Monday, 26 April 2021

Assorted news

 First, as you may have seen, Chrome Hammer Ascension is available. This is a fully solo-oriented campaign game featuring cyberpunks facing off against the mega-corps. Oh, and the CEO might be a dragon. 

Step into the realm of Cyber-Fantasy penned by Jason Smith. I know he is busy at work to improve the game reference sheets and other play aids as well.

* * *

Secondly I should have some updates and additions to Squad Hammer Core this week. Stay tuned folks.

The path to turning SHC into the best it can be continues.

* * *

Thirdly, Five Parsecs 3 has gone to the printer a while ago and now we're all waiting for everything to filter through the systems (printer proofs coming back, then the full run being done and going to distributors). Keen-eyed folks have spotted several retailer pre-orders but they tend to get snapped up fast so be on the look-out. 

* * *

On that topic, if you are playing the new game, you may have noticed that the enemy encounters are not super difficult. This is intentional, but if you want to help playtest a set of much tougher foes, email me and I'll share the playtest version of some updated enemy tables.

These are NOT meant as replacements for the rulebook tables (which are fine). They're meant for folks who want a much tougher experience against more complex versions of the regular enemies.

If you'd like to have a go at them and help the "elite enemies" be as fun as possible, hit me up at 

Monday, 12 April 2021

Bug hunt 1.02. Co op map campaigns!

 Following a suggestion from Nordic Weasel stalwart David, version 1.02 adds options to play a map based campaign with your friends. Perfect for folks who want to do something together but are in different cities or under lockdown, you can all participate in the same campaign together.

Simply download the game file again and off you go.

If you haven't bought our Five Parsecs intro game yet, it is a fun and easy bug hunting adventure, putting you and your troops up against hordes of terrible aliens.

Monday, 5 April 2021

5 Parsecs rules Q&A

This blog post will serve as a running Q&A as questions come up. Some are things that got missed, others are clarifications to questions or simply an insight into how the rules are meant to function.

Q: Okay smart guy, how exactly do Rumors work?

A: If you do not currently have an active Quest, Rumors are added to the roll in the "Resolve any Rumors" stage before a battle. This increases your chance of finding a Quest. 

Once you find a Quest, your Rumors are set to 0.

If you have an active Quest, all Rumors are assumed to be pertaining to the quest you are currently on. Each rumor adds +1 to the "Determine Quest Progress" roll in the post-battle sequence, meaning they increase your chances of finding the final battle. 

Once you finish the Quest, your Rumors are set back to 0. 

Q: How many guys am I fighting?

A: Specialists and Lieutenants are part of the total enemy number, not additional figures. 

For example if I encounter 6 villains, there'd be 4 basic opponents, 1 specialist and 1 lieutenant.

Unique Individuals are added to the number encountered. 

Q: Can I have more characters than my crew size? 

A: Yes, but the crew size you selected for the campaign is the cap to how many you can bring into a battle. So if you are playing a "4 crew" campaign and have 6 characters currently, you'd have to pick 2 to stay behind.

Q: Can I change campaign crew size later?

A: Up to you. I'd pay a Story Point to do so. 

Q: Some of the species specific rules differ between the species profiles when I create my character and when the rules are referenced later on, which is correct?

A: The species profile in the character creation chapter should always be the correct version.

Q: How often do I roll for Patron benefits, danger pay etc.?

A: Benefits are rolled when the Patron is first acquired and will never change. All other factors are job specific.

Q: If I duplicate a gun with mods or sights, what do I get?

A: To avoid things getting out of hand, the duplicator copies ONE item. So a modded gun will produce either a gun or a mod, not a modded gun. Sorry.

Q: What is an "adjacent terrain feature" for the purposes of defensive AI?

A: A feature within roughly one move. The idea is that the defensive AI will view nearby characters as supporting the feature with counter attacks.

Q: What is "Psycho" AI?

A: It should read Rampaging AI. 

Q: What does it mean when mods and sights cannot be added to "single shot" weapons?

A: It means they cannot be fitted to grenades or other disposable weapons (however much as a grenade with a laser sight seems appealing)

Q: How does the Hand Flamer work?

A: First resolve all Shots in the weapon profile (2) against the selected target (Focus). Then resolve 1 Shot against each target within 2" (Area).

