tag:nordicweasel.posthaven.com,2013:/posts Nordic Weasel Games 2024-07-19T00:00:06Z Ivan Sorensen tag:nordicweasel.posthaven.com,2013:Post/2123283 2024-07-13T18:23:12Z 2024-07-19T00:00:06Z Miniatures gaming is not an expensive hobby

An area of particular interest to me is people who have an interest in miniatures gaming and might well be interested, but who are discouraged for this or that reason. So I wanted to talk a bit about some of those discussions and what my take is, possibly in a series of posts.

Please note that this has nothing to do with persuading people who are not interested at all, it is aimed at an audience who are or might well be interested, but who are concerned about a specific issue. 

It is also not applicable to every possible situation in the universe, so let's be reasonable.

Lastly it is intended to address common arguments I see made, in the interest of accuracy. 

Anyways, the most common objection I see is that miniatures gaming is too expensive / an expensive hobby.

This I cannot agree with for the simple reason that I began miniatures gaming when I had almost no disposable income and did much of my most energetic gaming during periods where my income for miniatures was extremely limited.

When I lived in Portland, we played a ton of miniatures gaming, particularly Nuts, Crossfire and Stargrunt 2. In all three cases I supplied the miniatures for both sides. 

Here is what armies for all three games cost me (using todays prices, not 15 years ago): 

Stargrunt 2: We played in 15mm. The figures in question were a mish mash of stuff but several squads from GZG were used. 

For a platoon sized game, you need 3 squads for each side and the GZG 15mm figures come in packs of 8. Looking at their website right now, it looks like 3.6 pounds per pack of 8 so that is 28.8 pounds for two armies. You will probably want to grab an extra pack for each so you might have a mortar team or a few officers, so let's call it an even 36 pounds. 

Crossfire: Again played in 15mm. I based mine with 3 figures to a base. I ended up buying two of the Battlefront platoon packs since that was more than plenty figures to fill out two battalions for Crossfire. 

Looking online, it looks like prices are all over the place but 20 dollars for a platoon seems average. We will want a few extra bits like some machine gun teams and my choice at the time was to fill in extra stuff with Peter Pig minis, which are 6.75 per pack of 8 from Brookhurst hobbies in the US. If we say 2 platoon packs and 4 extra packs of Peter Pig, we come in at around 65 dollars.

Nuts: This is even easier because we played with 1/72 scale plastics (though if you built the armies above, odds are you would have enough left over to mount up a squad or two for skirmishing).

A box of 1/72 scale plastic figures will cost between 10 and 15 dollars at the good folks over at Michigan Toy Soldier Company, so for both sides (and with more figures than you would ever know what to do with) you are probably below 30 dollars.

Conclusion:

Now this is omitting terrain since I am assuming if you are highly price sensitive, you are going with paper and felt or DIY'ing from scraps, but if you want throw in another 100 dollars on top of this to get a fun table setup with some stuff. 

That puts you at somewhere around 30 dollars on the cheapest to below 200 dollars at the high end to get started. As noted this is for fielding TWO armies so it is a complete play set. If you are doing this with a friend, halve the expense and then spend the rest on buying yourself a starter paint set.

Is that expensive? Well, that depends on the person but I think we can agree that this is hardly insurmountable.

(and this is omitting that you can play miniatures games with paper minis, on a virtual tabletop or any number of other solutions, but I am focusing here on what people usually mean when they say miniatures game). 

But but but:

When I have had this discussion in the past the objection usually comes as some sort of "but I want to play Warhammer 40.000".

Sure. If the only game you want to play is an expensive game, then it is an expensive start. But then the discussion should be "is Warhammer 40.000 expensive?", not "is Miniatures gaming expensive?". 

Your turn:

Is miniatures gaming expensive? What does your other hobbies cost? Sound off in the comments if you like.

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Ivan Sorensen
tag:nordicweasel.posthaven.com,2013:Post/2122345 2024-07-09T16:33:39Z 2024-07-09T16:33:39Z Catalogue retrospective: FiveCore Skirmish

Today a bit of a quick look at the back catalogue, particularly because it is a game I am currently working to update. 

https://www.wargamevault.com/product/144009/FiveCore-3rd-edition-Skirmish-Gaming-Evolved


FiveCore was initially an attempt to make a generic version of the core engine from Five Men in Normandy but grew into its own game (and becoming bigger in size than its ancestor at that). 

FiveCore revolves around two specific ideas: The first is to reduce the use of dice modifiers. Instead you roll a handful of dice when attacking and look for 1s and 6s. They are divided into Shock and Kill dice, the former replacing the need for morale tests and the latter determining actual hits. The idea is that a single roll of the dice gives you all the information you need: Did we hit anybody? Is anybody running away now? Since results spill over, this works quite elegantly. If I roll a kill and a morale result, the guy I shot at is killed and his nearest buddy is now running away. 

The turn sequence is the other part that really catches peoples attention, and occasionally runs into objections. When it is your turn to play you roll a D6. A 2-5 means you activate normally. In the updated version this will be figures equal to the die roll. These can move and fight as you see fit. The enemy can perform reaction fire, which mostly produces Shock dice. 

On a 1 you "scurry". This means all of your characters can move, but cannot shoot. The enemy can then countermove if they saw you moving.

On a 6 a "firefight" breaks out. You are stuck in place but everybody gets to shoot, then the enemy gets to respond. 

The mechanic is meant to show how at times you do not have complete control over things. Sometimes you want to move, but the battle bogs down in a gun battle or your men spot an opening and you can finally get that exposed group back into cover. 

The game offers many more features including solo guidelines and material for campaign play. It is aimed at 20th century conflicts but some alien/magical abilities are included though this is not the strength of the system. Near-future stuff works fine though. 

Why not give it a look? 

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Ivan Sorensen
tag:nordicweasel.posthaven.com,2013:Post/2122163 2024-07-08T21:10:09Z 2024-07-08T21:10:10Z Renegade Scout combat example

Today's example is for Renegade Scout. 

I trust most will be familiar with how 40K combat works, so we can examine this by looking at how it differs though I will try to explain in details for those not familiar.

Step 1 - Firing basics

We have a squad of soldiers (standard Unity Grunts) firing at a rebel unit consisting of similar troops. 

For the purpose of combat we need to know that they have a Shooting Skill of 3 and a Defense of 3.

Being a high-tech sort of outfit, the squad has 4 soldiers with laser rifles and 1 soldier with an auto laser. They are all wearing Light armour with an Armour rating of 2. 

They are 10" from their rebel targets putting them within close range for both weapons (Laser rifles have a close range of 15", long range of 30" while the auto laser reaches to 20" and 40" respectively). Lasers do not have a hit modifier due to range. 

