Posted in FAQ, State of the Saucer, The Art of Kickstarting, Uncategorized

State of the Saucer #1

All you wanted to know about Saucer War One, and weren’t afraid to ask

Greetings once again, Miniaturists! It’s finally time for the first Saucer War One Q&A session. Based on questions I’ve been asked by people on forums, social media and in actual, non-digital reality, here’s a substantial selection of answers.

The State of the Saucer will be a semi-regular update about the development and production of Saucer War One as we countdown to launch, so keep your eyes peeled for future editions. Now, read on…

OK, just what is Saucer War One?

Saucer War One is a tabletop miniatures game of flying saucer combat, set in the 1950s. Against a background of B-grade Sci-Fi films, Cold War paranoia, Bebop Jazz and Rock n’ Roll, Saucer War One takes you to an alternate history in which alien civilisations challenged Humanity for dominance of the Earth.

Players field squadrons of beautifully detailed miniature saucers, maneuvering to bring machine-cannons, missiles, and exotic super-science weapons to bear. But victory is not decided by combat alone; Saucer War One is a fight for the hearts and minds of Earthlings. Can you gain the most believers for your cause, and ultimately triumph?

Is Saucer War One a miniatures game, a boardgame or what?

It’s both, in many ways; Although fundamentally a miniatures wargame, many elements of Saucer War One were inspired by board and card games. The way that Data, Weapon, Crew and Equipment Discs all interact resembles the ’tapped’ mechanic often seen in card games, for example.

Is this just X-Wing, but with UFOs?

A big difference from other ‘flight simulator’ wargames is that a game of Saucer War One is not just about shooting down saucers. Victory hinges on how many Believers you gain for your faction. Believers are ordinary folk who witness strange lights in the sky, meet people from other worlds, and take fuzzy photos of things that look like thrown hubcaps. But what do they believe is the truth behind these encounters? If enough people believe your version of events, you win the battle for the ’truth’ and the hearts and minds of the masses.

What scale are the miniatures?

The Saucers of Saucer War One are 1/200 scale, the same as a number of historical ranges of aircraft miniatures, such as Warlord Games’ Blood Red Skies.

Will the miniatures be metal, resin, or something else?

Players will be able to choose from either of two ways to add Saucer War One miniatures to their collection:
1. As .STL files for home 3D printing
2 . As resin miniatures available via mail order

There is the possibility of injection-moulded, HIPS plastic kits being released if Saucer War One is massively successful, but such kits take a lot of initial capital to get into production, so it is much too early for promises there. Still, no-one said we can’t dream!

Oh, and there will be waterslide decals, painting guides, and all that other miniature goodness.

How and when will Saucer War One be released? When can we get our hands on the rules?

Let’s answer these questions as a timeline:

July 2021:
Saucer War One will be freely available as a ‘print-n-play’ game via Drive Thru RPG and other sources. This will be the ‘Beta +’ version of the game, still in playtest mode, and without all the bells and whistles.

December 2021:
Final, free print-n-play version of Saucer War One will be released. This will be as polished a set of rules, discs, tokens etc. as possible, but will still not include all the goodies of the printed game. For that we have to wait until…

Mid-July 2022:
The Saucer War One Kickstarter launches! If successful, this complete boxed game will include 12 miniature Saucers, a comprehensive rulebook, background book, and all the full-colour tokens, discs and cards etc, required to play.

Will the full edition of Saucer War One only be offered through Kickstarter?

No. The objective is to raise enough funds via Kickstarter to justify continued production of the printed game for retail purchase. However, the Kickstarter edition will be include benefits for backers, to say ‘thank you!’ for their support in getting Saucer War One off the ground.

What will be the delivery date for the Kickstarter?

Unknown at this time. But, the intention is to have Saucer War One production-ready before the Kickstarter launches, and not keep backers waiting any longer than absolutely necessary.

How much will Saucer War One cost?

