Downloaded the Rulebook for this game a while ago, and have only recently had a look through its contents...
The first few things I should mention is that you use D20 dice and cm for distance. This is a fairly big change, especially for those that would have near exclusively played Warhammer 40k, and Fantasy Battles. Imagine simply changing all your D6s to D20s for a start. The storage alone is difficult to imagine for the same number of dice.
The turn structure is also different. Rather then each player proceedig through a turn solo, each player does each step. The turn structure goes as such:Phase One - Orders
For starters, Your Characters (Your Generals down to your Regiment Champions) can call upon the power of their patron gods. This seems to be a once per game deal, and is best for when you're in the thick of battle. If you successfuly call upon your Gods power, you roll on a racially specific table to see what benefits you gain. Its sort of like a one turn Boon of Chaos, that everyone has some variation of.
This phase is also where you decide who goes first for the Turn. Depending on how you play, this could very easily be the part the can ruin your entire day.Phase Two - Rally Fleeing Troops
I'm sure if/when I play a few games under this ruleset, I'd understand why an entire phase was dedicated to Rallying your troops. Something tells me fleeing from a fight is a common aspect, and combine this with the rules for attack and pursuing fleeing opponents, failing to rally your troops can have some disastrous affects.Phase three - Compulsory Movement
This phase i partly for the results of your attempts to rally your troops, but also to see what kind of havoc your uncontrolled monsters are causing. The result for the Monsters is either it does nothing, attacks your opponent, attacks you if you're the closest, or just walks around aimlessly like a confused animal in the middle of a battle.Phase Four - Movement
Again interesting rules surface. This game openly embraces Skirmish warfare, allowing your to move units through eachother. The downside of this is that if a unit unit flees through a friendly unit, the friendly unit must roll to keep in panic in check.
Charging is also a strange affair here. As you and your opponent act and react at thesame tie, your opponent may chooce to face you not only head on, but meet your challenge in kind. When this happens, they meet for combat between where the two units were originally positioned, rather then the target unit sitting like a lemon waiting to be chopped.
I won't bore you with Close Combat, Shooting and Magic. For one its better if you check it out yourselves Phase Five - Close Combat
Phase Siz - Shooting
Phase Seven - MagicPhase Eight - Cleanup
All the actions above will leave your battlefield a mess of counters, and this phase has been specifcally set aside fro cleanig it all up.
As you can see, the Turn Structure includes a phase for Magic, but unfortunately it is not a core machenic, and I believe the Game Producer must have gone south before finishing and releasing the Magic Add-on. Which would be a shame if that is the case, especially as reading through the book i found referrence to other mechanics that relied on a second book, which to my knowledge was never released.
Another difference is the Statline primarily focuses on Close Combat Stats, With Ballistic and "Morale" stats included at the end. One characteristic stat I find most interesting in particular is the "Size" characteristic. For the most obvious example, it literally makes you easier to hit. Another aspect of this is Monsters and Demons (yes, for some reason Demons are completely seperate to Monsters), with a certain size stat or higher, they can effectively ignore combat they don't care for and just carry on towards their chosen target. Imagine if a Tyranid Carnifex could just walk past marines, even if those same marines were hacking at its shins?
To give time on the setting. The cover declares it a "Post Apocalyptic Fantasy Battle System," and for the most part the Factions do bring this across.
- You have Barbarian Humans following powerful Druids.
- The Elves have become corrupt and are essentially Daywalking Vampires.
- The Orc/ks and Goblins are strangely more martial, following not only the strongest but also the most cunning. Unlike their Warhammer Counterparts who only follow the "Biggest"
- Lasty are the Dwarves, who have access to powerful war machines
Going mostly by my understanding of the wargame and from my experience as a wargamer, I'd say this game is definately something to try if you have plenty of D20 dice to hand and a few Fantasy styled miniatures you never get round to using.
Leviathan is a product of Grendal Productions, and is available for Purchase
at Scotia Grendal Productions
This little "Review" is very much first impression, and I fully acknowledge I should play a few games with it. I will do just that when I can, and hopefully when I do I'll be able to do the ruleset justice.