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:

New STRETCH GOALS Unlocked, More to Come!
over 3 years 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!


More Stretch Goals, new add-on: PREMIUM T-SHIRT!
over 3 years ago – Tue, Nov 17, 2020 at 10:35:06 AM

Hi Everyone,

Today I wanted to send out an update to talk about the newest stretch goals that we've reached (the creatures, more SCENARIOS) and a new pledge add-on.

First, the stretch goals. Since last we spoke, some new Darkgrange creatures have been unlocked. The QUACKALOPE is a strange beast that adds an interesting twist to any game: Every round, this creature jumps/teleports to a new location on the board, leaving behind ‘eggs’ (as event tokens) that, when collected, can provide bonuses to units in combat!

Also, several types of HORSES were unlocked. These creatures can carry another unit (for free), while adding +1 to each move (as if they were traveling on a road). The DEAD HORSES, undead creatures brought to life in early Alderkang experiments, will be added to the CORE GAME. ARROW the HORSE will be added to the KINGS and HEROES expansion, and the PALE HORSE will be added to the BEASTS and EGGMEN expansion.

The biggest stretch goal met recently will add DOUBLE the number of scenarios to the core game!

A CAMPAIGN of SORTS: There is an overall-arcing story to the scenarios, and now that there are more scenarios, there will be even MORE story! In the first scenarios we introduce each faction, allowing players to learn their special abilities one at a time. As the scenarios progress, the ALDERKANG are introduced, and their initial mission will now lead into something that resembles a ‘CAMPAIGN’. Delok, a warlock who is part of the Alderkang faction, wants to bring his king, the previous ruler of the land (the Alderkang!), back from the dead to regain control of the kingdom! In the newly added scenarios, you will now be ‘playing-through’ his devious plan!

Lastly, we just added Kickstarter-exclusive T-SHIRTS as a new ADD-ON to pledges! This exclusive design (chosen by the community: https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/2539271/dark-venture-t-shirt-idea-poll ) will be printed onto premium shirts, in most sizes (styles for both men and women).

Over the past week, I’ve been working on the next ‘big’ stretch goal to be added to the core game. It's something that I’ve planned for a while, but creating it is a large task. It will add several layers of adventure to the game...

I plan to show it off later this week!

Until then, stay safe.


More Stretch Goals Unlocked & ADVENTURE SCENARIO Info!
over 3 years ago – Mon, Nov 09, 2020 at 06:40:08 PM

Hello Backers!

In this update, I'd like to go over the most recent UNLOCKED STRETCH GOALS (thanks to you!), then I'd like to take a 'deep dive' into the ADVENTURE SCENARIOS that will be included in the expansions (and maybe the Core game). 

First, the stretch goals. So far, SIX stretch goals have been unlocked and with each one, Battle of the Ancients is getting better! The unlocked UPPER FLOORS essentially add 'more map' to the core game.  With these die-cut board components, players have more places to explore and to skirmish! With the THICK DASHBOARD stretch goal met, the faction dashboards in both the core game and expansions will be upgraded from card stock to thick board. Six new ACTION and ITEM CARDS have been unlocked and will be added to the core game. The WORMHOLE SERUM item, in particular, is a lot of fun. It is an item that allows you (once) to save 2 dice (as tokens) at the end of your turn, to use for a 'big turn' on another round! 

The PLASTIC BOX INSERT will be high quality, engineered to hold all the components securely (before the game is punched and after).  There are a lot of different types of tokens and we'd like to make sure that players can easily keep them separated and organized to help get the game onto the table as quickly as possible!


Now I'd like to go into some detail about a part of the game that I'm really excited to be creating: The ADVENTURE SCENARIOS that will be part of the 'KINGS & HEROES' and 'BEASTS & EGGMEN' expansions!

In addition to having a BASIC SETUP and standard SCENARIOS included in the 'BEASTS & EGGMEN' and 'KINGS & HEROES' expansions, there will also be an ADVENTURE SCENARIO in each. Adventure scenarios are ‘open world’ experiences with branching paths that lead players through a series of missions and story plot points. Pretty cool.

The adventure unfolds 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 event tokens are placed on the map (and sometimes removed)! 

Choices have weight. Repercussions to your actions will be felt throughout the adventure. For example, if an important character is killed, certain Event Tokens will not spawn (closing whole mission paths), particular choices will be unavailable, and conversely, if a character is discovered or their life is saved, they may spawn new missions.