A keen-eyed observer notes that technically the Area weapon rule already does this, without the need for the Focus trait.

Q: Bots and events

A: When rolling for exploration etc. events that do not affect Soulless generally do not affect Bots either. Apply your common sense here. 

Q: Do enemies with built-in weapons like claws count as Melee weapons (+2 dice bonus)?

A: Yes.

Q: Do characters with a pistol and melee weapon get a +3 bonus? 

A: No, you use the highest bonus. 

(p.45 Add +2 if carrying a Melee weapon OR +1 if carrying a Pistol weapon)  - Emphasis mine

Tuesday, 30 March 2021

Squad Hammer updates

 While all the focus is on hunting down typos in Five Parsecs glossy mega-cool edition, here is a small update for Squad Hammer Core:

The introduction of the Armored trait. This is a simple yes/no status that can be applied to any unit. Is it armored or is it not?

Likewise, unit firepower is now simply rated as being good, weak or no anti-armor capability. If it is good, you can fire at armored targets normally. If it is weak, you fire at -1 to hit. If a unit lacks anti-armor, they can still attempt firing but now do only 1 point of damage (incidental damage, suppressing etc.).

This should make it much simpler for people creating units on the fly. The sample units in the PDF have been updated as well. 


Wednesday, 24 March 2021

Five Parsecs new version FAQ

 As you have no doubt seen, Five Parsecs will be available from Modiphius in a glossy, hardcover book as well as hitting retail. This is super exciting but I know you all have a ton of questions!

So let me try to answer as many as possible, in no particular order.

Practical questions:

(With the caveat that detailed questions should go to Modiphius)

Who owns Five Parsecs now?

I still own it. Modiphius is publishing the new game, but I retain ownership of the IP. 

What do I get if I buy the book on pre-order?

The pre-order gets you an early copy of the PDF right away to peruse and start playing. This gives us another week or so to catch any last minute typos.

The books should print in about a month or so if all goes well.

Will there be a US shipping option?

I've been told that once the books go to the print in about a month or so, there will be a US-friendly shipping option for the pre-order which would save you a bit on shipping. 

You absolutely can order now to get the PDF ahead of time, but you'll pay a bit more for shipping.

Will there be a PDF only option? 

Once the books are printing, a stand-alone PDF will also be available. 

Will there be a retail version?

Some books are going into retail. I am not sure about numbers or through which distributors. 

What about the old material?

This new edition replaces the previous version. In essence, it is "3rd edition". As such, the old version and expansions are currently not available for sale (though it will remain available in your library on the Wargame Vault page. If you run into any difficulties with this, let me know). 

Bug Hunt is still available, serving as both an intro game and a standalone title.


As with most old titles I've done, the old material, including expansions, will be available again in a bundle, likely as Pay What You Want, but I need to go through it all to find out what is compatible with what and what is not. Some of the oldest packs were getting a bit long in the tooth and were already having compatibility issues.

Watch this blog for news.

Will X game also come to Modiphius?

Time will tell. The current deal is for Five Parsecs. 

What happens to Patreon now?

There will still be a 5P item each month. It will likely switch more towards scenarios rather than new rules, which is something I had been planning for a while in any event (and everyone likes more scenarios to play). 

New scenarios will be compatible with both 2e and 3e as much as possible, for as long as interest remains. 

Will there be new expansions from Modiphius?

This is planned yes. 

What did not change:

The game is still miniatures agnostic, allowing you to use any figures you have (or intend on getting), it still uses the same core game engine, the game play loop of Town - Battle - Rewards remains the same. In fact, if you were playing one of the last updates, your crew can probably transfer over pretty readily (but there's some exciting reasons to start a new crew). 

A number of rules have been tweaked and polished to remove some of the edge cases or just make things clearer. Notably armor is now handled by a saving throw, instead of a Toughness boost.  

There are a lot of little tweaks like that to ensure the game runs as well as possible while remaining the same game you've come to enjoy.

What got upgraded:

Well, the visuals for one: The new layout should be much clearer and easier to use as well as lavishly illustrated in a way that really brings Unified Space to life for the first time. 

* Pretty much every random table has been expanded: Results are better and more interesting now, entries that didn't work as well has been fixed up and there's more outcomes possible overall. This will also help long-term play as you'll have less duplicates. 

