Wednesday, 31 May 2017

A few quick notes on Unity Field Agent

A few quick Q&A's for the beta test and some general notes:

Q: How does "Double-Wait" work?

A: If a character has this ability and Waits twice, it just means they could reaction fire twice.
Any given action can only be the subject of one Wait reaction though.

So if an enemy moves across their sight, they could shoot.
If that enemy then shoots, they could take their second shot.

Q: How does "Double-Recover" work?

A: Since Shocked figures are forced to recover anyways, the only use for this currently is to try and get rid of Damage status.

Q: Is there a limit to the number of Shock and Damage markers a character can have?

A: In the Beta no.
In the full rules, accumulating 3 Shock or 3 Damage causes removal from play.
You can play with that option if you like.

Q: Will there be racial special rules?

A: A few, yes. The intention is to keep it very limited though.
As much as possible will be handled through the Double-Action and Bonus-Action abilities.

Q: Is there an intended figure scale?

A: As usual, I tend to play with 15mm figures using 25mm measurements, but go with whatever you like.

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Unity Field Agent. Public Beta test.

Unity Field Agent is the upcoming multi-tiered skirmish game from Nordic Weasel Games.

Planned to feature three distinct modes of play, the rules feature a card-driven mechanism and action system that alleviates many common concerns with such systems.

Set firmly within the "Fringe" system of games like Five Parsecs From Home and Clash on the Fringe, all you need is 8-12 scifi figures and the urge to gun down some fools.

The full version of the rules will feature three distinct ways to play: Points driven games suitable for pick-up play, a "gang warfare" mode where you retain your figures and build up experience points and finally a "Story" mode using random tables to construct a complex narrative campaign experience.

Whether you want to play a battle-hardened mercenary sergeant, an enlightened Precursor explorer or a psycho ganger, Unity Field Agent will see you in good shape.

This 12 page Beta version features a condensed version of the core rules, as well as a small selection of ready-to-play troop stats.

It does NOT feature any scenario rules, points values or similar tools. The goal of the public Beta is to further stress test the core mechanics.

It features absolutely minimal attention to layout and no artwork.

The beta test is made available on a "Pay what you want" basis.

If you are curious, you can download the rules for free or you can make a contribution to support further development.

Note that when the beta concludes, this version will not be available for purchase any longer, though existing owners will retain access to it.

Buying the Beta does NOT give you access to the full version, though if you pay 10 dollars or more, shoot me an email at and I'll make sure you get a comp copy once we're live with the final version.

Sunday, 28 May 2017

If you're the guy who sent me spells for An Orc Too Far

Can you hit me up real quick with the document containing the spells and your thoughts on points values?


Saturday, 27 May 2017

Codename UFA: Getting things done

The core of the game is the Action system.

We've already discussed how the card draw works.

What are Actions? Well, obviously the things you can do on your turn, with a character being able to take 1, 2 or 3 Actions depending on the card and circumstances.

One very important caveat is that characters CANNOT repeat the same action in their activation, unless an ability permits otherwise.

So f.x. if I have two actions, I cannot simply shoot twice.
If I want to use both actions, I could move and fire, aim and fire or even fire and wait (allowing a shot in return later in the turn).

This helps push more creative game play and avoid the temptation to simply stand still and get as many attack dice as possible.

The total list of actions are:
Move, Prowl, Aim, Fire, Brawl, Task, Recover, Wait.

These cover most of what we'd want a character to be able to do, and creates quite a bit of flexibility.

A character creeping forward into an ambush position might Prowl and then Wait.

In a heated firefight, you might Fire and then Wait.

Running across an open space, you might Move and then add a Prowl move at the end (in this case representing your character flinging themselves forward at a run, rather than sneaking as such)

Some actions include an option to "step", allowing a 1" move before the action is taken.
With this, you can generally shift yourself into a suitable position rather than being stuck juuuuust out of sight or whatever.

Combined with the card system, this system will (I think and hope) allow as much freedom as possible, without falling into some of the traps that such systems can have for a player.

Friday, 26 May 2017

Polishing my own feather for a moment

Since my mate +Paolo Greco showed that you could look this up, I decided to find where Nordic Weasel Games ranks sales wise.

On drivethrurpg and rpgnow, in the top 15%.
That's surprising since we only really sell Dungeon Scum and a few other tidbits on those sites.

Then I checked for Wargame Vault and..

Top 0%? I guess the 1% isn't elite enough for this here Weasel :-)

Pretty consistent numbers too. The minus number at the bottom is the number of months ago.

So yeah. Thank you to everyone that buys this stuff, that blog about it, that talk it up, share pictures or write me long emails about how to adapt FiveCore to a game of interpersonal romance in a crossover between Star Trek and Lord of the Rings.

You helped make it happen.

