The Road to War #3: The Great Powers

Welcome back everyone, hope you all had a great Holiday season!

As I said in the last Dev diary today we are going to delve into the Major factions in Leviathans. In the original release of the game we had stated that there were 8 Major powers in 1914. For those of you that never memorized the Gazetteer (what are you even doing with your life?) the 8 powers are Great Britain, Germany, France, Austria-Hungry, Italy, Russia, Japan and the USA. We are happy to say at this point that every one of these factions will be in the Kickstarter. As I stated last time all of them will have very different feels both aesthetically and in mechanical design. What exactly are those different “feels” you ask? Well why don’t I tell you. Lets start with….The British.

For anyone who played the original you already now the basics of the British fleet as there were one of the original two factions. They are all about range and armor. A British Admiral will do everything in their power to destroy the enemy ships before they ever get close, easily deflecting enemy long range shots off their reinforced hulls. The size of the British mains guns on their Battleships are unmatched in all the world. They are not without weakness though as their slow speed and maneuverability means that if the British can’t do enough damage up front their enemies will be able to close distant and fire into weak points in the fleet. In fact this very strategy is center to the 1000 year enemy of the British, the French Empire.

The French, the other faction from the 2012 game, are all about speed. They may fire their torpedoes in the early rounds but the real goal is to get behind enemy ships. Well not as armored as the British, their ships are nothing to scoff at, and in many ways the French armament is better then the British, though only effective at closer ranges.

Okay, with the two fleets everyone knows about out of the way, lets get into some new ones. Next up, the German fleet.

The German captains believe that the engineers hate having any extra metal left over when building a ship and that is why every German ship is covered in it. No fleet is more armored then the German, sacrificing speed for the ability to ignore volleys of enemy fire no mater the situation. To make up for their inability to react quickly they focus on fleet cohesion, having crews solely focused on working with other ships in the fleet. As torpedoes became an even bigger apart of areal warfare the Germans designed a ship whose singular purpose is to protect the slowest ships from being shot out of the air by these weapons.

On the complete other side of the spectrum we have the Italian fleet. Their ships are covered in engines and torpedoes. They can outmaneuver any opposing fleet and their torpedoes can bring down the largest battleships. A single volley at close range into the stern can stop a ship cold. They of course pay for this as it only takes a couple hits to bring down most Italian ships, meaning they have to be more careful then most on where to order their ships.

We are going to save the other 4 factions for next week.

We are incredibly happy to be able to create these fleets and get them out to you guys after all this time. Most of our time is spent trying to make these fleets as good as they can be. We hope you guys will love them as much as we do.

One last thing before signing off, on Wednesday the 8th I will be doing a video with Bonsart on his Youtube channel Radio Retrofuture. We will be talking about Leviathans so you should for sure be there.

Have a great week everyone and talk to you again soon!

Bryn Bills

The Road to War #2: The tools of War

Hello again everyone and Happy Holidays!

This week I wanted to lightly go over some of the different things we will be finding in the Kickstarter come this summer.

The first and biggest part of the Kickstarter will be the expansion of playable factions in the game. One of the biggest Goals that was ultimately never achieved for the original game was the inclusion of all the major powers in WW1. That goal will be center to the Kickstarter. The next post will go into more detail about exactly who will be in the game but it will be a much larger group than just the two from the base game. This will mean every faction will be getting their own ships designs both aesthetically and mechanically. Every faction will feel very different from each other in both regards.

Another cool thing that will be coming to the Kickstarter are the type 3 ships. As most of you know the original had type 1, 2 and 4 ships but never ended up creating type 3. This will change with type 3’s being introduced for the first time. They will have their own role in the game as Pocket Battleships.

The last thing I can say for sure will be in the Kickstarter will be Dice! Lots and lots of cool Leviathans dice. Catalyst is nothing if not consistent in our love of making great dice for our games and Leviathans will be no exception.

This list is by no means all inclusive but it gives you a good idea of what you can be looking forward to when Summer comes around. The next Post will be 2 weeks from now but I promise it will be a good bit thicker then this one as we go into the nations at war in Leviathans.

Hope you all have a great Holiday Season and take to you again soon.

Bryn Bills

The Road to War #1: Maping the way

Hello again!

