SCI-FI SPACE COMBAT WARGAME
In times when nearly all new wargames have to be “simple” or “fast-paced”, and “easy to learn, hard to master” is little more than a worn-out slogan, we dared to go against the tide. If I had to describe Shadows in the Void in a single word, it would be “nontrivial”.
by Assault Publishing Studio
Shadows in the Void is a unique spacefighter combat miniature wargame based on highly modified core rules of Hind Commander (mainly simplified and streamlined) and inspired by classic ancient Chinese military treatise The Art of War. Unlike most games within the genre, Shadows in the Void focuses on stealth, electronic warfare, and the interactions between spacecraft in your squadron. It certainly is not a “Red Baron in space” ruleset – you won’t see many dogfights during the battles. Why would advanced war machines of the far future use tactics which became obsolete in mid-20th century? Of course, they look very appealing on screen, but not necessarily on the gaming table.
Instead, combat in Shadows in the Void takes place over extremely long distances and at huge speeds. Often, detecting the targets and locking your weapons on them is the most important aspect of the game – exactly like in Hind Commander. The average 100 x 100 cm game table covers about 2.400.000.000 square kilometres of deep space. Furthermore, the rules model a 3d environment by adopting the best practices of aerial wargames. In this case, the distances are a little shorter, because we consider that atmosphere and gravity significantly affect top speeds and weapon ranges. The ruleset covers missions both in deep space and above planetary surface.
Although the games core rules are based on Hind Commander, we put a lot of effort to avoid making Shadows in the Void “helicopters in space”. Numerous rules were redesigned or written from scratch to better fit the theme of the game, as we wanted to make it more dynamic and engaging.
Risk & Resource Management
One of the most important aspects of the game is the lock-on system. Before you launch a missile at an enemy craft, you have to lock your weapon on it – but you have to do this before the movement phase, which gives your opponent a chance to react. As the hits can be really deadly (weapons are for killing!), this introduces a risk management aspect.
In most of cases, the spacecraft carry fairly limited amounts of ammunition, which means that you will have to choose your targets wisely, especially during bigger games. In the heat of battle, there is little margin for errors, which have serious consequences – unless Lady Luck is on your side.
Additionally, you cannot count on hit points to save your units from the incompetence of your commanders! Shadows in the Void uses the damage system from Hind Commander, which means that every successful hit which penetrates armour/shields will damage something and reduce the craft’s combat capabilities. A single lucky hit can eliminate even the most powerful ship.
In the 90-page rulebook you will find:
- Complete core rules, including rules for terrain (planetary and deep-space), a list of common special rules, and diagrams explaining the various actions.
- 12 quick scenarios (6 balanced and 6 unbalanced), ranging from typical fighter clashes, to ambushes, to retrieval and wild weasel missions. Additionally, you may decide to play bigger, more complex games with random mission goals. For even more variety, at the beginning of each game players draw stratagem cards, which give their squadrons small, yet vital advantages.
- Finally, the book contains squadron lists for five distinct races, which clash with each other at the borders of know space.
- The rulebook comes with all necessary counters and cards printed in colour on separate sheets.