Wednesday, 30 December 2020

Five Parsecs and KPS updates

 The quest for better games always goes on. 

First of all, we have Five Parsecs 1.17:

This has a few typos fixed, but the main update is that the steps in the campaign turn sequence are now numbered and it should be much easier to see which steps you can skip and which are mandatory.

It is also evident at a glance now whether a step takes place before or after fighting your battle. 

Secondly (and in conjunction with that) the download now includes an intro campaign, which will take you by the hand and guide you through starting a Five Parsecs campaign. You get a couple of easy fights to get you started, and the different campaign steps are introduced a few at a time to help you learn the game.

Third, Knyghte Pyke and Sworde is updated to 1.06.

This raises the cost of buying up Fighting Skill for characters and has a few clarifications added to the rules in areas that were not clear.

All you have to do is download your files again. Change log is, as always, in the back of the book.

Tuesday, 22 December 2020

FiveCore delayed a bit

 Despite my best efforts, it seems that the updated FiveCore will be delayed until January probably. A lot of things have been piling up and I am trying to work through them without any of it being half-assed.


Monday, 14 December 2020

Understanding the "5 X from Y" series. Part 2.

 Continued from yesterday, now that we are all on the same page and have answered the various questions, let us talk about the assumptions of the games then.

Not all of these are equally important, but hopefully they will help you understand where the design comes from. Of course, that does not imply they are the BEST way of doing a game (or even doing a war band game) but if you are looking to play the game I wrote, it's probably useful to know why I wrote it the way I did. 

That way, you can hack it up and add your own house rules :)

1 - Miniatures game - Not role playing game

I've spoken before about how I don't think miniatures games and RPG's are as distinct as we make them out to be, however there are fundamental differences.

One of these is that the game assumes we are here to have a miniatures battle. There are usually ways around this. Not all turns in Five Leagues has a battle and there's often ways to avoid it if it does come up, but ultimately, we assume that we are sitting down to move little figures around and go pew pew (or chop chop). 

This may seem obvious to the reader of course, so I apologize :)

2 - Emergent narrative

This probably cannot be stated strongly enough. The goal of the game more than anything else is to create an emergent narrative. In other words, a story that is created from the events on the gaming table, rather than a pre-determined outcome.

This means that the game generally avoids over-arching stories and predetermined scenarios (though I have done them on occasion). Instead, it relies on linking together the randomly generated outcomes as and when they line up just so. 

This ties into:

3 - Player driven narrative

This is something I should probably have made much more explicit, but it was always intended that the player helps drive the narrative that is created. Sometimes this just means adding a bit of story to link the pieces together ("Oh, this must be why we were having a hard time in town this turn"). 

Other times it means changing an encounter to fit the story or even adding a custom scenario to finish out a story arc that has happened. The Story Point mechanic is here to help with this, though it can of course simply be done on the fly as you want.

An example is that you meet a character on the road, then fight an odd combination of bad guys and personality leading them. You decide that ought to be something significant and create a custom scenario where you fight the same personality again but with a boost, leading a different type of enemies (maybe something more nefarious). 

Once this "side story" has concluded, you return to the normal campaign because:

4 - The game is meant to be episodic

This is especially clear in Five Parsecs with inspirations drawn from shows like Trigun and Cowboy Bebop but the games are meant to function less like a 100 part epic story, and more like a tv show where you tune in to watch familiar heroes deal with the "problem of the week". Occasionally a story arc bridges a few episodes in a row, but eventually we go back to something new.

This is why the encounter tables, other than broad themes, don't try to generate "consistent" enemy types, because that's not how a Star Trek episode (f.x.) works. 

Since a lot of people find time to game about once or twice a week, this works particularly well in my opinion.

5 - Varied encounters are desirable

As a result of the episodic nature, as well as the origin in miniatures games, the rules prioritize encounter variation over story consistency. From a miniatures battle perspective, having more variety in the types of encounters is a plus, since it means more types of challenge, a chance to paint up new bad guys etc.

However, sometimes that can lead to a chaotic feel, where you are fighting skeletons one battle and bank robbers the next. Some players enjoy the variety (or embrace the episodic feel in point 4), others prefer a more consistent feel to the story (as suggested in point 3). 

6 - Simpler mechanics

The turn, combat and morale mechanics are simpler than what you might find in other miniatures games, since they are aimed at the solo player. While almost any game CAN be solo'ed (I occasionally play ASL solo, after all) as a writer, I propose that a solo-oriented game should be a little simpler than a two player game, since a single person has to keep track of all of it. Few things discourage me as much as playing a few turns of a game and then realizing I completely screwed it up.

Of course simple vs boring is always a conflict. If the game is too simplistic, it is easy to lose interest. 

7 - Solo front and center

As suggested above, this is first and foremost a solo game series. While there are ways to play with a friend, the assumption of the rules is that you are sitting at your table and playing out your adventure.

This means that every game mechanic is written with this in mind, and the solo functions are built into the game. Additionally, the games try to avoid die rolls to determine enemy actions and activities, preferring to rely on guidelines for the "AI", to prevent long series of dice rolls (we're rolling enough dice in the campaign sequence as it is!)

8 - do, fight, find out

While the campaigns are structured differently between each game, they all follow a general gameplay loop that I'd call "Do, fight, find out". You prepare for the battle ahead by carrying out actions, then you fight a table top encounter and finally you determine the outcomes of that, whether it means new items, experience improvements or dead comrades.

This loop is a big part of what sets a war band game apart, but I think the addition of the "Do" step is a big part of what makes this series stand out from others of its kind. 

9 - Campaign length

While Five Klicks and Five Leagues do have "victory" points that can be reached, in the end the campaign length is always assumed to be up to you. A campaign of 4 turns is short, sure, but if you had fun and felt you got what you came for, it's a good campaign. Others will prefer to keep going for 20, 30 or a hundred battles. 

As the designer, my assumption is that you will eventually reach a point where your war band cannot be meaningfully challenged by the encounters you are facing. At that stage, you have effectively won the game and it's time to think about retiring the crew and starting over.

In the end however, whatever makes you happy is what you ought to be doing :)

10 - Difficulty

A common question is whether there is a balancing mechanic for the power of your war band vs a given enemy. There is not, and it is intentional that there is not. My intent is that some encounters should always feel easy, while others should be quite scary for the player. Remember, you always have the option of making a fight of it and then retreating before you get over-run.

This is more purely a reflection of how I personally enjoy playing the game. It is not impossible that I will change my mind on this in the future. 

Of course, the games DO include difficulty toggles, whether it is the actual difficulty setting of the campaign, story points, the "stars of the story" options or similar choices. But at least currently, once you take the field, you are at the mercy of what the dice brought up.


* * * * *

And that is that. I hope these 10 points help you understand the game better or even entice you into getting started. Let me know if you have questions.

Sunday, 13 December 2020

Understanding the "5X from Y" series - Part 1

 The past year has seen a big explosion of people coming into the "Nordic Weasel" fold, especially through the "Five X" series (Five Parsecs and Five Leagues especially). More importantly, it is people that don't just buy the book and move on. I see the games regularly recommended on forums, I see photos pop up, I see talk.

