Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Jovian Wars - Hard Sci Fi Spaceships - Kickstarter Funded!

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

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The ships in the basic pledge.
Long time readers of Fire Broadside knows that I've been a fan of Dream Pod 9 in general and Jovian Chronicles in particular since nineties when the first (proper) edition of the roleplaying game was released. After getting the core book I managed to snag the Ships of the Fleet line of books that I read and re-read several times as the ship designs not only looked great, but were well thought out from a scientific standpoint as well. I highly recommend them to anyone with an interest in spaceships, regardless of your thoughts on Jovian Chronicles.

Later as I discovered more of the miniatures line I was sad to see that none of the ships from those books had ever been made into models. Sure, the rules for them were perhaps a little over the top, and certainly took away from the earlier mecha centric position of the core book and supplements, but they just looked so cool! Since then I've slowly grown my collection of books (still missing, Spacer's Guide, Nomads, Mars and Mercury sourcebooks - drop me a line if you want to get rid of yours!) as well as added to my collection of ships and exo armours and I can now field pretty much anything from the core book and mechanical catalouges.

Still.... those newer designs from Ships of the Fleet kept haunting me so when I heard from Robert Dubois (head of DP9) that they had been 3D designing them and were preparing a kickstarter I was overjoyed! And now it's here and almost at 200% funding as I write this!

Not only has Tony Baltera, who also rendered the new fleet scale exos, created some great looking models from the design in the books but DP9 has actually scaled them up as well. The old models are 1/5000 scale while the new ones are 1/4000 - about 25% increase in size! Not only does this make them more imposing on the table, but it allows for more detailing and extra touches like having the habitats on the Valiant being posable. Just look at this picture and you'll see the difference:

Quite an upgrade I'd say! You can see the new bases that are used for Jovian Wars as well. Also, the Poseidon has been beefed up slightly to give it more of that battleship look. While I like the old design just fine the new one certainly feels more battleship-y.

As I mentioned above the funding right now is just shy of 200% meaning we've unlocked all the actual combat ships from the books as well as a large amount of extra pieces like habitation modules and cargo containers you can use to customize the models. Up next are fleet tenders and transports which might not sound all that exciting but they're always good to for scenarios and just look at that Gagarin fleet tender - it's huge!

Another four ships unlocked.

Now, about the new game itself; Jovian Wars takes the setting from the default cold-war-going-hot of the 2210s to full blown solar war, which makes for a great excuse to beef up your fleets a bit so more ships and exos are on the table! Hehe!

The rules have been designed by David McLeod who made the well received new ruleset for Heavy Gear Blitz and is quicker and a bit more abstracted than Lightning Strike while still retaining a lot of the flavour and details that makes the setting unique. This is primarily through the use of exos and fighters but also the way you take damage and keeping track of the general state of the ship in some detail. For example, while there are hitpoints they are almost secondary to a ships systems and how well they are performing - a ship without working point defence is a sitting duck for close assaulting exo armours!

The rules are still in beta phase, undergoing playtesting, but I really like what I've read. Of course, I really like Lighting Strike and the tactical rules in the rpg as well so with Jovian Wars I'll have three different games where I can use the same miniatures. I guess depending in what kind of mood I'm in and how much detail I want.

The latest unlocks including the small CEGA anti-exo Hydra defense boat!

Still, new smooth rules are cool and all but in the end it's all about the ship models. And I know there will be a number of people who aren't interested in the Jovian setting at all and simply want the gorgeous models for some other gam - and that's perfectly fine! I mean, there aren't all that many hard sci fi spaceship designs out there and with The Expanse growing more and more popular (remind me later to talk about how close that setting is to Jovian Chronicles!) I think there's a growing market for ships that are not Star Trek, Star Wars or just your general boat in space kind of deal like virtually all other spaceship battle games out there!

Not unlocked yet, but should be soon. Did I mention that the Gagarin is yuuuuuge?!!

There is a lot more to see on the actual kickstarter page, like all the extra parts added in stretchgoals and all the exos and fighters that are available too if you want a good starter fleet to get going quickly. There's another 12 days to go and I feel confidend we'll see all the CEGA and Jovian stuff unlocked at the very least, and I've heard Tony has been rendering some Venusian ships as well....

During the coming couple of weeks I'll be posting more about Jovian Chronicles, like a session report or two from our ongoing campaign, some talk about the expanse, pictures of my painted exo armours and, if all goes according to plan, a Jovian Wars battle report!

So head on over to the kickstarter and check it out and I'll be back soon with more space goodness!

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