In role-playing games, initiative – that is, the order in which players and enemies take their turns – is one of the biggest factors in setting the tone and stakes for battle. Traditionally, the initiative order takes the form of a list that progresses from top to bottom, activating player characters and enemies along the way, then resetting to the “top of the order” on the next turn.
But the traditional initiative order can be a bit boring. This is especially true for a subset of RPGs known as dungeon-crawlers board games. Like Diablo, this action-oriented style of play, including titles such as glomhaven And Descent: Legends of the Dark, Gives players the right to move quickly to fight battles. Combat can be high-stakes, and once you’re locked into a certain initiative order, it can put some players at a disadvantage. The developers of Corvus Belli wanted something more exciting for their upcoming game warcrow adventures, What they came up with is not a list or even a line. It’s a circle, and players actually get a point where their character falls on the edge of that circle every round.
“We have developed an initiative system for aristia, another game we published five years ago,” said Alberto Abal, game designer for Corvus Bailey. “We knew it would be more interesting if the initiative wasn’t the same every round, and we wanted something like warcrow,
“We started out with a simple track consisting of numbers from one to 20,” he continued. “When you go through the track, you start again [position] One. We start thinking about it, and then someone said, ‘It’s like a circle!’ So we implemented it as a circle.”
That simple change in the shape of the initiative track suddenly opened up a lot of creative new game mechanics. The end result is a system where players can directly affect their position on the initiative track by spending power – a finite resource – each turn. Players simply drop a power token on their sideboard, which is used to control their player character to move themselves around in order of initiative. This means that the player can not only control How They attack enemies on the board, but when,
“We started playing with this new mechanic, and we developed new mechanics for pushing and dragging characters around this circle,” Abel said. “I think, that was one of the key mechanics of the game. Players are now exposed to the action panel, where they expend energy and activate their character.”
This is not the only unusual feature warcrow, Like many other new board games, Corvus Belli’s latest effort is powered by an app. Polygon previewed an early version of that app and, compared to other implementations of the technology, it offers a fairly light touch. While players are rolling the dice and taking turns with their cards and miniatures on the table, the app just sits there. When I was unlocking new sections of the map, killing monsters, interacting with non-player characters, or making decisions that could affect the outcome of the narrative.
So why an app? Abel said it’s a far more efficient solution than a book full of numbered narrative volumes that many games have used over the years. This allows Corvus Bailey to add a lot more text than in previous games. warcrow When it’s all finished it will have some 200,000 words. The game has only one key route, but players can choose from several ways to reach its end.
“Your choices change the scenarios you play,” Abal said.
of World warcrow There’s also a big departure for Corvus Belli. Spanish company best known for infinityA short skirmish game with roots in anime and hard science fiction.
“It’s a fantasy game [set in] A new world,” said Abel, “but we have tried to understand many things in our history. We take many of these ideas – for example, how armor works and how armor has been made for various soldiers throughout our history – for example, the weapons or armor for our miniatures.”
Corvus Bailey worked hard to distance his new franchise from the familiar, Tolkien-esque fantasy. Its vision draws its inspiration from the adventure tradition embodied by the American Wild West and Spanish explorers, Abal said. The action takes place in a city not far from the center of an in-game empire called Hawthorne Point. Dangerous, mysterious fog has covered the landscape there for generations. But, many years ago, the haze rolled in, revealing an ancient elf kingdom to plunder. of World warcrow Allows players to explore this dead nation, finding ruins for artifacts and other treasures. But every character comes to the place for their own reasons.
Image: Corvus Bailey
“All nations now send people—adventurers or mercenaries, people of this type,” Abal said, “to seek magical objects or information about the past.”
How do those adventurers come together? Abal said that part of the story is still being written – the game hasn’t finished in quite some time. warcrow adventures Expected to be released in 2023. A crowdfunding campaign will kick off on Kickstarter on October 18th.