SMOKE ON THE HORIZON YET?

Most of you who have been following my blog for any amount of time can attest to Catalyst’s desire to launch Leviathans in 2010. However, the giant champagne bottle will not be broken across any keels this winter.

Why the delays? There’s several reasons for this, as I’ve mentioned in previous blogs.

First, Catalyst has been re-organizing internally and re-focusing on ensuring that all our current lines are fully supported and providing their communities the type of experience they deserve. While there’s still a ways to go, we’ve made some great headway the last 6 months in getting great products flowing again across the board, which is freeing up the bandwidth required to re-focus on new games.

Second, Leviathans is a monstrously complicated box game. I hate to sound like a broken record, but it’s true. I’ve been in the industry for over 15 years and I can pretty easily make a book (as most BattleTech fans know, I can make books that kill if they’re dropped on you). However, Catalyst is moving beyond ‘just books’ to become a company that simply makes cool games, whether card games, boardgames, or mega-box super-games (aka what Fantasy Flight is so good at; “looks at my groaning shelf and smiles”).

However, despite all those years of experience and even a few box games, they all pale beside what we’re trying to accomplish with this box set. The size and quality of the miniatures, the unique components that not only will make the game easier to experience but help accentuate the Steampunk/VSF aesthetics, the amount of printed material in the box…all of these have been…well, to be honest, kicking us in our respective rears. As such, even without the internal work-over, I’m not convinced we could’ve published this year and still present a boxed game we’d be proud of and that would help launch Leviathans as it deserves.

So what does all of that mean for the community that has been waiting so patiently? It means some more months of waiting. However, we are getting a solid handle on the issues that have dogged the product…and when it releases, it’ll be all the better for the time we spent to ensure we resolved every production issue.

One of the biggest issues, of course, and the thing the community has been asking about forever, are the miniatures: below are some low-rez, side-view CAD files for the British and French Type 4 BattleShips that’ll appear in the box set.

HML Leviathan_British Type 4 Battleship.jpg

HML Leviathans (Type 4) British Battleship

Jean Bart_French Type 4 Battleship.jpg

Jean Bart (Type 4) French Battleship

The miniatures will indeed be plastic (high-impact polystyrene; i.e. HIPS), the highest quality available in our market. Additionally they will come pre-painted. However, the pre-paint will be very light and subtle; as appropriate for navy vessels. This will both allow them to look great right out of the box for play, but will also provide the painting community the ability to enhance the subtle pre-paint, or paint completely over it, with ease.

Finally, next to “what about the miniatures?!”, the biggest question being asked: when will it come out? Catalyst is currently geared towards launching Leviathans in late Spring/early summer of 2011, coinciding with the Origins Game Fair 2011 Steampunk theme. A perfect opportunity to wed the launch of Leviathans with the first of the major summer conventions (matching theme for theme), leading to a strong presence across the entire summer convention season.

In the meantime we’ll be rolling out some new PDFs in the future (very much looking forward to The Aftrican Campaign myself, not to mention exploring the Minor Powers), as well as some new fiction, and more. And as you can see from my previous blog, as the production delays start to finally wind down, we still continue to hammer on the game system until the moment that champaign bottle shatters on that keel.

Thank you all so much for your patience and most of all for your enthusiasm for a game I (and many others) have been shoveling coal over for a long time…smoke on the horizon isn’t too much further away…

See ya next duty shift!

Randall

Comments (33)

Tom COctober 20th, 2010 at 8:05 am

Randall,

Excellent news. I am really looking forward to the Leviathans release. Keep the pictures coming.

RandallOctober 20th, 2010 at 8:34 am

Thanks Tom…as soon as I’ve got more info to share on the minis front, I will!

Neko_BijinOctober 20th, 2010 at 11:25 am

Will the Levs be like the Loki and Thor in the new BattleTech box? What scale are you aiming for, 1:3000?

RandallOctober 20th, 2010 at 11:29 am

Yes…that’s the exact material (we’re looking at the same company to produce the Leviathans miniatures). The scale is roughly 1:1200.

Jim TOctober 20th, 2010 at 7:45 pm

It is interesting in the pictures that the british leviathan is flying a British navy flag, and the French leviathan is flying … a white flag?

Yes, I know it is an early render, and hasn’t had the texture applied yet. I just thought it was humorous.

Thanks for the update.

AdmiralRogrissOctober 20th, 2010 at 11:04 pm

Excellent!
That’s what I hoped for.

RandallOctober 21st, 2010 at 7:11 am

hahaa…Jim…never even dawned on me and I’ve been looking at this hard…wonder if it was a subconscious act on the part of the designer. ;-)

Stormlion1October 26th, 2010 at 7:58 pm

I’m glad to see that development continues, but will we see German and U.S. ships anytime soon?

EarlydawnOctober 29th, 2010 at 9:09 am

Any chance of seeing advanced rules before the boxed set?

RandallOctober 29th, 2010 at 9:15 am

Stomlion1: The Germans are currently scheduled for the first “Faction Expansion Box Set”, which you’ll see within the first year after the publication of the Core Box Set. The Americans, however, are down the line some.

Earlydawn: Most likely, yes. I just want to get closer to publication before releasing details on the advanced rules.

EdOctober 29th, 2010 at 9:54 am

So, what do you think about this – http://www.spartangames.co.uk/dystopian_wars.html

Looks to me like your being beat to the punch and with better minis to top it off.

RandallOctober 29th, 2010 at 10:15 am

Actually that looks very cool! Really like some of the visuals they’re creating for their game. However I don’t think our two games will have that much of an impact on each other as we’re doing very different things, both visually, focus of the game and universe and so on.

As for better minis, since we’ve only shown some really early prototypes and some CAD files, I don’t think we can make any comparisons of the quality of miniatures until we actually get some photos to release of our final miniatures.

Ultimately more games doing well is better for everyone, so I sincerely hope it does well…some really cool looking material there…thanks for sharing!

ToolianOctober 29th, 2010 at 2:06 pm

I like the idea of Dystopian wars, but Spartan Games botched.

Same rules as there other games.

Nothing really new but a few little mechanics.

Also hate the way they operate their company. Support from CGL has been top notch.

I like there games, love uncharted seas, but don’t feel like buying another scoop of icecream with a different flavor.

Rules are great and easy, but for originality and fun, I think Leviathans is superior.

Will still buy a few models for other games though.

Paul O'GradyOctober 29th, 2010 at 3:44 pm

Well I think you are definately going the right way – I’d much rather wait a bit longer for a quality, well-finished agme than have you rush it out for an arbitary release date.

I’m sure it will be a big success when its ready!

Yours in a white wine sauce,
Paul

Stormlion1November 4th, 2010 at 8:00 pm

I’m glad to see that there is planning ahead even after the Leviathans launch…

RandallNovember 5th, 2010 at 7:38 am

Oh yeah…I’ve got a very grandious plan for the first 3 to 4 years of Leviathans…and I very much hope to be able to bring that vision to life.

Andrew ChoongDecember 9th, 2010 at 6:04 am

I’ve just played my first game of Leviathans out of the PDF downloads, and I love this game!! Very much looking forward to its release =)

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