Sword of the Stars devs Kerberos branch out to tabletops

Tabletop Simulator

Kerberos Productions – creators of the Sword of the Stars 4X strategy series – may have a slightly patchy track record, but they’re a studio that’s never short on heart. This month, they’ve been Kickstarting funds to start a board games division, adapting their universes into dice-and-cardboard form. Possibly hedging their bets, they also released a prototype of their upcoming Sword of The Stars: The Pit board game as a mod for Tabletop Simulator today, letting folks try it for free.

Based on Kerberos’ spinoff roguelike Sword of The Stars: The Pit, the board game is a very dice-heavy game of squad combat and resource management that is designed to be played cooperatively, or you can enjoy it entirely solo if you see fit. The Tabletop Simulator version of the game is entirely free (assuming you own Tabletop Sim), making it a great way to demo it. It’s an interesting decision to make this digital adaptation free, while other companies have sold their Tabletop Sim modules, but it’s nice that they’ve done it this way.

Kerberos are also cool with the idea of people customising the game as they see fit, and have even released the 3D models for the miniatures. Those lucky enough to have access to a 3D printer can tweak, tune and make their own miniatures. By default the game only includes four player-character figures, but the models are included to print your own set of monsters to make combat look a little more three-dimensional on the board. Plus, you can re-use them in your next sci-fi tabletop RPG session.

As an aside, the roguelike version of The Pit is well worth a look, even if you may have bounced off it at first. While the initial release of the game was a little wonky and threadbare, a pile of DLC (now collated in the Osmium Edition of the game) went a long way to bulking up its systems. Now it’s probably the closest we have to a System Shock roguelike, and one where you can play as a tentacled, psychic space-dolphin to boot.

The Kickstarter for Sword of The Stars: The Pit: The Board Game is in its final week, and is just shy of its funding goal at the time of writing. If you want the board game itself, it’ll cost you a not-insignificant CA$65 (approximately £37), but it is a big chunky box filled with miniatures and dice. Shipping is included in the price-tag, which makes it a pretty reasonable price all told.

9 Comments

  1. Herring says:

    Using TTS as a way to demo / beta test games on Kickstarter sounds like a brilliant idea. Hope other companies take a look as I imagine it’d be a great way to smooth gameplay and drum up interest.

  2. Asher535 says:

    It’s pretty much the done thing now, as far as I can tell. It seems super like this is a perfect pivot for Kerberos, they seem to have heaps of design talent, but have a long and painful history of tripping over on technical aspects. Sword of the Stars 2 and the infamous Fort Zombie, as example.

    • TheOx129 says:

      After the disaster that was SotS2, I’m not sure it’s fair to say Kerberos has “heaps” of design talent. Even ignoring the myriad technical issues with the game, it was pretty bad at a core design level. They basically scrapped everything that made SotS1 good in favor of an overcomplicated mess of a game. Hell, I remember the constant slapfights Mecron (the CEO and lead designer) would get in with players on forums: he was a big fan of telling players that they were playing the game “wrong” whenever they took issue with some aspect of the game’s design.

      • vahnn says:

        I loved SotS1, especially after all the dlc. Phenomenal, in my eyes. But yikes, what a pile of crusty turds SotS2 was. And they just abandoned it.

        I’ll never forget what a right cunt Mecron was toward anyone who dared to write post on the forums that consisted of anything but licking his arse or polishing his knob.

        Shame, really, because I rather enjoyed The Pit. But SotS1 and The Pit have since faded, and Mecron’s attitude remains in my mind.

  3. UnfriendlyDevice says:

    I think I’m one of the few that loved this game, I got it as part of a bundle years ago and it has at times consumed my life. I’ve completed it once (on easy).

    • Shushununu says:

      Anyone who missed ‘The Pit’ because of Kerberos’ SOTS2 boondoggle should go back and revisit it if they have an interest in well done roguelikes (or roguelikelikes). It’s diverse, random, challenging, and pretty darn fun.

  4. BockoPower says:

    Is the tabletop market better than video games’ one? I see more and more companies enter it but I find it hard to believe it’s more profitable. There are materials, manufacturing, delivery etc costs. I know they are expensive but it seems much smaller market than games.

  5. Sweeper says:

    I have always just 1 problem with coop TTG games. When ever i bring them to play with mine friends that are not into board games i tend to play every character. Go there do this they end up just trowing dices. In mine town there are just not enough board gamers :)
    Hmm .. but it looks interesting. I would love to see pc. version but not in table simulator its a great way to test games but somehow TS doesn’t have a soul.

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