Lightning War Kickstarter – An Interview with Ben Sandfelder

Need high fantasy WWII at your table? Try the Lightning War! Why am I sharing this game? Because I’m in a gaming group with its creator, Ben Sandfelder, and I’ve playtested this RPG, I know it’s a solid concept and it deserves to be shared with the world. It’s on Kickstarter right now and we did a short interview about the Lightning War RPG.

EGG EMBRY (EGG): What’s the pitch for your project?

BEN SANDFELDER (BEN): Lightning War is a lightweight, tactical tabletop RPG about stopping fascists in a high fantasy world’s World War II. Think tabletop X-COM with roleplaying.


EGG: What system are you using, and why is it the right one for this game?

BEN: Lightning War uses an original system. I love designing my own systems because it lets me build rules from the ground up that facilitate the kind of gameplay I want to see. Combat in Lightning War has been carefully designed to emulate the quick, back-and-forth cuts of a shootout in a war movie.

EGG: Why multiple characters?

BEN: A squad of soldiers typically has 10 to 12 members, but a gaming group usually only has 4 to 6 players, so it just made sense from a story perspective. Plus, it opened a lot of interesting doors mechanically. For those who haven’t read the Kickstarter page yet, every player controls a Specialist (your character) and two grunts. The grunts provide some pretty powerful perks while they’re alive, but their main use is taking hits for your Specialist. Grunts die if they take any amount of damage, but you can use the “Flashback” mechanic to save them. Pretty much, once per session per character, you reveal some backstory, then prevent all damage that would be dealt to that character. In playtests, players would come up with the most ridiculous things to keep their grunts alive, and it’s great, because it got them emotionally invested. I love it, because it keeps players from treating them like expendable pawns.


EGG: What is the reward that is the best value?

BEN: I gotta say the “Squad Collection.” You get four of everything for the price of three. Whether I’m running a game or playing, I love to have extra books handy. The Squad Collection gets yourself a copy, and you have three more to share with your regular gaming group. It’s just in time for the holidays, too, so if you need a gift for a geeky friend…

EGG: Assuming there are stretch goals, which one are you most excited about?

BEN: There are stretch goals, but they’re secret. I’m not announcing them until the previous stretch goal gets reached. That being said, I definitely have a favorite. It’s the fourth and final one.


EGG: What other projects are you working on?

BEN: Oof, so for every professional project I’m working on, I’ve got at least two or three semi-professional things I’m just doing for fun and practice. I’ve gotten back into digital game development – I’m tinkering with an idea in Unreal 4. I hacked Dungeon Crawl Classics to use some 5E rules for my home campaign, but I don’t think I can publish that one legally. I came up with a really cool dice system for a TTRPG, but I can’t decide what kind of game I want to make with it. And, of course, NaNoWriMo. Shouldn’t be too hard balancing THAT with a Kickstarter, right?


EGG: Where can fans learn more about you and your project?

BEN: You can check out my website, but the best place to keep up with me is on Twitter. I’m @BenSandfelder.

Thanks again for the help!

Lightning War by Ben Sandfelder

END DATE: Thu, December 5 2019 9:00 PM EST.

“A tabletop “Skirmish RPG” set in a fantasy world’s World War II.”




NOTE: This article includes affiliate links to DriveThruRPG. As a DriveThruRPG Affiliate I earn from qualifying purchases.


Sometimes schedules keep me from performing in-depth interviews with RPG creators. When I can’t do a proper interview, I still like to give space for creators to share their projects. To that end, I conduct boilerplate interviews, short and generic but still an outlet for creators. If you have a product you would be interested in participating in a boilerplate interview, reach out here.

About Egg Embry

Egg Embry wrote comic book short stories, edited comic book series, wrote and drew a webcomic, and contributed to comic book journalism across the 2000s. Now, he buys the opportunity to write for a variety of tabletop role-playing games in the tradition of vanity press. NOTE: Articles may includes affiliate links. As a DriveThruRPG Affiliate/Amazon Associate/Humble Partner I earn from qualifying purchases.
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