Laser rifles have the Rifle trait which increases their long range by 4" when stationary but that won't matter here.

Step 2 - Number of attacks

We get one attack die for each laser rifle. The auto laser receives Sustained Fire which gives us 3 attack dice. 

Step 3 - Roll to hit

As the rebels are skulking in some bushes they are in Light Cover which is the only hit modifier. This means our Shooting Skill is modified down to a 2, so we have to roll a 1 or 2 on 1D6 to hit.

Rolling the dice for the rifles we get a 1, 2, 4, 5 so 2 hits. The Auto Laser rolls a 1, 5, 6 so 1 hit. If we had rolled a pair of 6s the gun would also have jammed. 

Step 4 - Roll for damage

This is quick. Since the Impact of the rifles is the same as the Defense score (3 in both cases) a roll of 1-3 will inflict damage. We had 2 hits so I roll and get a 2 and a 3. Both hits inflict damage.

The Auto laser has a higher Impact value (4) so a 1-4 inflicts damage. A 3 means it is another damaging hit. 

Not that it does not matter how much higher the Impact is. It is always a 1-4.

Step 5 - Armour

The basic roll required is equal or below the Armour rating (a 2) to deflect the hit, but laser rifles have an AP rating of 1, meaning the Armour rating is reduced by 1. The dice come up 1 and 5 so one hit is deflected and the other is a casualty.

The Auto laser has an AP of 2 so it blows right through the Armour. 

Step 6 - Remove casualties

Easy enough here. The two targets closest to the attacker are removed as casualties. 

Step 7 - Test Morale

At the end of the Fire Combat Phase the rebels will have to test Morale since they lost a figure. This is a 2D6 roll with a roll equal or below the Leader Skill of the squad. 

Since we are not within 8" of the target, they become Pinned if they fail. If they had enemies within 8" they would instead Break on a failed test.

And that is it

It looks like a lot of steps when you break it down but each only takes a few seconds to carry out. 

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Ivan Sorensen
tag:nordicweasel.posthaven.com,2013:Post/2119582 2024-06-27T19:32:25Z 2024-07-09T03:38:18Z Some biographical questions I suppose

Once in a while, I get questions about my background and other such information. 

I am Danish by birth but have lived half my life in Denmark and half in the United States. I am in my mid 40s. Our family is owned by three cats: Lancelot, Lawrence and Ludwig. We have had two previous cats: Scruffy and Mittens.

I have lived in 4 different states in the US. 

I originally went to college to become a school teacher, after moving I worked as a representative and later middle management in a call centre. Creating and selling game rules is my full time job and has been so for years.

The miniatures games I have played the most (in terms of substantially more hours than a lot of other games) have been Warhammer 40.000 2nd and 3rd edition, Warzone 2nd edition, Stargrunt 2, Necromunda 1st edition, Crossfire, Nuts 1st and 2nd edition, 5150 1st edition. 

If board games with miniatures are included, Space Crusade, Hero Quest and Blood Bowl (3rd edition) makes the list as well.

I have played role playing games about as long as I can remember. My favourite games vary by mood but anything based on Chaosium's Basic Role Playing engine. If I had to pick one, let's say Runequest 3rd edition. I am a big fan of Swedish games like Eon and Hjältarnas Tid.

I am an avid fan of hex-and-counter wargames. If I had to pick a favourite game it would be The Great War in Europe Deluxe edition. 

My favourite films are Saving Private Ryan, Aliens and Pretty Woman.

My favourite television show is Doctor Who.

My favourite anime is either Trigun or Macross Frontier. 

My favourite authors are Michael Moorcock, Joe Haldeman, J.R.R. Tolkien and Sir Water Scott.

My favourite bands, if I had to pick, would be Bolt Thrower, Blind Guardian, At the Gates and Summoning. It is hard to nail it down to only a couple though.


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Ivan Sorensen
tag:nordicweasel.posthaven.com,2013:Post/2118809 2024-06-24T18:08:34Z 2024-06-24T18:08:34Z Squad Hammer. First there were hammers, then there were people, now there are ORCS

The Squad Hammer Core book has just been updated to the ORC edition. 

This is both a regular update, adding in and clarifying a bunch of material in the rulebook (putting it just past 50 pages compared to the original 30ish) but it also puts the rules under the ORC license (originally created by Paizo).

This allows you to create your own derivative works using any material in the Squad Hammer rulebook. Derivative works must themselves use the ORC license though any product identity you create is not required to. Please follow the links in the rulebook for details. 

Squad Hammer has always been a game "for the people" and now that is as literal as it can be. 

If you are an existing player, all you have to do is download the new rulebook. It couldn't be easier. 

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Ivan Sorensen
tag:nordicweasel.posthaven.com,2013:Post/2118306 2024-06-22T17:55:27Z 2024-06-22T17:55:45Z Fivecore v4 update

I suppose this is the first change to Fivecore skirmish, but the version just uploaded features the removal of the Squad Morale mechanic.

I'll be honest, it never quite fit right with me. First, I suspect that the normal combat rules and Shock dice already does everything that it needs to do, and secondly the "roll to lose the game" approach is not that great.

I'll also be double honest, when I have played I usually leave it out. 

This does not mean there will not be something to replace it, but I'll be having a think about it. It does mean a couple of table entries have to be redone, they are currently marked with XX so iuf you roll one of them, just reroll or make something up :)


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Ivan Sorensen
tag:nordicweasel.posthaven.com,2013:Post/2117366 2024-06-18T16:03:52Z 2024-06-18T16:03:52Z Game example: No End in Sight movement and reaction fire

Today we delve into an older title: The cold war platoon level rules No End in Sight https://www.wargamevault.com/product/135451/No-End-in-Sight-Cold-war-and-modern-platoon-combat 

No End in Sight (NEIS for short) does not have a standard "declare that this guy is now on reaction fire" approach. Instead any soldier that is not pinned down is on the look out and can conduct reaction fire.

When a unit is moving across ground that is in sight of un-pinned enemies, it happens by way of the Rush move. 

Let me illustrate using state of the art combat simulation graphics

We have here three Blue soldiers behind some bushes, who would dearly like to get over behind the corner of that building. 

The empty ground between the two locations is being observed by two Reds though. 

Its 3" to reach cover. So we roll 1D6 for each soldier Rushing and that is how far they can go.


Better for some than for others!

The 5s make it all the way across. The guy rolling a 2 however moves the 2 inches he rolled, then becomes pinned down and must roll to see if he got hit. 

