Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Two quick updates to Hammer of Democracy

These will go out later, when there's a bit more to work with but for now, adopt these two changes:

* Units are destroyed when damage equals or exceeds HP totals.
This was inconsistent in the rules and honestly, inconsistent in my responses as well.

But ultimately, the intention is that a "standard" unit has 7 HP, hence equal or exceed puts them at the same level as standard Squadhammer units.
Plus, this way it matches how people expect things to work in an RPG.

* Support points now cannot be saved up from turn to turn.
This is an intentional change, to make them a bit more scarce.

Thursday, 1 November 2018

Hammer of Democracy FAQ

With Phase 1 aaaaaalmoooooooost here, I thought I'd take a moment to answer some general questions and clarify a few things.

What is Phase 1?

Just like I did with Renegade Scout, there will be at least one public "early" version of the rules.

This Phase 1 version will contain the core mechanics and players who buy it will get a discount on the final rules.
If you supported the indiegogo campaign, Phase 1 is free. Huzzah.

Does Hammer of Democracy have any influence on the upcoming Squad Hammer update?

Yes. While the two are distinct systems, Hammer will serve as a test-bed for a lot of new ideas, tools and systems.
While Squad Hammer is a more free-wheeling (and of course fantastical/futuristic) game, ideas like the new support mechanic are likely to make it in.

Will Phase 1 include campaign rules and solo play?

Not likely.

What does the title mean?

We were just brainstorming to find a title that fit the period and sounded cool, while keeping the "Hammer" theme going.
Panzer Hammer was entertained for a bit, but there's a billion games with German-themed titles, so I thought it'd be more interesting if we did the opposite.

Will all sides be playable?

I'd like to cover as much as possible.
We will certainly include all the stuff needed to play, at the very least, the "big four" (UK, US, German, Soviet) but I'd like to include a lot more.

The campaign rules will be generic at first. I have ideas for a big solo campaign sort of supplement, aimed at the Brits, called "Defiant Battalions" but we'll see.

Miniatures depicted will be a variety of forces. The cover will feature Allied troops.

Is it true you have an anti-German bias?

Yes, that's why my favorite band in the world is Blind Guardian.

How many figures should I have painted up to test?

A reinforced platoon or so will be fine to test the rules.
Figure 3-4 infantry squads, a support weapon or two, a vehicle or two.

The full rules will scale up and down a bunch, but let's get the basics sorted out first.

Is there a pre-defined basing system?

I decided that to position the game as more of an "out of the box" experience, we'd have a standard method of basing.
That is 6 figures to an infantry squad, based however you like.

So 6 individual 25mm figures or two bases with 3x 15mm figures each are both "legal".

Of course, you can actually base them any way you like to.

Is there an ideal scale?

Not really. 6 figures in 6mm looks a bit wee, so if you use the suggested basing, I think 15mm and up will look best.
I tend to write for smaller scales, so I wanted to do something that would look good in 25+ scale, but there's really no reason you couldn't play in 6mm or 10mm at all.

Playing in "one to one" scale by using the correct number of figures per squad in 6mm would look fantastic.

Will there be a music list?

Yeah, of course. What would a NWG title be without a music list?

Sunday, 21 October 2018

Five Parsecs update

Just a tiny one, but the wording of the turn sequence should be clearer now.

Characters not assigned a die ALWAYS get to act, they just act in the SLOW phase.

This was always the intention, but the wording wasn't the best. It should be much clearer now!

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Hammer of Democracy is crowdfunding now!




Since the last crowdfunding campaign was a pretty good success, we're going to try our hands at it again, this time with "Hammer of Democracy" - A full WW2 conversion of the Squad Hammer/Trench Hammer/Winter Hammer/October Hammer miniatures rules.

The goal is a big, beefy book covering pretty much everything you could want from weather rules to army generators to mission creation, all powered by the super-fast, negotiation-driven Squad Hammer engine.

Whether you are a hardened WW2 gamer eager for something new and less bogged down in detail, a new player curious about getting into WW2 action or even a complete newbie to miniatures game, we'll have you covered.

Why do we need a big chunk of money? Because this is going to be a big chunk of gaming book.
The goal is to do one of those big complete books, where you don't have to wait around for supplements and pay extra money just to play the army you'd like.
We're going to go all out instead.

If you are curious about the system, you can read this mechanics demo by the co-author of Trench Hammer
https://jozistinman.blogspot.com/2018/01/trench-hammer-game-mechanic-demo.html

And if you want to go throw down some money for something that'll make you happy, you can do so right here:

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/hammer-of-democracy-ww2-miniatures-rules#/

Sunday, 9 September 2018

Renegade Scout. Pinned has been pinned down.

Thanks to an alert reader, we caught a rather embarrassing bug: The rules for being Pinned appeared differently in a few locations.

The correct rule is as described in the Morale chapter of the rules: Pinned troops can fire at a -2 penalty.

I have added that to the combat rules hit modifiers and removed the reference saying Pinned troops cannot fire.

If you want to redownload your files, the updated version is on the Vault.

Friday, 17 August 2018

Renegade Scout - Firing clarifications

A few notes and clarifications on fire combat:

* You are picking from the two closest VISIBLE targets. A closer unit that is not visible at all does not count.

Indirect fire units fire at the two closest targets in general, when firing indirectly.
If a mortar crew wishes to fire small arms, they'd select targets as per the normal rule above.

*In some cases,the members of a squad may be in positions where they cannot see the same targets at all.
An example might be soldiers deployed at the windows of a building which is surrounded.
In this case, it's usually best to agree to let each individual figure select their own targets. Otherwise you may get some exceedingly silly situations.

