UPDATE! – Wreck and Ruin is live on Kickstarter! Go show your support for this awesome project!
Welcome to another Kickstarter Spotlight, this one featuring a post-apocalyptic wasteland wandering game called Wreck and Ruin. Mark McKinnon, creator of Wreck and Ruin, was kind enough to send us a great deal of information regarding his upcoming project which launches on Kickstarter, beginning October 3rd. The game focuses on vehicular combat promising a great deal of violence and explosions. It’s inspired by popular, fictional, post-apocalyptic settings like Mad Max, especially when taking into account marauding gangs of psychopaths roaming the wasteland for anything of remote value in large vehicles. Let’s get moving along and check out the details before we get fragged by one of the vehicular gangs vying for control of the wastes.
“The world as we know it has been destroyed, replaced with a barren wasteland. The scraps of humanity fight over lost technology, searching for salvage in their armored convoys. 4 factions have emerged, ready to fight over what little remains. Welcome to the wasteland, warriors!”
Wreck and Ruin is a miniatures board-game designed for 2-4 players where you not only compete against other players, but against the hazards of the waste to take control of different objectives. Each Faction has a set of unique abilities they can employ during a game, with different ability cards offering variety across different play-throughs. Although brutal violence is the answer, players will also have to use their heads to employ the best tactics necessary to ensure total wasteland domination. The board is also modular, requiring a slightly different approach to each game as the terrain depicted on the boards will heavily impact the strategies employed. There are event cards, drawn at the start of each turn that add an element of unpredictability, possibly upsetting the current standings or drastically altering the outcome of attacks and defense. Play continues until someone has taken control of a number of objectives, racking up points for successfully taking them, and tallying up the points at the end of the game. Though players can expect to lose a lot of vehicles, the game does not feature an elimination mechanism. Vehicles can be repaired or later respawn, keeping everyone in the game until the bitter end.
THE DEATH OF ONE WORLD, THE BIRTH OF ANOTHER
As mentioned at the start of the article, the Kickstarter campaign for Wreck and Ruin goes live on October 3rd, which should give you plenty of time to get some funds set aside to support this project. The birth of Wreck and Ruin started small, with Mark jotting down some dreams after playing many hours of Fallout 4 in the early days of 2016. At first, the intention was to merely get the brain-juices flowing, allowing for a creative outlet. He began writing about the setting of this post-apocalyptic world, the societies that had crumbled away and a world no longer dominated by large populaces of man. After that comes who is left in the world, how they survive and through what methods they employ. The need for some kind of transportation across the wastes gave way to the idea of vehicular combat being integral to dominated the wastes, ensuring survival for at least another day.
Central to the theme of Mark’s post-apocalyptic setting is a world that has been essentially re-claimed by nature. Gone are the societies that spanned entire continents. Crumbled are the structures and dwellings, overgrown with unchecked plant-life, and whatever else managed to make a new home inside. The use for currency faded, with the barter and trade of salvage replacing arbitrary numerical values of scraps of paper and coin. The exact cause or chain of events that led to a global catastrophe are unclear, as few articles of record were discovered, and anyone with first-hand knowledge being long dead.
Though entire cities and cultures have been wiped from existence, their old technologies haven’t. These techs are highly sought after as anything to make life a little easier in the wastes carries with it value of immense proportion. There are still some survivors in this harsh, new world, and they have adapted in various ways. Though they differ in ways of life, each Faction shares a commonality: they each employ roving bands of vehicles with which to wander, seeking salvage and technology at all costs.
The main objective and path to victory in Wreck and Ruin revolves around taking, and holding, various objectives that pop up around the play area. Objectives successfully taken offer points, with the highest total of points determining who is the winner in the wastes. Players take turns going around the board and each spending up to 5 actions across their vehicles. Because each player has a limited number of actions per turn, careful planning and strategy must be used to ensure your vehicles aren’t just rolling targets. The victor is declared as the person with the most points at the end of the match, gained through capturing objective tokens.
