Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Coming in January

FiveCore returns to the muddy fields of the second world war.

Where do you keep your spare Bren gun magazines?



Friday, 25 December 2015

Happy Christmas from the Fringe

Hope everyone had a great year and all the best gaming to you in the new year.


Tuesday, 15 December 2015

FiveCore Field Guide available

As promised, December is FiveCore month

I am excited to present the FiveCore Field Guide, providing new options for FiveCore gamers at all game levels.


The field guide contains expanded rules material suitable for all FiveCore games (the 2nd edition skirmish rules, Five Men in Normandy, Company Command and Brigade Commander.
Within this supplement you will find:
*A new dice-driven turn sequence.
*A points-based experience system for campaign play.
*Non-combat skills and advancement, as well as additional motivation and background generation for characters.
*15 new weapons, gadgets and gun mods for skirmish games.
*"Firing Skill". A new system to quantify individual firing ability.
*"Assault Skill". A new system to quantify close combat ability.
*Revised (and somewhat less deadly) assault rules.
*Unit Discipline. A new system to distinguish individual unit morale.
*Suggested fire, assault and discipline ratings for major 20th century conflicts.
*A more random reaction system.
*A more detailed system for determining vehicle and gun ratings.
*An expanded stealth system, with more options for both infiltrators and sentries. Well suited for commando raids.

http://www.wargamevault.com/product/168855/FiveCore-Field-Guide?src=newest

Looking for a scenario writer

I am looking for someone interested in doing some limited writing and design work, for Nordic Weasel Games.

The products in question will be scenario booklets, for the FiveCore system (skirmish, Company Command or Brigade Commander).

The booklet will contain 5 scenarios, using forces that are relatively typical for the rules.
All 5 scenarios must be in a common period and setting.
At least 3 of the scenarios must have an interesting twist, circumstance or situation.

Ideally, each scenario will present 2-3 variant options for replay value or to adjust the strength of each side.

Each scenario must include:
*Simple map, if required. This can be in image or photo form.
*Setup instructions.
*TO&E for each side.
*Any relevant special rules for the scenario.

You may include a small “Special rules” section, ideally not exceeding 2 pages, if your scenarios require specific special rules to play, such as a winter campaign or a pulp adventure.

You must have knowledge and play experience of the FiveCore system.

You must carry out testing of the scenario yourself, though I will also test on my end.

You must be able to deliver the product in a rapid fashion and must be able to respond to email inquiries quickly and consistently.

Good writing ability is not required, I will do any relevant text rewrites for the published version.
You are not required to do layout and editing of the manuscript.
Simply provide it in plain document format, with any relevant maps as images.

You will be credited as the scenario designer, on the cover.
You will receive 50% of all revenue generated from sales of the scenarios. This can be negotiated, depending on the quality and scope of work submitted.

Payment is provided automatically through Wargame Vault and requires a Wargame Vault account.

I don't currently have alternate options, but if you are really not able to make that work, contact me and we can talk.


Tuesday, 8 December 2015

December for NWG

The scope for December is:

A: Finally get the Precursor army book out.
If all goes well, I'd like to get NSIS units in the army books too, but that may be for January, along with the Warrior army book.

B: The Christmas release will be a compilation of goodies for FiveCore players. It'll cover all three scales of game and include things like a new turn sequence, a simple experience point system, tips for RPG'ers and other goodies.

C: I might try my hand at a crowd funding thing for an infiltration/special forces project I have in mind.
Conspiracies, super soldiers and elite organizations. Think "Metal Gear" in miniatures form.
I'll share a few thoughts later.

I'm usually inclined against crowd funding but I'll leave this up to general fan opinion.

Monday, 30 November 2015

A side project

Been puttering around with a small side project: A set of rules, guidelines more like, for narrative "Matrix" style games.

A narrative wargame tends to have very few rules. You talk out what happens, maybe make an appropriate roll once in a while.
They are often decided by a GM but can also be played solo or as a co-operative exercise.

Warstory will be my own take on the genre. It'll feature a few simple tables (easy enough to fit on an index card) and various tools for running that style of game.

Great if you are in a story-telling mood and want to still push some miniatures around a table, or if you want to add some warfare to an RPG campaign.

It'll be a micro-game so very short and quite cheap. It should be in your hands this week, if all goes well.


No Hope in Sight. Setting up a battle.

Setting up a campaign battle.

So in the last installment, we generated our warband, now it's time to carve out our turf.

Each turn in the campaign you pick what you want to do. Do you want to play a special scenario, devised by yourself or a GM? Fight against a friends warband? Set up a randomly determined enemy group to tussle with?

We're playing solo, so we'll go with the latter option.

To set up the encounter, we roll 3 dice. 
The game will be an Assault, we'll be fighting a group of scavengers and there will be 2 "points of interest" on the table.

Normally, we'd roll to determine who is the defender, but we'll put our warband as the defenders, since that gives us a good excuse to get revenge later.

We'll be facing off against 7 scavengers, 3 with rifles ,4 with junk weapons coming out to equal a pistol.
2 of them have a large blade in addition to their guns. None of them have grenades.

We outnumber them, though in an assault, they'll get a free turn to start, so it might be a more even fight than it might look.

To set up the terrain, we roll 3 dice again. 
The battle takes place in a ruined city, the key feature is war debris and there's no dangerous terrain features.
Sounds like rubble, old barbed wire and maybe some wrecked pre-war tanks here and there.

The whole process took maybe 5 minutes to go through, using simple 6 sided dice. Now we're on to set up our encounter and battle it out.

This could easily be bolted on to another set of game rules as well, of course.

Next installment will go through the post-game mechanics and how the campaign fits together that way.

Saturday, 28 November 2015

No Hope in Sight. Warband creation explained.

The big draw of No Hope in Sight (available here http://www.wargamevault.com/product/166615/No-Hope-In-Sight ) is the campaign rules so I figured I'd give you a run down of how a campaign turn might look, but to do that, we need to see how a warband might look.

The process is pretty quick, aiming for getting you playing games without too much fuss. You need a few handfuls of D6's.

* * *

To find the size of our warband, we roll three dice and pick the highest two.
We get 11, so a sizeable warband.

On the table, they'll form up into three groups of 3, 4 and 4, making for a nice tactical element.

* * *

Our warband needs some gear. We get 6 rifles automatically and then get to roll for additional stuff.
After much dice rolling, we end up with a total stash of:

7 rifles, 1 pistol, 1 shotgun, 1 bludgeon, 1 large blade and 1 light automatic.

That's a pretty respectable armament for exploring the wasteland. We give our leader the pistol and large blade, our second in command will get the shotgun and bludgeon, 1 trooper carries the automatic and the rest have rifles.

We also have a few supplies, namely 7 doses of "nanos" and 2 "stimpacks".
Nano-medical injections can give a figure a small speed boost while a stim pack can restore a wounded guy to fighting ability. Nice.

We must have looted a pre-war medical cache somewhere.

* * *
This step is optional but we want to add some character to our warband.

We grab a handful of D6 and roll for an identity to our warband.
The keywords we get are:
Motivation = Territory, Uniform = Sub culture, Structure = Hierachy, Reputation =Unknown.

