I’ve grown up surrounded by gaming dreamers. My school friends talked about making their own RPG for the entirety of our younger teenage years. Another group of friends attempted to make their own Warhammer 40k Codex and wanted to send it to GW because “maybe they’ll publish it.” After a number of contentious arguments and broken dreams that project flamed out with barely a page written. A totally different friend couldn’t read a gaming book without wanting to chop it, change it, or add comic book characters to it. When I had found a massive box of micro machines in my late teenage years, I filled up half a notebook making a weird racing/destruction derby game that would have been an absolute ball ache to ever play. This is but a shallow dip into the pool of stories I could tell, but what is most important, is to understand my entire gaming life has been filled with stories about new video game ideas, RPG’s, miniature rules etc… There is always someone at the game store, on the internet forum, hanging around the club or part of your friends group that has some idea “in the works.” What almost all of these have in common is that they never actually finish anything. This is the nature of things, what we’re passionate about one week might fade as the months go by, the hard work and real life issues pile up, or you just figure out that the great idea you thought you had, was actually pretty shit. Look, finishing stuff is hard. Juggling life priorities, especially as an adult is some damn tricky business. My jaded self has tended to just summarily dismiss works in process I casually hear about. I honestly just nod politely and mentally file them in the “never going to actually happen” section of my brain.
So when I first heard from friend of Corehammer Chris a while back that he was making his own skirmish miniature game, I have to admit, I was skeptical. So I need to quickly interrupt this post with an apology, time to stand up and say how fucking wrong I was, Wild in the Streets is not only here, but pretty damn fun as well. While I waffle on about games, Chris actually went out and made one. He’s taken that magical leap out of the soupy swamp of “dreamers” into that rarified air of “doers” and for that he deserves a firm handshake and some excellent San Diego Mexican food. Well done sir.
So what is Wild in the Streets? It’s a fast paced miniature skirmish game where gangs of youth subcultures clash in quick and brutal street fights. What does that mean? You get to take a gang of goths and go have beef with those crust punk dickheads that are illegally drinking outside the club. Or maybe your working class skinhead gang has just been jumped by the devilish murder cult girls and need to use all your skills to not end up crushed under their high heels and hate. You can even throw all of the gangs on the board and have an all-encompassing melee punctuated by windmills, circle pits and goth dance offs. Wild in the Streets uses small gangs, a card driven initiative and event system and minimal setup and record keeping to throw you straight into the action. What this means is each individual figure (or group of figures) has a card that activates it. These are shuffled together and drawn, so you’re never quite sure who is going next and what kind of beating is getting laid down. Special cards, which is where a lot of the flavor of the game comes in, are also pulled out of this deck so can influence the game a little randomly. This creates an unpredictable and light game that moves quickly. This will never be a serious tourney game, or something you spend hours planning lists for, but there are enough of those games out there already. Seriously, if you don’t want to play a game where some crust punk lady is about to smash your face, but a free beer card comes up and stops her death blow as she chugs away…then you can probably fuck right off. The game is quick, can be hilarious and makes for great multiplayer.
One of the most interesting things about this Wild in the Streets to me is how much I heard about it before ever playing it. Folks I knew would wander up in all kinds of settings and tell me how they’d gotten a chance to playtest it. Now hearing a bunch of nerd excited by new games is nothing all that original, we’re all about jumping into a new system as soon as the fad claxon goes off. What intrigued me about Wild in the Streets was the amount of usually “non-gamers” recommending it from our friends group. These weren’t the folks I normally geeked out about Warhammer with, these were civilians, and they fucking loved this game. It is easy to see why, when I finally got a chance to play it I found the game to be entertaining, relatable and quick to dive into. These things combine so that it makes it a great time for people who would be bored to tears with an average game of 40k. Trying to talk someone only vaguely interested in gaming into 4 – 6 hour multiplayer game where most of your shit got blown up turn one and you’re just hoping you get to do something cool while everyone else argues over inches and cocked dice can be rough. Grabbing a few friends, learning a page of rules and fucking up those sXe kids with your crust punks, easy sell.
Look, regardless of how jaded I pretend to be, I have a pretty childlike and innocent view of how things are created. I still at some fundamental level think that someone, somewhere was so passionate about a product or thing, that they just sacrificed and created it themselves. I pretend that things started with that bootstrapped/DIY ideal and then just grew through hard work and smart choices. Now I’ve had the veil lifted a few times and understand most entrepreneurs are not necessarily passionate creators of that one thing, but instead, are passionate creators of companies. I now know that not every cool bicycle company started with some weird guy in his garage welding frames. That not every game bursts out of a designers unfettered imagination, but can be instead a carefully wrought piece of sales and marketing built to fit into an open niche or follow a market trend. What excites me about Wild in the Streets is that it fits that true DIY design ethic. It was built as a labor of love, and with a strong player first mentality.
In the end, Wild in the Streets is a quick play, easy to learn, skirmish game. It’s great for a group of friends to kill a couple hours and just have a damn good time around the table together. The game, at its core, allows for the creation of unique gaming moments, something different and possibly more entertaining than a bunch of Orks or “Space Fascists” smashing each other. And in the end, having those moments around the common campfire of the gaming table is what this hobby is all about.
Available on Kickstarter Now! Get into it
Check Owain’s interview here!