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. 

Enjoy!

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!

https://www.modiphius.net/products/five-parsecs-from-home




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.

EDITED FOR CLARIFICATION SINCE I AM BAD AT WORDS:

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 https://www.modiphius.net/products/five-parsecs-from-home 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.

Stargrind

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.

Armored:

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

Leadership:

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.

https://www.wargamevault.com/product/348567/Five-Leagues-Skill-Compendium

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.