As lockdown is returned until Easter (hopefully for the last time) it’s a good time for an intensive afternoon of solitaire playtesting of the GRAVETIDES core rules using the models from our Undead Fleet Kickstater and warships of the new Nadvidian Frozen Necrorealm fleet that we have discarded in the process of learning 3D printing.
Playing the game with a good number of actual models with their respective experimental special rules even if the obvious limitation of solitaire play and of a small and round table to play on has been a totally different experience than trying the game with counters representing generic warship with no strange weapons or other bizarre characteristics.
These plays have highlighted the necessity to simplify damage allocation and to remake (again!) the Ship Card to allow faster recording and tracking of damage and status preserving some aspects of the GRAVETIDES rules we deemed important like the allocation of attacks on different sides of the target and some other ‘finesses’.
In the end we are now working on a new version of the GRAVETIDES core rules that will introduce some differences such as:
damage rules will be simplified keeping the allocation of hits on different ship sides where it really counts
Ship Cards will be redesigned and simplified with damage tracking and vessel status recorded using counter instead of rubber and pencil to speed up the game and enabling players to check each vessel conditions with a glance
clarifications and tuning of the movement rules, mainly for warship propelled by magic
range and distances measuring clarifications
admirals and sorcerers ranking will be simplified with the ability to have higher quality officers to be treated as a perks to be bought during fleet composition
These changes some other ones will be reflected into ships experimental rules starting with the ones of the Kavenid ad Nadividian war fleets which were used for playtesting.
Last but not least we have also received some suggestions and clarifications requests that we will try to incorporate in the GRAVETIDES core rules.
Further playtesting will hopefully be done and reported soon.
After a lot of 3D printing, filing and assembling we are now able to show some good photos of the model of the Great Operator, the Flagship of the Necralchemist war fleet.
A huge floating alchemical generator, the Great Operator fuels the movement and the weapons of the other warships of the Neghorrethian fleet projecting from its mechanical tentacles the energy needed to recharge the accumulators carried by its lesser peers.
Even if its ammunitions are severely limited in number the huge Thunderbore cannon can severely cripple even the mightiest of enemy vessel due to the uncontrolled release of energy unleashed on its targets.
More details on the Neghorrethian warfleet can be found in its dedicated page and GRAVETIDES rules for the Great Operator can be downloaded from here.
The sculpt of last Nechralchemist vessel has been finalized thus completing the Neghorretian war fleet !
The Bringers hosts under their bridges alchemical mills for the creation of the Miasma Orbs, glassy spheres in which Neghorrethian sorcerers entrap lethal fumes produced burning in infernal distillers strange mixtures of mystical components which may even incorporate tiny Ambergis shards.
The bow cannon of the Bringer can lob the Miasma Orbs at great distance against enemy vessels engulfing them with the lethal fumes released on impact by the spheres.
As the production of volatile vapours carried by the Orbs take place directly on board the Necralchemists can create fumes with different effects depending on the constituents used in their creation.
The intrinsic inconstancy of the effects of magic used to create the miasmas may lead to the creation of ineffective Orbs, as a fatal mistake during their production may have destructive consequences to the Bringer itself.
As the firing range of the Bringer cannon can be unpredictable due to its pneumatic propelling system devised to prevent breaking its fragile projectiles, Orbs missing their targets may remain unbroken floating on the surface of the sea as lethal hazards for any ship unfortunate enough to collide into them.
Under extreme pressure or to change the tide of a battle, Bringers Captains may order their crew to release the Orbs in the waters on the wake of the warship plaguing the seascape with deadly weapons in the hope to stave off enemies vessels.
Read more about the Nechralchemist war fleet on the dedicated page, while the GRAVETIDES rules for the Neghorrethian war fleet can be found here.
Core GRAVETIDES rules have also been bumped up to Version 9.0 with multiple Boarding Actions rules correction and clarification and the introduction of the Oar Racking attack (also known as the ‘Diekplous’).
After the teaser of the of couple of weeks ago we are ready to reveal the final sculpt of the mighty Great Operator, the flagship of the Necralchemist war fleet of Neghorreth.
The Great Operator Admiral Ship of Neghorrethian fleet is modelled after the arcane machinery employed by the Necralchemist in the creation of their undead servants.
The aft castle of this warship consists of a gigantic alchemical generator whose energy fuels the vessel movement and is transferred to the mechanical tentacles that bloom from its four lateral gondolas.
Arcs of crackling lightning cross the coils and antennas that dominate the Operator main deck animating the vessel monstrous appendages that in turn can cast energy to the other warships of the Neghorrethian war fleet recharging their engines and powering their weapons.
Another Neghorrethian war ship, the slender Bolt Barge, passes from the virtual to the physical world thanks to the “magic” of the 3D printing technology.
Considered to be the backbone of the Negorrethian warfleet, nearly the whole body of the Bolt Barge is traversed by a lightning rod capable of unleashing destructive energy discharges fueled by a gigantic alchemical accumulator that occupies its stern.
Under the control of a Necralchemist the energy released by the rod can manifest itself in different aspects, like a single bolt of searing power, a forked lightning cone or a burning ball of white plasma depending on the amount of power the accumulator is capable to release.
More details on the Neghorretian warfleet can be found in its dedicated page and GRAVETIDES rules for the Bolt Barge can be downloaded from here.
After experimenting some difficulties with our 3D printer (it just had to be lubricated – never underestimate simple maintenance) we have finally managed to get some print of the Chain Bolter sculpt.
The smallest vessels of the Neghorrethian war fleet, Chain Bolters can project among each other arcs of alchemical lighting creating a temporary barrier that can impede enemy manoeuvres and severely damage war ships laying on the path of those discharges of mystical energy.
As the title of this post says the GRAVETIDES Beta Rules have been updated to Version 8.2 with the addition of the rules for Area Weapons like flamethrowers or toxic fumes spreaders and of adjustments and clarifications to some of the existing rules.
The Grimdark Wererats Experimental Rules has also been added to the Grimdark Warfleets page to allow veteran commanders to try the GRAVETIDES rules with their existing fleets.
Work also continues on the new warships sculpting front.
The smallest of the warships of the Neghorretian warfleet, the Chain Bolter employs a modified version of the battery brought in battle by the Bolt Barge allowing the vessel to both accumulate and release alchemical energy.
When navigating as a squadron Chain Bolters can cast among each other powerful lighting arcs strong enough to damage or put on fire enemy ship traversing their path.
Chain Bolters discharges of energy can reach at long distance and the accumulators can sustaining their flow long enough to create barriers of lightning that can protect friendly ships from boarding actions and impede enemy manoeuvring giving a temporary tactical advantage to the Necralchemists warfleet.