Captains of the Aether: An Interview with Mage Company and Ninja Division

Today we’re joined by the folks at Mage Company and Ninja Division to have a chat about their Kickstarter campaign for Aether Captains!

Thanks for joining us!

Aether Captains isn’t completely a new game: It’s been self-published prior to this campaign. For those who don’t know, tell us a little about the game.

Aether Captains is a steampunk-themed, scenario-based, asymmetric board game for 1-5 players. One player commands the mighty naval zeppelins of the Grand Compact: Dauntless and Dominion. As Commander, you’ve been tasked by the Emperor to defend the Grand Compact and Arkady from the merciless sky pirates. With your staunch crew of steam welders, engineers, navigators, and gunners you fly with honor to confront the pirates threatening Arkady.

The remaining players command waves of attacking sky pirates, each with their own unique objectives which may pit them against any player when it results in the greatest profit for themselves. Infamous and feared, you’ve risen through the cutthroat cadres to become a War Captain. You swear to never rest until you control the skies and the Grand Compact falls!


What kind of upgrades to the game can we expect with this reboot through Kickstarter?

The total game was remade keeping elements such as the dice and the combat system. We added Arkady through hex tiles and made some rules on how you build Arkady. Then we added boards with specific statistics, as well as a series of action cards that players can choose during the game. We invented different playing roles for the Navy Commander and the War Captains, and created a mechanic on how to recruit ships at the beginning of the game. This is definitely a unique gaming experience. We used our best ideas on this to make it a unique game.


Will more than the components upgrade? Is there an expansion, or a revision of the rules coming too?

We posted the beta rules on the main page of KS until we finished the final ones. Yes, we plan two good expansions, but for the moment we can’t say anything. We want to see how the campaign goes.


What inspired Aether Captains?

Its world, the steampunk theme, and its unique combat dice system. Imagine building a fantasy world in a steampunk background. This is the sparkle that led to Aether Captains.


Mage Company: How did you guys come together and decide that taking Aether Captains to the next level was the right move?


(Deke Stella – Ninja Division): I know this question was directed specifically to Alex at Mage Company, but I just need to chime in and mention what really caught our eye for Aether Captains was steampunk sky pirates! That is just too cool! As soon as we saw it we knew we needed to make some awesome miniatures for it.


(Alex – MAGE Company): We already have a partnership with Ninja, since they’re our publisher in the USA of 12 Realms and Raid and Trade. They’re cool guys. So they were our first thought for this game, especially since we wanted some awesome minis on this.


Ninja Division: What got you into tabletop gaming in the first place?

(Deke Stella – Ninja Division): The owners of Ninja Division primarily come from a Warhammer background. We have always loved tabletop miniatures games, painting, collecting, competing— the whole hobby. We brought that love to our first board game Super Dungeon Explore, which really pushed the envelope for miniature quality in the board gaming space.


Do you guys have other titles that you’re collaborating on that we will see in the future?

(Deke Stella – Ninja Division): We do! Ninja Division is very enthusiastic about Mage Company's entire catalog of products and we look forward to continue publishing their great games. We're really looking forward to getting our hands on The Cohort, which Mage Company has been showing off on their Facebook feed.


Lightning Round!!

Favorite RPG Race and Class?

(Deke Stella – Ninja Division): Dwarf. Elves should go back across the sea.... For class, definitely Paladin. I love myself a divinely powered paragon of justice.

(Alex – MAGE Company): Dragonborn Paladin who fights for justice but chases all precious stones and other stuff.


What does the fox say?

(Deke Stella – Ninja Division): Boo!

(Alex – MAGE Company): Agrrrrr!


Favorite Podcast (aside from the Theology of Games podcast, of course!)?

(Deke Stella – Ninja Division): Industry-wise I have a lot of fun listening to Game Classy and D6 Generation.

(Alex – MAGE Company): Dice Tower. Overall I listen to everyone…


Thanks for joining us! And make sure you check out the Aether Captains Kickstarter running right now!

And thank you for reading. Have a great weekend!