Monday, 24 December 2018

Five Parsecs character creation. What's this now?


Rolling up a new Five Parsecs character and....what is this?
This looks different from what's in the rulebook. I wonder what could be brewing?


Step 1: Species

Zresnin, a species of living crystal.
This gives us starting stats of Reactions 1, Combat 0, Move 4, Toughness 4, Charm 0, Tech 0.

Additionally, all beam weapons reduce their Damage by 1 against him/her/it, which might be rather handy.
(I have no idea how to tell the gender of a living rock, so we'll say "he" for convenience, but it could just as well be a lady-rock or a non-binary chunk of crystal).

Step 2: Class

The character is a Professional, which gives us +1 to Tech and the squad begins the game with a Corporate Contact.

Step 3: Goal

The character wants to Escape. If we manage to visit 10 different worlds while this guy is in the squad, he'll achieve the goal.

Step 4: Special roles

I figure this guy isn't really leader material, but he'll be one of the Special characters permitted to the squad, so we can raise one of the stats by 1.
We'll up Charm as well, making this guy well fitted for random tasks we come across.
He's not especially battle hardened, but with his natural resilience to lasers, we should be alright.

Step 5: Characteristic

This is completely optional and is just for roleplaying but we roll anyways and gets...Drinks a lot.
What?
What does a chunk of animated rock drink? Why ? Does it affect him at all?

I suppose he must like the taste, so maybe he drinks liquid hydrogen or something. I don't know.



Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Renegade Scout source book 2 - Light vehicles!



After much wait, you can now speed on to the battlefields of the retro-future on anything from motor cycles to speeder bikes to military trikes to...is that a futuristic bren carrier?

Renegade Scout sourcebook 2 offers everything you need to field light vehicle units:

Rules (covering everything from evading fire to crashing), new skills, upgrades, command decisions and ways to deploy your vehicles.

Send your speeder bikes forward to snipe at enemy vehicles or scout their army, or keep the gun trikes back in support so you can commit them when most needed.

The supplement is available here

https://www.wargamevault.com/product/261333/Renegade-Scout-book-2--Light-Vehicles


Don't forget we have other Renegade Scout supporting material available.

Sourcebook 1 greatly expands the use of characters and personalities in your battles

https://www.wargamevault.com/product/253609/Renegade-Scout-Sourcebook-1-Characters?src=newest

While the Scouts Report offers a grab-bag of new tools, a new playable species and more.

Scouts-Report--A-Renegade-Scout-expansion-pack

And of course, if you are still holding out, Renegade Scout is waiting for you offering one of the most complete scifi experiences you will have on the table top.

From the Barrel Drill review: "Renegade Scout is a good product that demonstrates how to make a retroclone right."

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

Tuesday, 4 December 2018

Work thoughts ideas projects and questions

We've been quiet for a bit but I am about to surface for air with a few exciting projects.

Five Parsecs

Five Parsecs owners have generally responded very favorably to the 2nd edition system, but there's been some concerns about the random tables not being as fun (and lacking flavor text).

Likewise, I think there's a lot of little tweaks that can be done to tidy up campaign play, make enemies easier to work with and just make the game cooler.

Stay tuned.
Five Leagues have had the spotlight for a while, but we're about to fire up the starship engines again.

Hammer of Democracy

Hammer of Democracy is still in testing, though I feel like the core mechanics are getting nailed down really well.
Of course, we benefited massively from Squad Hammer being a known property, which has made it much easier to work with.

Response to using fixed damage has gone from dubious to fairly positive I think.
It's still the biggest "controversy" in the new system, but I think it works very well for WW2.

I am not sure it'd fit well in scifi games, but the "Support" system will almost certainly be backported into Squad Hammer as an option.
It really is something neat.
A common problem in WW2 games is that the relationship between infantry squads and machine guns or between vehicles and anti-tank guns isn't really "right".
Support weapons often formed the backbone of a fighting position, but a lot of games (including former NWG titles) don't really account for that all that well.

The Support system I think nails it: Whether you are using a machine gun team to repel an assault, mortars to support your own attack or anti-tank guns to defend against enterprising enemy armor, I think the "feel" is much closer than most games I've played.

Those are big words of course, but check it out for yourself!

I am not 100% certain how much longer we'll make Phase 1 available for, but as long as it's for sale, if you grab it, you can get the full rules at a discount when they are available.

https://www.wargamevault.com/product/257896/Hammer-of-Democracy-Phase-1 

What else am I doing currently?

As you have probably noticed online, I am currently tinkering with a 40K 2nd edition project.
This is pure nostalgic feel-good for me, though I have stated before that I find the 2nd edition rules to be an extremely fun system for all their clunk.

Board game wise, I still need to get some more time with The Russian Campaign.

I've also started doing some pretty guerilla-style videos on Youtube, talking about various military history aspects and maybe some book reviews down the right.
It's super lo-fi, but if you are curious, check out the 4 videos we've done so far.

I have no real plans to do Youtube on anything resembling full-time basis, but a video or two each week (holidays permitting!) seems fun.

Is Nordic Weasel Games my primary job?

I've had this question a few times but yes, it absolutely is.

On a slow month, it pays our rent, on a good month, it pays most of our bills.

I know for a lot of writers, it's a side gig, beer money or just a fun hobby and I know some people don't want to mix up work and hobby, but for me, it's absolutely my income source.

Will Nordic Weasel ever do more RPG stuff?

Not impossible but not super likely.

There's a lot of money in RPG's (and more than in miniatures games too) making it very tempting, but the market is also completely saturated currently.

Original systems have a very low chance of success of being noticed at all, and I don't really have any interest in churning out yet more "re-imaginings" of B2 or whatever.

On top of that, the indie RPG scene seems to devolve in drama and weird internet culture politics every 3 hours and I'd rather eat glass than be involved in any of that.

What we will do though is tinker more with solo RPG'ing (ala Usurper and Blade&Lockpick) and the RPG/Miniatures overlap where a lot of my fans reside.
It is not impossible that the future could wield a more RPG-oriented take on Starport Scum (for example), but that's just a thought for now.

Will you ever make more retro-clone stuff ?

Renegade Scout has been a fun success, but I don't know if it's something I want to do again.

I really don't want to position Nordic Weasel as "the ripoff company" and I have no intention of simply re-building existing ideas in new packaging.
I tackled Renegade Scout, because I think it could be done right and that previous attempts had fallen short.

Reviews have suggested I was correct, but that well has poisoned water at the bottom.

Will you ever make FAD material again?

No.

The rights to FAD were sold off and I cannot produce any material for it.

I don't think I am done with scifi skirmish gaming completely (particularly in the field of "large skirmish with individual figures), but it'll be a while before we delve into new systems in that field.
In particular there's a lot of older projects that need revision.

Will any older games receive updates?

Yeah, I WANT to go through and revise many of our old titles to be a bit more approachable.

In some cases, it's mostly a case of improving wording, adding more examples, that sort of thing.
Maybe fold in some of the options out there to be part of the core mechanics.

I do not have any time tables for that though and making promises tends to go poorly.

Squad Hammer will see its update first most likely, because the points system needs a bit of hammer and nails.
After that, we'll look at older titles going all the way back.

Do you have a dream project?

Yeah, I'd love to make a scifi blood-bowl style game, but I have no idea where to even start with that.

Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Two quick updates to Hammer of Democracy

These will go out later, when there's a bit more to work with but for now, adopt these two changes:

* Units are destroyed when damage equals or exceeds HP totals.
This was inconsistent in the rules and honestly, inconsistent in my responses as well.

But ultimately, the intention is that a "standard" unit has 7 HP, hence equal or exceed puts them at the same level as standard Squadhammer units.
Plus, this way it matches how people expect things to work in an RPG.

* Support points now cannot be saved up from turn to turn.
This is an intentional change, to make them a bit more scarce.

Thursday, 1 November 2018

Hammer of Democracy FAQ

With Phase 1 aaaaaalmoooooooost here, I thought I'd take a moment to answer some general questions and clarify a few things.

What is Phase 1?

Just like I did with Renegade Scout, there will be at least one public "early" version of the rules.

This Phase 1 version will contain the core mechanics and players who buy it will get a discount on the final rules.
If you supported the indiegogo campaign, Phase 1 is free. Huzzah.

Does Hammer of Democracy have any influence on the upcoming Squad Hammer update?

