clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Designer of hit board games Root and Oath reveals Arcs: Collapse and Conflict in the Void

Cole Wehrle will take his unique brand of strategy to outer space

If you buy something from a Polygon link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Gen Con 2018 — Wooden pawns from Root, each with adorable printed facial features. Photo: Charlie Hall/Polygon
Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

Cole Wehrle, designer of hit board games Root: A Game of Woodland Might and Right and Oath: Chronicles of Empire and Exile, has revealed his next board game. It’s called Arcs: Collapse and Conflict in the Void, and it takes his unique brand of strategy gaming to outer space. Wehrle announced Arcs on Monday on Twitter, and did not include a release date or a price point.

Arcs started very differently from any other game I’ve worked on,” Wehrle wrote. “Normally, after finishing a game, I feel pretty exhausted. But, after finishing Oath, I was filled with all sorts of odd ideas that didn’t fit into that game. I wanted to stay in the space but design something new.”

Oath is a lavish strategy game where the players drive the narrative arc. But, as we noted in our review, the narrative itself is rich and complex while at the same time being ephemeral. The documentation contains no fluff to describe its universe, and players must transcend a challenging ruleset to really capture its nuance. Arcs, Wehrle wrote, will be different in both the scale and the timbre of its narrative.

Wehrle described Arcs as a “short campaign game” with two to four sessions, designed for three or four players. Unlike Oath, it will require the same set of players to complete a given campaign, but with a total run time of no more than five hours that’s a much more reasonable ask. Like Oath, Wehrle said that Arcs was inspired in part by his love of roguelikes. But, this time around, the game will be less open-ended and have a clear beginning, middle, and end to each campaign.

Longtime collaborator Kyle Ferrin will be returning to handle the games’ art.

Image: Kyle Ferrin/Leder Games

“If Oath atomized the kinds of mechanical/narrative changes that occur over a campaign game or RPG, Arcs is just a little more narratively chunky,” Wehrle continued. “By that I mean that there are more narrative set pieces and explicitly branching narratives. But, the game clearly works in the tradition of how we tell stories here at Leder Games. These are player-driven narratives that give folks tools to tell their own stories.”

Polygon has reached out to publisher Leder Games for more information.

The next level of puzzles.

Take a break from your day by playing a puzzle or two! We’ve got SpellTower, Typeshift, crosswords, and more.