Friday, 3 July 2020

KPS Fantasy is coming

This will be a fairly large expansion. Possibly it should have been a stand-alone game but we can live that for an updated and expanded version down the road.

This will add fantasy elements to Knyghte Pyke and Sworde.
The content list will look something like this:

* Fantasy peoples (from orcs and elves to tribal barbarians and rat people) - 10.
Each of these have two simple rules that apply to them to set them apart.

For example Dwarves are slow but can fight on even if they are wounded.

* A monster list with a bit over 25 creatures on it. Anything from harpies to trolls and manticores.
These can be used in army list play but are of course well suited to scenarios as well.
This also expands the rules to cover large monsters.

* Special units: 6 unique units inspired by mythology and fantasy literature.

* Fantastic mounts: 4 new types of riding mount to supplement the trusty horse.

* New Individual types to get that fantasy flair, from Thieves to Sorcerers.

* A beefy section with Heroes of Renown. This will have "definitely inspired by" heroes from literature as well as champions from mythology (or even history).

If you ever wanted Jeanne D'Arc and Will Scarlet to take on "That guy looks a lot like Conan" this is your chance.

* Finally a section of magic weapons and items to outfit characters with.


The goal here is a big, lovely grab bag of fantasy goodies allowing a ton of fun adventure-filled gaming.
As with the core game, the aim is on relatively simple rules, meaning each new creature or element typically gets a single special rule.

Friday, 26 June 2020

Dark Woods 1.01 available

Make sure to download your file again: 3 bugs were fixed thanks to a keen-eyed reader.

The rules for fear-causing monsters incorrectly asked you to roll 2D8. This should of course be 2D6.

The Buried Blade had a reference to Fighting Styles which is now removed. In addition, its now clear that the blade is magical (and follows normal magic item rules).

The Goblin encounter did not mention exactly what happens when the goblins are near a plant. It is now clarified that they heal their Wounds if rolling a 1-2.

Happy hunting.

Tuesday, 23 June 2020

A bit of general news

First, there may be more swashbucklery action coming from NWG in the near future. Keep your eyes tuned. I have a colleague  working on something that I think those of you with a knack for rapiers, wheel locks and dashing heroes may find very cool.

* * *

Secondly, I have the raw version of an updated version of The Goblin Hills, the second major campaign expansion for Five Leagues that needs updating.

As with Dark Woods, the new version has new content, updates and even includes an option to run a goblin campaign.

It will likely be another week or so before it becomes available.

* * *
Third, a fan is producing a Five Men at Kursk campaign booklet for the Norwegian campaign.
Playable as French, British, Poles, Norwegians or Germans, this lets you fight your way through the Norwegian campaign of WW2.

It is built on the same structure as Warsaw is Burning, allowing you to carry over squads to future expansions.

I know people have wanted to see more campaigns for a long time, so I hope you are stoked about this one.

I have the file in my hands basically playable, though it still needs touching up and lay out. I imagine we're a week or two away from this one.

* * *
The planned Five Leagues magic item pack is delayed a bit, since I realized I wanted to take the chance and flesh out the magic items a bit more in general. I hope you understand.

* * *
The last Patreon pack for the month will be for Five Parsecs. I am working on that content now, but it won't be available until the very end of the month, giving me more time to tinker with it.

Sunday, 21 June 2020

Dark Woods of Winter 2

Excited to say that the 2nd edition of Dark Woods of Winter is here.

If you are not familiar, it is an add-on campaign for Five Leagues, taking place in a faerie forest full of strange things.

As you adventure here, you will have strange encounters, fight terrible monsters and maybe even pick up a few new skills and items.

The campaign is pitched as definitely being tougher than the standard campaign, particularly in its 2nd edition version, so it's well suited for people who have finished a campaign already or after playing Hopes of Glory.

If you have the original, the 2nd edition version is updated to be fully compatible, has references and clarifications for various items across the 2E game line.
Additional encounters has been added, as well as a ton of new combat encounters courtesy of fan Harry Kruger.

A lot of you have asked for more chances to fight big monsters and Dark Woods certainly delivers on that with everything from Banshees to Giant Stags to twisted faerie giants.

You can pick up the new expansion at the Vault as usual.

As this is a fairly substantial expansion of the content, it is not a free upgrade. You will have to buy the new version.

That being said, if you bought the original within the last 30 days, email me with what you paid and I'll figure out a discount for you so you just pay the difference. I figure that's a fair compromise ?

1e players should note that the new version is not compatible with 1e as it relies on mechanics only available in 2. If you are a 1e die-hard and need/want a copy contact me and we're figure something out.

Saturday, 6 June 2020

Writing projects updates

At the moment, I think every writing project I have posted about has been spoken for, so I won't need any more submissions.

I should clarify that this of course does not mean they will all end up becoming products:
People have things come up, accidents happen or the writer realizes it wasn't quite the right project for their interests. These things happen naturally.

However, it IS a good sign as NWG slowly moves into the next stage of world domination.


I am still interested in things that meet the following requirements:

* Games that meet many/most of the following criteria:
Ideally on the lighter side.
Fits a niche NWG does not currently cover.
Feels at home among the general style of our game mechanics.

I am not interested in "micro-games" but shorter games are fine.

* Tools, subjects or ideas that would be of value to the average wargamer, such as a cool solo game engine, a set of WW2 company level scenarios, a scenario generator for Napoleonic warfare etc.
These are ideally things that could be released generically and usable by any gamer.

* I am also specifically looking for someone with an interest in "matrix style" gaming who might take a stab at updating War Story. Experience with solo gaming would be a plus.


Tuesday, 2 June 2020

A few words


The US is on fire.
There's a pandemic that has killed over 100.000 people. City streets are thick with gas. Elected officials want ever-increasing surveillance and control of the internet. We are seeing daily video that looks like it was taken in East Germany in 1989.

People are worried. People are scared. People are upset. People are hurt.

Around the RPG sphere of the internet, I've seen a lot of people say that choosing to not address politics or "to keep politics out of gaming" is a sign of luxury and privilege. That a lot of people don't have that luxury because politics isn't an abstract hobby to engage in at their leisure.