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Ivan Sorensen
tag:nordicweasel.posthaven.com,2013:Post/2116014 2024-06-12T18:56:09Z 2024-06-12T18:56:10Z Game updates starting

The first two updates have happened though they are in a fairly similar vein:

Dreams of Dragons and FiveCore skirmish owners will both find a separate file in their drivethru/wargame vault library with the new version.

These will look a bit rough: All images have been removed (to be replaced later) and formatting is a bit harsh. For FiveCore I had to convert it from the original file format, which makes formatting a pain to work with, but I'm getting through it.

What will happen over the next number of weeks is that I will both be working through the original texts to clarify wordings and weak explanations plus catch any bugs I spot, but I will also start updating the rules to account for general experience. This is particularly with an eye towards improving things, making the games flow better and take a critical look to which options enhance the game versus make it more cluttered (particularly for Dreams of Dragons). 

Once things are taking shape you will also start seeing new material appearing though it may be a bit before I can get to that point. 

For Fivecore, I will also be taking a look at some of the old material that used to be available and seeing what can be brought into the main rules versus what stuff was superceded by the third edition rulebook.

Dreams of Dragons is currently not offered for sale, but will be made available again, once I am happier with the state of the game. 

If you have been on the fence about Fivecore, this is also a great time to jump in so you can help shape the future of the game. 

https://www.wargamevault.com/product/144009/FiveCore-3rd-edition-Skirmish-Gaming-Evolved 

After all, there must be a reason it has a near perfect rating on Wargame Vault :)

If you are a Fivecore player and want to support these endeavours, please consider contributing on Patreon. 

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Ivan Sorensen
tag:nordicweasel.posthaven.com,2013:Post/2114388 2024-06-05T17:37:17Z 2024-06-06T11:06:35Z Updates to older systems

As part of the "Mark 3 Weasel" plans, I am looking at updating a range of older titles from the back catalogue.

This includes things like No End in Sight, Fivecore skirmish, Trench Hammer and more.

These updates will focus on both adding a few new features, fixing some awkward wordings and generally cleaning up the text. Some games will probably see changes that might qualify as a new edition, others will be mostly polish.

There are two big challenges up front. The first is to get the documents into the format I currently work with (Apple Pages). I originally used LibreOffice for most things, but it seems that most implementations do not have the option to output to Pages and Pages doesn't play that nice with .odt files. However, I realised if you export to the Microsoft office format, then you can carry things over.

Its not perfect, in particular document styles tend to be a right mess, but it is workable.

For a few titles however, the original documents appear to have been lost so there I have to basically try to extract the text from the PDF copies. This is considerably more work, but is at least doable.

Part of this process will include stripping out old images, since they are well overdue for replacement and a facelift. 

So the hope is that I can get these up and running over the next few months and then start having them scheduled in for regular updates. 

Id like to do all this as a free upgrade, but nothing truly is free right? So if you want to help support this process, please consider swinging by patreon.com/nordicweasel and throwing in a few bucks a month. 

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Ivan Sorensen
tag:nordicweasel.posthaven.com,2013:Post/2114035 2024-06-03T20:23:29Z 2024-06-05T18:34:48Z Clash on the Fringe. An example of combat

Today we are going to look at Clash on the Fringe and specifically how combat resolution works. 

https://www.wargamevault.com/product/425983/Clash-on-the-Fringe-Revised-Edition 

All references are to the revised edition but the original should work more or less the same.

Let us take a squad of 6 soldiers. They are decently armed with assault rifles (range 8"/25", Penetration 1, 1"x3" and a squad automatic weapon (SAW) (Range 4"/35", Penetration 1, 2"x4" and the Heavy and Suppression traits).

Our soldiers are typical Regulars (Discipline 5, Morale 5, Training 5) and are shooting up some opposing infantry. The enemy is wearing light armor (giving them Speed 5 and Survival 5).

Step 1 - Range

Our squad has been given an Engage order which allows them to shoot at the target. Some orders limit you to only shooting at close range, but in this case it does not. Each weapon has two ranges: The first is the Assault range, the second is the Aim range. 

Our targets are 12" away so it is at Aim range for both weapon types. 

Two quirks are worth noting: First a stationary fire can extend their Aim range by their Training score. Second weapons can shoot beyond their Aim range, to the edge of the table, but the fire is at a big penalty.

Step 2 - Areas of effect

Automatic weapons in Clash use a template. In this case the assault rifles place a template that is 1" wide and 3" deep, while the SAW is 2" wide and 4" deep. You get to roll to hit every target under the template. Don't bunch up!

For simplicity here, we assume the enemies are spread out in a skirmish line and each of our rifles only get to cover one target.

Step 3 - Roll to hit

To hit anything roll a D10 and get equal or below our Training score (5 in this case). Modifiers apply for ranges and cover and a few other things. We roll the dice and end up with 3 hits. 

Step 4 - Heads down?

Each hit die that is a natural 10 causes the target to go Heads Down (meaning they are taking cover and trying not to die).

Step 5 - Survival

For each hit, we roll the D10 again and add the Penetration of the weapon. if we get above the Survival score of the target, they are gone. If it is equal or below, they go Heads Down. (having bullets deflect off your armour is rather disconcerting). 

What is the benefit of the SAW? Well, for one it has a larger area of effect, but it also has the Suppression trait which means 9s and 10s cause Heads Down status, so not only is it a deadly weapon if the enemy is bunched up, it also is quite effective at forcing them to the ground.

So in conclusion

This is just a quick overview of how combat works with basic infantry. Of course all kinds of specific details apply to grenades and when shooting at vehicles etc. 

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Ivan Sorensen
tag:nordicweasel.posthaven.com,2013:Post/2113566 2024-06-01T18:37:12Z 2024-06-01T18:37:13Z NWG patreon drive for the future

Greetings gamers. 

As I have alluded to, Nordic Weasel Games is entering what somewhat dramatically could be called the third era with a range of projects being planned.

These include both updates of older titles (including Company Command, No End in Sight and Usurper) and picking back up some projects that have been sitting for sometime (like Five Klicks and Leipzig).

Some of these updates will be a bit more work since they were originally done in OpenOffice format which is not the easiest thing to transition over to Pages which I use now, so they will be a bit more work.

It also includes a lot of exciting and brand new projects like post-post-apocalypse-scifi, more historical warfare, a journaling game, spaceships and more. I would also like NWG to revisit roleplaying games in the coming year or two.

In addition to all of this, I would also like to change the usual approach away from selling expansions and towards more regular updates.

Imagine if we do a new game and instead of having to buy expansions to get new scenarios, units etc. the game just got updated every so often with new stuff so there is always something fun to check in on. Additionally it would just be fitted right into the rulebook (or scenario book or whatever it comes with). 

Other changes will include more open access to games much earlier in the development process and creating a more formal playtester program, which has already begun.