*There is no bypass rule for firing at or from vehicles at the moment.
If the two closest targets to your anti-tank unit is infantry, then you can't fire past them to hit the tank coming up behind them.

This is intentional to encourage using infantry screens, combined arms style, though if it produces too silly results feel free to adjust the rule, especially for tank-heavy battles.
We'll revisit this point later, as people have time to wrestle with it.

*Typically, you want to roll your shots together, but if you have a complex situation (firers at different ranges, targets in different degrees of cover etc.), resolve them one at a time.
This typically makes it easier to figure out.

You can resolve the shots in whatever order you like, but if the group dislikes excessively fiddly "micro-tactics", just go from closest to most distant shooter.

*When selecting targets in a Squad, you usually fire at the closest enemy, but you may select a more distance squaddie if they are easier to hit.

Essentially, fire at the closest figure or the closest figure that is easier to hit than them.

Example 1: 
The closest squaddie is behind a rock (-2 to hit), the rest of the squad is in the open (no penalty).
I can shoot at the guy behind the rock or the closest of the remainder. 

Example 2:
The closest squaddie is behind a rock (-2), the second closest is behind a bush (-1), the rest are in the open (-0).
I can fire at the guy behind the rock (since he's closest) or the guy in the bushes (since it's the closest figure that's easier to hit).
I CANNOT fire at the more distant guys in the open since they are not "the closest figure that is easier to hit".

*Regardless of how you resolve shots, each figure should be resolved "correctly" with the modifiers applicable to their situation.
Don't abstract a mixture of short / long range shots into one, don't try to average out the enemy cover situation etc.

Well, you can, it's your game now, but I suggest not doing so :-)

Monday, 13 August 2018

And a quick update


The troop profile for Mercenaries got screwed up a bit in Renegade Scout.

I've fixed the file so just download again or print that page again.

While it could be cunning social commentary, Merc's are Movement 4, Intellect 7 and not Movement 1, Intellect 6 as the book suggests. 

Renegade Scout is here. Celebrate!

This project underwent a ton of changes at almost every stage, but I am confident what emerged is friggen awesome.

Go grab it here

http://www.wargamevault.com/product/249657/Renegade-Scout--Bleeding-Edge-Retro-Gaming?src=hottest


After this, I'll take a day or two to chill out, before delving back into revising Squad Hammer. And another thing... and this thing. Oh and then.... .yeah, you know it goes.


Welcome to Renegade Scout.
What is Renegade Scout? Other than 179 pages jammed full of gaming goodness?

*Renegade Scout is very old:
It is a “retro-clone” of the venerable Rogue Trader game rules many of us grew up on, offering mechanics that are familiar and well-loved to fight fantastical battles between brave heroes, terrible monsters and strange space aliens.
You can even grab your original figures right off the shelf and battle it out, using the conversion rules presented in the back.

*Renegade Scout is very new:
This isn’t a simple copy with a new lick of paint.
Everything has been updated and rewritten to play in a way that feels modern and elegant, removing the clumsy and awkward to keep the game moving and exciting. 

*Renegade Scout is open to playing the game your way.
You can grab almost any figures you already own. We’ve included profiles for 15 alien species, several human troop types and monsters. 

You can customize your own heroes and roll up random equipment and skills.
If you like how they do, you can level them up across multiple games, at least as long as you can keep them alive.

If you like to play campaigns, we include tools for two different approaches.

If you like vehicles or psychic powers, we got those.

An army builder? Off map artillery? Calling in evac choppers? A beefy section on how to solve everything from breaching doors to building things mid-battle?
We have all those.

Random tables? Strange terrain types? Space ghosts? Yes, yes and yes. 

What if you have never written a scenario before? What if you want to be the GM? What if you don’t know how to paint a miniature? What if you want to play solo?

Included are advice sections for all of these situations and more. 

* * * * *

Whether you are a hardcore gaming veteran, someone just dipping your toes into the miniatures hobby or a role player looking for some tactical action, Renegade Scout offers everything you need to get started and keep going. 

The rules are aimed at roughly a platoon or so per side (2-4 units each) but options are included for both much bigger battles and "Skirmish Mode" game play where a handful of individual figures battle for survival.

* * * * *
If you supported the original crowd funding campaign, please contact me at nordicweaselgames@icloud.com for your copy.

The rules are presented in black/white but with color images. When printing the rules, make sure to select grey-scale if you want to save expensive color ink.

With a project of this size, there are almost always bugs, corrections and tweaks that come to light in the first week or two. Consider waiting a little bit, before printing the full game. 

* * * * *

Due to the large size of the file, please be patient when downloading!

Saturday, 14 July 2018

Squad Hammer V2 Initiative

Squad Hammer is a huge success (for a tiny company, I mean) which means there's a lot of excitement about tweaking and improving the system.

In the interest of trying new and exciting things, I am going to open the "black box" a little bit, so you can peek inside.

http://www.wargamevault.com/product/247297/Squad-Hammer-v2--Initiative

The link offers you a 3 page "drop in" replacement for the rulebook initiative chapter, offering an improved and cleaned up version.
Download it, give it a spin, get stuck in and most importantly let me know how you get on with it.

If you want to fund further development, you can contribute any amount you like by paying for this download.
The better I can pay my bills, the better I can focus on updating older titles.

If you want to just download it for free and see what's shaping up, go for it.

Saturday, 16 June 2018

Five Leagues - the campaign turn

So Five Leagues is out.

Did you grab it yet?

http://www.wargamevault.com/product/244516/Five-Leagues-from-the-Borderlands?src=newest&filters=40102_40202_40201_44510

But hey, if you didn't, why don't I walk you through what a typical campaign turn might look like?