That's all good! What is more awe-inspiring to me is that I am beginning to hear from people who are taking their first steps into miniatures gaming, and have chosen my games as the place to start. We all remember our first game and the idea that something I wrote could be that for someone is truly humbling.

But more eyes also means people with a wider range of experiences, particularly for people entering either from other "war band" hobby games or from role playing games. Five Parsecs and Five Leagues are games of many influences and I have never fully believed in the hard separation between miniatures games and RPG's that people tend to enforce, however, it is unavoidable that some of the expectations vary some.

As such I thought I would take a moment to write a post that is well overdue, laying out a little bit of common philosophy, as well as answering some questions that come up semi-frequently. 

This part 1 will answer assorted common questions:

What is the link between FiveCore and Five Parsecs? The names are confusing!

It turns out I am bad at naming things. The story goes something like this:

First there was Five Men in Normandy, a game of solo-friendly skirmish actions in ww2. 

Then came FiveCore which started as just the core mechanics of Normany in a stand-alone package, but developed into its own full-fledged game over time.

The original Five Parsecs was an expansion for FiveCore. This is the one with the blue cover. 

When the time came to update it and turn it into a stand-alone game, I felt that a new game engine aimed specifically at solo players would be the best option. As such, Five Parsecs 2nd edition became a thing.

When I adapted the rules to fantasy, keeping the naming convention seemed to make the most sense, but in hindsight of course, I don't blame anyone for getting confused!

I've heard the original version of Five Parsecs was way better?

The mechanics were more in-depth but also had far more special cases and exceptions, as they were intended primarily for games with another player, where they can help remember all the stuff.

The original switch-over slimmed down the game a lot and as a result a lot of fluff-text and flavor was cut, which was a mistake in hindsight. As the game has developed, a ton of additional detail, new things to do and more involved "universe" aspects have been added to the game. If you checked it out when 2nd edition first came out, it's almost an entirely new beast now.

What happened to Bug Hunt, Salvage Crew and Gang Warfare?

These were spin-off games that used the same mechanics. I realized fairly quickly that trying to keep four versions of the same game up-to-date and compatible was basically impossible to do for one person, along with developing new games. As such they are "legacy": Fully playable games on their own, but not receiving future updates. Bug Hunt in particular remains rather popular and you can easily port in encounters from the main Five Parsecs rulebook. 

Salvage Crew has been reworked into a supplement for Five Parsecs.

Are Five Parsecs, Leagues and Klicks the same game?

No, they use similar concepts but the game engine and campaign structure is reworked for each. So it's easy enough to move from one to the next, but they are never just "ported over" without making sure it works. Five Leagues has much more involved hand to hand combat rules for example, while Five Klicks has base-building aspects.

Are the games stand-alone? 

Yes, all of them are stand-alone except the original blue-cover Five Parsecs book, which requires a copy of the FiveCore rulebook to play.

Are all the Nordic Weasel games like these?

Not at all. All NWG titles share my views on game design of course, but some are specifically "competitive" games, some are historical battle games, some are multi-purpose, some are even RPGs!

Are these games retro-clones?

No, the only retro-clone is Renegade Scout and I think it has developed so extensively that it barely qualifies as a clone any longer. 

Monday, 30 November 2020

Five Leagues 1.03 is here with a ton of goodies!

So I may have to personally apologize to a few because I'd said there'd be no further updates this year, but I hope you will forgive me. 

Truth is that Five Leagues has seen a huge amount of attention lately and drawn in a ton of new players, from all over the spectrum: Miniatures gamers, RPG folks, board gamers and probably some more. I've spoken to at least a couple of people who have said Five Leagues is their first miniatures game, but they decided to take the leap.

With that has also come a ton of player feedback and commentary, much of which I've had to hunt down around the internet by reading battle reports, blog posts and reviews. I think people are still not used to the idea of a game system actually being updated in response to feedback, so a lot of this never reaches my ears unless I go look for it.

If you are among the people who have helped send me corrections, suggestions and gripes, thank you :) It makes life much easier!

With that out of the way, given what a crap year we've all had I wanted a big fat Five Leagues surprise out for the holidays. Lots of you are going to be spending more time at home than you had intended, so let me try to make it a bit more fun.

* * * * *

Enough pre-ample, what's new?

Well, a lot. A LOT. 

First and foremost, a lot of small tweaks to make things clearer and easier at a glance, important bits have had text boxes added, that sort of thing. The book is also broken up into "books" similar to KPS or Renegade Scout 2, making it easier to see at a glance what part is combat rules and what part is campaign stuff.


Clarifications to existing rules:

Weapon restrictions at character creation only apply at that moment. 

When you begin a melee, you cannot swap weapons between exchanges.


Rules changes:

You can now carry spare weapons in the backpack and ready them for use in battle.

Story points has been streamlined a little bit, so it's easier to remember.

Combat rolls, Harm rolls and Armor penetration rolls can each only benefit from one item bonus and one skill bonus. (in other words, the biggest skill and item bonus you can dig up should be a +2 to each roll).

Deployment distances are now 2D6+6" apart by default and large table players have an option to make it 3D6+6". This should give just a tiny bit more movement before the scrap begins.

The rules for Toughness values over 6 are simpler and less janky now.

Wounds have changed. Instead of rolling to pass out, a Wounded character now gives attackers a +1 bonus to the Harm roll. In testing, this was both more interesting and less annoying to track.

You now have to be stationary to get the combat skill bonus when shooting. Not a big deal for crossbows but will limit archers a bit. I know a lot of people want to see reductions to archery strength, but I don't want to make multiple changes and then it becomes too much. So we'll start here.


Campaign changes:

The roll to pick which Threat you face is different. On a 1-2 you face a random threat at the location, 3-4 is the highest Threat and 5-6 you get to choose. This should be more interesting than the prior system.

An optional rule has been added so if you fight a particular enemy and don't win, you can fight them again.

The "Theme" section for Threats has been removed from the campaign set-up sequence. I want to redo them proper in the future.

Each region is now a little larger: 2-4 villages will be present and starting Threat scores will increase a little bit.

Threat reduction is now automatically 1 point if you win. Losing gives you a roll if you knocked off a personality or enough grunts to make a mark. This, combined with the above changes, should result in a more consistent length of campaign and avoid some frustration.

Due to this change the Track action in town now lets you roll twice for enemy types and pick. Handy if one of them comes with a reward!

The Unusual Finds post-game have been tweaked a bit to make some results more interesting. There's now also a chance of tracking down an enemy camp.

Contracts. This bit is huge. When you are in town you can roll to get a contract which is a mission that is outside the Threat system. There are a few types including escorting a villager somewhere or avenging someones death. 

An optional rule has been added giving you an objective to achieve in normal pitched battles.  This offers a way to earn bonus XP without having to hold the field, if the enemy is too tough.


Item changes:

A character can now carry three weapons, provided one is a light weapon.


Enemy changes:

Corrupt were reduced to Toughness 4.

Grave Walkers were reduced to Armor 1.

Raiders, Skirmishers and Cultists were raised to Movement 5.

Infernal personalities now grant 2 bonus XP if you destroy them in melee.

Leader figures now have some armor and toughness caps.

Enemy archers now melee as a light weapon.

Monsters have had their toughness reduced a bit here and there.

* * * * *

In short, a ton of changes that should make the game flow quicker, be more interesting, be more fair and more fun. 