* This carries over to other things too: For example the game now has 36 weapon types and over 60 types of equipment, including gun sights and weapon mods! 

Equipment has also been reworked to be more interesting and exciting, cut down on overlapping items and fix any equipment rules that were a bit hard to use.

* Rules are now provided to play with a smaller base crew size, if you prefer using only 4 characters (for example). 

* Campaign victory conditions (with unlockable bonus ranks) and 5 difficulty settings are included. 

* There are now 16 types of mission objective, depending on the type of battle you are facing, giving your crew far more to do than just shoot the bad guys in the face. 

* 60 enemy types in total, with 22 personality types to lead them. All enemies have been touched up with bonuses, penalties or particular conditions to make them more interesting. 

All of the above should help make this the definitive edition of the rules BUT

What is new:

*Character creation now includes 6 types of alien character, robot characters and a total of 18 "oddball" character types. You can now have a proper space-opera crew. Each alien species has its own quirks and starting profiles taken from the Unified Space setting.

Additionally, these are fully integrated into the game. Many random events have different outcomes or effects if you have certain characters in your crew. 

*Your starship now enters the game as well. Ships can get damaged, requiring you to repair them (or risk a disaster), can have special traits and can be upgraded with any of 14 upgrades, from drop launchers to military fuel converters.

Your ship can even be impounded or blown to bits. 

*When traveling to a new world, a new starship travel events table is used. 

*Planets now have a random trait table, making each location more distinctive.

*A setting chapter is included, introducing the player to the world of Unified Space, as well as a very cool colony map to use as inspiration. The game is also fully part of the Unified Space setting, reflected in both random events and characters.

*A 7 step story-driven campaign is included to play through, pitting you against an old rival out to make your life miserable. 

* An optional set of random battle events allowing for more unpredictable and exciting battles.

*Options have been added for grid based gameplay on tiles, super-difficult Red Zone jobs and more.

*An extensive GM'ing and scenario section with rules for story connections between battles, 12 NPC profiles, mechanics for advancing plot points and faction conflict and a lot more. 

This section is also useful for people who want to flesh out the narrative connections between their battles and is perfect for people who would like to run the game more like an RPG, where a GM creates scenarios and the players fight the bad guys.

Five Parsecs From Home like you've never seen it before

 A day early but here we go:

The big project I've been alluding to is here: A glossy, full-color, lavishly illustrated and massively expanded version of Five Parsecs From Home is being published by Modiphius!

This beast of a book is over 180 pages, features absolutely gorgeous custom artwork and a ton of expanded material and new content. 

I'll have a thorough FAQ later today discussing the changes, what this means going forward and a bunch of other no-doubt burning questions.

For now, swing over to and grab your pre-order. You get a link to the early version of the PDF right away.

There should be a US shipping option in a month or so and a PDF only option once the book is going to print. You can still order it state-side right away but it will of course be a few extra bucks for shipping.

Five Leagues - Combat drags on?

If you feel that combat in Five Leagues drags on a bit too long, adopt the following house rule:

All Toughness scores are reduced by 1 in melee combat (but not when subject to ranged attacks, traps, hazards or any other source of danger).

That should speed things up a bit without breaking anything too badly. All other rules remain as normal.

Monday, 22 March 2021

Some news and a bit on Five Parsecs battle difficulty

First, some items have been taken down from the Wargame Vault to be reorganized. If there's something specific you are really hankering for, drop me an email and I'll get you figured out.

Secondly, the Five Parsecs campaign is designed to be a little on the easier side, once you have a crew up and running. This is intentional to prevent frustration and to allow shorter campaigns to be viable, but once you have some ability score increases and good gear, things can get rather too easy.

Future material will add "canned" scenarios and tougher enemy types to fight against, as Five Parsecs transitions into a model closer to that of Five Leagues.

Before we can get there though, let's look at some ways you tweak the game. You can use one or more of these options, depending on what you feel fits your game the best.


If you enjoy the current level of "stuff" going on in the game but want to be a little more strapped for resources, make any (or all) of the following adjustments:

Upkeep costs: Your captain is free. Pay 1 Credit for the 2nd, 3rd and 4th crew together. Pay 1 Credit for every crew past 4. 

Experience awards: Use the following values for XP after a battle:

Became a casualty               0 XP

Survived, crew fled             1 XP

Survived and held the field 2 XP

Killed Unique Individual    +1 XP to killer

Crew completed a Quest     +1 XP to captain.

