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Author Topic: [COMMERCIAL] Castles in the Sky hitting Pre-Order  (Read 244 times)

Offline Easy E

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[COMMERCIAL] Castles in the Sky hitting Pre-Order
« on: September 14, 2021, 02:20:11 PM »
I am not sure it this is Fantasy, Sci-fi, or something different as it is flying battleships of WWI!  I guess that makes it alt-History, Aeronef or Weird War One?  So confusing.  Anyway......

I am starting to see Castles in the Sky up for Pre-sale at various online book sellers.   It is slated for a June 2022 release date. 



The blurb:
A wargaming ruleset for epic pre-WW1 battles in the sky.

It's the dawn of the 20th Century and the Great Powers turn to war. Since the development of the air screw, leading to the creation of flying warships, the navies of the world have comprised an ever-growing number of these aerial ironclads. So fire up the turbines, ready the aether drives, and take to the air in Castles in the Sky: A Wargame of Flying Battleships.

Featuring all the rules required to fight battles with fleets of flying behemoths. Assemble your fleet from 9 nationalities and fight through a variety of scenarios. With a full campaign system, Castles in the Sky contains everything
adventurous aeronautical admirals need to find victory in the skies.


I really like the front cover as it highlights a few key aspects of the game:

1. Altitude matters
2. Big ships in the sky!
3. Italian and Austro-Hungarian ships on the cover (and other powers in the book)
4. There are aeroplanes

The art on the inside and the photos of the miniature ships is really great too!  The interior is models from Brigade and they look amazing!  The artwork is like the cover, only it looks at various nations, the crews, some smaller craft, etc.  Really great stuff! 

The rules are good too, if I do say so myself!       
« Last Edit: September 14, 2021, 04:15:04 PM by Westfalia Chris »
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Online Chief Lackey Rich

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Re: Castles in the Sky hitting Pre-Order
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2021, 03:52:59 PM »
Obvious question is what makes this different (and hopefully superior to) existing rules sets like Sky Galleons of Mars/Ironclads & Ether Flyers, Imperial Skies, Leviathans, Aeronef, and (stretching a bit since they're technically spacefaring ships) the various versions of Iron Stars?  Obviously there are quite a few games in this niche, so sell us on what makes your rules the ones we need.

Offline Huascar

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Re: [COMMERCIAL] Castles in the Sky hitting Pre-Order
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2021, 01:32:49 PM »
Thanks for the heads up, I had not seen this. Very interested. I previously played Aeronef and have several fleets, but ultimately stopped playing because the rules were too basic to hold my attention. I have looked at Imperial skies but the focus on individual ships is a bit to granular. Hopefully this will hit the sweet spot in between plus I need an excuse to buy some of the lovely new ships Brigade Games has been releasing! Art also looks very nice if nothing else. [Edit: and now pre-ordered]
« Last Edit: September 15, 2021, 01:34:35 PM by Huascar »

Offline Easy E

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Re: Castles in the Sky hitting Pre-Order
« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2021, 05:16:26 PM »
Obvious question is what makes this different (and hopefully superior to) existing rules sets like Sky Galleons of Mars/Ironclads & Ether Flyers, Imperial Skies, Leviathans, Aeronef, and (stretching a bit since they're technically spacefaring ships) the various versions of Iron Stars?  Obviously there are quite a few games in this niche, so sell us on what makes your rules the ones we need.

That is a good question! 

The game balances four different elements: Altitude, firepower, armor, and Command/Control.  I think many of those other games manage the firepower, armor, and even Command/Control but does not manage the Altitude.  The aspect of actually flying the ships and how to get them to coordinate together while doing so is a big element of these rules.  This element of the rules is easy to learn, but hard to master.  You need to think about how your opponent will be flying and how you want to position yourself in relation to them for maximum effect!   

Another big piece of the game is adding value to escorts.  In many games, the escorts are there to act as Glass Cannons.  In this game, they provide vital functions like enhancing Command/Control, allowing to expand Line-of-Sight via scouting, providing additional point defense, sniping, and actually escorting against Air Torpedoes, Aeroplanes, and sky mines.  It matches the idea that Escorts < Cruisers < Battleships < Escorts.  Each ship has a role and a capability that a wise Admiral must then use Strategic Choice to choose, and then Tactical Choice to apply during a game.  Big ships alone will struggle against an escort heavy force, and vice versa.   

Finally, I believe the game provides a solid feel for how WWI era Naval combat occurred, but in the sky!  Big Battleships move around throwing out massive firepower, while smaller ships act as point.  Ships can absorb serious firepower, but once it starts to degrade, it can all go downhill very quickly.  This game has Naval game favorites like gun jams, boarding, ramming, and serious damage that effects the performance of the ship.  You can read stories in WWI of how this or that ship weathered X number of hits, but did not falter; or took one shell and suddenly blew up!  Those things happen in Castles in the Sky too.   

Finally, ships matter; but so do the crews that man them!  There are various Command/Control actions to help your ship perform special maneuvers, repair damage, avoid panic, and keep at peak performance.  How you use these tactical choices is critical to getting the most out of your fleet.  The ships function only as well as their crews!

The game brings tactical and strategic choice to the table in a thematic way, and allows for one-off games or a series of linked campaign games.   

 

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