Similar to Five Parsecs we have some time to take player actions. Rather than commit every character, you simply take 2 each turn regardless of how beaten up the party is.

In town
For this turn, we'll send one of our characters out to forage for some healing herbs, while someone else is gambling at the inn to get us some money.

For foraging, I roll 3D6 with every 6 giving me a dose of herbs.
Since one of my characters happens to have FORAGING skill, I can roll two more dice.

I get two 6's, so I pocket a dose of healing herbs and a dose of protective herbs.

The gambler rolls a 1, earning a single Gold Coin. Woo.

We can also do any buying and selling of gear at this stage.
I do roll well enough to get a rare trade item offered for sale: A set of Fine quality full armor.

With our business done, we set out on the road.

Travel
You can travel to another village in the region, to a new region (basically starting a new campaign) or go adventuring.

We'll do the latter and we roll a 82, giving us both a Character and a Combat encounter.
Busy day!

The character encounter
The dice tells us we've encountered a Scholar. Maybe a local scribe on his way somewhere.

We stop and have a chat. They react "Friendly".
This is handy, if we meet another Scholar later, we can say it's our old friend and we'll roll for some sort of favor or advantage.

There's also a chance that a road encounter could lead to an ambush or they might be spying on us, so we got lucky.

The battle encounter
The area we're in has Border Tension of 2, Outlaws 1 and Dark Secrets 1.
I roll for each, adding the Threat levels and we'll be rolling on the Border Tension encounter table.
Higher chance of military types that way.

I also end up having to increase Border Tension by 1. Its getting grim out there.

The actual encounter is with a band of 9 Brigands, led by a brutal Killer and we encounter them while traveling.
Looks like we're in for a stiff battle!

The aftermath

Three of my characters went out of action during the battle, so I'll have to roll to see what shape they are in now.
One suffers a Moderate injury and will have to rest for 2 campaign turns.
One is dead and will be resting for a very long time.
The third took a Light wound but will need 3 turns of rest.

Certain items, skills and traits can influence these things.

Next, we roll for a post battle effect. Turns out a random character broke one of their weapons, so I'll need to source a replacement.

Rolling for an Unusual Find, we find some Evidence of ill deeds on these guys.
We can take that to the local nobles and get them to send out some cavalry patrols, reducing the Border Tension threat by 1 point.
Obviously the Brigands were hired goons from a rival noble.

Finally, we get to check for some loot. That's why we are here right?

I get 2 rolls:
The first is 1 Gold Coin and a bonus roll.
The second is a vial of holy water.
The third (bonus) is a hand weapon.

Not exactly a chest of wonders, but it'll do.

I tally up experience points for my characters but none of my heroes have earned enough to level up.
The one follower I have still standing rolls to see if he's had a flash of insight, but nothing earned there either.

Voila
That's more or less what the turn looks like:
Do your business in town, plan and prep, set out, see who and what you meet and fight a battle (most of the time).

Let me know if you have any questions.

Friday, 18 May 2018

Also coming to Squad Hammer soon

Multi-unit units (aka "platoons").

Intended to work with things like the Binary Damage option, this will also help those giant, mega-games with tons of units on the table.
There's a number of improvements, tweaks and additions coming, so I'd rather drop them all at the same time, instead of you guys getting like 7 updates in a row.

Thursday, 17 May 2018

Squad Hammer - Weapons of lots of destruction

Consider this a test case for inclusion in the core rules later:

Buildings and their destruction

In some settings and scenarios, outright destruction of buildings (and other scenery) is a possibility.

This is often well suited to games where your units represent large forces, very powerful units (such as giant monsters or super heroes) or have weaponry specifically intended for the purpose (such as siege guns).

You should evaluate which units on your table will be capable of inflicting the required level of damage.

For example, you can't bring down a concrete building with machine gun fire, but a unit with a flamethrower could "destroy" a forested area.

In a game of infantry squads and light tanks, no unit may be able to inflict the required damage while a giant robot battle might see all of them so capable.

For particularly large terrain features, it's often more sensible to divide them into Blocks of 3x3 or 4x4 square inches.
If playing in 6mm (or similar smaller scales) each stand-alone building model or terrain piece is usually one Block.

Attacking a structure

Attacking a structure is done in the same fashion as attacking any other target.
Units armed with "Assault" equipment (such as demolition charges or power fists) must be within 6" (representing running up, placing the charges and getting away) while units capable of inflicting building damage at range can fire as normal.

A typical Hit roll is 5+ (demolition charges), 7+ (Weak/moderate structure under fire, powered melee attack), 9+ (reinforced/defensive structure).
As always, adapt as you need.
Trained engineers or siege troops should receive a +1 to their dice roll.

Inflicting damage

You may assign specific Damage rolls to anti-structure weapons. Typically, 1D6 is fine.
2D6, pick high for super-weapons specifically intended for the purpose.

Otherwise, simply take the basic Damage roll and scale it down once for vehicles and heavy weapons units and twice for infantry.
This means a vehicle/heavy weapons team will inflict 1D3 Damage while infantry would inflict 1 Damage.
Mega-units inflict normal damage.

As with other units, when 7+ Damage has been accumulated, the structure collapses.

Collapse

Any units contained within a collapsing structure sustains 1D6 Damage.
Buildings are replaced with a rubble field. Place any survivors there.

Other features are replaced with whatever seems appropriate to the situation.

Units representing a single character receive an Escape roll of 8+ on 2D6 (7+ for Hero-types).
A successful escape inflicts only 1 Damage, otherwise the character suffers 1D3 Damage.

Any unit within 1" per floor of a collapsing structure suffers 1 Damage.
Other terrain features typically do not inflict area damage when collapsing.

