Monday, 19 October 2020

Fivecore 3.x begins

I will have a lot more to say later, but I just wanted to let everyone know that the path to FiveCore 3.x has begun. 

A major decision will be how much text to use as is, versus rewriting from the ground up. My main worry is that old and new sections next to each other will read incoherently, so we'll have to see. 

To the future!

Renegade Scout update

 A quick update for Renegade Scout adds the following tweaks to the army builder:


* Vehicles with 2 or more mount points can add an external Auto laser or auto slugger without using a mount point.

* This can be pintle-mounted. If so, it is fired by a crew member from a hatch and is a bit cheaper.

* This can be remote-controlled. If so, it's a bit more expensive but can be fired by any crew member instead of performing another role that turn.


Friday, 16 October 2020

Squad Hammer Core updates

 A few updates have been made to the Squad Hammer Core / People's edition download.

They are:

* Notes for immobile units (such as bunkers)

* Notes for flying units.

* Units cannot recover from damage if they are within 6" of enemy forces at the end of carrying out the order. 

Some cosmetic changes and a few re-wordings have taken place as well.


The above changes are in preparation for future content. All you have to do is download your game file again from the Wargame Vault.

If you do not yet own Squad Hammer Core, that is easily remedied at https://www.wargamevault.com/product/295773/Squad-Hammer-Core--Peoples-Edition


Thursday, 8 October 2020

Five Leagues examples. Visiting town

 A quick example today with my apologies for taking a few days since the last one.

Today we look at visiting town and getting ourselves ready as we arrive at Old Hill.

This mostly just follows the steps in "The campaign turn" chapter of the rulebook with no additional options applied.

Since this sequence will play out a bit differently when we have a bunch of wounded guys and so forth, we'll actually revisit this again after a battle.

To remind you all, step 1 took place here and step 2 here

Village events

This step is optional, but we'll use it. We get to roll on the Village Events table to see what local conditions are like. A roll of a 32 means our group has An ill reputation. Clearly the locals are suspicious of a gang of heavily armed weirdoes with impulse control issues, and that seems fair enough.

The off-shot is that I cannot select the Carouse action in town this turn. 

These effects only last one campaign turn (unless you roll the same result again) so presumably once we've been in town for a bit, we'll win them over.

Pay upkeep

If we had more than 8 warband members, we'd have to pay for upkeep now. As we're just starting out, that won't be the case. 

Healing up

Injured characters will have to rest now. This isn't an action as such, but they cannot do anything while resting. As we are just starting out, we can skip this step as well.

Carry out activities

We now get to carry out 2 actions in turn. Since Carousing is out, I look over the list and opt to Labor (earning us 2 extra Gold Marks bringing us to 19 total).

Old Hill has a serious problem with Border Tensions, so I opt to take the Track actions to see if we can get a lead on our enemies. I roll a D6 requiring a 5+, but the die is a 2, so no luck.

Where are we going?

We have little reason to stick around, so we will be adventuring this turn. 

Sell unwanted gear

I have a spare standard weapon lying around, which we could turn in for 1 Mark, but you never know when you need a spare sword so I'll hang on to it for now.

Trade

Our party could use a bit of upgrading, so I am going to spend 3 Marks buying a Helmet for one of the heroes missing one (taking us to 16) and get a packs of Bandages (2 Marks, bringing us to 14).

These items are coming from the Common goods section, so we can buy them as we see fit but no more than one of each item per turn.

I can also roll for a rare trade item and I get a 74, offering up a Shadowy Cloak for 12 Marks. That is tempting, but I feel like I may want that money later, so I'll hold off. There's no need to track anything as the item is only available this turn.

Outfit for adventure

I am happy with the gear my characters are carrying. As one of my heroes has Packing skill, I can bring up to 7 backpack items, though we're nowhere near that limit. The bandages count as 1, while both doses of herbs count as 1 item together. We have plenty of empty space if we find anything exciting out there.

Recruit some villagers

As I have 8 healthy team members, this step is skipped. We can proceed to take on some sort of threat on our own. 

Monday, 5 October 2020

Why renegade scout?

We will return with more 5 Leagues tutorials, but first I thought I would take a moment to advertise a bit.

In the indie sphere, we often get used to just saying that here is the cool new game (or update to the cool old game) without taking the time to explain WHY you should also think it's cool. Some of that is that I hate doing marketing, I'd rather be writing more gaming stuff instead. But I am told by the priesthood of economic progress that this is bad thinking so let's do some audacious shilling:

But first a picture of the dork cat

Namely, why you should go out and get a copy of Renegade Scout. Yes, you. You there. Get with the program. I'm here to tell you why, especially if you are currently a player of that big glossy game with all the cyber orcs and dudes in big space armor. 