At the start of the game, the players can set up the modular game-board as they wish. Each section can be placed as the players see fit, with different terrain on each one. There are a few pieces with starting areas on them, designed as the starting and spawn points for players. Each board layout will typically consist of 7 tiles – 1 on the center, and 1 around each of the 6 sides of the center hex-board. After the board is laid out and set up, each player will place their vehicles in their respective starting areas, the first objective markers are placed near the center of the board, and the carnage begins almost immediately as players race to the center to take the first objectives.
Each faction has a set of vehicles, each with their own unique speeds, weapons and abilities. Utilizing the abilities of each vehicle and strategic navigation of the terrain is paramount to victory. In order to take an objective, a player must have a vehicle in the hex which the objective token occupies, and spend an entire player’s turn sitting on the objective. Not only that, but the vehicle on the objective token must not take any damage for a whole turn in order to capture the token. This gives the other players a chance to contest the token, which leads into bloody battles over each key area on the board.
At the start of each round – a round being one turn for all players – an Event Card is drawn. These cards contain all manner of incidents, and lends an unpredictable quality to the game. Certain event cards can make vehicles spin out or make navigating treacherous terrain much more difficult, just to name a couple examples. At the start of each player’s turn, if there’s not enough objectives on the game board, then that player rolls a 6-sided dice, with the result corresponding to one of the outside hex-boards. There are rules about exactly where the objective token can go, such as not being allowed to be placed on an outside board edge.
Each player gets to spend up to 5 Action Points worth of actions each round, with each vehicle able to receive a maximum of two actions per turn, without repeat actions. Moving, shooting, ramming, salvaging, repair and spawning a new vehicle are all possible actions. Moving can be done at various speeds, with the option to go full-throttle, which could boost movement or potentially harm your vehicle’s engine, or perhaps the entire vehicle as it is possible to crash from events or dangerous terrain. Shooting is rather straight-forward, with each vehicle having a certain number of dice it can roll, and certain thresholds for what constitutes a successful shot. Ramming is probably the most interesting, as this is a great way to push opponent’s vehicles off of objectives, or into harm’s way. Ramming can go horribly wrong, as with many table-top warfare games, the dice ultimately decide the level of success of your actions. Salvaging can give cards and upgrades to aid you in your endeavors, and repairing is also rather straight-forward. Destroyed vehicles can return later in the game, but it does require spending valuable Action Points to do so.
The mini’s themselves are quite interesting, especially the way damage is represented on each vehicle model. Each model contains little spots where damage tokens can go, which take the form of plumes of fire. This way, at a glance, players can see the damage levels of vehicles without having to bring a lot of pen and paper into the equation. This is not only extremely handy in terms of streamlining the game process, but invaluable when deciding exactly how to approach a certain opponent or objective. It also just looks really cool! I personally find these sorts of visual mechanics aid in the immersion of the game, but also make things more fun. I love manipulating each piece, and a huge part of board-gaming and tabletop gaming for me is the tactile sensations from moving pieces and figures. The damage markers are quite intuitive and are much more exciting than some arbitrary number of hit-points being written down on a lifeless character page.
This game would be an excellent game to play for people who enjoy strategy warfare games but don’t want to devote the extreme amounts of time it can take to play a single game of large-scale tabletop strategy games. The size of the playing field also makes for much faster, much more intense combat in a shorter time, with players being thrust right into the action in order to score and keep others from scoring objectives. The event cards and dice rolls create a nice random element to the game, keeping things relatively unpredictable, meaning that it’s possible to come out on top even if the situational odds are not in your favor. There’s a large degree of “king of the hill” involved, as pushing and ramming players off of objectives is an integral part of the strategy, as opposed to just pulling up and opening fire.
Wreck and Ruin promises to be an exciting, frantic vehicular battle requiring an interesting mix of wits, brute force and plain ole luck. Keep an eye out for it on Kickstarter, launching on October 3rd. You can also follow Wreck and Ruin on Facebook! Mark McKinnon is quite active, very friendly and is happy to answer questions should you have any for him. Thanks for reading, and as always, good luck around the board!
Written by Jacob Walsh, published 9/14/2017
Re-use or redistribution of this article, in part or in full, through any type of website, written publication or other medium is forbidden without express, written consent from Jacob Walsh, operator of AroundtheBoard.com
Wreck and Ruin and all picture assets used for this article are property of Mark McKinnon, and have been used with his permission.