Okay, so we're out to carve out our own turf, we're currently unknown in the wasteland, have a tight power structure with formal ranks and our visuals are patterned after some sub culture.

If I was creative, I'd probably make them the skate-surfer dudes.

We'll also flesh out two of our characters, in this case the boss and his second in command.
We don't need this, but it's nice for a bit of roleplaying.

The boss is Well Meaning, is motivated by Power, Is a Nihilist, has a Practical appearance, is of Moderate build and is an average Human.

Seems like a rough survivor type. He's made it this far by crawling to the top of the rubble piles, but he doesn't have much, if any, hope for the future of mankind.

His second hand man gets:
A Jovial outlook on life, is motivated by Survival, is Depressed, also dresses in a Practical manner, is Stocky and is an average Human.

A trust worthy guy who jokes around, trying to hide his deep despair at a world gone mad around him. Got some serious thousand-yard stare in this one.


With all this, we're ready to explore the wasteland.

The next post will detail how a campaign turn might go.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

No Hope in Sight turn sequence explained

The turn sequence in No Hope in Sight is a little different from the one presented in No End in Sight, the parent game, though it shares the same fundamentals.

The game takes place over a number of turns, during which, each player will get 5 activation rolls.
The number of activation rolls intentionally is not dependent on the size of your warband, allowing smaller warbands to feel better coordinated, while a larger force will be making harder choices about whether to activate the troops in contact or bring up reinforcements or outflanking units.

The turn starts with a simple initiative roll:
Roll 1D6, a 1-2, the player with the larger number of figures goes first, on a 3-6, the smaller warband can choose to go first or second.

When it's your turn to go, roll a D6, reroll if its a 1, then activate that number of figures.

Unlike No End/Stars in Sight, you don't have fixed squads. Instead, any figures within 3” of each other are a “group” and can be activated.

Each activation roll, you are limited to one group and one isolated figure, though you can always restore figures from being pinned down, even if they are not part of the selected group.

Each activation point lets a figure move and fire, try to fix up a wounded guy, recover from being pinned, throw a grenade, search a terrain feature or similar.

When both players have taken 5 activation rolls, the turn ends, and you test for Mettle.

Essentially, each side rolls 2D6, if the roll is higher than the number of guys you have left, you have to pick one guy who slinks off and flees the battle.
Then each player decides if they'll keep fighting or not.

If both players stick it out, you go again.
Quite a few mission rewards are tied to holding the battlefield for better loot at the end of the game, but you have to balance that with the long term survival and health of your warband.

I'll touch on combat mechanics and the campaign tomorrow.


 Questions about the turn sequence and basic elements?

Monday, 9 November 2015

Post apocalypse ahoy

Quick status update:

Movement, activations and firing are all done.

Need to do the brand spanking new assault rules today and get the armoury/weapons section done.

Campaign rules are all sorted out in note form from testing, but need to actually be written out in human language.


Typical game size will be 10-15 figures per side, with the possibility of going bigger, so "big necromunda" if you will.

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Darkest Star miniatures for LaserStorm

If you want to swing over by Darkest Star Miniatures at http://www.darkeststargames.com/laserstorm.html you can find ready to go starter packs for LaserStorm.

Each gives you 13 vehicles and 52 infantry figures (to be organized into stands as you see fit), perfect for the included starter scenario and as a basis to build out your forces.

Each pack is 40 bucks and saves you a few dollars (basically working out to a free tank platoon or thereabouts).

So go on, go grab some of the figures!

I specifically reached out to Darkest Star to do this, since I've enjoyed their figures a lot. I think they're good value, good quality and I've always had super fast service from them. I guess that's the first commercial endorsement I've ever done on the blog :-)

Monday, 2 November 2015

A little side project you might dig

A bit of a delay in the Precursor/space elf army book, waiting for some good photos. Hopefully won't be more than a week or so.

However, with Fallout 4 on the horizon, what would you say to a post-apocalyptic warband game? Based on "No End/Stars in Sight" incidentally.

Got the rules bits mostly complete.

Take a band of 15 or so wasteland warriors, loot, fight, acquire resources and be eaten by a radioactive monster.

Sound good? Start painting.

Friday, 23 October 2015

Space elves for FiveCore

I add the FiveCore material to the army books, mostly as an extra benefit for Clash and Laserstorm players that enjoy FiveCore as well.

I don't think FiveCore is a game that really benefits from "army books" as such, but I do want to have some neat material in there for everybody. If I ever do a scifi RPG, it'll get character notes in the army books as well.

I just finished up the Precursor FiveCore section with a random colony generator, and 5 character-types that can be dropped into any scenario.

If you want to just add a space elf, they get the following special rules:

When Dashing, if you roll a 1 for move distance, roll again and use the new roll.
If the new roll is also a 1, decide to either not dash or to move the extra 1".

If a Brawl ends in a draw, the precursor immediately Bails, as if a 6 had been rolled on a Shock die.

This overrides all over "on a draw" type of abilities.

Monday, 19 October 2015

Gaming, politics, personalities. Stuff

Today's post will be a bit rambling, so bear with me.

It's always risky to put yourself out there.

Whenever you publish something, you're opening yourself up a little bit and that can be pretty scary stuff. We've all had that feeling when you have to do a presentation in the office, because you know how rough your peers can get, and now they'll be criticizing YOUR idea.

Scary, right?

A lot of game design tends to be very neutral. We aim for things that are emotionally distant and removed, because that way, we can limit the discussion to being one about mechanics and dice, one where every option is equally valid and personal tastes are all that distinguish.

But what happens when you make it personal?

Thinking about my favourite games of all time, they're all games that were steeped in personality. Where the desires of the writer were evident and where it was clear, the guy or girl was writing for themselves and we were just getting a peek into the process.
The Warhammer RPG, old Traveller, Laserburn, Rogue Trader, Burning Wheel. Nuts.
The list goes on.

When I write, I try to make things from my own point of view. Some of those sensibilities are about game design and mechanics I either like or hate.
Some of it is in a way to view the world.

When I did "No End in Sight", a lot of that game was reaction. Reaction to people telling me that certain things couldn't be done, reaction to what I saw as prevailing attitudes in the modern wargaming field.

I saw people setting up modern wargames and the scenarios were basically just a dice rolling exercise where the "modern" force was competing against itself to see how many insurgents they could kill.
And it never sat right with me.

Maybe it's because I grew up on books like All Quiet on the Western Front and with shows like MASH, but I wanted to capture something a bit different.
Most importantly, I wanted to write a game that I would want to play.

I've often joked that the "In Sight" system is more stressful for the players than for the troops getting the "Stress" markers. You are constantly fighting to get things done and often have to resort to desperate measures.
That squad sweeping through the buildings to secure the flank? They'll be scrambling in the dirt for a leftover RPG, so they can knock out the BMP chewing them up.
Your impenetrable defensive line? Now it's 3 survivors trying to guard the wounded and simply hold on for dear life.

If you haven't read up on the "third world war" campaign option in the book. It almost never ends well.
This is intentional.

Growing up as a kid in cold war Denmark, the impression we had was that if the balloon went up, we'd all be dead, and we were powerless to do anything about the two mad giants, aiming rockets at each other.
That feeling probably never left me.