Here is a walkthrough of the beginning of the BEASTS & EGGMEN ADVENTURE SCENARIO (a work in progress):

I think that gives a mostly 'spoiler free' idea of how the Adventure Scenarios work. I love writing these, 'world building' this way (it's *very* similar to another game that I worked on, 'Galactic Keep')! 

Until next time, stay safe!


Battle of the Ancients is FUNDED!
over 3 years ago – Fri, Nov 06, 2020 at 12:24:13 PM

Hello Battle of the Ancients Backers,

Amazingly, we funded ON THE FIRST DAY! I’m so excited that I will be able to bring this game to you, thank you for your help in making it a reality.

You have a lot to look forward to! Various incredible content creators are hard at work, right now, producing amazing videos that will appear on the campaign page very soon. We are in discussion with several partners that we are excited to reveal. We have plans for some great stretch goals, and a few other surprises are on the way...

We are a small (but tenacious) publisher, so please help us out by letting people know about our game. As you can imagine, we’d like to get as many people involved as possible. We hear from folks EVERY DAY about how they missed out on the original DARK VENTURE and we’d like to make sure that anyone who might enjoy this game has a chance to grab it while it’s available. The more funding we receive, the more stretch goals we can hit, the better the game will be for everyone!

Thanks again. YOU are now part of this game.


Stretch Goals HIT and MUCH MORE!
over 3 years ago – Tue, Nov 03, 2020 at 07:50:35 AM

Hello friends!

Firstly, I’d like to thank ALL OF YOU AMAZING BACKERS for helping us to bring Battle of the Ancients to life. Your kindness is appreciated!

Secondly, let's talk about the stretch goals that we sailed past: All cards in the game will be upgraded to the HIGHEST QUALITY POSSIBLE. They will be quite durable, and will have a really nice linen texture. Also, new ACTION and ITEM cards have been added to the game. Action cards can provide modifiers to units, dice rolls, and can trigger 'random events' in the game. In this case, one unlocked card will allow a faction to 'bank' 1 additional die (to save it for a later turn). Two other cards were unlocked that will allow a faction to roll additional action dice on their turn.  The unlocked item cards, a SWORD and 2 SHIELDS, can be equipped to single units, giving them STRENGTH and DEFENSE bonuses in combat.

The next stretch goal is really great. It’s a big one because it adds a whole other dimension to the game: The UPPER FLOORS for the CORE MAP BUILDINGS! They'll come printed on high-quality, heavy board, die-cut and ready to punch-out. Having these in the game allows me to tell DEEPER STORIES in game SCENARIOS! What secrets are held within the upper reaches of the OMINOUS TOWER? There are WORKING COMPUTERS(?!) and a weird, glowing machine on the upper floor of the DESTROYED LAB, what destructive potential does this machine have, what's it for, what evil plan is unfolding?! Once these are unlocked, you will be able to find out for yourself in the game!

 After the '2nd Floors' are unlocked, I'll update the campaign with more goals!   We have plans to add *many* more, this is only the beginning. Here’s our plan for the coming weeks, the next goals:

  • Upgrades to the game components: Better stock and thickness to all parts in the game.
  • An upgrade to the 'standard' dice.
  • Additions to the game experience: New characters, more story scenarios, powerful magical items, strange creatures and other weirdness!
  • Enhancements to the actual box: A blow-molded insert, texture, paint options, maybe even a high-quality GAME ORGANIZER or TOKEN HOLDERS built into the insert (GameTrayz™?).
  • The Print & Play.
  • Actual SCULPTED game components: Fences, walls, special tokens...and the FALLEN STAR!
  • Other MUSIC options, and more surprises!

Speaking of MUSIC, ERRANT SPACE, who are composing a SOUNDTRACK to listen to while playing Battle of the Ancients (available as a CD add-on), just released a new podcast dedicated to their first musical DARK VENTURE: BATTLE of the ANCIENTS soundtrack sketches! In it, you can listen to the 'ambient bits and pieces' of the soundtrack that will be crafted into 'tracks'. It’s SPOOKY...and WEIRD! It's free. CLICK THE LINK BELOW TO CHECK IT OUT to get into the mood of the season...and DARK VENTURE!


Lastly, for those of you in the USA, DON’T FORGET TO VOTE! It’s important. Click this official link to find your state’s voting information: https://www.usa.gov/election-office

That’s it for now, much more coming soon, thanks again!


PS: Oh, I almost forgot to mention the next goal: upgraded FACTION DASHBOARDS! They will be printed on thick, durable board, like the UPPER FLOORS.