All of this takes time and time is money (or so I am reminded when it’s time to pay my mortgage each month). 

The answer to all this is Patreon. 

So that is where you come in. If you would like to be part of this journey, please consider supporting me at https://www.patreon.com/nordicweasel 

In addition to helping all of this come together, at 5 dollars a month you get 2 or more playable game items each month including new and preview material for Parsecs and Leagues and snapshots of upcoming titles. 

At 10 dollars a month, you also get freebies every so often. This has included things like copies of Rogue Hammer but going forward it will also include snapshots of other titles that are getting regular updates. 

If this is not in the cards, a dollar a month will still help quite a lot. 

You can also subscribe for a year, which will give you a small discount and frees both of us from having to worry about it. 

There are tiers above 10 dollars for folks who want to go above and beyond. Currently there are not rewards tied to that, but I will think of some things. 

There are three goals I would like to hit. 

The first is a consistent 1000 dollars a month. We are incredibly close to that. 

The second would be reaching 1500 dollars. If we can get to this point, I will up the freebie snapshots of rule sets to be more frequent: Every other month for 5 dollar supporters, every month for 10 dollar supporters.

If we could blow it out of the water at 2000 dollars, I can commit that the process going forward for anything published through NWG will rely on live updates and no items sold separately unless they are truly massive (like doing a brand new campaign setting for a game). 

Basically this is the stage where I can do what I feel could be really cool: Where players are invested into a game that just keeps getting better and even if you take a break for a while, once you come back there would be a bunch of cool new things to play with.

And while I suspect we won’t hit it, if we somehow reached 3000, that would be the point where we could probably just make everything Pay What You Want up front or something. We can tackle that if it ever gets there.

So if you want to be part of the journey, this is your chance to do so. 

Once again, patreon.com/nordicweasel 

If you cannot do Patreon for some reason, but got inspired, you can also throw money into the hat through Paypal directly at nordicweaselgames@icloud.com 


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Ivan Sorensen
tag:nordicweasel.posthaven.com,2013:Post/2113547 2024-06-01T15:19:53Z 2024-06-01T15:19:54Z History Dad, random units

Someone requested this, so a look at how you can do random units in History Dad.

Option 1- Random support units

This option works well if you start with a standard platoon and want to add a few extra units to back them up. 

This is a simple roll of a D6 twice with the units being quite open ended. Let's say I have a British infantry platoon as my core (an easy choice since that happens to be what I am painting right now).

I decide to roll up two random support units for a game. The first roll is a 3 and 5 resulting in a tank, tank destroyer or assault gun. The second roll is a pair of 6s giving me off map support.

Now the exact choice is up to me. I suggest in the book that you actually cycle your collection so the first time you roll a tank, pick whatever you might like. Then the next time you roll a tank in a future game, pick a different tank in your collection until you have gone through them all. In this case, the only thing I have at hand is a Sherman so a Sherman it is. Off map support should be scaled to the force in question. For a platoon, its probably just a couple 3" mortars. 

Option 2 - Random platoons

If you want to randomise the platoon itself, you can also do that. Lets say for this game, I want a random German foe. The first roll determines the number of squads and what strength they are at. There are three tables depending on manpower. Germans in 44 are probably short on manpower so we will use that table. I roll a 5 so they get 2 full squads and 1 reduced squad. 

If this was an attack/defend scenario the defender would roll twice and pick the lower roll while the attacker rolls twice and picks the higher. 

This can also be done with tank platoons which will tell you the class and number. On some results a platoon of rare or breakdown prone tanks must make do with one vehicle less. (For a sample roll, I get a 5 meaning heavy/infantry tanks. For Germans that presumably means its Tiger time. The platoon size roll gives me 3 vehicles, but since Tigers would certainly fit the rare moniker, they would only get 2).

We also want to randomise the quality and morale of the Germans. You can roll per squad. To keep it simple I just roll for the platoon. We are going to say these Germans are second rate troops but holding the line. A 6 and a 5 gives me Veteran squads with a 4+ Morale. 

That may sound funny if they were supposed to be second rate, but that is a measure of the overall formation they are part of. Pick through a battalion of Volksgrenadier and we can find a handful of squads that have plenty of veterans (or veteran NCOs more likely), just like an elite unit will have some inexperienced rookies. 


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Ivan Sorensen
tag:nordicweasel.posthaven.com,2013:Post/2109914 2024-05-28T18:07:09Z 2024-06-01T05:29:39Z Topics I do not do

I get questions about whether I will do all kinds of things (Spaceships? Probably! Historical naval battles? Maybe! Giant robots? Probably no...wait I did do that one!)

So I thought i would take a moment to outline some things that I most likely will not do as a game topic.

These are generally things I either have no interest in personally or things that I have spent enough time on in the past to have "done my bit".

Of course never say never but if something is on this list, odds are it is not going to happen. And of course work for hire is a separate thing, at that point you are writing what the employer pays you to write.

Superheroes. 

Colonial warfare.

Insurgency warfare.

Steampunk.

"Weird war". (ww1 or ww2 with fantasy elements).

Most historical periods before circa the American Revolution, with the occasional exception.

Anything related to the OSR.

Anything with Romans.

Any more 40K-adjacent stuff.

Zombies.


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Ivan Sorensen
tag:nordicweasel.posthaven.com,2013:Post/2111243 2024-05-21T14:56:40Z 2024-05-29T18:27:27Z Project Marten - the NWG playtest program

NWG playtester program

Traditionally testing has been a pretty ad-hoc affair and has worked differently with each project, as my whims have suggested. This then is me formalising how playtesting will work going forward. 

Essentially I am establishing a group of Martens (if you don’t know what a marten is, it is a weasel-like critter, look them up, they are adorable. Also it is just a fun word).

What does a Marten do?

*You would get access to various projects I am working on. Some will be very early stages (and not yet playable), some are proofs of concept, some will be playable with basic features and some will be close to final development.

*Your activities can include reading feedback (looking for errors, unclear explanations etc.), “vibes” feedback (does this seem fun? Cool? Etc.) and playtest feedback (setting up and playing a game). 

You will then report to me regularly in email (or another) format with your thoughts and findings. 

*The ideal Marten is curious about new games, excited about new ideas and adaptable. 

Some caveats

*There is no guarantee that a project will come to completion.

*I am not looking for “idea guys” and game design is not a voting booth. 

All suggestions will be considered, but in the end, I take the decisions on what goes in the book. In the event you want to contribute actively to writing a particular game, we would discuss that and set up a proper co-author situation with revenue splitting.

*You are not required to provide feedback on everything, though you are required to be active. Obviously this is not a job, but you should be able to spend a couple hours every week or two. 

