Thursday, 25 December 2014

So how does this sound?

Necromunda style campaign meets post-apocalyptic hellhole. Gangs, campaign play and lowlifes fighting it out with each other.

Stay tuned in January.

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

For this week

This week will see some updates to Usurper, mainly to flesh out some sections and add explanations to the various tables.

Had a hard time sleeping this week so it'll likely be towards the end.

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Last touches

Last touches on No Stars in Sight. Managed to get a points system in there.
Went back and did the math for some of the games played while testing and things matched up pretty well.

Tonight? Maybe?

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Mailing list now active

Swing by if you want to join in. It might make life easier for everyone if we can communicate in one concise location.

Friday, 5 December 2014

Usurper RPG available!

A bit of a departure from the wargames and miniatures but I am incredibly proud to finally release Usurper: Claim to Power several years after the idea came into being.

Go take a look at

9.99 for 114 pages of gaming goodness.

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Quick update

Wrote the designer notes and hacking rules. Heroes and villains added as an option for space opera games.

Also wrote the human rules for space opera games (humans can adapt to alien technology, can interface with alien commanders and troops and are the only ones who can use the "heroic" option from the special rules).

Two alien battlefield rules done (crystal fields and hostile environments). Need to do unusual gravity, space stations and tunnel fighting.

Then it's the aliens and we're done. Holy ****.

Shotguns for No End in Sight

Want to discourage the enemy from getting too close?

Troops with shotguns receive only 1 fire power and are limited to 16" range.
In assaults, roll 3 dice for shotgun figures.

Under-barrel shotgun attachments provide +1 die to assaults.

Thursday, 27 November 2014

No Stars in Sight. Q&A stuff

A bit of Q&A stuff now that No Stars in Sight is coming closer to existence.
These are questions I've either received or which I figure people will ask anyways.

Q: What is the size of battle?

A: The typical game is below company level. Good games tend to range from two small squads on each side up to a full mechanized platoon with a few supporting vehicles.

Q: How closely do the rules match No End in Sight?

A: Very closely. There are one or two little changes that will end up getting back-ported into No End, but the intention is that it will feel like the same game but with different technological assumptions.

Q: What is the type of scifi?

A: The default is fairly hard "military scifi". Military science fiction novels and movies tends to take present-day tactical assumptions and add new technology to them to provide solutions (or new problems).
This has the benefit of allowing anything from low-tech guerillas with conventional rifles to grav tanks and powered armour troopers loaded up with drone launchers

Q: What kind of gadgets will be in the rules?

A: In addition to the usual weapons like rail guns, energy weapons and missiles, there'll be various vehicle defensive systems (force screens, anti-rocket defences etc.), powered armour, exo-suits (Think the suits from "Edge of Tomorrow"), droids and genetically enhanced troopers, small deployable multi-purpose drones, hacking and jamming enemy units, AI-controlled tanks and probably a few other things I am forgetting.

Q: What about aliens?

A: Aliens are always difficult, because you have to balance out what types of miniatures are actually out there, the popular archetypes people want to play and people wanting to make their own.

The middle ground solution is that the rules will give details for 8 or 9 "archetypes" that can be tweaked to fit a variety of roles. Things like "alien bug swarm" and "honourable alien warrior".
In addition, there'll be a list of traits people can pick from, to put together their own alien races to match their miniatures collection.

Q: Will there be campaign rules?

A: There will, though probably just one set, rather than the multiple types from No End in Sight.

Q: What about miniatures?

A: No Stars in Sight isn't tied to a specific miniatures range. Figures need to be based individually and you need to be able to tell them apart, but other than that, anything works.

The ground scale is written with 10-15mm figures in mind.

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Price reduction for rest of November

All main games will be 9.99 until the end of November. What better way to spend black friday than at home, wargaming?

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

No Stars out there

Playtest results from No Stars In Sight are quite promising. Powered armour troopers can lay down a lot of fire power and if deployed well, can outfight a much larger force of conventional troops, however, they are also quite vulnerable to anti-tank weapons.

This puts them in an interesting position where they can be extremely resilient or extremely tough, depending on the situation and helps integrate them better.

Players who like their power armour troopers may find it of interest that each trooper essentially acts as a mini-vehicle on his/her own.
They'll be able to advance under fire much easier as well, since they are not subject to the normal infantry reaction fire.

Sunday, 16 November 2014

No Stars in Sight. Soon. Kind of.

One of the most persistent requests I've gotten have been a scifi version of "No End in Sight".

I've been working on it pretty steadily and this week, it will be available as a paid beta.
Essentially you'll get the early version for a reduced price, along with all the updates until (and including) the final version.

So what will "No Stars in Sight" be like?

*Uses the straight-forward engine from No End in Sight. More realistic casualty rates, balancing how much you push your commanders, reaction fire built into the movement rules and dependent on how much you gamble.

An infantry driven game where every inch of open ground becomes an agonizing decision.

*Platoon level combat. A typical game can range from a few powered armour teams to a full platoon of infantry with several supporting vehicles.

*Hard scifi near future setting with a good selection of futuristic weapons and vehicles.

*Tons of scifi gadgets.

*Campaign rules and loads of options to set up the units you want.

Watch this space.

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Most requested things

The top three requests I get are:

Scifi "No End in Sight" (In the works, still open to playtesters)

Medieval and Fantasy FiveCore

Black powder FiveCore.

Can't promise specifics because when I do, it never works out that way but I am aware of your wishes and would love to make them all come true :-)

A lot of what happens right now for FiveCore is tool building. Expanding the tool box so to speak, so that as time goes on, it gets easier and easier to put new things together. Having more skills for example was one step in that direction.

If you have strong feelings, especially on medieval and black powder, my biggest concern is: Would you be happy with the current Brawling mechanic for medieval close combat or would you want a "1's and 6's" melee mechanic instead?

Comment below or email me.

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Skill Companion almost done

While other projects are finishing up, I am putting together the Skill Companion for FiveCore. It'll be a collection of new skills, 100 in total, including tweaked versions of the ones in the main FiveCore book as well as a ton of new ones.

So far, 80 are done.

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Another Metal Rogue play example

A few more examples of play from the Metal Rogue roleplaying game. Coming soon(?) to a PDF near you.
Pay what you want version here

(And writing these is a good distraction from being stuck in bed and sick while working on Union in Despair)

I've basically set up a number of typical fantasy RPG situations, I'll roll on the action&event table and then narrate the outcome.

If the character in question had traits that were applicable, they could roll twice, picking the better result.

1: Picking a lock to get access into the castle.

84 - Action succeeds as expected

The thief picks the lock quietly and quickly, slipping inside the door before the next guard patrol comes by.

2: Sneaking past the sleeping monster

95 - Action succeeds, character makes unexpected discovery

As the heroes sneak past the beast, one of them notices that the chains around its neck are crude and unrefined, possibly of orcish origin.

3: Bluffing your way out of getting arrested by the city guard.

52 - Action succeeds with a consequence

The guard isn't quite buying the story but decides to let you go after all. However, they insist on confiscating your sword to avoid trouble.

4: Finding the recipe for the mystical potion in the crazy wizard's library.

31 - Failure to make progress. If no time limit, can try again

Lots of books to look through. If there's no time pressure, the character wastes a few days researching Basilisk reproductive patterns before rolling again.
If a time pressure did apply (For example, the potion is a cure for a fatal disease), time's up, the victim croaked.

5: Smooth talk the queen so she'll agree to support the rebellion.

64 - Action succeeds with a consequence

The queen is sympathetic to the rebellion against the corrupt nobles but wants you to carry out a quest for her before she'll grant her support.