Yes. While the two are distinct systems, Hammer will serve as a test-bed for a lot of new ideas, tools and systems.
While Squad Hammer is a more free-wheeling (and of course fantastical/futuristic) game, ideas like the new support mechanic are likely to make it in.

Will Phase 1 include campaign rules and solo play?

Not likely.

What does the title mean?

We were just brainstorming to find a title that fit the period and sounded cool, while keeping the "Hammer" theme going.
Panzer Hammer was entertained for a bit, but there's a billion games with German-themed titles, so I thought it'd be more interesting if we did the opposite.

Will all sides be playable?

I'd like to cover as much as possible.
We will certainly include all the stuff needed to play, at the very least, the "big four" (UK, US, German, Soviet) but I'd like to include a lot more.

The campaign rules will be generic at first. I have ideas for a big solo campaign sort of supplement, aimed at the Brits, called "Defiant Battalions" but we'll see.

Miniatures depicted will be a variety of forces. The cover will feature Allied troops.

Is it true you have an anti-German bias?

Yes, that's why my favorite band in the world is Blind Guardian.

How many figures should I have painted up to test?

A reinforced platoon or so will be fine to test the rules.
Figure 3-4 infantry squads, a support weapon or two, a vehicle or two.

The full rules will scale up and down a bunch, but let's get the basics sorted out first.

Is there a pre-defined basing system?

I decided that to position the game as more of an "out of the box" experience, we'd have a standard method of basing.
That is 6 figures to an infantry squad, based however you like.

So 6 individual 25mm figures or two bases with 3x 15mm figures each are both "legal".

Of course, you can actually base them any way you like to.

Is there an ideal scale?

Not really. 6 figures in 6mm looks a bit wee, so if you use the suggested basing, I think 15mm and up will look best.
I tend to write for smaller scales, so I wanted to do something that would look good in 25+ scale, but there's really no reason you couldn't play in 6mm or 10mm at all.

Playing in "one to one" scale by using the correct number of figures per squad in 6mm would look fantastic.

Will there be a music list?

Yeah, of course. What would a NWG title be without a music list?

Sunday, 21 October 2018

Five Parsecs update

Just a tiny one, but the wording of the turn sequence should be clearer now.

Characters not assigned a die ALWAYS get to act, they just act in the SLOW phase.

This was always the intention, but the wording wasn't the best. It should be much clearer now!

Saturday, 29 September 2018

Renegade Scout Sourcebook 1

Whether you want optional rules for character-driven games, Veteran skills, more Command Decisions or 2 new alien species, Sourcebook 1 has a ton of content for your Renegade Scout games, centered around character models.



https://www.wargamevault.com/product/253609/Renegade-Scout-Sourcebook-1-Characters

Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Update to the update

Since I am bad at naming things, it's been brought to my attention that the Five Parsecs update can get a bit confusing, since your enemies will have both a Leader and a Boss.

The idea is that it's basically a "Warband leader + lieutenant" situation, but the names don't really work for that.

The rules will stay as they are, but I'll rename things a bit next time around.

Monday, 24 September 2018

Five Parsecs update available

Five Parsecs From Home sees a small update today to 1.04.

Think of this as a "bridge" update, leading us to the promised land of...well, you'll see, but substantial improvements anyways.


New features are:

*A new "Personal items" table. You get a single roll on this table when creating your warband and it gives you an item that, typically, cannot be obtained any other way.

A nice way to give some an heirloom, custom item or stolen prototype gadget.

*The Character Events and Campaign Events tables have been improved.
I know a lot of you miss the more verbose original tables, so this is a first step towards that.

The new tables have a bit more text to explain what is happening. I've also tweaked a few of the results and some of them should be more exciting now.

I'll improve the character-creation tables too but that will take more time.

* When rolling up enemies, one of them will be a "Boss" with slightly improved stats.


Go ahead and download your new files when you get a chance.

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Hammer of Democracy is crowdfunding now!




Since the last crowdfunding campaign was a pretty good success, we're going to try our hands at it again, this time with "Hammer of Democracy" - A full WW2 conversion of the Squad Hammer/Trench Hammer/Winter Hammer/October Hammer miniatures rules.

The goal is a big, beefy book covering pretty much everything you could want from weather rules to army generators to mission creation, all powered by the super-fast, negotiation-driven Squad Hammer engine.

Whether you are a hardened WW2 gamer eager for something new and less bogged down in detail, a new player curious about getting into WW2 action or even a complete newbie to miniatures game, we'll have you covered.

Why do we need a big chunk of money? Because this is going to be a big chunk of gaming book.
The goal is to do one of those big complete books, where you don't have to wait around for supplements and pay extra money just to play the army you'd like.
We're going to go all out instead.

If you are curious about the system, you can read this mechanics demo by the co-author of Trench Hammer
https://jozistinman.blogspot.com/2018/01/trench-hammer-game-mechanic-demo.html

And if you want to go throw down some money for something that'll make you happy, you can do so right here:

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/hammer-of-democracy-ww2-miniatures-rules#/

Sunday, 9 September 2018

Renegade Scout. Pinned has been pinned down.

Thanks to an alert reader, we caught a rather embarrassing bug: The rules for being Pinned appeared differently in a few locations.

The correct rule is as described in the Morale chapter of the rules: Pinned troops can fire at a -2 penalty.

I have added that to the combat rules hit modifiers and removed the reference saying Pinned troops cannot fire.

If you want to redownload your files, the updated version is on the Vault.

Monday, 27 August 2018

NWG back to school sale



It's back to school for the kids.


That means my kid needs new shoes and backpack and it means all the gaming dads (and moms, don't forget) will suddenly have a bunch of spare time on their hands.

To solve both problems, Nordic Weasel is doing a massive "5 dollars off" sale until the 30th

Grab any of the following titles for up to 5 bucks off, if you use the codes below:

Starport Scum

https://www.wargamevault.com/browse.php?discount=964955aaf5

From Shako to Coalscuttle

https://www.wargamevault.com/browse.php?discount=964811595e

Five Parsecs From Home (for 3 bucks? Are you insane?)

https://www.wargamevault.com/browse.php?discount=9646a3ecaa

Five Men at Kursk

https://www.wargamevault.com/browse.php?discount=9645b93431

Five Leagues from the Borderlands

https://www.wargamevault.com/browse.php?discount=9647706ff3

Chevauchee

https://www.wargamevault.com/browse.php?discount=9644aa4e78


Many of these games have expansions available too, so don't forget to look for those. With the discount, you can often get the game and an expansion pack for what the game would cost normally.

No matter what gaming style you are into, you can grab something cool.

And I'll do you all one better:

It even includes our brand-new Renegade Scout rules

https://www.wargamevault.com/browse.php?discount=9aaeab6ebe

If you were a buyer of the Stage 1 Renegade Scout rules, you can also get this discount next month, you just have to email me. And I have a future goodie planned for you guys.

Finally, just to top it all off, you can get Clash on the Fringe as a Pay-What-You-Want title.

That's right, pay literally anything you want.

https://www.wargamevault.com/product/148894/Clash-on-the-Fringe

Grab it as a freebie to reward yourself. Throw me a few bucks. Pay the original 15 dollar price. Use it to donate any amount you want to my kids back-to school budget.

This is one of the biggest sales we've done, so go check it out and grab stuff.

Cheers and thanks


Ivan

Wednesday, 22 August 2018

Renegade Scout - Small updates

No rules changes but a number of typos, odd wording etc. has been fixed up in the PDF version.

Go ahead and re-download your file so you have the most up to date one.

If you printed the rules, there's probably no reason to print everything again.



Tuesday, 21 August 2018

Renegade Scout -The army builder

Alright, so a quick look at how you use the Army Builder in the rules.

Assuming of course that you want to use it :-)


*We're going to start with some basic infantry grunts.
The default size is 6 figures so we'll go with that, and we're going to take 3 squads of infantry.

18 figures is a good game size, it'll be cheap on the pocket and quick enough to paint, making it a perfect starter army.

Since many 15mm figures are sold in packs of 8, you only need three packs and will have a few figures left over for command personnel.

We're going to use the Unity Grunts profile.

*We decide to use Laser weapons as our baseline technology.
So each grunt gets a laser rifle and the squad leaders also get a laser pistol.
I could trade the rifles for blades but none of my squad leaders have a sword.

*Since I have 3 squads, I get 3 support weapons automatically.
This is the minimum level of firepower I can take.

