I'll be posting more pics here once I get my prototype which is being sent from Elzra, but for now, they posted this picture of all of the maps in a pile.
You can already see that they are very colorful compared to SEAL Team Flix. Maps are 12" x 24", and 12" x 12", with 1" squares. Walls have to be assembled every time, but we are working to make this process as painless as possible. I think a map will assemble pretty quickly.
Just posting a link to their tweet since the image upload functionality doesn't work for me here.
Love the look of it. All the bright neon colours remind me of the early Tyranid/Genestealer stuff when they were the very alien counterpoint to the drab industrial empire. There was a Marines v. Tyranid game at one point that had brightly coloured room tiles, but not quite as refined as this.
Ivan Potter-Smith did the board art. I don't know if he will be doing any other art for the game. He LOVES neon and bright colors.
At one point I had to actually have him tone one down... there is an updated train map. STF had two trains in a subway. This game has two trains intended for use in a large planetary mining operation, and I thus wanted a fairly industrial look. The first version I saw looked more like party buses. The final version is still fairly bright, but has this "colored lighting on steel surfaces" look that reminds me of the original Unreal, which has a very industrial feel to it.
Some digital mockups of what the walls setup will look like this time, since they won't get embedded into the boards like in Seal Team Flix. I'll be curious to see how it works, the Seal Team walls worked pretty well but I can see why they moved away from them from a production and time to first play perspective.
Elzra is spending a lot of time working out the best way to do the walls and doors. I sketched out what I wanted to be able to do, and it's been up to them to figure out how to accomplish it. One thing the above shot doesn't show is that the various posts (the circular "junction" pieces) will have various configurations, like a plus sign (shown), or a 90 degree corner, etc. That way you don't have these chunks of plastic impeding shots around corners.
The walls themselves will be either plastic or cardboard, I'm not sure which yet. Considerations are durability and cost. The fact that the maps have to be assembled every time is also a STRONG consideration; we don't want it to be a chore.
This project is taking so long. I signed the contract in July 2019.
Very very excited for this project. The base mechanics of Seal Team are extremely solid and thematic, but the sci-fi angle gives you so many opportunities for weird enemies and such, and (imo) more opportunities for hot missions or situations. For good reason, in Seal Team successfully staying quiet was always the superior tactical option.
Does sound still play as big a role in this game as Seal Team in most missions?
Sound is gone, replaced with a more general concept of Threat. Threat is tracked on the round tracker, and NOT on the board, so fussy sound token management is a thing of the past. The "Threat token" (formerly the Alert token) goes on the board in the area of the last weapon fired or if a Phantom gets spotted. Enemies move towards this token at all times, only resuming patrol when the token leaves the board.
This streamlines a lot of the AI management. The threat tracker also has hard determinations on when enemies spawn; no more rolling a d10 8 times to see if enemies are coming; you will know they are coming... but you won't know WHERE they will spawn. For that, you still roll the d10, and the "10" result will ALWAYS result in them spawning at all points.
We have endeavored to streamline and simplify a lot of the ruleset, without sacrificing the tactical elements of STF. I would say that you can play Phantom Division a lot more "fast and loose" than you could STF, simply because you are playing more powerful characters with more wide ranging abilities. The enemies are also more powerful, but most of them can still be taken down with a single hit. Tracking health is a drag, this just makes things easier.
Your last paragraph kind of reminds me of how Xcom 2 base game was not as good as the Xcom 2 expansion War of the Chosen where the troops became relative superheroes---it gave you a lot more to do and choices to make with powers.
One other thing to mention is that the actual dexterity elements are increased in PD. Shots can be up to 2 feet long, and there will be less "flick at an enemy 1" away".
The kinds of dexterity challenges are also more varied. A steady hand will be very helpful... something I'm not great at personally. I think people will be surprised when they see the new bomb type I devised. mwuhahahahahaha