Deep Wars by antimatter game 28mm under sea skirmish game review

A good friend of mine has been rather partial to this game for a while, and has often shown me some of the stunning models for it.  I have been able to resist, until I was kindly donated the rulebook to lookthrough!

DeepWars is a 28mm scale tabletop wargame set in an alternate history of Earth in the late 17th century, where fortune seekers, scientists and scoundrels have discovered a lost land with an underground sea miles beneath the frozen surface of the southernmost continent. Ancient technology recovered from their first excursions on land has allowed these adventurers to develop new ether-powered dive suits and weapons and return to the bottom of the underground sea to battle with deadly marine enemies over powerful artifacts, glittering crystals and golden treasure on the seafloor.

Players choose .........

from four distinct forces to vie for control over the watery abyss, creating warbands from four to eight miniatures. Each character in the warband can improve after battles, giving the game an RPG feel, and players can even design their own characters, weapons and “ether-tech” artifacts. DeepWars includes multiple types of scenarios, including exploration of wrecks on the seafloor, adventures in ancient cities of cyclopean structures, battles among fields of geothermal chimneys, submarine boarding and many others.
Above all, DeepWars is about fun and fast gameplay, with scenarios lasting less than an hour. The rules are designed to be modular, so they are easy to learn but have enough complexity that players can game in a variety of styles. Players might choose to blast their opponents, stealthily sneak into ruins to steal artifacts, or wield magic spells to control the minds of their foes, whatever it takes to salvage the treasures of the deep.


  • Intense combat in the abyssal depths of the Sea. Breach submarines, uncover undersea temples, and dodge torpedoes while recovering artifacts that hold the secrets of the ethereal void.
  • Combination of 28mm scale miniature tabletop wargame with campaign advancement and a role-playing flavor. The game can be played in single sessions of an hour, or as a campaign where warbands salvage ancient technology, design their own new tech items, enhance abilities and generally become powerful lords of the deep.
  • Miniature starter sets are available for each of four main forces, Fortune Hunters, Dark Mariners, Ancients of Atalán and the Scaly Horde. Sets include five miniatures with stat cards and a downloadable rule book. Also available are terrain kits, printed game maps and full-color art prints
  • The rules are based on the award-winning Song of Blades and Heroes by Ganesha Games but with extensive additional rules, weapons, armor, technology items (akin to magic items) and new combat and movement options. Almost all models are capable of swimming or movement through the water column, which gives the game a distinct three-dimensional feel when flight stands and base adaptors are used. Rules are included for movement across depth “levels”, where hasty changes in depth can cause deadly barotrauma. There are also rules for the effects of variable visibility and light levels and for models that can easily navigate through the darkness using echolocation.
  • Extensive list of ether tech weapons and items and multiple magical spell types, including elemental magic that causes hydrothermal eruptions, dimensional magic that allows unsavory spellcasters to call forth beings from the ethereal void, psychic magic to enslave the minds of victims and protection magic to negate the effects of the most vile spells.

So firstly, the book.  The one I have is soft cover, and full colour with some lovely evocative art
It is not glossy paper, but this is still a young game, and the book is nice enough I can forgive it.

Deep Warsis  played completely under the water as you may have guessed from the name, and that adds some interesting new dynamics to the tabletop.  You can swim or dive to different height levels.  To move over terrain, or to better position yourself, though there is a chance depressurising or drowning should you try to increase or decrease too fast, which is a nice touch as it does not make it super powerful as you must balance it out.

 Then we have illumination. Deep under water the sun light does not always reach, there are some crystals that provide some areas of light, or a particularly shallow skirmish, but otherwise you need torches or special abilities like special vision or you can end up alone and disorientated.

 Standard set up is one side is the attacker, one the defender.  The defender gets to set up the terrain, though the attacker chooses which edge they come in from, making it wise not to stack the board.

Deep Wars also contains full rules for a campaign system. adding in extra goodies which is always a great thing!

 There are even options to create your own characters in the book, which would be perfect for campaign gaming.

As you can see the models are great looking, and you do not require many for a game, just a handful. 

With its innovative setting super looking models and skirmish rule system, Deep wars looks to be a fun game to try, with some innovative mechanics.  Plus head down to your local pet store and look in the fish tank section for some suitable basic scenery to get started!


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