And they are 100% right. I agree with them.

A lot of people are responding that for them gaming is a moment of respite from the grind of the world, to escape all the things that haunt us.

And they are 100% right. I agree with them.

I'm not sure what I even could say at this point that others haven't said better. And I don't think at this time anyone should especially care what I have to say in any event.

For now, I am continuing what I have been doing:
Trying to provide a few snippets in one corner of the internet where we can have a moment of respite from the world.

I support the voice of companies and designers that are opting to do the same.
I support the voice of companies and designers that are speaking out or donating or advocating.


I hope everyone stays safe.

Thursday, 28 May 2020

Marmoset is here! And other updates

I've received several emails with pitches for the writing gigs.
I will go over them this weekend so please arm yourselves with patience :)

If you would still like to be considered, hit me up over the weekend.

Likewise, if you have an idea for something that would set the indie wargaming world on fire (or maybe the RPG world?) and which doesn't have an example in the NWG line up, why not hit me up?

Now on to the big news:

Five Leagues 1.00, codenamed Marmoset will be live shortly!

What is that ? 1.00? Were we playing a beta version all along?

Not really. When I released the game I had anticipated that there'd be the usual post-launch fixes and improvements so I'd assigned it a version number of 0.9.
With this big update, its finally time to just call it 1.0 and stop looking silly :)

Is this a whole new mess then?

No, there's relatively few rules changes. Rather the focus this time was to add a slew of little new things to increase the fun and variety of the game.

A change-log is in the back of the rules.

Some of these are an indication of general changes in tones (more combat options, more enemy variety) that will come but instead of throwing a bunch of things in there at once, I am doing it gradually so we can adjust things as they happen.

Mechanical changes:
Characters can now hit the dirt to take cover from missile fire as a Non Combat action.

You now also have an option to fight defensively in melee, useful for when you are trying to hold off some beastie while your friends can get there!

Campaign changes:
Instead of requiring a travelers pack to move regions, you now have to pay 4 gold marks in traveling expenses instead.


If no enemy leader is present, a personality will be present on a 4+.

When you finish a campaign and start over, your members will now leave on a 1-2.

The Unusual Finds table can now grant you a new recruit

When setting up a battle, you only roll one die for Oddities. An Oddity is present on a 3+.
The Oddities table has had 2 new results added and one missing result now has text (oops)

The main encounter table has been adjusted a bit. There's less chance of having "no encounter" now.  
You can also find monster tracks which you may opt to follow at our peril.

The Monster chapter now has notes for generic set up when you track down a beastie.

Character changes:
A Crafting skill has been added to aid weapon crafting.

The Gambling skill has been changed. It now offers a re-roll unless the initial score was a 6.

Item changes:
If saving a character from death using a healing herb, an additional 1D3 turns of recovery is required.

The Travelers Pack is now a Pony and negates travel expenses when leaving for a new region.

The Luck potion is now a Potion of Fortune.

A new magic item has been added to the tables (Eyes of the Rat).

Slings are now on the weapon list.

Torches can now be bought and used to light the dark.

Enemy changes:
When  rolling for enemy variations, it's no longer random. Instead you automatically get one strength and one weakness.

The Infernal Personality enemy has been reduced to Toughness 6.
A new beastman type Personality has been added to the table.
The magic ability of the Sorcerer Personality has been adjusted.
The Knight Personality now negates bonuses for outnumbering him.

A new Monster ability (Knock Back) has been added to the rules and granted to Giants and Golems.
Werewolves have the Cruel Wounds ability now.
A new type of Troll has been added to the Monster table.

Each of the 3 main Enemy tables has an additional entry (enemy type) and one of the existing types has had a special rule or ability added.

General changes:
A bunch of touching up to make things easier to read at a glance, as well as a bit of clip art.


I hope you enjoy Marmoset and have many happy hours gaming.

Wednesday, 27 May 2020

2 more writing gigs: Kursk campaigns and WW1/2 air combat

Five Men at Kursk writing gig

I am looking for writers to do one or both of the following projects:

  • A campaign guide for the Soviet-Japanese skirmishes culminating at Khalkin Gol. 

This will follow the structure and approximate format of the “Warsaw is burning” supplement.

As Japanese forces are only sparsely covered by the rulebook, you will need to create force generation tables, vehicle profiles and support tables. 

Possibly a new support table will be needed for Soviet forces as the rulebook table starts at 1941.

The campaign must be playable as either Japanese or Soviet.

The Soviet campaign must allow a player to carry their force over into “Warsaw is burning”. 

  • A campaign guide for the Winter War (1939-40)

This will follow the above guidelines and will require force tables for Finnish and Winter War-appropriate Soviet forces.

The campaign must again be playable as either side.

The Soviet campaign must allow a force that played “Warsaw is burning” to be “imported”. 

* * * * *

You should be well versed in the Kursk game mechanics. If you are an experienced FiveCore player I can supply a copy of the rules to help you get up to speed.

You should understand the general tone of Nordic Weasel products, particularly relating to historical conflicts.

You will do the majority of the writing with help from me as needed. I will handle layout and editing. 
Page count should be in the 20-30 page range.

You will receive half of all profit from copies sold as well as your name listed as the author of course.

Nordic Weasel takes to the skies writing gig

I am looking for a writer to take on air combat in the first or second world war, preferably WW1.

You can adapt an existing NWG game system or write one from scratch.

The end result should be easy and simple to play with minimal book keeping. It can be aimed towards beginners. Ideally the game mechanics should fit in 30 pages or less.

The game must include a NWG style campaign experience where the player follows a set of pilots and engages in random battles. 


  • * * * *

Experience writing wargaming material is recommended but not required. 

You must have a good understanding of mechanics that “fit” in the pantheon of NWG products as well as matching the general tone. 

You will not be required to do any layout, editing etc. 
I will assist with feedback and some design but this will primarily be your game. 

You will receive half of all profit from copies sold as well as being credited as the author of the rules. 


If you are interested in either, contact me at nordicweaselgames@icloud.com for more details.

Tuesday, 19 May 2020

Five Men in Normandy 1.02

Another update to Normandy. Oh my.

