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  • Writer's pictureRobey

The Maul - Sci-fi Mecha Sports!

A supplement I've been working on since before Horizon Wars was published, The Maul is the sci-fi sports version of the original battle game. The reason it took so long to come out was because - no pun intended - I kept moving my own goalposts.

Playtesting is the curse of any independent tabletop game developer. You never have enough of it. I don't know if it's just me, but even my closest wargaming friends have very little enthusiasm for playtesting games that are in development with me, so I am usually left to throw dice on my own to try to work it all out. And every set-back sends me back to the drawing board, sometimes for months.

In this case, several things came together to both improve and complicate the process. The one which complicated the process was Over the Horizon. This is nearly finished, less photography, but the one section I wasn't happy with was The Maul. I wanted OtH to be a really complete, tight piece of work requiring maybe some FAQs but no major changes. But I sensed that, once people were playing it, The Maul would undergo a lot of shifts, corrections and alterations.

A factor that both improved and complicated things was Ballmonsters! and specifically the playmat I had designed for the game. When I realized I could compress The Maul and play it on the same playmat, that made a lot of thing easier. But I also meant thinking differently about different ways to play.

Finally, the clincher that made it definite that I should break The Maul out from the rest of OtH and release it as a free download, was Ko-fi. This meant that those who wanted to support products like The Maul could do so with a small donation here and there. Those who thought it was a bit rough and wanted to wait for it to mature could also do so. Nice.

So The Maul is here. It's heavy metal sports. It's a bit mad. It's a bit rough. But it's fun as hell.

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