Now, before we start let me assure you that I am not an idiot. What games you play is of course not always just up to you. Marching into the gaming club and telling them all to bin what they are playing in order to play something you just bought is often an uphill struggle! So we assume you have a compatriot or three that are the same sort of brilliant, handsome and articulate person that peruses Wargame Vault for indie games (or that you are a solo gamer and get to do whatever you want on the gaming table).

We good? Okay, on with it.

You get to use pretty much any miniatures you like

Ever see some cool figures online and wish the rules you played supported them? 

With a huge range of alien species and troop types, and a flexible army builder, odds are they will fit into Renegade Scout right out of the box. Whether you've got your eyes on a big walker, infantry in huge power armor, tentacle aliens or tiger-men with laser cannon, you'll likely be able to build it in the army builder and points system.

As a bonus, the game is scale agnostic. You can take advantage of the massive range of amazing 15mm stuff, the super-detailed 28mm figures or anything else that takes your fancy. Ever considered 6mm skirmish? Why not give it a shot!

You get to use YOUR miniatures

The armies you build are your armies. While there's a setting underpinning Renegade Scout, it is up to you if you want to use it or if you game in another universe and simply use the rules and mechanics. 

Want to take some mini's from an existing game, paint them up in new colors that aren't "correct"? Well, it doesn't say in the Renegade Scout book that you can't have purple Storm Troopers or a Halo guy with cybernetic claws. 

Even if you use the included setting, the troop descriptions are kept fairly open-ended, allowing you as much freedom as possible to use the armies you would like. 

Battles of a manageable size

The big glossy games of course want you to build big glossy armies. With tournament play defining the expected game sizes, building a "proper" army often involves 50+ mini's and multiple vehicles which, no matter how streamlined the rules are, still takes a substantial amount of time to set up and play. 

Ever sat while a guy moves 200 space orcs one guy at a time? Thrilling stuff, I'm sure you would agree. Now imagine how long it took to build and paint those 200 space orcs. 

While you can play big battles, Renegade Scout is aimed at a much more comfortable level of play. A fun, meaningful game might have 3-4 squads of infantry with a vehicle or two supporting them. 

Add a cool personality figure or two and you have a great, entertaining battle for the evening. 

Of course, if you want things to be quite personal, you can always use Skirmish mode where each player might only have a handful of troops, moving and fighting individually. 

The game is affordable

Since you can play a real game with far fewer miniatures, you can get up and running for a low cost. A single squad of figures will let you play in Skirmish mode, while 20-30 infantry figures and a couple of vehicles will give you a nice selection to work with. 

As squads are based around 5 figures as the standard, you can buy a few fun models on a whim, paint them up and have them actually ready to put on the table. 

On top of that, the game itself is affordable. 20 dollars gets you the 206 page rulebook, while expansions are priced around the price of a cup of coffee. 

Dork cat says that's so you can afford more of the fish treats from the store.

Consider 15mm

While you can play in any scale you like (and use your existing armies too) a new rules system is a perfect chance to try a new scale as well. If you have not tried gaming with 15mm figures, I think they may blow your mind: They are affordable (around 10-15 dollars for a big vehicle and 5 dollars or so for a pack of 8 infantry figures is typical), they store easily and you can fit a LOT of them on your gaming table. 

At the scale of battle normally played in Renegade Scout (the reinforced platoon) an army for 50 dollars is not at all unreasonable, allowing you to play cheaply (or to build lots of armies!)

Even if your table is fairly modest (such as the typical 3 foot across dining room table) a platoon of 15mm infantry with vehicles in support will have plenty of leg-room to move and fight. 

The selection available is huge as well with companies like Ground Zero Games, Khurasan and Rebel Miniatures offering human and alien troops, vehicles and more. I should clarify I am not affiliated with any of those guys, but I've purchased from all three before and enjoyed what I got.

Modern game mechanics

While there are cases where an "IGOUGO" sequence (where one player does all of their moving and shooting, then the other player does all of their moving and shooting) is the best choice, it is also a system with substantial drawbacks. Being unable to react realistically to enemy actions can feel very arbitrary, as well as being plain boring (see the 200 space orcs above). 

