With the first supplement for The Silver Bayonet out this month, hear from author Joseph A. McCullough all about the process of designing The Carpathians: Castle Fier...
Welcome to Castle Fier, the first supplement for The Silver Bayonet: A Wargame of Napoleonic
Gothic Horror! I’ve got to admit, this is not a book I expected to write. One of my design
goals in creating the game was to keep it small – low miniature count, quick playtime, not
too many rules. I figured I’d write the rulebook, and maybe a magazine article or two, and
that would be it. Then Osprey Games released the book, and everything changed.
The book flew off the shelves, and overnight the internet came alive with people
painting units, building terrain, statting up monsters, and creating their own scenarios.
The combination of historical pageantry and gothic fantasy apparently struck a nerve with
miniature fans. Fantasy gamers who had played my previous games found an excuse to
dabble with historicals in a ‘safe environment’; while historical players gained a reason to
pick up a few werewolf and vampire models they had always wanted. The enthusiasm for the
game was infectious, and it spread right back to me!
Due to the schedules of the publishing industry, by the time of the game’s release, I was hard at
work on other things, but all the excitement pulled me right back in. I wanted to keep playing in
this gothic world full of weird shadows, high-plumed hats, ancient magic, and great moustaches.
Ideas filled my brain, but also a bit of fear. I have now created a bunch of games, and I just can’t
support them all to the level I would wish. I needed to find a way to support this game, to express
the ideas brimming inside me, but also to stay true to that original design principle of ‘staying
So, after discussions with Osprey, I asked for two things. First, could we make expansions
for The Silver Bayonet smaller than for my other games. This would allow me to better fit them
into my work schedule and would also keep them leaner and more focused. It would help keep
the game small. My other request was that we recruit some help! So, while this first expansion is
written by me, the next one will be penned by my friend, sometimes collaborator, and genuine
wargaming celebrity, Ash Barker! I will, of course, be keeping an eye on him, but I’m quite excited
to see what new ideas he brings to the world and the game. After that? Well, I’ll be back I’m
sure, and maybe some others will get involved as well. No plan survives contact with the enemy,
especially if that enemy can only be harmed with silver weapons or salt!
The Carpathians: Castle Fier is out May 25th. Pre-order now.
And watch this space for more blogs, including art deep dives and sneak peeks inside the book...
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