We want to add a brand-new 4th player position to the game! Read more about the Hive!
Greg Costikyan's award-winning Web and Starship was originally published in 1984 by West End Games (enjoy this free copy of the original rulebook). Greg is the prolific and highly-regarded designer of games like Paranoia, Toon, the original Star Wars RPG, and many more. The game was developed at WEG by Doug Kaufman, who we will hear from later in the project. Following my acquisition of West End Games in April 2016, I wanted the first new WEG product to be an early game that deserved new attention, and this superior design of Greg's perfectly meets my criteria.
Your pledge will support the publication of a new edition of the game. The first five pledge options (after the $1 WEB and STARSHIP pledges) are the core rewards of either a Standard Edition, Deluxe Edition or Special Edition of the game. All of the other rewards are for multiple copies of the game or pledges for Web & Starship plus copies of other games available from Nocturnal Media.
Web & Starship is purposefully (and perfectly!) designed as a three-player game. Play takes place on a two-dimensional game board centered on Sol that represents the three dimensions of space. Notations on the board indicate the distance of a star above or below ecliptic (the plane formed by the Earth's orbit around the sun).
Game-play is asymmetric as all of the three players have very different abilities and options at their disposal. And while "asymmetric" often means Euro-style games that are like "playing solitaire simultaneously", Web & Starship is a game of economic expansion interrupted by space battles and conquest. Namely: the conquest of Earth.
NOTE: The game includes two-player rules with the Terrans as an unplayed third position. Both players bid Economic Points to influence the Terran Diplomacy Track.
One of the alien races attempting to gain control of Earth is the bird-like Gwynhyfarr. The Gwynhyfarr have faster-than-light (FTL) technology, but their ships are small and unable to transport large amounts of material or troops. They therefore excel in starship engagements, but have limited capability in ground warfare due to lack of supplies.
The mole-like Pereen are just the opposite. They can only travel through space at sub-light speeds, but once at a destination, they can establish a link to a "web" that allows instantaneous "gating" between linked locations. As a result, they can only slow expand their empire, but once a new world is added to their "web", they are able to fortify it instantly.
Caught in the middle, masters of a system desired by both the Gwynhyfarr and Pereen, are the Terrans. Humans comprehend the mathematics behind both the Gwynhyfarr's FTL travel and the Pereen's "web", but they begin the game with limited versions of each that they hope to improve to defend Sol.
There are three editions of the game: Standard, Deluxe and Special. These three editions all represent major improvements in terms of quality of components over the original 1984 edition that was played on a giant poster map. The Standard Edition moves play to a heavy game board that still accurately reflects the actual alignment and distances of star systems in near solar space across a distance of 56 light years that are centered on Sol.
The DeluxeEdition upgrades the player sheets to the same material as the game board. Like the sheets, these Player Boards include all the information needed to play each position, including distance references for the first turns of game, such as the distance to systems within range of Gwynhyfarr ships or Pereen probes.
Sixty event counters in the Standard Edition are upgraded to cards in the Deluxe Edition.
Also included in the Deluxe Edition are three pairs of color-coded d6, one pair per race/player, that feature a custom image in the place of the "1" as shown here:
A limited edition version of the Deluxe Edition is called the Special Edition. The Special Edition is limited to 100 copies, each of which includes a color print depicting each of the three races (humans and two aliens) illustrated by Web & Starship 2nd Edition cover artist Grzegorz Pedrycz. Each print is signed and numbered by Greg Costikyan.
For the numerological-minded, these 100 copies at $100 each mark the years of publication for the two editions of the game (84 + 16).
Here is a complete summary of the components (Special is the same as Deluxe with the addition of the signed and numbered print):
Designer Greg Costikyan offers some thoughts in the project video, but he elaborates on the design and intent of Web & Starship in the first project update: Game Design Pillars.
At $12,500: Range Finders (& maybe more)
- We will add three "range finders" to the game components. These are used to determine the "x" graph component of the three-dimensional distance between star systems. Only one range finder was included in the original 1984 edition. That meant all the players had to share it. No longer. Each player will have a color-coded range finder all his or her own. Range finders are technically not required for play as we are adding a Star Distance Reference Chart to the new edition, but many backers (and the designer!) have expressed a desire for them.
- Also, if there is space on our press sheets, we'll add three (or six) turn sequence cards to help all players keep track of what's coming next in a game turn or war turn. There will either be three double-sided or six single-sided cards depending on what fits best on our press sheets. Here are the turn charts from the original rulebook that we'll reproduce on cards:
At $15,000: Hive Counters
- The Hive is a new player position (see $20k goal below).
- While the complete Hive is unlocked as a $20k stretch goal, in anticipation of Greg's interest in eventually developing the Hive, this goal unlocks the addition of Hive counters to all editions of the game. The exact number of mix of counters is TBD, but it will include Hive Infection markers, HIve-controlled ships, Hive settlements, perhaps some additional settlement counters for the other races, and more. So, while the rules may remain in development, you will have matching counters to play the Hive if (when!) the time comes.
At $20,000... The (Complete) Hive
- A brand-new 4th player position: The Hive. This nano-tech "infection" style invader maintains the asymmetric challenge of the game as all three existing players, Gwynhyfarr, Pereen and Terrans alike, will struggle to confront this new foe. More details on The Hive and how they function in play is forthcoming... as soon as we achieve 100% funding and can set aim at rising to 200% to add this content to the new edition of Web & Starship.
- Prior stretch goals increase as well. Now four range finders and 4 (or 8) turn sequence cards.
- Note: a three-player game using the three Earth invaders will be an optional game.
- Also note: adding The Hive to the game means postponing delivery of the game to accommodate the playtesting required to balance the player positions. We estimate this will require two months.
Shipping for all pledge levels is added to your pledge amount. One flat shipping charge covers as many games as you want!
Please note that this project is EU Friendly. In fact, it's as friendly to all destinations as we can possibly make it. Fulfillment copies will be shipped in bulk to shipping centers around the world and from there shipped direct to each backer. This method allows me to make certain all VAT, etc. is paid in advance.
There are not technically any add-ons for this project. We really just want to create this new edition of the game. However, we do have two other board games that will interest some backers and I will offer those to you through this project at no additional shipping charge.
Gladiator: Quest for the Rudis is a 1-6 player tactical level combat card game based on the blood sport that reached its peak of popularity between 75 BC and 63 BC.
Available for $60 + no additional shipping charge!
Monster Mansion is real-time (timer included!) cooperative adventure for 2-8 players. Defeat legendary monsters to earn gold and escape before the time RUNS OUT!
Available for $40 + no additional shipping charge!
Risks and challenges
As a long-time publisher and founder of White Wolf and now with multiple Kickstarter projects completed (and several fulfilled), there are few obstacles that are new to me. Web & Starship has already been created, so I have the pleasure and honor packaging it for a new, modern audience. My primary difficulty with Kickstarter projects has been international fulfillment, but my recent experience with shipping Gladiator:Quest of the Rudis has resulted in fulfillment partnerships around the globe that solve this issue.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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