War Command: The Physical Edition
War Command: The Physical Edition
A Card Game that borrows elements from Tabletop RPGs and Tactics Games to create a new strategic experience.
A Card Game that borrows elements from Tabletop RPGs and Tactics Games to create a new strategic experience. Read more
About this project
Fast and engaging: quick set up time and easy to learn gameplay
Deep: carefully balanced deck building combined with customizable starting formations allow players to define their own strategy
Tactical: plays out on a board like Chess with combat reminiscent of classic Tabletop RPGs
Gorgeous: top quality artwork by Keith Thompson, Austen Mengler and More!
Limitless: Contextual tactics mean every card is important in the right circumstance
War Command is a card game that plays out like a Tactical Board Game or Tabletop RPG. It combines the deck building elements of a Trading Card Game with the strategic positioning of a battle field environment. Players move Character Cards around on a board, playing Support Cards from their hand in concert with Character movements and attacks in a mad race to destroy the other player's Commander Card first.
The game takes place in the far future on the planet Haven, which, due to a cataclysmic wave of radiation, will soon be the last livable planet in the galaxy. Upon learning of the impending disaster, Humanity quickly scrapped what civilization remained on earth and took to the stars; arriving at the shielded planet just in time to survive the interstellar catastrophe. Unfortunately for them, they hadn't planned on its pulsing gravity field or violent magnetic storms. Doubly unfortunate for them, they weren't the only ones.
The Humans quickly found themselves sharing the planet with the hideous purple Delylians and the reptilian Gharrana. Each society, however, has been ripped apart by the trials of their migration effort, cut off and unprepared to offer a unified front against the enemies that are all around them. Treaties are made in the only way they can be, face-to-face, and ragtag armies composed of survivors from all races begin to organize, and move across the planet's surface.
With broken factions from every corner of the universe vying for dominance of this alien world, the game features a rich diversity of characters. This diversity is reflected in gameplay in the cards' unique abilities and contextual strategic value. By considering each card's strengths, position and access to support, you can set yourself up for a variety of strategies and play-styles.
Players will be able to set their characters’ starting battle formation and build a unique deck to suit their battle plan. War Command is designed to give the player unlimited strategic opportunities while remaining fast and easy to pick up. It's simple enough that most people have the gameplay figured out in their first couple turns, but complex enough to support a nearly infinite range of strategic expression.
There are two videos below which explain the gameplay in more detail. The first is a draft tutorial for the digital edition of the game, the second is Game Creator Ray Hayes sitting down for a game with a GoPro strapped to his head :) This should help give an idea of the kinds of strategies that can pay off in a game of War Command.
If you're more into reading, check out these links for a breakdown of the rules of the game and a more detailed look into the universe of War Command.
War Command has always been planned and budgeted for exclusively as an iOS project. Recently we've gone through some internal shuffling in the programming side of the project, which resulted in our release ultimately being pushed back but with the possibility of releasing to multiple platforms much faster, and that got us thinking about our user feedback.
You see, we've been bringing a printed beta of our game around for people to play, first at various game shops, then at some conventions (LepreCon, SaltFest, Phoenix Comicon, etc.,) and we've gotten a tremendous response every time. People seem to have no problem picking the game up immediately, and within a match or two it's fantastic to see how much thought is already going into the decks they put together. The thing is, while many people were as psyched as we were for a card game in a convenient, electronic format where you need never fear losing your cards or, god forbid, spilling coffee on them, our most consistent request by far was that we also release the game in a physical edition.
So, here we are. We've already invested substantial amounts of our own money into this project, and almost everyone who's put serious time in on War Command has done so at the promise of a future reward. The final iOS product is still months (and months) away from completion, but the game itself is practically done-and-waiting, so we've decided to show you what we've got and throw ourselves on your mercy, Internet.
Most of the money raised here will go to having the game printed and setting up distribution for the physical edition. (It will also be available for sale on the War Command website!) However, 20% of what we raise here will go straight to our Artists for the hard work they've put into the product already!
Fringe Games is a small group of people who have devoted our lives to making a very large game for the last couple of years. Raymond Hayes, our founder and CEO, had no prior professional experience in game design when he came up with the idea for War Command 3 &1/2 years ago. Starting with nothing but a quality game concept and a die-hard attitude, Ray put together a talented team of people who, after playing a crude version of the game he put together by hand with index cards, were willing to invest their time and experience into making War Command a reality.
Shaun Mitchell is our Art Director. Having worked for Bethesda Softworks and Acclaim Studios, he's the voice of experience on the team and a guiding influence to the game's many artists. As the head of our Art and Design departments, Shaun was instrumental in defining the visual feel for War Command and helping our artists maintain a thread of commonality across their sometimes very different illustration styles.
Much of the lore behind the game was established between Ray and his younger brother Rusty Hayes, who also helped with balancing the game and is currently busy with various PR duties (like writing this!) Rusty has also developed his own game to be released under Fringe Games in July.
For War Command we've put together a team of fantastic artists, ranging from known fantasy greats like Keith Thompson to fresh talents like Carly Sorge, Venn Locklear, Aaron Cooper and more from around the world.
We've expected a lot out of our artists for this project and we definitely feel they've delivered in spades. A major focus for our art direction was on keeping the illustrations diverse both in terms of content and stylization, so the first edition of War Command will present lovers of sci-fi and fantasy art with a collection that spans genres and never gets tired or suffers from the drudgery of an oft-repeated pose. Most of the artists who have worked with us on this product are also stakeholders in the game, investing their time and talents to help create a high quality product.
