Wednesday, 21 August 2019

Assorted news, updates, thoughts etc.

As the summer is winding down, I thought it was time to take stock of things.

* * *
First, if you don't receive email from the Wargame Vault, we have a "going back to school" sale going on.
As the kids go back to school and busy themselves with homework (in theory) or hanging out with their friends (more likely) , there's usually a bit more hobby time.
Perfect time to start a new project!

All of these codes are for a game for 9.99 and they will probably run through to the end of the month.

5 Leagues 

* * *
Five Leagues 2nd edition has been doing quite well and feedback has been pretty much all positive.
It's also been hanging out in the top sellers spot on Wargame Vault for quite a while.

Thank you everybody for your support.

We will be reviewing more of the original supplements for update/conversion. The challenge is in determining how much to add / change vs just checking for compatibility and stamping it "okay for 2nd edition".

* * *
Updates to Five Klicks have been coming pretty fast.
I am going to not touch anything this week, before uploading a new version, just so people have some time to settle in and get more games in. 

* * *
I've gotten some guesses as to the future RPG project and what it might be. 
If you haven't keyed in yet, it involves a certain aquatic bird. Maybe. (Definitely) 

* * *
Occasionally I get email from a fan of this or that game and they are surprised at a different game I've done is so different.
F.x. some players were surprised at the open-ended nature and "vagueness" of the Squad Hammer titles, others missed solo options in Renegade Scout or Laserstorm etc.

That's inevitable, since we have so many titles but I feel it's important to note that the "Weasel way" of gaming is not to repeat the same idea over and over again.
Sometimes a given idea or concept has legs and can be re-used (Five Parsecs, FiveCore and Hammer are all "families of games") but ultimately, I don't believe in a single system to rule them all. 

* * *
With that being said, I sometimes get a question if there's something brand new on the way: A completely new system and game engine etc.
The answer right this second is no, I am taking some time to consolidate my position, build on our successes and go back and update assorted lines. 
That includes new versions of some very old titles, as well as more support material in general.

I do have ideas for something brand new (as always) that I think could be super cool, but it'll be a little bit before I want to delve into that, as it'd be a massive endeavor.

* * * 
What have I personally been playing lately?

Unfortunately not a lot of war gaming outside of testing things, though I've been dabbling with Columbia Games "Battlelust". 
We're several months into a very fun Harnmaster RPG campaign and just started a small side game with two friends of myself and my wife.

Friday, 16 August 2019

Project Dread Onion Dog

This project is far enough along that I feel I can talk about it now.

The title of the blog post is just a code-word for now, because I was feeling silly.
There is an actual name, but I'm not sharing that until we're a touch closer.

So what is the project?

Well, it's an RPG project.
It'll be a retro-clone of sorts of a venerable Nordic role playing game.

What all is it going to include?
Well, ideas change but right now, the goal is:

* A skill-driven RPG derived from BRP roots.
No classes or levels: Make a character and develop them as you see fit.
Improve as you adventure and train, based on the actions in-game.

* Quick character creation that still produces a well rounded character, with a mixture of random rolls and player choices.

* Combat that is fast, yet has enough detail to be interesting.

* A complete game with mass combat rules, creatures, magic item creation etc.

* A logical, consistent game system that isn't driven by tons  of special cases.

* A flexible, open-ended magic system.

* Gritty game play with room for heroics.

* "Cosmopolitan" game play where characters can be from a number of interesting species and places.

* A built-in game world with a mixture of recognizable fantasy tropes and creative ideas.  A loving homage to "kitchen sink" fantasy worlds but with a more cohesive feel.

* Also a game world where we hope players will read about it and immediately want to make a character from one of those places.

* * * * *

I realize that the above probably sounds fairly vague.

So let me try to explain it this way:

The trends of roleplaying right now tend towards one of three things in my view:

*The OSR, with a big emphasis on random encounters, survival-dungeon crawling and player-over-character approach.

*Indie/story games, with their emphasis on precise marriage of theme and mechanics and telling of specific story experiences.

*"Big Traditional" games like 5E and Pathfinder (2 now) with a focus on chains of tactical combat experiences and precise encounters.

What we're working on is not any of those.

Instead it is (hopefully):

*A style of game where a reasonable degree of realism and simulation is viewed as a positive.

*A game where characters are expected to have a place in the world and not simply be blank slates.

