One more week of fun!
about 1 year ago
– Thu, Jul 08, 2021 at 06:58:23 AM
The last seven days of our Kickstarter campaign are upon us! We’re very grateful for all your support here as well as on social media and BoardGameGeek, and for backing Coalitions in such great numbers. Of course, with one more week to go, we’ve still got plenty of new things to show you!
Daily Bonus: new battle cards!
We are adding more variety to our core deck of battle cards! From now one, there will be more cards with more abilities – some with alternate uses – to draw from the deck and to use in battles.
The use of the abilities on the battle cards in Coalitions and the expansions is an optional rule; players can just agree to use the cards' combat strength. However, we strongly recommend using the optional rule. It greatly enriches gameplay, while adding only a minor amount of additional complexity to battle resolution.
All-in Pledge available!
We hope you’ve been properly impressed with all the add-ons, expansions and bonuses, because we have a special offer – a pledge that will satisfy those of you, who want to have it all! Literally all.
The All-in Pledge includes:
· Coalitions Core Game
· Ancien Régime Expansion (free for KS backers)
· Raison d’Etat Standalone Expansion
· Realpolitik Standalone Expansion
· Deluxe Miniature Set
· Fortresses Expansion Miniature Set (free for KS backers)
· Soldiers of Fortune Expansion (free for KS backers)
· Levée en masse Expansion (free for KS backers)
· Giant Mat (for Coalitions)
· Metal coins
· Kickstarter Exclusive diplomacy miniatures
· All Daily Bonuses
Enter Realpolitik – more details on the expansion
As you'll recall, we asked you to help us decide which name you preferred for our game on the wars of Prussian unification: Sense and Sensibility or Realpolitik. The vote has closed, the results have been tallied, and the winner is... Realpolitik. Great choice, people!
The Realpolitik Expansion is designed for 1-4 players, with a new solo mode and an emphasis on the competitive 2-player mode in which both players control two nations. The Activator system is modified to fit this mode and the overall theme of the expansion is a bit different – let’s just say, we’re not forgetting to take into account the massive impact of mid-19the century railways.
Realpolitik also introduces more asymmetry between the nations than in the Coalitions base game, from highly militant Prussia and economically strong France, to newly but not fully united Italy, and multi-ethnic Austria.
As with the other standalone expansions, Realpolitik comes with its own set of components, including a new Wheel of War and a new game board.
Another wonderful review of Coalitions
The reviews of Coalitions are streaming in all the time, but unfortunately not all of them are in English, so we have to do a bit of translating – this is what Sebastian Adamiak from Poland says about one of the key aspects of the game:
“A military-themed game that has a compelling story to tell. One I’ll see on the board during the game, one I’ll be able to recollect a week later and to relive the key events and all the surprising moments. Prussia working together with the Ottomans to partition Austria, Russian troops blocking the French in the Samosierra only to fail to save Madid and the British expeditionary force... These kinds of stories coupled with the simplicity of rules are a great way to introduce other players into wargaming”.
Opinions such as this one are the reason we love making our games! Thank you! And if you’re here, reading this update and haven’t yet decided to back Coalitions, maybe this excerpt from the review will help you make a final decision:
“The question is this – is Coalitions worth backing on Kickstarter? Looking at the compelling price that includes a whole expansion with a seventh nation to play (Spain), fortresses, non-aligned generals or alternate scenarios increasing the playability – yes, Coalitions is worth backing”.
Review in Polish
New Social Goal: the Grand Vizier!
We’ve got Napoleon, the Duke of Wellington and Field Marshals Blücher and Kutuzov as unique generals. How about a special Ottoman general? Now that’s a challenge!
Unlock the Grand Vizier’s special ability and a new shade of his yellow meeple by liking this image on BoardGameGeek. If it gets at least 45 thumbs-ups, the Grand Vizier will be able to... ah, no, we can’t tell you that just yet, can we? You'll only get to find out his ability if this Social Goal is unlocked.
Interview with Andy Rourke
Are you curious about the win-win aspect of Coalitions’ exciting diplomatic aspect? Andrew Rourke, the designer of the game, is always there to provide you with answers to some of the more interesting questions regarding Coalitions – and in this case “there” means an interview with No Enemies Here YouTube channel.
