48 hours away!
over 1 year ago
– Mon, Jul 12, 2021 at 11:29:37 PM
We’re less than two days away from finishing our Kickstarter campaign. It’s been a pleasure writing and creating new content for you and especially unveiling a steady stream of new expansions and daily bonuses. We’re very grateful for all your comments and excellent feedback and we hope we’ve been helpful in answering your questions. But while 48 hours isn’t that much, we still have a few things to share with you!
Daily Bonus: the 1654 scenario for the Raison d'Etat Expansion
The Thirty Years’ War may be over, but Europe still feels the repercussions of that massive conflict and most of the Western nations (and their armies) are recuperating. In this scenario, however, all eyes turn to the east, where a completely unprepared Poland faces what may turn out to be an insurmountable challenge – a Swedish invasion! To make matters worse for Poland, the powerful Ottoman Empire observes these events with great interest, eager to step in at the most opportune moment.
Historically, Poland nearly ceased to exist as a result of this Swedish Deluge and the Ottomans invaded Poland several years later. But this is Coalitions, a game of infinite possibilities, where anything can happen. It’s up to you to decide the fate of these particular conflicts and the fate of Europe as well!
Live presentation of Coalitions in Warsaw
Each week this summer we try to visit at least one Polish city to showcase our newest games live, Coalitions including. This time we played Coalitions at a gaming cafe called Kawadzieścia in Warsaw.
The players praised the game for its unique movement system, lots of negotiating and verbal interplay, but especially for the Wheel of War which made all the games surprisingly quick. A 6-player area control game played in under 2 hours left a lasting impression on everyone involved! Almost all of the players wanted to play Coalitions one more time and at one point we didn’t have enough copies of Coalitions for them to play.
The diplomatic heart of Coalitions
Game Troll TV is one of the most popular Polish YouTube channels dedicated to board games. Its host recently reviewed the prototype version of Coalitions and this is what he had to say about the central aspect of the game, diplomacy and negotiations:
“Thanks to this game we’re able to understand the basics of diplomacy (..). There’s nothing more satisfying than back-stabbing your ally at the most opportune moment. And this is what you’ll get in this game in great abundance!”
Of course the comment was very much tongue-in-cheek, but Coalitions’ diplomacy can really be sometimes harsh... Game Troll TV also mentions the interesting asymmetry of the Coalitions’ nations, with different numbers of generals and different geopolitical positions, each requiring its own approach.
Nice! If you know Polish, we recommend watching the Game Troll TV video, it’s a great introduction to and review of the game.
Srdjan, Adrian & PHALANX Team
Coalitions and alliances and... trains!
over 1 year ago
– Mon, Jul 12, 2021 at 07:19:18 PM
The simple yet very elegant system of alliances in Coalitions is what makes this game extremely fun to play – and to replay as well, as no two nations are similar in the way they have to negotiate for their position! We’ll have something more to say about that aspect of Coalitions in this update, but before that happens there’s an announcement that’ll probably make most of you very, very happy!
Daily Bonus: the Train Expansion for Realpolitik
The Realpolitik standalone expansion takes place at the time when Western European countries were rapidly expanding their railway networks, networks that proved to be of critical importance in the logistics of the wars of 1866 and 1871.
To enhance the visual aspect of the game, we’re replacing tokens representing railway lines with meeples! This expansion will provide you with 20 train meeples that players can build to expand their railway lines and thus increase the mobility of generals and armies, and to allow them to quickly redeploy whenever there’s need for such an action.
Soldiers of Fortune Upgraded!
Concerns have been voiced that the wonderful aesthetic of having the Coalitions’ miniatures on the board might be undermined by having meeples for the Soldiers of Fortune expansion. Well, rest easy – we’ve heard you and have decided to upgrade Soldiers of Fortune with miniatures!
The Deluxe Pledge and All-in Pledge backers will receive six additional miniatures representing the non-aligned generals of the Soldiers of Fortune Expansion (you can find more details about this expansion in Updates #9 and #11). They will be kept in the same style as the rest of the miniatures, the look of the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic era to match the Deluxe Miniature Set.
The Deluxe Pledge and All-in Pledge backers will also receive the 6 standard meeples for the Soldiers of Fortune. This is to ensure compatibility with the expansions – Ancien Régime, Raison d’Etat and Realpolitik – all of which use the Soldiers of Fortune expansion, but not the deluxe miniatures.
An Intriguing Game of Diplomatic Area Control
No downtime, everyone constantly engaged, simple yet elegant rules, great diplomatic aspect... At some point or the other you must’ve probably thought “yeah, the game seems great, but that can’t actually ALL be true, right”? Well, you don’t have to believe us, believe those who’ve already played the game:
“Between the shifting alliances in the Political phase, negotiations from the movement activation system and within coalitions, and the simultaneous gameplay driven by the Wheel of War rondel, Coalitions felt engaging, suspenseful, and fun. There will be multiple scenarios and expansions added as well, so I doubt this game will get stale.”
With so many scenarios and expansions the chances of anyone getting bored with Coalitions are really slim. But there’s more:
“There are tons of strategic choices to be made throughout the game depending on how you position yourself and work with or without allies. You can plan ahead, but you need to always be prepared to shift your plans as the board state evolves turn after turn, and your allies change over the course of the game. This keeps players engaged and on their toes just about every minute of the game.”
No time to check your phone indeed!
