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 Post subject: Epawn Digital gameboard
PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 6:04 pm 

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Something very interresting here over at beasts of war!

On their web page here you can see more videos, they even offer an Development Kit.

Reading the comments it seems like a lot of people like the screenLess Arena.
Imagine it being the size of the Ex Illis game board, fitting under it tracking your units movement.

They've got the board, Ex Illis is the fitting game.
Bastion can jump onto this faster than any other game system.


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 Post subject: Re: Epawn Digital gameboard
PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 9:31 pm 
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This could have been huge if there was development $$$ left. This is the tech that was missing which could have really fuzed the software and models

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 Post subject: Re: Epawn Digital gameboard
PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 1:27 am 

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I have to go with cwilliams (who posted on the BoW link) on this that people seem to jump onto this, but left Ex Illis in the dust. Human, thy name is contradiction.

Lord Ok has a point. Ironically enough, having MORE technology will shift the focus of the game back to miniatures. Instead of telling the software where the units go, THEN move the miniatures (or vice versa), moving the actual units on the board will also be tracked and moved accordingly on the software. All that is left really is use the touch screen for attack/abilities and others.

Still, we're going to need the display or the roll up screen of at least 6x4 feet to have any applications in tabletop wargames.

I can't imagine Bastion using this at the moment though, seeing they have to make more profit for the time being.

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 Post subject: Re: Epawn Digital gameboard
PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 9:52 pm 
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if they were to get rid of the silly graphics and have simple unit block graphics top view you could project the information directly on the battle map and it could show arrows of movement little blinking icons of four hits etc. even the volley of arrows landing on the tile and have the merging of the two worlds. I personally like a well terrain battlefield as opposed to a digital representation, but to have the information overlaid on that would be wonderful.

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 Post subject: Re: Epawn Digital gameboard
PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2012 2:47 pm 
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yosefbender wrote:
if they were to get rid of the silly graphics and have simple unit block graphics top view you could project the information directly on the battle map and it could show arrows of movement little blinking icons of four hits etc. even the volley of arrows landing on the tile and have the merging of the two worlds. I personally like a well terrain battlefield as opposed to a digital representation, but to have the information overlaid on that would be wonderful.

That can be done with tokens though. A digital gaming board in my opinion combined with what we already have for Ex illis would be pointless, as we might as well created a RTS video game.

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 Post subject: Re: Epawn Digital gameboard
PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2012 4:22 pm 
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We looked into a full electronic gaming board at the beginning, but sadly, it's patented to death in every country for the next 10-15 years. Then there's the cost of entry. We built a prototype, using technologies we could see go down in price fast, and for the size we were going, there was no way to cut the costs to less than 2 thousands bucks: don't forget that having an ipod / computer was already too much an investment for a lot of players, what would it have been? And then there's the distribution, which will be much harder considering the size. And you can't bring it easily to your friend house. Did you ever think dragging your 70 inch lcd tv every weekend at your friend house to play your latest console game ?

What is needed for that technology to be interesting is a foldable display (rollable oleds?) of a size big enough to put the whole armies, which would have small borders so that you can put many side by side (perhaps different size, 4x4, 3x3, 2x2?) all networked, they need to be able to detect the movement overhead. In many cases this limits the base modifications the users can do to be correctly detected.

Playing on a small surface like what htey have is not interesting, you don't want to have to drag and drop your army every turn. Some people already dislike having to move them 'more often in the time' than the regulars games they are used to.

All in all, quite a difficult achievement to have people playing Ex illis on such a surface.

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 Post subject: Re: Epawn Digital gameboard
PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2012 5:22 pm 

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I think we can all agree the screen arena is going to be clumsy and to tiny. :D

I can see a use for the screenless one though:

ePawn FAQ wrote:
How large can the tracking surface be?
The technology supports very large surfaces, such as one square meter.
For any specific request, please contact us

This means that it can be as big as the whole ex illis game board.
Or even better would be 9" squares that can be?

Use the surface to track the units on the battlefield. The ex illis unit's movement can be tracked by adding a sergeant model with ePawn base to every unit (could also be a flag or unit token). Rotating the sergeant like in the video allows you to scroll through the units actions.

This would mean you only need to use the mouse for setting up the battlefields, viewing unit stats and the help icon. Most of the game is played using the physical models.

I think this could tone down the video game side of ex illis, making it a more a wargame with electronic tracking and rule keeper then it is now.


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 Post subject: Re: Epawn Digital gameboard
PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2012 8:58 pm 
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Game is fine as it is now lord.
You would not be playing it if you did not like it the way it was ;)

This system is rather redundant, since the cost of the hard ware required to play it will be out of the question, for a big scale War game .

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 Post subject: Re: Epawn Digital gameboard
PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2012 2:43 am 
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The way I see it, bastions shouldn't have looked into building a proprietary board as much as looking to create software for preople who are doing so. They need applications as bad as bastion needed the right platform.

The play surface could have eliminated the need for an iphone / ipad. Intergrating the models directly into the board (using the board animate arrows n fireballs from a top down view as well as displaying the UI )

As far as the size of the board goes, a smaller scale game perhaps 10 or 15 mil, might have helped. But, hindsight is 20/20

Either way it would be nice for bastion to give these guys a shout. I guarantee they would love to throw an ex demo on their surface to show off its diverse uses

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 Post subject: Re: Epawn Digital gameboard
PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2014 11:56 am 

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*Blows dust of this topic* :)

The ePawn producers just uploaded a new video showing their technology.
LINK to YouTube
This video shows the surface and iPad interaction which would be easily integrated into Ex illis.

Just as I told 2 years ago, I really feel ePawn could be a great partner to enhance the Ex illis experience and gameplay.
As I explained here, this can be the future for wargaming and Ex illis.

I strongly suggest contacting them (in french) to see what the possibilities are.


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 Post subject: Re: Epawn Digital gameboard
PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2014 3:26 pm 

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That looks like the way to play. I'd even play Warmahordes if it worked like that!

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