You’ll also get to find out why there’s no luck in the game, why nothing is ever a secret (forget about making deals behind other players’ backs in Coalitions) and why... “War and Peace” is such a great piece of literature ;)
Srdjan, Adrian & PHALANX Team
Emperors and Generals
about 1 year ago
– Wed, Jul 07, 2021 at 12:48:23 AM
Today we have more details on expansions, daily bonuses, social goals and more – it's an update for all types of backers, from those just interested in the Coalitions Core Pledge or historical titbits, to backers who want to have it all. So let’s get straight to business!"
More details on Sense and Sensibility / Realpolitik
So far the vote for the name of this standalone expansion is leaning towards Realpolitik, but nothing is yet decided, so if you want to weigh in on the subject, click here! As a reminder, you have until July 7, 8:00 CET to vote.
The Sense and Sensibility / Realpolitik Expansion depicts a time of great European tensions and transformations as the German and Italian states came together to form the basis of two nation-states we know today. Since this wasn’t an era of general upheaval in Europe and both the Franco-Prussian and the Austro-Prussian wars were short, this expansion requires a lower player count – just four compared to the six of the core box, not to mention the eight of the Raison d’Etat Expansion. This allows for a completely different interplay dynamic between the players and introduces the first truly competitive two-player mode for Coalitions.
Now, let’s take a look at two of the most prominent figures involved in these events and conflicts, Napoleon III and Otto von Bismarck.
The last monarch to ever reign over France (from 1852 to 1870), Napoleon III was the nephew of the first Emperor of France, Napoleon Bonaparte featured in the Coalitions core game. While not a military man like his famous predecessor, Napoleon III oversaw a rapid transformation of the financial and economic system and the enlargement of the French colonial empire. His rule came to an end as a result of the disastrous Franco-Prussian War of 1870 on which the Sense and Sensibility / Realpolitik Expansion is partially based.
The main instigator of that war was Otto von Bismarck, the Iron Chancellor. A superb politician, as Prime Minister of Prussia he used every means at his disposal to make the unification of Germany – at that time consisting of Prussia and a number of smaller states under either the Prussian or the Austrian protection – a reality. To this end he provoked three short and victorious wars. After the unification he became the first Chancellor of Germany and stayed in power for nearly two decades.
Daily Bonus: Kutuzov!
Thanks to your social media activities we’ve upgraded the meeples and abilities of the Duke of Wellington and Marshal Blücher. Great job, by the way! Now we've decided to upgrade Russian Field Marshal Mikhail Illarionovich Golenishchev-Kutuzov with today's Daily Bonus - so this time you get him without even needing to visit BoardGameGeek or Facebook!
Kutuzov was one of the most distinguished Russian generals of the Napoleonic Wars, and his special ability is to withdraw from any battle (but always towards Moscow) at the cost of 1 Russian unit. It’s a great way to avoid sustaining crippling losses in the face of a certain defeat! Oh, and he also gets a new shade of green specific to his meeple.
Live presentation of Coalitions in Opole
Each week we try to visit at least one Polish city to showcase our newest games live, and one of these games is always Coalitions. Last weekend we played Coalitions in a gaming cafe called Cellarium in Opole. The players were extremely engaged in the gameplay and particularly invested in the diplomatic aspect of the game. They also liked the lightness of the rules that helped them quickly immerse themselves in the game!
Second shipping Stretch Goal unlocked!
£80,000 are in? They’re in – and that means only one thing: you have collectively unlocked a second Stretch Goal. Congratulations! From this moment on each backer will have £2 less to pay for shipping!
As you can probably imagine, the third Stretch Goal is pretty similar to the one just unlocked or indeed the first one. We’re nothing if not predictable in that aspect, are we? At any rate, if we reach £100,000 you’ll get a further reduction of shipping costs – you’ll have £3 less to pay!
Srdjan, Adrian & PHALANX Team
A new age of Napoleon!
about 1 year ago
– Tue, Jul 06, 2021 at 01:53:50 AM
Last Monday we brought you Raison d’Etat, a standalone expansion propelling Coalitions into the 17th century. It’s really hard to top that, with the sprawling Thirty Years’ War and Polish-Swedish Wars on a double-sided board, so we’re not going to do that... or are we? Read on and find out!