Combined with the new Contract and Objective system, there's also more to just do. 

I hope you all enjoy this huge update. It was a bear to put together. I'm sure a typo or two slipped through so hold on printing it until it has been a few days past release. 

This update is freely available to all players. If you want to show your appreciation, a paypal donation at nordicweaselgames@icloud.com is welcome. These updates are time consuming and do not earn any revenue otherwise. 

If you have not bought into Five Leagues yet, there's no better time. You can pick up the game here:

https://www.wargamevault.com/product/280863/Five-Leagues-from-the-Borderlands-2E 

Sunday, 29 November 2020

A bit about the immediate future

As a holiday recedes and another approaches, I thought I'd post a couple of updates on things:

FiveCore news

I've kicked around the tons of feedback and ideas over the years, piles of emails, my own thoughts and play tests etc.

In addition to general polish and excitement, the big goal for me to allow the game to scale easier, allowing you to play games ranging from a couple of troops on each side up to about a platoon or more. My initial testing has been pretty positive but of course there's plenty that can go wrong.

One of the things I think may hurt people taking the leap and picking up the game is that the rulebook is a big beast. If you already play it, you know that you need very little in the book during play, but of course that's not something a prospective new player will know.

As such I am considering breaking the book up into two books: An "Engine" book which will have the combat mechanics and weapons, basically everything needed to sit down and play a battle, and then a "Battlefield" book which will contain all the campaign rules, leveling up, random tables etc. 

If all goes well, the Engine book will available in December, free to existing players and priced pretty aggressively for newcomers. Cheaper than the current book obviously.

If I can swing it, the Battlefield book will be available as quickly as I can afterwards. I am not sure what the price level will be here, it depends on how much content ends up being in there. The current plan is that people who donated get it free and existing players get it half-off or something like that. We shall see.

Squad Hammer news

At the end of January or mid February, I hope to have Hammer of Unified Space available. This is a Squad Hammer powered "complete package" scifi game set in the Unified Space setting, containing game rules (based on a slightly expanded Squad Hammer Core) and at least 6 army lists, plus assorted scenarios and other goodies.

This is intended as a "mid-tier" package with simple rules, aimed at being easy and fun to play, but still offering a complete experience in a single book. 

Slaughter Sword

"Renegade Scout Fantasy" is being worked on, but I do not have a date to speak of and it won't be "soon".

I might make available a few creature profiles and whatnot to test out using the current RS2 rules to get people up to speed.

Thursday, 26 November 2020

Happy thanksgiving and the new kitty

 


Introducing the new addition to our family Lancelot!
He is not quite as brave as his name might suggest: Plastic bags are still a terrifying monster to be studied from a safe distance. He IS however a lover and a scoundrel. 

Thank you very much to everyone who supported us in the sale or through your kind donations.


Here are both new kitty (bottom) and old kitty (top) having a moment of mutual understanding. 

* * * * *

I hope everyone who celebrates it has a safe and comfortable thanksgiving. I know many of you didn't get to go do the gatherings you wanted to do, others had to do much smaller affairs or cancel altogether. 

We are having just a little family gathering with the three of us and the new furry addition to the family. 

If you are stuck at home and feeling a bit down, I have something for you all:

Just for today, tomorrow and Friday, you can pick up a copy of Starport Scum absolutely free of charge. 


Just follow the link and download your game. It's playable with any handful of scifi minis you have lying around. If you get a space adventure going this weekend, do me a favor and email me how it went. 
With the year we've all had, we can all use a bit of joy :)

* * * * *

If space adventure is not so much your jam, for the rest of November, you can also pick up our revised medieval wargame rules for only a fiver.

Perfect for a bit of post-turkey day gaming. Maybe mount a viking raid to capture a turkey ? (Yes, I know, shhh)

* * * * *
Finally, Five Parsecs players can pick up scenario 5 Old friends bearing guns. A series of linked encounters complete with a "old rival" generation table.

Sunday, 15 November 2020

General news

 Just a quick bit of news.

*

I am still working to finish two un-specific things that have been outstanding for rather too long. I am hoping this week should be fruitful. Unfortunately, last week I got sidetracked with another paid gig on the side.

I know some of you have been quite patient in waiting for specific items and I'm going to have to just ask for a bit more patience. 

*

A new option is available for Five Leagues, offering caves and pits to delve into. This both serves as a bit of a test for adding things to the world map, as well as testing out some ideas for future dungeon delve mechanics. 

https://www.wargamevault.com/product/336026/CavernsPits--A-Five-Leagues-expansion 

*

New kitty is home :) 

We haven't given him his new name just yet, but he went by Robin at the shelter. He's shy but the first introduction to Scruffy went very well, so photos will be forthcoming soon.

*

The timeframe for Fivecore 3.x is still before Christmas. I am kicking around whether to show off anything beforehand, but we'll see. Right now, I'd rather stay focused on getting it done than spending too much time slicing off chunks to show off. 


Saturday, 7 November 2020

Kitty sale!



We just got an opportunity to adopt an extremely friendly kitty to our family. As you may know, our old cat Mittens passed away earlier this year and Scruffy has been rather lonely, so we are very excited about the prospect.

Of course, getting a kitty fixed, getting all his shots and so on is rather spendy, so we are running a sale over the weekend to help defray some of those costs. In short, you get new gaming loot and Scruffy gets to make a new friend.



This allows you to pick up Renegade Scout:

https://www.wargamevault.com/browse.php?discount=9d31826744 

Five Leagues

https://www.wargamevault.com/browse.php?discount=9d35edf4f0 

FiveCore

https://www.wargamevault.com/browse.php?discount=9d37ca7f3c 



and Scum of the Earth

https://www.wargamevault.com/browse.php?discount=9d39b49cdd



all for about half normal price. These are beefy games with lots of content, perfect for the cold winter months.




Additionally, Clash on the Fringe, our original rogue trader adaptation is available as a Pay What You Want title. This is a fully featured scifi skirmish game with a lot of clever touches.

Finally, if you did wish to throw in a few bucks on paypal, I would welcome that as well. The address is nordicweaselgames@icloud.com as usual.











Above is the new recruit.





Friday, 6 November 2020

A ton of stuff this Friday

 




Greetings gamers.

This friday brings a ton of cool stuff.

First, the Upgrade Pack for Five Klicks From the Zone.

This expansion pack focuses on giving you more rules options in your post-apocalyptic battles, including special character skills, gun upgrades, tougher enemies, a way to continue an existing campaign after you win and story points.

It is available at https://www.wargamevault.com/product/335330/Five-Klicks-Upgrade-Pack 


Renegade Scout players can take better care of their troops with Battle Medics of Unified Space, which adds both squad-attached specialist medics and independent hero medics to your forces. https://www.wargamevault.com/product/335326/RS-Book-3-Battle-Medics-of-Unified-Space 


With a new pack, the Elite Army Builder has also been updated to incorporate the new points values.
If you don’t have it yet, this is a complete compilation of all official unit options for the Army Builder in Renegade Scout, allowing you to construct armies easily.

https://www.wargamevault.com/product/334035/Renegade-Scout-Elite-Army-Builder 


KPS players can enjoy a nice record sheet by Jason. Simply go to My Library on Wargame Vault and download it. If you are still missing out on our medieval skirmish rules, grab it now before the fantasy expansion is finished, so you are ready https://www.wargamevault.com/product/311310/Knyghte-Pyke-and-Sworde 


Finally October Hammer, our Russian civil war rules, sees two small updates to clarify weapon ranges and fixing a typo in the terrain section. If you fancy getting started in the cold east, why not check it out at https://www.wargamevault.com/product/230110/October-Hammer-RCW-gaming-on-the-cheap 

Thursday, 5 November 2020

Five Leagues example: Generating an encounter

 Whev, it took a bit to get this one done. Between work projects, a bit of feeling under the weather and so on, it kept getting pushed back.

