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 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: 

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. 


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: 

Five Leagues 


and Scum of the Earth

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 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 

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. 

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. 

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 

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 

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.