Crumble

At the end of each game turn, roll a D6 for each damaged structure.
If the roll is equal or below the accumulated Damage total, increase Damage by 1 point.


Conclusions

Give these options a try if you play a game where they might fit.
They are under consideration for inclusion in the core rules, so don't hesitate to get in touch.

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Small Squad Hammer tweak

A couple of tweaks have been added to Squad Hammer.

There's now a 2 page essay on how to handle multi-genre / cross-genre games, I've moved the "odd and alien" section to be nearer the points system section.

Also a rules tweak:

If you have a Unit Objective on a friendly unit, it only awards points if the unit is on the table at game end.

If an enemy unit has a Unit Objective and the unit is replaced during the game, you can get points for the higher of the damage values inflicted.

(f.x. if you inflicted 4 damage before it was replaced and 2 damage on its replacements, you would get VP based on 4 damage).


I'm aware that Unit Objectives are some of the more susceptible to exploitation, but these two tweaks should help even out things a little bit.


Go grab the new file from Vault as usual.

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

Squad Hammer expansion and general news

So most of our rules have some sort of expansion pack with new rules, options and variants.
Nordic Weasel attracts a lot of tinkerers and people who like to tweak the game, so I feel it's a worthwhile product to continue making.

Squad Hammer has now received its own Options Pack, offering new ways to think about things like tech levels and squad sizes, as well as new spotting and damage systems (should you want them) and rules for deploying your squads in specific manners.

The latter in particular help close one of the gaps where I feel the rules need a bit of a tweak:

There's so far been no real good reason for deploying your figures in anything but a rough blob.
Well, visual appeal obvious and that's why we game but with the new options you can do things like deploy a point man or spread out to minimize damage. Neat, right?

Grab it here for the cost of a coffee

http://www.wargamevault.com/product/241251/Squad-Hammer-Options-Pack

And hey, while you're there, why not take a look around and see what else we have for offer.
I bet you'll see something you didn't even know existed.

* * *

Secondly, HOPEFULLY this week, Renegade Scout Phase 1 will make the transition over to the Wargame Vault.

The Phase 1 rules will be a slightly touched up version of what was in the crowd funding campaign, but with a bit more things included.

It'll sell for cheaper than the final rules will cost, but there'll be enough there to be a playable game in its own right.

This will help create more funding, as well as get more feedback and playtesting coming in.

Crowd funding supporters will be able to contact me and get a link to get the Vault version for free of course.

* * *
Thirdly, If you have toyed with Acrid Smell of Powder,the next couple of weeks will be the time to get feedback, opinions and suggestions back to me.

Did I screw everything up? Do you have a brilliant suggestion for how to do something? I'm hoping that the full version won't take too long to get together, given much of it is already written but I'd like more external feedback than from my own cronies :)

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Renegade Scout updates

These updates won't be made available juuuuuuuuust yet, but I am adding a section with some pre-made troop profiles for things like scientists, security guards, colonists etc.

The sort of thing that comes in handy in a scenario (and also ties in nicely if we want to put together an interesting battle on the fly, I might add).

In addition, armor is getting split off into its own equipment section and when I upload it, there should be some "superheavy" body armors available as well.

Friday, 13 April 2018

Acrid Smell of Powder - Moving about

With the recent release of Acrid Smell of Powder, I thought I'd talk about it a little bit: Namely the movement rules.


So I knew for ASoP, I wanted a random movement system, however, I had some misgivings about how such systems tend to work.

To me, one of the pit-traps is that complete control over the army is obviously unrealistic. . . but so is a complete lack of control, in my opinion.

As the commander, you can select the right officers for the task, send a runner with instructions or ride over there yourself to shout at people.

The answer then was this:

You get a pool of initiative dice to work with.
By default, it's equal to the number of units, plus the number of leaders you have.

If I have 4 units of infantry, 1 leader and a cavalry unit, I'd have 6 dice.

Different things can give you more or less dice: Including an Excellent quality unit, being exhausted etc.

So you roll all of your dice and you can then assign each die to whatever unit you like.
If you need a unit to move further this turn to take that hill, you probably can.

Better units and cavalry can have multiple dice assigned and some unit types get a fixed bonus per die, to add a bit of detail.


Think of the initiative dice as "army effort" if you will.


But what about non-movement activities?

Depending on the scenario, you might need to bring on reinforcements, search a haystack, interrogate the locals or romance a minor noble.
This is a Task and is given a difficulty: Assign a movement die that is equal or above the difficulty and it succeeds.

Nice and simple.

For big games, the number of dice is reduced a little, but you can issue "platoon" orders to 3 units at the same time. We don't want to have to roll a bucket of 40 dice (well, maybe you do want that. Keep a separate table for the dice avalanche in that case!)

Friday, 30 March 2018

Squad Hammer Man to Man

For Squad Hammer players (and also players of October Hammer, Trench Hammer and Winter Hammer who like it a bit cinematic and pulpy) we're excited to present Man to Man:

A supplement adding a ton of new options for games where each unit is only a single figure.

Whether you want to add a few heroic leaders or you want to run a game entirely with one-man units, we got you covered:

New combat adjustments, levels of heroism, infiltration rules, an experience system, personal side objectives, it's really quite jammed with new content.

Grab it over at the Vault

http://www.wargamevault.com/product/238488/Squad-Hammer-Man-to-Man

Are you not on board the Squad Hammer wagon yet?

http://www.wargamevault.com/product/222978/Squad-Hammer-Dirt-simple-gaming-for-many-settingsor-all-of-them


Please note that you need a core rules set to use Man to Man.
It is NOT a stand-alone game though some components could be used with other rules systems.