XP are no longer awarded for the first casualty.

Adjusted upgrade table:

Reactions    Cost 8     Max 4

Combat        Cost 8    Max +3

Speed        Cost 5    Max 8"

Savvy        Cost 5    Max +5

Toughness    Cost 8    Max 5

Luck        Cost 10     Max 3

Battle difficulty

If you prefer tougher opposition, the following options can be applied:

Actually specialized:

Specialist opponents have a minimum Combat Skill of +1 and minimum Toughness of 4.


Lieutenants receive a 5+ saving throw against any weapons strike. A successful save prevents damage.


The base roll for a Unique Individual to be present is 7+, instead of 9+. Enemies that cannot be accompanied by a Unique Individual still roll, increasing the Combat Skill and Toughness of any one enemy figure by +2 each (to a maximum of Combat Skill +4, Toughness 6)

Movement all over the place

If you enjoy the idea of fighting a large number of enemies, like a true space hero, adopt this option:

At the beginning of turn 2, roll up a second enemy encounter against the same enemy type. If the first encounter group included a Unique Individual, do NOT roll for one in the second group.

Divide this second group into three teams of roughly equal size.

If you clear the table of enemies at the end of a game turn, the battle ends immediately with your victory. Any teams off-map do not arrive.

At the start of game turn 3, randomly select one team that arrives on the table from a random table edge other than your own.

At the start of game turn 4, randomly select a second team to arrive from a random table edge other than your own or the edge used in turn 3.

Finally, at the start of game turn 5, the last team arrives at the last table edge not used in turns 3 or 4.

For each arrival, 1D6 is rolled. On a 6, the arriving team is delayed. It will roll against next turn. No more than one team may attempt to arrive each turn, causing all waiting teams to be pushed back a turn when this happens.

So there

I hope these options sound fun. If you are truly mad, consider using all of them.

Best wishes

Ivan Sorensen

Saturday, 20 March 2021

Watch this space


Things have been a little quiet for a while, with a number of projects being pushed out or delayed. 

There has been a reason for that and that reason should be revealed next week as one of the biggest projects NWG has ever done, as well as finally getting us something that a lot of people have been asking for ...pretty much as long as I have been doing this thing.

I suppose a fair first question is... how far are you from home?

Wednesday, 3 March 2021

Five Leagues Skill Compendium + KPS 1.07

 Blog post a few days late, but the Skill Compendium for Five Leagues is available, offering a comprehensive list of all 2nd edition 5L Skills, including clarifications on both individual skills and their use in general.

Quite a few people have asked for this to make their lives easier, so I am happy to oblige. Included are also 4 new skills for Follower level characters.

Additionally, KPS version 1.07 is out now and available to download. This features the following changes:

* Fighters dying no longer forces a Bravery test (after all, they're expected to die horribly).

* Groups now test Bravery when they are reduced to 1 man left (which should make 3 figure groups a bit more fragile).

* Since it caused confusion to no end, I have clarified the rules for individual figures (to basically align with how most people were in fact playing it): Individuals do NOT belong to a troop class. However they can be given a bow as an upgrade. Currently that doesn't affect their stats in any way but does add a point or two to their cost. 

Friday, 19 February 2021

FiveCore 4 first look. Actions

 It may not come as a surprise that the default dice mechanic will be "Kursk Dice" also known as the "Man to man" option in the 3rd edition rulebook.

Essentially, you will roll your handful of action dice and assign each to a single figure or a group of up to 3, who will then act according to the die issued.

1's will Scurry, allowing them to move without attracting reaction fire.

6's will Quick Fire, allowing them to shoot without attracting reactions.

Other dice will move and fire normally, but will cause reactions to be incoming. 

In a typical squad-level fight, you will have 3 action dice but it can of course be scaled up for larger actions. This means each turn moves quite quickly.

Tuesday, 16 February 2021

FiveCore 4 and rules. First look

 Over the next days and weeks, I am going to talk a bit about what specific mechanics of FiveCore 4 will look like. 

We are starting with something very simple: Characters on the table.

FiveCore players are familiar with the concept of "a soldier is a soldier" meaning that a basic combatant does not require any stats or rules, since the game system already tells us what will happen.

