Interview with Ether Dev
Ether Wars is the new game being Kickstarted by Ether Dev.
Provide a brief description of Ether Wars.
Ether Wars is not something easy to describe. It’s a new concept of board game that mixes things rarely or never mixed before into an abstract strategy with a deep sci-fi and fantasy space theme. It also has a new dice troop system that combines abstract strategy with probability as well as inspiration not only from board games but from video games.
The result of the mix (and lots of testing and modifications) is a game of strategy in which each player represents a unique species who fight each other using a wide range of possibilities to acquire the power of the Ether. To win, you have to anticipate the intentions of the other players, surprise them, and count with the favor of the gods. It is a truly new experience in the strategy board game world.
The tagline on your Kickstarter page says that Ether Wars is, “An RTS videogame experience translated to the tabletop.” How so?
It’s a rather strange story of how we started with board games. We played more video games during years, but we rediscovered this world after coming back to our city and started to understand better the magic of playing face to face, with the players being the ones who interiorize the rules and not a machine.
Because of this we wanted to translate our video game experiences to such media, creating something different and fresh, and disrupting a bit in the board games development. Some of the game genres that we used to play were real-time strategy (RTS) games, like StarCraft, Command and Conquer, Warcraft and Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) games, like League of Legends. Because that was the objective, we still maintain that it is the principal point of our creation.
We must say that Ether Wars is not a video game, and therefore it is not an RTS or a MOBA in a strict way. We take a lot of our inspiration from them and tried to create a similar experience on the board, merging those ideas with the board game mechanics we enjoy from other board games. Those mechanics will be more easily recognizable for the board game community, but Ether Wars is not represented by any of them separately.
What aspects of Ether Wars do you believe cause it to stand out from other worker placement games on the tabletop game market?
The main aspect is that Ether Wars is not strictly a worker placement game; worker placement is just one of the core mechanics in the game, but is not enough to describe Ether Wars. The workers are also soldiers. The players can attack each other directly and indirectly, and extraction is only a tool to win the Ether and gain advantages for your strategy, not a victory requirement. Worker placement is just part of the mix, the jam on the cheesecake, so to speak.
If Ether Wars proves to be successful, are there any expansions you would like to release?
Ether Wars truly has a lot of replay value. There’s always a different experience depending on several factors, including the players involved. However, we have thought on many possibilities for future developments. We’ve already worked on some possibilities for expansion material, such as new species, new resources, new cards, and even an up-to-six-players game expansion.