There's Going To Be A Halo Tabletop Game

Spartan Games has just announced that it acquired the license to create a Halo tabletop game. No word on the ruleset, but the game will most likely appear on shelves at some point in 2015.

"Our design team are huge fans of ‘Halo’ and this opportunity is the icing on the cake for them," said Neil Fawcett, Creative Director, Spartan Games. "After six years of successfully creating our own games and models, we can now work with Microsoft to bring epic ‘Halo’ spaceship battles to gaming tables around the world. And if that’s not enough, we’re making fast and furious ground combat games as well. Hard to tell what is more exciting: invading Reach with our Covenant Fleet or assaulting ground defences with Spartans and UNSC Marines?"

Those with a better understanding of tabletop games will probably be able to have an educated guess at what a Halo tabletop game looks and plays like. My guess is it'll work as a good entry point to noobs like myself looking for an easy, first entry into the world of tabletop gaming. That's probably a good thing.

Thanks Scott!


    Spartan Games makes miniature based wargames and the quote makes this look like it will be a miniatures based wargame. So it won't be a self-contained experience where you just open the box, spend half an hour being baffled by the rules and then play with your friends.Think more along the lines of Warhammer.

    I very much doubt it'll be a good entry point for new board game players. Wargames tend to fall into their own separate niche.

      This is pretty much correct.

      It'll be a build/paint/play sort of deal, a hobby in and of itself.

      Might end up being something derived from X-Wing / Wings of War though. Sort of a war game lite? I could see that working in the Halo universe better than a full-fledged wargame.

        It will probably be derived from their other fleet based wargame firestorm armada

      I'm guessing it'll be simple enough to be a good entry point for new table top players though. It's a pretty big leap from board games to table top but I'm guessing they'll put out a box set with two armies, a bunch of dice, measuring sticks and templates, as well as a rulebook and a quick match guide.

      If you want to give this a shot Mark I recommend finding someone who has some experience with games like Warhammer 40,000, giving them a copy of the rulebook a week in advance, then getting your friends together on a Friday night at a place with no distractions. You only really need one person to know what they're doing acting as a sort of referee and everyone else just treats it like a poker night. Game nights can be surprisingly laid back and social. The games are usually so long you have a few drinks, eat some pizza, and generally just talk crap all night.
      If you're all beginners there's no need to treat the rules as absolute law. One of the great things about table top games is that it's as casual as you want it to be. If your friend is sucking and getting obliterated the other side you can step in and give them some feedback. When you find something is just too powerful you can all agree on a house rule right there on the spot. A lot of these games have a handful of really blunt weapons that are balanced and fair at top level play, but are absolute wrecking balls against newer players who are still getting used to all the strategic tools they have access to.

        I don't think it'll be a good entry point if people have to paint their own miniatures. That takes time and skill and is something people need to develop to do well.

    Ah, this is slightly disappointing.

    When I saw the title I was hoping for a board game or RPG. I guess if I wanted to get into miniatures looking into a familiar franchise wouldn't hurt though. Assuming this ends up being any good.

    Halo doesn't exactly have the variety for a tabletop wargame.

      If you look to really breakdown the factions, you might be able to stretch it out.

      The UNSC get marines, ODST, Spartans and whatever other special weapons units you can make up. The Covenant get all the various alien races, which you can split down to Elites vs Brutes as we got in Halo 3. Then the Flood would have all their various units that would still frustrate the hell out of you. And you could probably get some sort of 343 Guilty Spark/sentinels action in there as well (with a lot of new stuff obviously). I'm probably missing some—I'm not a mega Halo fan.

      And then there's all the vehicles.

      Anyway, I'm not saying you're wrong, I just think they could do it if they thought it would pay off.

        I suppose if you split the military and the Spartans into two factions Imperial Guard and Space Marine style and did the same for the Brutes and Elites, you could drag it out to five factions, but in the process you'd be really breaking down the factions into only a handful of almost identical units.
        Also, I'm no Halo loremaster, but if the Brutes and the Elites have split doesn't that mean the Spartans are all gone? Or did one of the post-Halo 3 games bring them back?

          I guess the issue of similar units across factions would be managed by the stats and special abilities (if any) that come with the game mechanics.

          I think you're right about no other spartans at the time of Halo 3, but I wasn't sticking to a particular moment in the timeline for working out the factions. But there were Spartan Mk 4s in Halo 4, so there is also room there for different types of Spartans if you don't care about continuity. You'd obviously expect to also have special character Spartans like MC and the Reach crew.

    'Tabletop game' is probably the term you use when you want to say miniatures game without scaring the noobs/normies.

    Does anyone else wonder why they're starting with space battles, which hasn't really been a huge part of the Halo universe, aside from cutscenes and that one level from Reach? Maybe mechanics for this type of game (like X-Wing) has less variables than ground combat games, or they like the idea of getting to create new parts of the IP.

    Either that, or they're trying to figure out how to do Halo ground combat without it basically being WH40k.

    Anyway, I'm interested to see what happens.

      They could just be using their existing properties as a template for the new Halo game(s).

      Maybe they figure as a space combat game it will have less competition from the stronger established rival games? I suppose the ground combat game could potentially require a lot of investment in making up so many different types of vehicles. The space combat doesn't have that same huge gap between the biggest and largest units. That said I feel like the ground game will have a safety net in that they'll sell a lot of iconic vehicle kits to people who just want a Warthog model kit.

        Not just this, but the space part of halo's lore has enough ships and types to create a varied and interesting game where you'll have options in list building as well as some cool senarios. (Covvie assault on earth with UNSC defendign with mac batteries ect anyone?)

        The ground game poses somewhat more of a challenge trying to diversify squads ect. I can see them going two ways with it, either 15mm scale massed battles, so your vehicles are a focal point (which suits halo well enough) and infantry is moved in single bases containing full squads.

        Or alternatively, doing a skirmish level game where each player has 10 or so models for the game, which could work really well, going more into the strengths of each individual and meaning that the difference between a novice marine and a veteran ODST is going to be apparent.

    How hard do you think Microsoft shopped this around...

    "Alright, we've come up with a few options for our tabletop game... Starting with Spartan-"

    "That one... Spartan. Spartan. Spartan. Next item on the agenda."

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