Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Company Command updates

After the new turn sequence, today the movement rules get touched up.

Mostly smaller changes to movement, more about clarifying some awkward phrasings and just making the rules clearer.

As an experiment, scurrying troops CAN enter assaults now. I figure with more of an emphasis on platoon actions, it'll help for things like Chinese assaults in Korea.
I'll most likely add a penalty to it though, we'll see.

I hope to do the firing rules tomorrow but thats a bit more major, so no promises it won't be after the weekend instead.
In the meanwhile, go download your files again.

Monday, 27 June 2016

FiveCore news

Updated assault rules for Company Command today (if all goes well).
Also going to do some visual touch-ups to make the set easier to read.

How big a deal is adding art to Company Command for you guys?
Originally it didn't have any, because it was intended as a quick, small booklet that was easy to print but maybe that time is past?

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Powder&Bayonet available

Using the "Living Games" engine from Blast Pistol, this quick-play set gives you large skirmish games in the black powder era.

Game uses a points system for quick set up and a total of 15 premade unit types, ranging from the old guard to angry colonial subjects and revolutionaries.

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Non-gaming: A visit to the 339th "Polar Bear" memorial in Michigan.

The First World War and the Russian Civil War are long passions of mine and the American expeditionary force sent to Archangel in Russia in 1918 has been in my mind ever since I read the fantastic "When Hell Froze Over".

To those that don't know, in the fall of 1918, as Russia had dropped out of the first world war to fight a brutal civil war, American troops were sent to the Northwest of Russia, ostensibly to guard allied supply depots from falling into German hands.

However, the men of the 339th Infantry regiment and their various attached troops (including a Canadian artillery battery) ended up in a fight for their survival.

Stuck in a foreign land, in freezing weather, battling an enemy they barely understood, while suffering from the Spanish flu, issued weapons they had received no training in, these men fought exceptionally hard but would ultimately be largely forgotten.

Except in Michigan, where the White Chapel Cemetary has a little memorial to their sacrifices.
Some 10 years after the fact, an agreement was made with the Russians, permitting as many of the fallen remains as could be found, to be recovered for burial in their home land.

Why Michigan? The majority of the men were from Michigan, many of them from Detroit.

We visited the memorial today and snapped a few pictures for you all.

One of the burial markers. No family relation, we took pictures of a few. Brave men.
The plate at the base of the statue.

The kid and must be a fat, hairy bum we found in the park.
Okay, nevermind, its me.

Up close.

A WW1 helmet and cross at the feet of the polar bear.

Friday, 17 June 2016

Days of the Weasel

Just a bit of general status:

Allied Storm is still incubating. Its a bit of a bigger project to sort out than I anticipated, but I am hoping for a release at the mid to end of July.

The betas for Starport Scum and From Shako to Coalscuttle will officially end the last day of June.

The FiveCore systems will get another update over the weekend or Monday. I didn't want to push an update or change every day of the week and bury people (more) in email.

I will also have a surprise for you this weekend :-)

As an aside, my ailing laptop has been replaced with a nice, new desktop. So the Weasel is future proof!
Unfortunately my keyboard is kind of garbage.

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

FiveCore turn sequence options added

Today's small patch to Company Command and Brigade Commander adds a new optional turn sequence, specifically intended for players who prefer all of their elements to act each turn.

To do this, you need to have your force organised into clear platoons/battalions with any supporting stands attached to one such formation at all times.

The platoons/ battalions do not have to remain near each other however (a coherency rule may be added later on, if this option proves popular).

When it is your turn to play, roll 1 action die per formation.

You pick which formation will act first, then assign any action die available to it.
Carry out its actions and any reactions as normal.
The pick the second formation, assign an available action die and so forth.

Under this system, typically all troops will act (or nearly all, in any event) but you still have to contend with the unpredictable nature of the action dice.

I am really excited about this option, so let me know how you like it!

Monday, 13 June 2016

So what about Company Command and Brigade Commander?

With a snazzy revision available for the FiveCore skirmish game, what about the bigger scales?

No worries, you'll get your revision but it'll work a little different.

Those two games will be updated one piece at a time.

Today, the first update went up, adding the Reserve action dice and few other small tweaks.

To help balance the workload, these two games will be updated side by side, one bit at a time.

I am also looking at sprucing up Company Command a little, as it looks a bit spartan.

So stay tuned.

Starport beta update

Go redownload your file (or scribble in the margins).

Tweaked the pinning rule a bit, courtesy of mister Wasberg's advice.

