Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Bundle of Holding

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/SoloGames 

Nordic Weasel has joined the Bundle of Holding. Get solo mini's titles along with Iron Sworn and a load of other awesome goodies.
And help support charity in the process!

Stay home, stay safe, support the effort to fight COVID-19 and get access to a bunch of fantastic titles.

Monday, 23 March 2020

A bit of personal talk

With the virus still on the upswing and my state just issuing a "stay home" warning, we're all bunkered down so I thought I'd share a bit of an update on how we're doing in general.

My wife got sent to work from home due to having a bad sinus infection, but luckily her job is both staying open and getting people set up with remote access. We were rather worried about her being put on leave, but so far so good.

Work on weasel projects is still proceeding apace. The medieval rules will be available soon, I hope. (Every time I say something like that, I jinx something so let's say "soon" instead)

The cat is enjoying having humans around all day long. He's taking to single-kitty life pretty well, though once we're not quarantined any longer, we're going to look at getting a young cat to keep him company.
I suspect the fact the prime sleeping spot in front of the glass door is now available suits him just fine though.




* * * * *

I don't talk a lot about my personal gaming mostly to keep things separated from work, but with us all stuck home, I suppose it's not a bad thing to relax that rule a little.

My current miniatures project is to build medieval armies, both for my own game rules but also for use with Columbia Games Battlelust, as well as doubling for RPG purposes (Pendragon and Harn primarily).

I'm doing it in 15mm and the idea is to branch out into having both medieval and low-fantasy stuff. So far, I've gone with Khurasan but I will definitely be ordering some Splintered Light in April (if I can!).
Unfortunately, weather has not been terribly conducive to getting anything spray-painted and we have snow on the ground now, so it'll likely continue being too wet for a while.

The two online games I am in (playing in a D&D 5 game and running a Harn 1st edition game) are both going fine. The D&D game is an odd beast, where the characters are all people who died in a different world, so we have one person from the Forgotten Realms, one person from Harn and one from a homebrew D&D world used in a prior campaign.

The face-to-face Pendragon game is on break right now, due to social distancing. I'm super excited about continuing that one.

The D&D game is only scheduled for a month or so, after which we'll be starting another long campaign which I will be running. Ideas so far are either Pendragon or a Harn thieves guild campaign. I've kicked around the thought of doing Advanced Fighting Fantasy but Im not sure if the long-term potential is there.

My book reading has mainly been Arthurian lately with Gillian Bradshaw's "Hawk of May" trilogy (which is really quite good). Also picked up this baby for a couple bucks on ebay.

 



* * * * *
So hey, things aren't so bad.

I hope you guys out there are all safe and sound. I've seen an upswing in blogging, people chatting on discord and whatnot. Yesterday, I hung out on video chat while a guy was playing a Five Leagues scenario. Take the staying home seriously but keep your spirits up.

We live in an age where "at home" doesn't have to be "alone". Take advantage of that.

Wednesday, 18 March 2020

Stay Home. Stay Safe. Part 2


As more companies, particularly on the RPG side, are offering some goodies for people stuck at home, here's two more from Nordic Weasel, this time for the WW2 mini's gamers.

Hammer of Democracy discounted to 5 dollars for the current week. Full version, only 5 bucks.


And Five Men at Kursk, our premier WW2 skirmish rules, absolutely free of charge until Friday.


You can get a game of Kursk going with 10 or so minis. Order two boxes of 1/72 scale plastics or a couple of bags of 15mm guys and you are off. 

Heck, if you are stuck inside and broke, grab some miniatures you already have lying around or cut out pieces of paper and write the soldiers name on them. 

If you've never done WW2 before, Kursk gives you the tables to get a campaign going, without fussing over complicated books of organization. 

I hope this makes your stay at home a bit nicer. 

Stay home. Stay safe. 

Five Klicks 1.01 is live.

Update 1.01 to Five Klicks is available on the Wargame Vault.
This update is free to all players and is possible through the generous support of fans on Patreon.

* The silly blank page is gone.

* The "extra item roll" you can get during character creation is now clarified how it was meant to be: Pick one of the four item tables in the character creation table and roll on that.

* The mysterious "enemy" you could roll up during character creation now has rules.
I've included the section below so you don't have to print that chapter again

Every battle where you encounter opposing Leadership figures roll 1D6. On a 6, a random Leadership figure is your old Rival. The Rival cannot be Pinned and never takes Morale tests personally, though they will flee (and may return in a future encounter using the rules above). If you manage to kill your Rival, the killer claims 2 XP.