No End in Sight, more than anything else I ever did, was a game that clearly delivers my own message.
And I was terrified when I released it.
Would people take offence to it? Would it become a tool of the people who want to fight culture wars? Was it a terrible mistake? Should I just keep my mouth shut?

In the end, it went well. Reception was great. I got emails from people who I knew to be staunch right-wingers with firm pro-military mindsets and they loved the game.
Not because it tried, in some tiny way, to be anti-militaristic but, I think, because they felt I had treated the topic sincerely and with respect.
Military people understand more than anything that soldiering is a distilled microcosm of what it means to be human.

Your soldiers in No End in Sight aren't cartoon soldiers. They're just little imaginary humans.
And being human is all we ever have.

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Fringespace armies

What if I told you that unit design for Precursors (think eldar/asari), Warriors (think klingons/turian/polite space orks) and Converted (think the Strogg from Quake 2 or the Borg) were basically done for LaserStorm?

Just missing the super heavies and behemoths.

Precursors are specialized in fast, accurate long range fire, Converted are tough but disposable with solid mid-range firepower while the Warriors attack aggressively with rapid firing weapons and close combat.

Doing the big guys next and then it's on to their Clash on the Fringe counterparts.

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

A shoutout to a friend

Wanted to give a shoutout to a friend, since I worked a tiny bit on their project

http://theminiaturespage.com/news/?id=927397180

A set of "XCOM" style rules for humans fighting little greys AND some really neat figures to go with it.

I supplied a bit of flavour text and helped create the scenarios.
It runs off the "Song of..." engine.

Friday, 9 October 2015

Unity and Laserstorm

As the Unity army list is coming together, a few snippets for you:

Each army book will have its own task force lists. The Unity one aren't terribly different from the core rules.
The options are Infantry, Armour and Scout (which are as you might expect) for the main forces.

Naval infantry has less infantry and no light vehicle slot but more field guns, in keeping with the fact that Unity naval infantry tend to rely on support weapons.

You get a "Local Defence" option, which allow you to take quite a bit of cavalry for that rustic, militia feeling.
Lastly, the super heavy unit is called "Liberators" and has the usual pile of Super Heavy and Behemoth slots.

Task Forces can pick from the core rule asset choices or one of a few new ones, reflecting Unity doctrines and fighting styles: "Local Volunteers", "Tactical Withdrawal" and "Repair team".

In campaigns, there are also two new campaign assets available: "Fall Back in Good Order" and "Combined arms" which gives Unity expeditionary forces some improved coordination.

Unit-wise, Unity forces are fairly conventional. You can use hard-hitting elite Banner troops to spearhead your attack but the rank-and-filers are well armed but fairly rudimentary troops.
The addition of Light Troops with poor weapons but a +1 to assaults, Stubborn and improved morale is a nice touch, representing a mixture of local planetary militia and fanatic "Reclaimer" volunteers.

Vehicles are all ground based: Either tracks or walkers, with a few wheel options in there.
Unity does maintain limited grav forces but those will be added at a later date. Incidentally, this allows quite a few modern and even repainted/converted ww2 figures to be pressed into duty.

Only one type of super-heavy tank, which will be a gun platform, similar to the Epic Baneblade.

For Behemoths, you get two: The slower, heavier, gun based Paladin and a faster Squire, which is specialized in hunting down enemy super heavies.

All in all, Unity forces will play as a fairly conventional army (which is the intention). They have some light, fast troop options but the main weight of the army is in fire power and a cautious advance towards the objectives.
This should put them in a nice middle ground, compared to the other aliens coming.

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

A glance at the Unity army list for Clash on the Fringe

Alright, so this is also a breakdown of how the army lists will work.
I am trying to avoid having a lot of required/limited units, though there will be a few such instances.

The idea is to be able to put together your force more or less as you want.

All Unity troops have the ability to form fireteams. The way this works is you can break one of your squads into two equal parts, when you set up. They will act completely independently during the game (similar to the old space marine combat squad rule in 40K).

If you are outnumbered, you can break up two squads.

Your force can include any number of squads. Every squad entitles you to also include a character and a vehicle.

Allies
You can also bring allied forces, once those books are ready.
Unity forces can draw on Precursor, Soulless, Feral, Engineer and Manipulator troops.

When adding allies to a force, you can only use units designated as "Ally" troops. That'll generally be the basic grunt types of that force, to keep things in check a little bit.

Allied troops can't exceed the number of "native" units.

Characters
There are five character types provided.
You can take multiple of the same kind. One can be upgraded to Hero status.

Platoon officers are the standard leader type. Well armed and armoured (whether through power armour or plain gnarly officer syndrome), they can be leaders up to rank 3.
In games with at least 2 characters and 2 squads, one guy HAS to be a platoon officer.

Field agents are special agent types. They may be leaders and can have traits selected from the main rulebook, so they let you build a wide range of characters. Relatively lightly armed though.

Operatives are sneaky commando types. They can be kitted out as assault troops or snipers and have a suite of stealth related traits, including Shadow which gives them a free 1" move (without reaction fire) when activating in cover.
It's intended for things like popping out from behind a corner to take a shot, without taking any reaction shots.

The Specialist is a plain trooper but can be fielded as a comms specialist, medic, tank hunter, sharp shooter or low level psionic. Good for providing some additional support along the way.

Lastly, the Militia leader can be picked if you have any Militia in your force. He can move pretty quickly through terrain but is otherwise an option for a cheap, simple leader.

Squads
The basic Army squad is plain, simple and dependable. Bog average profile, 2 SAW per 8 man squad and they have access to some anti tank fire power.
This is very much intended as the backbone of your force.

Recon troops fight in 4 man teams and make up for limited firepower (and no heavy weapons) with additional stealth traits.

Naval Infantry are well disciplined troopers with a different weapon load out (replacing a SAW for a fusion gun).
They can be outfitted for close quarters combat with sub machine guns or the new Flak gun.

Banner assault squads are basically Unity space marines. Good stats, heavy armour, fast and with the powerful Storm rifle. These are frontal assault troops, plain and simple.

Hunters form 5 man squads, armed with close quarter weapons and backed by a flame thrower and a chain gun. These guys go in to chase down bugs in dirty holes, so they have slightly better morale and armour.

The Militia gives you an option for cheap junk troops. They're lightly equipped but they do get a small speed bonus and can move through terrain quickly.
They also deploy 3" forward of your deployment zone, so they can sometimes grab a terrain feature just outside your setup area.

Reclamation teams are basically pro-human zealots. Unity recruits volunteers when they launch an anti-slavery or other liberation attack. They have low training, weak armour and terrible discipline but very high morale (and the berserk trait means they don't test morale in close combat).

Lastly, drop troops are heavily equipped with anti-tank and anti-infantry weapons and get a 30% chance to deploy using the Dive rule from the core rules, even if the scenario doesn't permit it.

Vehicles
The Rattle Snake is a plain APC. Very high safety score, can port 9 figures and mounts a choice of HMG, chain gun or grenade launcher. Modest armour.

The Pit Viper IFV reduces capacity by one but has a bit more armour.
It features a turret autocannon and can mount an optional rocket launcher as well.

The main tank of Unity is the Claymore medium tank. Solid protection, if unimpressive speed, this is built for simplicity of maintenance. It mounts a medium cannon and a pair of machine guns and gets a 30% chance to ignore immobilization or other movement reductions, due to the rugged design.