Pinning is now -1 die to actions, rather than losing a turn (which feels more heroic) and to keep goons from sticking around forever, if you pin a Goon that's already pinned, they go Down.

Give it a swirl. Expectation is that the beta continues until the end of June, so if you want to be heard, now's the time :)

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Living Games blog

To keep things separate, all updates and info for the "Living Games" of Last Era and Blast Pistol will be placed on a separate blog located here:

As there will be quite a bit of updates and chatter, it seemed like a better option.
Please book mark both :)

Since the Vault email tool is having trouble right now, please redownload your files if you just purchased either system.
They are just updated today with new tools and content.

Saturday, 11 June 2016

Last Era is available now

After a few days delay, Last Era, the fantasy sister game to Blast Pistol is now available.

The two share a common core engine, though with a few tweaks to facilitate the respective genres. Movement is a bit more limited, missile fire is less effective while melee is more energetic.

As with Blast Pistol, the game comes with 10 pre-made units, including 2 characters, 2 big monsters and initially a focus on human troop types (to entice people with medieval armies).

Future updates will delve into all the orcs, elves and other critters.

Check her out here

As with Blast Pistol, this will be a "living" game, meaning frequent updates and additions.

Thursday, 9 June 2016

So what does a "Living Game" mean?

Blast Pistol and its coming sister Last Era are intended to be "Living" games.
So what exactly does that mean?

Let me explain a little bit more.
It has three important consequences:

I've always tried to provide ongoing support for my games, including updates, corrections (often within a few hours of getting an email) and even new editions.

However, with a conventional, long ruleset there is a limit to the extent this can be done quickly, because formatting and complexity can make it harder to grapple with.

The goal for these two systems is to have an extremely quick turn-around for tweaks and changes, so that any corrections or clarifications will be in the rules as quick as possible.
This means as a player, you won't have to hunt for Q&A's or find old forum posts.
Just download the file again every now and again and you're up to date.

Both systems will see a series of expansions, quite a few in fact.

The goal of these is to be snack-size, at 1-2 dollars (so candy bar and a soda).
The exact contents will vary but a good template is 3-5 new units, vehicles or characters, 1-2 new battle conditions to play with, a new mission objective, a bit of background info and a new rule, option or other mechanical element.

Essentially each such pack will add a few new cool things to the game but be compact enough that they can be a spur-of-the-moment purchase.

The aim of making them small and frequent is to make the game constantly evolving. You can check in every month and see what is new, if you follow the game regularly you have something constant to look forward to.

To be frank, this is also a way to entice people who may have pirated the PDF. Down the road, if they like the game, odds are they'll consider springing for an expansion pack or two.

Won't that get sprawling?
It would, which is why there's a graduation process.
When an expansion hits a certain number of sales, it'll eventually graduate into the core-rules and be retired.

This allows the core rules set to be perpetually expanded and updated.
When this happens, any tweaks needed to the expansion can also be applied.

And lastly.. with each expansion, the core rules will also get a small addition, typically a new unit or similar.
This way, even if you want to just stick with the base game, you will still have new things added over time.

As we go along, this also means that if we need art, tables or any other elements added, they can be slotted in along the way.

I already foresee that the unit profiles will be:
A: Simplified visually. I rather like the current look but it takes up far too much space.
B: Be split off into a separate file (but included in the same download).

I hope this clarifies a little bit what the plans are for this dual-system. Let me know if you have any questions.
I am hoping this sounds as exciting as it sounds in my head. It's something that's really only possible with a PDF style of delivery and a new media.

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

A new initiative from Nordic Weasel. "Living" big skirmish scifi and fantasy rules available.

This is going to be a bit long, so please bear with me.

I am very excited (and nervous) to present a new initiative from Nordic Weasel Games.

This consists of a pair of two "sister" games, Blast Pistol and Last Era, dedicated to scifi and fantasy skirmishing respectively.

Blast Pistol just went live here


while Last Era should be live tomorrow if all goes well.

The two games share a common game engine, designed to be very straight-forward and easy to play.

The core mechanics can be summarized in a few pages, relying on a D10 with a few, simple modifiers, a short stat-lone and an alternating turn sequence slightly reminiscent of the old Warzone and Chronopia rules.

With a focus on simple gameplay, the games will allow a large number of figures to be used.

In testing, 30-40 figures have been the norm on each side, but smaller or potentially bigger games are easily possible.

A very simple mechanic allows troops to gain experience in battle, though it is (as everything else) written for maximum simplicity.

