Friday, 31 May 2019

Where all can I catch Nordic Weasel stuff?

The internet is a wild sprawling place and you can't just jump on ICQ and hope for the best any longer (or so I am told).

You can follow Nordic Weasel or get in touch in any of the following ways:

* The main blog at https://fivemennormandy.blogspot.com for news, updates, musings about game design etc.

* If you use MeWe, you can follow me at https://mewe.com/i/ivansorensen
I do respond to chat questions on there, though not always instantaneously.

* We have our own forum sub-section on the https://www.thewargameswebsite.com where you can post questions and share battle reports.
New releases are also usually posted to the news page there.

* If you use Discord, come check us out at https://discord.gg/Z5Argrg where myself and other gamers hang out, chat about miniatures, share pictures of our projects, discuss rules and generally goof off.
Note this is strictly a politics and meme free zone but if you want to chat with myself or other gamers in real time, it's great fun.

* We also have a Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Nordicweaselgames/ 
This is run by my wife who filters any questions through to me and posts up the responses.
At the moment, facebook chat is not an option to contact me.

* Of course you are always welcome to email me. If you have my old Gmail address, I still get email from there but to help make sure I don't miss your correspondence, please send it to nordicweaselgames@icloud.com and allow a day or two for a response.

If you have several questions (or very detailed ones) or in-depth feedback, I prefer to receive it through email since its both easier for me to respond to and easier to save for future reference.


I occasionally get suggestions from fans that it would help us to engage with this or that social media platform, website or online service.
I appreciate those suggestions and I do take them into account, but at the moment I am not looking to expand our internet footprint.

Thursday, 30 May 2019

So what is involved in changing a rule?

Since I've been tinkering with Five Leagues lately and running my mouth on social media about publishers not updating their games, I thought I'd be fair and give a run-down of what is actually involved in updating a game rule.

First, you gotta write and test the new rule of course.
If we're updating an existing game, that probably isn't too bad since you know what was wrong or missing and you may have already tried the new option.

Second, we gotta replace the old rule with the new one.
Copy paste right?

Third, we gotta check to see if the old rule is referenced anywhere else in the rules. If so, we gotta go back and fix those.

Fourth, we gotta check any game examples and update those.

Fifth, we gotta make sure we didn't break anything. After all, some game rules feed into each other. So back and check every related feature.

Sixth, does your game have points values? Purchase costs? Other balancing shenanigans? Did you just change the effectiveness of something in the game? Time to evaluate that again.
Don't forget that changing one thing can cause a cascade effect in the system.
Does the new rule make troop transports weaker? Well, now all transport vehicles AND the grunts they carry might be over-valued.

Seventh, is the new rule longer? If so, you might just have screwed up the page it's on.
Know how games always have like 2 lines of a paragraph awkwardly hanging off the next page?
Yeah, that looks wretched so let's avoid that.

Lastly... did you push every thing out one page? Your table of contents is now messed up and needs fixing.
Did you write one of the 3 games ever released in the history of nerds that has a table of contents? That's also broken now.


So yeah, updating or replacing a rule can be a ton of work.
But it's still better than keeping known errors around for years in my opinion.

Wednesday, 29 May 2019

A few quick notes

A couple people emailed and were worried about the sale ending before they got paid.

I've opted to extend the sale until the 3rd of June, so if you want hot bundle deals, go get them.
Once this is over, it'll be a long time before we do another mega-sale.

Right now, almost everything we've done is on sale
https://fivemennormandy.blogspot.com/2019/05/anniversary-and-thank-you-to-all-of-you.html


A few of you leave comments on Blogger. For some reason, I have a bastard of a time actually responding to comments on here.
I do read your comments but if you need a reply from me, please email me instead.
Sorry about the trouble.

The best email for Nordic Weasel stuff is nordicweaselgames@icloud.com

Friday, 24 May 2019

Five Leagues player survey



Five Leagues player questions


Five Leagues from the Borderlands has proven to be a big success that players have really responded to.

In the interest of guiding where to go next, I wanted to ask some questions of you guys.


Feel free to write as much or as little to any of these questions.

