Deep Wars is a 28mm alternative Fantasy/Steampunk game from Antimatter Games based around underwater combat. I picked up the rulebook at NOVA, and scored two starter boxes at rock bottom prices at Fall-In. Today we're going to take a look at the rulebook.
The rulebook clocks in at 159 pages, softcover, full color. The paper is fairly thin and cheap, almost like a soft newspaper style. It retails for $30.
It's pretty much all rules. There are only about 18 pages of fluff. Roughly 30 pages of army lists and units.
As for the rules of the game, they are based on the Song of Blades and Heroes ruleset. One of the highlights of Song of Blades and Heroes, if you're not familiar with the rules, is a risk management system for activations. You choose between one and three dice to roll to activate a model, and make skill test. Depending on the ratio of successes to failures you get, the model could activate multiple times, or not activate at all and end the turn!
They also add in lots of rules to help fit the underwater theme. Line of sight, visibility, and even sanity are affected by how deep you are in the water and how much light there is. If you have a model with no light source (such as a dive lantern) attempting to activate in the deep abyss, it might not even know which direction to go!
|Who doesn't want a pimp diving suit like this?|
(A cunning player might make use of light tactics offensively, too!)
The book includes both standard missions, such as submarine boarding actions, and a multiple game campaign system in the style of Necromunda, where you can keep track of experience and level your guys up.
Here's a few shots from the army list section. Armies look to consist of only a handful of figures - smaller than Warmachine army scale.
Deep Wars also includes one of my favorite mechanics - the ability to create your own armies and units! And this is a very fleshed out points matrix system spanning several pages, allowing you to make whatever kind of army you want out of whatever figures you can find.
I've yet to get a game in of Deep Wars, but just recently started working on my figures. Expect to see some batreps once they're done, and we might even try a game or two inside a fish tank!