Horizon Wars: Infinite Dark is the third volume in the Horizon Wars trilogy of science fiction tabletop wargames. The first volume, Horizon Wars, was published in 2016 by Osprey Games. The sequel, Horizon Wars: Zero Dark, was released by my independent publishing company, Precinct Omega, in 2020. And 2021 sees the mould-breaking Horizon Wars mechanics head into space, for Horizon Wars: Infinite Dark.
But what is Infinite Dark and why should you care?
There is no shortage of options when it comes to spaceship combat games. Games like Full Thrust and Starmada have long dominated the independent scene, and games like Battlefleet Gothic, Dropfleet Commander, Star Wars Armada and others have been published to cater to those wanting to play starship combat in specific intellectual properties. So in terms of genre, Infinite Dark really offers nothing new. And yet we think fans of spaceship combat are going to love it for five big reasons:
1 - Horizon Wars d12 System
First, it's built on the familiar and critically-acclaimed d12 mechanics first introduced in Horizon Wars, with a "bonus action" system borrowed from Zero Dark. Players have raved about the system's fresh and intuitive feel that balances real tactical decision-making against the inevitable fog of war that a dice-based system provides.
2 - Solo, Co-op and Versus Play Modes
Second, it comes packaged with Solo as well as Versus play options, so you can test your fleets against the unpredictable Red Fleet as well as against your friends.
3 - Mission-based play with Campaign options
Third, the game is built for mission-based play rather than a straight-up fight of mutual annihilation, which makes it ideal for linking missions in a simply campaign system which is also provided, right there in the rules.
4 - Playable at three different tactical levels
Starship combat games tend to be either all about the movements of vast battleships or about the vicious dogfighting of tiny fighters. But with a handful of straightforward variations in the rules, Horizon Wars: Infinite Dark allows players to play in any of three tactical "command levels", from Level 1 (fighters) to Level 3 (battleships), which includes Command Level 2 - the kind of mid-range smuggling or exploration vessel that is too often neglected by spaceship combat games.
5 - Focus on the heroes, not just on the ships
The reason we think most players will love Horizon Wars: Infinite Dark is that it's not all about functionally identical, interchangeable lumps of metal and ceramic, but also the gifted pilots - be they natural humans, artificial intelligences, uplifted dolphins or non-Terran species - at their controls. Your choice of heroes will have an enormous impact on the outcomes of your battles, and the development and evolution of their character and skills in the course of a campaign will ensure that every new mission is a new chapter in your heroes' exciting careers.
Horizon Wars: Infinite Dark is due for release in late May 2021, through Wargame Vault. But if you'd like early sight of the beta rules and to participate in the final stages of the game's development, you can support the Precinct Omega Patreon campaign.