If you have no strong opinion on a specific question, leave it out.


I am not committing to changing any one specific aspect of the game based on this survey.
If you ask 100 gamers about something, you will get 101 responses after all, but I will absolutely take your answers into account when developing or updating the rules and expansions.

If I didn’t specifically ask about a topic, feel free to write it in too.

Direct the responses to me at nordicweaselgames@icloud.com
I can't reply to blog comments for some reason, so please dont leave your responses here. I apologize for the trouble.


**The overall campaign structure

Do you feel the length of a campaign is too long?

We’ve recently tweaked the rules a little to make campaigns a bit shorter and easier to complete.

Is finishing campaigns and moving to the next one important to you or are you more interested in the individual battles?

**Is the campaign too easy/too punishing?

How do you feel the difficulty is?

We intend Five Leagues to be a challenging, tough experience but of course it also has to be fun and permit character development.

Is it too difficult to scrape by? Do you get too powerful too quickly? Is it too hard to level up?

Is loot too understated? Too rewarding? Are you swimming in gold or barely scraping by?

**The themes of the game?

Do you enjoy the gritty, low-fantasy feel we’ve taken so far?

Would you like to fight more fantastical beasties?

Would you like more interesting character abilities?

Do you prefer the game doubles down on the gritty faux-realistic approach?

Do you want more horror/dark fantasy elements? More high fantasy?

**Weapon styles?

Feedback on the weapon styles (one handed, two handed etc.) have been quite mixed.

Some players seem to really like them, some seem to find them too fiddly or difficult.

What is your view? Do you like them? Are any of them too good / too weak / too boring?

Would you rather replace them with more conventional weapon profiles?

Something else entirely?

**Skills
Do you find the skill system works well?

Any skills that are too good? Any that are too weak or never come up?

Would you rather have fewer, more dramatic skills or do you like the potential to have a lot of small skills for specific areas?

How do you like the idea of special skills acquired from playing specific expansion packs?

**Rules that clunk/rules that flow?

Looking purely at game mechanics, what rules in Five Leagues do you really enjoy/feel are innovative/give a great game experience?

What rules feel like they are not needed/too cumbersome/bog down the game?

**House rules?

Do you have house rules or tweaks you employ? If so, what are they?

**Automation?

As written, we intended Five Leagues to be playable by basically rolling the dice and following the rulebook.

In other words, the game will tell you what happens and you don’t have to make a lot of decisions about it.

Some gamers prefer a campaign where the player is expected to make up more stuff. This allows more features to be added to the campaign (for example a creature list without needing every creature to be on an encounter table) while also making the game less “pick up and play”.

How do you feel about that?

**Future directions?

Do you want the game to receive more wargame elements? (larger battles, leadership abilities, more detailed morale, troop types)

More RPG elements? (quests, character progression, traveling the world) ?

**Expansions?

Do you prefer smaller, cheaper expansions that can be slotted into an existing campaign or bigger expansions that form new campaigns of their own?

Would you want to see expansions that go outside the core game play? For example dungeon exploration, field battles, competitive play etc?

**Comparisons?

How do you think the rules compare to other, similar systems available? (solo fantasy/medieval campaign games)

Outside of production values and glossy books, What strengths does Five Leagues have over them?

What areas does the competition do better?

**Anything else on your mind?

Any other things you’d like to suggest?

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

NWG anniversary: Titles that never were or only were a little bit.

As I look back at the past 5 years, here are a few titles that didn't get used, things that started out differently etc:


Star-strike
One of approximately 50 billion titles me and my wife came up with for what eventually became Clash on the Fringe.
If I remember right, it's also the title of an RPG supplement, so we had to change it.

Only the dead
The working title for the very original 4 page draft of No End in Sight.
A reference to "Only the dead have seen the end of war".
I think I changed it because I was worried people would think it was a zombie game.

Afghan Soda can
An odd experiment in modern day squad warfare, based around very stylized battle commands.
Not sure it was playable at all.
Never released in any format I think.