6: Find your way through the Forest of Improbable Doom

14 - Action fails and character suffers a consequence

Not only do you get lost but you've lost a piece of equipment fumbling around the woods. The GM will roll a random encounter and if you survive, you can try again.

7: Push a large boulder out of the way

97 - Action succeeds perfectly

The barbarian shoves the boulder with barely an effort. It rolls out of the way quick enough to surprise anyone on the other side.

8: Leap across the chasm

79 - Action succeeds as expected.

The character lands on the other side safely.

9: Win the drinking contest.

39 - Unexpected event interrupts

As the participants are bounding down ale, a fight breaks out between two strange looking figures in the corner.

10: Mix together the chemicals to create the magical potion

2 - Character suffers a permanent flaw

Should have seen the difference between the blue and the purple liquid. When the fire dies out, the character is stunned to find that the magical energies have caused them to be unable to say the word "light".

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Product highlight: Irregular Encounters

Irregular Encounters was the second supplement for Five Men in Normandy.
Sales link here

I'll give a bit more of a detailed breakdown as well as illustrate whether it is of help to FiveCore players or not.

The goal of this expansion was to illustrate less common situations and provide fodder for scenario writers in particular. Hence, the focus was a bit less on conventional military actions.
It is also one of the smaller supplements, clocking in at only 8 pages.

Force generation table and a new Motivation table for partisan units in world war 2.

This is pretty specific to the way forces are created for Five Men, though it could be used to generate random partisan units for any skirmish level wargame.

Mission - Night Fight:
I honestly don't know why I didn't think of this one when writing Five Men, but better late than never. This is a new mission to play. Goal is to inflict casualties with extra rules for limiting weapons fire and increasing confusion.

You could use this with FiveCore with no problem at all.

Mission - Relief Effort:
A mission where one side has to rescue some wounded soldiers. This is a very iconic "television" sort of mission that can often get players very involved in the fate of their little toy soldiers.

As above, this works fine in FiveCore as well.

Sympathetic civilians:
This is suitable for partisan scenarios in particular and basically allows civilians to pitch in to help one side or the other.
Some people are partial to more randomness and would appreciate this.

This can be used with no problem for FiveCore and Five Parsecs games (locals pitching in to help take down a gang or fend off Unity troopers)

Special Character - Scrounger:
This is the character archetype of the soldier who always manages to find just what you need.
The scrounger can boost morale, acquire more grenades and can use enemy weapons during battles.

The special characters are intended for use in Five Men campaign games and might not be all that useful in a FiveCore game.

Unwilling troops:
Intended for WW2 scenarios involving reluctant conscript types, this could be used for many FiveCore scenarios as well.

Character flaws:
This is essentially a negative skill system. It is applicable to FiveCore games without any problems.
FYI: This table was reprinted without modification in Five Parsecs From Home.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Sale for spooky times

Until Friday midnight, 5 dollars off Five Men in Normandy, Five Parsecs From Home and No End in Sight. 3 dollars off FiveCore.

Go grab 'em!

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Product highlight: The Rifleman's Guide


I get a few questions about what the various supplements contain, so I thought I'd go through them a little to help clarify whether you might enjoy them or not.
It'll also clarify if the product is suitable for other game lines.

The Rifleman's Guide was the first supplement for Five Men in Normandy, providing expansion material that was felt not to fit in the main game rules.

Inside you will find:

Expanded rules for injuries. 
Aggravated injuries gives you a bit more detail and will tend to make injured soldiers be out of action longer while Specific Injuries adds a table to roll on when figures go out of action to see if they might be hanging on or not).

Both of these systems are applicable to FiveCore gamers as well, though for Five Parsecs, you'll need to translate "days" into "campaign turns". Usually a standard of 3-4 days per turn is good.

They would likely be hard to adapt to a non-NWG system.

Tables to determine the impacts of weather. Select from Rain, Snow, Cloudy, Bright and Burning then roll for any effects.
This is applicable to FiveCore gamers as well.

Non-NWG systems could use this but you'd need to tweak the results.

Secondary skills:
A D100 table that provides for some non-combat skills. This is primarily a roleplaying aid but creative players can no doubt find a way to fit a characters cooking skill into the campaign.
No rules are provided.

Applicable to pretty much any game system you can think of.

Personality traits:
A D100 table with character traits, such as "Assertive" and "Sarcastic". Roll to add flavour to your characters, leaders and people you encounter. No direct game effects, all background flavour.

Applicable to any game.

Random mission generator:
Lets you generator missions randomly with terrain, objectives, opposition and support, deployment and when you can leave the encounter.

Aimed at Five Men in Normandy, it could be used with FiveCore players but there will be some references that may need some modification.

It could be adapted to other systems with some conversion work.

Incapable soldiers:
Rules for using wounded soldiers in combat, such as during a raid on a hospital or similar. This is intended for scenario designers and can be used in any FiveCore game.

Very rules-specific, so non-NWG gamers will not get much use out of it.

Suspect Hostile:
A simple "Hidden enemy troops" option for setting up an unknown enemy that will be revealed as you play. Similar in concept but different in execution to other games on the market.

Intended for Five Men in Normandy but could be adapted to FiveCore without too much fuss. For other games, you'll need some conversion work, likely more than it'd be worth.

An option to allow a squad leader type of figure to motivate the men to get extra moves or shots. Very applicable to FiveCore games of any kind.

Not helpful to non-NWG gamers.

Saturday, 25 October 2014

An example of game play from my upcoming RPG

Hope this makes sense without having the combat table in front of you.

Example of combat:

Our battle will be between 4 heroes and a troll, with 4 henchmen standing in their way.
I'll only list traits below that are relevant to combat.

The henchmen have no traits whatsoever, while the troll has 3 Monster Traits (Tough skin, Regenerates, Angry)
The heroes consist of Theodor the Thief (Agile), 
Felicia the Fighter (Swordsman, Tough), Borin the Barbarian (Rage, Warrior, Aggressive) and Hilda the Hand maiden (no traits).

The heroes run into the troll and its henchmen in a large cave, where they've tracked the beast. As they spread out, the henchmen rush forward, swords drawn, with one henchman engaging each hero.

First Exchange:
Theodor rolls 98 (Spectacular defeat of opponent). He easily side steps the onrushing goon, slashing his throat with his dagger, and then darts to position near the troll, without a single drop of blood on his clothes.
Felicia rolls 22 (push back, fatigue). She decides to save his traits for the troll. The henchman attacks with a flurry of blows, pushing her back to the cave entrance, before she regains his footing. The fatigue roll is uninspired, causing one conviction to be burned until she can rest. She just isn't feeling it today.

Borin gets a 20 but burns his Warrior trait. Re roll is a 37 (interrupted). As Borin rushes towards the enemy, just as swords are about to clash, their eyes both fall on a small, shiny trinket in the rubble, with an unnatural gleam to it. They both stop in their tracks, staring at it, then each other.

Hilda fares worse, rolling an 11 (push back and injury - injury roll is Knocked Senseless). Trying to evade the attacking brute, she smashes into the cave wall, and staggers back, dazed.

2nd Exchange:

Theodor now finds himself one on one with a troll. Not what he had bargained for!  Who dares wins though, and he gets a 92 (defeat, advantage). He darts forward, slamming the blade into the trolls thick hide as he moves behind it.
The troll burns one monster trait, and the thief notes down that he has advantage (acting a temporary trait).
Felicia gets a 25 (inconclusive, fatigue - must rest 30 minutes). She struggles with the henchmen, the two characters locked in a brawl. Several blows to the head is draining her energy, but she manages to shake it off (burning the Tough trait to avoid the fatigue result)

Borin lays into the henchman, determined to get the trinket for himself. With a 52, he wins but in the process he suffers an impaired leg, as a sword blow catches him at an awkward moment. He growls in anger, as he grabs the trinket off the ground (burning his Anger trait to suppress it for the battle)

Hilda continues her streak of terrible luck with a 12, suffering another injury, Steady bleeding. She has now been backed into the corner of the cave, and is quite desperate.