The Longbow is a lightly armoured, tracked gun platform, mounting a beam cannon.
Essentially, think of this as a futuristic tank destroyer.

Lastly, the Lion assault walker is pretty much a warhammer Dreadnought. Thick armour and a pair of arm weapon mounts, each mounting a choice of weapons. It adds machine guns or mortars on the shoulder, allowing it to act as close range artillery support.


Hope that sheds a bit more light on things and should let you start prepping your miniatures.

Monday, 5 October 2015

Update on the Unity army book.

The Fivecore character types will be:
Unity agent
Military veteran
Unity enforcer
Army grunt
Tax collector.

For Clash, the army units available will be:

5 characters (Platoon officer, Field agent, Operative, Specialist, Militia leader)

8 squad types (Army squad, Recon squad, Naval infantry squad, Banner assault squad, Hunter team, Militia squad, Reclamation team, Drop infantry section)

5 vehicles (Rattle Snake APC, Pit Viper IFV, Claymore medium tank, Longbow gun platform, Lion assault walker).

Banner troops are basically faux-space marines. Hard-hitting, well armoured elites.
Hunter teams are the types you send into a bug-infested colony.
Reclamation squads are over-zealous warbands employed on missions of liberation and colonial reclamation. Hopefully their courage will make up for their lacklustre training.

I erred on the side of not having a ton of options for each infantry squad, to make them feel a bit more realistic. There'll be a few options to customize some of them though.

Unity also fields three new weapons: The Flak gun (a high powered shotgun which has aim assist against heavy armour targets), the Chain launcher (a single shot weapon firing a burst of 3 rockets) and the Storm rifle (highly efficient small arm for Banner troops).

All in all, Unity ground forces feel pretty conventional, with a few colourful units thrown in. The overall focus is that of modest but professional soldiers, sent to tackle the dangers of the galaxy.
Vehicles lean towards "simple and functional" as well.

Tomorrow, I'll sort out the points values and then get started on the laser storm counterparts, as well as the alien counterparts to our unity boys and girls.

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Next in the pipe: Army lists!

Before the next big gaming project, I want to address one of the biggest demands: Army lists.

A lot of people want ready-to-play units and a lot of them.

So I am taking some time to do that, and also try out something new.

Currently, I am working on the first army book for the Fringe-Space setting.

This will cover Unity (human empire) forces and will have the following:

*Fluff and background setting for the people who want that. (about 12 pages worth)

*5 quick characters for FiveCore gamers, that can be fitted into pretty much any scenario.

*Some tables to generate random Unity colonies for skirmish scenarios and RPG inclined players.

*Clash on the Fringe players get a few new unit traits and weapons, specific to Unity forces as well as the Totally Official For Real army list for Unity armed forces (in total 5 characters, 8 squad types and 5 vehicles).

*Laserstorm players will also get an army list for their game, covering large-scale Unity warfare. Not sure about the unit count yet, but my guideline is something like 5 types of infantry, 10 or so vehicle types, 3 super heavies and 1 or 2 behemoth units.

You'll also get a few new Task Force Commander assets and campaign assets, befitting Unity forces.

* * * * *

So that's pretty bananas right? Rules for 3 game systems AND some fluff to go along with it.
I am not including No Stars here, mainly because the game is getting revised in the near future.
Besides, with PDF, I can always go back and add in more content later.

The various alien races will get theirs too, in turn.

There's a persistent demand for ready-to-play stuff and particularly people coming from games like Epic and 40K, there's a desire for some army lists to play by.
Since the games all include unit builders to begin with, I feel the scenario focused players will be fine (and popular new options may make it back into the core rules as well, over time).

But just in case, if you all have to look back after Clash on the Fringe 9th edition is released and requires the exclusive use of my proprietary 42mm miniatures, you can all pull up this old blog post and say that it started here and you totally called it!

Peace and Love
Ivan

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

No End in Sight revision

As the revision to NEIS goes on, here's a summary of the changes.

As mentioned before, none of these are final so please test them before panicking :-)

Once things finalize, any changes will of course be ported over into NSIS as well.

*Terms are made more consistent throughout the rules.

*Turn and phase have been reversed. A turn is a number of phases, with a phase being one activation roll.

*Squads can be rated as experienced, in addition to their troop class.

*Permanent stress is gone. You just remove 3 stress at the end of the turn.

*Professionals do not ignore command distance. Instead, pro squads have an assistant leader and may measure from either their assistant or squad leader.

*Group actions are official now. They also don't suffer penalties any more (prior, group fires were shock only)

*Take command can affect up to 3 figures close together.

*Exact rules for timing action resolution and terrain features.

*Base move is now 4".

*Troops can rush at the players discretion, even if out of sight. Troops in sight and out of cover must rush as before.

*Failing a rush does not pin you automatically. You are instead fired upon. Makes reaction fire a tad less powerful.

*Experienced troops rolling a 1 for rush distance may choose to remain in place.

*There are no longer a minimum kill dice rule.

*Irregular troops now just suffer a pin for every 1 on hte shock dice (instead of the old ammo rule).

*Experienced firers get an extra kill die for every 6 on the kill dice.

*Cover saves now depend on the terrain features.

*Experienced figures reroll cover saves of a 1.

*Two degrees of body armour now in the rules.

*Pinned figures that fail panic checks retreat 6" instead of being removed.

*When firing, groups in cover do not count Pin results when taking morale checks, only casualties and wounded.

*If a morale check fails, retreat distance is 3" plus dice roll.

*Failed morale checks cause pin results equal to dice roll.


That's it so far.

Monday, 28 September 2015

Laserstorm. Units, strike forces and battle groups, oh my!

Laserstorm plays very simple but the rules throw a LOT of terms at the player.

So we're going to clear up what each level of the organizational hierarchy mean:

Stand
One figure or base with troops on it, representing one individual vehicle or a fireteam of 4-6 soldiers.
This is the smallest element that can exist in the game and is basically one figure.

Unit
Several stands are organized into Units. A unit must stick near each other during the game and will take morale checks together.
This is what Epic used to call a "detachment" back in Space Marine days.

A unit consists of typically 2-6 stands but some stands can form a unit all on their own.

Task Force
The Task Force is only used as an organizational step. If you build your own army using the included rules, you build a number of Task Forces.

Each type of Task Force will dictate how many units of each type you can include.

Players of warhammer 40K will recognize this as very similar to the detachment organizations in later versions of that game.

A task force typically has 3-6 units comprising it.

Battle Group
On the table, your force is always broken into 3 individual forces for activation purposes. Each such battle group receives one card in your turn deck.

Battle groups usually contain multiple units. In a large battle, each battle group may contain a task force or the task forces may be broken up into multiple battle groups.

A battle group may contain anything from 2 to 20+ units. It may contain entire task forces or parts of them. 

Army
All your forces in one game is an Army. During a campaign, each separate force on the campaign map is an Army.
Armies consist of one or more task forces.

When an Army takes the field, it is temporarily assigned into 3 battle groups.

An army thus always contains at least 1 task force and could potentially include any number.
On the tabletop, an army always forms into 3 battle groups.

Army group
Just like a tabletop army is broken into 3 battle groups for activation card purposes, so our campaign army is broken into 3 army groups.