Laserstorm
This one ended up being released, but it originally started life as a skirmish game where squads would consist of individually based figures.
A lot of the basic principles were the same though.

Dungeonhack
A power-driven dungeon duel game with a lot of different classes and whatnot.
Was pretty fun, but I ended up not being able to figure out how to make monsters work well and at the time I didn't want to write a strictly competitive game.

Monsterslayer
A solo fantasy game somewhat inspired by the Demon Souls video game.
Could be thought of as a proto-prototype of what became Five Leagues years later.
Had more detail but lacked gameplay.

Monday, 20 May 2019

What happened to ....

Over the years some games have come and gone from the Nordic Weasel line up.
I get questions about it, so I thought I'd share a few glimpses from the past as well as some insight into the process of writing games.

Basically, I try to do things a bit more public than some designers and companies do.
That means you often get more insight, we do a lot of public beta tests and so forth, which I think fans appreciate.
The downside is that if something does not seem like it's going to work out, or I don't think it's viable as a game or as a commercial product, you can feel a bit left out.

I still think on balance it's a better system, but there's always room to improve of course.

So what happened to that game?

In no particular order:

Fast and Dirty (FAD)
A game that still gets recommended in forum discussions when people ask about hard scifi rules.

I sold off the rights to the game and if you look online, you can find their take on the rules, which includes some changes, streamlining and detailing. It is, to my knowledge, also free.

I have not ruled out revisiting some of the base concepts again in the future, but it'd have to be done right and without feeling like it was too close to the original.

Trench Storm
Originally published by The Tin Dictator, the rights reverted to me for a while before being sold off.
I am unaware of the current status of the game right now.

I don't foresee having any projects in that vein. Trench Hammer has mostly taken that role.

Blast Pistol etc.
These "mini systems" were reasonably popular so they will return but things keep getting in the way.
I wanted to turn the disparate systems into a single, low-involvement skirmish system.

An orc too far
Response to this was very limited but the people who got into it really liked it.
I still hope to finish it some day.

Acrid smell of powder
Similar in that only a handful of people ever communicated any interest (though they did like it).
I think the presentation was too dull, so I will sit on this one for a while and then try to re-do it.

I worry that the game was too abstract for what it was trying to accomplish (and may have tried to tread the same ground as the black powder version of Blast Pistol, while doing it less well)

Sunday, 19 May 2019

Anniversary and a thank you to all of you

Greetings friends and gamers.

This month is something rather special.
It’s the 5 year anniversary of starting Nordic Weasel Games.

It’s been a big, crazy ride.
Together, we’ve explored WW2, black powder warfare, scifi gang squabbles and mass hovertank warfare. Pulp adventure and cold war campaigns. 
We’ve campaigned, we’ve solo’ed and hopefully we’ve had a dang good time in the process.

I don’t know what I expected when I quit my job to write games.
I knew I had ideas that I thought people would enjoy. I knew I loathed working for an unethical company that demanded I treat the people below me like dirt.

I was uncertain whether you could make “real money” off writing games. 
I certainly didn’t fully anticipate the multitudes of things that I’d have to learn: 
How to talk to customers who had demands. How to react to reviews. How to improve my layout skills.
How to make a book be presentable and more importantly how to make it easy to use.

You could pick up a book and learn many of those things of course. I just rushed into it and figured it out as we went.

What nobody could prepare me for was the emails.
People writing me telling me how a game had gotten them back into miniatures.
Or how they just spent an afternoon playing a battle with their children and had a blast.
How someone went out and bought a brand new army just to play a game I’d written.
Someone telling me something was the best game of its kind that they’d ever played.

And it’s easy to bask in flattery. I’m only human after all and I wouldn’t write if I didn’t think I had something sort-of-important to say.

But it also reminds me of something different:
That gaming is about being human.
They’re only toy soldiers, but we all know that isn’t really true. 
They can be stories. They can be connections to our family or our friends. They can be a learning experience.
They can be moments and memories.

If I stopped tomorrow (not that I intend to) I think all you crazy people out there would have given me enough moments and memories to warm my heart for a life-time.


To celebrate the last five years and the next five, we’re doing some big bundle sales.