3rd Exchange:

Theodor gets a 43, causing the troll to be driven off. Clearly the rapid thief has disconcerted it, and it decides to try and retreat further into the caves, leaving the henchmen to fend for themselves.Felicia manages a 54, dispatching her opponent by a neat wrestling move but suffers a Painful Blow in the process.

Borin runs to help Hilda but again suffers an unexpected event. The 
GM narrates that as the troll is retreating, he throws a lever on the wall, causing parts of the cave to start collapsing. This buries the henchman Hilda is fighting, but causes her to be separated from the group.

With this event, Hilda's roll is ignored (and she finally got a good roll too, curses!).


As the fight draws to an end, the party decides to regroup, rather than rush after the troll. Sitting down for a second, lets Felicia get over her injury though she still needs to rest up. They decide to back out of the cave to rest for a bit, and hope the troll doesn't entrench itself too much.

Borin takes the time to investigate the item he found, and toy with it. The 
GM rolls up a random magical item, and decides that the barbarian can discern its powers by experimentation. It turns out to be a ring that inspires berserk rage.

GM rules that this acts like a temporary "Berserker" trait, which Borin is quite excited about. The ring must recharge after use, and so can be used once per day. 

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

And now for something completely different

A long time ago, I worked on a fantasy role playing game titled "Metal Rogue". It's a table driven story-focused game that relies very heavily on random events to generate surprises for the group (and GM).

Think of it as a game that mixes elements of FATE and Rolemaster (as disparate as those sound). As a bonus to being wicked fun, it also has random generators for everything from deities to cities to worlds.

Inbetween other projects, I've been slowing working on getting it done and out there and I hope it'll happen fairly soon while waiting for playtest results to start drifting back for No Stars in Sight.

Maybe a month or so?

Not sure if the wargaming and roleplaying crowd overlap but if you'd like to see an RPG take on some of the design weirdness I put in my wargames... well, you might just get a chance :)

Page count will be around a hundred pages, all meat. Minimal art other than a cover (if any, we're going pretty guerilla for this one).
If you happen to be able to draw better than stick figures (or you know, really good stick figures), let me know if you feel inclined to donating.

I'm thinking it'll be 15 bucks or so for the guerilla version. If it does well, I will spice it up to a "deluxe" version with more art later.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

New supplement plus thinking out loud.

Go get it

Tons of options for your characters and scenarios in FiveCore games.
Balancing on ledges, pick pocketing and taming wild animals, we got you covered.

This one is specifically for the more scenario/creative/RPG oriented of you people out there.

* * * * *

FiveCore stuff is always a struggle between two opposing views: Smaller games with more character or larger games with more troops.

I've been having various thoughts about larger game options for you people. It might look something like this:

Instead of having 2 or 3 activations, you get 2 or 3 initiatives per turn. An initiative activates a guy and up to 3 comrades within 3" of him.

Move the guy with the initiative normally, then move the other guys selected with him, ending up within 3" of his final destination.

When firing, the guy you picked receives aimed fire. This will be a sort of combination of the current Shock and Kill dice. Roll 1 die with 1's pinning and 6's incapacitating.

The other guys receive area fire. 6's pin, no other results possible.

Essentially what happens is that a guy shows personal initiative and others tag along, following his lead. It helps avoid the silly situation where an entire platoon is all firing at full effect, like what happens in a lot of games and keeps the basic mechanics that make the game unique.


Tuesday, 14 October 2014

What I am working on

While waiting for playtest results from a bunch of things, I thought I'd share a quick idea I came up with, which I can do in the meanwhile.

The basic FiveCore mechanic is pretty simple and very popular: Roll and if it's a 1 or 6, something happens.

Its easy to adapt and you can find a solution to an unexpected situation pretty easy.
What I came up with is to make a supplement of essentially pre-configured rolls for a bunch of different actions. Anything from persuasion and detective work to climbing up buildings and walking on narrow surfaces.

For each action, it'll give a few comments on how to handle it and then the results if you roll a 1 or 6 attempting that action.

The idea is to give players a whole bunch of new options to use in scenarios or even on a regular basis.
This can also form a good basis for future projects. For example, rules for travel and scrounging can be lifted into the future post-apocalypse expansion easy.

An example I just finished:

Acts of strength
This can be used for most actions requiring physical strength and brawn, including pushing, lifting and breaking things.
As with acts of dexterity, this can be used in place of other rolls, for players who prefer to use a small number of tables.

The attempted action is assumed to succeed unless a result is rolled on the die.

1 Don't have it.
Character can't do it though another may attempt the same action. Two characters that both failed can join up to get another attempt.
6 Argh.

The character fails as above and is in intense pain. -1 to movement rates, rushing and brawling for the rest of the battle.

Friday, 10 October 2014

[Normandy] Conventional warfare - Scouts

It's been a while since we've talked about things specific to Five Men in Normandy and I figured just like I occasionally give a Travellers Guide to some unit or critter in Five Parsecs, I'd do something similar for WW2, called "Conventional Warfare". This will basically showcase different unit types and how to field them in WW2 games.

This should all be viewed as very optional and with the intent of getting you thinking.
This is a slightly different approach than the typical " a soldier is a soldier" view of things, but I thought it'd make for a fun exercise in what you can do with the system.

We'll start off with scouts, one of the best suited troop types to a FiveCore game. A few men sneaking about, trying to get the lay of the land and maybe bushwhack an unsuspecting enemy. Good stuff and well suited to skirmishing.

We distinguish here between a few infantry men sent to conduct a patrol and troops tasked with reconnaissance as their primary job and skill set.

Scout infantry
A player force designated as scouts can be rolled up as normal but will not carry machine guns. Any such roll is treated as 2 men with rifles instead.
If the mission is a raid, up to two men may replace their armaments with pistols instead.

The unit will never exceed 5 men. If dice rolls would indicate more men, generate an additional skill and assign it to any man of choice. Only one bonus skill is generated.

Scout troops are used to moving and redeploying quickly and efficiently. On any normal turn, one scout soldier may be moved 3" in any direction though subject to reaction fire as normal. This bonus move is not subject to any skills that modify movement rates.

National differences
Soviet scouts may trade one rifle for a sub machine gun.

Sneak peek

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Upcoming mini-supplement for No End in Sight

Been quiet due to working on a few projects for you all, but am nearing completion on a little mini-supplement for No End in Sight, giving a bunch of new options and alternate rules for people who want a little more detail in their scenarios.

Title is not 100% settled, but figuring it'll be the "NEIS Rules Pack" or some such. Might even call it a DLC :)

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Random bits for this week

Demoed a few "Five Men in Normandy" games yesterday at Guardian Games here in Portland.

It looks like there'll be a recurring "historical gaming day" once a month or so, so if anyone is in the area, maybe I'll see you. 11th of October is hopefully going to be the next one.

* * * * *

For No End in Sight, try this optional rule: When treating a casualty, roll a D6. A 6 means the guy is recovered to fighting condition. On any other roll, he is simply stabilized.

High quality body armour: 
This will be covered in the scifi rules more properly, but if you want to reflect more high-quality armour than the standard "body armour" in the rules, simply make a small tweak: On a casualty roll of 1, the guy taking the hit is pinned instead of wounded. A 6 is still dead and any other score is wounded as normal.

This might be appropriate for American body armour vs AK47's and whatnot. I'll leave it up to the player to figure out if it shouldn't apply against certain weapon types.

