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How long does it take to play a game?

A standard Ex illis game takes between 45 to 60 minutes to play, from deployment to the final blow. Ex illis battles are faster because the gameplay is streamlined so players only have to concentrate on their meaningful strategic decision rather than spending their time on operational tasks. Gone are the days of carefully moving a unit, arguing over a quarter of an inch or about the meaning an obscure rule happening only once in a blue moon. This makes it possible to run a small tournament in a single evening or play a revenge game without having to wait for the next weekend!

I feel like I’m always looking at the screen…

As a transitory phenomenon, when we play our first games, we’re often attracted by the game screen, the same way most of our first games in other miniature wargames are spent looking at the rule book. As players get comfortable with the rules, they start to look less at the operational stuff and start thinking more in terms of tactics. The good news is that Ex illis players can learn as they go instead of having to read for days before playing a first game.

Is it possible to play the game without the software?

No, not really. While it’s our goal is to expose every rule and calculation present in the game to players, the sheer quantity of calculation involved in each step makes it very impractical to be done by hand. To give you an idea, the team was playing using excel spreadsheets during the testing process, and it took our developers a full 8-hour day to finish a single game. We know a few of you are real math geniuses, but the majority is not. Thankfully, the game comes with a cool Rule Keeper software that takes care of all the calculation... you might as well use it.

Is it possible to play the game without the miniatures?

No. Not more than in any other miniature wargame at least. In Ex illis, miniatures fulfill the exact same role as in any other miniature game: allowing you to see where the troops are on the battlefield and how many are left in each unit. Miniatures also reflect the aesthetic and narrative aspects of the Ex illis world. So, if you need the miniatures in other miniature wargames, you need them in Ex illis too! The screen will never give you a tactical view of the battlefield. Ex illis is a tabletop wargame: all your decisions should be made on the board.

How does the levelling system work in Ex illis?

Every unit in the game starts at level 1. However, there are many mechanics making sure your new unit will quickly be usable with the rest of your army even in high level games. First, players gain XP at the same time their miniatures do (Renown Points). It’s possible to transfer your Renown Points to your miniatures to have them gain a level immediately, so long as the unit level doesn’t exceed the Player level. Second, we will soon release an economic system to the game. Each battle will earn you gold, which can be spent in equipment stores or on training. Sending your units into specific training is a great way to have them reach the rest of your army quickly. Finally, a standard game type usually allows a difference of 10 levels between units. So while your new unit will only be a rooky during the first few games, it’ll be usable in your typical battle quite soon!

So… if I’m high level I can’t play with someone who’s new to the game?

Of course you can! We’ve created a system of ‘ghosts’ in the game to allow just that. A unit that has reached a certain level can always be played in its previous form. So, if you have reached level 35 with most of your collection, it’s always possible to play a muster with your units as they were when they were only level 10. Better still: you’ll gain the same amount of XP with a ghost than with a regular unit, so it’s never a chore to play against newcomers.

How do you keep the game balanced if units level up?

Like many other miniature wargames, Ex illis uses a balanced point system to ensure games are fair and fun. Stronger units cost more points than weaker ones. When a unit levels up, its stats line and range of actions grow. This, in turn, increases its point value. We usually keep it so a unit doubles in actual effectiveness (a combination of stats and skills available) every 10 levels, and make sure its point value grows accordingly. But the point system only brings us so far. The game’s real balance is kept through game presets. When you start a game, you can choose to play an official preset or play a custom game. The presets come with restrictions on the maximum number of points in the muster and the minimum and maximum levels allowed for the miniatures. This gives us ‘level bubbles’ that are easy to monitor. While it can certainly be great fun to play a single level 45 unit against a level 1 army, we explicitly tell that this type of game may be outside of the standard game balance and should be treated as a ‘just for fun’ game, a game in which “anything goes”.

How does Bastion plan to support retailers?

We believe in organised play and in supporting retailers as partners. Ex illis is an experience made to be shared with a growing and vibrant community. The first thing we added was the Bleeding Edge Knights (BEK) programme. This programme helps retailers to have a certified Ex illis player in their area to demo the game and hold events in their store. We listen to our retailers and we are always available to help.

What happens if the software crashes? Do I lose my game?

No, the game has a resume feature that will get you back in the game as soon as you log back in. This being said, the resume option remains a safety net, and we’re always playtesting our game to prevent crashes.

=Why do I need a computer? The software must be run on a device. The game can be played on PCs, Macs, any laptop, iPods touch, iPhones and iPads.

Why did Bastion choose to use a software?

Bastion’s biggest challenge was to make a game in which the gameplay would be much more complex, yet very accessible to new players who always wanted to play tabletop wargames. Using a software was the only way to do this.

What are the minimum computer requirements to run the software?

Windows XP with service pack 3 or Mac 10.5 and higher, processor 1.0 GHz or better, RAM of 256 Mb, accelerated video card with at least 64 Mb and must be compatible with OpenGL 1.2, hard drive with 4 Gb of free space. We added three versions of the game low definition, medium definition and high definition. More...

Do I have to pay for the software or pay a monthly fee?

No, the software is completely free and there is no monthly fee. Once you purchase a unit, you can play as much as you want.

Does Ex illis have a faction system?

We do have a soft faction system with 31 factions and it keeps on growing. The soft faction system is designed so you can field any units in your army as you please. The only restriction is the penalty points you pay when exceeding a category. The morale will be affected if the unit is fielded with units that are not from the same faction.

Is there a hard copy rule book?

No there is no hard copy rule book, but everything is available for free in a printable version on our website.

Can I use proxies to play Ex illis?

While we're working on a trial system which will let you try the system for free with proxies, the final game has to be played with Bastion miniatures. Every unit in Ex illis comes with an activation code that must be activated online. Once this is done, the unit will be available to field in your muster.