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!

Posted in Uncategorized

Progress! The Silvercat gets Sculpted

After a long hiatus, (sorry, folks!), we have some new progress with Saucer War One! In a mad flurry of sculpting, I’ve hammered out the Silvercat in a mere three days!

The Silvercat is the primary interceptor-saucer for the forces of ANTIC, defending the skies of Earth against the predations of Das Mondreich and the Noordicans.

It will come with magnetisable weapon pods of 30mm cannons or ‘Mighty Mouse’ 70mm aerial rockets. Very much the weapons of choice for fighting flying saucers in the 1950’s!

The Silvercat will be available as a print-ready STL file, or as a complete resin miniature when Saucer War One launches later this year.

I’ll have my Elegoo Mars 2 Pro 3D printer soon, so I hope to show off some printed, and then painted, samples of the ‘cat in a short while. No more vapourware!

A bit excited, because I can see the opposing fleets of saucers starting to assemble as concepts become sculpts, and will soon be real, actual models.

The rules themselves are coming along now; I ran into a probability wall months ago, and it killed my enthusiasm for writing the durned thing, but letting it simmer on the back of the stove for a while did the trick. Now I aim to offer the beta-level rules, cards, tokens etc. as free Print-n-Play PDFs in a short(ish) while.

So, that is the current situation with Saucer War One. Thank you for keeping up with the journey I’m taking as I move towards being an actual game publisher. It’s proving a tough road, but I think it will be worth it all. I hope you’ll soon have good reason to agree!

More to come soon, so until next time;

Watch the Skies!

Posted in Uncategorized

“What If I Told You It Was All True…?”

I arched my eyebrows at Professor Vanes. “All true?” What was he talking about now?
I’d been warned by my colleagues at WKBW that this eccentric astronomer could be a little erratic in his ways.

“What if I told you it was all true?”

A moment ago, we’d been taping a perfectly mundane interview about reports of volcanic activity on Mars, just to fill a spot on a quiet evening’s newscast. But suddenly, the Professor pulled nervously at his salt-and-pepper goatee, and fixed me with a thousand-yard stare. I shuffled uncomfortably, failed to shrug nonchalantly, and turned the tape back on.

“All that crazy jibe about flying saucers,” the Professor breathed. “lights in the sky… aliens from other worlds… mutilated cattle… ‘Men in black’…”

I began to protest. I was a serious journalist, not some Enquirer hack who spent their days pasting Spock ears onto baby photos! Flying saucers? C’mon! It’s 1987 already!  

“What if I told you it was all true?”

The protest evaporated on my lips. That stare now seemed to bore through the back of my head. I tried to laugh. It was the laugh of someone who’s realised they’re alone in an elevator with a nut.

“I see you start to smile. But not so fast, my young friend. Everything you’ve heard about UFOs is true. Everything. Since 1947, alien flying saucers have been intruding into Earth’s atmosphere, attacking our aircraft, abducting our citizens, manipulating our minds, and trying to take over our world.” 

Professor Vanes reaches into a draw of his impossibly cluttered desk. I expect a knife, and tense to spring out the window.

But it’s only documents. Transcripts. Reports. Dozens of them. Some look forty years old. Many are older. There’s things signed by Truman and Eisenhower. A roll of film he says comes from a Russian fighter plane, shot down over China. Another of a captivating woman, hair to her waist, but dressed in what looks like a Nazi uniform.

And then he shows me the photos. Impossible photos. A base hidden on the dark side of the moon. Astronauts on Mars. Hundreds of thousands of people rallying for alien ‘contactees’, all over the world. A city floating over thick clouds, like New York got tired of the smog and came up for fresh air. And the UFOs — Saucers — everywhere. Flying over London, over Paris. Above Australia and South America. In hidden, underground bases. In snapshots of grinning pilots. Fighting in the skies over Washington D.C.

And — dear God — the aliens. Actual freaking aliens. Some look human, but aren’t. Some are definitely not. I don’t want to look. This can’t be real. Why can’t it be fake?

But there’s too much. Reams of it. The weight of evidence crushes down on me, grinding my comfy world-view to dust.

“Humanity was powerless to stop them,” says the Professor, and now I really am listening. “but something had to be done. The governments of the world needed to keep this at arm’s length, so they came up with a secret army to fight the invaders. Unseen, unrestricted, and utterly deniable.”

He leans forward. “Let me tell you about Saucer War One.”

Why the Hell couldn’t it have been just a knife?

Welcome to Saucer War One!

In Saucer War One you’ll discover the truth about the wars waged by the saucer pilots of ANTIC against the alien menace. Unseen wars fought right above our heads, 60 years ago!

Only now, with the accidental leaks of secret documents and photos from the archives of whistleblowers like Professor Vanes, can we disclose this incredible story. This is the suppressed history you never learned in school. The terrible, incredible truth of an underground government, alien civilisations, ancient galactic empires and the deadly duels of impossible aircraft, wrestling for supremacy.  

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 through 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? 

Hello everyone, Martin here again, out of spiel-mode now. So, there you have it; Miniature Martin’s first (intended) release. Saucer War One will be a comprehensive tabletop experience of a war that never happened (maybe…)

Over the next few weeks, I’ll continue to flesh out the world of Saucer War One, its personalities, nations, technology, and the causes and motives of it all.

There will also be insights into game mechanics and rules writing, ufology research and the amazing mythology that has grown around flying saucers. You might even find (as I have), that there’s much more to this UFO stuff than X-Files, tinfoil hats, and alien proctologists. You might even come to suspect that there really is something going on in our skies. (Don’t ask me what it is, though. If you know, bring a letter to the usual place on Tuesday. Make sure you are wearing a red carnation.) Also, there will be sneak peeks at saucer miniatures and game artwork, as they come to hand.

So, I hear the masses cry, (all three of you,) “When oh when can we get our hands on Saucer War One, and make our lives complete?!?”

Keep your eyes open, my dear saucerians. The objective will be to get Saucer War One off the ground in July, 2021, via the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter. Before that, we have an amazing journey ahead. I hope you’ll come along for the ride.

Watch the Skies!

Posted in Uncategorized

And Away We Go…

Welcome aboard, eager, young space-cadet! My name is Martin, and I will be guiding you along the journey you are about to undertake into the sometimes strange, but hopefully entertaining, world of my imagination.

We’re sharing this journey really, more so than merely you following my lead. (Never a good idea, that… I’d watch your step, honestly.) To tell the truth, your guide is as much a newcomer here as you are.

That’s because your guide hasn’t tried this before; documenting his progress, I mean. This is my first real attempt to put down on paper (or up on screen, really), my thoughts and processes as I design a new game and line of miniatures from the ground up. I hope you’ll be generous enough to keep that in mind when I go wondering along backroads or following my tail, rather than keeping to the map. (Adding to the confusion, I think this compass I have is dodgy, too… curse these cheap Christmas crackers!)

In any case, I will be posting articles on my rules writing, background or ‘fluff’ pieces, insights into my research into the Art of Kickstarting, and sneak peeks of what will be the first product line and game from Miniature Martin — Hobbies from Other Dimensions!

Stay Tuned, and Watch the Skies!