* Encouraging a play style where it is understood that fantasy adventure is about many things: Dialogue, sword fighting, exploration and excitement.

* Exists in a game world that facilitates adventure but also feels like it was alive before the players came along.

* A game that evokes a sense of fairytale adventure:
If the stories of Conan and Barsoom and Lankhmar are the building blocks of the OSR, this is the stories of Middle Earth, Sparhawk and Lyonesse.

* * * * *

What we're hoping to do is around 200 pages, including a complete game setting, world map, character sheet and an introductory adventure.

We may try to do a POD version as well, that remains to be seen.

It's VERY unlikely there'll be a kickstarter or anything like that.
It's possible we'll have a beta test version.
If so, it'll be done NWG style where you buy the beta for a reduced cost and then get a discount on the final game.

* * * * *

Answering a few obvious questions:

Q: Why would this be better than [insert BRP game here]?

A: I think this will sit nicely in a spot where there's more "meat" than something like OpenQuest but be a bit smother than most versions of Runequest.

Q: Can you tell us exactly what game you are retro-cloning?

A: If you haven't figured it out, I'm not telling.

Q: How much original content will there be?

A: The game world is 100% our own creation. Mechanically we're trying to lean on the source material but the goal isn't to be a precise copy (which would be pointless)

Q: There's already 10 billion roleplaying games on the market, why don't you just publish the 47th new take on B2 instead?

A: The reason to do anything creative is because you want to do it.

Q: Is this a solo project?

A: No, it's a collaboration with someone.

Wednesday, 14 August 2019

Updates and news

Several updates to Five Klicks have come out, so make sure you have the most up to date version downloaded.
If you are wondering about what changed, check the changelog on the final page.
At the moment, since page numbers often change from version to version, it's not really practical to list what pages things were changed on, I apologize.

If you didn't pick up the new rules yet, make sure you do so at : 

Renegade Scout players can rejoice in the Fighting Vehicles expansion, offering 13 pre-built vehicles (complete with profiles, weapon load-outs, variations and points costs compatible with the Elite Pack values), as well as a few new gadgets and background information.

It is available here:

Sunday, 28 July 2019

Post apocalyptic skirmish campaigns?

Greetings gamers, I hope your weekend went well.

There's 2 requests that are made all the time when it comes to our "Five [units of measurement]" series of solo games.
One will be discussed later but the other is post apocalyptic gaming

Well, wait no more because Five Klicks from the Zone is here.

Take a squad of hard-nosed survivors, delve into the forbidden zones and reclaim civilization from the mutants, the warlords and whatever lurks in the rubble.

As you play, your squad will gain experience, find cool loot and face off against dreadful enemies, all perfectly adapted for a fun solo gaming experience (or bring a friend and split the squad!)

* * * * *

This is not the final version of the rules.

We are doing a public development where new versions will be made available on a very regular basis.

Right this moment, the rules contain the core of tactical game play with a fully playable but VERY simple campaign section. Over the coming weeks, the content will be expanded with all the lovely campaign action and D100 tables you expect.

Buying the game now gives you the following benefits:

* You get to see the game as its being developed and can provide feedback and suggestions on each part as its added.

* You get the game for 10 dollars rather than the final price of 15.

* In addition, I am throwing in a copy of Five Parsecs: Salvage Crew as a freebie. Cool huh?

So go grab it. 10 dollars gets you into the beta and you can start setting up a squad and testing the tactical environment tonight!

Then as each day goes by, more and more content will appear until you have the final game in your hands.

Saturday, 27 July 2019

Renegade Scout Elite Pack

"Old School" gaming is all about playing games your way and Nordic Weasel games most definitely embrace that as much as I can.

The new Elite Pack just released for Renegade Scout offers a host of new options for your games:

The Strange Terrain and Strange Worlds tables in the rulebook caught a lot of peoples eyes, so I've expanded both of them with 10 more options each.
You can use a D20 to pick or just pick whatever you haven't tried yet.

I've added a Blitz Mode.
This is a set of game options allowing for both faster and much bigger games.
By using simplified movement, combining injury/armor into a single roll and otherwise stream lining things, you could easily play a huge game and be done in a reasonable time.
Blitz is also suitable for players who want to play a normal sized game with a couple of squads, but like things to zip along for a lunch break game.