This sees a slightly updated Campaign Events table, a mostly rewritten&improved Specialist gear table, US marine force list and one or two other small tweaks.

The only rules change is that the marching fire option that was removed from semi-auto rifles is now also gone from the assault rifle.

Go download your copies again.

Monday, 18 May 2020

A bit of updates on what is brewing

Saying what I am working on is always tricky because there is always something else someone wants, sometimes projects get pushed back or financial concerns (i.e. what sells) dictate what gets priority.

*
There are a few people out there now working on a number of projects for me.
- This includes a major update to Laserstorm.
- Knyghte Pyke and Sworde supplements for Japan and pike&shot warfare.
- A unit builder for Squad Hammer

While nothing is every certain, I thought those would be things you'd be interested in hearing about.

*
I am working on something very big that I unfortunately can't talk about just yet. I'll tease a little and say its something that has been on people's wishlists for a while though.

*
This month, Five Leagues will get an update which I've code-named "Marmoset".
The intent of this is not a major overhaul, but rather to simply add a bit more content throughout the game. That means a couple new items, a couple new magic trinkets, adding a new entry to each of the enemy tables, adding a tiny bit of special rules to some encounters etc.
As well as adjusting a few things based on feedback and emails.

Basically, just making the game a little bit cooler and with a little bit more variety, but without going overboard and changing everything.

I hope that sounds exciting.

*
There are other things in the works as always, as well as older projects that gets pushed around. At the end of the day, I am a one man operation (though that is slowly changing!) so the rate at which things happen can be pretty variable.

I hope you are all staying safe and sound.

- Ivan

Tuesday, 12 May 2020

Five Men in Normandy updates

Will wonders never cease?

Thanks to a bit of side funding from Patreon, we're able to spend a bit more time on older projects that need a little oomph here and there.

Five Men in Normandy wasn't the first game I wrote, but it was the first game under the Nordic Weasel branding and while she got a facelift in the 30 cal edition I know there's still die-hards playing the rules.
So I thought I'd add a few tweaks that I think make the game more exciting, as well as give you guys some new content.

* A few updates to how you create your initial squad. It now defaults to 5 rolls with some nations getting a +/- 1 depending on the time of the war.

You can also select to be green, seasoned or veteran which affects your initial skill and gear rolls a tiny bit.

* Enemy forces now default to 4 rolls instead of 3. When fighting the Soviets add +1.

* Force lists are added for Japanese and Chinese forces.

* Rolling "extra grenades" now gives you 3 instead of 2.

* Each army now has a Tactic listed. Basically once per battle, you can swap the Action roll result for the described tactic (scurry, firefight or standard turn).

* The special ability for Finnish troops has been fixed.

* Scurry and Firefight turns no longer allow the enemy to respond. This is a big change, but after testing it, I believe it does make the game a lot more fun to play.

* Standard turns now allow half the squad to activate instead of a fixed number.

* I removed the marching fire rule from self-loading rifles. If you really like it you can keep using it of course but i was never super happy with it.

This is a free update, so go ahead and download your copy of the rules again.

If you downloaded them for free and have had fun, please consider going back and paying a few bucks into the pot.

If you haven't checked the game out yet, no time like the present.
You can find it Pay What You Want here

Tuesday, 5 May 2020

Update on projects I am looking for people for

The Laserstorm update is assigned to somebody currently.
Likewise, a Squad Hammer project has been farmed out.

Hooray.

* * *
I am still looking for a taker to update the Five Leagues supplements.

* * *
I am also looking for someone well versed in Matrix-type gaming and narrative gaming to take a stab at updating War Story to polish off the mechanics a bit, add some tweaks.

* * *
If you really liked Knyghte and want to write something for it, get in touch, especially if you are well versed in Japanese warfare (medieval through muskets), crusade era, roman era or late 1500s European warfare.

EDIT: Pike and Shot and Japanese is tentatively spoken for.

* * *
Do you have what it takes to do an update and polish up of From Shako to Coalscuttle?

If so, get in touch.

EDIT: No more submissions for this one please.

* * *
Finally, if you are a veteran WW2 gamer and understand the Hammer of Democracy rules well, I am looking for someone to work on a 1939 supplement.
Ideally this would include comprehensive unit stats, scenarios and more goodies and should cover both Poland and Finland.

* * *

These are all thing that will be paid, I am not looking for handouts.

Either a modest up front amount or a fifty fifty cut of revenue (after wargame vault takes their cut).

If you have what it takes, reach me at nordicweaselgames@icloud.com and I'll let you know what I have in mind and we can then figure out where to go from there.

Saturday, 2 May 2020

New games, new things.


Greetings nerds.
I hope everyone is staying safe.

Being in the Bundle of Holding exposed a ton of people to the fun that is solo gaming and miniatures campaigns. Thank you to everyone that supported the bundle and got games as well as money for charity.

* * *

We've released two new titles:

Knyghte, Pyke and Sworde is medieval game rules as discussed here before:
5-30ish figures, skirmishes well and you get everything from campaign rules to a cool rewards table for your captain.

Suitable for any individually based figures.
https://www.wargamevault.com/product/311310/Knyghte-Pyke-and-Sworde

And if the future is a bit more your jam, why not Jason's phenomenal cyberpunk skirmish rules Chrome Hammer? Based off Squad Hammer, you can hack, shoot and cyberpunk to your hearts content. And look at that cover!

https://www.wargamevault.com/product/311316/Chrome-Hammer?

* * *
I am looking for a bit of hired help.
Specifically the two Five Leagues supplements "The Goblin Hills" and "Dark Woods of Winter" need to be updated. This means making any changes needed to fit second edition standards, fix any bad wordings, replace bad rules with better ones and adding a bit of new content.

You will need to be well versed in Five Leagues and able to match the general tone, as well as what level of complexity is appropriate.
The final document should resemble the general style I use, but does not have to match exactly. I will be making final adjustments etc.

This is a simple job for pay:
250 dollars through paypal if you want to do both, 125 for each otherwise.

If you are curious about what is involved, email me at nordicweaselgames@icloud.com.

* * *
In the same vein, I am looking for someone to take on doing an update of an old NWG title: Laserstorm.
To be honest, I don't have the time to do every project I want to do, let alone all the projects that needs doing.

