July 15, 2017 15 min read 25 Comments
WarStages is THE scenery system you've been waiting for:
Modular as LEGO,
Epic as a Movie Set,
So Flexible that you can go from Super Massive Battles to
Skirmishes, even RPG, and everything in between!
MUCH MORE THAN JUST A GIGANTIC GOTHIC CATHEDRAL,
you can transform it in a few moments into nearly everything: Fortress, Urban Ruins, Multilevel Daedalus, Sci-Fi Interiors, ....
With the WarStages system you can play all types of games: Siege, Urban Warfare, Skirmish, Exploration, etc., with a single kit.
STUNNING: For the first time ever, your chance to get a gaming table as awesome, big, and epic as a convention center piece.
MODULAR: Make it yours! Assemble the Gothic Cathedral, reorganise its layout to your likes, or completely re-invent your own WarStages thanks to our super modular assembly system.
IMMERSIVE: Immerse yourself in a movie-like environment with loads of accessories that bring an unprecedented sense of atmosphere, scope and epicness to your games.
PRACTICAL: Easy to assemble, easy to store, no painting required.
GREAT VALUE: In our survey, you told us that you wanted great value for money, so not only are you getting the most insane gothic scenery ever at a great price, but it is super modular, infinitely customisable, epic as a convention table, immersive as a movie set, and ultra practical, quite easily giving you the best possible of bang for your buck!
Make sure to watch our video above to see more of WarStages!
Modular terrains are great, but re-building everything from scratch every time you need a change is time-consuming and tedious.
WarStages gives you a richer, more effective approach:
The WarStages system is based on two concepts: the 'Bricks' and the 'Stages'
The Bricks are small basic components: ground sections of 2x5 inches, wall sections, railings, stairs...
The Stages are structures made of these Bricks. Each Stage is a building structure that can stand on its own and has a specific function: main portal, choir, bell tower, wall section with catwalks, etc.
It's easy as 1, 2, 3:
Use the Bricks to assemble the various Stages of your WarStages kit, like you would with large Lego bricks;
Place the Stages together on the table to create your Cathedral;
Move the Stages around to create any other setting you might need.
The full Cathedral kit is an assembly of several Stages. Put them together to make the Cathedral... or nearly anything else in just a few seconds.
This is because we have conceived each Stage in the Cathedral Kit to have a different type of architectural and gaming function: large portal, catwalk structure, wide platform, enclosing wall, etc.
Once you have these Stages ready, it's super easy to either assemble the full cathedral or organise the Stages to set up a fortress, a city in ruins, a giant gothic complex, or whatever you can think of... just by moving the various sections around.
But since the Bricks are entirely modular, you can also forget our design and completely customise or create your own. It is super easy and open even more possibilities!
Play outside, play inside the scenery you create, or even use it as a mighty skyline for your table.
Every picture you can see on this page / in our communications has been made this way with a SINGLE Gothic Cathedral kit (in most cases less than a full kit)and, on some set-ups, we added a few elements of our Gothic Daedalus extension kit to extend some of the stages with more passage ways, arches and new types of walls. This was very quick too!
We have assembled our Stages then moved them around to create many different set-ups, each time it took less than a minute!
The Gothic Daedalus kit is a structure kit made of another set of 'Bricks'. It is conceived to expand, complexify or connect the various stages of your Cathedral kit. You can also use it on its own to create intricate multilevel structures and even entire rooms!
Once you'll get used to your WarStages kits, it won't take long before you invent your own Stages by mixing the WarStage Bricks your own way, creating your own vocabulary of building structures to even better match your gaming needs and your personal taste.
Immerse yourself in the game as never before thanks to unprecedented richness and depth
A skirmish table made with about a quarter of the Cathedral kit and 2 small sections of the Gothic Daedalus Extension
Putting the Cathedral's front portal and the two side portals of the Cathedral together creates a gigantic fortified skyline on your table
With more than 3 linear meters (120 linear inches) of walls and towers on several level, our main kit is truly massive. The highest towers stands about 30 inches high (75cm), that's more than 20 minis standing on top of each other !
Imagine the cost of that kind of kit in Resin...
And if you want to go even more crazy, there's nothing preventing you from piling up several Stages even higher if you want to make an even more gigantic table or display! In fact, we have some pledges for that...