*You need to be able to work with limited instructions. Unfinished games have many components in place, but you may have to work around missing features such as improvising a stat profile for a figure or creating a simple scenario.

*Even if you do not play a particular style of game (historical, scifi, fantasy) you should be able to at least provide reading feedback. You can playtest things you do not currently have suitable figures for as well.

*Please note that while this will include access to early Parsecs and Leagues material at times, much of the material will not be for those games.

*Most projects can be discussed freely, but some cannot. I will advise for each. 

Final notes

*Martens will be credited by name in any game they contributed feedback for. 

*You may keep all pre-release PDFs provided.

*If you provided feedback on at least 2 playtest games, you receive a complimentary PDF copy of the final game. 

*If you provided feedback in other ways, you receive 50% off the final PDF.  

So what do I do?

If you are interested, please email me at nordicweaselgames@icloud.com 

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Ivan Sorensen
tag:nordicweasel.posthaven.com,2013:Post/2109753 2024-05-15T01:17:29Z 2024-05-18T21:12:54Z What RPG writers could learn from miniatures game writing

Often occupying the space between miniatures games and RPGs and as an avid player of both, I think there is a lot the two fields could learn from each other. 

At the risk of oversimplifying a little, I am going to list a few that I think are at least worth considering.

A: Write rules assuming the player will use them.

When faced with a rulebook that is perhaps less than stellar, the answer is often that the GM is expected to modify or even cut portions of the rules during play. I think RPG writing could benefit from a firm stance that the player is expected to use the rules as they were written and in their entirety. Not because this is a better way to play, but because it enforces some discipline on the writer. If the game is too complicated for a group of players to execute in play, then go back and make the changes you need until it can be played comfortably by the expected target group. 

I suspect there are two things at play here. First the presence of a GM to paper over problems has become a bit of a crutch to lean on and secondly a lot of RPG play does not engage the mechanics heavily. In a miniatures game, the mechanics are inescapable and each player must engage with them, which tends to ferret out problems rather quickly.

B: Separate rules and fluff text.

While some wargame books have plenty of purple prose, for the most part the actual rules aspect is clear and straight forward in the text. RPG books are fond of mixing narrative descriptions and mechanics in the same text block, making it hard to actually reference the rule at a glance or, even worse, making it difficult to understand exactly what the rule does.

C: Unique terminology

If a wargame set uses a term like Suppressed, it usually will only refer to a single specific status in the game. Either a unit is Suppressed because a rule has said it is, or it is not Suppressed.

While games with a lot of status effects tend to avoid this trap, it is not uncommon to find games using terminology either in an unclear fashion or using multiple terms to refer to the same thing. Is a wounded, injured and damaged character the same thing? Does a spell that heals injuries also heal wounds? Ideally these things are clear cut because the same term is always used (and is then not used anywhere else).

D: Take distance seriously.

Now I rarely use miniatures in RPGs myself, but when I do I often found the rules are incredibly vague in a way that just would not fly in a miniatures game rulebook. Can my character move through a space covered by another character? What happens if I move through a space occupied by a prone character? Can I move diagonally? Do characters block lines of fire? 

(As a separate note, more RPGs should, in my opinion, at least consider measurement over squares but that is a post for another night). 

I am sure I can think of more (such as having playtesters actually test the mechanics) but this will do for now. In the future, a few things miniatures gamers could learn from RPG players!

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Ivan Sorensen
tag:nordicweasel.posthaven.com,2013:Post/2108451 2024-05-08T17:12:15Z 2024-05-16T21:08:38Z Gaming finances. Part 2

People enjoyed the last post I did, so let's talk about a different topic today: The costs that go into a book.

One of the most common questions I get is why I don't put more effort into high quality artwork or get professional layout done.

There are three reasons really, but let's look at the first one: The cost.

The numbers Mason, what do they mean?

Art is expensive. If you can get interior art for 30-40 dollars you are doing quite well and the costs only go up from there, depending on complexity. Let us say you want an illustration every 4 pages (which is sparse by most publishers standards) and are paying 50 dollars per illustration. 

Renegade Scout is 200 pages or so, so we need 50 drawings. That's 2500 dollars out of pocket. And to be clear, this is assuming you get a pretty decent deal on the art and with a more sparsely illustrated book than the industry tends to. The art budget for Five Parsecs From Home (a book almost everyone praised the visuals of) was about 8000 dollars. 

But let us say we are aiming for that: 

We are going to get a drawing every 4 pages and then we'll get a nice piece of cover art, so 3000 dollars in total. 

Next up, we need professional editing and layout. Most editors charge per word and from some posts on rpg.net, in the RPG industry 3-4 cents per word is typical ("real" book editors charge more btw). 

Renegade Scout is about 62000 words. At 4 cents per word thats about another 2500 dollars, so our costs are now at 5500 dollars. 

I am not done however. Editing covers our text and depending on the editor can be simple proofing or include editing for content. But we also need the book laid out to be nice and beautiful. Lets say we get someone to do it for 4 dollars per page. Its a 200 page book, so another 800 dollars gets added. 

At this point we have a nice, glossy and professional looking PDF and we are out 6300 dollars. 

Important

At this point I should note that these rates (editing, layout, illustration) are all below, and sometimes FAR below, what those people would earn in the "real" publishing industry. Tabletop gaming just doesn't have the circulation to pay those rates. They are however rates I have been able to verify either personally or through discussions online. You can luck into a "friendship" rate of course, but my examples should be taken as a bottom level. 

Keep calm and type on

So what do I make from selling a copy of Renegade Scout? Well, it sells for 19.99 and I get 70% of that. So 13 USD and some change. Lets just say 13 since some copies are sold for a reduced amount during sales. 

How many have I sold? Just shy of 900 copies. That makes the book "Gold" on Wargame Vault, a level of sales that less than 5% of all items published on Wargame Vault reach.

In other words, I made about 11700 dollars on Renegade Scout in 6 years or about 2k a year. (Directly. Publishing the book also allowed me to sell supplements for it and brought more attention to other items I had done). Until we can do a new edition, odds are that the sales will continue trailing off so while RS will keep selling, it won't be doing any big numbers by now.

So our glossy book budget would eat half of what I can expect to make on this book. Bear in mind that this was a book with a pretty popular idea, released by someone with some name recognition and a fan base. As I noted, on Wargame Vault, 95% of books sell less than this level. 

Get the gains

But the point of the glossy book is that it will sell better, right? By spending that money, I could sell 5 times as many books and make far more money.

We can examine a pretty clear use case. Five Parsecs From Home. I sold about 3300 copies when it was an indie game and we have sold somewhere above 10.000 through Modiphius. So about triple the sales.