Friday, 16 March 2018

Renegade Scout Stage 1

Stage 1, a fully playable beta version of the rules have just gone out to backers who opted for early access.

Stage 1 covers the basic game mechanics and a small selection of critters and weapons: Nothing spectacular but we gotta settle the basics first, right?

Are you not on board yet?

Right here

15 dollars gets you the game when its released (and 5 dollars off).
20 gets you on board now, when things are about to get excited.


I'm so nervous about people's reactions that I think I'm gonna hurl. . .

Thursday, 8 March 2018

Alien module available for Five Parsecs



The first alien module is available.

This allows you to take any Five Parsecs campaign and encounter a new, deadly alien inspired by the Autons of classic Doctor Who fame.

Whether you want a pitched battle or a search and destroy mission with uncertain opposition, we offer rules, new loot and even a small chance of getting one of the aliens on your side.

Don't say I didn't love you.


http://www.wargamevault.com/product/236469/The-Facsimile-An-alien-encounter-module-for-Five-Parsecs

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Five Parsecs - How does the combat system work?

I thought I'd discuss the core Five Parsecs mechanics a bit, now that it's become a bit of an institution.

All of the scifi games work on this basic framework, while the upcoming historical title will not use it exactly (but will be fairly similar).

This primer ONLY covers the battle field system.
The campaign mechanics will be covered in another post (and differ more between campaigns in any event)

What is the point of the rules?

The point of Five Parsecs is to be a solo game first and foremost.
To me, that means it needs to be a bit simpler than I might have written it otherwise, since a single player handling both the system and every figure is more work than playing with your friends.

It's not too hard to write a very simple game, but writing one that is still fun to play can be a challenge.
Since Five Parsecs is played as a campaign, we have an advantage: The player will know the characters and the combination of pretend-personalities and the random scenario generation will create a story.

If this story is interesting, then we can have a fairly simple mechanical system because the player is already hooked narratively.

At the same time, we can't just throw out all the options.
If there are no choices to be made, then the player is going to lose interest pretty quickly since every encounter will play out the same.

The turn sequence

With a few tweaks, the basic turn sequence works like this:

At the start of the turn, roll a handful of dice (D6)equal to the number of figures in the players force.
Ignore the bad guys.

The point of these dice is they are compared to the Reaction score of your characters.
If a character is assigned a die that is equal or below their Reactions (typically 1-3 for most characters) they will act BEFORE the bad guys.
If they are not assigned a die, they will act AFTER the bad guys.

So if I have 6 characters with Reactions 1, 1, 1, 2, 2, 3
And my dice roll 1, 2, 4, 4, 5, 6

I can immediately throw away the 4's, 5's and 6's.

The 1 can be given to any character I want to act quickly, while the 2 would have to be given to one of the characters with a 2 or 3 Reaction score.

Taking your actions

I opted to forego a normal "2 actions system".
Instead when a figure goes, they can move and then perform a combat action (either fighting hand to hand or firing a weapon).

Figures going before the enemies go can hang out and perform snap fire at moving enemies if needed, allowing you to set up a bit of a defensive situation.

Combat

Rolling to hit is a simple D6 roll plus your Combat Skill.
The target number is a 3+ if the target is in the open and within 6", 5+ if in the open otherwise and a 6+ if in cover at all.

This means that for starting characters, plinking at enemies behind walls isn't likely to be particularly worthwhile.

Some weapons get multiple shots per turn, but they are not super common.

If a shot hits, you roll to render them a casualty. If you don't, they become Stunned.

There's no "wounded" states though the Compendium introduces rules for such situations.

Hand to hand fighting is an opposed roll with occasional chances of both characters being hit (or a character being hit twice).

Stun

Characters surviving any hit become Stunned.
When a Stunned figure activates they are limited to performing only one action: Either moving OR fighting.

You remove one Stun marker each turn after acting and you can potentially stack up multiple.

Think of Stun as a combination of shock, confusion, physical discomfort and general worry about your personal well-being.

What does the bad guys do?

In Bug Hunt, its a bit easier because the bugs want to eat your face and will move towards you to do just that.

In the other games, enemies are assigned to different AI modes.
These are very simple but essentially give you information on how the enemy is expected to move and act.

They are not complex flow charts, but serve to give opponents some simple guidance on the table.

For example, in Gang Warfare, an Aggressive opponent acts the following way:

Aggressive enemies with opponents in sight will advance at least half a move towards them, attempting to remain in cover if possible.
Enemies that are unable to see any opposition or which are within 12” will advance as fast as possible towards the nearest opponent, attempting to enter into a Brawl.

Heavy weapon figures will not move if they have a line of sight to a target.

Notably, all AI rules are written directly into the relevant chapter of the rules.
So when you are reading the rules for shooting, you will also learn how to handle AI shooting at the same time.

What if I need more detail?

Luckily, I did a Compendium full of extra details, such as being pinned down by fire that doesn't hit, soldiers not responding to orders, panic, wounds and much more :)


You can check out Five Parsecs through the different campaigns (all stand-alone games)

Bug Hunt

http://www.wargamevault.com/product/228512/Five-Parsecs--Gang-Warfare?cPath=23449_29728

http://www.wargamevault.com/product/231076/Five-Parsecs--Salvage-Crew?cPath=23449_29728

http://www.wargamevault.com/product/226810/Five-Parsecs-From-Home?cPath=23449_29728

Saturday, 24 February 2018

Random NPC for Five Parsecs

So with our spiffy new Five Parsecs Compendium, let's roll up a random NPC.

This will just be a random fool, roaming the area where a normal mission will take place.

They could be a survivor (or clandestine operative) in a Bug Hunt mission or simply someone our Salvage Crew comes across.

