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Posted on May 10, 2010 in Electronic Games

Legio – Interview with Jonas Fjellstrom, ICE Game Studios

By Singleton Mosby

The PC-game Legio, developed by ICE Game Studios and to be published by Paradox Interactive, is a turn-based game for one or two players that requires careful strategies and cleverness. Described as a cross between chess and Games Workshop’s Warhammer game it places players in command of a small army of fantasy warriors with their only goal eliminating the opponent’s army.

To learn more about this hybrid wargame, I conducted an interview for Armchair General with Jonas Fjellström of ICE Game Studios.

Armchair General: First, tell us a bit about your game-developing history and ICE Game Studios.

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Jonas Fjellström: ICE Game Studios is a small studio with just a handful of good developers creating ideas for the “older” generation gamers who might have kids by now and don’t have the time to play as much as they did before.

Personally, I’m one of those gamers now who doesn’t have time to play as much as I did. I’ve been working in the game industry for 11 years now. My background as a game developer stretches from working in teams with only 5–6 people to AAA titles involving 200+ people. Among the titles I worked on are Rainbow Six 3 and Splinter Cell Chaos Theory just to mention two.

ACG: .Briefly, what is Legio?

JF: Legio is a small, turn-based strategy game, perfect for lunch gaming and for people who likes to play but don’t have the time to play a two-hour session each time they play a game.

Legio is a two-act battle. First act takes place on a drawbridge that connects two castles, which are located on two giant mountain pillars. The winner of the drawbridge battle gets to conquer the loser’s castle where the second act takes place. The loser therefore has the advantage of knowing the inside of his castle, and the winner gets to take his surviving units from the drawbridge, etc.

ACG: How was the idea for Legio born?

JF: Ha-ha! Well, it was born and raised by Peter Sällström, one of the owners and the art director of ICE Game Studios. He and his friends thought Warhammer was too expensive, so they kind of created their own version of Warhammer.

It had the same basic rules but instead of predefined castle insides they built their own castles with music-tape cassette cases. That’s the short version of how Legio was born. I must admit that they were pretty creative.

ACG: Yes, a press release mentioned Legio is inspired both by chess and by Games Workshop’s tabletop-miniatures game Warhammer. What will fans of either of these games find to be similar or to be different in Legio?

JF: The game board size and the variety of units is more reminiscent of chess. The distribution point system for assembling your troops and the non-patterned movement is more like Warhammer. I think it makes a good mix for a strategy game in this size.

I also think both player types will find Legio pretty intense, specially while playing versus other players online.

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