I give all of them auto lasers, so I have some sustained fire weapons on hand.

*Since I have 3 squads, I get one roll for Specialist Equipment.

A 47 gives me Jammers, which I give to one of the grunts in squad 1.

*Combat Value at this point is 21 (1 per figure +1 per support weapon)

*I can now make some purchases for my force.
Since this is a beginner army, I decide to go easy on strange grenades and specialist skills, so we're going to take a Fusion Rifle for each squad and call it good.
Each additional support weapon is +1 Combat Value, so that brings us to 24 CV.

*We get a Level 8 Personality automatically, since someone has to be in charge.
That lets me increase 8 of the profile values.

I decide to take a second Personality as well, since I have a few figures left over.
They will Level 4 (as all secondary characters are).

I designate the Level 8 trooper as my Force Commander.
I'd love to take a Platoon Leader but I need at least 5 Personalities to do that, and that's a lot of guys.
We'll save that for a bigger army.

*We get two rolls on the Personal Equipment or Personal Enhancement tables.
We'll take one of each.
The equipment is a Stim Pack, which I give to my commander in the hopes of keeping him alive.
The enhancement is Gene-Modding, letting the user run and charge at triple speed.

The second personality will get that. Might let me use him as a bit of a "trouble-shooter" to bail out squads as needed.

*Combat Value for Personalities is 1 per figure, 1 per 4 Levels and 1 for a Force Commander so 6 more CV.

I give the secondary character a Ripper Fist as well for another point.

We are now at 31 CV.

From here, I could add a vehicle or a Wyrd Caster but let's keep it simple.

At 20 figures, this is an army you could paint in a (long) afternoon and would set you back about 15 bucks in 15mm.
Not bad at all and you have some freedom to play with.

Let me know how you get on!

Friday, 17 August 2018

Renegade Scout - Firing clarifications

A few notes and clarifications on fire combat:

* You are picking from the two closest VISIBLE targets. A closer unit that is not visible at all does not count.

Indirect fire units fire at the two closest targets in general, when firing indirectly.
If a mortar crew wishes to fire small arms, they'd select targets as per the normal rule above.

*In some cases,the members of a squad may be in positions where they cannot see the same targets at all.
An example might be soldiers deployed at the windows of a building which is surrounded.
In this case, it's usually best to agree to let each individual figure select their own targets. Otherwise you may get some exceedingly silly situations.

*There is no bypass rule for firing at or from vehicles at the moment.
If the two closest targets to your anti-tank unit is infantry, then you can't fire past them to hit the tank coming up behind them.

This is intentional to encourage using infantry screens, combined arms style, though if it produces too silly results feel free to adjust the rule, especially for tank-heavy battles.
We'll revisit this point later, as people have time to wrestle with it.

*Typically, you want to roll your shots together, but if you have a complex situation (firers at different ranges, targets in different degrees of cover etc.), resolve them one at a time.
This typically makes it easier to figure out.

You can resolve the shots in whatever order you like, but if the group dislikes excessively fiddly "micro-tactics", just go from closest to most distant shooter.

*When selecting targets in a Squad, you usually fire at the closest enemy, but you may select a more distance squaddie if they are easier to hit.

Essentially, fire at the closest figure or the closest figure that is easier to hit than them.

Example 1: 
The closest squaddie is behind a rock (-2 to hit), the rest of the squad is in the open (no penalty).
I can shoot at the guy behind the rock or the closest of the remainder. 

Example 2:
The closest squaddie is behind a rock (-2), the second closest is behind a bush (-1), the rest are in the open (-0).
I can fire at the guy behind the rock (since he's closest) or the guy in the bushes (since it's the closest figure that's easier to hit).
I CANNOT fire at the more distant guys in the open since they are not "the closest figure that is easier to hit".

*Regardless of how you resolve shots, each figure should be resolved "correctly" with the modifiers applicable to their situation.
Don't abstract a mixture of short / long range shots into one, don't try to average out the enemy cover situation etc.

Well, you can, it's your game now, but I suggest not doing so :-)

Monday, 13 August 2018

And a quick update


The troop profile for Mercenaries got screwed up a bit in Renegade Scout.

I've fixed the file so just download again or print that page again.

While it could be cunning social commentary, Merc's are Movement 4, Intellect 7 and not Movement 1, Intellect 6 as the book suggests. 

Renegade Scout is here. Celebrate!

This project underwent a ton of changes at almost every stage, but I am confident what emerged is friggen awesome.

Go grab it here

http://www.wargamevault.com/product/249657/Renegade-Scout--Bleeding-Edge-Retro-Gaming?src=hottest


After this, I'll take a day or two to chill out, before delving back into revising Squad Hammer. And another thing... and this thing. Oh and then.... .yeah, you know it goes.


Welcome to Renegade Scout.
What is Renegade Scout? Other than 179 pages jammed full of gaming goodness?

*Renegade Scout is very old:
It is a “retro-clone” of the venerable Rogue Trader game rules many of us grew up on, offering mechanics that are familiar and well-loved to fight fantastical battles between brave heroes, terrible monsters and strange space aliens.
You can even grab your original figures right off the shelf and battle it out, using the conversion rules presented in the back.

*Renegade Scout is very new:
This isn’t a simple copy with a new lick of paint.
Everything has been updated and rewritten to play in a way that feels modern and elegant, removing the clumsy and awkward to keep the game moving and exciting. 

*Renegade Scout is open to playing the game your way.
You can grab almost any figures you already own. We’ve included profiles for 15 alien species, several human troop types and monsters. 

You can customize your own heroes and roll up random equipment and skills.
If you like how they do, you can level them up across multiple games, at least as long as you can keep them alive.

If you like to play campaigns, we include tools for two different approaches.

If you like vehicles or psychic powers, we got those.

An army builder? Off map artillery? Calling in evac choppers? A beefy section on how to solve everything from breaching doors to building things mid-battle?
We have all those.

Random tables? Strange terrain types? Space ghosts? Yes, yes and yes. 

What if you have never written a scenario before? What if you want to be the GM? What if you don’t know how to paint a miniature? What if you want to play solo?

Included are advice sections for all of these situations and more. 

* * * * *

Whether you are a hardcore gaming veteran, someone just dipping your toes into the miniatures hobby or a role player looking for some tactical action, Renegade Scout offers everything you need to get started and keep going. 

The rules are aimed at roughly a platoon or so per side (2-4 units each) but options are included for both much bigger battles and "Skirmish Mode" game play where a handful of individual figures battle for survival.

* * * * *
If you supported the original crowd funding campaign, please contact me at nordicweaselgames@icloud.com for your copy.

The rules are presented in black/white but with color images. When printing the rules, make sure to select grey-scale if you want to save expensive color ink.

With a project of this size, there are almost always bugs, corrections and tweaks that come to light in the first week or two. Consider waiting a little bit, before printing the full game. 

* * * * *

Due to the large size of the file, please be patient when downloading!

Saturday, 14 July 2018

Squad Hammer V2 Initiative

Squad Hammer is a huge success (for a tiny company, I mean) which means there's a lot of excitement about tweaking and improving the system.

In the interest of trying new and exciting things, I am going to open the "black box" a little bit, so you can peek inside.

http://www.wargamevault.com/product/247297/Squad-Hammer-v2--Initiative

The link offers you a 3 page "drop in" replacement for the rulebook initiative chapter, offering an improved and cleaned up version.
Download it, give it a spin, get stuck in and most importantly let me know how you get on with it.

If you want to fund further development, you can contribute any amount you like by paying for this download.
The better I can pay my bills, the better I can focus on updating older titles.

If you want to just download it for free and see what's shaping up, go for it.

Sunday, 24 June 2018

Magic, the supernatural and Five Leagues

So I wanted to chat a bit about the world of Five Leagues.

Like Five Parsecs, it certainly exists in a place (Unified Space), but it's painted in pretty broad strokes, so you could use your own imagination or borrow from the likes of Traveler and Firefly.

The intention of the world of Five Leagues is to be hinted at, rather than clearly described.
For example, it's unlikely that we'll ever detail specific names of cities and kingdoms.

Rather, we aim to give you a sense of the place, which can be adapted as you need for your miniatures collection and personal tastes.

The implication is a fairly gritty place where the cities and villages look much like we'd expect a early middle age society to look.
But as you venture beyond the boundaries, things get a lot darker and more uncertain.