But enough excuses, here we go.

Note that this looks super long when you type it all out, but in reality each of these steps only takes a few moments. The entire process should only take you a couple minutes (at least until you go rooting for that one miniature that you know you have in a box and where was it...?)

Generating an encounter when we set out to go find some trouble.

The point of playing a miniatures game is of course to go fight people, so you can use all your miniatures on the table. 

Unless we are traveling to a specific location, we will use the "Adventuring" column of the main encounter table. Essentially this is us just roaming the country side looking for trouble, as adventurers usually do.

If the number ranges look a little differently on your copy, make sure you have downloaded the latest version. The tables were changed some in the Marmoset update.

Normally you would roll and just take the encounter you get, however for the purpose of this example I am going to just say I rolled a 72, giving us one each of Roadside and Combat encounters.

Roadside encounter

If you roll both, you always generate the roadside encounter first. If we were using Roads well traveled we could use the expanded table there (Pretty slick bit of product placement there, right?) but for now, we'll just roll on the rulebook table.

The roll is a 24 meaning we've met a pilgrim wandering somewhere. We can choose to just say hi and move on or stop to interact. Of course, we'll do the latter this time.

The interaction roll is a 62, which means the Pilgrim is Friendly to us. Clearly, they are relieved to see a group of professionals looking to help make the area less monster-infested. 

This means we will write down that we've made a Pilgrim friend. Later in the campaign, no matter where we are, if we meet another Pilgrim, we can declare that it is our old friend and roll on the Special Interaction table.

The combat encounter

We need to know who we are going to be fighting. This is just a D6 roll with the highest Threat score being encountered on a 3-6 and the second highest on a 1-2. If you preferred, you could just make it an even chance of all available Threats.

For us, the roll comes up Outlaws with the exact enemy type being Thieves. 

We narrate that the Pilgrim barely escaped from a gang of thieves with their life intact and has given us a pointer on where to track them down. 

Next, we roll for the encounter type. The dice come up a 58, which means we encounter them while traveling (instead of being ambushed or finding a camp or lair). This is just a normal encounter battle.

Enemy composition

Now that we know who we are fighting and how, we can determine what exactly we're up against.

We need to determine if there is any leadership present. The D6 roll is a 2, so the travel encounter table says they do not. 

If they did, we'd have had to add extra figures to their count.

Since there are no leaders, a second roll is required to see if a Personality is present. This is just a 4+ roll and a 5 indicates we do meet someone. The D100 roll gives us a Brute: A big mean fella who is clearly the muscle of this gang. 

For the number of opponents encountered, we always roll 2D6, pick the highest and then add the "Number" modifier from the enemy tables. I roll 2 and 4, so 4 on the die +3 (number) is 7 thieves. Any leader or personality is in addition so we'll be fighting 8 opponents in total.

The enemy table says thieves get 2 archers, so the composition is 1 brute, 2 archer thieves and 5 regular thieves. 

We could try to bribe thieves, but we're here to have a fight right? 

The Variations tables are optional but we'll roll for them. Basically we take two regular opponents, not archers, and roll to see what is special about them. This works best if we have a couple mini's that look a bit distinctive. (As a note, personalities and leaders are not subject to this even though the book isnt explicit on the point. It has to be a bog standard grunt).

I roll on each table and get:

One thief who is Manic and will be unaffected by morale checks.

One thief who is Untrained. Since their combat skill is already +0, this won't matter unfortunately.


Next up is deploying for battle, which we will tackle in a separate post. 

Monday, 19 October 2020

Fivecore 3.x begins

I will have a lot more to say later, but I just wanted to let everyone know that the path to FiveCore 3.x has begun. 

A major decision will be how much text to use as is, versus rewriting from the ground up. My main worry is that old and new sections next to each other will read incoherently, so we'll have to see. 

To the future!

Renegade Scout update

 A quick update for Renegade Scout adds the following tweaks to the army builder:


* Vehicles with 2 or more mount points can add an external Auto laser or auto slugger without using a mount point.

* This can be pintle-mounted. If so, it is fired by a crew member from a hatch and is a bit cheaper.

* This can be remote-controlled. If so, it's a bit more expensive but can be fired by any crew member instead of performing another role that turn.


Friday, 16 October 2020

Squad Hammer Core updates

 A few updates have been made to the Squad Hammer Core / People's edition download.

They are:

* Notes for immobile units (such as bunkers)

* Notes for flying units.

* Units cannot recover from damage if they are within 6" of enemy forces at the end of carrying out the order. 

Some cosmetic changes and a few re-wordings have taken place as well.


The above changes are in preparation for future content. All you have to do is download your game file again from the Wargame Vault.

If you do not yet own Squad Hammer Core, that is easily remedied at https://www.wargamevault.com/product/295773/Squad-Hammer-Core--Peoples-Edition


Thursday, 8 October 2020

Five Leagues examples. Visiting town

 A quick example today with my apologies for taking a few days since the last one.

Today we look at visiting town and getting ourselves ready as we arrive at Old Hill.

This mostly just follows the steps in "The campaign turn" chapter of the rulebook with no additional options applied.

Since this sequence will play out a bit differently when we have a bunch of wounded guys and so forth, we'll actually revisit this again after a battle.

To remind you all, step 1 took place here and step 2 here

Village events

This step is optional, but we'll use it. We get to roll on the Village Events table to see what local conditions are like. A roll of a 32 means our group has An ill reputation. Clearly the locals are suspicious of a gang of heavily armed weirdoes with impulse control issues, and that seems fair enough.

The off-shot is that I cannot select the Carouse action in town this turn. 

These effects only last one campaign turn (unless you roll the same result again) so presumably once we've been in town for a bit, we'll win them over.

Pay upkeep

If we had more than 8 warband members, we'd have to pay for upkeep now. As we're just starting out, that won't be the case. 

Healing up

Injured characters will have to rest now. This isn't an action as such, but they cannot do anything while resting. As we are just starting out, we can skip this step as well.

Carry out activities

We now get to carry out 2 actions in turn. Since Carousing is out, I look over the list and opt to Labor (earning us 2 extra Gold Marks bringing us to 19 total).

Old Hill has a serious problem with Border Tensions, so I opt to take the Track actions to see if we can get a lead on our enemies. I roll a D6 requiring a 5+, but the die is a 2, so no luck.

Where are we going?

We have little reason to stick around, so we will be adventuring this turn. 

Sell unwanted gear

I have a spare standard weapon lying around, which we could turn in for 1 Mark, but you never know when you need a spare sword so I'll hang on to it for now.

Trade

Our party could use a bit of upgrading, so I am going to spend 3 Marks buying a Helmet for one of the heroes missing one (taking us to 16) and get a packs of Bandages (2 Marks, bringing us to 14).