A quick roll of 3D6 gives us 3 - 5 - 4.

That means our friendly NPC is a Professional of some sort (like a doctor or scientist), they are Aggressive (meaning they are not afraid to get in a fight) and are here to Destroy something.

Hm, sounds like someone trying to cover something up.
Maybe even something interesting!

We might put a small crate or something else interesting in the center of the table. This guy is trying to reach it and blow it up and will shoot at anyone from either side getting in the way.

If we can grab it first, maybe there'll be some goodies inside.

Base Profile for a Professional is 4 Speed, 0 Combat Skill and 3 Toughness but being Aggressive raises the CS to +1.

Another D6 roll of a 3 means he's armed with a Carbine.

Finally, I roll 2D6 to see if there's anything odd and get a 9. Oh boy, turns out it's an alien scientist.
Rolling a 12 for an Alien trait, our scientist exudes Noxious Fumes.

That won't have any effect here (it prevents friendly figures from getting near him) but it's a fun characteristic.

* * * * *
So we have a stinky alien scientist out to blow up the remnants of some shady technological experiment, in the middle of a normal Five Parsecs mission.

Sounds like a movie plot to me!

What games did I play?

Design never happens in a bubble, so I thought it might be illustrative to share a few of the miniatures games that I've played a lot.

Some will probably not be surprises at all.

I am using "A lot" to mean "10 or more games". There's a lot of systems we played 3-5 times and would play again, but they never became standard.

So if there's really obvious omissions on the list (like Chain of Command) that's why :-)

I am also omitting anything I wrote myself. That'd be kind of self-serving wouldn't it?


Science Fiction

Warhammer 40.000 (principally RT, 2nd, 3rd and 8th)

Warzone (1st and 2nd edition)

Battletech (I'll count it as a mini's game)

Necromunda (original)

Inquisitor

5150 (original version)

Laserburn

Beamstrike

Stargrunt 2

Historical

Nuts (original and 2nd edition, mostly the original)

Command Decision (1 and 3)

Crossfire

Red Poppy White Feather

1916/1943

Face of Battle (ww2)

* * * * *

There, that's about it I think.
If we were including games that we played 5 times or more the list would be enormously long, so we won't be doing that.

Any surprises on the list?

What would yours look like? Go ahead and share it below.

Saturday, 10 February 2018

"Renegade Scout" - the agenda


Note that this is still not a sign that anything is going to happen, there's more work to do, thinking to do and planning to do before I commit to anything.

But... let's talk about what the goal of "Renegade Scout" would be as a Rogue Trader retro-clone.


First, let's talk about what it CAN'T be:

It can't touch any 40K IP whatsoever

Maybe that goes without saying, but no genestealers, eldar etc.
Of course, many of these concepts are hardly original to begin with so substitution can be made.


That means it needs to find its own legs to stand on.

Mechanically, the Rogue Trader system is rather solid (In my view) but nothing unusual, especially in 2018.
What people remember was being able to grab random figures, develop stats for them and play story-oriented scenarios.

A lot of people remember the big D100 mutation tables and things like that, but I am not sure how often those ever made it into an actual game.
I propose they could be replaced with something more interesting, such as a "Adventurer skill" table or an "unexplained phenomenon" table, that sort of thing.

The rules can be tweaked...a bit

People are used to tinkering with the Rogue Trader rules (and like old D&D, it may be a system where nobody really played it "by the book" to begin with) but there are limits to how far that can be taken.

Of course, the book could include options and alternative suggestions but in the end, it must feel "correct" for what it was.

That puts some limitations on how creative I can get with mechanics, but then, it also helps to ground it a bit.

I think everyone can agree that the Rogue Trader rules are not exactly elegant, so a little bit of stream-lining won't hurt anything at all as long as reasonable legacy compatibility is maintained.

If it can't be full of Warhammer stuff, then what?

As I suggested in the original G+ post, I think the real key to success would be to allow "television" scenarios.
If the book comes with profiles for "Assimilators" and "Exterminator bots" and such, alongside ww2 soldiers and SWAT teams and cavemen, I think it'll hit that wonderful "feel" that most Oldhammer players tend to chase after.

Of course, this runs the same issue: You have to file off the serial numbers but wargamers are used to that sort of thing, at least if my GZG "Crusty" mini's are anything to go by.

As an additional bonus, if a manufacturer could be brought on board, we could include ready-to-play stats for a few miniatures ranges too.

So is this just for fat old bearded dudes with Sepultura t-shirts?

Well, if it happens, it'll be written by a fat, bearded dude with a Sepultura shirt :)

But no, I think aiming this exclusively at Oldhammer players would be a mistake, though they are certainly part of the intended audience.
I think any players that like somewhat traditional mechanics, creative scenarios and using unique miniatures from their collection would be a potential player.

The fact that it would be legacy-compatible would be a substantial added bonus of course.

What about those other guys who've tried to do this?

As far as I know the failure rate of previous attempts has been 100%.
If I am wrong, please let me know.

What about Inquisi-munda and In the Emperor's Name?

Different goals (and mad respect to both teams for doing great work).

They aim to create 40K based gaming, that's not the goal here.
I don't think we'd overlap at all.
If this existed, which it doesn't.

What makes you the right guy to do this?

Anyone can do this.
The only thing that matters is who can stick with it until completion.

When is the kickstarter?

I don't feel comfortable with kickstarters but maybe this would be a good exception.
I don't know.
Let's say "Never" and go from there.

If this happened, would it be a big glossy book?

No. But it might have art-work.

Can I help?

It's not a project that exists currently, so no.

If it becomes a project that exists, I will be looking for a team to help with various aspects (proof reading, testing, painting the odd mini, etc.).

