Thursday, 29 July 2010

Changing the way we play? - Mouse Guard and Burning Wheel

I can't help but be intrigued by what I've read about Mouse Guard. I dismissed it intitially - who wants to play mice? - and moved on, but then I read about the interesting mechanics involved over at WrathOfZombie's blog, and how they'd been applied to Pathfinder. And then I went in search of more info, and read through all of the Chatty DM's Mouse Guard experience over at CriticalHits...

Friday, 23 July 2010

In space, no one can hear you go BOOOOOOM!

First proper Starmada game last night - four-way free-for-all, 2000 points a piece - and it was immensely good fun!

The ACEF faced off against Dave's Russians, Mark's unnamed aliens, and Nath's from-the-back-of-the-quickstart-rules fleet 'cos his models haven't arrived yet. We had plenty of space as we were playing on 1" hexes, so Mark and I had the range advantage at the start. My plan was to hang back, pounding the enemy with rocks from a distance, while sending my minelayers and bombers forward to keep them at range...

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Is Your Games Life A Secret?

I have played for many years but if you were to ask some of the people that I have known for years they would have no idea of my gaming interest. For instance I currently work nights but I’ve arranged to have Thursdays off work each week for my regular RPG group, my co-workers know nothing about why I have this day off due to my strict if they don't ask then don't tell them, but why the secrecy?

Monday, 19 July 2010

Summer Projects

The main project for development over the summer is VIRUS (Variable Index Roll Under System) as an RPG system. I've found I like d% roll-under systems, but have always had a dislike for the arbitrary +/- modifiers - attributed to the fact that I'm terrible at mental arithmetic so it tends to make my head hurt, even under d20.

VIRUS is an expansion of THOGS that I developed... last year? It was fun to play, and worked the way I wanted it to, which was surprising! Sadly, it was overly complex and ruined by cheating, and VIRUS is being designed to counter those flaws. I'll be attempting to combine the (random) primary and secondary stats I loved from HarnMaster, DnD style "powers" or techniques, wound tracks as opposed to hit points, tiered skill trees and defaults for untrained skills, and intuitive difficulty scaling. Wish me luck!

Fantasyfish's First Post

Tom has asked us other members of our Games Group to chip in here on Plastic Polyhedra and so here goes. I thought that my first post should tell you something about myself and the games background that I have.

I consider myself as a veteran role player with something like twenty five years of gaming under my belt, having been both player and DM in various games through the years. I started out with AD&D way back and fell in love with the game instantly from the first die rolls playing mostly Fighters as I recall, then moving on to Clerics and Paladins. Around 1992 I was part of a new games group of six players that met weekly and it is this group that still exists in one form or another until today (sadly with only two original players). Our weekly games group now stands at four regular players and maybe two or three lapsed gamers, I would prefer another two players as five is much more stable group but really more the merrier in my book.

I have been the DM more than played in recent years and even went so far as to write a variation of 3rd Edition D&D, but now I have less time and we have Tom who seems to be a keen game runner so I've kind of been coasting as a player (man is that a lot less work or what?) Tom has run a few systems and although they haven't stuck with the players as yet I think all he just needs to do is find a system he loves and can infuse us with his infectious game style of his.

Making characters personality driven rather than by Stats is my aim in games and I have had some good ones and like most people and a couple of great ones that pop up in the odd round table story. In the past couple of months I've played a smelly camel driver, a goth girl, an evil scheming wizard, a fat Greek smuggler, and lately a foul mouthed female gunfighter.

My new campaign is going to be based on the shared world that we just stated originally for our ill fated 4e D&D game using the Fantasy Craft rules system that I really like. So I will mostly likely post about this system in the future or one of the many war games that I am into. As for war games I have forces for far too many games to mention, but Starmada is the current project that is sucking up my spare cash.

Sunday, 18 July 2010


Well, I've been playing around with the layout last night until I finally got one I liked (ish) and am hoping to do some tag-weeding later on as there are s few with only one post...

Have also signed up a couple of my gaming group as authors, hope to hear more from them too!

Return to RPG-dom?

Multipurpose purchase possibility: Battlestations!

Originally spotted when I was looking around for a board to play Starmada on, which it has, Battlestations is a pulp sci-fi RPG/boardgame hybrid that actually looks like it might fit our short-term filler-game needs as well...

Friday, 16 July 2010

The Vraaaken are coming.........

Sir, i've got something on the long range scanner. It's Firing! Brace for Impa....................

Monday, 12 July 2010

Starship design - doctrines and colour schemes...

Not my fleet - sadly - but some very nicely painted NSL ships from GZG's gallery pages. I'm still considering a red colour scheme, but possibly sticking to a more traditional wet-navy feel, and these are the best I've seen yet.

The ACEF (Aresian Colonial Expansion Force) has grown out of the old Colonial Defence Force after Mars won its independence from Earth. The combined Earth fleet was repelled by enormous surface-mounted mass drivers flinging red boulders into space - and now the ACEF ships utilise the same technology to decimate enemy fleets from afar. Each of the mid-size ships is essentially a spine-mounted accelerator with engines and a few defensive broadside guns, with the larger ones sporting multiple mass drivers, support facilities, and combat squads for boarding. Corvettes are currently being fitted up as minelayers to keep the enemy at range.

ACEF ships have low shield factors, but the gravitational fields generated by the mass drivers interfere with enemy sensors and the ACEF are keen to exploit this, boosting their disruptive effect. (In game terms, all ACEF ships with mass drivers have countermeasures and stealth, meaning they can't be hit at long range and only with two cumulative -1 modifiers closer than that. Ouch.)

In short, they're intended for long-range destruction - and will struggle to stay afloat if they're hit, as well as being susceptible to fighter attacks. My next fleet will likely be fighter heavy in contrast, as I've seen an amazing fighter carrier on Brigade Models' starship pages...

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Starmada: First Impressions

Not that this is a proper review or anything, but we had our first bash at Starmada this week, and I have to say I'm impressed. Dave's thoughts are here, if you're interested.

My fleet of GZG Neu Swabian League ships are offworlders in our universe, the Aresian Colonial Expansion Force (ACEF) from the rebel Martian colonies. My design doctrine for the ships was inspired by the models - they all sported powerful long-range spine mounted mass drivers firing in a narrow forward arc, and short-ranged tracer firing broadside batteries. I have to say that setting up these weapons - with all the special rules required - in Starmada was a breeze, and much more satisfying than designing ships in Full Thrust. See the image below for the auto-generated printable sheets for the Battleship:

Dave's fleet weren't fully statted - but he has painted his, at least! - so he used my designs too, although he has interesting plans: His American force are going to be more high tech, as befits the beautiful Brigade American Republic models, with configurable screens instead of shields, with his Russians (ESU ships from GZG again) being armour plated, and fast enough to get in close and swarm my ships with Spetsnatz boarding parties... All of which should be a doddle to set up under the rules - I'm impressed.

Movement rules take a while to get the hang of - but are much faster to play than Full Thrust's - and the combat involves throwing handfuls of d6s, which is awlways fun. Damage tracking is pretty easy, and the various options offered by the custom weapons actually made a difference too. Mass drivers need to be much more devastatingly powerful! Muhahaha!

Roll on next week!

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