Next up, we have War Mode.
This is essentially the opposite: A slower paced, more "gritty" way to play the game that incorporates suppression, lingering demoralization and greatly emphasizes combined arms warfare.
If you want a muddy, nasty scifi war game, give this a shot!

Both modes are built so you could extract a few rules if you like.
You might want to use the suppression token mechanic from War Mode but also adopt the combined kill roll from Blitz Mode. Who knows?

Finally the points system.
This isn't a full "build system" in the sense of tallying each stat point and multiplying by whatever.
Rather it offers a points value for every alien in the rulebook, all the weapons and vehicles, so you can build some squads.
Personalities can be constructed as well.

If you like using points to prepare an army in advance, I think you'll find the value of RS will go up quite a bit.

With time, I'd like to look into full blown army lists but I am not promising anything.

You can grab the new expansion below

If you are new to Renegade Scout and this has made you decide to delve in, you can also get the rulebook and Elite pack for a few bucks off

Friday, 26 July 2019

A few questions I get sometimes

There's a couple questions that crop up occasionally, so I thought I'd take a moment to answer them.

* Is Nordic Weasel a one-man operation?

Mostly yes.
I get help from assorted people particularly with testing, feedback, photos etc. and games with "fluff" text often feature some writing from friends or my wife.

All the grunt work and I'd say 90% of the design work is all me though.

* Is Nordic Weasel Games your day-job?

Yes, it is.
People get surprised at that but yes, NWG makes enough to pay our rent and car bill each month, though it's hardly a luxurious existence.
It does mean everyday is "casual Friday" in the office though.

* Do you pay artists?

I do pay for artwork yes.
Photos of miniatures is typically not something I pay for, though I am happy including links to blogs, websites, painting services etc.

* What programs do you use?

I started out using Gimp and LibreOffice.
Currently I use the default stuff on the Mac: Pages, Keynote and Photos.

* Have you ever written for someone else?

I have never written a game as a freelancer, though I'd consider it in the right circumstances.

* Have you ever been involved with games other people have written?

A few times yeah, usually through feedback and helping the rules be clearer and sharper.
If you want to contract me for such services, email me.

* Are the music lists in your games real?

Yeah, it's generally the albums I listened to while doing most of the writing.
I might add an extra album if it's something that really fits the topic.

* Why do you write so many games?

I have a lot of ideas.
For marketing purposes, it might make more sense to write one game for a topic and then just sell that but I can't work like that.
I know that sometimes put people off, because it can be confusing trying to keep up on all that but if I am still selling it, it's because I think it's a good game.

You can make a tidy sum producing one core engine and then just churning out variations of that, but that's not the Weasel way :)

* How do your games typically start out?

Most just start with a very rough mechanical idea.
FiveCore literally rests on "what if you just rolled and saw if it was a 1 or a 6",
No End in Sight started with the "roll to cross contested space" rule and so forth.

* Are you ever going to do a full blown RPG?

Not impossible. I have thoughts.

* What do you think about [insert hot button issue here] ?

Probably nothing I'm interested in discussing.
I'm a "leftist SJW beta" or whatever the current terminology is, so if you must know what I think in order to decide what games to play, there you go.

Wednesday, 24 July 2019

Hammer of Democracy updates

A few tweaks to Hammer of Democracy.
We're still short on some of the initial goals (solo rules and "hero" characters for backers) but stay patient.

The most notable update is the addition of Polish troops with 5 vehicles and some guidelines on rating your grunts.
The Soviets receive stats for the 76mm regimental gun and the BA 10 armored car, Americans get the M18 "Hellcat" tank destroyer, Germans get the Sdkfz. 222 armored car and the Brits can sport a Crusader with a 6 pounder for a bit of desert fun.

Additionally, I've gone ahead and removed the "Weak HE" trait from the low calibre gun.
The trait was originally intended for things like high velocity guns that had poor HE performance (and ironically still needs to be added for those). The 37mm pea-shooters already do very little damage, so there's no need to double-dip.
Points costs have been adjusted to reflect the removed trait.

Panzerfaust were probably a bit too good. Now they require a 9 to hit at 6" range.

As scenario clocks were a bit long, the roll has been changed to 3D6x4 minutes.

Also infantry anti-tank weapons now have a points value. I have no idea what I was thinking there.

Hope you all enjoy the new goodies!