An army group will have at least 1 army and may have many more, depending on the size of the campaign.

Expeditionary force
The entire, combined forces available to a player in a campaign makes up their Expeditionary Force.

The EF always consists of 3 army groups and may thus contain a very large number of armies.


Hope that helps!

Saturday, 26 September 2015

Whev

Working through the rewrite of No End in Sight with snazzy rules updates and whatnot (after a hiatus, handling a few things).

Currently through turn sequence, activation and movement, so hey, making progress!

Reception to LaserStorm has been fan-friggen tastic. 72 copies sold so far and initial feedback has all been positive.
Hopefully it remains that way once people get it on the table :)

There WILL be a Battle Pack soon, though it may be the first week of October instead. It'll be relatively short but it'll have a fan-submitted skirmish game for you to check out. Stay tuned.

What's the next big project? Not 100% sure yet.

Monday, 21 September 2015




More tanks, more robots, more war!
LaserStorm is 6mm science fiction on a massive scale.
Each troop stand is one vehicle or a 4-6 person fireteam. Units are platoons and the game can scale up to an entire battalion on the board, if you have the table space.

The game features:

*Card driven turn sequence, using a very small card deck.

*Not a single counter, marker or indicator placed on the table, ever.

*No record keeping or tracking for any units, ever.

*Combat rules are quick and straight forward. 

*Units are distinctive in play: Tanks are durable but vulnerable to close assault, super heavy tanks are mobile bunkers and massive behemoths can stride right through a defensive line, crushing and terrifying enemy troops as they go.

*Morale system sees units driven off the table and brought back to resume the battle again. You can actually reorganize and redeploy during a game, to open up new fronts or outflank the enemy.

*Army commanders provide special deployment and combat options to their troops.

*Choose from 25 ready-to-play units, put your own together using a fast "Assembly Line" where you simply match up vehicle hulls and guns or use the points system to build your own troops from scratch.

*Unit types that can be built include infantry, tanks, grav vehicles, cavalry, field artillery, giant robots, heroes and many more.

*A standard objective-oriented scenario to get to grips with.

*Unit traits included to customize and build unique troops, such as scouts.

*Fully featured map-driven campaign rules, with troop upgrades.

*A small quick-play scenario that should be playable with almost any scifi figures on your shelf.

* * * * *
LaserStorm is intended for use with 3mm, 6mm and 10mm figures.
All dice used are plain, six-sided dice. No markers or counters are required but a deck of cards is recommended.

Friday, 18 September 2015

A few more Clash on the Fringe Q&A

Can you enter close combat with the Evasion trait?

As written, but this is not intended and will be corrected in the next update.
This also apply to the "Dodge" result on the hero injury table and the move provided by stim pack survival.

What does "No bonus for weapons" mean when you are Heads Down in close combat?

It means that you cannot get any bonuses on the close combat roll (such as two weapons) or get any trait bonuses (such as Swift). You still apply the penetration score of the weapon.

What if I have no close combat weapons at all?

Penetration 0, -1 to close combat roll and cannot dual-wield. This is hidden away in the weapon charts, I'll try to make it clearer.

What if I have more than 2 arms?

For simplicity, you still only get the dual-wield bonus. If I do an official four armed race, I'll give some thought to quad-wielding though.

How does the "You're going to be fine!" order work if you receive more Stress markers after it was issued?

"You're going to be fine!" is a status effect that lasts until the unit activates next, and as such, it will apply to Stress markers that are placed after it was issued but before it wears off.

UPDATES:

When on Alert orders, troops may reaction fire at targets that are not one of the 3 closest. This will be added to the next update, but you may as well start using it now. It was always supposed to be that way, but got left out for some reason.

The next update will have several small typo's corrected as well. If a particular typo galls you, let me know, so I can correct it.

If all goes well

If all the stars align right, Laserstorm will be in your eager hands this Sunday.

If all does not go well, then it'll be very shortly thereafter :-)


Friday, 11 September 2015

FiveCore Company Command updated

With work on LaserStorm proceeding at a fever pitch (or maybe that's just the infernal late summer Oregon heat), I found time to update a few things in Company Command.

Your Wargame Vault copies have been updated automatically.

Notable rules changes:

Storm trooper specialists now just give a +1 to assault rolls, assault squads win on a draw, enclosed vehicles cannot be rallied by moving a squad into contact (that was never supposed to be the case, but it wasn't clear in the rules).

Rifle squads with no LMG cannot reaction fire over 12”. Squads with no automatics at all assault at -1, if enemy does have them (relevant for russian civil war or spanish civil war games in particular)

First turn, player may select to Scurry automatically.

Fireteam basing now in core rules.

Thursday, 27 August 2015

A little FiveCore clarification

I've addressed these before but I figured it wouldn't hurt to do so again:

FiveCore and status effects:
A "Status" in FiveCore is an involuntary state you are in, because of an incoming attack.

The possible status effects from least to most bad are;

Pinned (1 on Shock dice, while in cover).
Hunkered Down (1 on Shock dice, out of cover)
Bailed (6 on Shock dice)
Down (1 on Kill dice).

Specific systems use alternate terms for these but the effects are the same.

A figure or stand is never, ever, under any circumstances, subject to multiple status effects. If a status effect would change, the previous status is discarded immediately and completely.
For example, if a Bailed figure goes Down, he is now Down. He does not have to recover from being Bailed, abilities that help him recover from Bailed status do not help him and once he recovers from being Down, he is not Bailed.

In case of two status effects applying, apply the most severe (from the list above) and ignore all other effects.

If I shoot at a Bailed figure and get a Down result, he is now Down. If I shoot at a Downed figure and get a Bail result, nothing happens (because the more severe effect is Down).

Cover:
A figure in cover must declare if they are firing or hiding. If they fire, they can be fired upon with NO reduction in firing dice.

If a line of fire crosses a terrain feature that neither firer, nor target, touches, the Kill dice are dropped and the attack is Shock dice only.
This ONLY applies if the fire crosses the terrain feature and neither figure is touching that feature.

If you fire into a wood where a figure is placed, you do NOT drop Shock dice.

Rerolls:
When dice are rerolled, the original score is always discarded and the new roll is applied. This applies in all NWG games, unless explicitly stated otherwise.
If a roll allows you to roll twice and pick the best result, it means just that: Roll two times and choose either result.

In theory, either result could be rerolled, which would take place before you select which of the final results applies. I don't think there's any situation that causes that to happen, but just in case, here you are.

Abilities that allow a reroll on a specific dice result (such as always rerolling a 1 on assault dice) apply to all future rolls, unless stated otherwise.
For example, if you always reroll 1's on assault dice, keep rolling until you get a score that is not a 1.

Opposed rolls and rerolls:
If an opposed dice roll (like a Brawl/assault) allows a reroll, unless explicitly stated otherwise, both players must roll, before electing to reroll.

If both sides have a reroll, write down if you are rerolling or not. Optionally, cancel out the rerolls but its more interesting the other way.




Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Laserstorm and building armies

Working on the army building stuff for Laserstorm, the upcoming 6mm rules.

Basically you'll have a few options for how to build units:

You can of course simply assign whatever stats you want and sit down to play.

You can pick from the ready-made units included in the rules.

