WARNING: This article contains violence and adult themes and language.
When the world died, the few people left were content to simply survive. For generations humans tried to cling to the old ways, but over time those traditions were lost and with them, humanity. It’s a new dawn, a red dawn, the type of dawn where you might get dragged back to a Village and fucking eaten if you’re not careful. Rival Tribes square off on the battlefield in all-out blood baths. Pity is a foreign concept. If you walk out on the battlefield, you’re going to get hurt. Survival is no longer enough for these people. They won’t rest until they’ve killed every last fucking one of their enemies.
HATE is a strategic board game set in a world where morality has been thrown out the window. Designed by the creators of Zombicide and Massive Darkness, this is a world where anything is possible and there will definitely be blood. HATE is a game for mature audiences only, and thus will be available exclusively on Kickstarter.
Tribes torture and consume their foes as casually as you’d update your Facebook status. Survival is the only thing that matters, and if that means eating human flesh to have the strength to slaughter on the battlefield, you can be damn sure you’re going to do it. When your opponent would be willing to crush the skulls of every person in your Village if they breech the walls, every battle is not just about your life, it’s about the survival of your legacy.
HATE is played as a Chronicle, involving several different Clashes between Tribes. At the end of the final Clash, a winner is declared, while the other Tribes suffer subjugation and death. At the start of a game, players agree on the number of players involved and how many Clashes will make up the entire Chronicle. Players can also compete in single Clashes without committing to an entire Chronicle.
The goal of the game is to earn Conquest points by taking over Territories and completing objectives. Throughout a series of Clashes, players will also accumulate Resources and Hate. At the end of the final Clash of the Chronicle, Conquest points are added to the lower amount of either Hate or Resources that a player has collected to produce a final score. One Tribe will reign supreme over the others, and the rest will be thrown in the pit.
Each Tribe is made up of 11 bloodthirsty killers, itching to get out there and cause pain. The Princes tower over everyone in both status and stature, but every member has a place in battle. Each of the Warriors, Champion Warriors, Shamans, Young Bloods, and Princes start with unique skills and a role to play. Over the course of a Chronicle, they will develop their skills, gaining additional abilities, but they’ll also get injuries and develop Scars, limiting their growth as a cold-blooded murderer. It’s harder to rack up a respectable body count when you’re missing an arm, or some asshole gouged out your eye.
Tribe members are represented on the board with incredible, highly-detailed miniatures and Figure cards. These cards contain information about the Tribe member, including their type, Stats, and Starting Skills. The cards are sleeved, and as new Upgrades or Scars are acquired, transparent cards with those new attributes are added, becoming a part of the character’s skill set. Scars fill in slots that might have been used for Upgrades, limiting a character’s potential. What happens in one Battle, carries forward throughout the entire Chronicle.
Much of the action in the game is driven by the individual Tribe decks. Each player has a deck of cards unique to their Tribe. These decks influence the strategy and play style of a Tribe. They may be all-out power killers, revelling in the glory of battle, or they may rely on their attack formations for success on the battlefield, they may even gain their strength and rage from sacrificing one of their own. Although these warriors are at home on the battlefield, they also need a place to rest and recuperate after a fight.
Each Tribe has their own Village board, which is more than just a place to hang your cloak of human flesh. This is a communal place full of different useful buildings. The Forge comes into play during Battles allowing players to access special abilities. The Oven and Torture Pit provide some delicious options for captured opponents. The Village is also a place where players can visit the Shaman’s Hut to gain access to more Tribe cards or the Training Grounds to gain Upgrades for their Tribe members. (See our full article on the Villages of HATE). The Village plays a role during the Battles as well as the recovery period in between.
Clashes are one-on-one engagements between two players. They are broken up into two Battles over Territories. The attacking player chooses a Territory that is either neutral or belongs to the defending Tribe. Once a target has been selected, the aggressing Tribe will get to select from a number of different Scenarios for the Battle. Once the Scenario has been selected, the battlefield can be set up with Hills, Huts, Trees, and Interest Tokens spread out over the game board according to the instructions. Next, players will deploy their various Tribe members on the board according to the setup rules. Each Scenario has its own special rules and goals, made up of Side Missions and Main Missions. Each one has a name, an objective, and a reward for completing it.
