Dystopian Wars release update

By tgn_admin
In News
Feb 17th, 2011
11 Comments
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Neil from Spartan Games has posted an update on their planned release schedule for the Dystopian Wars game.

From their website:

When we first defined the 8 nations for the game the list was as follows:

Wave 1 – Book 1

  • Kingdom of Britannia
  • Prussian Empire
  • Empire of the Blazing Sun
  • Federated States of America (FSA)

The second set of nation releases were defined as:

Wave 2 – Book 2

  • Covenant of Antarctica
  • Russian Coalition
  • Ottoman Empire
  • League of Italian States


Mixed into this is what we call the Alliance Nations, into which we have the following nations:

  • Republic of France
  • Chinese Federation
  • Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth
  • Arabian Republic of Egypt
  • Socialist Union of South America
  • As we kept developing the back story and models for the game, looking ahead to when the next sets of nations come out, we also evaluated the roles of several nations in the game. One that we decided required a change in status was France, so it changed from being an Alliance nation to a full boxed nation. This also fitted in with our plans to alter the release schedule for the Covenant of Antarctica.

    We’ve been slow at rolling out information to you all this year, so my apologies for that, but the wave of support for Dystopian Wars has kept us all very busy here. Now that we’ve found our feet we’ll hopefully be articulating our plans to you all in a better way. As to the French Battleship, well its technology is some of the more advanced in use in Dystopian Wars, albeit stolen from the Covenant by the misguided Markov.

    As you can see from many of the models in the game the idea of lightweight alloys that allow giant machines of war to fly or hover is commonplace. Just look at the John Henry Robot or Prussian Sky Imperium Fortress. The French Battleship brings the concept of anti-gravity motion to the world, the model being more of a skimmer than a flying ship as such – it also floats and uses the anti-gravity modules for manoeuvring. More flying models will follow and more exciting technologies to hopefully amuse you and make your game play enjoyable.

  • BoosterX

    Looks like US and FA are really being neglected. 🙁

    • corsair117

      Not really, US has sky pirates coming out and in the same thread linked neil mentions new models and rules coming out for FA including space pirates and the first two dreadnoughts.

      Honestly Spartan is still a small company and they at least seem to be learning as DW is much more polished than either of the US or FA were right out the gate. Plus they’ve stated several times that DW was way bigger than they expected and they’re trying to play catch-up right now which is the biggest issue for everything being delayed.

      Also the Robots ARE in the rulebook along with a bunch of other ships, aircraft, land units and Installations.

      • Zac

        Honestly Spartan is still a small company and they at least seem to be learning as DW is much more polished than either of the US or FA were right out the gate.

        They are indeed a small company. Whether they can fully support three miniature games with multiple factions at the same time remains to be seen.

      • blkdymnd

        Sky Pirates have been “coming out” for over a year and a half now. If the robots are in the book, I must have overlooked them so I apologize on that. I only remembered the Japanese ones. They are too small a company for their aspirations at times.

  • blkdymnd

    Thats why I don’t play Spartan anymore, the staff is just too ADHD when it comes to what they want to develop. They’re already showing those FSA and Prussian robots when those aren’t even in the current book. Their focus has always disappointed me. US suffered from too many pdf releases, just a lot of extra paperwork to feel like you were caught up. Everything was “experimental” and such. I like the feel of Dystopian Wars, I just can’t trust them to stick with it.

    • Zac

      This is the #1 reason why I haven’t got into DW. I don’t think that Uncharted Seas was ever completed and Firestorm Armada appears to have gone the same way. FA was never as bad as US but I don’t want to spend my time on a game that isn’t going to get the full focus of the company making it.

      • Osbad

        I understand this kind of perfectionism psychology, and a lot of gamers seem to share it. This idea of needing things to be “complete” before they will even begin it.

        For me though its not necessary. I prefer to “dabble” in multiple games, rather than get engrossed in one. GW’s LotR cured me of that affliction. I’m happy now in the knowledge that any given new game may never be completed, or if it is, the manufacturer will reboot it and the players will have to start from scratch.

