Leviathans is a fantastically fleshed out world of alternate history where a means of electrical levitation changed the face of national gunboat diplomacy in the decades before The Great War. No longer bound to the mundane land and sea, great monsters of the sky fly their nation’s flag through a sea of clouds.
Leviathans brought a wonderful combination of art and mechanics to tabletop hex-based fleet combat in 2012. Then, for a variety of reasons, it died a slow death. By mid year 2014 the lead designers told their fans that Leviathans would have to be reborn. This would take some time.
So we waited.
The Birth of 8 Nations:
The original material was very clear that there were to eventually be 8 national factions that would be playable for Leviathans. Only the French and British ever saw a full release. I personally wondered what these factions might be like. I wanted to play them. After several years of waiting I decided to take the designers at their word and develop some ideas.
One of the defining features of the original Leviathans development was an emphasis on Creative Commons licences and transparency in the development process. This included the release of ship cards and an open beta of a points system for generating new ship cards. I always respected this aspect of their business plan. They weren’t making money on basic information. They made money on hard works of art and physical assets like the ship models themselves.
I would feel it a violation of that generous and open tradition to do anything different. As such, I am committed to making all information open and free. I do plan some physical assets like ship models and stands designed specifically for 8 Nations. These I will charge for as they take much time and some material to produce. I will not duplicate the existing Leviathans materials, models, or normal stands. Though out of print base sets can still sometimes be found. Almost all information including: original ship cards, rules, world books, fiction, and other material is freely available at the official Leviathans page.
Scope of 8 Nations:
8 Nations is designed to be played with its own ship cards and rules. The rules add to the original Leviathans rules as a true expansion. The ship cards are compatible with the original ships but are not balanced against them. The British and French have slightly different focuses in 8 Nations. Both have full new fleets using ships built for the expansion rules rather than modifications of the original ships.
Each full fleet will consist of:
3 Light Cruisers
2 Heavy Cruisers
Each nation will have 3 unique equipment or crew options that will be built into their ship slots. These will generally, but not always, consist of: 1 special crew, 1 weapon, and 1 utility.
Each nation also has a special action that is unique to their ships and play style. These range from specialized field tactics to desperate gambles to change the tide of a battle.
8 Nations does not support the elevation optional rules. The bases that will be sold are instead designed to place different sized hex ships at different elevations. This has no effect on rules. Instead, the type 2s and 3s will sit 1cm higher than type 1s and 1cm lower than type 4s. This is mostly aesthetic but also prevents some clutter when ships are in base contact.
Ship Models will be made for each of the ship cards. That is to say, while all type 1 ships from a nation will likely share the same hull there will be models that reflect the unique features and load out of each ship when possible.
A Fan Labor:
All I really want to do is give us all some more Leviathans to play with while the original devs reorganize. This is not a replacement for their vision. I suspect that by nature I go about things very differently and really can’t fill their shoes. I will do my best to follow them in spirit though. When Leviathans finally returns we will all be a little happier.