that begins in the ‘dungeon’ below the OMINOUS TOWER it leads to a secret, hidden room (that happens to be under the DESTROYED LAB) called the ‘RITUAL CHAMBER’. What heinous ceremonies have taken place (or are currently being performed) in this space?! You will find out...I’ll have more information in another update.

For now, look forward to receiving your BACKERKIT SURVEY!

Until next time, stay safe and THANK YOU!


UK and EU VAT CHANGES in 2021 and the FALLEN STAR!
over 1 year ago – Wed, Dec 16, 2020 at 09:00:19 PM


If you live in the US, you can skip the first section of this update and go straight to 'About the PLEDGE MANAGER'. UK and EU backers (and other backers who enjoy reading about import taxes), read on.

Shipping products into the UK and EU from outside countries (like the US and China) will change substantially in 2021. As I noted during the campaign, starting JANUARY 1st 2021 in the UK, VAT laws will change. Also, as most EU backers know, beginning JULY 1st 2021, the VAT laws in the EU will change in a similar way.

At this time, we are still not 100% sure how things are going to shape up, how much the UK/EU VAT will increase for us, if at all. I am doing what I can to make sure you are informed and I will reduce your costs and add value to the game wherever I can, but I cannot change import and sales taxes that I must report and pay (Just last year, fulfillment partners would act as representatives. Now we must find UK/EU tax representation, charge taxes, and file UK/EU taxes! A new expense.) In our past project, we absorbed the FULL COST of VAT. As we have noted with regard the UK VAT changes, we won’t be able to absorb all of the new EU VAT if there are substantial changes to the law. The good news is that we are going to cover some of it, no matter what.

As the UK and EU update and roll out their new tax laws, in this transitional period, I thank you for your patience and understanding as I navigate these choppy waters.

About the PLEDGE MANAGER: We’re working on the pledge manager right now, but without some crucial VAT information (see above), we're going to have to hold off on launching it. I don’t want to make quick decisions about shipping/taxes that could drastically affect our/your bottom line before hearing back from our accountant. This won’t hold up production at all, and I will keep you updated on our progress.

The FALLEN STAR is Landing: I’ve decided to add the FALLEN STAR mini to all core games! This sculpture is utilized in some scenarios (it adds various modifiers to surrounding spaces) and can be a ‘First Player’ token if not being used in-game. I sculpted the original myself (along with the fences and walls) out of wood, rocks and clay, so there is no ‘3D model’ of it. HOWEVER, I have recreated (very simple) 3D versions of the FENCES and WALLS. You can print some yourself, if you so desire (Exciting! Fences!). The .obj files can be downloaded at the link below.

DV BotA 3D Models (with DV_BotA_wall_01.obj and DV_BotA_fence_01.obj):


Until next time, thanks!


over 1 year ago – Wed, Dec 09, 2020 at 04:35:41 AM

Hello Backers!

A short note to let you know that we’re planning to launch our pledge manager, (where you’ll be able to confirm your order, fill in your shipping address, pick add-on items, etc.), if all things go well, NEXT WEEK. We will be using BACKERKIT. First, the pledge manager will open to a small number of ‘test’ backers, then, if everything works out, all backers will have access.


Here's a link: https://shop.spreadshirt.com/gilded-skull-games/

The first set of designs feature the ALDERKANG and his weird, mutated family!

We’re offering 15% off all items for the first two weeks! Shirts ship QUICKLY. If you order now (in most US states) you should get your order before December 21st. Perfect for that hard-to-buy-for DARK VENTURE lover in your family!

There are several COLOR and DESIGN choices! Sizes for men, women, and children!

That’s it for now. Look forward to the pledge manager launching next week!

Until then, thank you,


We Did it!!
over 1 year ago – Wed, Nov 25, 2020 at 12:49:37 AM

Hello Backers!

Thanks to you, DARK VENTURE: BATTLE of the ANCIENTS was funded! I'm literally out of breath right now, overwhelmed by the great community of people who I have worked with, talked to, commented with, and messaged throughout the campaign. Thanks for your inspiration.

So, Happy Thanksgiving to all those in the US (belated Happy Thanksgiving to those in Canada!) I'm looking forward to taking a day or two to catch my breath, but I am *very* excited to dig in and get this game MADE!! 