This will be a bigger project to produce a second edition: Update wordings, add game examples, update and streamline the points system, replace bad rules with good ones and include missing content (such as air units).

It will either be a paid amount up front to be negotiated or a fixed royalty split (35% of sales value (which equates to half the royalties after wargame vault takes their cut).
We can discuss the details.

If you think you have what it takes for this, contact me at nordicweaselgames@icloud.com as well with a few words about yourself and an offer

* * *
Finally, if you are in a tough situation due to COVID, being out of work or life just generally kicked you in the teeth, email me and I'll hook you up with a free copy of Starport Scum.

Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Bundle of Holding

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/SoloGames 

Nordic Weasel has joined the Bundle of Holding. Get solo mini's titles along with Iron Sworn and a load of other awesome goodies.
And help support charity in the process!

Stay home, stay safe, support the effort to fight COVID-19 and get access to a bunch of fantastic titles.

Monday, 23 March 2020

A bit of personal talk

With the virus still on the upswing and my state just issuing a "stay home" warning, we're all bunkered down so I thought I'd share a bit of an update on how we're doing in general.

My wife got sent to work from home due to having a bad sinus infection, but luckily her job is both staying open and getting people set up with remote access. We were rather worried about her being put on leave, but so far so good.

Work on weasel projects is still proceeding apace. The medieval rules will be available soon, I hope. (Every time I say something like that, I jinx something so let's say "soon" instead)

The cat is enjoying having humans around all day long. He's taking to single-kitty life pretty well, though once we're not quarantined any longer, we're going to look at getting a young cat to keep him company.
I suspect the fact the prime sleeping spot in front of the glass door is now available suits him just fine though.




* * * * *

I don't talk a lot about my personal gaming mostly to keep things separated from work, but with us all stuck home, I suppose it's not a bad thing to relax that rule a little.

My current miniatures project is to build medieval armies, both for my own game rules but also for use with Columbia Games Battlelust, as well as doubling for RPG purposes (Pendragon and Harn primarily).

I'm doing it in 15mm and the idea is to branch out into having both medieval and low-fantasy stuff. So far, I've gone with Khurasan but I will definitely be ordering some Splintered Light in April (if I can!).
Unfortunately, weather has not been terribly conducive to getting anything spray-painted and we have snow on the ground now, so it'll likely continue being too wet for a while.

The two online games I am in (playing in a D&D 5 game and running a Harn 1st edition game) are both going fine. The D&D game is an odd beast, where the characters are all people who died in a different world, so we have one person from the Forgotten Realms, one person from Harn and one from a homebrew D&D world used in a prior campaign.

The face-to-face Pendragon game is on break right now, due to social distancing. I'm super excited about continuing that one.

The D&D game is only scheduled for a month or so, after which we'll be starting another long campaign which I will be running. Ideas so far are either Pendragon or a Harn thieves guild campaign. I've kicked around the thought of doing Advanced Fighting Fantasy but Im not sure if the long-term potential is there.

My book reading has mainly been Arthurian lately with Gillian Bradshaw's "Hawk of May" trilogy (which is really quite good). Also picked up this baby for a couple bucks on ebay.

 



* * * * *
So hey, things aren't so bad.

I hope you guys out there are all safe and sound. I've seen an upswing in blogging, people chatting on discord and whatnot. Yesterday, I hung out on video chat while a guy was playing a Five Leagues scenario. Take the staying home seriously but keep your spirits up.

We live in an age where "at home" doesn't have to be "alone". Take advantage of that.

Wednesday, 18 March 2020

Stay Home. Stay Safe. Part 2


As more companies, particularly on the RPG side, are offering some goodies for people stuck at home, here's two more from Nordic Weasel, this time for the WW2 mini's gamers.

Hammer of Democracy discounted to 5 dollars for the current week. Full version, only 5 bucks.


And Five Men at Kursk, our premier WW2 skirmish rules, absolutely free of charge until Friday.


You can get a game of Kursk going with 10 or so minis. Order two boxes of 1/72 scale plastics or a couple of bags of 15mm guys and you are off. 

Heck, if you are stuck inside and broke, grab some miniatures you already have lying around or cut out pieces of paper and write the soldiers name on them. 

If you've never done WW2 before, Kursk gives you the tables to get a campaign going, without fussing over complicated books of organization. 

I hope this makes your stay at home a bit nicer. 

Stay home. Stay safe. 

Five Klicks 1.01 is live.

Update 1.01 to Five Klicks is available on the Wargame Vault.
This update is free to all players and is possible through the generous support of fans on Patreon.

* The silly blank page is gone.

* The "extra item roll" you can get during character creation is now clarified how it was meant to be: Pick one of the four item tables in the character creation table and roll on that.

* The mysterious "enemy" you could roll up during character creation now has rules.
I've included the section below so you don't have to print that chapter again

Every battle where you encounter opposing Leadership figures roll 1D6. On a 6, a random Leadership figure is your old Rival. The Rival cannot be Pinned and never takes Morale tests personally, though they will flee (and may return in a future encounter using the rules above). If you manage to kill your Rival, the killer claims 2 XP.


Sunday, 15 March 2020


Cheers gang. 
I hope you'll forgive the joke image but I figured everyone could use a bit of cheer right now.

As we're all bunkering down and waiting for things to improve with COVID-19, I just wanted to share a few words.

Over the past few years, the community of "Weasel Fans" have meant a lot to me. From people helping us out when we were nearly homeless to words of support to the unbridled joy of someone emailing me with pictures from a game they put on with their kids, it means the world to me.
So I hope you all stay safe and follow precautions. 
Hopefully things will turn out for the better and we can laugh about it later.

I was in two minds about trying to do any kind of sale right now, since I was worried it'd seem ghoulish, but a friend pointed out that since a lot of people are kind of economically vulnerable right now, it'd probably be a nice gesture.

Besides, I know from personal experience what having the kids out of school is like and they can't play Xbox all day, right?

So I put up a bundle deal for 5 Parsecs and 5 Leagues for a few bucks off.