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Codename UFA: Building blocks of a soldier

Figures are rated in 5 ways numerically, 4 of which are expressed as simple target numbers to roll equal or above on a D6.

Speed is of course expressed directly in tabletop inches.

Brawling skill, Firing Skill, Morale and Toughness are all expressed as a dice roll.

So for example, a common infantry trooper might have Speed 6 (moves 6 inches per standard Move action), Brawling skill of 5+, Firing skill of 4+, Morale of 4+, Toughness of 5+.

So he needs to roll a 5 or 6 to hit with a Brawling attack or to deflect an incoming shot, while needing a 4, 5 or 6 to hit with a ranged shot or pass a Morale test.

Some rolls are modified but rather sparingly.
We'll talk about that later on :)

The goal of the troop profile is to have as few steps from "my guy is a Precursor assault trooper" to "I need to roll this to do a thing".

Likewise, the special rules for alien troops will be as consistent and easy as possible, with most abilities being tied to the turn sequence, either being able to perform specific bonus actions or repeat particular actions.

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Codename UFA: How things happen.

Take a deck of cards.

Each player picks a suit (half-deck) or color (full deck).

Draw one card at a time.
When all figures are "Activated"

The player indicated may activate a figure, taking 2 or 3 actions depending on the card.

Karl ran across the open space, firing his pistols as he went.
As he came into the sights of the sniper, he flung himself forward, rolling into cover.

Aces allow an action to be taken by a figure that already acted (or will act later).

The gun slinger turned the corner, certain that he'd get the drop on the marksman busy firing at his friends.
To his dismay, as he stepped into view, he stared right into the barrel of a MK7 "Reciprocator" rifle.

Characters with particular skills can use any card to take a bonus action, even if all of your figures have activated already.

Seeing his opportunity, Zzh'krz leapt from the top of the building, his wings carrying him in a sustained glide.
In moments, he'd covered the span of the plaza, landing behind cover while the humans shot at each other ineffectually.

And lastly Leaders can stick a card aside, to give a bonus action when they activate.

"SHOOT YOU BASTARDS" she shouted.
"I want that Grark DEAD, I want its family DEAD, I want its nest burned to the ground!"

The Corporate Security troopers complied.
Facing an angry Grark was one thing, but facing the Captain was another altogether.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Codename UFA. Ways to play, ways to die.

Day 1 - We assemble two armies bought using a points system.

I field an army entirely from [faction erased by censors] while my opponent mixes things up a little, using troops from [faction erased by censors] with mercenary support and an attached [erased by censors] just because they had a mini sitting on the shelf that'd work really well.

The game is a straight-up pitched battle over a simple objective and stands alone complete.

Day 2 - We build two mercenary forces from a short list, then they fight using a mission table to give us the basic parameters.
It turns out we're both searching for valuable salvage and this world ain't big enough for both of us.

After the encounter between them, each figure earns experience points and progresses towards upgrades.
We even get a few new guns and weapons.

When we play in this way, our forces persist and develop over time.

Day 3 - A scifi story about a personal vendetta during a military option.
Assault troops from the [erased by censors] descend on the world of Cullin's Drift.

The first battle is a raid to knock out a communications bunker, but afterwards, the story tables direct us to a flashback episode. 

We write up younger versions of the main protagonists and play through their first meeting on the battlefield, years prior.

Codename UFA. What's this?

*A mysterious agent on the hunt for signs of alien infiltration.

*A squad of hard-bitten mercenaries clearing a section of enemy trench.

*Alien warriors clash in the ruins of a long-gone civilization.

Friday, 19 May 2017

An Orc Too Far updates

The beta test continues.

We've gotten a ton of good feedback so it'll likely continue until the end of the month, maybe even a bit further.

The good news is that essentially, everything works more or less.
There are individual parts that need some tweaking and a lot of little, unclear parts that will get fixed up.
Formations in particular may end up changing dramatically or even being removed altogether.

We of course have the benefit of working from a core system that was already tested, so we just have to work with the fantasy chrome.

I am in two minds of whether I'll do a significant content update to the beta version.
There will probably be another add-on document to test out, with some war machine and monster traits, but that may be it as far as updating it before release.

The main reason is that with time being somewhat limited of course, I'd sooner spend that time working on the final release instead.

If there are components that people really want to see in the beta, let me know though, I might be judging it wrong.

Campaign rules will most likely be a tweak on the Scum of the Earth campaign rules but with some more "fantastical" chrome added of course.

Ditto for the "veteran battalion" rules.

I will do everything possible to make sure that a points system comes included but if it looks like it's release without it or don't release at all, well...

Lastly, anyone that wants to contribute a photo or two of their gaming tables, hit me up by email.
I'd love to feature your stuff.

Best wishes

New stomping grounds

Nordic Weasel Games will no longer associate with TMP.