So that looks pretty rosy. Instead of 11k, I could make 35k on a game like Renegade Scout. Subtract our costs and we are looking at 28k or so.

But here are a few things to bear in mind: 

Five Parsecs was lavishly illustrated and laid out and cost a lot more than the examples I have given here. The artwork alone was 8000 dollars. I don't know what the costs for layout and editing were, but they are almost certainly much above the above figure.  It also had a number of advantages: It released at a point when interest in solo gaming was exploding, with an established audience and it was released with the full reach of Modiphius's distribution and customer base. We also hit at a time when "warband" gaming was getting big, but had not yet exploded. In other words, this is very much the best case scenario. 

If we are bit more cautious and say we can double the sales figures (a number people often tell me online), I am taking home about 22000 dollars in 6 years, with an upfront cost of about 6300 dollars. In the end, I come down to about 15-16k. An increase overall certainly, but not the dramatic increase that I am often assured by folks. More importantly, the 6300 dollars is all out of pocket before a single sale has been made.

You will notice that when you look at publishers like Toofatlardies that do quite well (Chain of Command having had multiple thousand copies printed) the books look very nice, but they tend to use miniatures photography instead of artwork, thus dramatically cutting the cost.

Concluding the conclusion conclusively

Now all of this is not to say it boils down this simply. Not everything might be equal investment wise. Perhaps a nice colour cover can increase sales by 25% on its own, whereas interior art may only increase it by 10%.

So if blowing 500 bucks on a great cover might earn me another 250 copies of Renegade Scout sold that might make it well worth it. 

There are also opportunity costs involved. Every person you add to a project means another point of failure and a cost in time dealing with them all. I will talk about that in a future post. 

I hope this meandering post sheds a bit of light on things. None of this means we won't experiment with things in the future, I just wanted to ground the discussion a bit more in actual numbers.

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Ivan Sorensen
tag:nordicweasel.posthaven.com,2013:Post/2106907 2024-04-30T18:50:42Z 2024-05-20T05:01:36Z How many copies do games sell?


It's pretty rare for people to talk about how many copies they sell. I suspect that since tabletop games often sell fairly small numbers of copies, people might feel embarrassed. 


I've been around long enough to have had a lot of results, so lets share a couple:

FiveCore skirmish (3rd edition) has sold 1234 copies with another 1164 when we were in the bundle of holding. 

Thats pretty good in the indie sphere. Platinum seller on Wargame Vault, which less than 2% of titles achieve. 

Ballad of the longbow has sold 88 copies. Thats about what I expected for that game. 

And for comparison, Five Parsecs has sold over 10k copies in the current edition and sold about 3300 copies in the indie 2nd edition. 

So what's the upper limit in the "cheap looks and indie production" sphere? Well, I suppose 1k to 3k copies is about it for me, for now. Hopefully we will blow past that in the future. 

What is typical? That is difficult to say. Around 65% of products on Wargame Vault do not sell enough to reach Copper status (which I believe is 50 copies or so). RPGs do a bit better with 60% failing to hit that mark. 

In other words, the majority of items don't really sell anything significant. Of course this may be skewed by the fact that some items are not marketed to be sellers, but made available because the creator wanted to do so or they are so incredibly niche that they just don't really stand a commercial chance. 

What about itch.io?

I left Itch out because I don't use it currently. I have seen some writers say they get a decent amount of revenue from it and others say that it really doesn't account for much. I suspect it may depend on individual circumstances. 

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Ivan Sorensen
tag:nordicweasel.posthaven.com,2013:Post/2105844 2024-04-24T21:16:19Z 2024-04-28T06:22:28Z Writing and income streams


How do you make money as a game writer? We've talked a bit about this in the past but today I wanted to talk about the three ways I get paid. Sorry, this isn't going to be that specific in terms of amounts. I make around the average wage in the state I live in (depending on what site you use to find that). 

First there is direct sales of PDFs. This is still all through Wargame Vault / Drivethru RPG and pays royalty per sale. You get a slight increase and a few other benefits if you are exclusive through them, as opposed to selling elsewhere.

I have not seen the benefit to scattering my efforts across additional platforms at this time, though I may in the future. 

This amount obviously fluctuates depending on releases, running a sale etc. Over time this does drop off if nothing is coming out, but most of the "long tail" is here as even a game that "isn't selling" any more will still get the occasional buy.

(If you want to make money writing, you need to establish a back catalogue by the way). 

We do fairly well on there, but for course sales figures can vary tremendously. Some items Ive done never cracked a couple hundred sales and some have accumulated in the low thousands. 

Second there is Patreon. I create stuff for Patreon and people get to take a look at it. This can be done in a number of ways and it is hard to estimate what is typical for game creators. This can be a bit of a hassle because it has its own obligations and you have to pay attention to it. On the other hand, it also allows doing some oddball things that you can't do elsewhere. Patreon I think works well for a bit of an exclusive club vibe, where people can get a look at things ahead of time. 

Patreon income is fairly static for me.

Lastly there is the overlords. I write things for them and they pay me in money. Really a rather convenient arrangement if you think about it. 

Not much to say here I suppose. This amount can vary but our contract sets out conditions for things. 

Are there other potential income streams I could pursue? There are. We are looking into doing some merch stuff, there's the long awaited POD options, there's branching out to more publishers particularly on the historical side and probably a bunch of stuff I can't even think of.

Some creators try to branch out into other media such as podcasts or Youtube. That probably is not in the cards for me but never say never. 

I hope this ramble helps clarify a bit of how you can earn a full time job creating games. Feel free to ask questions. 

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Ivan Sorensen
tag:nordicweasel.posthaven.com,2013:Post/2103592 2024-04-14T15:23:52Z 2024-04-14T15:23:52Z Rogue Hammer 1.15

The 1.15 update adds a new scenario to the rules and clarifies bad going a little bit.

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Ivan Sorensen
tag:nordicweasel.posthaven.com,2013:Post/2102661 2024-04-10T14:57:00Z 2024-04-18T16:07:37Z History Dad expansion thoughts

I am working on ideas for the first expansion for History Dad, but I am trying to decide which way to go.

The original plan was to focus on a theme, such as a specific unit, campaign or battle and then do some material to fit that such as scenarios, a couple of unique units and so forth.

However I am wondering if maybe it would be better to just do a spread of different things in the expansion instead. (So perhaps there's a bit of Eastern Front and a bit of Normandy and so on). 

The former is more thematic of course and may get people interested in a new topic, but then, it may also discourage people who are not interested in that. With the latter option we can cover a wider range of stuff, but the risk of course is that it will be more thinly spread out.

A middle ground may be to have a smaller theme in the expansion (f.x. a section on Polish vehicles) and then accompany that with a variety of scenarios. 