Strange cults, remnants of the Old Gods and the world of fog and shadow, malevolent forces. You know, the good stuff.

For now, we'll call this the world of Mirk.

So I thought I'd take a moment to answer a few general questions about what sort of place it is:


Is civilization an oppressive hell-scape (in the game)?

In the sense that living in a feudal society was pretty oppressive and rigid, yeah, but it's not a grim-dark world in that sense.

If we have bands of adventurers roaming the lands, presumably social hierarchies are more permissive than in real-life feudal societies.

Are the adventurers noble heroes or callous murder-hobos?

That's really up to you. I haven't tried to paint that too closely either way, but my feeling is that your characters are fundamentally trying to help people out, while making a bit of Coin on the side.

Does spell casting exist?

Yes, it is possible to learn forms of sorcery in Mirk.
It's rare enough that the average person has never encountered it (or met anyone who truthfully has either) and tends to revolve more around summoning things to do your bidding, than slinging lightning bolts.

Do orcs and goblins exist?

Goblins exist and I hope when I get to cover them, they'll end up suitably threatening and vile.

Orcs is unlikely.

Is there an ultimate evil?

We've hinted at a malevolent force underpinning all of creation.
Along the way, you will get some more hints about exactly what it might entail.

It isn't an "evil god" or anything of the sort though.

Are there gods? 

As far as a scientifically minded alchemist could tell: Probably not.
But faith can still move mountains.

Where do magical items come from?

They may have been created by the Fey.
Some may have become magic over time, as faith and folklore built up around them.

For example, a legendary hero used the same sword in every battle.

If someone finds that sword 50 years later, it might well be a magical weapon now.

Will we ever be able to play non-human characters?

Straight up D&D style dwarves and lizard people? Probably very unlikely.

But down the road, I'd like to address things like people with a bit of Elfin blood in their veins, families who dabbled in arts better left unknown and that sort of thing.

Will you include [insert x here]?

Maybe.

Is this all based on [insert x here] ?

There's an inspiration list included in the book, so you can just read that, but if I had to pin it down to only a couple things, I'd say a mix of Middle Earth and the Black Company novel, while listening to the discographies of the bands Summoner, Isole and Falconer.

Mechanically, it's obviously based on the Five Parsecs system.
Combat is heavily influenced by the Swedish Eon role playing game.

I'd like to give credit to some awesome fantasy miniatures games here, but the truth is, I don't play a lot of fantasy miniatures games outside of the GW LOTR rules.
The goal was to bring an RPG campaign "feel" to a miniatures setting.

Saturday, 16 June 2018

Five Leagues - the campaign turn

So Five Leagues is out.

Did you grab it yet?

http://www.wargamevault.com/product/244516/Five-Leagues-from-the-Borderlands?src=newest&filters=40102_40202_40201_44510

But hey, if you didn't, why don't I walk you through what a typical campaign turn might look like?

Similar to Five Parsecs we have some time to take player actions. Rather than commit every character, you simply take 2 each turn regardless of how beaten up the party is.

In town
For this turn, we'll send one of our characters out to forage for some healing herbs, while someone else is gambling at the inn to get us some money.

For foraging, I roll 3D6 with every 6 giving me a dose of herbs.
Since one of my characters happens to have FORAGING skill, I can roll two more dice.

I get two 6's, so I pocket a dose of healing herbs and a dose of protective herbs.

The gambler rolls a 1, earning a single Gold Coin. Woo.

We can also do any buying and selling of gear at this stage.
I do roll well enough to get a rare trade item offered for sale: A set of Fine quality full armor.

With our business done, we set out on the road.

Travel
You can travel to another village in the region, to a new region (basically starting a new campaign) or go adventuring.

We'll do the latter and we roll a 82, giving us both a Character and a Combat encounter.
Busy day!

The character encounter
The dice tells us we've encountered a Scholar. Maybe a local scribe on his way somewhere.

We stop and have a chat. They react "Friendly".
This is handy, if we meet another Scholar later, we can say it's our old friend and we'll roll for some sort of favor or advantage.

There's also a chance that a road encounter could lead to an ambush or they might be spying on us, so we got lucky.

The battle encounter
The area we're in has Border Tension of 2, Outlaws 1 and Dark Secrets 1.
I roll for each, adding the Threat levels and we'll be rolling on the Border Tension encounter table.
Higher chance of military types that way.

I also end up having to increase Border Tension by 1. Its getting grim out there.

The actual encounter is with a band of 9 Brigands, led by a brutal Killer and we encounter them while traveling.
Looks like we're in for a stiff battle!

The aftermath

Three of my characters went out of action during the battle, so I'll have to roll to see what shape they are in now.
One suffers a Moderate injury and will have to rest for 2 campaign turns.
One is dead and will be resting for a very long time.
The third took a Light wound but will need 3 turns of rest.

Certain items, skills and traits can influence these things.

Next, we roll for a post battle effect. Turns out a random character broke one of their weapons, so I'll need to source a replacement.

Rolling for an Unusual Find, we find some Evidence of ill deeds on these guys.
We can take that to the local nobles and get them to send out some cavalry patrols, reducing the Border Tension threat by 1 point.
Obviously the Brigands were hired goons from a rival noble.

Finally, we get to check for some loot. That's why we are here right?

I get 2 rolls:
The first is 1 Gold Coin and a bonus roll.
The second is a vial of holy water.
The third (bonus) is a hand weapon.

Not exactly a chest of wonders, but it'll do.

I tally up experience points for my characters but none of my heroes have earned enough to level up.
The one follower I have still standing rolls to see if he's had a flash of insight, but nothing earned there either.

Voila
That's more or less what the turn looks like:
Do your business in town, plan and prep, set out, see who and what you meet and fight a battle (most of the time).

Let me know if you have any questions.

Thursday, 24 May 2018

Five Leagues - how magic?

So this is where things get controversial:

The initial vision of Five Leagues is going to be very low-magic.

Does that mean it's just a historical game? No, but it means it's going to be in layers.

The world we're envisioning is one where life in and around the cities and villages is pretty much like we'd expect in a sort-of-realistic medieval setting. Mostly.

However, as you go poke around the foggy swamps and the deep woods, all manner of horrors might lurk.

I have a number of ideas for how the more fantastical and mystical elements will arrive in the game, but much of that will depend on the initial reception of course.
The aim is to lean into a bit of a horror route there: So less unicorns and orcs and more cultists and strange creatures.


A benefit of this is that you don't have to go get a bunch of fantasy figures (which are often pricey).
Medieval miniatures ranges are brimming with figures that make outstanding low-fantasy characters and opposition, often at pretty affordable prices.


Tomorrow, we'll talk a bit about the village system and how you'll be able to progress your campaign, as well as your characters.

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Five Leagues - Weapons and figures

Weaponry in fantasy games is of course always a challenge:

We want something more interesting than "hand weapon" but we also don't want to drown in dozens of polearms, AD&D style.

For Five Leagues, we're going with the following approach, based on your figures.
Look at the miniature and pick a "fighting style".

Single weapon style - Armed with a single-hand weapon and a free hand.
This also applies to figures two-handing a small weapon.

This style lets you move quicker around the battle field.

Shield style - Single hand weapon and a shield.

Offers a saving throw from blows and projectiles.

Two hand style - A large double-handed weapon.

Inflicts more damage.

Pole arm - Spears, halberds and other long staff-weapons.

Lets you attack at a distance.

Dual weapon style - A weapon in each hand.

Increases the chance of gaining initiative in combat.

Missile style - A bow, crossbow or gun power weapon.

Lets you shoot fools in the face.


The idea is that you can assign figures at a glance and have it mean something in the game, without having to tinker with stat lines for each variation of sword.

Some weapons may require some interpretation (quarterstaves f.x.) or might be able to fit multiple styles (hand-and-a-half sword f.x.) but we'll include notes for those.

Saturday, 19 May 2018

Five Leagues - morale

The morale rules are changing a bit for Five Leagues.

This is a change intended specifically for 5L and won't be fitted into 5P (though you could adapt it just fine).

First, the players squad no longer tests morale. You're heroes right? (or scoundrels with only the gallows waiting for you but either way, nowhere to run).

You can bail from a fight by moving to the table edge and a new "Star" option will let you flee instantly (once per campaign).


For the bad guys, its also simpler:
You still roll a Morale Die for each dead bad guy but now there's nothing to track.
Instead, each 1 or 2 causes one of the bad guys to run away (starting with the guy closest to your table edge).