I imagine most of my customers get their information either directly through war-game vault email, through this blog or Google +, so this will likely not impact you significantly.

Friday, 12 May 2017

Starport Scum expanded loot

Want more loot and goodies for your squad of space scoundrels? 
With this new mini supplement, you will have access to greatly expanded loot after your encounters, whether you are after gadgets, exotic gear, piles of credits or a chance for new story hooks.
The new tables simply slot into your existing game, without any complexity or difficult mechanics.

It is available for 1.49 and can be found here:

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Fantasy races added to An Orc Too Far

Check your file section of the Vault, and you'll have some army-wide traits for a bunch of fantasy races to play with.

Go break the rules and let me know how they fare.

If you didn't grab "An Orc Too Far" yet, what are you waiting for? :)

Git 'er here!

Monday, 8 May 2017

Un-Named World War 2 platoon action

I pick the second squad to activate.

Being regulars, they roll 2D6, picking the higher die.

They receive 4 actions.

The Bren Gun team will fire at a building containing German troops - 1st action.

Next, I will move the Rifle team forward a bit closer - 2nd action.

I'll use An extra action to reload the Bren gun (giving a bonus firing die) - 3rd action.

And finally try to check on the wounded squad member and see if we can get him back on his feet - 4th action.

Rolling 5 dice to hit plus an extra for the Reload action, I score a single 6 and mark the German squad with a hit.

I also place a Suppression marker on the building.

The rifle team will move Steadily, rolling two dice. A 3 and a 4. I can move each figure 4 inches.

In the German players turn, they roll to resolve the hit they took. A roll of a 4 means the guy is wounded and is marked as such.

They then roll for their actions and the turn proceeds.

Why I also play mainstream war-games.

When discussing the new 40K, a gentleman expressed a bit of surprise that I was intending to get into the new game, being a writer myself.
I've had similar questions regarding my interest in Bolt Action.

Since my ego is basically gargantuan, I figured I'd talk about why I tend to play "mainstream" mini's games despite being deep in the "indie wargaming" scene.

These are in no particular order of priority.

It's job research!

This is a bit of a joke but I don't think you can really write well without knowing what is going on.
That means delving into the avant garde indie game fringe (like Rogue Planet, which you should all go buy) and that means knowing what the mainstream looks like.

The mainstream games like 40K, Flames of War and Bolt Action by and large set the tone and indie design must exist in relation to them.
In turn, we see "indie" mechanics sneak into these games here and there and the cycle continues.

They are easy.
40K can get very sprawling but that's mostly due to all the units. The people I play with have pretty much always been role-players first, so a low learning curve is valuable.

I enjoy most games.
The list of mini's games I've played and didn't like is very short, maybe because I have garbage tastes.

As a result, I can find a game of 40K or Void just as engaging and fun as a game of Stargrunt or Chain of Command.

Simulating hollywood warfare is as valid a design goal as historical simulation (for example).

A different head space.
The games I write tend to involve a lot of alternative mechanics: Whether it's unusual activation mechanics, command systems or weird modifier-less shooting, it's a bit further on the indie-fringe.

When I play purely for recreation, I find it's easier to relax if I play something quite conventional.
When I am playing an indie game, I find it's harder to turn off the designer-vision and I spend more time watching for how the reaction fire rule interacts with close assaults or whatever.

Social responsibility.
The kid is almost 10, which means his tastes are starting to diverge from those of his parents.

In a couple years, I figure he'll either decide toy soldiers are "like totally lame dad" or he will go full-on nerd.
If the latter is the case, I think it's important that he is familiar with at least a few mainstream games so he'll have an easier time going to a store, club or a new gaming group and being able to play with them.

Doesn't mean I won't teach him some FiveCore and Stargrunt on the side though :-)

Was this useful to anyone but myself?
I'm not sure, but then, blogging is partially about self-indulgence right?

So what about you? Do you enjoy both "indie"/"hardcore" and "mainstream" war gaming?
Is the distinction even meaningful?
Do my reasons ring true for you or are they self-absorbed junk?

Let me know!

Monday, 1 May 2017

An Orc Too Far beta/demo available

The Beta/Demo version of An Orc Too Far, the fantasy version of Scum of the Earth is available now.

Usually our beta tests are very stripped down and in very early development, but in this case, the game has been in the works about as long as Scum of the Earth has, so we opted to go for a slightly different route.

As such, you'll find that this beta/demo is a bit more fully featured. In fact, it features enough to be a complete game, including scenario set up and victory conditions, artillery, heroes and monsters.

What it lacks is campaign rules, army information for the various critters, rules for using your battalions over multiple games. 

If you are interested in fantasy mass gaming without having to break the bank and if you are interested in getting some dusty miniatures off the gaming shelf, here you go.

Interested parties can check the rules out for 2 bucks, provide any feedback they want and then decide if they wish to eventually invest in the full version or not.