One epic siege, one massive board, one massive new campaign system and 2 new decks! Join us at Salute 2024!
The masterstroke team is proud to announce we will be collaborating with the town of Gradara, Oshiro Model Terrain and the History in Games Lab to bring their siege of Gradara project to life!
The Historical Gradara
The Marche, a mountainous area supposedly ruled by the Papacy but in truth was occupied by warlord families making the towns and castles their own.
Gradara was one of the chief fortresses in the region, a rich prize for any of the mercenary princes that sought to control the vital roadways that control travel between Rome and the Adriatic coast.
In the 1446 the owner of Gradara, the dashing your Sigismondo of the infamous Malatesta family was called to Rome to accept the gift of a rich armour from the Pope. In his absence the Sforza brothers seized their chance marching on Gradara with the full might of the Milanese war machine with many other allies behind them.
As the town came under siege Sigismondo rushed back, raising his cavalry to launch daring raids on the besiegers draining their supply and morale.
As the weeks wore on it was only through courageous actions by Pandalfos men to break through enemy lines that they were able to reinforce Gradara and keep it out of Sforza hands. Some say it was even through magic that the defenders were able to call upon rain storms to keep the Sforza canons silent.
Finally the endless raids and staunch defence forced the Sforzas to cut a deal and retreat to plot their next actions!
The town of Gradara, in conjunction with the Edinburgh History in Games lab, has teamed up to commission a playable 3×4 meter board of Gradara as it was during the siege of 1443. Oshiro models will be producing the table to the specs of the historians of the town and even include an addon for the besiegers camp.
The model is going to be presented first at Salute in the UK.
We have been asked by the History in Games Lab to help bring the table to life at Salute and to create a game experience to engage with at the models future home in Gradara.
A new Siege Deck
Force of Virtue doesn’t currently cover sieges. Sure we could just create some “scenarios” that give a static situation for both the attacker and defender, but that wouldn’t be the Masterstroke way! Where’s the room for different siege machine options? Different levels of vigilance from the defenders, more complex defensive works, what about pre-emptive bombardments? Also, what about rushing open gates or scaling walls by night? We aren’t even talking yet about all the fun stuff you can find in things like Bellifortis!
So this means we need a siege scenario deck to allow for these factors and to build upon for later!
A new Campaign System
Well at Salute we have 8hrs with to game on the table, FOV doesn’t take that long to play so what can we do with such a long amount of time? The table is HUGE and FOV games are fairly small, so just doing a two player game doesn’t make much sense.
So a multiplayer campaign system is our only option, the cruelty of such a fate is mindboggling! I guess we could make a neat little pat campaign tree to allow a quick easy way to solve this and put out some content as a PDF to put a price tag on.
But that would allow only one real resolution, maybe two or three. What about the many different ways a siege can be won, running out of supplies, wearing down support, storming the place or even raising a relieving army. What about different strategies from either side to achieve those ends! Can we figure out a system where people who might not even have siege terrain can effect the course of the siege?
Well we’re creating a siege campaign system to go along with this wear you take actions with your captains, agents and engineers on the siege map to improve defences, lead raids, raise support, destroy siege machines, mine, countermine and fight in the tunnels. We are so excited about this!
Since our friends from the TTRPG “age of the sword” are going to be at Salute too on the table you’ll also have a chance to do a roleplay scenario to resolve some of the siege actions like raising support, convincing a traitor to open a gate or inspiring your troops!
But wait… there’s more!!!
Remember how Sigismondo Malatesta was a daring cavalry commander and his cavalry raids were crucial to the resolution of the siege? Well that has to go into the system too!
So I guess we are going to have to do a cavalry deck! Being riders ourselves we can’t just give cavalry increased movement and call it quits… that would be a bit anti-climactic. Cavalry combat is based on momentum, angles complex maneuvers, managing the horses psychology. So cavalry combat will be template based with special cards for school airs above the ground and other complex dressage manoeuvres.
How are we going to do this?
We are planning on launching a kickstarter this spring! The kickstarter is currently being setup but expect to be able to get the 2 new decks and possibly a third specific Gradara deck in the main launch possibly along with stretch goals for more cavalry decks.
We are a small company so some of these decks might be one off print runs only available in the kickstarter, so don’t forget to sign up to our newsletter to not miss out on the launch and your chance to be the savior or maybe the bane of Gradara, that shining fortress on the hill!