War Command is currently slated for a Winter release on iOS (probably in the January - February range) but with the success of this Kickstarter Campaign we'll be able to pre-empt that release and get the game into people's hands a little bit sooner as a physical card game.
We're hoping to have the Physical Edition released and available for purchase this holiday season, but Backers can expect their copies of the game to begin shipping out as soon as it's finished and available to us (probably mid-to-late November.)
In addition to the tiered pledge rewards we are also offering un-tiered reward upgrades which can be added onto any pledge. To order an add-on, simply make any other pledge and add the add-on's value to your pledge amount. At the end of the Kickstarter campaign you will receive a survey, just list your desired add-on(s) there and they'll get to you with your reward. If you pledge for any add-on or reward that contains a shirt you will use this same survey to list the size desired.
The final iOS game will be available for free, complete with a starter deck of 31 cards geared toward a commander from any one of the first edition's three races. From there players will have to purchase new cards, either with their real-life money or with credits earned in-game.
The physical edition will be packaged a bit differently. It will be distributed as a full game set, with two starter decks and two of every card in the first edition (except the rare cards, of which there will each be one) included in a box set with a board, a divider, and the necessary dice for rolling and damage counting. Future editions may also be packaged in booster or random packs later on to enhance collectibility, but for now we just want to make sure that anyone who purchases the game can get right into it without depending on a bunch of future releases.
The retail price for the boxed First Edition set will probably be very close to the price you'll get it for by donating here, though it might be subject to change depending on our final retail and distribution costs.
The response we've gotten since unveiling the game at SaltCON earlier this year has truly blown us away, and we could not be more excited for War Command's eventual release on iOS! It was never our plan to release the game physically, but after the response we've seen we feel we owe it to the players and to the game to give it a shot. And if that gives us a chance at getting it into players' hands sooner, well that is a hell of a motivator too!
It is impossible to put into words how gratifying it has been to see people enjoying the game so much at conventions after all the work we've put into it, and even if this Kickstarter doesn't make it we really want to thank every person who's given us a word of feedback or support, not to mention anyone who pledges support here! ;) It's been a hell of a ride so far!
Risks and challenges
One of the reasons we're so excited for this project is that the game itself is basically done. While the digital version still has a ways to go, the only things we have left to finish for the physical edition are getting the last art assets in place, the box art for the game and the instruction manual, all of which we expect to have done well before the Kickstarter is over.
Our only real fear at this point is if something goes wrong with the manufacturer or shipping company. If there are delays in getting the games out, we will keep you 100% informed as to what's going on and get them to you as fast as we possibly can.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
We're hoping that with the success of the Kickstarter we can have the game available for distribution in the coming holiday season. Naturally our first goal is to get it to our Kickstarter Backers.
If the Kickstarter campaign does not succeed, the digital version of the game will still be released as soon as it's ready, and we'll continue to look for an opportunity for a physical release.
While the digital edition will follow a more traditional route for card distribution, the physical edition of War Command is definitely not a traditional collectible card game, as all of the cards will be distributed in a fixed boxed set. Collectibility in the physical edition will be driven entirely by the print-run of your cards and the limited distribution of holographic cards.
It can be kind of difficult to properly categorize War Command. While there are certainly a few games out there of the same genre, the industry hasn't quite settled on a universal term is seems.
Generally we describe War Command as a deckbuilding game with elements of tabletop tactics games and combat influenced by tabletop RPGs, which is admittedly a bit of a mouthful ;)
Yes! We have a lot of plans laid out for the second edition, including new abilities that will open up the strategy of the game even further, and even a whole new type of card!
A deck in War Command consists of 31 cards; 6 character cards and 25 support cards.
At the beginning of a game of War Command, each player sets up his six characters in a battle formation. As the character cards are moved and used to attack on the board, players can play support cards like spell and upgrade cards from their hand to improve their standing. When a character attacks another, the attack and defender each have an option to boost their rolls with an attack or defense card, respectively.
The smaller decks have the effect of helping keep War Command relatively fast paced for a Strategy Game. Players draw one card each turn, and generally by the time the last card is drawn a match has entered its endgame phase.
While the games share several common elements like boards, dice and cards, the gameplay of War Command is quite different from its contemporaries.
In a game of War Command each player only has six character cards, and they start out arranged on the board in each player's chosen battle formation. The only cards you ever play from your hand are support cards to complement or reinforce the movements and attacks of your characters on the board.
Turns also play out quite differently. Rather than completing many actions in several distinct phases, the actions that occur in a turn and the order they occur in are freely determined by the players in a game of War Command. Each player has three actions per turn, and can use them as they wish to move characters, to attack with characters or to play upgrade or spell support cards. This economy of actions forces each player to consider which moves are tactically most important, and also keeps the turns short and the game moving quickly.
One big similarity between the games is that you win by defeating the enemy's leader character, much like toppling the king in chess. However, I think you'll find the battle to get across the board and do so plays out very differently :)
Even if the Kickstarter campaign fails, we're determined to get the game released in a physical edition. Pledging means that as a backer, you'll be kept in the loop for any future developments in our quest to get the physical edition of War Command published. In the event that we try Kickstarter again, you can bet we'll have early bird rewards for longtime supporters!
No! Decks can mix character races however you like. This is reflected in the game's storyline in that all three races arrive on the planet with their cultures crumbling and fractious, and are immediately cut off from support on the surface by the planet's constant magnetic storms. Struggling survivors from all three races are gathered into armies by enigmatic and powerful leaders.
Ultimately, the cards you choose to put in your deck are all down to your personal tactics, but it's important to consider that many support cards are limited in who they can play on by race as well as character class.
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