I'm really happy that the last few stretch goals were hit, especially the 'fences and walls' (as mundane as they may be!). They're exciting to me because they are our first foray into producing sculpted 3D game components (not including dice), and hopefully not our last. 

Moving forward, expect progress updates, more game information, and new developments on a regular basis! 

Until next time, thank you, and stay safe!


New STRETCH GOALS Unlocked, More to Come!
over 1 year ago – Mon, Nov 23, 2020 at 07:26:36 PM

Hello Backers!

QUICK (but long) update! We have just over 1 day left in the campaign. There have been MANY newly unlocked stretch goals since the last update, I’ll start by going over them. 

First, the game boxes (core game and expansions) will now be manufactured out of thick card and printed with a matte, linen texture (like the original Dark Venture game). Next, a digital copy of the soundtrack, by Errant Space, which will be distributed as a download code (at a later date), is now available as an add-on to any pledge for the low, low price of $1. Also, the full game will be added to Tabletopia. Currently we have a DEMO version of the game available to play on Tabletopia (https://tabletopia.com/games/dv-battle-of-the-ancients) with 4 factions, a limited number of ACTION and ITEM cards and a small ¼ mini-map. I'll update you as soon as this full version is available (free to play!). Next, more Secret Reward Cards have been unlocked, which brings the total number of Secret Reward cards in the core game to 24. These cards add a simple 'legacy' system to the game where after completing scenarios, you can add more (randomly chosen) ITEM and ACTION cards to your decks. There will be a list of the Secret Cards in the rule book to remove them, 'resetting' the game, if you wish to do that.

THOXX: What is under that tin-can helmet?!

Next, the hero THOXX will now be included in every core game (Hero Dash-Card, token and wood cubes). Heroes are a faction unto themselves. They are powerful single units with high stats, but what really sets them apart is that they each have 4 available SPECIAL ABILITIES, unique to each hero. They start the game with 1 Special Ability unlocked: Place a cube, choose wisely! As they gain HERO POINTS for using abilities, completing HERO POINT OBJECTIVES, another cube is moved along a track and new abilities are unlocked (when 4, 7 and 10 Hero Points are collected). Heroes will be used in Victory Games, and in various Scenarios.

Finally, in arguably the largest stretch goal to be unlocked so far, a new map, ‘The Underground’, will be added to the core game. It will be printed on the reverse side of the core game map. Along with it, an ADVENTURE SCENARIO will be added to the core game. Adventure Scenarios unfold as players reveal EVENT TOKENS on map spaces that correspond to written passages in the Scenario book. As the story is revealed, choices must be made and more tokens are placed (and sometimes removed) on the map! You’ll be able to play VICTORY GAMES (set up factions and play to achieve victory points) and other Scenarios on this map too.

The UNDERGROUND MAP. It is still a work in progress (it will have a graphic pass, with arrows to show movement direction, etc.). As rocky as it looks, there are very few spaces where units can’t travel.

The next stretch goals (currently locked as of this writing) involve adding CUSTOM MOLDED six-sided dice to the game as ATTACK and DEFENSE dice. Currently, the game has 8 standard six-sided dice for this purpose, these custom dice would replace them. In combat, attacking units roll ATTACK DICE based on their combined STRENGTH, defending units roll DEFENSE DICE based on their combined DEFENSE. These dice would be the ones that are rolled to determine the outcome! The NEXT stretch goal will DOUBLE the number of custom attack and defense dice in the game.

If these goals are reached, there are EVEN MORE stretch goals planned, so keep checking back!

Initial designs for the ACTION and DEFENSE dice.

Last week QUACKALOPE took a look at the ‘demo’ version of Battle of the Ancients (4 factions, a small, ¼ mini-map, less item/action cards, short scenarios, etc.). The preview was *glowing*, and we couldn’t be happier. Give it a watch and check out the Quackalope YouTube channel. They are amazing content creators, their Leder Games and Kingdon Death videos are epic! Here’s a link to to the Battle of the Ancients preview: https://youtu.be/EoBhn7R1niM


This week, over the next day and a half, we’re going to try our best to let as many people know about our campaign as possible. We are a small, indie company with a minuscule marketing budget. Grass-root, word-of-mouth marketing is what helps us the most. Please tell people about our campaign! The more people who help us to fund the creation and manufacturing, the more people who back now, the better Battle of the Ancients will be!

Thank you, stay safe, looking forward to great days ahead!