Note however that "Monsters" never run. So if you fight a giant lizard and 5 of its minions, you can scare off the minions but you still have to do battle with big mama.



Friday, 18 May 2018

Also coming to Squad Hammer soon

Multi-unit units (aka "platoons").

Intended to work with things like the Binary Damage option, this will also help those giant, mega-games with tons of units on the table.
There's a number of improvements, tweaks and additions coming, so I'd rather drop them all at the same time, instead of you guys getting like 7 updates in a row.

Thursday, 17 May 2018

Squad Hammer - Weapons of lots of destruction

Consider this a test case for inclusion in the core rules later:

Buildings and their destruction

In some settings and scenarios, outright destruction of buildings (and other scenery) is a possibility.

This is often well suited to games where your units represent large forces, very powerful units (such as giant monsters or super heroes) or have weaponry specifically intended for the purpose (such as siege guns).

You should evaluate which units on your table will be capable of inflicting the required level of damage.

For example, you can't bring down a concrete building with machine gun fire, but a unit with a flamethrower could "destroy" a forested area.

In a game of infantry squads and light tanks, no unit may be able to inflict the required damage while a giant robot battle might see all of them so capable.

For particularly large terrain features, it's often more sensible to divide them into Blocks of 3x3 or 4x4 square inches.
If playing in 6mm (or similar smaller scales) each stand-alone building model or terrain piece is usually one Block.

Attacking a structure

Attacking a structure is done in the same fashion as attacking any other target.
Units armed with "Assault" equipment (such as demolition charges or power fists) must be within 6" (representing running up, placing the charges and getting away) while units capable of inflicting building damage at range can fire as normal.

A typical Hit roll is 5+ (demolition charges), 7+ (Weak/moderate structure under fire, powered melee attack), 9+ (reinforced/defensive structure).
As always, adapt as you need.
Trained engineers or siege troops should receive a +1 to their dice roll.

Inflicting damage

You may assign specific Damage rolls to anti-structure weapons. Typically, 1D6 is fine.
2D6, pick high for super-weapons specifically intended for the purpose.

Otherwise, simply take the basic Damage roll and scale it down once for vehicles and heavy weapons units and twice for infantry.
This means a vehicle/heavy weapons team will inflict 1D3 Damage while infantry would inflict 1 Damage.
Mega-units inflict normal damage.

As with other units, when 7+ Damage has been accumulated, the structure collapses.

Collapse

Any units contained within a collapsing structure sustains 1D6 Damage.
Buildings are replaced with a rubble field. Place any survivors there.

Other features are replaced with whatever seems appropriate to the situation.

Units representing a single character receive an Escape roll of 8+ on 2D6 (7+ for Hero-types).
A successful escape inflicts only 1 Damage, otherwise the character suffers 1D3 Damage.

Any unit within 1" per floor of a collapsing structure suffers 1 Damage.
Other terrain features typically do not inflict area damage when collapsing.

Crumble

At the end of each game turn, roll a D6 for each damaged structure.
If the roll is equal or below the accumulated Damage total, increase Damage by 1 point.


Conclusions

Give these options a try if you play a game where they might fit.
They are under consideration for inclusion in the core rules, so don't hesitate to get in touch.

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Five Leagues from the Borderlands

The time from the re-release of Five Parsecs to "What about a fantasy version?" was about 2.7 minutes.

My main concern, at the time, has always been that systems developed for a scifi-game may not feel right when adopted to a medieval (sort of) setting and that this was something we'd need to solve first.

Well, I can reveal to you that "Five Leagues from the Borderlands" will be the next Nordic Weasel release.

The premise is pretty much "Fantasy Five Parsecs":
Create a group of adventurers, fight dudes and get loot.

Easy enough right?

It'll have the same broad strokes: Percentile dice tables, random encounters, solo mechanics front and center.

What sort of fantasy? Low-magic "gritty" fantasy centered around swords and axes. The sort of thing I like to read and that I like to role-play.

You'll fight bandits and rogue knights, you'll fight goblin hordes and you'll fight terrifying monsters, all in a days work.

So what is different?

Well, a lot of things, but let's start with the biggest one today: Combat.

First, we split up Toughness and Armor. When you are struck, you now roll to penetrate the targets armor before rolling against their Toughness.
This does introduce another dice roll into the equation, but given the small figure count, I don't feel it's slowed down things in testing.

The big take-away is that the two rolls aren't interchangeable: If a blow gets through your armor, you will feel it: Either through being stunned or wounded.
If the armor deflects the attack, you are fine...probably.

Melee combat is a lot more exciting too:
Instead of a single opposed roll, you now fight up to three "Exchanges" with initiative potentially switching back and forth.
Figures will move around more during the melee as well. A defender that is outclassed may attempt to back up and get help from their friends for example.


There is going to be a bit more detail in melee weapons as well, with an emphasis on providing interesting mechanics rather than simply a 1 point difference in damage.
Those things arent completely settled yet though.


Later this week, we'll talk about encounters and campaigns so stay tuned.


A few general questions I anticipate:

*Is this a full release?

This will be a full game release with post-launch tweaks and updates, just like other 5P titles.

*Will this be compatible with 5P?

Many mechanics will be similar or identical but strict compatibility was not a goal.

*What is next for 5P ?

I need to test it more, but I'd really like to do something regarding exploring unsettled worlds.
The big issue is how to make it sufficiently exciting.

*Will there be a series of "Five Leagues" games, similar to 5P ?

That's not the intention. I have some ideas for adding content, but I don't want to spoil too much (especially if the idea turns out to be stupid and I change my mind).

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Small Squad Hammer tweak

A couple of tweaks have been added to Squad Hammer.

There's now a 2 page essay on how to handle multi-genre / cross-genre games, I've moved the "odd and alien" section to be nearer the points system section.

Also a rules tweak:

If you have a Unit Objective on a friendly unit, it only awards points if the unit is on the table at game end.

If an enemy unit has a Unit Objective and the unit is replaced during the game, you can get points for the higher of the damage values inflicted.

(f.x. if you inflicted 4 damage before it was replaced and 2 damage on its replacements, you would get VP based on 4 damage).


I'm aware that Unit Objectives are some of the more susceptible to exploitation, but these two tweaks should help even out things a little bit.


Go grab the new file from Vault as usual.

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

Squad Hammer expansion and general news

So most of our rules have some sort of expansion pack with new rules, options and variants.
Nordic Weasel attracts a lot of tinkerers and people who like to tweak the game, so I feel it's a worthwhile product to continue making.

Squad Hammer has now received its own Options Pack, offering new ways to think about things like tech levels and squad sizes, as well as new spotting and damage systems (should you want them) and rules for deploying your squads in specific manners.

The latter in particular help close one of the gaps where I feel the rules need a bit of a tweak:

There's so far been no real good reason for deploying your figures in anything but a rough blob.
Well, visual appeal obvious and that's why we game but with the new options you can do things like deploy a point man or spread out to minimize damage. Neat, right?

Grab it here for the cost of a coffee

http://www.wargamevault.com/product/241251/Squad-Hammer-Options-Pack

And hey, while you're there, why not take a look around and see what else we have for offer.
I bet you'll see something you didn't even know existed.

* * *

Secondly, HOPEFULLY this week, Renegade Scout Phase 1 will make the transition over to the Wargame Vault.

The Phase 1 rules will be a slightly touched up version of what was in the crowd funding campaign, but with a bit more things included.

It'll sell for cheaper than the final rules will cost, but there'll be enough there to be a playable game in its own right.

This will help create more funding, as well as get more feedback and playtesting coming in.

Crowd funding supporters will be able to contact me and get a link to get the Vault version for free of course.

* * *
Thirdly, If you have toyed with Acrid Smell of Powder,the next couple of weeks will be the time to get feedback, opinions and suggestions back to me.

Did I screw everything up? Do you have a brilliant suggestion for how to do something? I'm hoping that the full version won't take too long to get together, given much of it is already written but I'd like more external feedback than from my own cronies :)

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Renegade Scout updates

These updates won't be made available juuuuuuuuust yet, but I am adding a section with some pre-made troop profiles for things like scientists, security guards, colonists etc.

The sort of thing that comes in handy in a scenario (and also ties in nicely if we want to put together an interesting battle on the fly, I might add).