Today I wanted to lay out a very simple road map of our plans for Leviathans for the next couple years. Please keep in mind that all of this is still very much up for change so don’t take this as law. That being said we have a pretty good idea of what we hope will happen.

For the rest of the Winter and going into the Spring we will continue to post these blogs and keep you up to date on all things Leviathans. Catalyst will be going to multiple conventions during this time frame and Leviathans will be showcased to various degrees at all of them including large events that people can be a part of. We do not have a complete list of Conventions for 2020 but we will for sure be at Adepticon, Origins and GenCon for those of you that want to come out and see the game as well as talk to us.

Then comes the really exciting things. After Spring we roll into the Kickstarter itself. We plan on launching the Kickstarter in the Summer of 2020. The exact time and everything that will be in the kickstarter is still heavily under works but we promise that its scope will be much larger than the original 2012 Launch. Finally, we hope to have a game shipping to people the next year in the summer of 2021.

What comes after that is really anyone’s guess and will depend a lot on how the Kickstarter goes and what you guys show interest in.

So that is the basic plan for Leviathans over the next 2 years. Again, some of this may not happen in the timeline I’ve laid out here but this is the basic idea.

To finish this weeks post off Im going to take us on a tangent. Right now one of the most important things we need to have happen is to get the word out to people that the game is coming back. It has been many years and a lot of people that used to be a part of this game have since walked away. We also know that a lot of people are going to love this game but have never heard of it.

We having multiple places where people can come and be a part of. There is of course this website but there is also a reddit page as well as 2 different Facebook pages. If you want to help us get the word out tell your friends about us and point people to these different sites so they can be apart of the community. I will put the links for each of them down at the bottom.

That’s it for this week. Next week we will start talking about the factions in Leviathans. Until then, have a great week.

Bryn Bills

Facebook: Community page

Facebook: Catalyst page

Reddit Page

Looking for New Captains

Hello Leviathans Fans!
My name is Bryn Bills, board games and minis enthusiast, devoted Leviathans fan and as of August the Line developer for Leviathans. I’m incredibly excited to go on this Journey with you as we move towards a kickstarter this coming summer and if all goes according to plan (which it of course always does) the release of the Game the year after that. 

Randall introduced me in the last update so we can skip over that and get right into what everyone wants to hear about, what’s happening with Leviathans.
At this moment the Leviathans team is trying to really lay out what a Leviathans 2.0 is going to look like. We have a lot of exciting ideas that we are kicking around. Everything from minor changes and tweaks to the core rules all the way to entire new additions to the game. We want Leviathans to be the best it can be. Of course we never want to lose what has made Leviathans such a great game and the core of the it will always remain the same. The entire team working on Leviathans considers it our favorite miniatures game and we will do nothing to hurt the game.

That is where all of you come in. We have all of these plans but we need help play-testing them. We need people who are willing to commit time each week to play this game (I know, such a hard thing to ask) and give us feedback so that we can make this game everything we all know it can be. If that sounds like something you and your friends are interested in please contact me at my email (bryn@catalystgamelabs.com).


As for these updates, I will be making one of these every week excluding holidays on Thursday going forward. I will go over our plans for the game, the different factions, new mechanics we plan to add etc. 
Thank you all again for your dedication to this game over the years. I promise you that the wait will have been worth it. 


See you all in the Skies!


Bryn Bills, Leviathans Line Developer

Gen Con, Pax West & More

Gen Con and Pax West were amazing this year. And like Origins, one of the best parts were many of you stopping by asking about Leviathans. To share that yes, it is returning via Kickstarter next summer, was always fantastic for the excitement it generated. Thanks to absolutely everyone that stopped by!

Gen Con Big Game

At Gen Con we ran a large game that included playtest fleets for all eight factions: British, French, Italian, German, Russian, Austro-Hungarians, Japanese and Americans. Ultimately it was over fifty ships across a huge map (as you can see in the photo below). A lot of great data was taken, and just fun had by all.

Pax West

We’ve attended Pax West for almost a decade, and for the first time we were not in the main Seattle Convention Center. The tabletop area in the Hyatt Regency was great, however. The other vendors were wonderful, lots of foot traffic, and just a great time of playing games and talking with gamers. While we originally didn’t plan on it, as we were not sure of the space available, after several requests we squeezed in several Leviathans demos as well! (Thanks to our amazing demo team that knocked out hundreds of hours of games and found a way to sneak in those additional games.)