So...can I ?

Let's do this:

If you feel you have interest, time and qualifications to help with this project and would like to be on the short list IF THIS PROJECT BECOMES A THING WHICH IS NOT AT ALL CERTAIN
then ping me at runequester@gmail.com with who you are and what you can do.

I am NOT interested in any variation of "Idea guy" and I am NOT interested in a co-writer.

Friday, 9 February 2018

So if I was doing a Rogue Trader retro-clone...

...this is what I would do.

The goal here would be compatibility with the original but any IP would have to be avoided.



*Replace the rulebook combat mechanics with the ones from the Battle Manual (in particular the improved blast weapon, overwatch and sustained fire/following fire rules)

*A Choosing a Target system that's a bit more structured than "each of my 30 guys can shoot at anything I like" but not as chunky as the Battle Manual/2nd edition system.

*Replace the Reserve phase with the 2nd edition Run move.

*Replace the Rout and Psychology rules with the 2nd edition versions.

*Keep the psychic rules but rewrite pretty much all the actual powers to be more interesting and more applicable to the table.

*New weapon lists would take a little bit of a page from 8th edition in using lower save modifiers and damage values in general.

*Weapon lists by era (low tech, high tech, futuristic) for multiple settings.

*Use the vehicle rules from the Compendium/White Dwarf (with the various damage tables). Maybe ?

*Create a list of Traits (similar to the Universal Special Rules in newer editions)

*Create new troop types to include in the book, mainly inspired by video games and television.
Klingons vs Daleks ?
(Also, I just realized the spell check accepts both Klingon and Dalek without complaint)

*Sort out a really cool mission system for randomly generated scenarios that would require troops to do more than just shoot each other in the face.

* * * * *

NOW......If I was doing an "advanced" version, I would do the following as well:

*Do away with Initiative and Attacks on the profile.
Instead, Weapon Skill of 5-6 gives you 2 Attacks and 7+ gives you 3.

*Consider getting rid of Strength as well.

*Use the Space marine morale rule (shaken on first failure, broken on second) for all troops.



I would also be really tempted to "flip" Ballistic Skill, so you are rolling equal or under your BS, instead of the whole "7 minus BS is your hit number".
That way you could just apply hit modifiers directly to your BS.

But rolling under instead of over might be a "bridge too far" for the old timers?



Sunday, 21 January 2018

Musing about things


This isn't related to any project in particular.


Infantry firing mechanic:

When a squad fires, roll 2D6.

If either die scores a 4, remove a figure from the target squad per 4 rolled. 

Take the highest of the two dice, add any bonuses the squad has (quality, weapons, mg) and compare to a target number based on cover.

Target is pinned if you beat the score. 

If a pinned target is hit again, they become suppressed.
If a suppressed target is hit again, they break. 


Example:
My GI's fire at some Krauts hiding in the woods.
I roll a 3 and a 5, so my die is a 5. 

My guys are Regular, so no fire bonus.
They have semi-auto rifles (+1) and a single automatic (the BAR) for no bonus.

So my total score is a 6.

The krauts are in soft cover (target 4) so they are now pinned down. 

* * * * *

Example 2:
A Kraut MG opens up from the flank.
They roll a 1 and a 4.
Their die is a 4 and I must remove a guy.

The Krauts are Veterans (+1) and a MMG gives them +2 for a total score of 7.

My guys are in hard cover (target 5) so they are now pinned down. 

* * * * *

Various thoughts

You could additional effects to beating the target number by a certain amount. 
Maybe beating it by 3 removes an additional figure or forces a "fall back" reaction.

Why 4's ? It's my favorite number. 

How do guys recover? Dice roll when activated? Leader ? Not sure yet. 

What are the effects of being Pinned or Suppressed ? Pinned can't move, Suppressed fires at -2.

How would assaults work?
Similar, but with more dice to start with. 

Does the number of guys firing matter?
No. Though squads below a certain size (5?) might roll only 1D6. 



Thoughts?

Friday, 12 January 2018

S-day is here. Five Parsecs Salvage Crew is available

The third step of Five Parsecs adventuring is here: Salvage Crew!

You can check out the new logo too.
When I get a chance, that will get added to the existing Five Parsecs games too


So what is Salvage Crew? (SC here after).

It's a new campaign you play, using the same mechanics and systems as the two previous Five Parsecs (FP) games.

Build up a random crew with their own backgrounds and ideas and then take on the universe.

Salvagers tend to be a bit less militant so you will find your crew may end looking a little different.

Campaigns work in a similar fashion: Assign your crew to jobs and play out table top missions. 
Money is a much bigger issue now: Salvagers earn more of it, but they also begin the campaign owing a lot of money for their ship and license. 
Bottom out and you can have your campaign ended by your ship being seized (seems like a great chance to delve into a Gang Warfare campaign then huh?)

Turn to turn game play is what you expect, but we now have rules for things like "contacts" (which can turn out to be enemies or not, a bit like PEF's in 2HW titles) and exploring "points of interest".

This is where the big change is:
Your salvage crew is mainly here to loot. There are things to be found on the battle field and you may or may not run into enemies. You'll have to evaluate the risk of getting a particular piece of loot or not, if it might trigger an enemy squad of bandits.

The result is an experience that feels pretty unique, even if the starting point is the same.

The rules are fully compatible with Five Parsecs From Home and Gang Warfare (the GW update will be live in a day or two, sorry for the delay) and you can transfer characters around.

Does it stop here? Probably not. 
Five Parsecs could theoretically go any number of places.

Fighter pilots? Mercenary captains? Colonists? Private investigators? 
There's really nothing you couldn't do.

Stay tuned.