In addition, armor is getting split off into its own equipment section and when I upload it, there should be some "superheavy" body armors available as well.

Acrid Smell of Powder - Close combat

One of the things that has always stood out to me when reading about the Napoleonic Wars or American Civil War is how rare actual "hand to hand" combat is.

There's plenty of charges all over the place, but unless cavalry is involved, it usually doesn't lead to anyone fighting anybody.
Either the charge slows down / breaks up or the recipients forget if they left the oven on and dash off to check.

Of course, on the gaming table, it's positively medieval!
We want to move our little guys to contact and have them slug it out like the drill manual says they should.

Now, in big abstract battle games, you can fudge that a bit by assuming that "close combat" actually means "a wide range of things including actual hitting with sticks, close ranged volleys and so forth" but with "Acrid Smell of Powder" we were trying to avoid abstracting things too much, so that wouldn't fly.

Some rules use a morale check to solve this: Check morale to charge, check morale to receive the charge.
This makes more sense, but leads to situations where high-morale units opposing each other will usually end up crossing bayonet (as they will most likely both pass their check).
That's still better but it doesn't solve the fundamental issue: Close combat shouldn't happen very often.

Going back and re-reading accounts of charges in the Napoleonic Wars and the American Revolution, it suddenly became clear to me:
An opposed roll might be the answer.

If the defenders give way, it's usually because the attackers don't and vice versa.
Eureka!

This also lets us represent another aspect very nicely: The reputation of a unit.
If your guys have good morale, odds are they have a reputation as hard fighters (and may have the fancy uniforms or big hats to prove it) meaning they'd carry a level of intimidation with them.

Is a bunch of militia men going to react the same way if it's random line infantry advancing on them vs when it's the Guard?


So in the end, charging is an opposed roll: Each side rolls, adds their Morale and a couple of modifiers and as a result one side will usually give way or run away.
If the scores are very close, an actual fight breaks out (a Brawl, as you'll no doubt not be surprised to learn its called) and you get to hit the other guys with sticks.


One aspect that I considered was that actual hand to hand fights were more common when occupying buildings, redoubts and the likes.
You do get a morale bonus for holding an obstacle, but to my mind, the sort of determined defense at bayonet point is more a characteristic of larger formations:

A "blob" of 10 guys skirmishing probably would be more inclined to fall back to the next position instead.
This also helps create more movement and make the "mass skirmish" feel more fluid and energetic than a conventional black powder battle.


At least, that's all the theory: You'll have to judge how well it turned out.

If you didn't grab your copy yet, go do so here:

https://www.wargamevault.com/product/239484/The-Acrid-Smell-of-Powder-early-version? 

Saturday, 14 April 2018

Renegade Scout - The project forward

So the campaign has ended and it's time to assess our situation:


We didn't hit the entire goal, which I hadn't really expected we would.
We could have gotten more, if I'd advertised it more aggressively though, so that's a lesson I suppose.

The full goal was to enable me to simply work on the project for 2-3 months, without any distractions.
The amount we did collect will go a ways towards getting the rules where they need to be, but it'll obviously mean a longer work flow to get there.

I am not certain of the full time frame yet.

What will happen next is that when a few more components fit together, we'll put things up on the Wargame Vault as well for early access.
That way, the project can continue to obtain funding and it'll be far easier to provide new versions, updates, files etc.

That may take a week or two though.
Once it's up, codes will go out to the early backers to access that for free.
I have all the email addresses from those who just paid the basic fee, so when things are released, you will get your download codes as well.

Doing it through the Vault will also mean that any post-launch updates and fixes can be included for free.


We've gotten a few pieces of art as well as proper potential cover, which I'll share when I have a chance.

General impressions of the Indiegogo setup?
It's convenient enough, but I had to rely on an external service to actually provide the PDF (dropbox in this case) and it's easy enough to post updates, but actual communication is a bit awkward.

More importantly though, I have received very little feedback at all on the rules from early backers.
I don't know why, but as far as soliciting actual feedback on mechanics, the process has been completely pointless compared to just doing an early release through the Wargame Vault and working from there.

As it stands, I am going to continue down the track I am already on and then we'll see what opinions trickle in along the way.

Different crowds? Different expectations? Random chance? I don't know.

I doubt I'll use crowd-funding for a project again though. The benefits seem minimal compared to how I am used to doing things.

On the flipside, if you don't try new things, you never learn, right?


So there it is:

Renegade Scout is proceeding. It'll just proceed a bit slower, since it'll have to fit in alongside other projects.

Friday, 13 April 2018

Acrid Smell of Powder - Moving about

With the recent release of Acrid Smell of Powder, I thought I'd talk about it a little bit: Namely the movement rules.


So I knew for ASoP, I wanted a random movement system, however, I had some misgivings about how such systems tend to work.

To me, one of the pit-traps is that complete control over the army is obviously unrealistic. . . but so is a complete lack of control, in my opinion.

As the commander, you can select the right officers for the task, send a runner with instructions or ride over there yourself to shout at people.

The answer then was this:

You get a pool of initiative dice to work with.
By default, it's equal to the number of units, plus the number of leaders you have.

If I have 4 units of infantry, 1 leader and a cavalry unit, I'd have 6 dice.

Different things can give you more or less dice: Including an Excellent quality unit, being exhausted etc.

So you roll all of your dice and you can then assign each die to whatever unit you like.
If you need a unit to move further this turn to take that hill, you probably can.

Better units and cavalry can have multiple dice assigned and some unit types get a fixed bonus per die, to add a bit of detail.


Think of the initiative dice as "army effort" if you will.


But what about non-movement activities?

Depending on the scenario, you might need to bring on reinforcements, search a haystack, interrogate the locals or romance a minor noble.
This is a Task and is given a difficulty: Assign a movement die that is equal or above the difficulty and it succeeds.

Nice and simple.

For big games, the number of dice is reduced a little, but you can issue "platoon" orders to 3 units at the same time. We don't want to have to roll a bucket of 40 dice (well, maybe you do want that. Keep a separate table for the dice avalanche in that case!)

Friday, 30 March 2018

Squad Hammer Man to Man

For Squad Hammer players (and also players of October Hammer, Trench Hammer and Winter Hammer who like it a bit cinematic and pulpy) we're excited to present Man to Man:

A supplement adding a ton of new options for games where each unit is only a single figure.

Whether you want to add a few heroic leaders or you want to run a game entirely with one-man units, we got you covered:

New combat adjustments, levels of heroism, infiltration rules, an experience system, personal side objectives, it's really quite jammed with new content.

Grab it over at the Vault

http://www.wargamevault.com/product/238488/Squad-Hammer-Man-to-Man

Are you not on board the Squad Hammer wagon yet?

http://www.wargamevault.com/product/222978/Squad-Hammer-Dirt-simple-gaming-for-many-settingsor-all-of-them


Please note that you need a core rules set to use Man to Man.
It is NOT a stand-alone game though some components could be used with other rules systems.

Sunday, 25 March 2018

Basing for Acrid Smell of Powder

So what basing do you need for our upcoming black powder "mass skirmish" rules?

Stands with 3-5 figures on each essentially: Likely a basing standard you already have.

Cavalry can be mounted with 2-3 figures per stand.

In both cases, all representation is 1-to-1.
Some players may wish to base good troops with only 3 figures per stand while fresh recruits get 5.
Since all combat is by unit, not by figure, this is a good way of portraying battle hardened veterans.

If you have individually based figures, you can put them in clusters of 3 and that should work fairly well, though it can be a bit fiddly.

The goal is that you can take your existing armies from quite a few games and use them "as is" without having to worry about rebasing anything.

Friday, 23 March 2018

Projects: Renegade Scout and Black Powder gaming

The next update for Renegade Scout (most likely live tomorrow) will be another school of magic, plus rules for advancing personalities.

I'll also add in some more gadgetry and some more unusual weapons.

This will be a fairly small one, before the next big push.


Meanwhile, I can discuss something that's been in the shadows for a while now:

"Acrid Smell of Powder" will be a "Mass Skirmish" game for generic black powder warfare (roughly 1700-1880ish).

And it's a FiveCore game!

Black powder FiveCore is one of the two most requested FiveCore variants over the years, and I've been close to releasing something several times, only to go back and throw it all out.

I'll talk about the rules tomorrow, but for now, what is "mass skirmish" ?

