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Battle for Diratia - Wargame & RPG hybrid $24.99 $4.99
Publisher: Productions Diratia
by Victor D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/05/2021 03:15:03

Battle for Diratia is a bit of an enigma - I'm not sure whether it's a table-top miniatures wargame masquerading an an RPG-Lite, or an RPG-Lite dressed up as a table-top wargame!

  1. The rules are easily accessible and elegantly simple (but see below), but require either the player use a 3d printed proprietry dice (which don't appear to be commercialy available anywhere, at least at this time; it really is a case of print them yourself, or pay someone to print them for you) or use regular d6 but remember what each face represemts within the game system. As buying a 3d printer for some dice will be beyond most gamers, and paying someone else to print for you will suffer the usual problem with scale efficieny - who's going to be willing to print a small number of items without charging a lot more per item for them? In this case, it'll be remember what each face of the d6 means - and whilst that's none too onerous, some may feel its easier/better/quicker to simply stick with a ruleset which utilises 'regular' dice, and where what you roll is what you see.

  2. The rules are '... elegantly simple ...' well, yes, they are, but with many of the RPG elements simplified to better fit the battlegame option, veteran RPG players might find that the system lacks any real depth and substance. Almost all RPG's I've played make character creation (alongside combat and magic/psionics type setting appropriate widgets) the core of the system, yet in BFD treats character creation almost as an option in the system, and recommends players use pre-generated characters. A nifty character sheet is provided - both in colour and printer friendly b/w, as is a unit record sheet in same.

  3. Magic, that standard trope of fantasy, gets a similar light weight touch, keeping it neat,. clean and simple, but again lacking much of the depth and flavour found in more traditional rulesets. And again, with the system being lightweight, there's not much room for manoeuver. A nice touch (for me at least, it might not appeal to some traditionalists!) sees the magic in use at all tech levels (see settings below) ...

  4. Settings: The basic rules provide the barest bones of a setting, little more than an abbrviated timeline (that consists mostly of headers), a map with no immediately obvious scale and no map features at all (no towns, cities, rivers, mountains, hill ... nothing; the map is effectively a blank), and a long series of tech tables that go from stone-age rock weapons right through to atomic bombs and on to ultra-tech blasters (BFD strives to cover a LOT of timeline, but very thinly!), and a series of army list type entries that can go from cavemen (using those aforementioned stone-age weapons) through tanks, fighters, battleships (amazingly, you can play destroyers, cruisers, battlecruisers, battleships, submarines) to space ships and beyond. All the almost standard fantasy race tropes are there - Orcs, Elves, Dwarves, Humans, alonside an large range of hybrid races (Wolf Man, CatMan, Bear Man etc etc), and a decent sized bestiary is also to be found ... some of the beasties are pretty tough!

  5. Quality is pretty good, although I did spot a few typo's here and there - these do't matter too much (it's easy to discern the writers intentions) and presentation is OK. The use of pictures of painted miniatures is becoming industry standard, but perhaps some of close-ups of some of the miniatures weren't such a great idea. At 152 pages you'll either need a lot of colour printer ink to get a print copy, or you'll be paying someone to print it colour for you (which can be costly) - you could print b/w, but in turn you'll lose much of the presentation.

In straining to cover as much as possible (stone age to space age) whilst using a simple (proprietry) 1d6 type system, BFD does the job by spreading itself very, very thinly. Many pure fantasy gamers will not need the extraneous high/uber tech stuff, whilst fantasy GM's will find the setting/blank map more tiime & work than they might be willing to invest (although some will love it - a blank canvas!), and those who are seeking a 'one-system-covers-it-all' type game will probably be already acqainted with GURPS and may well find BFD somewhat lacking in comparison.

I checked the BFD website for further details, but as yet it's fairly light on them (and mainly reiterates & repeats the rules in the PDF) and I found the feedback section didn't work. It may be that future support for BFD will expand the game more - with a bit more substance, BFD could grow to be something very impressive.

On balance I like BFD in many respects, but asking myself will it replace my preferred RPG or table-top fantasy skirmish/battle games? No, I'm afraid it won't, not at this time.

[3 of 5 Stars!]
Creator Reply:

Thank you so much for your in-depth review of BFD 3.0. Your comment is important to us. We will use it to better our game, for the upcoming versions.
Here is a short list of how we will make it better thanks to your review:
-The availability of the dice is an issue we do not have much control on at the moment, but we are in the process of starting to produce them using a plastic cast and start selling them in cons throughout Canada and the US.

-For the depth of the system, we did want to make something simple, but we agree that we need to expand on the rules to give more options for more veteran players.

-For the setting, we are going to expand on it, both in the rulebook, on the wiki and in the upcoming scenarios. For the map there is a link to a full-rez version where you can see all the details:
-For the Typos… We really need to be more attentive to detail when I repass through the book at every release. The fact that we are French does not help either.

-For the print-on-demand, we currently update the game every month which would make it hard to say: “This is the definitive version.” We believe a perfect system cannot exist so we want to update it forever.

-The comparison with GURPS is important to us as we used this system for years and what we wish to be is a simpler and easier to learn version of GURPS with added wargaming options.

We posted a hotfix for the broken links in the book and will try to implement as much of your recommendations as we can in the next version.

Your review really will push us forward and please join our discord to stay in contact, we need more people like you!

Have a great game!
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Battle for Diratia - Wargame & RPG hybrid
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