* * * * *
I'll have another instalment of the Traveller's Guide to the Fringe. Any requests for what kind of character you'd like to see?
Let me know in the comments

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

[Parsecs] Travellers guide to the Fringe. The Merak.

Where they came from is unknown but from time to time, an invasion fleet of the death droids known as the Merak will emerge on the edges of human space.

While conventional invasions can be broken up by Unity fleets, experiments with time manipulation and teleportation have resulted in assault groups appearing virtually everywhere in Unity space.

While the Merak show fundamental abilities to communicate, they rarely have any inclination to do so. They seem driven mainly by an impulse to slay and eradicate all life they encounter.
They will occasionally utilize organic lifeforms to further long term plans, often employing various control mechanisms or genetically engineered slave species.

Modelling Merak:
Any slightly old-fashioned robot miniature that is not too humanoid will do. Merak rarely exhibit any sign of individualism and should be painted in a coherent, uniform fashion though the leader of an assault group may receive an alternate colour scheme.

Merak utilize terror extensively and see no values in camouflage.

Merak in the game:
Merak move at the speed of normal infantry. They can cross low obstacles and rough ground by hovering. A stationary Merak can levitate itself one floor up or down if it begins within 1" of the edge of a building or similar.

They will never withdraw from a visually observed enemy though they may remain in place. Due to extensive scanning software, stealth is worthless against them and they are not subject to limits on visibility from weather or darkness.

When firing, Merak receive 2 Kill dice and may allocate results to any targets in sight. No Shock dice are rolled. They have no concept of suppressive fire and will only fire if they have a clear lock on a target.
They do not guard fire but will snap fire out to 8".
Targets may be in any directions.

A Knock down result scored against a Merak will stun it. It will spend its next activation recovering but is otherwise unaffected.
An Out of Action result forces it to begin it's self repair procedure. This has the same effect as a Knock Down would have in the regular rules.
Roll each activation with a 1 causing it to remind repairing and a 6 causing it to finally die.

Any Shock dice results will push them back 1". A Marek pushed into an obstacle or another model is stunned as above.

They will not initiate brawls but are treated as a normal human figure if attacked in this way. This represents a main weakness and the primary way of taking them out, if one can get close enough.

Merak in the scenario:
Merak can show up in a variety of ways. A lone droid, jettisoned from a destroyed invasion ship may show up on any world, continuing its plans of world domination and annihilation of organic life.

Organized Merak incursions will fall into one of two types:
Infiltration groups consist of one Merak and 4-6 human or alien servants. These are generally under chemical or similar mind control and will never exhibit any skills or talents beyond purely passive, racial abilities.

They may be attempting a wide variety of covert missions.

Assault groups always number 4 Merak and are deployed purely for annihilation. They will attack any organic lifeforms without hesitation.

Merak in the campaign:
Merak will not cooperate with organic lifeforms unless they dominate the situation and it serves their genocidal purposes.
As such, they don't make suitable player characters though someone could no doubt put together a campaign of them infiltrating a world.

Merak are extremely dangerous. Use them in your campaigns and scenarios to spice things up but bear in mind that they can cause massive damage, especially if multiple are present.

Any similarities to a certain popular type of time-travelling aliens in robot suits, with a penchant to exterminate are a figment of your imagination.

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Tease from Five Parsecs supplement

Work is progressing nicely on the first supplement specific to Five Parsecs.

There'll be more detail on things like bounty hunting, mercenary work and whatnot. You will also get a bunch of random generators for fleshing out your campaign worlds a lot more. For those interested in the more RPG oriented side of things, you might enjoy this a lot.

A sample world I just generated:

A hot world (by Earth standards) with a normal breathable atmosphere. Despite that, there's almost no naturally occurring biosphere. (meaning the gaming tables will be a lot of rocks :) )
The world has seen extensive terraforming (presumably dropping its temperature from an earlier more unlivable level. This might also explain the lack of life).

A few small settlements exist. We'll delve into one where the adventurers will be located.

"Brynn's Wish" - a small ex-colony turned general Fringe settlement.

Using the "Settlement generator" tables we find that power is contested by a corporation, a powerful organized mercenary outfit and a charismatic leader and their followers.

Presumably, the mercenaries were brought in to safeguard corporate interests but eventually became a political force in their own right. The charismatic leader may well be a revolutionary type, giving us some instant conflict.

The social model is a regressive bureaucracy. At some point, this may have been a different governmental type but at this point, the layers of red tape has become impenetrable and no one wants to clear up the mess since the whole thing might fall down.
The main export from the planet is knowledge. Presumably corporate research that is sold off to interested buyers.

We generate two problems for the settlement, to give us some more adventure fodder. We get "loss of export resource".
How do you lose knowledge? If your scientists are being abducted by (or are defecting to) the rebels!
A second roll gives us "local warlord". Sounds like the mercenaries are getting a bit out of hand.

With a few dice rolls, we have what looks like several campaigns worth of gun fights, exploration and insanity. Perfect for the fringes of human space.

Supplement should be available in a few weeks time.

Friday, 19 September 2014

No End in Sight. Q&A

A lot of questions have come in, so I figured I'd answer some of the more common or interesting ones.

General questions about the game:

What scale of miniatures works best?
Any scale can work as long as you can identify which figure is which. You need to be able to tell who has the SAW or RPG and who is the squad leader.

The ranges and whatnot are roughly intended for 10-15mm  but people tested the rules with 28mm and it worked fine.
For the big figures, you might want to increase the base movement rate a little.

How many figures do I need?
The aim is platoon level gaming, so figure 3 squads of 8 or so miniatures each, plus a few vehicles supporting them if you like.

We ran tests with a full platoon of 3 squads, 3 APC and a tank on each side and had no problems though pushing above that might get a little busy. You'll have a lot of leaders to keep track in particular.
Smaller games could be done easy enough. Take a US infantry squad, treat each 4 man team as its own squad with its own leader and put them up against 15 or so insurgents and you could have a nice little skirmish.

What size of playing space do I need?
Not terribly big. 2x2 or 3x3 feet will work fine. Troops should be deployed one or two moves before contact, rather than setting up far from the enemy like you usually do.
No End In Sight is about the actual fire fight. The entire table is maybe 100-200 yards across.

Supplements, expansions, scifi, bunnies, I want it all!
Multiple people asked for a hard scifi version almost immediately upon seeing the rules, so I am obliging that.
I'll ask for testers once we get closer to having a workable product but it'll be pretty exciting. It's still several months away but nothing prevents you from playing some near-future games right now.

Other than that, you guys will have to tell me what you want. WW2 isn't out of the question and there may very likely be a WW1 variant in the not too distant future. If people want big, long lists of vehicle data, you'll have to send me some booze.

Rules questions:

Vehicles seem very fragile.
They are. This is intentional.  On a 3x3 foot table, you are essentially at point blank for vehicles. Even a T55 presents a threat at that range.

If it still bothers you, bear in mind that we are playing for effect. A "hit" with an anti-tank weapon means you hit the target and inflicted some type of result on them. Missed shots may have scratched the armour with no effect (this is why RPG have a hard time hitting in the game).

Why don't insurgents take stress from casualties?
I wanted insurgents and regular troops to feel different. In many cases, it seems insurgent forces are less likely to cease combat to tend to wounded than trained soldiers are.
My research indicates that taking multiple wounded will often slow or stop a squad from operating effectively and I wanted the rules to reflect that, so stress builds quickly.

Insurgents are more likely to leave the wounded to be recovered after the fact. However, to reflect their brittle nature, they have to make a "casualty check" to see if any of them bail when they take losses.
This means insurgent units can often start big, but if they get hit hard, they will tend to melt away.