If you already play Napoleonic or American Civil War games, odds are you have some troops based with 3-4 figures per troop stand. The sort of basing common in games like Fire&Fury.
Usually a unit is 5 or 6 such stands and pretend to be a battalion or whatnot.

But what if you took them at face value? 15-24 individual soldiers is a pretty decent skirmishing "section" and an army of 5 or 6 such units then is a good, fun skirmish action.

Hence the term mass skirmish.
Not sure if that will catch on, but it sounds good and I think it describes a scale of game that a lot of people enjoy, even if it isn't well covered by rules.


The goal is to stick pretty closely to the nature of the skirmish environment:
50 of my guys taking on 60 of yours isn't a BATTLE, it's still a skirmish, so we're not going to have batteries of artillery and squadrons of heavy cavalry rolling around.

We can always add those things down the road.


I hope you're excited. It may be shaping up to be the cleanest and coolest FiveCore version yet and should see you good from the Seven Years War/French and Indian Wars all the way to Franco-Prussian war or so. Maybe even a bit beyond.

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

My next RPG campaign

I don't talk about my own gaming very much at all, because I don't tend to enjoy writing about a game I already played.


So instead, I'm going to talk a bit about a game I am going to run: Namely a historical campaign set during the Napoleonic Wars.
The theme is a sort of "Ungentlemanly warfare" outfit tasked with bothering the French.
Heavy on the adventure and dash.

I've considered a number of rule sets from Rolemaster 2 to Runequest to GURPS to generic BRP to a White Wolf-based homebrew (No, I didn't consider FATE. I never consider FATE) but in the end, I am going to run it pretty system light.

The system will look something like this:


Character stuff

Players get a handful of skills, probably 8 or so. Anything that isn't a skill is assumed to be average.
Skills are percentile rated.

To do stuff, roll percentile dice. Doubles are critical hits/fumbles.

I might try to work in a variation of the Doctor Who story point system, if I can think of a cool way of doing it.

In combat, roll against your skill to hit, roll against half of a relevant skill to dodge or parry.

If you are injured, I'll roll D100 for the severity of the wound. Over 30, it's seriously affecting you, over 60, it's potentially debilitating.
At 100, you're a goner.

I might not tell them the exact HP loss, Unknown Armies style. Not sure yet.

Big fights

I'll need some simple mechanics for mass combat.
There's some candidates out there, so we'll see what I find there.

Might borrow something from a board or mini's game or use a variation of the above system.

Sunday, 18 March 2018

Renegade Scout - The Roadmap

So this is the rough "Roadmap" as it exists for Renegade Scout right now.

Please note that all of these are potentially subject to change. This is NOT a list of guaranteed features.

*Vehicle rules

This one is obvious: We gotta have tanks, walkers and all that and with the ability to build your own.
This will also be a major headache because all of the 3-4 vehicle systems available for Rogue Trader were kind of messy.

*Magic rules

This will be a variation of the original psionic rules, but with brand new powers written from the ground up and some problems fixed.

*Advancement

I'd like to include a more formal system for levelling up your favourite personalities.
The pseudo-RPG aspect of RT died almost instantly and I think it is something a lot of people want back.

*More weapons

We need a huge armory right?

*More equipment

Ditto.

*More skills

I'd like a total list of maybe 20-30 "skills" covering everything from combat engineers to teleportation.

*More aliens

Not sure what the count will be here. I'll talk more about what alien profiles will look like this week.

*Battle maker

So this is the big draw: A random scenario system that will bring all the fun and excitement we associate with "retro scifi gaming".
The design I am testing currently is card driven, with cards being assigned to "points of interest" which may turn out to be objectives, threats or unexpected shenanigans.

*Personal trait table

D100 table you can roll on for a character to give them a random "thing". They might own a prototype weapon, secretly be a cyborg or be possessed by a space demon.

*Battle conditions table

D100 table. Is it raining? Is it raining meteors? Are we fighting in a time-space distortion?

*Narrative army objectives

When the alien races are nailed down a bit more, I'd like to set up, say 6 objectives for each race, sof you dont want to use the battle maker, you can just roll a D6 and say "okay, the Precursors are trying to secure an artifact while the "totally not Borg" are trying to capture an important personality. Lets do this".

*Solo play

If we can manage it, I know solo mechanics are a priority for a lot of players.

*Solo army selection

Even more complicated, but a system where you could roll or draw cards to face a random army would be cool, wouldn't it?

*Battle field events

An in-game random events table. Everything from jammed guns to reinforcements to a rift in space.

*Strange terrain

Man-eating plants and crawling rocks. All the stuff you expect.



As I said, most of this isn't 100% but it's what is on my notepads in various stages of testing.
It's going to be a wild ride.

If you want in, it's at https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/renegade-scout-retro-miniatures-rules#/

Officer Down




http://www.wargamevault.com/product/237359/Five-Parsecs-Officer-Down

Welcome to Officer Down, a new scenario for Five Parsecs campaigns.

Take your existing crew from any of the campaign games and try your luck against hardened criminals.

Or if you prefer, use the quick generation methods in this scenario pack to generate a fierce squad of Enforcers.

The scenario includes tools for determining the opposition, campaign notes and random tables to generate variant scenarios, allowing no two games to play exactly the same.

Officer Down can be used with of the Five Parsecs campaigns.

Please note that this is NOT a stand-alone title. You MUST own a copy of one of the following games to use this except as inspiration:

Friday, 16 March 2018

Renegade Scout Stage 1

Stage 1, a fully playable beta version of the rules have just gone out to backers who opted for early access.

Stage 1 covers the basic game mechanics and a small selection of critters and weapons: Nothing spectacular but we gotta settle the basics first, right?

Are you not on board yet?

Right here

15 dollars gets you the game when its released (and 5 dollars off).
20 gets you on board now, when things are about to get excited.


I'm so nervous about people's reactions that I think I'm gonna hurl. . .

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Renegade Scout is being crowdfunded.

After much talk, the project that definitely won't happen has become the project that is actually happening.


Renegade Scout:
A "Retro Clone" of the original Rogue Trader game rules, completely rewritten and planned to include lots of exciting content.

You can peruse the campaign details here

Are you nostalgic for the good old days?
Do you have a hankering for conventional, old school mechanics that could be used for everything from near-future to space fantasy?
Do you want a game that delivers the goods instead of wasting 60 pages on glossy advertisement?
Do you get giddy at the sight of a D100 table?

I got you covered.
Let's make this a reality.

(Note that the image is strictly temporary)

Sunday, 11 March 2018

Preliminary impressions from customer survey

Got a lot of responses to the customer survey I emailed out through wargame vault, regarding thoughts on Five Parsecs.


Some preliminary impressions from 20ish responses (so when I say "everyone" below, what I mean is "of those people"):


*Almost everyone is a sci-fi gamer primarily or solely.

*Interest in historical versions is not great, but several people mentioned near-future, pulp or weird war.

*Most people are happy with the level of complexity currently but there's a definite core that wants more options and detail.

*Solo suitability was a strong factor for a majority.

*Thoughts on the AI systems are all over the place: Some people don't use such systems at all, some people want far more robust systems, some people mix and match.

*More "creation" systems to build aliens, vehicles etc. is something several people want.

*Many people mentioned wanting more "flavor" details to help build the world out more.

*People are pretty split between wanting more war-game elements and more RPG elements.



If you haven't sent in your response yet, definitely do, it's been very educational to read.

If you don't receive email from the Vault, email me and I can also send you the questionnaire manually.

Thursday, 8 March 2018

Alien module available for Five Parsecs



The first alien module is available.

This allows you to take any Five Parsecs campaign and encounter a new, deadly alien inspired by the Autons of classic Doctor Who fame.

Whether you want a pitched battle or a search and destroy mission with uncertain opposition, we offer rules, new loot and even a small chance of getting one of the aliens on your side.

Don't say I didn't love you.


http://www.wargamevault.com/product/236469/The-Facsimile-An-alien-encounter-module-for-Five-Parsecs

Women's day discount

Since NWG likes to celebrate International Women's Day, you can pick up Five Parsecs Salvage Crew for only 4.99 until the weekend.

Miniatures gaming is for everyone and we do our best to make games that are as inclusive as a game involving bug-eyed aliens and cannibal mutants might be :-)

Make sure to use the discount link below.


http://www.wargamevault.com/browse.php?discount=9823646a45


And hey, if you're one of the people who get bent out of shape by the mere mention of "Women's Day", please forward your complaints to stopbeingatosser@spendlesstimeontheinternet.com

Monday, 5 March 2018

Five Parsecs - Finding stuff

Two of the Five Parsecs titles so far (Bug Hunt and Salvage Crew) involve finding stuff on the battle field.