These items are coming from the Common goods section, so we can buy them as we see fit but no more than one of each item per turn.

I can also roll for a rare trade item and I get a 74, offering up a Shadowy Cloak for 12 Marks. That is tempting, but I feel like I may want that money later, so I'll hold off. There's no need to track anything as the item is only available this turn.

Outfit for adventure

I am happy with the gear my characters are carrying. As one of my heroes has Packing skill, I can bring up to 7 backpack items, though we're nowhere near that limit. The bandages count as 1, while both doses of herbs count as 1 item together. We have plenty of empty space if we find anything exciting out there.

Recruit some villagers

As I have 8 healthy team members, this step is skipped. We can proceed to take on some sort of threat on our own. 

Monday, 5 October 2020

Why renegade scout?

We will return with more 5 Leagues tutorials, but first I thought I would take a moment to advertise a bit.

In the indie sphere, we often get used to just saying that here is the cool new game (or update to the cool old game) without taking the time to explain WHY you should also think it's cool. Some of that is that I hate doing marketing, I'd rather be writing more gaming stuff instead. But I am told by the priesthood of economic progress that this is bad thinking so let's do some audacious shilling:

But first a picture of the dork cat

Namely, why you should go out and get a copy of Renegade Scout. Yes, you. You there. Get with the program. I'm here to tell you why, especially if you are currently a player of that big glossy game with all the cyber orcs and dudes in big space armor. 

Now, before we start let me assure you that I am not an idiot. What games you play is of course not always just up to you. Marching into the gaming club and telling them all to bin what they are playing in order to play something you just bought is often an uphill struggle! So we assume you have a compatriot or three that are the same sort of brilliant, handsome and articulate person that peruses Wargame Vault for indie games (or that you are a solo gamer and get to do whatever you want on the gaming table).

We good? Okay, on with it.

You get to use pretty much any miniatures you like

Ever see some cool figures online and wish the rules you played supported them? 

With a huge range of alien species and troop types, and a flexible army builder, odds are they will fit into Renegade Scout right out of the box. Whether you've got your eyes on a big walker, infantry in huge power armor, tentacle aliens or tiger-men with laser cannon, you'll likely be able to build it in the army builder and points system.

As a bonus, the game is scale agnostic. You can take advantage of the massive range of amazing 15mm stuff, the super-detailed 28mm figures or anything else that takes your fancy. Ever considered 6mm skirmish? Why not give it a shot!

You get to use YOUR miniatures

The armies you build are your armies. While there's a setting underpinning Renegade Scout, it is up to you if you want to use it or if you game in another universe and simply use the rules and mechanics. 

Want to take some mini's from an existing game, paint them up in new colors that aren't "correct"? Well, it doesn't say in the Renegade Scout book that you can't have purple Storm Troopers or a Halo guy with cybernetic claws. 

Even if you use the included setting, the troop descriptions are kept fairly open-ended, allowing you as much freedom as possible to use the armies you would like. 

Battles of a manageable size

The big glossy games of course want you to build big glossy armies. With tournament play defining the expected game sizes, building a "proper" army often involves 50+ mini's and multiple vehicles which, no matter how streamlined the rules are, still takes a substantial amount of time to set up and play. 

Ever sat while a guy moves 200 space orcs one guy at a time? Thrilling stuff, I'm sure you would agree. Now imagine how long it took to build and paint those 200 space orcs. 

While you can play big battles, Renegade Scout is aimed at a much more comfortable level of play. A fun, meaningful game might have 3-4 squads of infantry with a vehicle or two supporting them. 

Add a cool personality figure or two and you have a great, entertaining battle for the evening. 

Of course, if you want things to be quite personal, you can always use Skirmish mode where each player might only have a handful of troops, moving and fighting individually. 

The game is affordable

Since you can play a real game with far fewer miniatures, you can get up and running for a low cost. A single squad of figures will let you play in Skirmish mode, while 20-30 infantry figures and a couple of vehicles will give you a nice selection to work with. 

As squads are based around 5 figures as the standard, you can buy a few fun models on a whim, paint them up and have them actually ready to put on the table. 

On top of that, the game itself is affordable. 20 dollars gets you the 206 page rulebook, while expansions are priced around the price of a cup of coffee. 

Dork cat says that's so you can afford more of the fish treats from the store.

Consider 15mm

While you can play in any scale you like (and use your existing armies too) a new rules system is a perfect chance to try a new scale as well. If you have not tried gaming with 15mm figures, I think they may blow your mind: They are affordable (around 10-15 dollars for a big vehicle and 5 dollars or so for a pack of 8 infantry figures is typical), they store easily and you can fit a LOT of them on your gaming table. 

At the scale of battle normally played in Renegade Scout (the reinforced platoon) an army for 50 dollars is not at all unreasonable, allowing you to play cheaply (or to build lots of armies!)

Even if your table is fairly modest (such as the typical 3 foot across dining room table) a platoon of 15mm infantry with vehicles in support will have plenty of leg-room to move and fight. 

The selection available is huge as well with companies like Ground Zero Games, Khurasan and Rebel Miniatures offering human and alien troops, vehicles and more. I should clarify I am not affiliated with any of those guys, but I've purchased from all three before and enjoyed what I got.

Modern game mechanics

While there are cases where an "IGOUGO" sequence (where one player does all of their moving and shooting, then the other player does all of their moving and shooting) is the best choice, it is also a system with substantial drawbacks. Being unable to react realistically to enemy actions can feel very arbitrary, as well as being plain boring (see the 200 space orcs above). 

Renegade Scout retains a phase structure, where movement is conducted, followed by shooting and so forth, but within each phase, players alternate acting. This both keeps each player involved and active but also helps avoid the "first turn advantage" where whoever goes first gets to unload all of their guns while the other player sits and checks their phone. 

Tactical game play

In addition to an improved turn sequence, the rules include options such as allowing advancing troops to keep their heads down within terrain features and providing covering fire when opposing troops pop into sight.

Troops taking losses will hit the dirt and become pinned down, like in the movies, while a dedicated close assault can send them running for the hills. 

Vehicles can ram into each other and must contend with critical hits. A sharp shooter may try to pick off an exposed crew member operating the turret machine gun, or you may aim for the tracks in the hopes of stopping the brute before it reaches your lines.

You get to choose what way to play the game

We offer a number of ways you can play the game. In addition to the Skirmish mode discussed above, simplifications are provided for larger battles, notes on solo play, rules to retain your units in a persistent game where they gain experience with each battle, simple campaign guidelines and more. 

Do you want an unpredictable battlefield? We have that. Do you want scenarios? We offer that too. Tools for a GM to run a really cool space heist? Yup.

Renegade Scout is a game to be played the way you want it to be.

No codex creep

As the game is not linked to selling expensive miniatures, there is no need to perpetually churn out ever-bigger models with ever-more guns on them. The army builder included in the rules is usable for almost all the troop types and species (with the exception of a select few that are really intended more for special scenarios) and as expansions are released, they will expand the options available to most of the forces existing in the game world. 

We are an ethical company!

As a one-person company, I can assure you that Nordic Weasel Games has never pressured, abused, exploited or otherwise mistreated its employees. 100% of the staff is permitted to work wearing shorts and a t-shirt to work and the kitty gets scritches and tasty food every day.