So what is so new?

Three things:

First, while the game has a very basic set-up sequence, each game you will dice for a Battle Condition. These can be things like a surprise encounter, bad visibility or heavy gravity.

This allows even a basic pick-up game to feel unique.

The initial game rules come with 6 simple conditions intended to show the basic concept, but many more will follow, which can be far more involved.

Players of Vor:Into the Maelstrom should find the basic idea familiar, if much simpler here.

Second, the game is points driven from the start.

The initial collection of units has been picked specifically to make it easy to devise your own units, but for players who prefer an army list, the games ship with 10 units each, divided into 5 squads, 2 characters and 3 vehicles (scifi) / monsters (fantasy).

The army list is open-ended at the moment, leaving it to players to decide what units can belong to what army.

Third, the game is intended to be a Living game.

This means that it will receive frequent, small expansion booklets, each of which will add new units, battle conditions and updates.

Over time, these expansions will be folded back into the main rules along with tweaks, fixes and fan feedback.

Through Nordic Weasel, almost every game I've done have seen updates, expansions and sometimes even entire new editions as time has gone on.

I think the ability to develop a game with this in mind from the ground up, and have players be able to grow with the game, will be immensely exciting.

This means that players can get the game now, in its "core" form, and watch it grow and develop over time.

Some additions will be free, some will be sold separately and considered for future inclusion.

* * * * *

The games are intended to be highly accessible:

This means they are made to be as print-friendly as possible (The unit listings could be better, but they'll be improved once I have a better format for them), the cost is low and the expansion cost will likely be low.

The goal is for two people to get the game, grab figures on the shelf and have a game going in a minimum amount of time.

The initial version of each system is essentially a "core" game, playable in its own right and with unlimited upwards potential.

Think of it as a starter package, which will receive countless upgrades over time.

The price reflects that to some extent.

I am super excited about this venture and I hope you are too.

* * * * *

Will this overlap with existing games?

I don't think so.

Clash on the Fringe is aimed at fewer figures and a more involved mechanical system, No Stars in Sight is a hard, platoon level military game and the upcoming Starport Scum will be more of an RPG-styled approach, with more in common with something like Laserburn.

Tonight or tomorrow..

..will be a big day for Nordic Weasel.

Stay tuned.. :)

Monday, 6 June 2016

The NWG portfolio

This is what games I have on offer currently.

I'll be preparing a "catalogue" with cover images and links over the next week or so.

FiveCore third edition
Setting: Generic system. Suitable for 20th century and scifi.
Figure scale: Individually based figures.
Game size: 8-12 figures per side typical.
Features: Full campaign rules included. Random scenario creation.
Notes: Flexible system with minimal stats. Suitable for solo gamers.

FiveCore first edition
Setting: Generic system. Suitable for 20th century and scifi.
Figure scale: Individually based figures.
Game size: 8-12 figures per side typical.
Features: Basic campaign rules included. No vehicle rules.
Notes: Earlier version offered as a cheaper option. Less feature-rich.

FiveCore Company Command
Setting: Generic system. Suitable for 20th century. Scifi supplement available.
Figure scale: Each stand is one squad or a single vehicle.
Game size: Reinforced company per side.
Features: Random force creation. Individual attachment system to customise squads.

FiveCore Brigade Commander
Setting: Generic system. Suitable for 20th century.
Figure scale: Each stand is one company.
Game size: Brigade per side.
Features: Random force creation. Campaign rules. Campaign can be combined with skirmish and company rules. Platoon sized attachment system and abstract “Asset” system to portray army doctrines.

Five Men in Normandy
Setting: WW2.
Figure scale: Individually based figures.
Game size: Squad or less per side.
Features: Full integrated campaign rules.
Notes: Original incarnation of FiveCore system. Offered cheap as simple, introductory package.
WW2 specific game system. Simpler, more stripped down compared to FiveCore 3rd edition.
No vehicle rules. Aimed at below-squad patrol actions.

Five Men at Kursk
Setting: WW2.
Figure scale: Individually based figures.
Game size: From squad to platoon.
Features: Full integrated campaign rules, detailed vehicles. Support tables for random force creation.
Supports troop characteristics and national characteristics. More detailed than other FiveCore systems.

No End in Sight
Setting: 20th century and contemporary.
Figure scale: Individually based figures.
Game size: Platoon with support per side.
Features: Multiple campaign systems. Quick mechanics focused on casualties, morale and mounting pressure.
“Gritty” realism rather than movie-realism.