        It is sufficient that there is a wealth of coolness out there and I can dip into it as I want. Being shown far off horizons that may never materialise in the real world is a shame, but it sort of comes with the territory. Most, in fact I would say all, game companies (the big ones included) have plans that change and alter as things move along – heck it’s why GW don’t like leaks and won’t publish plans too far ahead, and they are quite open about that reason. If GW face that issue, then it must be faced x100 by the smaller companies.

        To an extent then I think it just comes with the territory, and we gamers have to just get used to the idea that the perfect scenario, where a games company will, straight off the rack have a 5 year plan that they can publish up front and stick to, and which gives us a perfectly balanced and thought through game simply cannot exist in the real world!

        If it bothers you too much then it makes sense not to be an early adopter, and to sit back and let the dust settle and see where you go with things from there.

        Hearing Neil’s interview on the D6G, and that they are having to more than double output and move to shifts for production we simply have to realise in the case of Spartan, it is a company that has limited resources, and that it makes sense to point them in the direction of the greatest attraction – i.e. if Dystopian Wars is massively outselling Uncharted Seas, then DW will get more production time than US. After all who are Spartan best served in trying to please? The customers and distributors that are clamouring for DW product, or the internet grognards who are moaning that there isn’t enough love for US?

        They can’t please all the people all the time. As long as they please more people than they tick off, then that is the best they can hope for I think.

        And those that are ticked off just have to accept the limitations of cold reality when it comes to running a game company.

        What is the alternative for them? Not release DW? Cut US and FSA? What?

        I think there are too many “perfectionist” gamers out there with unrealistic expectations. A simple law of survival is not to be an early adopter and not to expect too much too fast. particularly from small companies with (as everyone in the UK is facing from our bankers right now) limited access to credit for development.

        • Zac

          I understand this kind of perfectionism psychology, and a lot of gamers seem to share it. This idea of needing things to be “complete” before they will even begin it.

          You’re engaging in a bit of a strawman debate. I don’t recall anyone wanting the things that you are mentioning.

          This has nothing to do, for me, with any desire for perfection but simply for the company to follow through on what they promise. US was unplayable for a considerable time because of all of the PDF updates and changes to the game and the almost total lack of releases. You had to drag a pile of printed material to games and some vessels had either no rules or rules that were clearly test rules for ages.

          Firestorm Armada has had a decline in releases as well. Primarily, I suspect, from the effort required to get DW out.

          I have no expectations that the games or company are perfect but I do have an expectation that the games are properly supported and the track records from them has been, so far, poor enough that I didn’t want to get involved in DW.

          What is the alternative for them? Not release DW? Cut US and FSA? What?

          Can you try to keep the discussion grounded in the context of what people are saying? This type of argument is tiring.

          The alternative is for them to be a bit more responsible and not get carried away trying to release their current “great idea” and build the company in such a way that it can provide gamers the support for all of their games.

          It is tough to do and it requires that you do some planning and build sustainable lines.

          There was a 28mm fantasy game that appears to have died. Their 40mm Greek Fantasy game is dead. Their 6mm sci-fi game appears to not have gone anywhere. They lost the To’ok ranges that Aaron Brown was doing.

          The company needs some adult supervision.

          • Osbad

            I apologise if I have misunderstood your point. I don’t mean to be ad hominem that is for certain.

            I’ll try and rephrase and distill.

            I am a reasonably satisfied player of Uncharted Seas. I bought the first edition of the game and played it through all the various pdf/forum shenanikins and enjoyed doing so, even if from time to time it got somewhat wearisom trying to work out what the current version of a particular rule was.

            That particular lesson was learned by Spartan though and wasn’t repeated with FSA (which is a game I don’t particularly enjoy, and never bought into) and for certain is with DW (which is a game I believe I will enjoy once I get around to buying it.

            Perhaps I should say then that I am happy to live with the fact that companies don’t sometimes/often live up to their intentions, and in that sense “break faith” with their fans.