Decisions decisions.


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Ivan Sorensen
tag:nordicweasel.posthaven.com,2013:Post/2101074 2024-04-03T16:55:19Z 2024-04-25T19:58:30Z Laserstorm 2nd edition released


Jason has been busy at work updating LaserStorm to a 2nd edition, similar to the work he did on Clash on the Fringe revised edition. That means not only adding new features like solo tools and air units, but also a full colour rulebook with diagrams and lavish miniatures photography. 

If you are not familiar with LaserStorm, it is a set of combat rules for 6mm (as well as related scales) science fiction ground combat, allowing huge armies to be put on the table. Included are build systems (two of them in fact), a scenario generator, map based campaign rules and a host of ready to play units that can be used as is. 

The rules are available at https://www.wargamevault.com/product/476399/LaserStorm-2nd-edition 


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Ivan Sorensen
tag:nordicweasel.posthaven.com,2013:Post/2100609 2024-04-01T21:25:47Z 2024-05-20T11:30:14Z Gothic Horror Skirmish. A taster

One of the projects I have been working on, and which is closing a releasable state, is "Gothic Horror Skirmish". 

This is just a working title and I am not sure what the actual title will be.

You can probably guess what the topic is, though I should clarify that it will be more Edwardian than Victorian (though the weapon selections can work fine for 1880s/1890s settings too). The aim is a pre WW1 vibe with squads consisting of your pick of adventurers, soldiers, criminals and various classic horror monsters.

This will be primarily a squad versus squad game with a collection of scenarios. There will be rules for solo mechanics, but this is not a campaign or adventure type game, at least not at first. Rather this is the sort of thing for people who enjoy building and painting up squads of cool figures. You can still do that solo, but it is also going to be well suited for playing with a friend or in a small club setting where you might already have a bunch of figures sitting around that can be used. 

The plan is for the initial release to feature 6 character types, 8 monster types, 3 types of magic and 6 scenarios. 

I am not sure of the expected page count yet, but the plan is for the game to be on the slimmer side. Not everything has to be a massive tome after all. 

Over time the game will be expanded with more material. The thinking is small (and cheap) expansion packs with new creatures, spells and scenarios so you can have something new to play with every couple of months. 


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Ivan Sorensen
tag:nordicweasel.posthaven.com,2013:Post/2098447 2024-03-23T15:06:40Z 2024-03-23T15:06:40Z Interview with Ash from GMG

I did an interview with Ash from Guerilla Miniature Games and you can check it out here:



and https://youtu.be/eW9DCu2KKY8?si=8VyOZBo0Mu7Boy-4 


We discussed a number of topics relating to creating games and working as a writer.

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Ivan Sorensen
tag:nordicweasel.posthaven.com,2013:Post/2095017 2024-03-07T17:27:00Z 2024-03-12T14:20:10Z History Dad. How building armies work

Post number 2:

Today I am gonna chat a bit about building an army works. 

The historical option

First and foremost you can of course just pick some units that fits your scenario, We have also included 4 historical overviews of what late-war infantry platoons looked like and those are usable basically straight out of the gate. 

The standard game size is the "reinforced platoon" which usually means 3 sections or squads of infantry and a few items in support like a tank, an armoured car or a couple of heavy weapons. Tabletop gamers like to get a few toys on the table after all.

This is also a pretty good size of game to collect and paint for. A force of say 35 infantry, a machine gun team, a tank and an armoured car is not gonna set you back a fortune to buy and you can get them done over a weekend (in 15mm anyways). 

Another advantage here is that if you already have troops done up for games like Arc of Fire, Rate of Fire, Bolt Action or Chain of Command you can just use your armies right as they are. 

(Some folks may have armies based on team bases with 2-4 figures per base. I will add something to the book to address that, but for now you will have to improvise a bit here). 

General army building

If you want some guidelines for building a generic force, we include a sort of "catch all platoon build" system. 

This is pretty simple and is intended for pick-up games and for cases where you may not have accurate platoon information available but would still like to get a game going. Basically you build a platoon of 3 or 4 combat units, then take up to 2 units of support. For example if you agree to play a tank heavy game, your platoon might be 3 tanks and then you bring along 2 squads of infantry in support. 

For large games, 3 or 4 platoons of the same type (infantry or tank) count as a company allowing 1 additional support unit per platoon.

Once again, this sort of approach is really intended more for quick games or when you just are coming up short on what a Hungarian reserve infantry division should be organised like. 

The points system

Whenever you discuss points systems, people tend to get funny about it. However including it means people can use it or not, whereas leaving it out means I am making that choice for you. Part of my approach with History Dad was exactly to let you make the decision. 

The points system is pretty straight forward: Pick the quality and morale rating for a unit, add any special conditions like engineers or a forward observer, add the cost of any weapons that are not just pistols or bolt action rifles and voila, you are done. A standard soldier with a rifle comes out to 10 points. The absolute worst soldier possible (Green quality, Morale 6+) is a pretty paltry 3 points while the most hardened (Veteran, 2+ Morale) sits at 18 points. 

Vehicles use a simple formula to determine their points cost. The vehicle profiles in the book all have their costs pre-calculated for you but I wanted to give people the formula so you can modify the provided vehicles or make your own. 

The pre-built British platoon comes to 433 points. If I add in a Sherman I'd be at 643 points. 

Two light off-map guns (3" mortars f.x.) is another 160 points bringing us to 803 points. A good aiming point to start will be somewhere between 500 and 1000 points. This of course does depend on what style of game you want. You might agree to use only infantry and armoured cars for example or you may flip things around and mostly play as a tank game. 

Rolling dice

If all of this is not your cup of tea, I also included options to roll up both random platoons and random support units. These tools are provided for you to do with what you want. If you play solo, you might build your own platoon but randomly generate the opposition. Or you may take a random support unit with you each mission.

In a pick up game, you may start with an infantry platoon each and randomly decide on the support or you might even roll up your own forces at the start of a campaign. Of course random units are not likely to be even. Its entirely possible you get heavy tanks and I don't get any such thing. Use this as a springboard to make an interesting scenario. You can always start with the random force and then give a small number of points or unit slots to "tidy things up". 

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Ivan Sorensen
tag:nordicweasel.posthaven.com,2013:Post/2094814 2024-03-06T17:49:33Z 2024-03-08T18:38:19Z History Dad. Core mechanics examples

It is a little too early for any battle reports to exist yet, so I wanted to give people a quick walkthrough of the core mechanics of how the turn sequence works, how units work, how to shoot at infantry and how to shoot at tanks.

A future post will talk about armies and how they are built.

This is just an overview, think of it like the crash course you might get before playing the game at a convention.

