Thursday, 30 May 2019

So what is involved in changing a rule?

Since I've been tinkering with Five Leagues lately and running my mouth on social media about publishers not updating their games, I thought I'd be fair and give a run-down of what is actually involved in updating a game rule.

First, you gotta write and test the new rule of course.
If we're updating an existing game, that probably isn't too bad since you know what was wrong or missing and you may have already tried the new option.

Second, we gotta replace the old rule with the new one.
Copy paste right?

Third, we gotta check to see if the old rule is referenced anywhere else in the rules. If so, we gotta go back and fix those.

Fourth, we gotta check any game examples and update those.

Fifth, we gotta make sure we didn't break anything. After all, some game rules feed into each other. So back and check every related feature.

Sixth, does your game have points values? Purchase costs? Other balancing shenanigans? Did you just change the effectiveness of something in the game? Time to evaluate that again.
Don't forget that changing one thing can cause a cascade effect in the system.
Does the new rule make troop transports weaker? Well, now all transport vehicles AND the grunts they carry might be over-valued.

Seventh, is the new rule longer? If so, you might just have screwed up the page it's on.
Know how games always have like 2 lines of a paragraph awkwardly hanging off the next page?
Yeah, that looks wretched so let's avoid that.

Lastly... did you push every thing out one page? Your table of contents is now messed up and needs fixing.
Did you write one of the 3 games ever released in the history of nerds that has a table of contents? That's also broken now.

So yeah, updating or replacing a rule can be a ton of work.
But it's still better than keeping known errors around for years in my opinion.

Wednesday, 29 May 2019

A few quick notes

A couple people emailed and were worried about the sale ending before they got paid.

I've opted to extend the sale until the 3rd of June, so if you want hot bundle deals, go get them.
Once this is over, it'll be a long time before we do another mega-sale.

Right now, almost everything we've done is on sale

A few of you leave comments on Blogger. For some reason, I have a bastard of a time actually responding to comments on here.
I do read your comments but if you need a reply from me, please email me instead.
Sorry about the trouble.

The best email for Nordic Weasel stuff is

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

NWG anniversary: Titles that never were or only were a little bit.

As I look back at the past 5 years, here are a few titles that didn't get used, things that started out differently etc:

One of approximately 50 billion titles me and my wife came up with for what eventually became Clash on the Fringe.
If I remember right, it's also the title of an RPG supplement, so we had to change it.

Only the dead
The working title for the very original 4 page draft of No End in Sight.
A reference to "Only the dead have seen the end of war".
I think I changed it because I was worried people would think it was a zombie game.

Afghan Soda can
An odd experiment in modern day squad warfare, based around very stylized battle commands.
Not sure it was playable at all.
Never released in any format I think.

This one ended up being released, but it originally started life as a skirmish game where squads would consist of individually based figures.
A lot of the basic principles were the same though.

A power-driven dungeon duel game with a lot of different classes and whatnot.
Was pretty fun, but I ended up not being able to figure out how to make monsters work well and at the time I didn't want to write a strictly competitive game.

A solo fantasy game somewhat inspired by the Demon Souls video game.
Could be thought of as a proto-prototype of what became Five Leagues years later.
Had more detail but lacked gameplay.

Monday, 20 May 2019

What happened to ....

Over the years some games have come and gone from the Nordic Weasel line up.
I get questions about it, so I thought I'd share a few glimpses from the past as well as some insight into the process of writing games.

Basically, I try to do things a bit more public than some designers and companies do.
That means you often get more insight, we do a lot of public beta tests and so forth, which I think fans appreciate.
The downside is that if something does not seem like it's going to work out, or I don't think it's viable as a game or as a commercial product, you can feel a bit left out.

I still think on balance it's a better system, but there's always room to improve of course.

So what happened to that game?

In no particular order:

Fast and Dirty (FAD)
A game that still gets recommended in forum discussions when people ask about hard scifi rules.

I sold off the rights to the game and if you look online, you can find their take on the rules, which includes some changes, streamlining and detailing. It is, to my knowledge, also free.

I have not ruled out revisiting some of the base concepts again in the future, but it'd have to be done right and without feeling like it was too close to the original.

Trench Storm
Originally published by The Tin Dictator, the rights reverted to me for a while before being sold off.
I am unaware of the current status of the game right now.

I don't foresee having any projects in that vein. Trench Hammer has mostly taken that role.

Blast Pistol etc.
These "mini systems" were reasonably popular so they will return but things keep getting in the way.
I wanted to turn the disparate systems into a single, low-involvement skirmish system.

An orc too far
Response to this was very limited but the people who got into it really liked it.
I still hope to finish it some day.

Acrid smell of powder
Similar in that only a handful of people ever communicated any interest (though they did like it).
I think the presentation was too dull, so I will sit on this one for a while and then try to re-do it.

I worry that the game was too abstract for what it was trying to accomplish (and may have tried to tread the same ground as the black powder version of Blast Pistol, while doing it less well)

Sunday, 19 May 2019

Anniversary and a thank you to all of you

Greetings friends and gamers.