New standalone expansion: Sense and Sensibility… or Realpolitik!
The time has come to visit the latter half of the 19th century, a new age with new leaders, including the outstanding statesman of the era, if not all time, Otto von Bismarck of Prussia.
Sense and Sensibility / Realpolitik Expansion is a standalone game that brings all the great features and mechanics of Coalitions to a lower player count. It’s based on the Austro-Prussian (1866) and Franco-Prussian wars (1871), conflicts that made the unification of German a reality. Players take on the roles of leaders of France, Prussia, Austria and Italy to try to reshape the map of Central Europe to their advantage one more time. The scale of the game may not be as epic as in other expansions or the base Coalitions, but the stakes are high nonetheless!
The expansion will come with its own set of new components, including tokens, cards, rules, a board, the Wheel of War, and unique period-specific mechanisms. It’ll also be compatible with the Soldiers of Fortune expansion we announced in Update 9.
Why do we use two names instead of one? The truth is we can't decide which we prefer - and this is where you come in! Do you think this was a time best defined by glory, heroics and élan - a period of 'sense and sensibility'? Or does 'realpolitik' better capture the moment: hard Prussian realism, iron discipline, and adherence to order? Help us in choosing the name for this expansion on BoardGameGeek!
To add Sense & Sensibility / Realpolitik Expansion to your pledge simply edit the details of your pledge or increase your pledge manually with the price of the expansion.
Daily Bonus: the 1806 scenario!
The setup for this scenario reflects the beginning of the War of the Third Coalition. The French Empire is in firm control of several central European territories, but Prussia is massing its armies against it. Russia is also a part of this new anti-French coalition, but it’s barely begun its mobilization and keeps a part of its force on the Ottoman border, where a new war is in the offing. The Austrians are neutral following their decisive defeat in the battle of Austerlitz a year earlier.
Will Napoleon crush the Prussian forces before the Russians are able to react? Will the British send their armies to Portugal and Spain? Or will we see a completely different outcome of this scenario? As always, it’s all up to you!
This is a third special scenario for Coalitions core game. If you want to learn more about the previous two, check out Update #4 and Update #8.
Second Social Goal unlocked: Blücher
Field Marshal Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher nods with satisfaction at your ability to inspire the troops. You’ve just unlocked the second Social Goal, which makes Blücher another unique general in Coalitions! Not only will he get a new shade of black for his meeple, but also a special ability.
Reflecting his steadfastness and tenacity as a commander, from now on Blücher can only lose up to 2 units as a result of a defeat, not all 3 as every other general. Moreover, he can’t be removed from the board if defeated, regardless of the losses he sustains.
Podcast with Andrew Rourke
Do you like listening to podcasts? If so, check out the Everything Board Games Podcast interview with Andrew Rourke, the designer of Coalitions! In this short 16-minute podcast Andrew talks about his board game beginnings and all things Coalitions – how it came around, why there’s no secrecy in diplomacy (an important factor of Coalitions!), why the Activator system is a key design element, and much, much more!
Srdjan, Adrian & PHALANX Team
Let’s go North!
about 1 year ago
– Mon, Jul 05, 2021 at 12:19:32 AM
Most of what’s going on in Coalitions and its expansions focuses on Southern, Western and Central Europe. And while the Raison d’Etat Expansion doesn’t leave out that part of the Old Continent, it allows you to revisit and concentrate more on Northern and Eastern Europe and conflicts which aren’t often on the forefront of popular history.
Daily Bonus: the 1700 scenario for the Raison d’Etat Expansion!
Coalitions’ first major standalone expansion now has a double-sided board – and a set of components for Russia (tokens and meeples) to complement it! All of these new components have been prepared for the 1700 scenario depicting the Great Northern War (1700-1721) and the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-1714). We're going to talk a bit more about these conflicts in future updates, so don't worry about the historical details right now.
In this scenario, both Poland and Spain are essentially just playgrounds for the clashing ambitions of various European powers and their rulers. In the East and North it’s primarily Russia against Sweden, with the Ottomans and the Prussians in the supporting roles, and in the West it’s France against a coalition of Britain, Austria and Prussia. Of course, this is just the beginning – what happens next and what coalitions and alliances are going to be formed and broken up is all up to you!