“I also thoroughly enjoyed the suspense the battle cards added to combat in Coalitions. When playing battle cards, you can tell how many cards your opponent has, and even how many they can actually play, but since battle cards are committed face down, you never know for sure what your opponents are up to. They could go heavy and allocate all their highest strength cards or perhaps they're not that invested in this particular battle, so they'll bluff and toss in their weakest cards just to drive you to burn more of your good stuff. It can be a real mind twist, but the suspense is thrilling.”
The battles seem simple, but they’re far from being so – there’s tension and there are surprises even where you least expect them!
“Coalitions never felt slow or boring. The game flows well and moves along keeping everyone's attention from taking actions simultaneously and supporting allies in battles. (...) If you're interested in a game that features innovative mechanisms, minimal downtime from simultaneous gameplay, and maximum player interaction from area control and interesting negotiations, I definitely recommend checking out Coalitions.”
What more can we say? If you want to read the entire review, here’s a link – but be warned, you’ll learn more about the game than you could ever think possible! ;)
Is France too strong? Were the Ottomans always in the game? And what about Napoleon's invasion of Egypt, is it possible to recreate it? Find out the answers to these intriguing questions in this excellent WojennikTV interview with Andrew Rourke, the designer of Coalitions!
And since the host of the interview had actually played the prototype of the game, much of the discussion is focused on the various changes made in the development of Coalitions and how it gradually progressed to the point in which it is here and now. So if you’re keen on learning how the designing and developing process of Coalitions happened (and is still happening), this is a perfect video for you!
Srdjan, Adrian & PHALANX Team
A grand historical sandbox!
over 1 year ago
– Thu, Jul 08, 2021 at 11:31:48 PM
Coalitions lends itself perfectly for pretty much any group of players, from the newest members of the gaming community to the battle-hardened tabletop veterans. But while it’s a great area control sandbox, it never shies away from its historical foundations, and this update will shine some light on that aspect of the game.
Coalitions - Double-sided board
You’ve probably been wondering what’s on the other side of the Coalitions’ board, so here it is, in all its glory! Both sides of the board are rather similar in the way they look, but the devil is in the detail – the disposition of the regions, their point value and so on - and each side is designed to fit a different set of scenarios.
The map is still a work in progress.
Daily Bonus: the 1796 scenario!
In March 1796 general Napoleon Bonaparte took command of the French forces in Italy and what followed next was a splendid career culminating in his ascension to the imperial throne of France. Now you can either change that – or try to recreate it!
The 1796 scenario puts you in a critical stage of the French Revolutionary Wars. Powerful French armies are preparing to enter the German states and Italy, both protected by considerable Austrian forces. Prussians and Russians, who just recently partitioned the last remnants of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth together with the Austrians, are both looking to expand, and wearily watch each other, ready to pounce at the first sign of weakness. The Ottomans are peaceful, but who’s to say what they’ll do when the hostilities commence once again...
Coalitions and its historical feel
While Coalitions is partially a sandbox game and you don’t need to know history to play it, it still has a great historical feel and it’s firmly based on the realities of the age of Napoleon. Here’s an excerpt from GamesFanatic review specifically referring to that aspect of the game:
“During the session I felt this is the game about the Napoleonic Wars. Not about some abstract point-scoring or planting crops, but about the 19th century European conflict. And this is a huge plus and a key element for me.”
And if you’re familiar with the excellent game about the 16th century Wars of the Reformation, Here I Stand, this part of the review may also be quite interesting to you:
“What has endeared me in Here I Stand, endears me in Coalitions as well: multiplayer gameplay with alliances, plotting and back-stabbing embedded in the historical realities just well enough that I feel like I’m a participant of these events. At the same time a short playtime (two hours) and the relative simplicity of rules make for a low threshold for new players. This turns Coalitions into a replacement for Here I Stand when there aren’t enough players or there isn’t enough time. And this is really something!”
Review in Polish.
Third Social Goal unlocked: Grand Vizier
Thanks to your quick and timely support, the Grand Vizier of the glorious Ottoman Empire can better prepare for the war with the other European powers!
Why isn’t the Grand Vizier a specific historical figure, say Yusuf Ziya Pasha? It’s because of his special ability which you’ve just unlocked! When the Grand Vizier is defeated in battle (and either dies or resigns from office in dishonor), someone else becomes a new vizier – the Grand Vizier miniature or meeple (now differently shaded than other yellow meeples) is immediately placed in any Ottoman-controlled territory together with 1 Ottoman unit.
The Coalitions game system
The French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars of the Coalitions base game. The Seven Years’ War of Ancien Régime. The Thirty Years’ War of Raison d’Etat. And now the Prussian wars of our Realpolitik expansion that we announced a few days ago. How is it that the Coalitions game system allows us to depict various European struggles across more than 250 years of history?
The Coalitions game system is based on universal diplomatic realities of the pre-20th century world. This makes readily transferable the negotiation process of Coalitions, specifically the idea of forming opposing coalitions and using the Activator mechanism, which enhances negotiations in the game by requiring opposing players to interact. Similarly, the conflict system is streamlined and adaptable. Conflicts are abstracted, but capture the strategic challenge of military campaigns of the era. All of which allows us to apply the system across multiple settings, with new mechanics and rules added-on to capture the necessary specifics of each conflict.
Srdjan, Adrian & PHALANX Team
One more week of fun!
over 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
over 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