This month is something rather special.
It’s the 5 year anniversary of starting Nordic Weasel Games.

It’s been a big, crazy ride.
Together, we’ve explored WW2, black powder warfare, scifi gang squabbles and mass hovertank warfare. Pulp adventure and cold war campaigns. 
We’ve campaigned, we’ve solo’ed and hopefully we’ve had a dang good time in the process.

I don’t know what I expected when I quit my job to write games.
I knew I had ideas that I thought people would enjoy. I knew I loathed working for an unethical company that demanded I treat the people below me like dirt.

I was uncertain whether you could make “real money” off writing games. 
I certainly didn’t fully anticipate the multitudes of things that I’d have to learn: 
How to talk to customers who had demands. How to react to reviews. How to improve my layout skills.
How to make a book be presentable and more importantly how to make it easy to use.

You could pick up a book and learn many of those things of course. I just rushed into it and figured it out as we went.

What nobody could prepare me for was the emails.
People writing me telling me how a game had gotten them back into miniatures.
Or how they just spent an afternoon playing a battle with their children and had a blast.
How someone went out and bought a brand new army just to play a game I’d written.
Someone telling me something was the best game of its kind that they’d ever played.

And it’s easy to bask in flattery. I’m only human after all and I wouldn’t write if I didn’t think I had something sort-of-important to say.

But it also reminds me of something different:
That gaming is about being human.
They’re only toy soldiers, but we all know that isn’t really true. 
They can be stories. They can be connections to our family or our friends. They can be a learning experience.
They can be moments and memories.

If I stopped tomorrow (not that I intend to) I think all you crazy people out there would have given me enough moments and memories to warm my heart for a life-time.

To celebrate the last five years and the next five, we’re doing some big bundle sales.

The bundles are all 55% off, except the Mega Bundle.

If you own some of the products in the Bundles, it should remove those from the price, so these are a fantastic way to finish out a collection. 
If you’ve been pondering something new to get into or just want a bunch of cool ideas to borrow for your own table, why not a grab a bundle for something brand new?

We have a FiveCore bundle, offering all the core systems for the FiveCore family of games: Literally where it all started for Nordic Weasel.

A bundle for the In Sight series of harshly realistic platoon warfare

Five Parsecs for scifi solo gaming fun. Should include all supplements.

Five Leagues for solo fantasy gaming. Should include all supplements.

An Assorted bundle with a collection of games that didn’t fit anywhere else.

Our famous Starport Scum and Dungeon Scum pseudo-RPG rules and supplements.

Renegade Scout and all expansions for your retro scifi fix.

All our Hammer games, for rules-light play across the ages.

Greatest Hits. This is a collection of what I consider the crowning achievements of Nordic Weasel design.
If you want the best, this is it.

Mega bundle.
This mad bundle is ALL of the core rulebooks we sell currently.
You want the entire thing? You want more games than you’ll play this year?
This is it. This is all of it.

Once again. Thank you. I literally couldn’t have done it alone.

Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Five Leagues rules updates

1.01 is available from the Wargame Vault.
It offers the following tweaks:

The post-game injury table has been made slightly friendlier.
The results have shifted up 5-10 points and injury durations are generally a turn shorter.

If you have multiple saves, they should now get combined into one save.
So instead of rolling twice at 6+, you generally roll once at 5+ instead.

The dice rolls to reduce threat after a battle are easier now (4+ for holding the field, 3+ for camps) and threat only increases if you did not hold the field (on a roll of 1).

These tweaks should make the game just a little bit smoother and more fun to play.

Wednesday, 8 May 2019

The weasel and the miniatures page

I was alerted to the fact that some people were wondering why my account was locked out on The Miniatures Page a while back, despite my games generally being well regarded over there.

I'd let this lie but people who are interested deserve to know and the truth has a habit of being distorted by the management of the site.
So if you care about internet drama, here you go. If you do not, well, good on you.

To clarify a long time ago, in a discussion about US policy in Afghanistan, a gentleman suggested that we should adopt the methods of the Germans in handling the issue due to their brutality.

As I'm not a particularly great fan of genocide, I posted a picture of German soldiers executing Russian civilians and asked if that's what he meant.

The gentleman, who prides himself on being a straight shooter who disdains people being too easily offended reported my post, which got me locked for a few days.
The charge was that I'd called him a Nazi.
While my account was locked, the gentleman in question repeatedly slandered me on the forums.

When I got unlocked, I posted that I was going to take a few days off the forum.

Bill, the editor and owner of the site, took that as an opportunity to personally attack and insult me, while several posters pointed out that the initial charge was absurd and that I shouldn't have been sanctioned at all.

So I resolved to not return as anyone would have done.

However, I believe in forgiving and forgetting, so I will extend this offer:

Should Bill provide a written apology including the words "I am sorry I am such a massive tool" then I would consider returning to his site.

That is all.