All of us gamers put a lot of effort in assembling, painting, converting our minis to make our armies look special. But when the minis are laid out on the table, the first thing you really see is the table and the scenery. WarStages gives you a convention-looking table with minimal effort and cost so that your games will never look the same again.
With such a jaw-dropping looking table, you'll host the most memorable games and you and your friends won't get enough of it.
Stunning gothic details
Here you have about half a Cathedral and a few Gothic Daedalus passageways.
Because the WarStages is so modular, you'll be able to create a vast range of structures, rooms, and buildings. By mixing the Cathedral kit with the Gothic Daedelus Extension, you'll have at your disposal many options of open walls, closed walls, stairs, floors, etc., of all sizes and shapes to create anything you want.
You can create 3D game boards for your favorite board games, indoor/outdoor structures for skirmish and exploration games, large size city ruins, etc.
You could even use your WarStages kit as a display piece to showcase your minis in your display cabinet!
But that's not all!
On top of that, you'll have access to a wide selection of furniture and accessories like computer consoles, crates, containers, and even medical scanners, ventilation systems, and more. Each of these accessories is incredibly detailed, and combines a very elaborate gothic design with sci-fi technology.
These small elements really bring the scenery to life in a unique way.
Furniture and accessories are based on real historical gothic design mixed a good dose of retro sci-fi
Customise the mood and functions of your various WarStages with our many accessories
The kit shown in the images is a prototype created entirely by hand. It took more than 300 hours of work just to print it and assemble it! (Not to mention the conception and design which took several months.)
Which goes to show how much time and effort this WarStages kit will save you.
Because this prototype that we show you was all made by hand, you might spot a few misalignments here and there that won't be in the final product, of course.
It is also why many elements of the cathedral don't feature clips in the photos, since many Bricks are glued together on our prototype. Also, the clips you see here are also prototypes that have since been adjusted to become nearly invisible (more on this in the next few days). But photographing the Cathedral assembled with glue gives allows you to see the look you can achieve if you choose to completely glue rather than clip the Bricks together and not disassemble your various Stages, which is certainly another option available to you.
Of course, playability has been one of our main focus from the start. The infinite modularity of the WarStages components makes you certain that you can create anything you might need for your various games.
If you just follow our instructions to build the Cathedral, you end up with loads of walkways, covers, etc.
But you can even push it further and completely customise your terrain to perfectly fit the specifics of each of your games, creating more covers, labyrinthic setups, symmetric tables for tournaments, the list goes on.
And the vertical arrangement of the various levels means you get even more game space on a single table!
Combine the Cathedral Stages with the Gothic Daedalus extension and get even more multi-level/tri-dimensional gaming options
WOW ! Our WarStages video just made a killing on Facebook! It is our biggest post ever since the creation of Raging Heroes!!!
Thank you so much for your support, it looks like this could be massive...
We have duly noted your questions and will be sure to answer them shortly. In our next update, we'll talk about some of the technical aspects of the project.
In the meantime, here are a four new images for you to enjoy.
Play on multiple levels, break lines of sight and find many covers for your miniatures
Create interiors with unique atmosphere for your skirmish or role-playing games
The most common question you've asked so far is “What is it made of?”
During our one-year journey in the development of WarStages, we tried A LOT of things, both technically and artistically. And we came to a conclusion that may surprise some of you: the most effective, good-looking, affordable solution to build our large-scale epic scenery was the use of 1,8mm thick high-quality super-dense coated color-printed pre-punched cardboard.
You've already seen how good it looks in our video, let us tell you more about it.
It took many months and an extensive trial-an-error period to get there, but boy are we glad we took that time, because we are so pumped up about its possibilities, its qualities, its robustness, its visual impact, and its reasonable cost compared to the alternatives.
Details, details, and more visual details...
What are card board unique set of qualities?
First it looks awesome!Right out of the box, you get a super detailed building full of complex textures, details and color. It allows for a crazy level of details.
No need to paint! Painting such huge scenery could be on the near side of forever. We've done awya with that.
It ain't flat!You might think that it would look somewhat flat, but as we first designed all the parts in 3D and then enhanced them with loads of photographic textures, it looks incredibly deep and tri-dimensional. On top of that, we use many visual tricks in the assembly of the structures to give them even more volume.
