Avertigos – A 3D Boardgame with Flying Ships

 

Disclaimer: The game we played was still a prototype so rules/designs/miniatures might change by launch

Now being funded on Kickstarter (ends Sun Sept 24), Avertigos is a tabletop miniature and board game hybrid that involves some 3D elements. 2-5 players are inserted into an alternate history of our world where 2 factions, the Dynastic naval armada and the Singasari League, fight for control of the South China sky using ships. The game is being done by Playware Hobbies, a local Singapore company. Currently, the game has two game modes: Skirmish and Strategy.

Starting Out
This is the setup of the board at the start for Strategy Mode.

Lion City Geek was invited down to play our first basic Strategy game of Avertigos (there are advanced rules once you are more familiar)  where Bryan, Dex and Larhvin sat down with Shailish, one of the co-designers, to try to conquer the South China Sea. To win, we were told of 2 ways to do so. Capture 8 islands or secure 2 Trade Routes (a trade route consists of 4 islands with the same resource type).

The first part of the game was focused on capturing islands, which generated money per round, by defeating the locals and leaving at least 1 soldier to claim it. Then it was a matter of making enough money to build one of the stars of the game, the Sky Ships, which took the game into the 3D plane. Players could set ships at 1 of 3 height levels which would affect the speed of their ships or if they could be shot at by the myriad of weapons ships could arm themselves with.

Ships
With enough money, players can build different types of ships, with each having a different requirement for being built

In the end, through a series of calculated moves, persuasive arguments and some mistakes by his opponents, Larhvin managed to achieve the Capture 8 Islands Win Condition and beat the rest of us. Surprising the Playware guys (and showing just how different games can go), the game was won with only 1 volley of fire being shot the entire time.

Winner
Larhvin takes the win. Look at that smug face.

Here’s what Bryan (B), Dex (D) and Larhvin (L) thought about the session:

1) What were your thoughts on the setting of the game?

Bryan (B): Sci-fi flying ships with an Asian theme? What’s not to love about it?They’ve managed to combine aesthetics I love with my favourite genre.

Dex (D): The feeling of adventure is there. Setting sail to conquer a new territory gives it a thrill. Plus battling with another ship makes the adventure step it up to another level. I have an option to be a conqueror of islands or destroyer of ships.. its an adventure packed board game..

Larhvin (L): I’m really into pirates and one of my favorite games was Assassin’s Creed Black Flag. This game really made me feel like I was King of Seas (and Skies) as I went around capturing islands and peacefully threatening the others (Dex) to stay out of my way if not they (he) would feel my wrath! Of course, you can be a peaceful player like Bryan but why be peaceful when you can be a PIRATE! ARGH!!!

Player cover
Each player gets one of these covers to block your opponents from seeing the money and troops you have. Each cover has a unique art piece showing off the game aesthetics.

2) How did you find the gameplay?

B: Well, initially there was a bit of information overload as we were given a rundown of the many rules for Strategy mode. But once you start playing, you’ll be able to familiarize yourself with them quite fast. Having played quite a number of board games, I’m also quite surprised at how polished the rules are. Usually, early editions have rules that are unclear or give very unbalanced gameplay if you play a certain way. We didn’t seem to encounter anything of that sort during our session. Plus after, Larhvin and I tried to see if we could figure out a sure-win strategy and we happily failed. Really goes to show how much effort the team has put into playtesting their game.

D: Gameplay involves careful planning and decision making.. you need to get other players to play your game without making it obvious..its a balance about your ability to buy islands and build up your ship to make them fear you. Intimidation is what keeps you ahead of everyone.

L: Gameplay is very business orientated where there are a lot of negotiations involved like when Bryan managed to seal a treaty with all the players on the board to protect himself from attacks and get easy access to resources that were out of reach in the early turns. Another gameplay aspect that I truly liked was that there were various ways to win which made the game more lenient for misplays that may have been made. You can always tailor your strategy to fit each condition as and when you like without feeling too tied down. What really got me hooked was the modular ship building system that allowed for countless possible combinations that each would affect the game differently.

Dex
Dex concentrating hard on the board layout to see where his newly built Patrol Boat should head to first.

3) What do you think of the models?

B: Right now, the ships we played in are prototypes but they already look very awesome. The creators have done a wonderful job with the designs such that each type has a very distinctive profile and personality. The modular ship building also means you’ll get unique looking ships in every game! I look forward to painting mine up.

D: I’m excited about the models. because its modular. and to build your own badass ship. you are not stuck on one specification. its up to you to build a formula for success.

L: To be honest, what really got me hooked was the modular ship building system that allowed for countless possible combinations that each would affect the game differently. Since you only have limited ship cards, the first to dominate the skies gets a good advantage but it might not guarantee you the win as well.

Bryan
Bryan trying to decide which card to use to move his ship, as Larhvin’s Patrol Boat towers over everyone else.

4) What was your favourite moment from the game?

B: My favourite moment was finally building my Frigate that had some powerful abilities that would give me a huge advantage. Except Larhvin won in the next round so it never got to leave it’s dock. (;*△*;)

D: My favourite moment was saving up the gems to buy a bad ass warship.. but i still feel Bryan’s ship was the real bad ass..

L: My favourite moment would have to been when I realised that I had an option of capturing 2 trade routes or 8 islands at the 2nd last turn.

Frigate
Bryan gets his mighty frigate built

5) Would you recommend this game? Why?

B: Avertigos really appeals to multiple player types. Competitive players will love the Skirmish mode where you build up a fleet of ships to destroy your opponents. Strategy players will love Strategy mode where you have to plan ahead to outwit your opponents. And miniature lovers will really love the ship models. I enjoyed myself so much that I’ve gone ahead and backed them at the Definite Edition pledge.

D: I find that the game is a real value for money because it does not stick to one specific game mode. The game ships with a skirmish mode as well.. and players are entitled to different scenarios that can happen. The game design makes it interesting. as they explained during our demo that the box set comes with multiple modes for playing it. that’s why I can say its well packaged and value for money.

L: DEFINITELY! The whole box set is a lot of value for money with 447 components to each base set for only SGD$127 which is about 20-30 cents per component! When you factor in the various game modes that you get in just one box….WOW! There is really no other way to describe the value you get from this kickstarter!

So there you have it. The LCG guys enjoyed our demo very much and we hope that you’ll strongly consider backing this local company during their last week on Kickstarter. The campaign ends . You can also check out their Facebook page here.

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