Godtear: Skullbreaker, The Dragonslayer - Interview with Steve Margetson
Battle rival champions. Claim godtears. Become a god! In Godtear, from Steamforged Games, players take control of mighty champions and fight to claim the powerful tears of perished gods. This miniature skirmish game puts two players head-to-head on a hex-based board. Choose any champions, of any class, to assemble a small army called a ‘warband’. Score points by planting your banner on a godtear, defending it, and by taking out enemy champions and followers.
Godtear, the skirmish game from Steamforged Games released in 2019 and has had a continued release schedule of fearsome champions looking to claim the table and become a god.
Now, the newest champion, Skullbreaker, The Dragon Slayer is both a Godtear champion and a champion hunter, able to sniff out blood and weakness before finishing prey with his intimidating dragon jaw blade. Watch out for the Tooth Bearers who follow him — they’re desperate to impress and thirsty for glory!
We interviewed Steve Margetson, the lead designer for Godtear to tell us about the latest champion to take the board.
Who is Skullbreaker, The Dragon Slayer?
Skullbreaker is our new orc slayer champion that wields a massive blade that he made from the jaw of a dragon. Driven by the desire to hunt bigger and bigger prey, it's only natural he would begin hunting other Godtear champions.
Aiding him in the hunt are the Tooth Bearers, so named because they have proven themselves and been bestowed with a dragon tooth from Skullbreaker’s intimidating blade.
What does Skullbreaker add to Godtear and what makes him a must-have for players?
Skullbreaker adds a slayer champion to the mix that can tailor attacks to cut through any champion. Through him, you can live the fantasy of wielding a huge weapon. You may not swing it often but when you do, it’s going to hurt!
Skullbreaker is perfect for aggro players that love taking the fight to their opponent. With the most powerful damaging attack in Godtear to date, he’ll make short work of even the most durable champions in the game. Naturally, this attack comes with a lot of dice to roll. If you like to roll dice, Skullbreaker is for you!
Which parts of game design for this character did you find the most interesting?
A typical staple of most slayer champions is having multiple attacks that can tear down enemy champions. With Skullbreaker, we consciously decided to restrict ourselves and move away from this convention, focusing instead on a single attack. The interesting part was making this single attack comparable in power level to other slayers, whilst having enough decision points and still embodying the fantasy of a powerful weapon with weight and heft that’s only swung once a turn.
During playtesting, do you have a favorite memory or moment that stood out for you?
With a champion rolling as many dice as Skullbreaker, you’re always going to see extremes. There were some games where he tore down durable champions like Rhodri in a single swing. In others, the dice just refused to behave, allowing squishy champions to walk away relatively unscaved.
Another fun interaction was when Sneaky Peet was able to use Skullbreaker’s ability to move through followers against him, drawing Skullbreaker behind a line of followers that had already activated. It felt very organic, despite being an unplanned interaction, so we ended up leaving it in the game. It’s the kind of emergent interaction we love to see in Godtear.
How did the visuals come about for Skullbreaker?
Skullbreaker’s visual concept was presented as a hulking orc with a massive two-handed blade made from the jaw of a dragon. A few art references were provided along with the concept for the followers and banner, but for the most part that was the extent of the pitch. It may seem simplistic but we’re always looking to provide plenty of room for our artist, Doug Telford, to insert his creativity and ideas into the character. This flavour he injects is a big part of the visual identity for Godtear.
This artwork is then used as a basis for our sculpting team to do wonders and create the final miniature sculpts. Similar to the process we follow with art, our sculpting team has the freedom to inject their creativity and influences into their work. They know how to take designs and adapt them into fantastic miniatures. In the case of Skullbreaker, I think it's safe to say the results speak for themselves.
What other champions work well with Skullbreaker?
Skullbreaker is looking for champions that can bring his enemies close, such as Shayle, Sneaky Peet, or Raith’Marid. Mournblade can also be effective, using his followers to lock an enemy in place ready for Skullbreaker to decapitate them.
Skullbreaker also offers accuracy for multiple friendly followers and so makes a good pairing with champions that rely on their followers for output, like Shayle, Grimgut, or Keera.
What are you looking forward to with Godtear in 2022?
Getting back to events and conventions after so long. For a game like Godtear, interacting with the community and actually playing physical games is key. With the fun new releases planned in 2022, I can’t wait to see people playing games and battling for godtears!
This expansion comes with everything you need to add this bloodthirsty champion and his Tooth Bearer followers to your Godtear warband, including 6 highly detailed miniatures and 3 profile cards.
No assembly needed! Godtear is an out-of-the-box experience. All minis are pre-assembled and coloured according to their champion class. In Skullbreaker’s case, red for a Slayer champion.
Combine this expansion with any Godtear starter set and champions of your choice, and prepare for battle. Godtear Champion Expansion: Skullbreaker, The Dragon Slayer is available now!
Steve Margetson is a game developer at Steamforged Games. He’s the lead developer on Godtear, Resident Evil: The Board Game, and Horizon Zero Dawn: The Board Game. He’s also the designer of Ni no Kuni II: The Board Game.