Sunday, 15 March 2020


Cheers gang. 
I hope you'll forgive the joke image but I figured everyone could use a bit of cheer right now.

As we're all bunkering down and waiting for things to improve with COVID-19, I just wanted to share a few words.

Over the past few years, the community of "Weasel Fans" have meant a lot to me. From people helping us out when we were nearly homeless to words of support to the unbridled joy of someone emailing me with pictures from a game they put on with their kids, it means the world to me.
So I hope you all stay safe and follow precautions. 
Hopefully things will turn out for the better and we can laugh about it later.

I was in two minds about trying to do any kind of sale right now, since I was worried it'd seem ghoulish, but a friend pointed out that since a lot of people are kind of economically vulnerable right now, it'd probably be a nice gesture.

Besides, I know from personal experience what having the kids out of school is like and they can't play Xbox all day, right?

So I put up a bundle deal for 5 Parsecs and 5 Leagues for a few bucks off.


If you don't have any hobby budget but want some gaming to tide you over, we have a couple really cool titles you can grab at Pay What You Want level:



Go give those a look. If you feel weird about not paying, you can always come back later and throw a few bucks in the hat.


Lastly, if any of you are lonely or worried or don't have anyone to reach out to, if you want someone to listen, hit me up at runequester@icloud.com and I'll listen. 

Best wishes friends. 

Thursday, 12 March 2020

Five Parsecs 1.15

Version 1.15 is available, thanks to Patreon supporters.

As promised, this contains no huge changes, just small quality of life improvements.

A few typos have been fixed, notably rooting out a few tables that were still saying "enemies" instead of "rivals".

The equipment chapter now has clear guideline for how much gear a character can lug around: Max 3 weapons (1 of which must be a pistol), 1 Armor, 1 Screen and 2 Implants.
Implants cannot be removed, destroyed or lost.

Weapons can be fitted with a maximum of 1 Gun Mod and 1 Sight. Gun Mods cannot be removed again. Sights can, but are broken if the weapon they are attached to breaks.

All equipment lists should be updated to account for the new item types.

The cost to buy randomly rolled weapons in the campaign is now 3 credits.

Players can buy handguns, blades, colony rifles and shotguns directly for 1 credit a pop.

Two items have been renamed (Old fashioned blade is now just a blade and we had two items named a shift suit)

Lastly, I added a loyalty bonus for fun. Players who own Five Leagues, Five Klicks and Five Parsecs begin the campaign with +1 Story Point.
Really, you can start with any number of Story Points you want, I just figured I'd give the loyal fan a sanctioned thumbs up :)


This is a free update, so go download your files again from the Wargame Vault.

Tuesday, 3 March 2020

Medieval warfare!

It's been a while since we've had a new Weasel system hasn't it?

While we're still a little bit away, I wanted to take the time today to talk about the next original Weasel rules set: Knyghte, Pyke and Sworde. 

The game is, as you can no doubt guess, medieval warfare.

There are a lot of motivations for writing a game. Sometimes it's tied to a specific mechanical idea, sometimes you want to explore a specific aspect of warfare, sometimes you don't can't find exactly what you are after.
In this case it was the latter. Most games on the market seem to cater either to strictly warband style skirmishes with only a couple of figures or they use a small number of figures to stand in for a larger force.
What I wanted though was something that was more tangibly man to man but which would let me play at a range of scales at the lower end of the spectrum: In other words, raids and patrols.

I also had a hankering for a more old-fashioned turn sequence. "Command rolls" are very common in gaming today and they have a lot to commend them, but I think they also change the focus of the game. As I knew I wanted to work with a lower scale, I wanted the player to have a bit more control over things than is normally the case.

Lastly, while I wanted to be able to cover a wide range of gaming from dark ages to the emergence of the harquebus, I also wanted to able to eventually cross into things like wargaming in the world of Hárn, Robin Hood or King Arthur.

Game size
The rules are intended for games ranging from 4-5 figures on each side up to 30 or so. A typical unit is 6 figures (though options are included to play at half scale with 3 figure units) and a typical "army" is 2-4 such units plus a couple individual figures.

I wanted the rules to be pretty affordable for people who want to start gaming the medieval era, as well as allowing players with current armies for games like Lion rampant to be able to play immediately.
It was also important to me that the game would scale down well, allowing a fun lunch break game with only 4-5 miniatures each.

Mass Skirmish
The figures are not standing in for a larger number of men. A unit of 5 Saxons represents a band of 5 actual Saxons. Combat is man-to-man as a result. When two units meet, it is a series of duels with men being pushed back or falling in the mud, not an abstraction.