Easy to put away: Since most parts are not glued together, you have a lot of freedom in how to put it away once you're done gaming. You can completely break it down, or just disassemble the largest parts and keep the rest ready to go for your next battle. An under-bed plastic sweater box or two should do the trick.
It's quite light: Card board wins hands down compared to resin, plastic or MDF.
It's cost-effective: We wanted to make sure that tis epic scenery would remain affordable. Sure, like always with printing, you need large runs to keep cost reasonable, but once above certain quantities, the kits become very affordable compared to their actual size.
It's a very strong material: To our surprise, it is also extremely strong and resistant! A single sheet of card board may not feel like a strong object, but once it is assembled into a structure, it is super robust and can withstand heavy loads, in any case more heavy than any large mini you might place on it. If you are unsure about that, just browse the internet and see for yourself how people build real furniture (and even houses!) in cardboard...
Our Kahn-Urkan model is a very heavy large demon made mostly in metal perched on this 20cm high platform without even making it bend
Here's the story of how we got here:
Our goal with this project was to offer you incredible scenery that would feel epic and massive, the kind of scenery we've all seen displayed on the tables at conventions that one can only dream of
for it feels impossible to build or afford.
because we know we will never be able to afford or build.
Our goal was also to give you something that would have a cinematic mood, a movie stage quality for your games. Something that would make you feel like you suddenly got dropped into a siege scene in Lord of the Rings, or fighting your way through Gotham City, or in the many other great settings of your favorite movies and series.
And this is just the 'side' entrance...
Our initial plan was to build this scenery in resin. But the sheer mass of the structures we wanted to make made it very clear that it would be a titan job to produce the casts, and that the costs would be absolutely prohibitive.
From then on, we started testing all other options. We looked into injected plastics. But to make it a viable option, it meant that it would have forced us to ditch variety and get a product that would look very repetitive, because the number of basic elements had to be reduced considerably to make it viable commercially.
We then looked into MDF and Plasticard. MDF is a popular option today, and a good one too. But it was not adapted to our plans, if only because of its weight. You would have ended up paying as much for shipping as for the cathedral due to the epic size of the kit. Plasticard was decidedly too expensive for our needs as well.
We even tried combinations of all these materials. But every approach left us with mixed feelings. Something was always missing and the prototype kits would always come out too expensive, too long to produce, or end up with a super limited set of very small bricks that would take countless hours to assemble into a big scenery.
Onwards to another solution
However, by that time, we had already designed many buildings and elements, and so just to test their size and mass, we started simply printing renders on paper and making mock-ups in cardboard.
And it was a revelation...
It was better than everything we had before: it was detailed, it was fully coloured and textured, it was fast to assemble and simple to store. But the biggest thing was that, even with mock-ups, the structures looked gorgeous on the table.
ArchPapess Arthenya (soon to be released model) overseeing the field
So here we are today with what is, in our opinion, probably the best option for scenery. When you set it on your table, it is hard to believe that it's just cardboard, it has so much tri-dimensionality and texture and depth! And all the accessories give so much life to it! It's just great!
Also, all these elements come together with a super nifty, nearly invisible assembly system. (Please note that it slightly differs from what you see on the photos and video of our prototype). We'll tell you all about it in a coming update, but know that it allows you to create an infinity of crazy combinations.
When we said WarStages was coming soon, we really meant real soon: the Kickstarter campaign will launch sometime next week! We’ll give you the exact date in a coming update, and we’ll have a countdown clock about a day before
Remember: don’t miss the launch, it will be your chance to get some very cool Early Birds!
First, the good news:
The buzz continues to build around WarStages as our Facebook posts reach an unprecedented level of views, shares and likes. We are also getting some great support from big names of the industry who seem to have already fell in love with WarStages. We'll share some of their messages with you in a coming update.
All this seems to be pointing toward a very exciting Kickstarter!
So today, we wanted to look into another aspect of WarStages: the level of details and finishing touches that you can find everywhere on each element of the project.
We spent A LOT of hours crafting detailed textures to dress up the Cathedral and the Gothic Daedalus. Most of them were 3D-sculpted first to be sure that you'd get a maximum sensation of depth and volume. Then we carefully added and altered photographic textures for even more richness and realism.