Renegade Scout retains a phase structure, where movement is conducted, followed by shooting and so forth, but within each phase, players alternate acting. This both keeps each player involved and active but also helps avoid the "first turn advantage" where whoever goes first gets to unload all of their guns while the other player sits and checks their phone. 

Tactical game play

In addition to an improved turn sequence, the rules include options such as allowing advancing troops to keep their heads down within terrain features and providing covering fire when opposing troops pop into sight.

Troops taking losses will hit the dirt and become pinned down, like in the movies, while a dedicated close assault can send them running for the hills. 

Vehicles can ram into each other and must contend with critical hits. A sharp shooter may try to pick off an exposed crew member operating the turret machine gun, or you may aim for the tracks in the hopes of stopping the brute before it reaches your lines.

You get to choose what way to play the game

We offer a number of ways you can play the game. In addition to the Skirmish mode discussed above, simplifications are provided for larger battles, notes on solo play, rules to retain your units in a persistent game where they gain experience with each battle, simple campaign guidelines and more. 

Do you want an unpredictable battlefield? We have that. Do you want scenarios? We offer that too. Tools for a GM to run a really cool space heist? Yup.

Renegade Scout is a game to be played the way you want it to be.

No codex creep

As the game is not linked to selling expensive miniatures, there is no need to perpetually churn out ever-bigger models with ever-more guns on them. The army builder included in the rules is usable for almost all the troop types and species (with the exception of a select few that are really intended more for special scenarios) and as expansions are released, they will expand the options available to most of the forces existing in the game world. 

We are an ethical company!

As a one-person company, I can assure you that Nordic Weasel Games has never pressured, abused, exploited or otherwise mistreated its employees. 100% of the staff is permitted to work wearing shorts and a t-shirt to work and the kitty gets scritches and tasty food every day.

Quick answers, easy updates

Instead of dealing with a big corporation, you can get answers to your inquiries quickly and personally. Whether it is through twitter, blog questions or email, I am always available to help answer your inquiries.

Our game rules receive updates quickly when errors are caught and instead of waving around a book's worth of errata, you can simply download the file again and have the most up-to-date version on your screen.


So what are you waiting for? 


Dork cat thinks you are waiting to pet him. 

Renegade Scout can be purchased at the link below:

https://www.wargamevault.com/product/249657/Renegade-Scout--Bleeding-Edge-Retro-Gaming

The first expansion, adding Veteran squads and squad leaders, can be purchased at the link below:

https://www.wargamevault.com/product/328827/RS-Book-1-Veteran-Infantry-of-Unified-Space 

Thursday, 1 October 2020

Q&A for October

 As we move into October, answers to a few questions that have come up in the past couple of months, as well as a few I found by looking at old emails and whatnot.

Note that questions are paraphrased from their original sources.

Do you hate retro clones?

No, I don't or I wouldn't have written one. But I think the RPG indie circles lasting obsession with rewriting OD&D on a weekly basis is the equivalent of finding different condiments to put on the same McNugget. Sometimes it's okay to try Burger King instead.  

Who is your favorite wargame designer?

Jon Tuffley of Ground Zero Games because Stargrunt 2 is brilliant and he's also a super cool dude.

How many times should a scenario be play tested?

By the writer? 2-3 times is plenty. Beyond that, the utility diminishes rapidly because you'll be blind to your mistakes. 1 game played by complete strangers is worth 10 games you put on yourself.

Why haven't we had any big rules updates to 5X in a while?

After the big changes to Five Leagues in Marmoset, I wanted to avoid big overhauls for a while so the core rules can stay pretty stable. For Five Parsecs, there's some big stuff in the semi-near future. 

What do you think about pirating books from companies you are boycotting?

I think it's stupid. If you are talking about the game and playing it, you are literally advertising the game for the company. 

If you want to boycott some company for being trash, then don't read or play their games. It's not like we have a shortage of good games.

Wednesday, 30 September 2020

As we finish out the month

 The Five Klicks pack for the month adds animal companions to the game. Just one to get started, but who hasn't wanted to paint up a doglizardthing?

https://www.wargamevault.com/product/330542/Waste-Diggers-Animal-companions-for-Five-Klicks 

You can pick up the new pack at the link above.

I also wanted to remind folks that Roads Well Travelled is out there, full of new peaceful encounters and people to meet in your games of Five Leagues

https://www.wargamevault.com/product/286930/Roads-well-traveled-A-Five-Leagues-expansion

Finally, the "Every Journey begins on a road" pack has been updated to make the tutorial more straight forward (based on suggestions) and fix a typo, so go download that pack again.