            It’s irritating when it happens, but I don’t think we should be surprised when it does, as even large companies do it. Where the fault lies perhaps is in promising too much rather than delivering too little.

            They showed us what their plans were, which was fun, but we are now sad those plans have now been changed in favour of something that turned out to be far more of a success than they ever believed a product range could be.

            I recommend (if you haven’t) that you try and listen to the interview with Neil Fawcett that the D6G podcast aired a couple of episodes back. It gives a great insite into the problems and challenges that the company has faced over the past 2 years and explains a lot.

            Should the company publish plans for stuff that may never come to fruition? That’s a moot point. Here SG are being criticised for doing so, yet when GW reduced their publicity window down to a couple of months ahead and stoppered leaks altogether their were howls of derision!

            Are SG at fault for “leading us up the garden path”? Most certainly. Are gamers at fault for getting overexcited about something that hasn’t been released yet? I would posit the answer “yes”.

            As a US player I am somewhat frustrated by the slowdown of new releases for that system. BUT that doesn’t stop me enjoying playing the game with the stupid number of models I have bought already – at least not now all the rules issues are sorted out – and if I get bored waiting for (say) the new Sky Pirates, then I’ll just play something else in the meantime.

            Should I take all forward release plans of SG with a pinch of salt? Most certainly. But I should perhaps also be aware that SG (and many other companies like them) are very small entities who are in most cases learning hwo to do things as they go along, and I believe should be cut a bit of slack.

            Have they done wrong? Yes. Should they do better? Yes. And I expect next time they will, as they show a good ability to learn from their mistakes, while of course making completely new ones on a regular basis!

            Now, a recent start-up company that perhaps IS achieving its plans and is not only keeping us informed of what it intends to do, but also manages to keep its promises is Mantic Games. Is it any surprise that the CEO is no n00b, but has had decades of experience in the wargames industry? Even so, Mantic may fall pray to financial or personnel problems (for instance) and plans for forthcoming races and games may fall by the wayside.

            Definitely they have the kind of planning and expertise at their fingertips that SG have lacked hitherto. Great for them!

            I think the point I am trying to make is that in dismissing companies like SG becuase they “break their promises” is a case of throwing the baby out with the bathwater. SG and others should be judged on what they actually have released and whether it is any good (and no one can deny that US, FSA and now DW have been phenomenally popular systems), rather on (to mix metaphors) whether they have shot for the moon and reached the stars.

            I think saying they “need some adult supervision” is a little harsh, although perhaps a greater sense of reality would benefit their press releases’ credibility. But some responsibility should fall to the reader not to let their hopes get pushed too high byt the thoughts of what might well turn out to be vapourware.

            Just my feeling.

          • Zac

            I think saying they “need some adult supervision” is a little harsh, although perhaps a greater sense of reality would benefit their press releases’ credibility.

            It is a bit harsh but I often get the sense that the company needs a person in charge who isn’t a fan and/or gamer.

            They also appear to have stopped releasing PR. I think that almost anything you see posted online is submitted by fans like you. Not a bad thing per se for a company like them as they clearly sell out their stock and their fans are good enough at getting the word out but its not a great long-term strategy.

            Should the company publish plans for stuff that may never come to fruition?

            No. I don’t think its ever a good idea.

            Here SG are being criticised for doing so

            Are they?

            yet when GW reduced their publicity window down to a couple of months ahead and stoppered leaks altogether their were howls of derision!

            When did GW stop their leaks? Check out any 40K or WFB forum for a slew of leaked materiel that can only be coming from GW.

            Should I take all forward release plans of SG with a pinch of salt? Most certainly.

            But that is all that anyone here has really been saying. I’m not sure what the argument is. 🙂

  • Lemminkaeinen

    Didn’t they bring a whole new dev team on board that devised DW with the old one still doing US and FA? Of course that doesn’t affect the release schedule shenanigans that Osbad talked about but on the development front the games should be on a roughly equal footing at least in theory.