Quick answers, easy updates

Instead of dealing with a big corporation, you can get answers to your inquiries quickly and personally. Whether it is through twitter, blog questions or email, I am always available to help answer your inquiries.

Our game rules receive updates quickly when errors are caught and instead of waving around a book's worth of errata, you can simply download the file again and have the most up-to-date version on your screen.


So what are you waiting for? 


Dork cat thinks you are waiting to pet him. 

Renegade Scout can be purchased at the link below:

https://www.wargamevault.com/product/249657/Renegade-Scout--Bleeding-Edge-Retro-Gaming

The first expansion, adding Veteran squads and squad leaders, can be purchased at the link below:

https://www.wargamevault.com/product/328827/RS-Book-1-Veteran-Infantry-of-Unified-Space 

Thursday, 1 October 2020

Q&A for October

 As we move into October, answers to a few questions that have come up in the past couple of months, as well as a few I found by looking at old emails and whatnot.

Note that questions are paraphrased from their original sources.

Do you hate retro clones?

No, I don't or I wouldn't have written one. But I think the RPG indie circles lasting obsession with rewriting OD&D on a weekly basis is the equivalent of finding different condiments to put on the same McNugget. Sometimes it's okay to try Burger King instead.  

Who is your favorite wargame designer?

Jon Tuffley of Ground Zero Games because Stargrunt 2 is brilliant and he's also a super cool dude.

How many times should a scenario be play tested?

By the writer? 2-3 times is plenty. Beyond that, the utility diminishes rapidly because you'll be blind to your mistakes. 1 game played by complete strangers is worth 10 games you put on yourself.

Why haven't we had any big rules updates to 5X in a while?

After the big changes to Five Leagues in Marmoset, I wanted to avoid big overhauls for a while so the core rules can stay pretty stable. For Five Parsecs, there's some big stuff in the semi-near future. 

What do you think about pirating books from companies you are boycotting?

I think it's stupid. If you are talking about the game and playing it, you are literally advertising the game for the company. 

If you want to boycott some company for being trash, then don't read or play their games. It's not like we have a shortage of good games.

Wednesday, 30 September 2020

As we finish out the month

 The Five Klicks pack for the month adds animal companions to the game. Just one to get started, but who hasn't wanted to paint up a doglizardthing?

https://www.wargamevault.com/product/330542/Waste-Diggers-Animal-companions-for-Five-Klicks 

You can pick up the new pack at the link above.

I also wanted to remind folks that Roads Well Travelled is out there, full of new peaceful encounters and people to meet in your games of Five Leagues

https://www.wargamevault.com/product/286930/Roads-well-traveled-A-Five-Leagues-expansion

Finally, the "Every Journey begins on a road" pack has been updated to make the tutorial more straight forward (based on suggestions) and fix a typo, so go download that pack again.

Monday, 28 September 2020

FiveCore 3.x is go

 With the weekend over, we're easily over the goal I'd set so the update will be reality.

As I mentioned in the blog post, I expect to start working on it in October and have it ready before Christmas. Time frames may slip, I honestly don't know how much work will be eaten up with just formatting, but I'll do everything I can to get it out early.

Thank you guys and girls and both/neither/undecideds for believing in the project. I hope it'll end up being everything you want.

Friday, 25 September 2020

Five Leagues archery options

Playtest rules:

Please consider trying out some or all of these options and let me know how they fare.

Especially in a longer campaign, archery can become rather too strong leading to the witless bad guys getting mown down Agincourt-style.

If you are concerned about this, make the following adjustments:

*

Ranged attacks at a distance exceeding 9" do NOT add Combat Skill to the attack roll.

*

For enemy types without archers, increase the encounter number by +1.

*

For enemies with archers, if 8+ enemy figures are encountered, increase the archer count by +1 (but do not add additional figures)

*

Enemy Personalities (knight etc.) receive a 5+ saving throw against missile attacks. 


Wednesday, 23 September 2020

Five Leagues - Setting up. Step 2

 In step 2 of our campaign prep, we need to establish the region we're going to be exploring. 

This all starts on page 65 of the rulebook "Starting the campaign". 

We need to select a region to play in. If we use any of the supplements, we have more choices, but the rulebook just gives us three: The Hinterlands, the Borderlands and the Wilderness.

We're going to go for the Borderlands.

* * *

Next we need to know how many villages there are. This basically establishes the length of this chapter in the campaign. 

A D6 roll of 1-2 gives one village, a 3-5 gives two and a 6 gives three. 

In the Borderlands, a result of a single village is treated as a two however. I roll a 4, which gives us two villages to visit. I opt to name them Shadow Pond and Old Hill. 

You might like to make a map of the place now, or you could borrow a wilderness map from any RPG source and just mark the locations there. This doesn't really affect the game, but it does make the story feel much more real. 

* * *

Now that we know where we are, we need to figure out why. Again,we're just using the threats in the rulebook, so there are three types present: Outlaws, representing assorted criminals and bandits, Border Tension, representing the risk of invasion and raiding and Dark Secrets, representing the dark fantasy reality of the game world. 

The dice give me Outlaws 4, Border Tension 4, Dark Secrets 3.

There are three themes listed in the book which can modify these. I opt to pick the Game of Crowns theme, which reduces Dark Secrets and increases Border Tension.

The end result is Border Tension 5, Outlaws 4, Dark Secrets 2 for Old Hill. 

The region might be in an area of contested land with lots of petty raiding and skirmishing between the barons. As a result, it has become rather lawless, much to the lament of the locals. There are a few dark forces at play here, but just what you'd expected in this setting. 

Since I rolled two villages, I roll again using the same rolls and modifiers and get Outlaws 4, Border Tension 6, Dark Secrets 3 for Shadow Pond.

* * *

Now, I have my campaign ready to go and I can begin by taking my first turn. 

I could start at either of the villages, but Old Hill seems fine for now.

Funding for FiveCore 3.1

 While thoughts will soon turn to Squad Hammer, I want to do an update of an old Weasel classic: FiveCore skirmish in the fall and winter.

* * *

The goal for the update is as follows:

* Transfer the document to Pages and update it to the layout standards I currently use.

* General spot check for bad wordings, unclear rules, add a whole bunch more examples, diagrams, reorganize the book a bit to flow better etc.

* Introduce more options for the activation system, including "Five Men at Kursk" style dice, individual action options, fireteam activations etc.

* Points system for pick-up games.

* More straight-forward rules for vehicle damage (armor ratings etc.)

* Streamline the skill system to both make veteran troops easier to represent and cooler, but also avoid "boring" level ups and marginal skills.

* Revisiting weapons to make them easier to use, cooler, more distinctive etc. 

* Include examples of historical and scifi troops ready to use.

* Rules adjustments for play styles (cinematic, gritty etc.)

* * *

As with Renegade Scout, I'd prefer to not release a new book. It means losing all the old reviews and ratings, and it means everyone having to go get a new book as well as confusion about what edition people are using.

However, unless I can pay rent and make my car payments, I can't write games.

So I'd like to fund this the same as I did Renegade Scout: Through fan donations.

If you weren't here for the first round, it's quite simple: You guys send me money on paypal to make this game happen. No middle-men, no external websites. Just keeping it simple.