You can use the "Assembly line" which will let you pick from a collcetion of vehicle hulls and weapons, bolt them together and go.

And you can build them using the points system and unit builder methods.


Play it your way.

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Battle Pack issue 4 is here!

In this issue you get:

The Spotlight and Game design columns.

New traits, gear and units for Clash on the Fringe, including "Techno-Savages" for all your space-orc needs.

Five Knights on the Road. The playtest version of the long-awaited FiveCore medieval/fantasy rules.

Random event tables for No End in Sight and No Stars in Sight.

Disunity - An introductory Clash on the Fringe scenario by Nate Weber.

D10 tables for FiveCore skirmish gaming.

Suggestions and cards for quick FiveCore pulp gaming.

The playtest version of Elimination Protocol, a stand-alone original system for randomly generated bug 
hunt games. Do you want to live forever?

Terrain encounter tables for any wargame. Ever wanted entering an unexplored terrain feature to be a bit more unpredictable?

Robots for FiveCore skirmish.

Fluff for the Fringe setting, this time discussing mercenaries.

Get it here!

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Trench Storm. Questions and Answers

With the release of Trench Storm, here's some common questions answered before you even had a chance to ask them!

What is the basing like?

Each base/stand is one squad (or equivalent), organized into detachments of typically 4 stands.
Vehicles and heavy weapons are based individually.

Each detachment needs an additional Command stand as well, so 5 stands per platoon.

How big an army can I command?
Anywhere from a company to about a battalion if you are ambitious. Start a bit smaller, until you really get the hang of it.

Is this IGOUGO?

Yes, with a twist. For a world war one game, I felt that a more traditional turn sequence actually works pretty well.
Basically the attacker acts first with any "shock" designated units, then the defender acts with all of their units and finally the attacker acts with any remaining units.

What scale of miniatures?
Above 15-20mm, the ranges might start to look a bit cramped. Below that and you'll be fine.

Standard infantry move is 4" and infantry firing range is 18".

What is the basic firing mechanic?

Very straight forward. Each type of stand gets a particular number of firing dice out to a certain range. Add up dice, roll and make saving throws based on terrain.
Inflict enough hits and the target is Disrupted (even if they made their saves). Inflict a large amount of hits and they become Demoralized.

Do the rules reflect changes in tactics over the years?

Yes, they do. Closed Order formations are covered (effective in melee but tend to get shot to pieces) and as the war progresses, troops can utilize "Advance" orders, allowing them to move and fire in the same turn, whereas early war troops must be given distinct orders focusing on one thing.

Air planes?

Pretty abstracted as a general support option but yes, you can have a Sopwith come in and strafe the battle field.

There's no air-to-air combat though.

Campaign rules?

You get tables to figure out what happened to your company or battalion after a fight, but there's no scenario generation included.

How complicated is artillery?

Not very. Each player gets a number of barrages available to them, rated by weight and quality (3 options for each).
Each barrage is preplotted at a specific point or terrain feature, but not a specific time.

Whenever you want to call the barrage, you announce this and roll to see if it's on target, delayed or ineffective.

Pretty simple and strikes a decent compromise between being easy enough to play and also limiting the player some.

Where does this game fall on the simulation vs beer scale?

It intentionally aims more towards the beer scale but without being silly.
The best example of this is that I tended to focus on flavour where possible. So you get rules for gas, artillery, on board weapons and a lot of other things that might not be realistic on a company-to-battalion level tabletop but they make the game feel more colourful by being there.

So we scale them down to fit.

Of course, people who prefer strict simulation can omit those and the game plays just fine too.

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

A Trench too far?



Over the top and to the green fields beyond!
Trench Storm returns after more than 10 years in a new second edition.
Providing rules for the first world war (and well suitable for russian civil war as well), Trench Storm is quick to play, using straight forward game mechanics.
Units are platoons (or their equivalent) with each infantry base representing a squad of soldiers.
A typical game may stretch from a company to a battalion or so.
Rules include mechanics for off-board artillery, gas, tanks, the various weapons found on the world war one battlefield and a system of traits to portray unique forces such as trench raiders and elite formations. 
Rather than focusing on just one narrow element of the war, Trench Storm has mechanics to cover you, from closed rank bayonet charges, all the way to platoon level fire-and-movetactics, all without having to consult a 500 page rulebook.
* * * * * 
Note that while the rules do include advice on setting up forces for the table, it does not include specific tables of organization and equipment. 
Also note that this is an original system and NOT a FiveCore or "In Sight" system game.

http://www.wargamevault.com/product/154642/Trench-Storm

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Just a quick update

With a TON of projects going on right now, including turning Battle Hack into a full blown thing, scifi micro armour and....something else, things are pretty hectic.

The next Battle Pack issue will be a few days late but should be in your hands by the end of this week.

We got some pulp adventure, a LOT of Clash on the Fringe goodies, a world war 2 scenario generator and a bunch more.

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Unit Pack 1 for Clash on the Fringe



Getting started with the Clash on the Fringe rules, but you've been missing some ready-to-play units?

Want some more insight in the types of people that populate the Fringe-worlds setting?

Need inspiration for another science fiction skirmish game?

Unit Pack 1 provides you with 15 new units, complete with unit profiles, weapon options and points values (for those that like that)!
6 units of infantry (including one unique unit), 3 new generic characters, 3 unique "special" characters and 3 vehicles. 

All fit the Fringe-worlds setting but can be used in almost any science fiction game with no problem.


http://www.wargamevault.com/product/153073/Clash-on-the-Fringe-Unit-Pack-1?manufacturers_id=5701

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Some Clash on the Fringe Q&A

What is the deal with the Bulk trait?

It got missed out. It's meant to be the same as Inaccurate. -1 penalty to Training when using a Bulky weapon in close combat.

Do you get the area of effect for reaction fire?

Yes, though because of how the game handles timing, it often won't do anything.

To remind: Everything happens as it happens. This means that each figure in a moving squad activates, moves and suffers reaction fire one at a time.

Is there a Run option?

Not currently. If you wish to add one, make it an additional order that foregoes shooting completely but lets you move one and a half time normal Speed.
With testing I may add this to the rules.

Some traits seem similar but have small differences. Is this intentional?

This happens with some of the alien traits. Generally assume they are each written as intended and any differences are intentional.
If this becomes too cluttered over time, they might get stream lined to be identical.

What can you do after recovering from Heads Down?

Remember the timing rule: "Everything happens when it happens".
If you recover from Heads Down, no matter how you recovered, as soon as the marker is removed, you are no longer subject to the status.

This means that a figure that rolls to recover before taking any actions will be able to act normally (provided they succeed).

Can I simply walk into close combat?

One does not simply walk into Mordor but one CAN walk into close combat.
Storm actions just allow you to do so quicker.

Does moving into close combat cause reaction fire?

Yes. The only exception is the extra movement granted by the Storm action.

Prowling units are not subject to reaction shots. Does that apply even when throwing grenades?

Not intentionally so. The order only governs movement. I'll clarify this in a future version.

Does the Suppression weapon trait apply to unaimed fire?

Yes.

When do leaders use their orders?

The Leader section explains it two different ways, the first is correct (When the unit is selected for activation).
The second explanation (when the leader figure itself is selected to move and fire) is a mistake, though you could play it that way if you prefer it.

