Choose a Commanding Officer from one of three factions and explore, expand, and endure across a mysterious planet in a spiritual sci-fi universe! Fight in tactical, turn-based battles across large maps. Play with your friends in local + online multiplayer. Mod the game and make it your own!
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August 17

Cantata 101: Supply

For the first entry in Cantata 101, I wanted to focus not on who or what leads a battle, but instead, what gives that battle structure, what provides the backbone of your army. For the first entry of Cantata 101, I want to talk about Supply.

Supply is a weird one because in most tactics game it's relatively non-existent. In larger 4X games it's often abstracted away so that you don't have to manage it as much as you just need to know that it's there. In Cantata however, the underlying design principle is that every system in the game should feel immediate and connected, and as such, Supply, and the management of it, is one of the core aspects of how the game is played. Effectively managing Supply will be a major factor in determining who wins any given match. So lets get into it.

What is Supply?
At the most basic level, Supply is a limited resource in the game that is used build buildings and units. Though I'm calling it "Supply" here, what "Supply" specifically represents for an individual faction varies (and is still being decided!). For the human faction, Supply may very well represent a traditional idea of supply — think boxes of goods and services transported along a route from location to location. For the Alien faction though, Supply may instead be "cosmic energy" — the Aliens pull "Supply" from Shoal and funnel it to their various buildings in order to produce units.

"Supply" then is a catch-all term that describes the in-fiction way that a faction produces and builds inside the game.

Supply Types
Similar to how the word "Supply" is an abstraction, a "Supply Type" is an abstraction used to describe the what of a faction's Supply. For humans, Supply Types might be things like "Metal", "Heavy Steel", "Oil", etc. You know, human-y things. For Aliens it may be something like "Cosmic Dust", "Crystal", "Essence", etc. — things that are more space-y and mysterious.

Supply Types are then used to describe the requirements for building any given unit in the game (as well as Supply Lines). For example, a simple Human solider may need 10x Metal Supply and 5x Clothes Supply.

However, all Supply Types are not available at the start of match, meaning you can't just build the best units right off the bat. Instead, access to more "advanced" Supply Types occurs through the building of buildings that produce these advanced types.

What this means is that, through the building of more advanced buildings, you unlock more advanced supply types for more advanced units. This is similar to a "tech tree" in other strategy games, but with the important distinction here that your tech tree has a physical manifestation on the map that itself must be defended.

Base Nodes
But how do you start? Each match, a player immediately has access to a "Base Node". A "Base node", like "Supply", is a generic term to describe the starting building a faction begins with that "holds" all the supply a player has in a given match. This starting Base Node is able to create Supply Lines that can connect to other buildings that "accept" Supply of the Supply Type the Base Node provides.

So, the human Base Node may give out a generic Supply Type like "Materials". As a player, you want to turn "Materials" into something useful, like Heavy Ammo, allowing you to build a large artillery weapon. The Base node can then build a Supply Line to connect to a building that accepts "Materials" and with "Materials" is able to make supply of type "Ammo". That building can then build a Supply Line to connect to a building that accepts "Ammo" and turns it into "Heavy Ammo", and so on. It's through these connections that, over the course of the match, you build Supply Lines that together form your Supply Network. Your Supply Network is the backbone of your military that enables you to produce units across the map.

If a player's Base Node is destroyed, the game is not necessarily over, but players will no longer be able to funnel supply along their Supply Network to build any new units. Said differently, if you let your Base Node fall, you better have a backup plan!

Supply Lines
As mentioned in the previous section, supply is transported along Supply Lines. Supply Lines are the mechanism by which you you transport supply from one building to another in order to use that supply at the connected building. Though Supply Lines are not physically on the map, they do have the ability to be intercepted by opponents by having buildings in your supply network be attacked or destroyed. More on that in a future post :).