The goal is 500 dollars to guarantee everything above. 

If we don't hit that amount, I'll scale back the ambitions. 250 dollars is the absolute minimum level, but we'll hit that easy. We get more, I can spend more time on it. In an ideal world, I could just knock off for a month and only work on FiveCore. 

I get the money, the game happens and everyone simply gets to download a wicked new copy. 

If we get more, I have a bunch of ideas that could be done, but I'll reveal that as we get there.

* * *

How can you trust I won't just go to Haiti with the money? You'll have to take my word for it. 

I've released 40+ titles, done 8 or so crowd-funded updates to game rules, including the positively massive overhaul to Renegade Scout and released 3 games through indiegogo that all got released even though we didn't meet the goal.

But that's the beauty of it. You trust me and you want this to happen? Throw in 10 dollars or throw in 50. Whatever you feel comfortable with. 

You aren't sure yet? Throw in a couple of dollars to help it along. 

* * *

The time frame is that I will start the work in early or mid October and hopefully the game will be available at the end of November or in December. 

* * *

How do YOU make this happen?

Make donations through Paypal at nordicweaselgames@icloud.com 

Make sure to put in the description what it is for.

If Paypal is not an option for you or you don't feel secure using it, buy a "Pay what you want" NWG product and email me with your donation amount. Do note that I lose 30% of the amount that way, but if it that works better for you, we can work with that too.

Spread the word online. I know there's a lot of old FiveCore hands out there, and I know some of you scamps pirated the game the first time. You can cleanse your soul AND support the game now. 


Any questions? Ask below.

Tuesday, 22 September 2020

Five Leagues - Setting up a campaign - Step 1

 Today, we are going to take a look at creation of a warband and setting up our campaign. 

We will assume the standard challenge level, so we get 4 Heroes and 4 Followers.

All page references are as of version 1.02 and character creation begins on page 55.

* * *

The starting profile for all characters is the same:

Agility 1, Speed 4, Combat Skill 0, Toughness 3.

A basic combatant without a whole lot going for them.

We are going to start off with our heroes and roll on each of the four tables at the bottom of page 55.


Note that if we were making a Dwarf warband (from the supplement) we'd need to use their tables instead.

* * * 

Hero number 1:

We roll a 5, 12, 3 and 12 with our D20. 

That gives us +1 Combat Skill, no Will or Luck points, 2 Gold Marks and no skills. 

Fair, I guess our first character is a pretty straight forward soldier. The 2 Marks gets added to our overall party inventory. We don't have to track who has what money in their pockets.

Profile then is Agility 1, Speed 4, Combat 1, Toughness 3.

* * *

Hero number 2:

We roll a 14, 9, 10, 15.

That gives us +1 Toughness, no Will or Luck, 4 Gold Marks and no skills. 

We can use a buff looking miniature for this guy, since he's thick-headed but not otherwise notable.

Profile is Agility 1, Speed 4, Combat 0, Toughness 4.

* * *

Hero number 3:

The dice score a 2, 19, 18, 7.

That gives us +1 Agility, +2 Luck (lucky!), a Fine Weapon of choice and 1 Skill.

We roll D100 on the skill table on the next page and a 42 gives us Dodge. 

I am feeling this is shaping up to be a rogue of some sort.

Profile is Agility 2, Speed 4, Combat 0, Toughness 3. I note down 2 points of Luck.

* * *

Hero number 4:

I roll a 4, 8, 10, 3.

That's +1 Agility, no Will or Luck, 4 Gold Marks and a Skill. 

The Skill table is a 78, giving us Packing skill.

Profile is Agility 2, Speed 4, Combat 0, Toughness 3.

* * *
Selecting equipment:

I can give two of my Heroes a Quality weapon of my choice. Looking in the weapon chapter, I decide to pick a Bastard Sword for Hero 1 and a War Spear for Hero 2.

The remaining two Heroes can then receive a Basic weapon. I give Hero 4 a Self Bow while Hero 3 gets the Fine weapon I had rolled up. It'll just be a Standard weapon, like a sword.

Since I'm allowed to take a Basic weapon for each hero that didn't get a Quality weapon, I take another Standard weapon that will go in my inventory in case someone loses their weapon.

For armor, I kit out Hero 2 in Full Armor and Hero 1 in Partial armor. The other two get Light Armor. 

Hero 1 gets a Shield, Hero 3 gets a Helmet. 

* * *

Followers:

These all use the standard profile, so I just roll a D100 four times and I get 17, 33, 58, 86.

I have acquired myself a Stout Yeoman, a Wily Rogue, a Hopeful Youth and an Outcraft Drifter. 

I can give one of them a Self Bow + Light weapon which sounds like the yeoman. The rest get Standard weapons. For armor, I put the Hopeful Youth in Light armor, give Militia armor to the yeoman and drifter and no armor for the rogue (it'd cramp his style!).

* * *

Unusual background:

If I want, I can roll for an unusual background and assign it to one of my characters.

I opt to do so and get a 52, giving me a Driven Crusader. Sounds like Hero number 1 to me!

They get a point of Will and are now prohibited from fleeing a fight. Fair. 

* * *

Party resources:

So far, we have 10 Gold Marks and a spare sword lying around. 

I can roll 1D6+4 (since I have 4 Heroes) and take that much extra money, which lets me start with 7 more Marks for a total of 17. 

Lastly, I tally up two doses of Medical Herbs which goes in my backpack. 

* * *

Finishing touches:

I decide to go with Hero 3 for my Avatar, so they get 1 point each of both Will and Luck, bringing them to Will 1 and Luck 3. That should keep them around. I opt to make Hero 4 their Retainer.

Lastly, I roll for Story Points but only get a 2. Oh well. 

* * *

With that, my warband is ready to be played and the next step will be to set up a campaign area to fight in. 

Monday, 21 September 2020

Assorted updates

 First, a new pack is available for Five Parsecs, offering some rules options to tinker with, including AI dice rolls.

https://www.wargamevault.com/product/329383/Five-Rules-from-the-notebook-5-Parsecs-optional-rules

This was originally going to be folded into the Rules Compendium, but that needs some updating I think, so I'll try to merge them together later on.

There are some big Five Parsecs updates that I can't quite talk about yet, so I don't want to do anything too big right now.

* * *

If you have been holding off on printing Renegade Scout, go for it. I just uploaded a new version with a ton of typos corrected. A "HQ" version of the file is included which should have sharper images. If you are printing or just arent concerned with file sizes, use that one.


* * *

Some typos were corrected in Five Leagues as well. If you haven't downloaded a fresh copy in a while (or are looking to get that printed) go ahead and download the newest version there as well.

* * *

A few people have mentioned that they would like some tools to help get into the game: Quickstart guide, better reference sheets etc.

I am looking into options for that. For now, I'll note that https://www.wargamevault.com/product/323590/Every-journey-begins-on-a-road-A-Five-Leagues-expansion?src=hottest_filtered Every Journey Begins on a Road, includes a tutorialized start to the campaign, easing you into the game with a slightly smaller warband size. 

So that's a good place to start I think. 

Wednesday, 9 September 2020

Renegade Scout 3??? Well, no but read on

 While working on the RS2 update, there were a thousand ideas that got rejected for being too wild or would have pushed the game too far away from its inspirations.