Saturday, 4 July 2015

I'm not saying....

I'm not saying you should start dusting off those old 6mm Epic 40.000 and Space Marine armies, order some 10mm figures or look at basing some 15mm on team bases.

But you know.. maybe you should.

*Ivan is being both coy and secretive today*

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Battle Pack issue 3 on it's way.

A quick run-down of what you can expect in the third issue of the Battle Pack zine.

Previous issues available here
http://www.wargamevault.com/product/149309/NWG-Battle-Pack-1
http://www.wargamevault.com/product/150184/Battle-Pack-Issue-2

You will get:
*Black powder skirmish rules for FiveCore

*No less than 3 No Stars in Sight scenarios from the talented Nate Weber (also very compatible with other platoon level scifi rules. Converting them to Stargrunt, 5150 or Tomorrow's War shouldn't be terribly hard)

*An article about game design and questions to ask yourself before you start, by yours truly.

*A really cool hobby article about how to make a grid board for fantasy skirmish games and dungeon crawls.

*Rules mods to play platoon level games in FiveCore skirmish.

*Campaign rules for the Battle Hack fantasy rules (beta rules in the 2nd issue)

*More alien races for FiveCore Company Command players (Swift and Precursors)

*A random generator to roll up an alien infestation scenario. Suitable for any scifi rules.

*More background fluff for the "Fringe-space" setting.

*A random fantasy hero generator, suitable for most any fantasy skirmish game or RPG

*An article about the process and economics of sculpting 6mm science fiction figures.

*And if all goes well, a mini-campaign for ww2 North African commando actions.


If you are really nice, I'll even squeeze in a beta version of a micro armour game I am working on.

Sunday, 31 May 2015

Battle Pack issue 2 soon

Putting last touches on the text for the second issue of the Battle Pack 2nd issue.

We have scenarios, including two from contributors, Korean War for FiveCore and a host of other nice things.
Also includes the beta test for a very cool fantasy skirmish game I am working on.

Very soon :-)

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Small updates

Company Command has seen some updates, adding a "platoon moves" option. This is similar to how group moves work in the "In Sight" system:
Essentially, you can order up to 3 elements within 6" of each other for 1 activation, provided they all move (and don't fire) or all fire (and don't move).

They have to move to / fire at targets within 6" of a focus point you select.

The scifi expansion will get some small updates too, to cover some more tech gadgetry. Mostly dealing with comm's differences and how infantry interact with each other at different tech levels (mostly very unpleasantly, I might add).

This should make high tech vs low tech battles a lot more brutal and will bring the infantry rules a bit more in line with the tank ones.

Other news:
I've noticed that I've gotten a small fan club on one of the 4chan boards of all places.

Hi guys!
I'll refrain from joining you since I waste enough time on the internet as it is, but I thought I'd give you a shout-out.

Don't forget to hit me up if you want to publish something for FiveCore or In Sight. We'll make it happen.
The conditions you have to follow are really simple and super-lenient.

Next big project:
I'll talk about it soon.

The narrative game is coming along well, though it makes me a bit nervous because I have no idea if there's a market for it. I think there is though.


Saturday, 16 May 2015

Narrative gaming

While the next big project is still being decided, I have a few side projects in the works.

One of them is going to be inspired a lot by the Mythic RPG system and Matrix games, with a tad of Kriegspiel thrown in for good measure: A more Narrative, conversation driven wargame.

We tested the basic framework last night with my 7 year old, and he managed to clear out a German held village in Normandy like a champ.

I'll share a bit more once things are more concrete.

Definitely will be a thing better suited to cooperative gaming, GM'ed scenarios as well as imminently suited to solo gamers.

It'll probably end up being a "micro game" rather than a full blown thing, but we'll see how things go.

Friday, 15 May 2015

Call for submissions!

So reception of the first “Battle Pack” ‘zine was pretty positive, and I am intending to move forward with a regular feature.
So this is your chance:
If you have stuff you’d like to see featured, hit me up.
Here’s what I am looking for:
A: Stuff that’s relevant to Nordic Weasel Games (since well, it’s me doing it).
That can mean scenarios, optional or house rules, characters, units, troop stats etc. for FiveCore, In Sight, Clash or other stuff.
AAR’s are fine if they have some effort put in, are easy to follow and do NOT appear elsewhere? (or the version for the zine is the full version and you have a teaser elsewhere).
B: Stuff that’s relevant to all wargamers everywhere.
Generic tables, how to write a scenario, your amazing essay on infantry tactics in the late fall of 1917 on the northern edge of the French sector of the Western Front, generic scenarios etc.
Generic WW2 or cold war scenarios are fine, provided they can be translated into Fivecore or In Sight terms fairly easily (I can help with that).
C: Cool stuff.
You draw? You can write? Something else cool? If it’s wargame related, it’s probably cool.
I’d love to showcase people’s talents a bit.
D: Original creations.
If you have mini-games you’ve written and never done anything with, I’d love to feature them as well. They should be playable and reasonably complete and fit in under 10 pages where possible.
I am NOT looking for stuff that is directly related to other, existing games (because well, it’s my thing :-) ).
If this interests you, let me know here or by email.
If you email me, be specific with what you are interested in doing, then we can discuss specifics.
Anything submitted remains your property, except that I gain the ability to publish it in one issue of the Battle Pack zine.
We can discuss additional terms as you see fit.
If you don’t want to submit things for free, We can set up a split of the sales profits through wargamevault.
Generally, this will only be available for submissions exceeding 2 standard pages. The split will be the percentage of the total zine you supplied. (figuring 30-40 pages total as planned).
This is very much an amateur labour of love, but I like the idea of bringing back the homemade ‘zines of old. So if you’re interested, hit me up!

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

The first Battle Pack is available

Want more content for your NWG games?
The first of hopefully many Battle Packs is available.

20 pages dedicated to existing games, with several new options for the FiveCore systems, notes and troop ratings for Blitzkrieg era FiveCore battles, raid/skirmish mechanics for In Sight and campaign traits for Clash on the Fringe.
On top of that, you get a generic resolution table, suitable for any wargames system, a platoon generator for 20th century and futuristic games.

And if that wasn't enough, I threw in a brand new, 10 page mini-game for power armour skirmish actions.

What more could you want?

30 pages in total, 2.99 yo.


Get it here!

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Nyeh

So today was a rite of passage: One of my games showed up on Scribd as a pirated PDF.

I know it's inevitable and there's probably discussions that we should be having, as a society,about how entertainers, artists, writers etc. are compensated.

All I can do is implore you: Please buy the game if you play it.
If you have questions before buying, email me.
Ask on one of the forums out there.


Friday, 8 May 2015

A monthly booklet

While things are cooling down after the Clash on the Fringe release, I have something fun I want to do (and this will give me some time to decide on the next big project).

I'd like to a small booklet every 1-2 months that covers the different games.
Think of it like a company magazine, ala the old White Dwarf, back when they still had gaming material ;)

I imagine they'll be in the 10-20 page, 1-2 dollar range and the idea would be to have some new stuff for most of the systems.

Along the way, it'd also be a fantastic way for people to showcase some of their creations, ideas, scenarios etc.