New Social Goal: Blücher!
The Duke of Wellington is ready. But how about the man who came to his rescue at the Battle of Waterloo, the Prussian Field Marshal Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher? We can’t leave him out, can we?
Unlock Blücher’s special ability and a new shade of his meeple by liking this image on BoardGameGeek. If it gets at least 35 thumbs-ups, Field Marshal Blücher will be upgraded to a whole new level! And how will his special ability work? You’ll find that out after the Social Goal is unlocked, but let’s just say those of you, who are aware of his exploits will certainly crack a smile!
Adam Mucha - Weekly Game Night
Is Coalitions a game for you? Well, this is how Adam Mucha, one of the gamers from Poland, described his recent gameplay of Coalitions:
“Previews mentioned it’s a game with no downtime. So we checked that and it’s true, the innovative system of simultaneous action-taking makes downtime minimal. So it’s a big plus.”
“This is an area control game, but it’s mainly about diplomacy. Each turn you’re faced with having to choose the most beneficial allies (...) so expect back-stabbing and conspiracies”.
“One of the actions that made me initially sceptical was movement. It’s unusual: if you want to make more moves than just one, you need to ask someone else for permission and if he gives one, he receives morale points. The problem is, that someone can’t be your ally. In effect, we had to ask our enemies for permission. And you know what? It’s a pretty cool mechanism. Your enemies often have an interest in gaining morale. This works! :)”
“The entire game, including the setup and checking the instruction took us 2 hours (...). This is an excellent playtime for an area game played (in this case) by 5 gamers!”
“Did we like it? Yes, and some of us liked it very much. Each of the 5 players who played it said he wanted to play this game again – and this is extremely rare.”
Iron, Blood, Snow & Mud
Another day and another game featured in the Make Games Happen program. This time it’s Iron, Blood, Snow & Mud, which we’ve already mentioned in Update #4, the one about the Russian Winter. You were eager for more details, so here they are!
Iron, Blood, Snow & Mud is a fast, two-player, thrilling 60-minute asymmetrical wargame with very simple rules designed to “blitzkrieg” you through the first four years of the Eastern Front of World War II. There’s no politics, no economy – just hard and bloody fighting through mud and snow and vast Soviet territories. It’s about moving and using a set of basic units – infantry, tanks, aircraft and warships – to battle over and ultimately take control of key cities and industrial centers of the Soviet Union. The Soviets have special Partisan units to harass the German supply lines, but they start the game severely outnumbered by the enemy. However, as opposed to the Soviets, Germans never receive any reinforcements, so they have to be very careful about how and when they use their troops.
This may come to you as a bit of a surprise, but Iron, Blood, Snow & Mud by Guglielmo Duccoli isn’t actually a new game! In fact, it’s a new edition of "Ferro, Fango e Neve", a game that was attached to the March 2019 issue of the "IoGioco", an Italian game magazine. After seeing and obviously playing it, we were so enchanted by the elegant simplicity of the rules and the short playtime, that we eventually decided to give it a thorough refurbishing, take it through more advanced development and thus to introduce it to other, non-Italian players. And while we don’t have much to show you in terms of graphic design yet (we’re putting almost all of our efforts into Coalitions), the game is mechanically sound and battle-tested, as this short opinion by Baalfagor proves quite well:
„Perfect to play during the lunch break or during the summer holidays, great for beginners to learn the [basics of] supply lines and movements blitz. Excellent job.”
Srdjan, Adrian & PHALANX Team
Two more weeks of fun!
about 1 year ago
– Fri, Jul 02, 2021 at 07:11:08 AM
We’ve just hit the campaign’s halfway point! Thank you for your continuous support and believing in this project’s full potential. And don’t worry, we’re not going to rest on our laurels, not for a second! Coalitions is still being enhanced, developed and improved. These next two weeks are going to show you how much we’ve got in store for you – including a number of new bonuses and expansions!
Daily Bonus: the Imperial Election!
The Imperial Election introduces a new mechanism to both the Ancien Regime Expansion (free for all Coalitions Core Game backers) and the Raison d’Etat Expansion (the standalone expansion). It’s connected with controlling specific territories on the map and mobilizing the Imperial Army of the Holy Roman Emperor to support their actions. The Imperial Election will come with two special tokens for each of these two expansions. In addition to boosting the gameplay and your strategic options, this new mechanism will add even more historical flavour into both games.
