Eldfall Chronicles – An Early Look at the Upcoming Kickstarter Fantasy Tabletop Skirmish Game
Eldfall Chronicles is a brand new Fantasy Tabletop Skirmish Game currently being developed by Freecompany, a new studio created by a group of friends who, according to their website, all share a passion and enthusiasm for both board and miniature gaming!
The game itself is currently being playtested by a community of beta playtesters ahead of it’s Kickstarter launch later this year and we’ve been lucky enough to get a sneak peak at some of the rules and models and have even had a chance to try a few games ourselves, so we thought we’d share our thoughts here and give other gamers an opportunity to learn more about Eldfall Chronicles.
What is Eldfall Chronicles?
Sharing some similarities with other popular skirmish tabletop games, such as Corvus Belli’s Infinity or Games Workshop’s own Warcry, Eldfall Chronicles sees players controlling a small warband consisting of between 3-10 models as they battle against an opponent’s warband in an attempt to complete specific objectives, be that slaying opposing models or capturing territory as just some examples. The game uses miniatures to represent your warband and is played with D20 dice. The battlefield size itself is comparable to that used in Infinity and is filled with varying pieces of scenery and terrain to provide cover and chokepoints etc.
The game aims to launch with four factions for players to choose from (with more promised in the future), each with their own unique aesthetic and playstyle, ranging from the spellcasting focussed Sand Kingdoms to the more militaristic Empire of Soga. In addition the game will include a range of neutral monsters such as Earth Elementals and Golems – some of these creatures can be summoned to battle and controlled by models in your army whereas others will roam across the battlefield, their actions and movement determined by an AI system. The developers have promised that there will be several ways to play Eldfall Chronicles, a PVP mode which supports the traditional 1v1 and team games in addition to a PVE mode which sees players joining forces against the AI controlled monsters and creatures!
The game itself has an interesting activation and turn mechanic, similar to that seen in Infinity. During their turn a player activates each of their models individually to perform actions such as movement or attacking. At the same time the opponent is able to react with their own models, to perhaps dodge out of the way of an incoming arrow or even attempt to cast a fireball at an enemy as they move across their line of sight. In my experience with the game so far I felt this gave a much more immersive and interactive gaming experience for both players when compared to a more typical “I go, you go” style skirmish game.
Players use a combination of a D20 roll and a model’s own stats to determine whether their actions are successful. This gets even more interesting when opposing models are engaged in some form of confrontation, for example when fighting each other in close combat or exchanging attacks across the board using ranged weapons or spells. In these situations both players roll their dice for each of their models simultaneously and compare results in order to determine the who gets to land their blows or shots in these particular engagements.
Models only have a limited number of activation points per turn with which to spend and perform actions so you’ll have to carefully consider how to best make use of this limited resource lest a model find itself isolated on the battlefield with no activation points left with which to react to the opponent’s actions. Some models can also spend activation points to channel Mana, a second resource allowing Summoners and Mages to summon and bind arcane creatures to their will or manifest powerful spells! It seems that effective management of activation points during your turn will be critical to ensuring success.
Each model in your warband feels really unique with different stats, weapons and abilities. The Helian League faction’s Citadel Guard for example is quite tanky, being resistant to some spells and having some unique abilities allowing it to intercept attacks against nearby allies whereas the more fragile Flameshaper brings impressive ranged spellcasting power to the battle in the form of it’s Fire based spells and a unique ability allowing it to chain attacks with other models. There are a whole host of different spells, skills and abilities available to different models including skills like “Taunt”, which can force a nearby enemy model to spend activation points and “Ward”, a spell that protects a model from incoming damage.
Some especially powerful models have access to Stratagems, comparable to Command Abilities from Age of Sigmar, which provide a powerful buff or debuff during your turn. The effects can range from healing models in your warband to weakening the armour of a target enemy model. You’ll certainly have lots of different options available to you during a game!
We’ve only seen a handful of models for each faction so far but already I can see there is a lot of variety, both between models in an individual faction and between the factions themselves. Each model has it’s own strengths and weaknesses and brings a unique set of tools to the battle, I think players will have a lot fun discovering powerful combos and synergies as they build their warbands.
The game is set in a fantasy world called Calad, a world full of rival States, monsters and magic. If you head over to the Eldfall Chronicles website you’ll find lots of cool artwork, background and even short stories detailing the different factions and inhabitants of the world.
I especially liked reading about the Magic system that the team have developed, with it’s different elements and relationship with the varying factions. As you know, we’re big Warhammer fans at Sprues and Brews and for us the setting and universe is just as important factor for enjoying our games as the rules and models themselves. It seems a lot of effort has already gone into to developing the world of Eldfall Chronicles and I really hope we see more examples of this kind world building in the future as the Kickstarter campaign goes live.
The style and aesthetic of the game is quite unique with a strong mythological influence. This is married with real life historical influences evidenced by the Japanese inspired Empire of Soga faction or the Ancient Greek inspired Helian League. The developers mention on their site that they have a keen interest in mythology, as well as more traditional topics such as history and warfare and I get the impression that this has all heavily influenced both the design of the factions and models and the rules and gameplay mechanics themselves.
As mentioned earlier the game is currently in a closed beta phase ahead of it’s planned Kickstarter launch later this year. If you’re interested in finding out more or even fancy participating in the testing itself you should head over to the website where you can register for updates and entry into the closed beta.
In addition, the developers will be streaming gameplay, Q&As and previews each week via their twitch channel here so be sure to keep an eye on that!
This is all the information we have at the moment but we’re looking forward to the campaign launching soon so we can start exploring more of the world of Eldfall Chronicles!