I already have a few ideas for the first issue, focusing on ww2 Blitzkrieg in Europe (1939-40).

I'll keep you posted.


Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Clash on the Fringe mega-Q&A

With the release of "Clash on the Fringe" (Formerly known as StarStrike) imminent (tonight? Tomorrow, stay tuned. Fixing the images now.), I wanted to address a whole bunch of questions, some of which have been asked before, some are new.

I asked a few people to come up with the kind of questions they'd like to know about a new game.

What scale of miniatures?
Any that you want to use. The rules assume 10-15mm, but the distances fit most typical 28mm games, and it's been tested extensively in 6mm.

Is there an official miniatures range?
No.

What are the typical movement and firing ranges?
Most troops move 4-5" per activation. Individuals and heroes will move faster.
A normal assault rifle can fire accurately out to 25" (a bit more if the trooper is stationary) and can fire beyond that but the fire is un-aimed.

What does squad coherency look like?
After deployment, you can break up squads as you need to. Sticking near each other (and the leader) will often be helpful though.

Can I take different actions with each figure?
When a unit activates, it has 6 options (Engage, Prowl, Evade, Storm, Alert, Regroup).
Each figure can move and fire (or fire and move) one at a time, though their orders may limit them.

For example, troops that Storm can move, fire at short range and possibly get a bonus move to reach close combat.

How many figures on the table?
Anywhere from a few figures each, to 30 or so. You could play bigger games, but it gets a little busy, at least until you get used to how everything works.

Is there an official setting?
Yes, there is.
It's kept pretty brief and it mostly serves to set up a world where you can slot in your own troops and battles.
There's not really a requirement to use it, you can build your own stuff.

Is there a points system?
There is, though it's not required.

Can we build our own troops or we pick from a list?
There's a pretty big list of troop profiles, but you can create your own.
If you want to use the points system, the formula is presented as well.

That goes for weapons too.

How hard is the scifi?
The aim wasn't to create a hard scifi military game so it's fairly soft.
There's a few nifty gadgets in there but the armoury covers the bases, rather than the gonzo space teleport guns and whatnot.
I have no doubt they'll be added later.

How lethal is firepower?
An average soldier firing an assault rifle at medium range, against a target in the open will hit 50% of the time and hits will kill 40% of the time.
If the target is hit but survives, they go Heads Down (penalizing them until they shake it off).
Shots that miss have a 10% chance of forcing Heads Down status as well.

Since weapons cause an area of effect, unless the enemy spreads out, it's not uncommon for one figure to be able to fire at multiple targets.

What vehicle types can we build?
Walkers (two types), wheeled and tracked vehicles, bikes and two types of hover vehicles.
The rules don't currently cover "super-sized" vehicles.

Do vehicles have their own stats?
Vehicles have a few extra stats but primarily use the same stats (and as much as possible, the same system) as infantry figures.

Are there terrain rules?
Yes. Terrain features can be classified using a pretty simple classification system.
This lets you quickly set up consistent effects for the features in your collection.

Do we get space magic?
You do, though it's kept in a supporting role.

How many stats are there?
Figures have 5 stats.

Does everyone move 6"?
No, each figure has its own Speed rating.

Are leaders important?
Yes. Rather than just boost morale, leaders can issue commands that lets figures take additional moves, shots or other actions.

How does reaction fire work?
Troops reaction fire automatically at enemies within a certain distance (usually 8-12").
Reaction fire is not very accurate though and there are ways to avoid it.

Do you have suppression rules?
Individual figures can be pinned down by incoming fire. Units are not.

How does morale work?
When squads take casualties, they test morale. Failure will cause them to accumulate penalties, which limits their firing accuracy, the range they can reaction fire at, their ability to recover pinned troops and resist further morale loss.

A large unit with bad morale can end up combat-ineffective. Smaller, better units will tend to stick in the fight in some fashion.

Is this full of weird mechanics again?
No, the mechanics are clever (I think!) but more conventional this time around.
Roll to hit, roll to kill, that sort of thing.

How many dice do I roll to kill a guy?
Usually just two. Once to hit and once to beat their Survival score.
In close combat, the players make an opposed roll to see who gets hit.

Do I have to track wounds or damage points?
No, heroes, vehicles and monsters have a damage table they roll on instead.

Is this IGOUGO?
It's an alternating turn sequence where players make opposed rolls to see who moves first.
The order units move in can be important, and there's a chance (particularly in larger battles) that some units won't activate each turn, though most will.

One side may get multiple activations in a row.
Units cannot activate multiple times in a turn, but an individual figure may occasionally take multiple actions.

Space bugs?
Yes.

Space zombies?
Kind of.

Army lists?
No. But you can pick a troop type, a weapon and put the figure on the table.

Scenarios?
There's a setup sequence for a standard "meeting encounter" and a series of 4x D100 tables to generate scenario keywords, reminiscent of the old "100 adventure seeds" section in the Rogue Trader rulebook.

Campaign rules?
Present but simpler than usual.
Essentially, you can carry over your survivors and buy them small upgrades.

Solo rules?
Present. they are basically the ones from FiveCore, adopted to a D10.
If you already like those solo rules, you'll already know how this works.

Examples of play?
Yes (for a change). Two short text examples showing a unit activation and the turn sequence, and there's pictures illustrating vehicle turning and how to place area of effect templates.

Area of effect templates?
Most weapons in the game produce an area of effect.
A typical assault rifle covers an area 1" wide and 3" deep for example.
Don't bunch up!

How much junk do I need to play this?
10 sided dice.
Some markers to show figures that are Heads Down.
Some markers to show units that have failed Morale checks.

You'll also need to make some area of effect rectangular templates from card board, unless you prefer measuring each and every time.

What will the art look like?
Photos of miniatures, in this case my friends at Angel Barracks and Armies Army.
If the game does well, I'd like to commission some custom artwork for a later update.

How many pages?
Juuust shy of 160 (at last count). This is the biggest game I've ever done.

How much money?
I usually shoot for 1 dollar per 10 pages (roundabout) so it'll be 14.99.
If you paypal me 10 extra dollars, I guarantee that you'll have lucky dice rolls.

What is the atmosphere of the game? Is it grimdarktotalwarkrieg!?
No, it's a bit more tongue in cheek, without being too goofy.
I wanted a game that felt like a space adventure, not an exercise in cosmic misery.

Does this invalidate No Stars in Sight and FiveCore?
No, they all do different things.
FiveCore gives you a stat-less game that moves very quickly.
NSIS is aimed at a more "military" style of gameplay.
This is intended as a more traditional space adventure game.

Can you sell the game in one line?
"What if Rogue Trader had been released today?"

Monday, 4 May 2015

Fluff

We are familiar with the forms you refer to as Converted.
To our entities, they are known as Unbuilt.

We consider them inefficient forms that exhibit excessive aggression. Our estimations are that their conduct has increased hostility towards them by 398%, adjusted for temporal variance.”

The squad leader looked at the silver-cased Soulless next to him and raised an eyebrow.
You don't consider what they do to be immoral?”

The flashing light in what he assumed was the head, blinked once. The machine continued:

We have adapted our strategic emphasis to coincide with your morality.”

The alarm went off, signifying another raid incoming.


 “Forget I asked” he grunted, as he checked the ammo counter on his pistol.