Endless Fantasy Tactics interview with Matt Whitehouse of On the Lamb Games, a miniatures game inspired by Tactics RPGs
Matt Whitehouse from On the Lamb Game took the time to answer some questions about their Tactic RPG-esque miniatures combat game Endless Fantasy Tactics, which is currently on Kickstarter. Whitehouse talks about his favorite games, how the game works, how army-building works, and a few of the ideas that may be up for the future. I haven’t gotten to play the game, obviously, but it certainly appeals to me, and that optional modular board looks so sweet.
Take a second to introduce yourself.
I’m Matt Whitehouse, Lead Writer for On The Lamb Games. We started the company five years ago to design games we wanted to play.
What is Endless Fantasy Tactics?
Endless is a tactical miniatures game, played on a square grid, intended to bring classic 90’s console TRPG gameplay to the tabletop, with an art style inspired by games from that era.
How long has it been in development?
We’ve been working on EFT for two years, beginning with plans for a line of boutique miniatures, and quickly expanding into a full game. EFT went through a number of playstyle iterations, including play on a hex grid, before settling on the rules as shown in the quick-start PDF
It seems to be inspired by console tactics games like Tactics Ogre, Final Fantasy Tactics, and Disgaea. What are some of your favorite games in the genre?
It’s really difficult to pick a single game (I’ve played a lot of Tactics games), but I’d have to say it’s a toss up between Shining Force 2, which was my first TRPG; and Final Fantasy Tactics, which had such an engrossing storyline. When I’ve got free time, I work through the PSP version of Tactics Ogre, and I just finished the new XCOM.
How does Endless emulate that genre?
The grid is a great place to start of course, along with facing and battlefield height levels, most of the 3D tactical games are covered right there, but party customization and skill loadouts really bring in the RPG feel, keeping it from just being a battle board game. We’re also including a campaign system, in the spirit of TRPGs, allowing models to ‘level up’ and buy items over the course of several games.
What do you think makes Endless special?
There are a number of miniature games out there that have an anime-inspired design, but none are inspired by the same subjects as Endless. I think tactical games are also rare, lost amongst an increasing number of skirmish war games.
How many figures does each player need? How many figures do you have in development?
A game is best played with between 5 and 15 “Crystals”(read: Points) of models, with 10 being the suggested limit. With models ranging between 1 (Fodder) and 5 (Bosses) Crystals, about 5 models will end up on the table per side. Without a faction restriction, you’ll have a wide range of models to select from to design your party.
We have sculpts for 7 models (6 Unique, 1 Variant) ready to be cast. Along with the first stretch goal for the Kickstarter we’ll have 5 more designs set to be sculpted.
How are the armies different from each other?
There are no army/faction restrictions in EFT, allowing players to pick good and evil models, monsters and heroes, from across the game’s setting. There are certainly themes, with Dark models draining health or mana as the deal damage, or all the Beastmen variants having dungeon-esque traps they can set up.
Do you have plans to expand the game in the future?
We have more plans than we are capable of working on at once, so many ideas are on the back burner, including story-based campaigns, new item card packs, and of course new models, both variant designs, and ones with unique stats.
Is there anything else you would like to share?
I would like to thank everyone who has shown us their support on the Kickstarter and elsewhere. As this was a pet project of mine, I’m thrilled to see so many other people love Tactical RPGs as much as I.
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