In Bug Hunt you have Tactical Locations.

These are sort of a short-hand for all manner of things that can work to your squads advantage: Alarm or defense systems, bulkheads that can be closed down etc.

Investigating a location allows a roll to determine its feature: Distract aliens and prevent them from moving for a bit, block access to the area, remove alien contact markers from the table or delay the arrival of more alien contacts for a while.

This does require a die roll, so make sure to bring someone with a good Tech skill.

If you like the "fortify" scenes from Aliens, that's essentially what is being represented here.

Salvage Crews instead have to deal with Points of Interest.

These can represent any manner of stuff you can come across in the battle area.

Toxic waste pools, computer consoles that open up a stash or more bad guys, you won't know what you find here.


In both cases, interacting with the objects is optional.
Bug Hunters will typically want to do so, since the worse case scenario is that you don't get anything out of it but if you're lucky, it could give you an edge against the alien hordes.

Salvagers have a bit more of a decision to make as a PoI can prove dangerous (or even result in running into monsters) but could also furnish you with more loot.

Choices choices.


Future Five Parsecs releases will of course feature similar mechanics too, when appropriate.
The upcoming black powder rules will feature a pretty good range of possible encounters to have in the middle of a spirited skirmish with the enemy.

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Five Parsecs - How does the combat system work?

I thought I'd discuss the core Five Parsecs mechanics a bit, now that it's become a bit of an institution.

All of the scifi games work on this basic framework, while the upcoming historical title will not use it exactly (but will be fairly similar).

This primer ONLY covers the battle field system.
The campaign mechanics will be covered in another post (and differ more between campaigns in any event)

What is the point of the rules?

The point of Five Parsecs is to be a solo game first and foremost.
To me, that means it needs to be a bit simpler than I might have written it otherwise, since a single player handling both the system and every figure is more work than playing with your friends.

It's not too hard to write a very simple game, but writing one that is still fun to play can be a challenge.
Since Five Parsecs is played as a campaign, we have an advantage: The player will know the characters and the combination of pretend-personalities and the random scenario generation will create a story.

If this story is interesting, then we can have a fairly simple mechanical system because the player is already hooked narratively.

At the same time, we can't just throw out all the options.
If there are no choices to be made, then the player is going to lose interest pretty quickly since every encounter will play out the same.

The turn sequence

With a few tweaks, the basic turn sequence works like this:

At the start of the turn, roll a handful of dice (D6)equal to the number of figures in the players force.
Ignore the bad guys.

The point of these dice is they are compared to the Reaction score of your characters.
If a character is assigned a die that is equal or below their Reactions (typically 1-3 for most characters) they will act BEFORE the bad guys.
If they are not assigned a die, they will act AFTER the bad guys.

So if I have 6 characters with Reactions 1, 1, 1, 2, 2, 3
And my dice roll 1, 2, 4, 4, 5, 6

I can immediately throw away the 4's, 5's and 6's.

The 1 can be given to any character I want to act quickly, while the 2 would have to be given to one of the characters with a 2 or 3 Reaction score.

Taking your actions

I opted to forego a normal "2 actions system".
Instead when a figure goes, they can move and then perform a combat action (either fighting hand to hand or firing a weapon).

Figures going before the enemies go can hang out and perform snap fire at moving enemies if needed, allowing you to set up a bit of a defensive situation.

Combat

Rolling to hit is a simple D6 roll plus your Combat Skill.
The target number is a 3+ if the target is in the open and within 6", 5+ if in the open otherwise and a 6+ if in cover at all.

This means that for starting characters, plinking at enemies behind walls isn't likely to be particularly worthwhile.

Some weapons get multiple shots per turn, but they are not super common.

If a shot hits, you roll to render them a casualty. If you don't, they become Stunned.

There's no "wounded" states though the Compendium introduces rules for such situations.

Hand to hand fighting is an opposed roll with occasional chances of both characters being hit (or a character being hit twice).

Stun

Characters surviving any hit become Stunned.
When a Stunned figure activates they are limited to performing only one action: Either moving OR fighting.

You remove one Stun marker each turn after acting and you can potentially stack up multiple.

Think of Stun as a combination of shock, confusion, physical discomfort and general worry about your personal well-being.

What does the bad guys do?

In Bug Hunt, its a bit easier because the bugs want to eat your face and will move towards you to do just that.

In the other games, enemies are assigned to different AI modes.
These are very simple but essentially give you information on how the enemy is expected to move and act.

They are not complex flow charts, but serve to give opponents some simple guidance on the table.

For example, in Gang Warfare, an Aggressive opponent acts the following way:

Aggressive enemies with opponents in sight will advance at least half a move towards them, attempting to remain in cover if possible.
Enemies that are unable to see any opposition or which are within 12” will advance as fast as possible towards the nearest opponent, attempting to enter into a Brawl.

Heavy weapon figures will not move if they have a line of sight to a target.

Notably, all AI rules are written directly into the relevant chapter of the rules.
So when you are reading the rules for shooting, you will also learn how to handle AI shooting at the same time.

What if I need more detail?

Luckily, I did a Compendium full of extra details, such as being pinned down by fire that doesn't hit, soldiers not responding to orders, panic, wounds and much more :)


You can check out Five Parsecs through the different campaigns (all stand-alone games)

Bug Hunt

http://www.wargamevault.com/product/228512/Five-Parsecs--Gang-Warfare?cPath=23449_29728

http://www.wargamevault.com/product/231076/Five-Parsecs--Salvage-Crew?cPath=23449_29728

http://www.wargamevault.com/product/226810/Five-Parsecs-From-Home?cPath=23449_29728

Trench Hammer bug. And tanks in general.

Was alerted that there's an omission in Trench Hammer.

This will be updated when I get a chance, but when firing field guns at tanks, they follow the same rule as tank mounted guns (do not apply the +3 hit penalty for armored targets).

Perceptive readers will also note that firing at tanks in October Hammer is a bit easier (+2 to hit penalty) compared to the +3 in Trench Hammer.
This is intentional. It accounts for the somewhat modest performance of tanks in the civil war and the fact that limited supply situations meant that more modest damage could be viewed as cause for retreat.

Monday, 26 February 2018

Winter Hammer available



Following up Trench Hammer and October Hammer, the world of easy-to-play war game rules comes to the Soviet-Finnish Winter War.

Requiring only a pair of D6 and 8-12 troop stands each, Winter Hammer includes rules for everything from barrages to KV tanks.

Games are playable in an hour or so, including a quick and easy system for rolling up random forces and conducting a war games campaign.

Time is short and none of us get to do as much gaming as we want to.

We all have wargame projects we never got around to finishing because we needed 200 painted models to play and the book was 348 pages.

Why not jump into Winter Hammer? 6 bucks, 45 pages and 10ish troop stands each and you're ready to play.

Fancy that.
More time spent playing games and less time perusing the "To hit adjustments for left-handed gunnery when vehicle is on a modest incline Subsection B" table ?

http://www.wargamevault.com/product/235256/Winter-Hammer-Easy-Winter-War-gaming

Sunday, 25 February 2018

End of February sale. Four great games. 7.99 each



Until the end of February, you can pick up some great wargaming deals from Nordic Weasel:


Pick up a copy of No End in Sight (our premier cold war platoon skirmish rules), Starport Scum (scifi adventure game), Five Men at Kursk (half platoon WW2 campaign action) or Clash on the Fringe (Rogue Trader style scifi action) for only 7.99 each.


These are not cut down versions, they're the full deal: Five Men at Kursk is over a hundred pages of WW2 chrome and action, just to give an example.


So go ahead. Indulge yourself. Upgrade your gaming a little.

Make sure to use the discount codes listed below or you won't get the discounted price.


http://www.wargamevault.com/browse.php?discount=9fe0907baa


Starport Scum 7.99


http://www.wargamevault.com/browse.php?discount=9fe3e4be0c


No End in Sight 7.99


http://www.wargamevault.com/browse.php?discount=9fe5676b0e


Five men at Kursk 7.99


http://www.wargamevault.com/browse.php?discount=9fe74bbcb4


Clash on the Fringe 7.99