So I thought I'd share a look at what THAT version might have looked like. Maybe down the road we'll have a spin-off.

Leader skill and Cool Under Fire merged into a single stat (Fighting Spirit?)

Intellect and Observation merged into a single stat.

Power probably just removed.

All stats balanced around 1 die roll tests, instead of some testing on 1 die and some on 2 dice.

All dice rolls changed and rebalanced to use a D8 (yes).

Morale tests changed to a FAD-style 2D8 test (pinned if one die fails, broken if both fails).

No phases. Instead when a unit activates, it takes 2 actions.


Probably a bunch more stuff, but that's off the top of my head.

Want to see this some day? Let me know. 

Monday, 31 August 2020

Renegade Scout 2.0 changes

Renegade Scout 2.0 overview of changes


With the new book finished rules-wise, I thought I'd take some time to talk about what the new changes actually entail. 

The actual update will be available as soon as I finish tinkering with, adding diagrams (yes!) and other polishing touches. This also means trying to catch as many bugs as possible. 

I can't give an exact time because if I do, I'll 100% get sick or the cat will build an illegal rocket ship or something else will happen. But as soon as humanly possible.


The below is an attempt to catch as many of the changes as possible, but there are a ton of little things you'll have to see for yourself. It is my hope this all helps make the game as fun and exciting to use, as well as (particularly) helping people get up and going faster.


Reorganization


The book has been reorganized to flow better and make more logical sense. 

Things are more clearly delineated as well and this should make it easier to print updated sections and swap them out in a binder or similar.


A ton of small tweaks have been made to make things easier to understand, use and play.

A starter scenario with pre-built forces and stat references is included as well. 


Principles


Squad size

The game now assumes 5 figure squads for infantry, fitting the type of games people were actually playing better.

There is nothing prohibiting you from using larger units, though I’d recommend that 10 figure squads are instead broken into two separate squads on the table. 


This should also make the game more accessible to new players. Two packs of 8 15mm figures will now give you 3 squads plus a spare figure to use as a leader.


Core game changes


Open formations

This is now a troop upgrade. Either the unit is capable of using it at no penalty or it lacks the ability. 

This change was mostly for the purpose of stream-lining. 


Spotting and sheltering

Spotting Personality figures is now at a -1 penalty.

The rules have been clarified to make it clear that vehicles cannot Shelter. 


Targeting changes

When shooting, a figure must now target a choice of the closest visible  infantry or vehicle target.

A Cool Under Fire test can be taken to select a more distant target. 

This change should both help anti-tank troops function a bit better, as well as making Cool Under Fire more desirable. 


Watch Fire

A form of reaction fire is now available, though it is marked as an optional rule.


Weapon changes

Several new weapons have been included, including ones seen before in supplements. 


A number of equipment items have had their rules adjusted to work better.


Most (but not all) base infantry rifle-type of weapons have had a Rifle Trait added.

When stationary and firing from cover, range is increased by +4”.


This isn’t a massive change, but it should reward slightly more realistic tactics as well as avoiding combat distances feeling quite so comic-book. 


The Ammo Feed rule has been removed.


All Slow weapons in infantry squads can benefit from an assistant, allowing the weapon to move and fire at a penalty. 


Blast weapons are now aimed at a target point on the ground and are not modified for cover. Instead, a saving throw is granted to troops in cover. 

From testing, this should feel more realistic in play.


Shooting Skill now reduces the scatter distance of Indirect Fire, making the training of your mortar crews a bit more important. 


Close combat rework.

The close combat system has been reworked to be faster and eliminate the alternating attack process.

The new system is a lot easier to manage, as well as generally making combat feel a bit more exciting and unpredictable. From testing, it also feels like the new system puts ranged and assault troops on more of an even footing.


Morale changes

Morale checks are now taken if you take any casualties in a phase.
A failed test due to shooting causes the unit to be Pinned (except at close range), while a failed test due to close combat causes the unit to Break. 

This is a relatively small change that greatly enhances the feel of the game. Troops can get bogged down in firefights, but to break them you have to get in close. 


The “Mob size” rule has been removed. 


Troops no longer remove figures from failed Rallying attempts. This also means the K’Erin have been given a new ability.


Hero saves

All Personality figures now have a minimum saving throw of a 1, regardless of how big a gun they got hit by. 


Command changes

Force Commanders are now called Commanders. Any army with 3 or more Squads receives one for free, without having to factor it into unit building. Simply nominate a Personality.


Platoon Leaders have been renamed to 2IC (2nd in command) and is automatically obtained if you have 5 or more Squads in your force.


Character upgrades

When upgrading a character, whether through the points system or campaign experience, Leader Skill, Cool under Fire, Wyrd Power and Intellect can now be upgraded twice each. 

This will allow leader figures to be a bit more usable, as well as allow Wyrd casters to come into their own more. 


Vehicle changes

The vehicle rules should be clearer and easier to use now. Over-runs in particular should be much clearer.


Walker pilots can always fire 2 weapons now.


Light vehicles have been included in the core rules now. 


The interaction of blast and flame weapons with vehicles are clearer and more logical now.


Vehicles now have hit locations, allowing mobility hits or even weak points to be struck.


Repairing damage mid-battle only requires 2 crew now but only critical hits can be repaired.


Supplemental changes


Command decisions

The Command Decision system has been rewritten to both be simpler as well as more dramatic on the table.


Jump troops

If a Jump unit fails its arrival roll twice, it must sit out the battle. 


Gathering troops

The optional rule to Gather Troops has been simplified and made more versatile. With smaller units as the norm, this makes it easier to regroup your forces or pick up lone stragglers. 


Scenarios

A section with easy ready-to-play scenarios have been included. 


The Battle Maker scenario generator is now included in the core rules. 


Infiltration


Infiltration scenarios are explained better and use a better method for determining if infiltrators get spotted.


Army building

The points system is now included in the core rules.


A comprehensive army builder is included, allowing you to create forces for pick-up games.


Notes are included on allied forces, allowing an army to include mercenary troops and advisors.


Strange places

The Elite Pack entries for Strange Worlds and Strange Planets are now included in the core rules. 


The Nirn

A new space dwarf troop type has been added, allowing you to take advantage of the various miniatures on the market. 


Experience changes

The campaign experience rules have been completely overhauled. Squads can now receive upgrades as well and the system should integrate easier into the concept of the Persistent Game.


A “War Fortune” system has also been added to grant one-time player benefits in Persistent Games. 



Assorted questions


How do you get the new version?


It will be available as a free download to customers very soon.

Once it is available, simply go into your Wargame Vault library and download the updated file. 


As this update was funded by the fans, you don’t have to pay anything else to get it, though I would highly encourage people to consider making a donation once they see the new game.

Any contributions can be made out to nordicweaselgames@icloud.com on Paypal.


Was any old content removed?


In cases where a system was updated (such as the new experience system or army building systems) the old version was taken out.


I opted to remove the old hobby sections, in the hopes of replacing them with updated versions in the future or doing a separate booklet about building Unified Space troops.


Finally the salvage system has been taken out, since I’d like to replace that with a much more in-depth system in the future, for that type of campaign..


The old version of the rules will be available for download as well, so people won’t miss out on anything.