I started writing a post this morning about Dwarf King’s Hold, but it’s got rather long so I’ll finish it as an article and post it later this week. Basically, I want to talk about the Dwarf King’s Hold games as a series, and what I mean by starter sets and expansions. I’ll have a go at a short version here:
Starter sets: each of these is a stand-alone game. They are designed so that they contain everything you need to play and are a complete game in their own right. If you have any one of these and never see another bit of DKH then you still have a brilliant game that you will enjoy playing for many years (so I’m told). So far, we have two starter sets: Dwarf King’s Hold – Dead Rising, and Dwarf King’s Hold – Green Menace. This second one is not officially out yet, though you had a chance to nab one early if you made it over to MantiCon (Mantic’s Open Day) on saturday.
Expansions: these are not yet released, and exist only in my fevered brain. The idea is that these will expand on the contents of a starter set, and that you will need one or other of the starter sets to use the expansion. They will not be stand-alone items. The new rules, models, tiles and so on will take the game in the starter set in a new direction and allow even more playability from the game.
Series: this is the accumulated pieces from all the starter sets and expansions. It isn’t an endless beast, but it is ambitious and will take time to release, assuming you guys want it. Along the way, important pieces include rules for mixing together all the starter sets and model ranges; linking together the individual boxes to form a seamless whole. That’s how it works in my head: as a single piece. And that’s part of the challenge for the design. It’s got to be a fun and popular game in each box because if it isn’t the whole series will never see the light of day.
How does that sound for you?
Nice little bit of terminology here… It’s always good to ground those things. I don’t think this is useful in and of itself to people who know about the game, but this is the start of something more. I wonder where you’re getting at, but I’d like to see !
I’m looking forward to finding out where we’re going too! I know the plan I have in my head, but I’ve got to persuade Ronnie to see it the same way. So far he’s been brilliant and very enthusiastic about DKH. We just haven’t had the meeting yet to confirm what we can do next 🙂
Also, I thought I’d take the opportunity to explain this in writing, as I don’t think it’s been expressed this clearly elsewhere, and it might help folks to see where I’m going.
As one of the Necromancers who used underhand tactics to kill your Dwarf Lord, DKH is a great dungeon crawl. Lucy thoroughly enjoyed it and we are about to play DKH2 later on tonight. Scenario 7, btw.
I, for one, hope to see this expand into a fully adaptable system that allows players to either pick up and play, or continue to develop their character/party over a series of games and campaigns. The simplistic nature of the movement, combat rules allows for quick fast games and with the introduction of some development rules this will quickly replace our Sunday afternoons delving into Castle Ravenloft or Wrath of Ashardalon.
Great game. Thanks!
Thanks JP, glad to hear that you and Lucy enjoyed the game on saturday. Just to explain to the rest of the readers, we had a 5 player game of DKH at the Mantic Open Day, with me on one side and 4 Necromancers on the other. Highly entertaining it was too (and I would have escaped if it hadn’t been for those pesky kids!). Let us know how you get on with the Orcs & Elves!
Nice to hear you like the idea of expanding it that way. I’ll use this as exhibit 1 in my discussion with Ronnie 🙂
Spoke to you at the open day (Andy from Hucknall) I picked up both sets while I was there and Sunday I got my Mrs playing Dead Rising, We played scenario one 6 times (of which I won 2) and scenario two twice (of which we both won a game) in all the games she used the undead.
I dont see why the games wouldnt continue to be a success, the great thing is you have a vision now of what you want it to be and its not just an employer saying we made a bit of money from this can you chuck something similar out so we can make more money.
Hi Andy, good to hear from you, and very glad to hear it was a hit with the Mrs. At least, I assume it was if you played it 8 times in a day. I’m also guessing that you didn’t get told off for your purchase either, which would be a bonus 🙂
You are right, I do have a vision for it, and I am passionate about it, which I suppose is all good. I hope this comes across as enthusiasm rather than babbling lunacy…
Cheers for the 5 player game on Sunday Jake, myself and Rob (My brother) enjoyed it immensely! Slowly getting the pieces built and sorted to start playing and then I’ll see what I can do to mess with some new scenarios to try! (I really want to see a big four-player mash up in progress!)
I’m looking forward to how things progress further (especially if there are ways to expand into campaigns, tell largescale stories or have parties of levelling up heroes), I think we started to convince Ronnie that more games are definitely needed – but it’s all on your now (no pressure or anything)
Oh, and don’t forget the student volunteer/slave labour! I’d love to be able to see plants mind controlling suicide bombers on my Android (One of Jake’s early game ideas that, I at least, figured could work very well as a mobile game)
Andy (another one)
Thanks Andy. Good reminder on the slave labour front. Another one for the little pink notebook (and that’s not a euphemism, for everyone that wasn’t there).
I had lots of fun with the 5 player game too, and I’ll be very pleased to see your giant mash up. Drop me a comment here when you’re done with it so I can have a go too 🙂
No pressure. Right. At least I can always blame Ronnie! Seriously though, it’s a meeting we need to have. We’ve talked about all manner of things in an expansion, and I don’t think that everything will fit in one box at a sane price. Too many good ideas to leave them fallow for ever though, which kind of inevitably leads you to 2 expansions. We’ll see what he has to say. Daresay he’s a bit distracted with Warpath at the moment though. However, there are already the makings of campaigns, heroes, magic and various other goodness in one or other of my little pink notebooks and their many friends. Along with everything else 🙂
Campaigns, heroes and magic. YES, YES, YES You are off to a great start on the rules. I was planning to make my own game like this, if you complete this it will save me a lot of work and I can spend more time gaming. 🙂 Just finished painting the last of the Figures in Dead Rising been playing games for several weeks now. I like that fact you can learn the rules fast and can play a game in under a hour. I am into skirmish because I don’t like to see the table covered in models so I hope you get support to finish your vision. Tell Ronnie he will not get my money unless the mantic range includes skirmish games with campaigns, heroes and magic. If you get to finish what you started I will be a regular customer. Seems like the mods required to use the rules for wilderness encounters would be manageable…
FYI – I put magnets under my tiles and use them on a cheap magnetic dry erase board and it works great.
Hi Don, and thanks for the support. I like your idea of using magnets to hold the boards in place. I’ve used magnets on models, but never on the boards. Simple and elegant.
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Out of curiosity, will the expansions be for BOTH of the starter sets, or will the be specific to either Green Menace/Dead Rising?
The current thinking is that any expansion would be jointly for both of the starter sets. Nothing’s finalised yet, but that’s definitely the way we’re heading, and I can’t really think of a reason not to.