If you don't have any hobby budget but want some gaming to tide you over, we have a couple really cool titles you can grab at Pay What You Want level:



Go give those a look. If you feel weird about not paying, you can always come back later and throw a few bucks in the hat.


Lastly, if any of you are lonely or worried or don't have anyone to reach out to, if you want someone to listen, hit me up at runequester@icloud.com and I'll listen. 

Best wishes friends. 

Thursday, 12 March 2020

Five Parsecs 1.15

Version 1.15 is available, thanks to Patreon supporters.

As promised, this contains no huge changes, just small quality of life improvements.

A few typos have been fixed, notably rooting out a few tables that were still saying "enemies" instead of "rivals".

The equipment chapter now has clear guideline for how much gear a character can lug around: Max 3 weapons (1 of which must be a pistol), 1 Armor, 1 Screen and 2 Implants.
Implants cannot be removed, destroyed or lost.

Weapons can be fitted with a maximum of 1 Gun Mod and 1 Sight. Gun Mods cannot be removed again. Sights can, but are broken if the weapon they are attached to breaks.

All equipment lists should be updated to account for the new item types.

The cost to buy randomly rolled weapons in the campaign is now 3 credits.

Players can buy handguns, blades, colony rifles and shotguns directly for 1 credit a pop.

Two items have been renamed (Old fashioned blade is now just a blade and we had two items named a shift suit)

Lastly, I added a loyalty bonus for fun. Players who own Five Leagues, Five Klicks and Five Parsecs begin the campaign with +1 Story Point.
Really, you can start with any number of Story Points you want, I just figured I'd give the loyal fan a sanctioned thumbs up :)


This is a free update, so go download your files again from the Wargame Vault.

Tuesday, 3 March 2020

Medieval warfare!

It's been a while since we've had a new Weasel system hasn't it?

While we're still a little bit away, I wanted to take the time today to talk about the next original Weasel rules set: Knyghte, Pyke and Sworde. 

The game is, as you can no doubt guess, medieval warfare.

There are a lot of motivations for writing a game. Sometimes it's tied to a specific mechanical idea, sometimes you want to explore a specific aspect of warfare, sometimes you don't can't find exactly what you are after.
In this case it was the latter. Most games on the market seem to cater either to strictly warband style skirmishes with only a couple of figures or they use a small number of figures to stand in for a larger force.
What I wanted though was something that was more tangibly man to man but which would let me play at a range of scales at the lower end of the spectrum: In other words, raids and patrols.

I also had a hankering for a more old-fashioned turn sequence. "Command rolls" are very common in gaming today and they have a lot to commend them, but I think they also change the focus of the game. As I knew I wanted to work with a lower scale, I wanted the player to have a bit more control over things than is normally the case.

Lastly, while I wanted to be able to cover a wide range of gaming from dark ages to the emergence of the harquebus, I also wanted to able to eventually cross into things like wargaming in the world of Hárn, Robin Hood or King Arthur.

Game size
The rules are intended for games ranging from 4-5 figures on each side up to 30 or so. A typical unit is 6 figures (though options are included to play at half scale with 3 figure units) and a typical "army" is 2-4 such units plus a couple individual figures.

I wanted the rules to be pretty affordable for people who want to start gaming the medieval era, as well as allowing players with current armies for games like Lion rampant to be able to play immediately.
It was also important to me that the game would scale down well, allowing a fun lunch break game with only 4-5 miniatures each.

Mass Skirmish
The figures are not standing in for a larger number of men. A unit of 5 Saxons represents a band of 5 actual Saxons. Combat is man-to-man as a result. When two units meet, it is a series of duels with men being pushed back or falling in the mud, not an abstraction.

It was important to me that the game would feel fairly tangible and personal.

Core mechanics
The turn sequence functions through alternating activations. Every unit will act each turn, with players taking turns to pick a unit to act with.
One of the character types is a Scout, who can be used to be clever. On their own, the Scout is just one lonely figure without any special fighting or leadership skills, but they allow you to take your turn and move just the one guy, forcing your opponent to move another of their units before you commit your cavalry for example.

Melee combat is an opposed roll between the two warriors with an injury roll to see if the loser is wounded or knocked out.
Missile attacks are rolled against a target number, so they can be rolled in batches.

For Morale, I opted for a different approach. A lot of "Who got the most hits" type systems for deciding who checks Morale don't feel right to me in a skirmish. If 4 men charge 4 enemies and one of them gets wounded, is that really a panic inducing level of defeat?

To my view, a group of hardened warriors would expect people to get hurt or killed, so that shouldn't bother them. As such, any unit can take one casualty each turn and not be bothered. If they take more than that, a quick morale check is made which can result in them retreating or fleeing the battle field.
This also helps reward players for a bit of combined arms: Shooting up a unit before charging them is much more likely to send them running away than just trading blows in the shield wall.

One addition I think you'll find interesting is Exhaustion.
Some actions (running, fighting in melee, rapid archery) cause the unit to get an exhaustion token.
This prevents it from running or conducting rapid archery the next round (as the men need a breather) but it also penalizes you in melee (your men lose on a draw).

This means players will have to pay closer attention to what is happening: Charging into one unit and savaging them, but being open to a counter-charge could be a disaster. You may have to prioritize between running those reinforcements up to get stuck in as quick as possible, but potentially fight at a disadvantage, versus advancing more cautiously and being ready for a fight.

Leadership

At the lower level of game we're looking at, a leader is not going to have the sort of perfect radar vision of the battle field that their player has.
However, a trusted commander in the right spot should still make a difference through directing an archer, shouting a word of encouragement to a man at arms and so forth.

Leader figures have a pool of Charisma points which let them give a bonus action to a figure in range.
This allows you to take a vital shot, move someone into melee (with a bonus), redeploy someone to cover a vital gap in the barricade and so forth.

Simple and colorful I hope!

Fighters

The other type of individual figure is the Fighter. These are not all-conquering mega-heroes, but I wanted to capture those battle-hardened killers that show up in stories like the viking on Stamford bridge, the gallant knight challenging his enemies or Bronn from Game of Thrones.

These characters receive a solid bonus in combat, meaning they will generally best a regular warrior in one on one combat, though luck (or bringing friends) might turn the tide.
They are still ultimately mortal however, not all-conquering superheroes.