Again, unknown at this time. However, the target suggested retail price will be below US$99.00 (€83.00). All individual components from the boxed game will be available to buy separately.

Will there be saucers from classic sci-fi like Earth vs The Flying Saucers or The Invaders etc?

Unfortunately, no. The complexities and cost involved in purchasing multiple licences from a myriad of sci-fi properties would be prohibitive to say the least. All the saucers in Saucer War One are based on ‘real’ flying saucers; Either those claimed as encounters by real people in the past, or lenticular aircraft projects such as the Avro Aerocar.

Interestingly, there is more diversity and variety of saucers in the historical record than in all of science fiction! Trust me, there’s no danger of running out of inspiration for amazing, detailed miniature saucers. In fact, as I write this, there are already plans in place to release sixteen models for Saucer War One. And then we move on to Saucer War Two…

How many factions are there to play?

The two initial factions are the main antagonists that fought Saucer War One in the mid-50’s. They are:

The Noordicans are the last of a population of human slaves who once served the tyrannical Annunaki — an ancient race which dominated our galaxy thousands of years ago. After struggling to survive in exile on Venus since ancient times, desperation has driven the Noordicans to return to Earth in the Annunaki’s saucers. While their message seems peaceful, conquest of the Earth is the Noordicans’ true objective; Venus is dying, and the Noordicans’ must have a new home…

ANTIC is the ultra-secret, international organisation behind all the UFO conspiracies. Formed in 1952 as the world’s governments scrambled to stop the Noordican threat, ANTIC maintains squadrons of human-made saucers in hidden bases all over the world. Concealed beneath a cloak of misinformation and deception, ANTIC is not afraid to take extreme measures in the name of defeating the alien menace.

Are there more planned? Will there be Martians?

At the Kickstarter stage, a third faction will be offered:

Das Mondreich
After the destruction of their Antarctic stronghold of Neu Schwabenland in 1946, a handful of diehard Nazis fled to the moon in ships built using back-engineered technology from a Noordican saucer. In the short years since, Das Mondreich has become a micro-nation determined to make a new world empire, with Earth’s satellite as its capital. Rejecting the original Nazi doctrine in favour of their new philosophy of “Mondmenschen Perfektion”, the Haunebu saucers of das Mondreich regularly raid the Earth for resources, technology, and even people!

All factions will have their own unique Saucers, Crews, Weapons and Equipment. Each will play quite differently from the other, and each will have sub-factions released later for even more variety of play. And yes, one of these sub-factions will be Martians!

Additional major factions will be added as the Saucer War timeline advances into the 1960s and beyond. But, no details just yet. That’s for the future…

Is this going to be one of those games with never ending sourcebooks, codexes, etc that you have to buy to keep up with the meta?

No. Saucer War One will have a definite beginning and end. If you want to collect just Saucer War One models, there will be a finite amount of stuff on your painting table! If there is enough demand, however, further Saucer Wars will be released, but each will stand as a separate game. By way of analogy, a wargame set in World War One would not have miniatures or army lists that apply to a game about World War Two.

Then… to play after Saucer War One, I’ll have to buy all new stuff?

Again, no, there will be some crossover. For example, the Noordicans’ saucers are thousands of years old and far superior to most modern counterparts. They’re not going to abandon their noble sky chariots just because the primitive Earthlings might dare to improve their crude facsimiles!

Have you thought about putting all this fluff into novels, short stories, etc?

Yes. Nothing definite yet, but there is the possibility of a short story anthology, or even a novelisation. We’ll have to wait and see if that can become a thing.

Will there be T-Shirts?

Oh yes. 🙂

Phew, I feel like I’ve been interrogated by PRANK agents! But thank you to everyone who asked me questions up to now. If you have a question that hasn’t been answered here, please ask in the comments or via forum, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. I’ll append it to this State of the Saucer for the benefit of all.

Until next time – Watch the skies!