Thursday, 11 January 2018

Five Parsecs From Home - tiny update

As we speak, the "Infinite Adventure" section at the back of the book has been updated to make way for Salvage Crew being released shortly.

No need to print anything else again, I didn't touch the rest beyond fixing one typo somewhere.

Five Parsecs optional rule: Stumbling

The intention is that Stunned characters cannot enter Brawling combat and for simplicity, they are not currently penalized either if engaged.

Optionally, you may try out this rule:

Stumbling

A Stunned character that enters a Brawl for any reason (whether initiating or defending) will fight as normal but must roll 2D6, picking the lower score for their Brawling score.

The Stunned character will suffer an additional hit for EACH of their dice that score a 1, meaning they can take up to three hits (ouch!).

Feint
There's a chance the Stunned character is actually faking it to lure an attacker.

If either of the Stunned characters dice is a 6, they will inflict a hit on the opponent, even if they ultimately lose the Brawl. This could mean both characters are struck.

Examples:
A Stunned character rolls a 2 and a 4. Their final score is 2.

A Stunned character rolls a 1 and a 4. Their final score is 1 and they take an additional hit.

A Stunned character rolls a 2 and a 6. Their final score is a 2 but they will inflict a hit on the opponent even if they lose.

A Stunned character rolls a 1 and a 6. Both combatants take a hit (and the Stunned character likely takes another hit for losing)

Saturday, 6 January 2018

Readability and games.

Layout is tough. I'm self-taught and there's still big flaws I am looking to correct.

However, I think it's also a skill where a few tricks can go a long way and with self-publishing being all the rage in the RPG and wargaming communities, why not learn from each other?
A lot of games look bad.

I don't mean in the sense of art work: Many games have lots of gorgeous art (and most games have more art than NWG titles).
I mean in terms of the text being readable and easy to use.

There's a lot of style guides out there for writing which people may use, however, those are almost universally intended for text that is meant to be read (and often only once).
But games aren't like that.
Your player is going to need to reference the rules for "Single handed melee attack during adverse weather conditions" in the middle of a game, to determine if "a rain of acidic frogs" is considered an adverse weather condition or not.

I think we need to create our tools.

So... here's "Weasel's Rules of Making Text Less Bad":

These are not in any particular order of importance.

I welcome comments on these.
Feel free to share them or expand upon them as you see fit, as long as you give me a shout-out or link back here.


1:
Pick if you intend the reader to print or read on the screen.
Personally, I despise dual column layouts for screen reading, but on paper, a single column tends to be wasteful and inflate the page count.

2:
Tables, flow charts and similar should fit on one page if at all possible.

These are things the player will refer to during play, so having to page flip is a terrible experience.
If you are doing a print book, a table or flow chart crossing facing pages is acceptable.

3:
Try to avoid having a few lines of text spill over to the next page or column.
This again reduces readability when the player is trying to reference a rule in play, but it can also lead to parts of a rule being missed or not understood.

4: 
Try to define your rules terms and avoid using the same words in casual conversation.
I typically put rules terms in bold to make it clear when I am talking about morale as a dice roll, versus descriptive text of the Azhkhanarnian army having low morale during the Wurzenboigen campaign.

In the same vein: Try to use consistent terms.
This can be tricky but it does improve the usability a lot.
Avoid switching between "figure" and "miniature" in a war game for example.

5:
Rules text should be concise and clear, because it'll be referred to during play.
If possible, try to separate flavor text and rules text out so it's easier to parse the paragraph at a quick glance.

"German machine guns typically had high rates of fire, permitting the squad to rely on them to a greater degree.

Add +1 Attack Die when firing a German Machine Gun Team"

6: 
While it's considered old-fashioned, I think the old board-game style of rules and sub-rules works rather well.

Use formatting to indicate whether a rule is a sub-set of an existing rule. For example, if you have your Movement rules, you may have a sub-set that discusses Running or Hiding.
If each main rule is in BOLD AND ALL CAPS you might have sub-sets in CURSIVE CAPS.

You can do similar things for optional or advanced rules.

7:
Limit the blocks of text.
I use a rule of thumb to never have more than 5 lines of text before a line break.
In dual column layouts, you might go to 6 or 7.

Large, dense text blocks are hard to read for a lot of people and are hard to reference during play.
Remember, we're writing games, not literature: Our use cases are different.

Consider more line breaks in your text as well.
"When failing an ammo check, the player character must reload. This takes an action" 

versus

"When failing an ammo check, the player character must reload.
This takes an action"

The effect is not pronounced for a single line like this, but when it comes as part of a text block, it can make spotting the rule much easier.

8:
People smarter than me have suggested that if possible, try to break up each page with /something/ else than text: An image, a table, an example, a text box etc.

I still need to work on this, but I wanted to include it anyways.

9:
Also something I need to work on:
Illustrations that somehow correlate to the text on the page will improve usability of a book massively.

We've all had rule books where you remembered how to find a particular often-referenced section because "it had the picture of the dude with the sword".

Plus, it just makes the game look more cohesive.

10:
When it comes to writing rules, pay close attention to your choice of words like "will" and "may".
When you review your game rules, read them as literally as possible because that's what a substantial portion of your audience will do to.

If read literally, does the rule say what you intend it to say ?

"Characters within 2" of an enemy may attack in close combat".

Does this mean I can also choose to shoot?
Did you intend that I can opt not to attack at all?


That's it for now.
I have more things to say, but I thought 10 was a reasonable amount for one day.

What are your tips?

Do you disagree with the obvious nonsense I just posted?

Lemme know.


If this was helpful to you, why not say thank you by buying a copy of October Hammer so you can see how I screwed it all up :-)