No Stars in Sight
Setting: Science fiction.
Figure scale: Individually based figures.
Game size: Reinforced platoon per side.
Features: Multiple alien races. Points system. Variety of technology and weapons. Hard scifi military action.
Is not currently updated to 2nd edition of “In Sight” system. Update will be free but time is not known.

No Hope in Sight
Setting: Post apocalyptic.
Figure scale: Individually based figures.
Game size: Squad to platoon sized.
Features: Built for campaign scavenger play from the ground up. Variation of “In Sight” system.
Not currently updated to 2nd edition standards.

Trench Storm
Setting: WW1
Figure scale: Each stand is one squad or vehicle.
Game size: Battalion or so.
Features: Simple, conventional WW1 game mechanics. Easy to build armies for.

Setting: Scifi.
Figure scale: Each stand is 5 men or 1 vehicle (“epic” scale)
Game size: Battalion and up.
Features: No markers or counters on the table. Full points formula. Multiple ways to construct units. Map-based campaign rules. Can support very large armies and very large robots.

War Story
Setting: Any.
Figure scale: Any.
Game size: Any.
Features: Narrative game rules for resolving military actions in a story-driven game.
Simple mechanics with several tools and options for resolution.
Well suited to gamemastered game or as attachment to an RPG campaign.

Clash on the Fringe
Setting: Space Adventure.
Figure scale: Individually based figured.
Game size: Platoon'ish.
Features: “Rogue Trader” replacement. Full points system, countless unit types or build your own. Campaign rules, random scenarios, psionics, robots and wildlife.

Setting: Medieval. Has fantasy supplement.
Figure scale: Individually based.
Game size: 6-12 figures per side.
Features: Detailed weapon system, heroes and knaves. Campaign play and random fiefdom generator.

From Shako to Coalscuttle
Setting: 1805 to 1914
Figure scale: Abstract. Army is 8-12 units of 4 stands each.
Game size: Abstract.
Features: Combat system combines morale and casualties into one roll. Command/control system is based o nexceptional actions, rather than interfering with every single activity.
Leadership driven.
Rules currently in beta-testing.

Friday, 3 June 2016

A bit of an endorsement. Fistful of Lead

The kind guy behind Fistful of Lead sent me a copy to check out, so I figured I'd give a few thoughts on the game.

Its a wild west game, though I must admit, I did a test using old Laserburn figures. Space cowboys I suppose.

The scope is small'ish. You could probably have quite a few figures but around 4-6 per player seems good.
Each figure can have unique skills and will have their own card in the deck, so too many can get a bit confusing.
Normally, I'm a bit hit and miss on card draws but for a wild west game, I dig. Gotta have that poker feel.

Interestingly, some of the cards are "bonus" cards that allow you to do things like recover from pinning or wounds, without testing.
Gives a bit of unpredictability.

The combat mechanics are straight forward. Roll to hit and roll to see what happens. You can run out of ammo and combat lethality is somewhat in the middle range of the scale.
There's a decent chance of characters suffering status effects like being pinned down or wounded, which allows a chance of recovery or loss of the character.
Strong touch of Necromunda there.

You get a nice selection of character traits to build unique individuals with and the rules can cover a decent range of "wild west movie" scenarios.

It;s definitely a more cinematic game, rather than a staunch realistic simulation.

There's also a scenario pack with several ready-to-play scenarios but I must admit, I haven't tried any of those yet.

If you're interested in wild west play, I'd recommend checking this out. Its an easy game to teach and it seems like it'd hold up very well in the long term.

You can check them out at the book of faces here

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Starport Scum beta rules available

The beta version of Starport Scum is now available.

Clocking in at just over 30 pages, the beta is essentially a complete game: You get the basic game rules, a few sample characters to get you started and all the toolkits (in their early versions) to build weapons, character traits and more.

What you don't get is the random character creation, campaign rules and all the various random tables.

If you're looking for fast space adventure skirmishing with a minimum of fuss, give it a look.

The beta is on a “pay what you want” basis. Grab it for free or pitch in a few dollars to support development, your call.

Hope to see you in the frontier colonies!

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Would you be interested in this?

A few people have expressed interest in a version of Five parsecs from home that is not tied to a specific rules system.

Is this something you'd be interested in?
Basically, it'd reconfigure the tables a bit, still include all the random tables, character creation and so forth, add a few more results and some of the stuff from the supplement, but strip out the FiveCore bits and make it a stand-alone thing.

That way you could bolt it on to any game system you like.

Let me know what you think.