I can't hit a **** thing!
Ranged fire won't inflict a lot of casualties. You have to either get in assault range, severely outgun the enemy or drive them off through suppression.
This mirrors accounts of fire fights in modern warzones. A platoon can go through a brutal fire fight, get kicked in the teeth and fall back and only have taken 3 or 4 actual casualties.

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Five Parsecs supplement progress

About 10% done. Planet generator is finished. Random worlds to flesh out your campaigns.
People who've played Traveller will enjoy this, though it's more space adventure than attempting science.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

No End in Sight. A look at the game mechanics.

Somewhere in Afghanistan 1983.

We're scouting out a village under Mujahideen control. I have 6 men in my squad, huddled along a wall on one side of a street, with the rest of the platoon further back, spread throughout the village.

It's my turn and I activate my squad leader, roll 1D6 for his activation points. I get a 3, and I decide to move the RPK and two riflemen across the street.
We're moving outside of sight of enemies and into cover, so each soldier takes a 3” move, crossing the street.

I place a Stress marker on my squad leader to indicate he has been activated once. Now the game changes to the other side.
The Mujahideen player activates the leader of a nearby group, rolling a 4. The leader activates four of their troops, sneaking forward through cover and placing them where they can look down the street.

When activated, a soldier can both move as well as fire at a target, so they open up on my troops, firing at the group that haven't crossed the street yet.

4 irregular shooters with rifles gives him 4 points of fire power. This means 4 dice are rolled for shock, trying to score a 5 or 6 on each of the dice.
Scoring 1,2,5,5, two of my men are pinned down.

Pinned troopers:
A pinned soldier can't take any actions. An activation point has to be spent to rally them. If enemies come too close to a pinned soldier, they may fall back.

Of course, bullets tend to hurt people too though fire fights tend to inflict much fewer casualties than you might be used to in war games. With 4 fire power, the enemy gets to roll 2 dice to inflict hits, requiring a 6 to hit. The dice come up 3 and 6. Man down!
Dicing to determine the effect of the hit, my man is wounded.

In a fire fight, most gun fire is suppressive in nature. When you read about encounters taking place at range, extensive fire is exchanged but only a few casualties might occur, unless an assault takes place at close quarters.
As such, the chance of scoring casualties (especially against troops in cover) are very low. Firing at troops in cover will cause several to be pinned and continued fire may push them back, but the normal gaming tactic of annihilating troops in cover by shooting at them long enough won't work.

Any time a group is fired upon, they may be subject to a morale test. I took 2 pins and a casualty, for a total morale score of 3. Rolling 1D6 for morale, I roll a 2. Since the roll was equal or under the morale score, the group falls back a distance equal to the dice roll, in this case 2 inches.

Morale affects troops within 2” of each other. My squad is split up into two groups with about 3” apart, so the group that already crossed the street stays where they are, while the other group retreats 2”.

The Mujahideen leader gets a point of Stress and play passes back to me.

I review the situation and decide to activate my squad leader again. I can pick any leader at my disposal but I am worried that the squad will be over run if I don't push them into better positions.
Rolling for activation, I have to deduct the Stress on the leader. He has one point from earlier, so I roll 1D6 minus 1 for a total of 4 points.

I spend 2 points to recover the two soldiers that were pinned down and spend the other 2 to activate two of the soldiers that crossed the street. They're not in good positions to fire from where they are but there's a wrecked vehicle a bit further up the street.

Rushing the open ground:
Any time soldiers move in the open, while in sight of the enemy, things change. Instead of a slow, cautious advance, soldiers move by rushing a short distance, hoping to reach cover before enemy fire gets too close.

To rush open ground, I nominate my destination, which is the wrecked vehicle slightly over 3” away. I roll 1D6 for each soldier rushing, scoring a 2 and a 5.
Since a move of 5” is more than plenty, I place one guy in cover behind the vehicle. Luckily, this was the RPK gunner.
However, a 2 is not enough to get there, so the assistant moves 2 inches before being pinned down in the open. The Afghans get to roll to see if they hit him, but fail to score a 6.

* * * * *

From there, the game continues but that should give you a decent snapshot into the movement and combat mechanics of the game.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

"No End in Sight". The end is in sight.

Writing is essentially done. Proof reading and getting the whole thing to be as understandable as possible starts tomorrow.

For the uninitiated, "No End in Sight" is my contemporary / post WW2 war games rules for platoon level combat.
I cheapened out a little by not including detailed TO&E's. You do get a guideline to how they generally work and a basic example of American and cold war Soviet squads.
The campaign rules are quite sexy. I think people will be pretty excited about those.

This has been the prototype cover. I kind of like it but let me know what you think.

Monday, 8 September 2014

Possible feature list for a post-apocalyptic game

Some rough thoughts on what might go into a post-apocalyptic game using FiveCore:

An Apocalypse generator (this will basically let you roll up a random setting, including what nature the apocalypse took, follow on effects and how long it's been)

Some apoc specific character generation options.

Rules on foraging, wilderness campaigns and food/water/medicine.

Tables to generate: encounters, enclaves, cults and societies, political factions.

Random event tables for campaigns more focused on survival, maintenance and endurance.

Maybe hit somewhere in the 30 page range? Longer than a typical FiveCore supplement but not big enough to be a fully fledged game on its own.

My thinking is to focus a little more on the more human and "realistic" side of a post-apoc environment. People can use the alien traits from Five Parsecs to generate mutants and whatnot though I suppose adding in a "mutant generator" might not be a terrible thing. Thoughts?

Also will need a snappy title with "five" in there somehow. "Five days after the end" ?

September for NWG

September should see the release of "No End in Sight". Platoon level rules for late 20th century and modern day warfare.

Hope you lot are excited. The playtesters have been almost universally happy with the rules and I think I've managed to hit on some interesting mechanics. A lot of moment to moment decision making and of course all the campaign goodness you've come to expect.

I also have a bunch of ideas for a supplement for Five Parsecs. I'd like to flesh out the RPG aspects a bit more, maybe introduce a few new critters and some such. It'll be a little bit of a grab bag of stuff to spice things up.

The next project to be pushed will be "9th Platoon". This takes the FiveCore mechanics and adapts them to a "1 stand is 1 squad" level of gaming.
Its about half done but still needs more testing to make sure it actually works nice and is fun.
I think there's a market for platoon level gaming with very few components and on a small play field and I think this will do the trick nicely. A typical army is about 4 infantry stands, maybe 1 or 2 vehicles. Hardly rough on the wallet and great for people dipping their feet into WW2.

Stay tuned! (and I haven't forgotten about all the rest of you, especially those who want to see a medieval or fantasy game :) )

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Goons and Characters

First introduced in Five Men in Normandy, the concept of the Goon from Five Parsecs bears a bit more discussion:

Essentially, we divide the people you may command and encounter into two broad groups:

Characters are the movers, shakers and personalities of your games. Usually, a character will be fully detailed with a background and motivation.
Any figure that has been given skills or other unique abilities is automatically a character.

Goons are then the vast, teeming masses of humanity (or alien-kind). A goon usually has a name, a weapon and that may be it.
Goons might be more fully established with motivations and backgrounds or the player may fill these in later in the campaign.

A goon will never have skills or other abilities however.
In "Five Men", they make up your regular soldiers. They will fight reasonably well and obey all the general rules that apply to the game.
In "Five Parsecs", they're the various crooks, adventurers and plain old civilians that you find anywhere you travel.

The basic stance of FiveCore is that a human is just that: A human. Everyone fights according to the workings of the basic game rules, unless they have an ability or trait that changes things. The goon is simply a thematic way of defining those figures.