The bundles are all 55% off, except the Mega Bundle.

If you own some of the products in the Bundles, it should remove those from the price, so these are a fantastic way to finish out a collection. 
If you’ve been pondering something new to get into or just want a bunch of cool ideas to borrow for your own table, why not a grab a bundle for something brand new?

We have a FiveCore bundle, offering all the core systems for the FiveCore family of games: Literally where it all started for Nordic Weasel.

A bundle for the In Sight series of harshly realistic platoon warfare

Five Parsecs for scifi solo gaming fun. Should include all supplements.

Five Leagues for solo fantasy gaming. Should include all supplements.

An Assorted bundle with a collection of games that didn’t fit anywhere else.

Our famous Starport Scum and Dungeon Scum pseudo-RPG rules and supplements.

Renegade Scout and all expansions for your retro scifi fix.

All our Hammer games, for rules-light play across the ages.

Greatest Hits. This is a collection of what I consider the crowning achievements of Nordic Weasel design.
If you want the best, this is it.

Mega bundle.
This mad bundle is ALL of the core rulebooks we sell currently.
You want the entire thing? You want more games than you’ll play this year?
This is it. This is all of it.




Once again. Thank you. I literally couldn’t have done it alone.

Thursday, 16 May 2019

The Blighted Lands available

If you want to expand your Five Leagues campaigns, a small expansion pack is available.
For the price of a cup of coffee, you get new encounters, rules for mounted combat and all the notes required to adventure in a land of nomad tribes and angry desert animals.

https://www.wargamevault.com/product/275896/The-Blighted-Lands?src=newest_recent

Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Five Leagues rules updates

1.01 is available from the Wargame Vault.
It offers the following tweaks:

The post-game injury table has been made slightly friendlier.
The results have shifted up 5-10 points and injury durations are generally a turn shorter.

If you have multiple saves, they should now get combined into one save.
So instead of rolling twice at 6+, you generally roll once at 5+ instead.

The dice rolls to reduce threat after a battle are easier now (4+ for holding the field, 3+ for camps) and threat only increases if you did not hold the field (on a roll of 1).


These tweaks should make the game just a little bit smoother and more fun to play.

Monday, 13 May 2019

NWG Discord

Here at Nordic Weasel, we're always eager to try out new things so I
just wanted to let you all know that we have a Discord server now for Nordic Weasel Games!

If you want to ask rules questions, talk about what you are up to or just share a few photos of your mini's, come on by
https://discord.gg/vFVmE59

It'll probably be pretty quiet but I think it could end up being pretty awesome.

Friday, 10 May 2019

HoD 0.91 released

Keen eyes have helped catch a bunch of typos, sort out some inconsistencies, note that the SU-76 should clearly be open-topped and other assorted silliness.

We've also clarified how firing into cover and terrain works better, as well as what happens when firing at soft-skin vehicles.


I have a few optional bits that will be added soon, including an option for the attack roll to influence damage.
Some diagrams will be added as well and we're still working on the solo options.

Go to your library on the Wargame Vault and download your file again.

Wednesday, 8 May 2019

The weasel and the miniatures page

I was alerted to the fact that some people were wondering why my account was locked out on The Miniatures Page a while back, despite my games generally being well regarded over there.

I'd let this lie but people who are interested deserve to know and the truth has a habit of being distorted by the management of the site.
So if you care about internet drama, here you go. If you do not, well, good on you.


To clarify a long time ago, in a discussion about US policy in Afghanistan, a gentleman suggested that we should adopt the methods of the Germans in handling the issue due to their brutality.

As I'm not a particularly great fan of genocide, I posted a picture of German soldiers executing Russian civilians and asked if that's what he meant.

The gentleman, who prides himself on being a straight shooter who disdains people being too easily offended reported my post, which got me locked for a few days.
The charge was that I'd called him a Nazi.
While my account was locked, the gentleman in question repeatedly slandered me on the forums.

When I got unlocked, I posted that I was going to take a few days off the forum.