Battles are fought over four rounds, with turns alternating back and forth. Players spend Savagery Tokens (the main currency in the game) to activate Tribe members, use skills, take advantage of Tribe cards, or use Forge abilities. Rounds continue until one player is out of Savagery Tokens or one player has completed all the victory conditions for the Scenario, claiming a win.
During a round, players will have access to two of their Tribe cards, which are placed face up on the table. They can be used only once and even if they’re not used they’re discarded at the end of the round. Each Tribe card has a Trigger which indicates when it can be used and a cost in Savagery Tokens to activate it. Savagery Tokens can also be spent in the Village at the Forge to get immediate benefits such as extra Movement, extra dice when Attacking or Defending, and extra Activations.
Battles are broken up into Replenish Phases and Activation Phases. During the Replenish Phase, players reset, removing spent Savagery Tokens from Tribe cards or their Forge, discarding unused Tribe cards and Savagery Tokens, gaining five new Savagery Tokens, and drawing two new Tribe cards. During the Activation Phase, players can activate Tribe members to kill enemies, move around the board, chop down Trees for resources, pillage Huts for Resources and rewards, drag KO’d opponents back to their Village, and work to complete Missions.
In a world where killing is more of a hobby than anything else, players can expect to do a lot of Attacking in HATE. The aggressing Tribe member has an Attacking Value, which can be altered with things like Tribe cards and upgrades. They gather dice equal to their total and roll, looking for Swords (Attack Success), Wilds, or Skulls (which earn Savagery Tokens). Defenders have their own Defense Value marked on the Tribe member card and can manipulated that with Tribe cards and upgrades among other things. Defenders get a chance to roll as well. In their case, the result of a Shield is a successful defense. Both the Attacker and Defender can receive Support in the form of extra dice from Tribe members in adjacent spaces. It can pay to move together as a group over the battlefield.
If the Attacker generates more Swords than the Defender did Shields, the Defender has been KO’d and become a body on the field of battle. They’ll lie their gasping for breath and clinging to life, until the end of the Scenario…or until they are dragged off to a much worse fate.
As soon as a Battle ends there is an Intermission, where players return to their Village to catch their breath, plan for the next round, and cook and torture their captives. Torturing enemies in the Pit earns Hate for players and cooking them in the oven and feasting on their flesh earns them Resources. Never go into battle on an empty stomach! If a Tribe member is tortured or eaten, they are lost to their Tribe forever, but there is only so much space in the Oven and Torture Pit, and if there are not enough slots for the captives, they escape back to their home Village. If you lost a Tribe member to the Oven or the Pit, all of their Upgrades are gone and you’ll have to start over with a new character from scratch. Fresh meat for the grinder.
During the Intermission, players also roll for Scars, assigning them to any of their Tribe members that have been KO’d during battle. They can also visit the Chiurgeon to get scars removed. The Intermission is a period of recovery and reflection for those that made it safely back to their own Village. It is a time of torture and death for those not so lucky.
When the Intermission is done, it’s time for the second Battle in the Clash. The roles are reversed with the Defending Tribe becoming the Attacker. They will go through the same steps again, choosing a Territory to assault and a Scenario to play. The same steps are repeated until a victor is determined in the second Battle, bringing the Clash to an end. Players are awarded Conquest points, and the Chronicle will continue until all of the Clashes have been played.
Ultimately, only one Tribe will be able to rise above the rest. This is the new world, where issues like freedom of speech, healthy living, and saving for your 401k seem trivial. Now, there is only death, and blood, and pain. If your Tribe rises from the ashes of the old societies, there will be no mercy, no looking for common ground or equality. Hate is what ended the old world and Hate is what will rule this new one. Clash after Clash and Battle after Battle, you’ll lead your Tribe to glorious victory or gory death. It’s a brutal grind with only pain to look forward to, but hell, it’s either you or them. The world of HATE is full of death, but you’ll get the chance to kill a lot of mother fuckers before you meet your fate.
HATE is coming to Exclusively to Kickstarter on January 16 at 3PM EST.
Follow the HATE Facebook page for updates on art, miniatures, and articles.
Read the HATE overview article here.
Read about the Villages of HATE here.
Read about the Development of HATE here.
Read about the Um’Gra Tribe here.
Read about the Um’Rak Tribe here.
Read about the Um’Kator Tribe here.
Read about the Um’Cal Tribe here.
Read about the Mercenaries here.