Saturday, 30 August 2014

[Parsecs] Travellers guide to the Fringe: Genetic renegades

Genetic Renegades are one example of how the world of the future isn't quite our world with space travel. As advances in genetic understanding and medical technology proceeded, the ability to manipulate and retrofit a persons genetic make up became common place.

While Unity policy is to encourage such modifications only for purposes that benefit Unity in some manner or for approved medical corrections (pending proper authorization of paper work of course), once technology reaches the streets, the streets finds a use for it.

The rich, the eccentric and the degenerate all find uses alike for gene-mods, whether to get permanent hair colour changes, strange appendages, turn into cat people or many stranger things.

Unity law dictates that without proper authorization (average wait time for the form is 3D6 years) modifications exceeding 12% of a person's G.S.M.R. (Genetic Stability Marker Rating) are unlawful. However, once a person is too far removed from looking like a human, they can usually pass for an alien and remain in good standing with the law.

Modelling genetic renegades:
The renegades are a good way to have some fun with your miniatures. Unusual and bright skin colours, glowing red eyes, alien or animal like limbs and features, knock yourself out.

Most renegades are essentially exhibitionists and will go for the flashy and spectacular. Use bold, bright colours when painting and make sure they stand out.
A group of renegades should be quite the sight to look at.

Genetic Renegades in the game:
No special rules apply though it is recommended to apply an Alien trait or two to their leader to increase the disturbing factor.

Genetic Renegades in the scenario:
When a group of renegades are encountered, they are usually forming some sort of gang, mercenary outfit or outcasts from society at large.

Some renegades form cults focused on transcending the human condition.

Renegades also make for a great flavour piece in any scenario featuring regular human opposition or characters. The occasional character with purple skin or a cat tail helps remind every one that we're not on Earth.

Hope you enjoyed this weeks instalment.

Monday, 25 August 2014

Big power armour or tiny mecha

Mobile Assault Armour

MAA suits are technological advanced suits of powered armour, mounting external weapons systems and enabling an individual soldier to wield high powered weaponry.

The pilot:

Each MAA suit is piloted by a crew member that can be generated like any other character.

Pilots will maintain two sets of skills, the first are personal skills applicable to the pilot operating outside their suit, the second are pilot skills and apply when operating the suit.

Skills are selected from the same list. When a pilot receives a skill, the player may select whether to take a pilot or personal skill. The choice must be made before rolling for the skill.

Getting in and out:

While most missions will be undertaken wearing the suit, there may be instances where a pilot needs to disembark to conduct missions on foot or embark during a surprise attack. This takes a full activation where no other actions are possible.
This cannot be done during a Fire fight or Scurry turn.

To embark, the pilot must be within 1” of the suit. When disembarking, place the pilot up to 3” from the suit, permitting them to take some basic cover.

Suit movement:

Despite good mobility, a heavy armoured suit can only be propelled so far. Suits move at the same pace as regular infantry though they can push through rough ground without penalty.

The leg modules of the suit can project significant power, permitting them to leap up to 6” instead of normal movement. The leap can take the suit over gaps and unsafe ground or over infantry figures.
Leaps must be taken in a straight line and replace regular movement.

Jump jets:

Suits fitted with jump jets may activate them instead of regular movement. This permits the suit to leap up to 12” forward, clearing obstacles up to its own height. Jumping unto a single story building reduces the forward jump to 6”.
Jumping unto a two story building requires being in contact.

Jets also permit the suit to descend safely from heights. Jets can be activated twice per mission before burning out.

Over run:

Suits cannot be engaged in hand to hand fighting in any effective manner. A suit that moves in a straight line and contacts an opposing infantry figure will knock them 2” out of the way. Roll a Kill die for the infantry figure.

Firing from suits:

MAA suits can mount heavy weapons with ease. Typical armaments include auto cannon, machine guns and even light anti tank weapon. Suits may fire one weapon system while moving and may still guard fire with a machine gun.
All fire is conducted as if the weapon was fully crewed and stationary.

Firing at suits:

MAA suits are resistant to small arms fire but tend to be vulnerable to anti tank devices. Firing at a suit follows the vehicle rules in the Heavy Metal supplement.

Suit brawling:

Two suits ending up in contact with each other may trade blows. Roll a Threat die for each suit. The attacking suit rolls first and resolves the die before the defender gets to roll.
Suits are not locked in combat and may move off when activated.

Autonomous Control systems:

Advanced suits feature rudimentary AI routines, allowing them to fight even if the pilot is injured. If a suit features an AC system, it may be activated with no crew but may only move OR fire on such activations.

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Q&A Five Parsecs

Response to these rules have been super great, so thank you :)

Quite a few questions have come in through email and a few of them were asked more than once, so I figured I'd address those on the forum too.

Q: Is this just adventurer/gangs/treasure hunters or can you play army games?

A: The campaign rules are geared towards the former: Adventurers and trouble makers/shooters in the style of Traveller or Firefly. 
Absolutely nothing stops you setting up a squad of troops and slugging it out over a military objective but the campaign rules might not be a 100% good fit (though you could easily run a small mercenary squad using them).

Q: What kind of miniatures do I need?

A: Most anything really. You need 5-8 cool figures for your crew and then a random assortment of stuff for the bad guys. People with collections of strange scifi characters will have a good time here.

Scale isn't too important. They need to be based individually and you need to be able to tell them apart.

Q: Are there vehicle rules?

A: Not in the main rules no. There IS a FiveCore supplement covering vehicles (Heavy Metal) and hopefully this week, I'll get to update it with some futuristic stuff.

Q: Is the setting important?

A: Not terribly. I happen to think it's kind of clever but its mostly there to give some direction to things and then let you make up your own stuff. Some of the special characters you can meet are tied to the setting but they're generic enough you could fit them in anywhere or just change the explanations a bit.

Q: Why is it a supplement?

A: There wasn't a great option either way. I didn't want FiveCore players to be paying for essentially the same movement and combat rules again. 
On the flip side, making it a supplement will make some people upset. In the end, I made the bundle with core rules and Five Parsecs fit under the 20 dollar mark and the two combined are well over 100 pages, so I felt that was a good compromise.

Q: What mini's are displayed in the rules?

A: The phenomenal Rusk from Armies Army. You should all go buy these. They really are wonderful little figures. 
Most 15mm packs give you 3 poses for 8 figures. These guys give you 10 unique poses in an infantry pack.

As an aside, next month, if all goes well, there will be at least one Five Parsecs supplement. Likely a military one but we'll see. If people have stuff they want to see, I do take suggestions (and bribes paid out in cash or 15mm scifi mini's).

Thursday, 21 August 2014

[Parsecs] Travellers guide to the Fringe - Hulkers

Welcome to a new column (weekly I hope) where I'll explore the Fringe setting from Five Parsecs From Home and what it means for gameplay, modelling and generally having fun.

One of the character possibilities you can run into is the Hulker. Genetically modified to be strong and rather dumb, these brutes were intended for mining, suicide missions in the military, herding particularly unpleasant large animals and other tasks where muscles are more important than brains.

However, over time, significant enough numbers have either fled, wandered off, gotten lost or even staged their own rebellions that they can be encountered everywhere in Unity space.

Being generally too dumb to fill out paperwork and with a penchant for berserk rage if hurt or scared, they tend to make poor fits for the highly regimented existence most Unity citizens follow.
Consequently, they often end up in the Fringes where life is simpler, more things need breaking and where there's always someone willing to pay for simple people who can break stuff.

Modelling Hulkers:
I'll be honest, Hulkers were included because I like a lot of the space orc figures out there, but I didn't want to simply transplant a race like that into Five Parsecs. As such, the first stop for Hulker figures is any range of orc-like humanoids: Heavily muscled, a bit Neanderthal in appearance and with big, crude weapons, though any human figure with suitably exaggerated muscles can work.
Since they are essentially of human stock, though heavily manipulated by space-fantasy-science, they should be painted with flesh tones though a slight, green'ish hue to the skin would be a nice nod to their thematic origins.