Supply is Limited
Every match, players start out with a limited amount of supply. Anytime they build a unit or a building it will cost some number of supply, pulling from this global pool and slowly ticking down the total amount of supply they have left. Once the supply counter reaches 0, you won't have any more supply to use! There will be some things in a given match that may award you with additional supply, but the core idea here is that every match essentially has a timer that players can choose how fast it ticks down. Small, intimate matches may have low supply pools, encouraging quick thinking and action. Large, sprawling games may have large supply pools, giving players tons of flexibility in deciding how to go about the given match.

This means there's a lot of strategy in how you manipulate supply. Do you initially burn a lot of supply to create a mass of units in hopes of overrunning your opponent, but at the expense of knowing you put yourself at a disadvantage in the late game where your opponent will have more supply?

Do you instead hoard supply, holding back using it until key movements of a battle where you can deploy some of your strongest units instead of paying the cost of having an idle standing army?

It's on the team here to ensure that in a given match of Cantata you feel empowered to make these decisions, and have each one be interesting and leave you wondering what would have happened if you decided differently.

I've gone over a lot here, and if you have questions I encourage you comment on this post in the forums! I've also only talked about the high-level idea of supply here, and not really gone into the nitty-gritty of how supply is managed, so look out for more posts on supply in the future. Until then, hope you enjoyed the post and looking forward to saying more in the future!
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August 11

Hello and welcome from the team!

From everyone on the Cantata team, hello!

We're super excited to see the positive response to Cantata and are really excited to reveal more about the game as development progresses. Thanks to everyone as well who has shared the game in any form on the internet - every little bit helps!

For updates on the game, we've been posting blog posts on the game's main site, but are also going to start mirroring those posts and updates here so you don't miss anything coming from us!

We're also interested to know what people want to hear about, so feel free to comment on this article or any of the other posts and we'll be sure to answer as best we can!

A small note as well, the big robot gracing the image at the top of this post and in the small icons around steam is a lovely machine names "Moses".
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“I’ve tried for about twenty minutes to find an opening sentence that doesn’t sound contrivedly promotional, but sod it: Cantata is one of the most interesting upcoming tactics games around.”
Rock Paper Shotgun


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About This Game

Across the surface of Shoal, ten thousand guns sound at once. The keen of laser beams build, punctuated by the staccato thrum of orbital landings. A choir of voices rises as the armies of the galaxy’s oldest and newest civilizations meet in battle. From the vast reaches of space, the chaos is almost musical—a symphony, drifting into the void.


Cantata is a character-driven tactical strategy game that puts you in the middle of a spiritual, pragmatic war for survival. Play as one of the nine commanding officers from one of the three factions - the Machines, Humans or Aliens - and leverage your faction’s unique powers and abilities to slowly expand your hold on this alien world.


  • Nine Commanding Officers across three factions
  • Faction specific units and buildings
  • One Large Campaign Map per CO
  • Massive, accessible modding - go beyond reskinning and edit unit behavior, import your own sprites.
  • Deep, tactically rich systems that are easy to learn but can take time to master.
  • Online and local multiplayer


Every map you play on holds secrets you'll need to spend time to seek out and find. This isn't a puzzle game, you'll need to do proper reconnaissance to determine the best route across the landscape to your opponent. Once you find it, do you take the most direct route or do you circle them, opening yourself up to the opportunity to see what really was just beyond those mountains...


Each game you'll start with a small base and a couple of units. Every turn you have the ability to build up your base more and more, giving you the ability to build more complex unit types. But watch out! Your base is also your supply network. If a crucial building gets destroyed, it may take down your whole supply chain and force you to rebuild to adapt to the new circumstances.


You'll face off against the other factions as you play through the campaign, but the planet of Shoal isn't one to let you idly move across its surface. Just like any other player, the planet itself takes a turn every round, giving it the ability to fight back against the war on its surface with weather, fauna, and other mysteries.


Every map that you'll play in the game will be made with the game's level editor that will be available to any player to use as well, day one! Go beyond simple level creation and import your own sprites to create your own units and effects and use the editor's simple triggering system to build the map (or game!) of your dreams!

System Requirements

Mac OS X
    • OS: Windows 10
    • OS: Windows 10
    • OS: 10.13.6
    • OS: 10.13.6

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