It was important to me that the game would feel fairly tangible and personal.

Core mechanics
The turn sequence functions through alternating activations. Every unit will act each turn, with players taking turns to pick a unit to act with.
One of the character types is a Scout, who can be used to be clever. On their own, the Scout is just one lonely figure without any special fighting or leadership skills, but they allow you to take your turn and move just the one guy, forcing your opponent to move another of their units before you commit your cavalry for example.

Melee combat is an opposed roll between the two warriors with an injury roll to see if the loser is wounded or knocked out.
Missile attacks are rolled against a target number, so they can be rolled in batches.

For Morale, I opted for a different approach. A lot of "Who got the most hits" type systems for deciding who checks Morale don't feel right to me in a skirmish. If 4 men charge 4 enemies and one of them gets wounded, is that really a panic inducing level of defeat?

To my view, a group of hardened warriors would expect people to get hurt or killed, so that shouldn't bother them. As such, any unit can take one casualty each turn and not be bothered. If they take more than that, a quick morale check is made which can result in them retreating or fleeing the battle field.
This also helps reward players for a bit of combined arms: Shooting up a unit before charging them is much more likely to send them running away than just trading blows in the shield wall.

One addition I think you'll find interesting is Exhaustion.
Some actions (running, fighting in melee, rapid archery) cause the unit to get an exhaustion token.
This prevents it from running or conducting rapid archery the next round (as the men need a breather) but it also penalizes you in melee (your men lose on a draw).

This means players will have to pay closer attention to what is happening: Charging into one unit and savaging them, but being open to a counter-charge could be a disaster. You may have to prioritize between running those reinforcements up to get stuck in as quick as possible, but potentially fight at a disadvantage, versus advancing more cautiously and being ready for a fight.

Leadership

At the lower level of game we're looking at, a leader is not going to have the sort of perfect radar vision of the battle field that their player has.
However, a trusted commander in the right spot should still make a difference through directing an archer, shouting a word of encouragement to a man at arms and so forth.

Leader figures have a pool of Charisma points which let them give a bonus action to a figure in range.
This allows you to take a vital shot, move someone into melee (with a bonus), redeploy someone to cover a vital gap in the barricade and so forth.

Simple and colorful I hope!

Fighters

The other type of individual figure is the Fighter. These are not all-conquering mega-heroes, but I wanted to capture those battle-hardened killers that show up in stories like the viking on Stamford bridge, the gallant knight challenging his enemies or Bronn from Game of Thrones.

These characters receive a solid bonus in combat, meaning they will generally best a regular warrior in one on one combat, though luck (or bringing friends) might turn the tide.
They are still ultimately mortal however, not all-conquering superheroes.

Stylized unit types
There are 7 types of unit in the game: Light, Heavy, Charger, Polearm, Missile, Skirmisher and Powder, as well as 3 types of character: Fighter, Leader and Scout.

Characters are measured by 3 ability scores with each unit type having a default profile and one rule to set them apart (heavy troops get a save vs missile fire, polearms negate cavalry bonuses and so forth).

Army building

A points system comes included.
This lets you quickly pick a "standard" unit of each type at either normal (6 figure) or half (3 figure)
 size, then if you like you can buy to upgrade some of the ability scores (veteran troops, better armor etc.).

It should be a decent balance between "Do I want the glaive or the voulge for my polearm troops?" and games that allow no customizing at all.

Overall principles

Throughout the goal has been to create something that feels dramatic and easy to visualize, while being easy to play. There are very few modifiers, most rules have few exceptions and the core system should be very adaptable to different scenarios.
It is also very easy to house rule or add your own things to.

All in all, the game should feel pretty "Weasel'y" and long-time fans should feel right at home.

The hope is to be able to play from roughly 500 to 1500 or so, at least at first.

Fun bits
Of course, a simple campaign system is included letting you figure out what happened to the wounded, offering some simple progression options and so forth.

There's also tables with army advantages and drawbacks which can be used as rewards/penalties in a campaign game or when creating scenarios.

A scenario generator with a random objective for each side is a must of course as well.

What about...?
Fantasy stuff, full on pike and shot etc. is something people always have an interest in.
Provided the system does well, both are definitely possible.
Fantasy would probably be a supplement with mostly new unit types and a magic system, the latter might be better as a stand-alone game but I am not sure about that yet.

Of course, players are ambitious so you probably could get started on setting up your own Lord of the Rings battles with a couple simple house rules.