Bill, the editor and owner of the site, took that as an opportunity to personally attack and insult me, while several posters pointed out that the initial charge was absurd and that I shouldn't have been sanctioned at all.

So I resolved to not return as anyone would have done.


However, I believe in forgiving and forgetting, so I will extend this offer:

Should Bill provide a written apology including the words "I am sorry I am such a massive tool" then I would consider returning to his site.


That is all.

Tuesday, 7 May 2019

FiveCore 4. Step 1

I always have a lot of things cooking at any given time.

While tinkering away with the SquadHammer toolkit, I wanted to also talk a bit about a bit of a labor of love: Namely working on what will become FiveCore 4th edition.

The decision to do a new version comes from a few things:

* As most of you know it was done in LibreOffice. I use Pages now, so I'd like to move it over to that and polish up the look of the rules a bit.
Since there's not a real easy way to do that without redoing a bunch of stuff, it seems like it's the perfect time to take a look at the rules too.

* We are not reinventing the wheel or creating something completely new here, but there's a lot of little ideas that have come up over the years, whether from my own thoughts or the games played out there in clubs and on the blogs.
I'd like to include some of the best ones to spice up the game and make it more dramatic.

* Of course, I'll also take the opportunity to tweak a few spots where people seem to get confused as well as iron out some of the fiddly bits.
There's a few "stop gaps" in there that aren't as elegant as they could have been.

* Lastly, the weapons and equipment will be expanded to cover things like the much-requested black powder era as well as having some more tech-gadgets available in the game.
Those of you who have followed my work for a long time might see some things you recognize.


All in all, the goal is to create the coolest, most fun version of FiveCore skirmish you've had yet.

I don't know any particulars right now as far as page-count (but I suspect it'll be similar or maybe a bit bigger) cost (see above) or anything like that.

It probably won't be a crowd-funded project, though if you want to contribute a bit to get the work coming along, I am open to that.
I don't think there'll be a public alpha/beta test for this one, since we know the core system is solid.
If either changes, I'll let you know.

If you'd like to help test when things get a bit closer, you can email me at nordicweaselgames@icloud.com and I'd be happy to consider you.
You need to be able to respond quickly to email and you need to have a clear understanding of what FiveCore is, as a system.

If you don't have the time to test but want to let me know what you think I should add/change/remove system-wise, you can hit me up on email as well.

At the moment, I am thinking it'll be a stand-alone new game, so you'll have to buy it again.
If we get to the end of it, and I don't feel the changes are that substantial, it might be a free upgrade. We'll see.
I hope you trust me to be fair in my decision.

Thursday, 2 May 2019

Hammer of Democracy release!



After almost a year, Hammer of Democracy is finally released to the unsuspecting public.

Well, maybe not unsuspecting.

So what do we have here? WW2 wargaming, based on the Squad Hammer system:

Fast, friendly, open to your own judgements but fully featured as a standard wargame.

You get a scenario generator, vehicle lists, a tool box to cover unusual situations, traits and a points cost formula so if you need a vehicle I didn't include, you can make it yourself.

If you prefer life a bit less predictable, you also get a random army generator, perfect for pick-up games and of course all the stuff you'd want in a game normally, like artillery rules, smoke, etc.


The core of the game is the order system, allowing only a limited number of actions each turn, coupled with the Support system, which lets you coordinate your machine guns and anti-tank guns with your assaults and defensive operations, in a really cool combined arms manner.

Most dice rolls are simple 2D6 rolls with morale and damage rolled into one measure, which I think may surprise you with just how elegant it feels in play.

Combat moves quickly and you can focus on commanding the battle, not fiddling with rules minutia.

Scale is 1 stand = 1 squad or vehicle. Any miniatures you have are fine, infantry can be based individually or on team bases.

If you already have figures based for Crossfire, Flames of War, Company Command or IABSM, you will be fine. Just get the rules and dive in.


https://www.wargamevault.com/product/274635/Hammer-of-Democracy


If you purchased the beta version, a discount code will be going out tomorrow or the day after. If you don't receive it (or can't wait!) email me at nordicweaselgames@icloud.com

Indiegogo backers should also email me for their copies.