Dawn – Rise of the Occulites
Dawn: Rise of the Occulites is the first game in the Rise of the Occulites Saga which follows the evolution of creatures called Occulites (funnily enough). Being the first game in the Saga, it starts very early in their development. So Dawn is a small skirmish miniature boardgame. There is a pretty detailed backstory to the game on my blog which tells of a boy named Darwin who goes to live with his Pa on his property in the Australian Bush. Darwin finds a ‘window’ in a fallen branch that has blown down in a storm that he sees a strange creature through. Over time he begins to observe and study the creatures in secret.
In the actual game you control a Tribe of five Occulites throughout a variety of different scenarios. In the base game there are 10 different scenarios (with many more being available for download and in expansions later on) that have different objectives and goals. Most involve combat, but it is not the defining factor of many of the scenarios. Some involve collecting Sungems (gems that trap Sunlight and warmth for the Long Dark), others are Home Cave raids, in some you must catch Nymphlets for food and another you may temporarily ally yourself with your opponent to fend off an attack from predators. The scenarios are vastly different and can be played individually or as a full blown campaign where your Tribe evolves depending on the actions you take during games.
The game is designed in layers, so there are a basic set of rules that provides an excellent launching point for most players. You don’t ever have to advance from these Core rules if you don’t want to, however for those that wish to explore further, there are Advanced rules which introduce special terrains, more in depth decision making and actions to take during matches.
At its Core, many of the in game’s actions are instigated or resolved with something called the ‘Natural Selection Deck’. This is a deck of cards which all have multiple uses. There is an Activation number, a Combat number and a card effect on every card (except for special cards such as Sungem or Event cards). This card system as well as the use of Tribal Tokens introduces many important decisions that actually matter greatly to the success of your games. Its a system that we think works really well and is something we are very proud of.