Stylized unit types
There are 7 types of unit in the game: Light, Heavy, Charger, Polearm, Missile, Skirmisher and Powder, as well as 3 types of character: Fighter, Leader and Scout.

Characters are measured by 3 ability scores with each unit type having a default profile and one rule to set them apart (heavy troops get a save vs missile fire, polearms negate cavalry bonuses and so forth).

Army building

A points system comes included.
This lets you quickly pick a "standard" unit of each type at either normal (6 figure) or half (3 figure)
 size, then if you like you can buy to upgrade some of the ability scores (veteran troops, better armor etc.).

It should be a decent balance between "Do I want the glaive or the voulge for my polearm troops?" and games that allow no customizing at all.

Overall principles

Throughout the goal has been to create something that feels dramatic and easy to visualize, while being easy to play. There are very few modifiers, most rules have few exceptions and the core system should be very adaptable to different scenarios.
It is also very easy to house rule or add your own things to.

All in all, the game should feel pretty "Weasel'y" and long-time fans should feel right at home.

The hope is to be able to play from roughly 500 to 1500 or so, at least at first.

Fun bits
Of course, a simple campaign system is included letting you figure out what happened to the wounded, offering some simple progression options and so forth.

There's also tables with army advantages and drawbacks which can be used as rewards/penalties in a campaign game or when creating scenarios.

A scenario generator with a random objective for each side is a must of course as well.

What about...?
Fantasy stuff, full on pike and shot etc. is something people always have an interest in.
Provided the system does well, both are definitely possible.
Fantasy would probably be a supplement with mostly new unit types and a magic system, the latter might be better as a stand-alone game but I am not sure about that yet.

Of course, players are ambitious so you probably could get started on setting up your own Lord of the Rings battles with a couple simple house rules.

Saturday, 29 February 2020

Five Klicks. At long last

So this took way longer than I had wanted, but I think it was worth the extra work.



Five Klicks Chapter 1 is post apocalyptic skirmish warfare, Weasel style. Build a squad, send them out and hopefully they all gain in experience and cool loot!

I will make a longer post about the game, what went into it and why it took so long tomorrow, but for now, go grab it.
If you were a beta supporter and didn't get an email yet, hit me up at nordicweaselgames@icloud.com and I'll hook you up.

Sunday, 16 February 2020

Five parsecs 1.14

Version 1.14 brings a couple small tweaks:

* The term Stash is now a proper rules term, which means it should be in bold in the text.

* A few clarifications to common questions have been added to the back of the rules. In particular: No, you can't take weapons off dead enemies.
Yes, during the campaign turn, you can use items from your stash without having to assign them to a crew member. Stashed items just can't be used in battle.

* When rolling your starting crew, the Fame and Freedom motivations no longer generate a Rival. It was getting a bit too hostile to start out.

* Quest Rumors and Clues have been cleaned up. Before, the terms weren't always consistent.
The way it works now is that if you dont have an active quest, all rumors/clues are always rumors (which help you get a quest).

Once you have an active quest, all rumors/clues you find are clues towards resolving that quest.

The only mechanical change is that getting a quest now removes ALL rumors, instead of just removing equal to the die roll.

There's probably no reason to print out a new copy.


Also included is the fantastic campaign tracking sheet Chris on the Discord made. It's a separate file in the download so go check it out. Its completely awesome.

Tuesday, 11 February 2020

Renegade Scout - Idle thoughts

With spring approaching, the mind of young men and old geezers alike turn to the same thing:

"Can this game be improved in any way?"


So for fans of Renegade Scout, I have a few questions that will also go out by email to those of you who receive email through the Wargame Vault.
A lot of these revolve around how much value you put on maintaining the form of the original Rogue Trader mechanics vs having the spirit of them.

Why am I wondering? Because originally, I will admit I had no idea who the target audience would be. Renegade Scout is very much a product I made because I wanted it to exist and it didn't.
In my mind, I figured the primary player would be the Oldhammer crowd, hence things like compatibility was a key factor in the design.

But based on the emails I get and the conversations I have, I am not sure if that's really the case. I think a lot of people were in the market for either a more involved skirmish game and / or something with a bit of old school "feel" without being specifically retro.

I also found that people tend to adopt the Unified Space setting more readily than I expected (or mix it with their own setting ideas, which is awesome)

However I could also be wrong about that because the people who opt to write me are a self-selecting bunch!

So here are the questions. If you would like to answer these and give your input into the future of Renegade Scout, think about them then email me at nordicweaselgames@icloud.com

* Something that I struggled with several times during development was whether to combine the Toughness / Armor roll into a single roll (so combat would be roll to hit -> roll to kill, instead of roll to hit -> roll to wound -> roll for armor).

In the end, I opted against it, because as discussed above I felt fidelity to and compatibility with the original was important. But now I am wondering if this was a mis-step.

Would you prefer the wound/armor rolls to be merged into one?
Do you prefer them to be separate as they are now?
Do you have no strong preference?

* The character profile currently is the full profile from Rogue Trader. It's no secret that it's a bit long and occasionally you have to kind of hunt around for something each stat can actually do.

However, shortening it could be a concern for compatibility issues.

Would you prefer the profile to be shortened?
Do you prefer it as it is now?

* Reaction fire was decided against, due to my feeling that in a fairly alternating turn sequence it is less important.
But maybe this was a mis-step and the ability to have a couple grunts cover the advance of the rest "feels" very tacti-cool.

Would you prefer having a reaction fire system?
Do you think the game works better without one?

* The overall turn sequence is likewise an attempt at modernizing the old 40K turn sequence. It does provide a nice flow to the game, but can feel somewhat abstract at times.

Would you prefer a more modern, integrated sequence (say alternating units and figures take 2 actions, that sort of thing)?
Do you prefer the current turn sequence (Phases and players alternate within them)
Would you prefer the original IGOUGO altogether?

* How important is 40K compatibility to you?
Was it a selling point? More importantly, have you actually used it at all? Would lacking it deter you from using the rules?