"Officially" a Hulker should be from human sized to about time and a half. This gives you a lot of flexibility to pick suitable figures.
Incidentally, because of their status as crude genetic constructs, feel free to use old, poorly sculpted figures with weird faces!

Hulkers in the game:
Hulkers are subject to two special rules: They get a +1 bonus to Brawling rolls (due to their size, reach and brutality). This is more significant than it may sound as they also get the attacker bonus of +1. Even without a melee weapon, they are likely to inflict serious damage, if they can close enough.

Additionally, whenever they take ANY results from a Kill or Shock die, they have a 1 in 6 chance of going berserk. This makes them ignore the original dice result and instead charge 6" towards the shooter immediately.

This is too unlikely to rely on as a saving throw, though it IS a nice touch when it happens.

If the Kill or Shock dice are not inflicted by a shot, they will charge the closest visible enemy. If no enemies are present, the Hulker shrugs off the harm and yells angrily but will remain in place.

Hulkers in the scenario:
While Hulkers are pretty dumb, they are not imbeciles. As such, they may carry and use complex weaponry and can take all tests as the scenario may dictate.
Hacking scenarios may be off limits (but they can probably brutalize any door or barricade just fine on their own). Persuasion is usually based off telling exactly how many limbs the recipient will have AFTER they are done refusing to cooperate.
A scenario may dictate a penalty to Persuasion rolls, if it involves winning someone's trust.

When setting up Hulkers in a scenario as enemy cannon fodder, they should generally be armed with simple slug throwing weapons. Fitting them with melee weapons is a rather powerful combination though it does suit their qualities.

Hope you enjoyed. Feel free to comment with questions, what items you'd see explored in new posts and anything else on your mind!

Monday, 18 August 2014

Some sales numbers

Figured I would share some sales numbers with you lot.
This is all PDF and all through a single site (wargamevault). No other sites and no hard copies.

Five Men in Normandy since it's release on June 15th has moved 91 copies so far. I figure the first big mile stone will be 100 copies which it'll probably hit next month (end of this month if I am really lucky).

FiveCore has moved 84 copies and been out for a bit less time. Very nice and no doubt the lower price point attracts people.

Five Parsecs From Home has moved 29 copies since its release on the 12th. That's very strong but scifi skirmish is also a very popular genre and it does something a bit different from its competition (strong, character drive campaigns).

Obviously numbers do also drop off over time. These games are all relatively new (which helps sales, though as a game goes on, increased exposure and word of mouth no doubt help too. I imagine in a month or two, sales will drop off fairly sharply)

I didn't crunch the numbers for supplements that closely but at a glance they sell about two thirds of the copies the main game sells. People do like the bundles. I'd hazard a guess that well over half the supplement sales comes from bundles.

In the same time frame, Fast and Dirty has seen 44 downloads with an average donation of about 50 cents.

Does this mean that "Pay what you want" isn't worthwhile? Not necesarily. FAD has been out for a very long time and most people who want a copy already has one from the website. Likewise, it's always been a free game, so people may be less inclined to pay for it.

If I do another "mini game" of 10 pages or less, I may try to do it as a "Pay what you want" model and see what happens.

Besides, once I hit 100 sales of something, it only seems fair that we should do something special.

Is this valuable to anyone else? It depends. Everyones experience is different. If you're more famous than me, then your numbers will be much better no doubt while someone just breaking in will find it tougher.

Anyone want to share their experiences both for a recent release and for something that's been out for a long time?

Sunday, 17 August 2014

In Spaaaace and more

It's been a little while since I've updated the blog, mostly because I had been caught up in getting Five Parsecs From Home finished and out.

Feedback so far has been very positive and one of the buyers even mentioned that he had been using it as a campaign system for another set of skirmish rules.

If you haven't yet, go grab it. I sincerely believe it's something pretty unique on today's market.

There are a LOT of projects in the works, some are FiveCore related, some are unique systems. I am always looking for testers, so if you have interest in:

Post WW2 platoon combat
A large scale version of Five Men in Normandy (1 base is a squad, with each player controlling a platoon)
Generic campaign rules that can be applied to most 20th century, modern and scifi rules sets.
Aliens vs marines in FiveCore.
Black Powder / napoleonic skirmishing / rpg-like gaming.
Large scale scifi gaming (preferably in 6 to 15mm)

Drop me a line at and I'll hook you up with very early playtest drafts.

There are other projects in the pipe but those aren't yet in a testing stage.
Additionally, a few free upgrades will come along this week to some of the existing FiveCore products.

Sunday, 3 August 2014

New site

Nordic Weasel Games is proud to support

Check it out.

Saturday, 26 July 2014

What is up?

Been a little quiet lately, since work on new gaming stuff have been taking up a lot of time.

Reception to Five Men/FiveCore has been astounding and the summer sale at WargameVault has certainly helped massively as well.

Five Parsecs From Home is nearing completion.

Work has started on an "Aliens vs Colonial Marines" supplement.

Next week, I'll start working on the "Great British WW2 campaign".

I also have various notes on possibly, crazy, future projects. That list is really too big to mention here but includes pre-20th century stuff, some squad based stuff and a lot of other things.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Team based Bail's

Some thinking gave rise to this idea. Give it a shot:

When a Bail is rolled, the player has two options:

Either withdraw all figures in the same terrain feature by 3"
Bail one figure as per the normal rules.

Isolated figures on their own MUST bail as per the normal rules.
Withdrawn figures count as having Flinched for firing purposes.

This gives the player the choice of either falling back in good order when the fire gets unbearable or a single man panicking and fleeing.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

A modified Shock die.

For quicker games with less guys running off the table edge, try this on for size:

1: Flinch

As current but 3" move instead of 1D6.

6: Bail

Move away from enemy and find cover minimum of 6", maximum of 12" from current position.

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Expanded melee combat

Thinking out loud here, but for a possible medieval / fantasy variant, how about something like this:

In a brawl, each player rolls an Attack die and a Parry die.

Attack dice work like Kill dice do now.

On the Parry die:
1: Block enemy attack.
6: Riposte. Roll a Kill die against enemy.

If both combatants roll the same results on their Kill dice, nothing happens.
If one rolls an Out of Action and the other rolls a Knock Down, the combat is pushed back 2" and the "winner" rolls another Kill die, with the "loser" rolling another Parry die.

Thursday, 10 July 2014

What's happening?

Work is progressing on Five Parsecs. The release of FiveCore lets me avoid duplicating a ton of mechanics, which is nice.

Also working on the first supplement for FiveCore specifically. It'll have some tools for generating random armies, new rules for mobs as well as bring in some of the "special cases" that I left out, like Stealth missions.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Want more supplements, more games and some free stuff?

I try to put up at least one "game'able" post every week, whether it's an optional rule, a new rules idea or similar. Over time, I'd like to expand that into more significant material: Missions, more characters, new event tables, force tables, maybe even full blown mini-campaigns.

The sky is really the limit for this stuff, especially with the release of a Generic version here however, I need to focus on things that I think are commercially viable.

Every time I do something for free, that is time I am not spending on something I could sell.
Balancing those things are always tricky. I think it's important that a game has a steady flow of ideas for people to game with.

So I am going to try something a bit new. I don't know if it'll pay off but it could be an interesting new way of doing gaming.

Essentially, I am opening up the option for you lot, the gamers out there, to sponsor me in creating gaming material.