With 3rd edition, the idea of Benefits was introduced to add bonuses to certain rolls, along with the more detailed mechanics of the skill and level system.

For 4e, we're getting rid of that since in most cases a +1 movement bonus or whatever is not all that interesting.

Instead, we will have a default set of 9 core skills which any figure can have, each having a particular effect. 2 of these are actually flaws, 1 is used to denote leader figures and the remaining 6 affect game mechanics. 

These will all be fairly significant in game terms and can be used to create specialists, elite squads or superior characters. For example a Runner can Dash and still fire normally, while a Brave character can attempt to rally without requiring an activation to be spent. 

A character with one of these skills (excepting the two negatives) is considered to be Level 1, a character with two of them is Level 2 and so forth. A highly trained assassin might be a Brawler and Independent, making them a Level 2 character. 

In a pick up game, you can simply give each side a set amount of levels to hand out, such as a Level 2 and a pair of Level 1 characters. Then players can simply pick the skills they would like. Campaign games will of course be able to award them over the course of multiple battles as well.

Tuesday, 9 February 2021

The 5X series and swapping out parts

 Over the years, I've seen all manner of interesting emails, blog posts and so forth, discussing replacing parts of the 5X system with an aspect from another game.

For the purpose of this discussion, I'll focus on Five Leagues. I've seen or heard from people replacing the combat mechanics with Thud&Blunder, Song of Blades&Heroes and even a very ambitious Rangers / Five Leagues mash-up. I'd be shocked if there wasn't a Mordheim / Leagues mash-up out there. 

While I always try to provide for a fairly modular structure, I think it's super interesting that people have been able to do so with relatively little difficulty. Of course, you have to adapt things like experience and rewards, but if you are already on the road of writing your own mash-up game, that's no great challenge. 

Of course, it's difficult to tell which mash-ups comes from someone being unhappy with the Leagues combat system, versus someone being unhappy with the campaign in the other system. Or they just wanted to see what would happen, which is a very "gamer" thing to do!

In any event, I fully support it and I think it's really cool. Definitely let me know if you get up to anything like this. 

Friday, 5 February 2021

Renegade Scout 2.05

 Version 2.05 of Renegade Scout is available, adding the following tweaks. The Army Builder includes these changes, the standalone Elite builder will be updated over the weekend.

* Armor points values have been adjusted up a little bit to better reflect their value. 

Combat, Drop trooper armor raised by 1 point.

Heavy armor raised by 2 points.

Assault and Breach armor raised by 4 points.

* Troop types:

Cost of Enforcers, Field Agents and Hulkers have been raised by 2 points.

Cost of Soulless has been raised by 1 point.

Cost of Mutants and Horde has been lowered by 1 point.

* Weapon mounts:

Vehicles can mount hull-mounted guns limited to a 90 degree field of fire. The points costs in the army builder have been adjusted down roughly 10% to account for this. 

* * * * *

These tweaks are not massive changes, but they should help bring troops a bit more into line with how they relate to each other. I'd rather make a small change and then go back to increment it more, than make a huge adjustment and then realize it has to be walked back.

For example, Hulkers may still be under-costed by a little bit, but this will help tweak it.

If you have opinions or thoughts on the values of assorted weapons and items, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Friday, 29 January 2021

Five Parsecs Mind Bullets v2

 With a year of additional testing and player feedback, an update to Mind Bullets is available

This adds psionic characters to the Five Parsecs campaign, with 10 abilities possible. It also includes the option to add psionic enemies and both options can be used independently if you prefer to just use one or the other.

The rules are integrated into the campaign sequence and should be clearer, easier to use and more polished, compared to the original beta version. 

There is no need to restart your campaign and they should work with any version of 5P, as long as it has the 1.12 "Expanded" enemy tables instead of the old single-table enemy list. 

Tuesday, 26 January 2021

Squad Hammer Core - Update

 Release 1.02 adds scenario generation to the Squad Hammer Core rules. 

This is based on the original generator in the Squad Hammer v1 rules, but polished up and improved based on feedback and playtesting. In particular, "unit objectives" ended up being awkward and leading to a lot of shenanigans, so I opted to remove those.

Rules can be obtained below

Wednesday, 20 January 2021

Two small Renegade Scout updates

 A small update adds the text for the Bulky weapons trait to the list in the rulebook (it was omitted on accident).