New Line Developer

Finally, at Gen Con Catalyst Game Labs named Bryn Bills as the Leviathans Line Developer.


In many ways, Bryn was the unsung hero of the initial Leviathans. Even at 14 and 15 he was frightfully good at tearing game designs down and figuring out the problems and potential solutions. And his enthusiasm for Leviathans always matched my own; and often exceeded it, as he kept the ships afloat several times during those dark days of Free Taiwan.
Bryn has since gone on to publish his own first game design (Masters of Orion: Conquest), and has several other game designs being reviewed for potential future publication.


He’s also lead the charge in a huge way on Leviathans: The Great War. As the Shadowrun, Sixth World launch sucked up my life for the first four months of this year, and then the Clan Invasion Kickstarter, Origins and Gen Con took the next two months, he lead the charge himself, building his own playtest team, and playing once–if not often twice–a week for months now (I slide in when time allows). Then building Google drives and docs/sheets to hold and track all of the details, as well as compile playtest notes and more. He and I (and often that playtest group) would then come together every two or three weeks to look over everything, decide where we need to go next, and move things in that direction. So, so many conversations had at all hours of the day.


That experience, enthusiasm and skill set was a great fit for this job, and Loren ultimately agreed with my assessment and made it official.


Note that I have no intention of walking away. I will be intimately connected to everything involving Leviathans going forward. But with all of the other responsibilities I have (not the least of which is the crazy 90+ BattleMech miniatures I need to help produce), the nitty gritty details, and keeping things moving forward, is what will rest on Bryn’s capable shoulders.

While I will continue to post updates now and then, Bryn will take on that added responsibility as well.

Thanks for sticking with us, and plenty more updates to come as we continue moving forward!

Leviathans At Gen Con 2019

This is very last minute, because, well, our current Kickstarter for BattleTech—much less the usual crazy of preparing releases and other elements for Gen Con—has been all-consuming the last few months. However, just as we did at Origins, we’re sneaking in a big “stealth Leviathans” game this year.

This will be a single event, of four concurrent games. What’s more, it’s really an opportunity to playtest numerous new factions—Germans, Italians, Austro-Hungarians, Japanese, Americans, and Russians—some new rules—aerial torpedoes in particular—and really just show-off our love of this great game. All while interacting with some of those that helped us reach this stage. (See the attached photo for our table where we’re preparing final game assets to start packing up and get on a plane tomorrow).

If any of the above sounds interesting, and you’re already attending Gen Con, it will run Friday night from 8PM to midnight. Just find us at the Catalyst Minis HQ. Note this is a ticketed event, and there will be limited room. But we will take as many as we can. And of course, even if you can only just stop on by and say hi, we’d love to see you.

Hope to see some of you there!

Randall

Sky Admiral

There’s Ship Sign!

It’s a humbling feeling to write the first post for a new Leviathans: The Great War website. Sure, we’ve a long, long ways to go. After all, so much playtesting and work left to get us well into next year. Then a Kickstarter. Then production, and so on. So that ship sign is just a whiff of black smoke shredding quickly on the horizon.

Yet, to simply be here at this moment, has taken a lot of years and plenty of work. What’s more, that humbleness comes from all those of you that approached us at every con for well over half a decade with a smile and enthusiasm and a “When do you think we’ll see more Leviathans?” You know exactly who you are…thank you!

Amongst many factors, it was that level of dedication, year after year from many of you, that is enabling this return. I’ve worked in the hobby game industry for over twenty years. And some games—such as BattleTech—will always have first place in my heart, since I’ve been playing that game in particular since I was sixteen. Yet Leviathans was my first all-original game design. It holds a very special place in my heart and passion. And that it also found a place in so many other hearts as well…I simply cannot thank you enough for keeping the faith till now. 

So this is all just the start. A simple website, with flyers next week at Gen Con announcing Leviathans: The Great War will hit Kickstarter next year. In the coming weeks and months we’ll expand the website content, blog monthly about playtesting and development, and more. 

It’s just a start, but it’s a magnificent, wonderful start. I hope you’ll join me—whether you’ve been along this entire path (including Free Taiwan!) or just joining us now—as we head towards fantastic ships on our game tables one more!

THANK YOU!   

Randall

Sky Admiral