I've set up a Patreon page where you can pledge to support me each month. The amount is up to you, but I've set up some "reward" tiers.
What pledging will do is help "buy" me time to do more substantial free stuff. Whether that amounts to two or three articles, missions or similar things per month on the blog, a "pay what you want" supplement or even an entire free game will depend on the amount of sponsorship that comes in.

Funding will allow me to pursue this as my primary job and ultimately grow this game line into a series of some pretty cool and pretty unique stuff.

Thank you for your consideration.

Monday, 7 July 2014

Another way of handling grenades

The current method of handling grenades works pretty well, but they can be rather "all or nothing". Either everyone in the blast is flattened or it bounces away.

While this is certainly cinematic ("Hollywood realism" as I like to call it), some players may find it a bit frustrating.

If that's you, here's an alternate way of resolving grenades:

Roll 1D6:

1: Grenade is on the target.
2-5: Grenade scatters the dice roll in inches.
6: Grenade is on target if the target point is visible to thrower and in the open. Otherwise (when throwing over walls or into cover), grenade scatters 6"

Once the target point is located, roll 1 Kill and 1 Shock die for anyone in the area of effect.

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Hug the dirt. optional rule.

Option for you lot out there:

A stationary figure in the open can hug the dirt instead of taking a normal activation.

The figure may move 2" in any direction and may Guard fire within 12" in the opponent's turn but may not take any other actions. Enemies are prevented from firing at the figure if they are more than 12" away.

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Ethical questions raised by working on Five Parsecs From Home

Some things that are possible under these rules, if the dice come up just right:

An emotionless super soldier assassin gets a letter from mom.

A combat droid and a religious fanatic become friends.

A mutant trying to find true love.

A mentally unhinged hacker prone to running off in any odd direction.

Clearly this raises important ethical questions about the nature of man and whether it's okay to shoot bounty hunters on sight, or you should wait until you know if they're after you specifically.

A thought experiment

Not saying I'd write this, but if someone out there gives this a shot, let me know how it goes. no particular reason :)

Fantasy Ball game not unlike football or a certain famous board game.

6-10 players per side (same amount obviously)

Kick off:
Place ball in opposing half of field. Scatter 2D6".

Action die:
1: Every player may move 4" in any direction, ignoring enemy zones of influence.
2-5: Activate 2 (3?) players normally.
6: Every player may roll 1 Block die against an enemy in range.

Normal activation:
May move, block or tackle.

Move up to 4" in any direction.
Players moving in a straight line may move 6" (run)

Players moving within 1" of opponent may Tackle them (1 Tackle die)
Players beginning activation within 1" of opponent may Block them (1 Block die)

Player may slide after a run. Continue run move for another 1D6" in straight line. Player is Prone.
Roll a Tackle die against any enemy contacted. If Tackle succeeds, may continue moving and hit additional enemies.

Zone of influence:
Players have zone of influence 1" from them. Enemy players leaving zone of influence have a Tackle die rolled against them.

Tackle dice:
1: Prone
2-5: No effect
6: Down

Block dice:
1: Down.
2-5: No effect
6: Out.

Prone players have no zone of influence and cannot move next turn.

Players that are Down must roll the Block die when they are next active, and suffer the result. On a No Effect, they can act normally this turn.
They have no zone of influence while Down.

Players that are out are removed from the pitch until the next kick off.

Any result on the Tackle or Block dice causes the ball to be dropped.

Instead of blocking, a player may push. Move an adjacent enemy 2" away.

Picking up the ball:
Any player can pick up the ball by moving into contact.

Handing off the ball:
The ball can be handed off once per turn, if it's not being hurled. The players must be within 1" of each other. Simply move the ball from one player to another.

Hurling the ball:
The ball can be hurled up to 12". Only one hurl per turn and not if it's being handed off.
The ball cannot be hurled on a 1 or 6 on the Action die, only on regular turns.

Hurl dice:
1: Fumbled. Scatter 1D6" from hurler.
2-5: On target.
6: Inaccurate. Scatter 1D6" from receiver.

The receiver may move 1" immediately upon receiving the ball but cannot take any other actions this turn.

If the ball passes through any enemy zones of influence, it may be intercepted. Only one interception by hurl is permitted.

Interception dice:
1: Ball knocked 1D6" in a random direction.
2-5: Interception failed
6: Interceptor catches it

Touch downs:
If a standing player is in the end zone with the ball, a touch down is scored.

For now, use whatever pitch dimensions you feel makes the most sense.
Since this was thrown together in like 10 minutes, any gaping holes are to be filled with your best imagination.

Monday, 30 June 2014

Ideas to come

In the next month or so, I'll probably do a "Five Men Core" booklet. This will have just the basic game rules with no campaign or character creation rules.

The idea is that it'll be a cheap way for people to test the system, and it'll enable me to do some little games that are too limited in scope to warrant a full blown title of their own.

Some examples may include a "marines vs space bugs" title, some sort of futuristic gang war game and other such. Essentially, mini-games like that would include just the campaign and character stuff, and you could then play as long as you own a full game or the Core rules.


Sunday, 29 June 2014

Q&A. Bail and Flinch moves.

From a Q&A on TMP but I thought I'd elaborate here:

When a figure Flinches and is not in cover, they will move up to 1D6" to get into cover. If there's cover 2" away and you roll a 5, the figure just moves into the cover 2" away.

If there's multiple spots possible, the figure will aim for cover that is closer rather than further and will avoid moving towards the enemy unless that is the only cover that can be reached.

When a figure Bails, they'll fall back 12" from the enemy and find cover there. The easiest way to do this is to take a ruler, place it so you can see what locations are in the figures rear area and have him run to one of those.

If you want a more specific ruling for pick-up games, find cover 11-12" away from your current position, and further away from enemies than you started.

If no cover is possible under those parameters, run 12" away from the enemy and towards the table edge.

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Oh my, they do run away a lot, don't they?

Once you've gotten a game or two in, you'll notice that your soldiers seem to be bailing quite a lot.

At first, this can seem a bit off putting, particularly if you are coming from other games, where troops either stay in place or all break at the same time.

The goal here is essentially to create a fluid battle field. Remember, a figure that has Bailed is not in a complete state of panic. They've fallen back and then gone to ground because the situation they were in is no longer tenable to them.
Of course, sometimes they will Bail again when you try to recover them, in which case it's a more general morale failure.

What it does, most importantly, is give a way to actually drive people out of a position. A machine gun opening up on a couple of soldiers in a crater is very likely to force them both to retreat. This, in my opinion, is more realistic than the two staying in position turn after turn, because the enemy can't hit them in hard cover.
Under heavy fire, your men are likely to pull back and it is up to you to regroup them and retake the position.

A side effect (but a welcome one) is that it also encourages players to engage all of their troops, since figures left near the table edge may well bail straight off the table.

Friday, 27 June 2014

How are Shock dice allocated?

A quick question that's come up:

Q: If I roll both a Knock Down and a Flinch when firing on an enemy, how are the dice allocated?

A: Kill dice results always apply to the target you shot at. If anyone else is within 4", Shock dice results are allocated to the closest figure to the target.

Note that in the current version, this can be your own figures (but cannot be the firer). This hopefully discourages people pouring fire unto an enemy that your own men are crowding around.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Things to come

A scavenger who grew up in a war zone looking to find romance and destined for greatness.

A government agent from one of the backwater colonies, looking to survive in the galaxy and packing a huge revolver.

A petty thief from a family of hereditary bureaucrats, exploring the galaxy.

What do these three characters have in common?

They are all generated using the rules for my upcoming Scifi warband miniatures game "Five Parsecs From Home". What sort of adventures and mischief will they get into?

Travel, explore, fight and hopefully find what you were seeking on the Fringes of human space.

(Original image here)