* How important is "pick up and play" versus scenario driven play?
Would you prefer if the game had more army building options for pick-up games? Would you rather have more material for scenario play?


Looking forward to your comments and thoughts!

Sunday, 9 February 2020

The game funnel

I thought I'd talk a bit today about the process I tend to use for ideas getting whittled down.


Step 0 is I have an idea in my head.
We all have those. Depending on caffeine intake, we sometimes have a lot.
Get three gamers together and get them talking and you will have 7 game pitches half an hour later.

This stage tends to deal in broad concepts and open-ended ideas.

For example:
"A robot skirmish game where your robot might malfunction and do random things!"

90% of the ideas from Step 0 never go anywhere. At this stage we're just dreaming and dreaming is easy (and fun!)

Why does an idea fail to progress from here? Usually once you think about it a bit, there's either an existing game that already does it well enough or the idea, after a bit of time to think about it, doesn't have enough legs to stand on.

I've said before that a good game is usually a workhorse system with 1 cool idea. But if the idea isn't cool enough, then it's just one more set of rules in a world that definitely doesn't have a shortage of game rules.

Step 1 is the notebook stage.
At this stage we start writing things down. This isn't writing a full game (usually).
For me, it's a mixture of writing out concepts ("Robot Morality!"), a list of desired content ("20 robot morality modules") and fragments of rules written out.

Churn out 2-4 pages of hand-written notes at this stage. You could be a modern person and use a computer but I sometimes tend to "think better" with pencil and paper.

80-90% of the ideas that make this stage never progress beyond it.
Trying to actually put an idea down on paper has a brutal tendency to reveal that it's all gibberish.
Maybe the mechanics you write out just aren't that great and the "right" dice roll or engine keeps eluding you.
Maybe the passion just runs out at this stage.

Step 2 is the draft stage.
Turn to your computer (or a bigger, nicer notepad I guess?) and start writing an actual, playable game.
At this stage, you are writing actual rules, translating the ideas from step 1 and your head into something a group could sit down and play.

Include the basic concepts needed to play: This version needs to account for common, obvious questions ("What happens if I shoot at a tank?") but it can (and should) leave out a lot of the chrome. Campaign rules, your D1000 table for Situational Robot Morality Quirks, the rules for off-map artillery fire, that stuff can all be left to the side.

What you are hoping to end up with is a set of rules that are playable, at least with your own group. Page count will mainly depend on how complex your project is. I'd say 20-30 pages is a good middle ground for a typical game but don't sweat it exactly.

Once you are at this stage? The failure rate will depend primarily on experience.
You see, at this point you have what a lot of people are perfectly happy with: A game that broadly works, that you can tinker with and which your group can play.
Heck, for groups with a fairly open-ended play style, this may be all you ever need. The GM or group fills in any blanks when they show up.

So progressing to the next stage is not always a requirement (or even desirable).
But if you want to publish this thing, then we gotta get over the hump to Step 3 and that is where things get gnarly.
If you are inexperienced, you will run into the fact that you may not know what to look out for: The game will have rules that are worded poorly or ambiguously. An important concept may never be explained because it was obvious to everyone at the table.
Maybe you really hate writing out terrain rules and now you have to account for all of that.

Filling out a game from Step 2 to a stage where you can publish is often 50-80% writing crap you don't want to write, because someone else will need it. I hate writing terrain rules, but they have to be in there because some guy in Virginia is not going to know how I handle it at my own table.

What about that section everyone skips that talks about in-game scale and what each figure represents? Anyone enjoy writing those?

I tend to call this "The Suck" because its writing things that aren't that much fun, but are important.

So between The Suck and all the things you don't know yet, there's a high chance your game stops here. In fact, take a look at almost any project on forums and message boards and this is where they died.
When I did research before doing Renegade Scout, I found 6 or 7 attempts at reviving / cloning / redoing Rogue Trader. They all died here.

Am I amazing at writing then, since I made it?
No, but experience counts for a lot here. If you have a mental check list of obvious things people will ask about (because they asked you about them last time), you know where things should go and you have a sense of how to phrase things, you can get to a point where only 10-20% of designs fail at this stage.
How do you get those? By doing it and screwing it up. Or by doing it and doing okay.  Or maybe your first game is great! Either way, there's no substitute for actually putting in time at the keyboard.
The good news is that while talent matters, a systematic sense of what to look out for is something anyone can develop with experience.

Step 3 is the Actual game
Okay, so you've tested your game, badgering someone else into testing it too, you've fixed all the stuff that wasn't explained well, tweaked the mechanic that was obviously broken, adjusted the thing that made no sense.
You've added your chrome and fluff text and found some stuff to put in there to look pretty (or go for the 80's typewriter look).

Congratulations. You have a game to inflict upon the world.
Pour one out for the 100 games that died along the way so that "Laser Robot Feels Bad" can fly to the top of the Wargame Vault best sellers list.


If you have questions, let me know.

PS: Someone should definitely write this game.

Thursday, 30 January 2020

Sad news today

Unfortunately we had to put one of our cats to sleep yesterday, due to kidney failure.

Mittens was 17 years old, liked to snooze in the sun in the mornings, practiced getting the humans to fill her food bowl without having to meow for it and headbutting people for attention, preferably while they were playing video games.

She'd been part of the family as long as it has been a family. We found her as a stray in Vermont around when we got married. She drove cross country with us from Vermont to Oregon and flew halfway back to Michigan.
A well travelled lady of definite opinions, we'll miss her terribly.


 

We also ended up with a vet bill of around 700 dollars. If anyone would like to help us out by grabbing a few things from Wargame Vault or by donating to nordicweaselgames@icloud.com we'd deeply appreciate it.

All the best and you'll hear from me soon on happier topics.


EDIT:
I accidentally put the wrong address in the original post. The paypal address is nordicweaselgames@icloud.com
If you tried to send to the "paypal.com" address it went nowhere. Just cancel the payment and you can redo it. So sorry!

Friday, 10 January 2020

5 Parsecs 1.13

As promised, the next release would be mostly bug-fixes and that's what we got.

Basically, a number of typos, awkward wordings and similar have been cleaned up.
If you printed out 1.12 there is no reason to print it all again.

If you waited to print, go for it now.