Additionally, the Army Builder has had the Damper field added to the items selectable for Personality figures. The intention with not putting every piece of kit in the army builder is to offer a bit of a curated experience. That way, things can balance out over time, rather than trying to do everything at once.

Of course, everyone wants their coolest Personality figure to stay alive and the Damper field helps with that: It only protects against Blast and Flame weapons, but reduces their Impact by one point and sets their AP to 0, making them relatively survivable.

Of course it provides no protection against a 30mm autocannon round to the face, so hey.

Wednesday, 13 January 2021

Five Leagues Character Compendium

Available to patrons through that site and for everyone else here the Character Compendium is a compilation of the four existing character packs into one book.

As monthly support results in a lot of stuff being out there, several fans have asked if we could get some of them merged into a single book, which seemed eminently reasonable.

This combines the Sooth Sayer, Character pack 2 (extra heroes), 3 (animal companions) and 4 (hired helpers) into a single volume. 

Additionally, this seemed like a good time to revisit the rules based on feedback and additional play experience and tweak some things. Some hero skills were redone, but mostly it's fairly minor stuff to just make them work better.

In order to make it more exciting, I decided to add a bit of new content as well, so the package features 2 new hero types, 1 new animal companion and a new spell caster. This also means that the Sooth Sayer mechanics are basically the template for magician-type characters in the rules. Go forth and make many more.

If you just picked up all the original packs in the sale, you don't have to rush out and get this one. Get some mileage out of what you already have and then upgrade later. While we always try to make expansions support and work with each other, the rules will never rely on you owning a specific expansion pack. 

If you are a "core rules only" kinda guy, make sure you have downloaded the most up to date version, especially if you haven't in a while. Some pretty substantial additions took place last year, including much-improved Wounding rules, the new Contract system and much more. 

Monday, 4 January 2021

Two rules updates

 Renegade Scout

The combat rules have been clarified that when firing at a squad in varying degrees of cover, hits are allocated to the closest figure in the least cover. 


One K'Erin is standing in the open while the rest of his squad is behind a barricade. Even if he isn't the closest squad member to the shooter, he'll still get hit first.

Where Sten Guns Dare

After a thorough course in marksmanship, shooting at targets in cover now counts any die of 5+. Shooting at targets in the open now counts dice of 4+ AND if you are within 12" you get a bonus die.

Friday, 1 January 2021

2020 in hindsight. What we did, what we didn't, what we wanted and what we couldn't


2020 is past us and it's time to be a bit introspective right?

So with a cup of coffee going, let's have a look at what Nordic Weasel did this year, what we did not do and so forth.

What didn't end up happening?

Quite a few projects did not work out as initially anticipated or are delayed. This is always something that happens for any number of reasons, but I have concluded it is better to be open about them.

These are:

From Shako to Coalscuttle v2, Squad Hammer content and Laserstorm v2

These were farmed out to volunteers and had to be delayed or cancelled through no fault of the volunteer.  This is a risk no matter if I do something myself or someone else does. Sometimes you just get mired in a project or life strikes and you have to move on and I don't blame the volunteers one bit. 

The army builder work for Squad Hammer has taken far longer, as I keep being unhappy with the result. Stay tuned. 

FiveCore 3.x

Under development but turned out to be much more time-consuming than expected. This is a game I absolutely want to have be as cool and creative as possible, so a lot of things get tried and rejected. Soon. 

The real challenge is that I want it to scale up to platoon level, without sacrificing the skirmish elements. I thought I had it nailed but the more I test it, the more I suspect not. It's possible I may say BEEP it and stick to squad level as it was intended though, which would certainly simplify things.

Wow, that's a lot of stuff!

Yeah, it is. Then again, it's not. There's at least 2 more stand-alone games I started working on behind the scenes and abandoned when I realized they weren't going to have what it took. 

I just thought you might like a bit of a peek into the shots that miss.

So what did happen this year?

Well, quite a lot really. 

I've kept a pretty solid release schedule for both Five Parsecs and Five Leagues, with monthly content, as well as several expansion packs for Renegade Scout and Five Klicks

We released five games, all of which have been very well received:

Chrome Hammer by the phenomenal Jason

Knyghte Pyke and Sworde

Five Klicks From the Zone

The 2nd edition of Renegade Scout

Ballad of the Longbow

On top of that, Five Leagues received some major updates to make the game the best it's ever been, KPS received a huge visual overhaul as well, countless smaller updates happened to fix vague rules or to improve things here and there.