Here are some close-up examples of this work:
On the Great Portals of the cathedral, you'll find many sculpted ornaments and statues. If you're already familiar with our Sisters of the Eternal Mercy, you'll recognise many of them in medieval-style sculptures, as it used to be done on churches and cathedral doors at that time.
Here are also two close-up views of two walls of the Gothic Daedalus which you may not have seen clearly in the video or other images. Once again, we've made a subtle blend between gothic elements and Sci-Fi features.
Finally, here are perhaps the elements we like most when it comes down to the intricacy of the design and texture work: the furniture. You can see here a computer console: it is full of panels engraved with gothic tracery combined with super detailed retro high tech components. They'll look as intricate as jewels on the gaming table.
And their back is just as special:
As the WarStages - The Gothic Cathedral Kickstarter is just a few days from launching, you need to know that the Cathedral and the Gothic Daedalus will be a limited edition.
Making cardboard scenery means working with the printing industry. And the printing industry works with “runs”. To achieve a reasonable price on any printed item, a printing company has to run a large quantity of each item, otherwise the prices skyrocket. This is due to the fact that printing has some pretty heavy setup costs.
So what does that mean for you ?
After the crowdfunding ends and once you’ve completed your Rewards selection, we will print what is needed to fulfill that. We’ll order a bit more surplus to have some stock leftover for retailers, as well as spare parts, etc. However, we won’t order more than that because stocking hundreds of these kit will take a LOT of space.
So once that surplus is gone, it is sold out.
And in all likelihood, there is little chance that we get enough demand afterwards to be able to do another run of the Cathedral and the Gothic Daedalus.
So if you don't get this during the campaign, it might be hard to get once the crowdfunding is over...
However, we do have plans for a few more projects, so there will be new and compatible scenery to comes so you’ll be able to expand and vary your WarStages in the future. Some gothic, and some non-gothic...
Here we simply re-arranged a few Stages of the Cathedral and added some walkways and stairs from the Gothic Daedalus Extension; in a few minutes, you go from an actual Cathedral building to a labyrinthic structure perfect for skirmishing.
Did you say tall? The Cathedral Stages are full of birds' nests for your snipers and landing platforms for your flying troops.
You read this right! The Campaign will only run for ONE WEEK. It will end between Saturday August 5th and Sunday August 5th (depending on where you live in the world).
Why So Short?
If you’ve already experienced a Kickstarter campaign, you know that there’s a lot of excitement at the beginning, a lot of excitement at the end, and not so much happening in the middle. Usually, project creators plan longer campaigns in the hope of attracting more people during that time. This is a wise strategy on specific project types that are more geared to the general public such as technology or music projects.
But in the Games category and with the backers we are looking for, we know that people are aware of the project’s existence and we don’t need to wait for several weeks for the general media to pick up on the campaign.
We thought about this long and hard. If you're concerned about this, remember that our first campaign was about 34 days and did $698,000. Our second campaign was about 16 days and was even more successful with $801,000.
In truth, we realise now that A LOT of the excitement has already been happening in the past few days with our revealing new info and images on this project. And so we thought we’d cut to the chase and shorten the quiet days between the beginning and the end of the campaign, especially since it is summer. So let's have this blitzkrieg!
95% of the Stretch Goals planned for this campaign will be Freebies, so get ready for the ride! The better the campaign does, the more Freebies you’ll get as part of your pledge.
And that’s not all. The bigger you pledge, the more Freebies you’ll get!
In this campaign, we have the opportunity to give you more free stuff when you choose a higher tier, so that’s what we’ll be doing.
In fact, it will be fun for you to come back daily and watch your pledge get more and more Rewards!
When we shot the WarStages images, we really felt like we were in the middle of a movie. We even had the feeling of rediscovering our own miniatures. You will most likely feel the same when you play with your WarStages.
We'll have new images on this page every day, so bookmark this page and come back often. We'll also share more info and answer questions during the week too.
And now it's your turn:
→ Like what you see? Please help us and spread the word! The more successful this project is, the more unlocks and Freebies you'll see in the Kickstarter campaign!
Also, here's a small banner (larger version) to upload on blogs and forums, please link it to this page here. BB code: [url=http://bit.ly/Warstages][img]http://i.imgur.com/SwkuDS2.gif[/img][/url]
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