The Imperial Election was the process through which the Holy Roman Emperor was elected to rule over hundreds of semi-independent - or de facto independent - kingdoms, duchies and principalities located primarily in the present-day Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic. Until the Thirty Years' War there were seven Electors: three ecclesiastical archbishops and four secular kings, dukes, counts and margraves.
Even more details on the Raison d’Etat Expansion
Why, you might ask, is it a standalone expansion and not a completely new game? It's because, while we introduce some new rules and mechanics to support the historic situation being covered by Raison d'Etat, we don't think this makes it a new game. It uses the same basic mechanics as Coalitions: the Wheel of War, two core opposing coalitions, the Activator system. It's Coalitions, but in a different setting. Hence, it's a standalone expansion.".
As we’ve previously mentioned, the coalitions system in Raison d’Etat differs from the one used in the core game and Ancien Regime Expansion. It’s no longer (or rather not yet, since it’s an earlier time in European history) a conflict between the interests of France and Britain. This time it’s a war of religion, a war of nations and rulers that chose the Protestant faith against the ones that remained loyal to Catholicism and the Pope.
Yesterday we briefly summarized the Thirty Years’ War. Now it’s time to look at the lesser known Polish-Swedish Wars of the 17th century. It was actually five wars. The first four were fought between 1600 and 1629, ostensibly linked to control of the present-day Baltic Countries. These were often interrupted by or ended with temporary truces. A more lasting settlement, the Truce of Altmark, was agreed at the end of the fourth war in 1629, with Poland ceding much of the duchy of Livonia to Sweden. The fifth war, also known as the Swedish Deluge, started in 1655 and went on for five years. This war was of a different, more destructive nature. It led to the widespread destruction of Polish lands, and the loss of a third of Polish population.
Social Goal unlocked!
Good job, soldiers! You’ve unlocked our first Social Goal and the Duke of Wellington is now ready to face Napoleon on the field of battle! From now on every Coalitions Core box will feature:
- A different shade of red for Wellington’s meeple (the Miniature Set has the Duke of Wellington on a horse, the same as Napoleon. As well as looking great this will help the British player to remember Wellington's special rule).
- Wellington’s special rule affects how he supports other generals in battle. Unlike other generals, instead of providing just 3 cards to the battle he’s supporting, his entire army is able to provide help. That means he can potentially contribute up to 4 strength points in any engagement he’s supporting!
Pursuit of Victory
You’ve asked us to provide you with more details about the games featured in our Make Games Happen program and this is a good opportunity to do just that!
Today we’ll focus on Pursuit of Victory, the other Napoleonic game we’re developing which depicts the height of the Napoleonic Wars, the period between 1805 and 1814. It’s a tense two-player hand-management and strategy game lasting about 2 hours where players must assemble their armies, use diplomacy and make daring attacks, utilizing a unique set of 10 cards allowing for multiple actions and very tough decisions – especially since playing a card locks it out for two consecutive rounds!
Aside from fully asymmetrical cards used by Britain and France, there are also 6 special double-sided cards always present on the board. They indicate the political status of Spain and Poland, Napoleon’s imperial ambitions and mobilization limits, and finally the Royal Navy’s dominance on the seas and British efforts to form an all-out Grand Coalition. Changing the card’s side or status is usually connected with controlling territories (especially in case of Poland and Spain), diplomatic maneuvering and the usage of special minor actions on player’s cards.
To achieve victory, the French player needs to keep Napoleon’s reputation high by winning major battles, forcing major powers to surrender and controlling minor countries as well as Polish and Spanish territories – and this gets tougher and tougher with each year by default, not just because of the other player, who’s actively trying to stop him.
Keep a close eye on our Facebook page and join PHALANX Club, our dedicated Facebook Group, to find out more about Pursuit of Victory. We’ll be posting more details about the game in the next few weeks so stay tuned! For now, we’ve got a special treat for you: the latest work-in-progress Pursuit of Victory game board with tokens set up for the main 1805 scenario!
Make Game Happen!
Srdjan, Adrian & PHALANX Team