That's a pretty solid record for the year I should think. I think KPS and RS2 are some of the best games I've ever done personally, though of course everyone has their own favorites and opinions. 

Bigger picture stuff

More importantly, 2020 felt like Nordic Weasel is becoming a household name. I've seen more and more references to our games as recommendations, things people say they are playing etc. in online discussions. I've seen my games suggested alongside "big brand" titles like Flames of War or Rangers of Shadow Deep and how wild is that? 

I also scored a gig consulting for a big-name project for a big-name publisher, though that's still hush-hush as far as the details.

And of course, we got featured in the Bundle of Holding! That was both a huge boon to us financially, helped score a bunch of money for a worthy charity and helped expose literally thousands of people to my games. An absolutely incredible experience and one I am incredibly grateful for.

In many ways, Nordic Weasel is a single person project, but of course all of this has also relied on fans, friends and volunteers to help spread the word, catch bugs and generally support things. So you can all take pride in what we've achieved in spite of being (or maybe because of being) the scrappy underdog (Underweasel?)

In short, it feels like NWG is on the precipice of something pretty cool and the next steps are open to be taken. I often get emails asking if I am planning on doing this or that thing to get bigger and the answer is always "Yes, eventually". 

I tend to be fairly risk-averse, which has stood me well so far, but of course it's also easy to pass an opportunity by.

Things I probably won't do again

Personal things

All things considered, we came through 2020 okay. We avoided getting the virus and we did not lose work or anything else. I can obviously work from home, while my wife was sent to work from home by her office. So we were comfortable enough, though being at home so much has been a bit of a mental stress, with family medical issues dogging us but as we're starting the new year, we all feel pretty well prepared and resolved to move on. 

We've also finally reached a point where we are not exactly floating in money but a lot of the financial stress is behind us, and we can focus on better things, as well as eliminating the last debts.

We had a great sorrow as Mittens passed away, while the new cat Lancelot is a bundle of joy and love. Scruffy still hangs in there, doing his best to become a fat old cat. We're all thankful that after a bit of a health worry with eating, he is rebounding good and seems to be in good shape for his age. 

One man band means only two hands

One thing that has become abundantly clear this year is that I am starting to push up against the limitations of what one person can reasonably achieve.

I've released some absolutely killer games this year, as well as a rash of fun expansion packs on a pretty regular schedule. I think you'll agree that while we're not doing big glossy books, Renegade Scout 2 and KPS (after the update) are both some of the best-looking games I've done. 

However, it has also been a pretty strenuous schedule and the lack of time to do everything I'd like to do i becoming abundantly clear. Things like scenario books, doing a "weasel-zine", supporting more fan material, updating old games to new and improved standards, expand smaller games to big lovely books, help people get published and so on and so on, while maintaining the current schedule of providing improvements to existing titles, new expansion packs and a few new games in the new year as well.

I just can't do all of that on my own. There's been talk of branching into a proper family business, but there's a gap between what I earn currently and what we'd need to earn to remain above water, relying purely on this job. 

Taking on freelancers has happened in the past and will in the future, but comes with its own drawbacks. Often, this can be as much work as writing it yourself, though it does save time in general and more importantly gets fresh ideas into the mix. Additionally of course it adds another failure point: If either person gets mired or has something happen in life, the project halts.

Still, I am excited to work with people I admire and respect to create new, cool gaming ideas and there are still a number of projects happening behind the scenes (some held up by my own schedule unfortunately).

I suppose the obvious answer is to expand with a co-writer but that's something thats a bit easier said than done. The qualities required is a person who can write well, understand game design, meshes with the "Weasel ideology" of gaming, understands the system in question, can take directions well AND work independently and most importantly has the time and commitment needed. Not exactly a small task!

Still, these are solvable problems, they just require a careful look at things and finding out how to proceed. 

I think 2021 is poised to be an incredibly exciting year for Nordic Weasel Games and I am super excited for all of you to share in that with me. I want to make clear that the problems I describe are GOOD problems to have. It means people pay attention and people want to see more cool games. That's a good place to be. 

It means we carved out a corner of the gaming universe and you folks all helped make it a reality.