The main correction that might affect game play is that the bonus XP for killing a Boss is now applied whenever you kill a Unique Individual (which was meant to have been the case in 1.12).
I also adjusted the Trade table a tiny bit to lower the odds of useless junk.

Wednesday, 8 January 2020

Sooth Sayers for Five Leagues

The first magic using class is available for Five Leagues: The Sooth Sayer.

A semi-mystic character who can predict what is going to happen both off the battle field and on it.

The supplement includes the character and campaign rules needed, new items to make or search for and rules for how to use and improve The Sight.

While each magic class will have its own quirks and mechanics, this will likely be the general template they will be based around.


https://www.wargamevault.com/product/299861/Sooth-Sayer-A-Five-Leagues-character-expansion

Friday, 3 January 2020

The year of the Weasel. Or at least another one

So I was just informed that 2019 is going to have a sequel, so I figured I should say a few words.

Learning from past experiences,I am not going to talk too much about specific plans for the new year since that stuff never actually works out.

So instead let's look back at a few things that happened last year personally and professionally and I guess shed some light on some decisions.

* I've mostly decided to step back from social media. I've written and deleted a few posts about this but in the end I guess who cares?

The RPG social media scene has 0% relevance to anything I want out of gaming, so I stopped reading it. I'd say something incisive but honestly, my interests have just drifted and what I want out of gaming is not what the D&D/OSR oriented social space caters to.

I realized after a little while that in part, it was just a reflex. You see the icon and you click on it. What for? No reason really. You aren't going to meaningfully interact with something someone said while you are waiting in line at Best Buy. You are just conditioned to click the button.

So I quit all that and aren't likely to go back. We do have a twitter account now, which is purely for announcements.

* I do want to get back into the wargamer blog sphere more though.
I am not sure if it's the tendency towards longer posts and the fact that you aren't writing "for a discussion" or something else, but I find the content tends to be of a bit higher quality.

* This all doesn't mean I am vanishing off the internet. Ya'll clearly have no difficulty reaching me by email or otherwise, so please continue doing so.

* We started a Patreon. I had no idea how that might go but so far, I think it's been pretty positive and has resulted in some cool bits.
I'll have to continue dialing it in over time, but I do think it's the solution to the ongoing support question.

I must admit it does add a new level of worry. Now I not only have to fuss if sales are low but also when I see the Patreon go down. But you win some, you lose some, right?
There's also the question of what people want out of it and how those expectations match up to what I want to make. That's all stuff we can figure out though. I think ?

* In the war gaming scene, I think "War band" type games are still the big hot thing, but I do think it'll level off in the new year. If you want to get everyones attention, figure out the next big wave and get in front of it.

* Solo gaming continues to be super strong. I guess I should be worried if I am ending up as "The solo rules guy" since I don't want to ONLY write solo games.
However, doing solo stuff is also really rewarding and when I get emails about "You got me into / back into minis gaming", it's usually from those folks.

I imagine 2020 will still have a strong solo focus, but it won't be exclusively so.

* A thing I want to focus more on in 2020 is barriers to entry for gaming. I've always aimed most of my games at a very affordable, easy level: A few squads, some terrain, 2 feet of table space, one rulebook, that kinda thing.

I want to continue working on and refining that. I often talk to people who are interested in miniatures gaming, who 100% would be into it if they got to try it or who have played and enjoyed it, but they are scared off by the perceived costs, work involved, difficulty in getting started etc.

The big boys (GW, Battlefront etc.) are good at teaching you a lot of things as a new player, but they still come with the expectations for a 400 dollar army and a 6 foot dining table.

* I am not going to talk about specific projects for the new year. I have several on my "viable" list, plus I have outstanding "debts" to finish and release/rerelease.


* * * * * *

* On a personal level, as you might be aware we got run over pretty hard at the beginning of last year.
Between our landlord fucking us and my wife having to change jobs unexpectedly, we had some huge unexpected expenses and missed out on some money we'd been counting on, which meant running up tax debts.

After that, we had another rather tumultuous thing happen, which took our lives over for a bit and caused a ton of stress.

If you've wondered whether I was slowing down in writing/releasing stuff, that's the reason. I've had periods where I simply didn't have the mental reserve to create, because we were dealing with ..well... life.

This year has felt like it was one long crawl back to normality and now, as I'm looking out the window in January 2020 while death metal is growling out of my computer speakers, it finally feels like we're here again.
In fact, it feels like we're better than we were before, but you know, I could have done without getting fucked for a year straight.

But on the upside, we're all healthy, the place we live at now is great, we have a core of friends who looked out for us.

And I had a thing I didn't even realize:

When everything came crashing down around our ears: The landlord was threatening us, our lawyer was saying "yeah, they're wrong but that probably won't matter" and we realized my wife would have to switch jobs, lose pay and miss out on a bonus we had planned around (stupid I know).
We were faced with moving in the middle of winter and having a budget of 0 dollars to do so.

I was desperate and late one night, I made a blog post asking for help because I had no idea what to do.

And people responded. People I knew threw money into the bin. People I didn't know. People who said "A friend of mine said you were cool and needed help", People who said my games had helped them out so now they were saying thanks.

At the end of it, we had enough to cover our moving expenses and move-in deposits etc.

I was stunned. I was crying in front of the computer on more than one occasion.

The fact that a bunch of relative strangers would do something like that blew my mind. I still sometimes wonder if it actually happened, if that makes sense.


So 2019 ? 2 stars out of 5 but the fan-fiction made it a 5.
I hope to see you this year too.


* * * * * *

If you want to see more material for our titles or just keep NWG going strong, consider supporting me on Patreon

https://www.patreon.com/nordicweasel 

Thursday, 2 January 2020

An odd request

I have a request that isn't strictly NWG related.

I am looking to pick up a couple of fantasy novels in Swedish but getting them online is looking to be a fair bit of trouble. There's the Swedish counterpart to ebay but a lot of sellers there don't ship internationally.

What I am looking for is someone who wouldn't mind picking up a couple of novels for me, then shipping them to me. I'll pay the costs of course.

If you are in Sweden and would be up for this, drop me a line at runequester@icloud.com