Turn sequence:

The turn sequence is how each game turn is organised. Basically it tells us who goes when. In a normal game you roll a die: 1-3 the Axis player goes first, 4-6 the Allied player goes first. The player selected by the roll picks a leader to activate. If it is a squad leader or tank leader, they activate their unit. So their squad or vehicle can take actions normally. 

If it is an officer, they can activate two units within 8" and line of sight. Senior NCO's can activate a single unit within 4". 

So for example when it is my turn to go, I may pick my platoon leader and then two of the infantry squads in the platoon. Once each of those units have moved and fired, the other player goes. When they have gone, play reverts to me and I might pick a tank on the other side of the table and so forth.

Having leaders in place and near their troops means more flexibility in activating, representing the officer or senior sergeant shouting at the grunts to get moving. Each unit goes once per turn. 

What can a unit do?

When a unit is selected to act, it can move OR fire if it is Green quality (the lowest grade). These units are not really capable of "fire and move" tactics so it is one or the other. If you have a lot of Green units try to have some squads provide covering fire while other squads advance. 

Experienced quality units can move and then fire, while Veterans can move before or after firing. 

There are a bunch of other options like trying to find concealed enemies, engineering etc. but we are keeping it basic here.

Shooting at the other guys

Being a wargame we will usually want to shoot at the opposing army. 

Veteran infantry can split their fire over two targets, Experienced and Green troops must pick a single target (and remember Greens don't shoot if they moved). 

Combat is intentionally pretty straight forward. Each weapon grants a number of firepower dice. These are added up with the hit roll depending on the position of the target. You need 4+ to hit in the open and 6's in cover. Infantry are a bit better at attacking targets in cover if they are within 6" (where they hit on a 5+) to account for grenades and so forth. 

The key "clever bit" is that hit resolution is delayed. Let's say I score 6 hits when I fire on some Germans. I mark 6 hits on the German squad. Once the Germans are activated next, we then roll 6 dice to see how many of those hits were casualties (fifty/fifty odds here) and remove the number of figures who got hit. This means neither of us know what is exactly happening right then. If I have a great turn of shooting and put 10 hits on you, I can probably worry less about that unit now since on average they will have taken 5 losses. But they may have only lost 1 or 2 or the entire squad may be gone. I can keep pouring fire into them or I can switch targets and hope it doesn't come back to haunt me. 

Morale is in the form of suppression checks: If you shoot at a unit and score any hits, they may be suppressed. They get a D6 roll against their morale score to avoid this, otherwise when they activate next they receive half the firepower dice and are limited in their ability to move freely. Suppression lasts until they have activated next, so if you are advancing on a position, you have to keep hitting them with fire. Units with very good morale scores are difficult to suppress, so keep hitting them. 

Officers can assist units nearby in recovering. It can be quite helpful to station a senior NCO next to a machine gun team for example to keep them firing. 

Shooting at tanks

Alright that was the crunchies, what about tanks?

Tanks receive a number of shots based on the crew in the turret. A proper 3 person turret (gunner, loader, commander) can fire twice per turn when halted and once on the move (firing from a short halt really) while a 2 person turret (where the commander has to load) you only get one shot and must be halted. This really stings when playing for example early T34. 

Assuming we hit the target, I roll two dice at the same time. One is for Luck and is either unlucky (on a 1) or lucky (on a 6). Unlucky shots always bounce off and lucky ones get 1.5 times the penetration. The second is a hit location roll. We just use a single table for ease here with hits assigned to the hull, turret or tracks. 

There is not a separate penetration roll (though an option is included if you prefer this). By default we compare the gun rating to the armour value which tells you if the hit was minor, major or massive and then you roll on the appropriate damage table for the effect.

Lets say my Sherman scored a hit on a Panzer IV hull. The gun rating of 10 exceeds the hull armour of 8, so I get a major penetration. A D6 roll on the damage table results in a 4: Silent.

The tank is seemingly dead, but on their next activation, they have a fifty/fifty chance of returning to action or actually being dead. As with infantry neither of us will know just yet. 

Other results can include immobilisation, burning or a catastrophic ammunition explosion. 

That's mostly it!

I hope that gives you a feel for the basics of combat. I have intentionally kept the infantry combat quite simple to make it easy to memorise, as well as being pretty tangible (making it easy to convert scenarios or real life information into the game). 

Tank combat is a little more detailed because tank fans would be disappointed if you didn't have chances of knocking out the tracks or scoring a lucky hit. Having slightly more detailed tank rules means that the game can also be "flipped" so the core of your force is a tank platoon with some infantry in support. 

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Ivan Sorensen
tag:nordicweasel.posthaven.com,2013:Post/2094801 2024-03-06T16:16:06Z 2024-05-29T18:33:36Z The New Era (tm)

Today I want to talk about the new era of Nordic Weasel Games.

That sounds very dramatic and potentially a little ominous so let me quickly reassure that everything is just fine. This is all good news.

As those of you who have been with me for a long time know, NWG has published a lot of games in the past with a pretty active release schedule for games and expansion material. I also used to maintain a number of “live” titles which received regular updates and additions. 

With the cooperation with Modiphius, things slowed down quite a lot to focus on those games (and a few secret projects). This is not going anywhere, but it is time to refocus and get back up to speed. 

This means a slate of new games I am working on including some pretty exciting things and updates to a select couple of old titles. Some of these projects are RPG’s, some are miniatures games, some are..well, you will have to wait and see. 

As we release these games, I am also going to get back in the swing of having regular update and expansion schedules. The idea is to time game updates (errata, clarifications etc.) roughly monthly and then release expansions at regular intervals. Some of this will depend on the exact title, reception and so forth of course.

I also want to clarify that these will not all strictly be solo campaign games. There will be a variety, though I do intend to keep an eye on solo players going forward of course. 

Additionally I will be expanding a bit with my wife picking up some editing and proof reading duties as we slowly turn NWG into a proper family business. Hopefully this also means more miniatures photography in the games and other such advantages.  

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Ivan Sorensen
tag:nordicweasel.posthaven.com,2013:Post/2094643 2024-03-05T20:10:08Z 2024-03-06T16:05:14Z History Dad is live!


History Dad World War 2 is now live. You can grab it at https://www.wargamevault.com/product/473159/History-Dad-The-Second-World-War if you just want to get straight into the business. Otherwise read on:

Welcome to the front!


History Dad: The Second World War is a set of miniatures wargame rules for you: 

Whether you are an old hand or brand new to historical wargaming we have you covered with everything you could need to play out exciting battles in the greatest conflict of human history:


*A straight forward game system with minimal use of dice modifiers. You can focus on outflanking the enemy tanks and suppressing their troops, instead of trying to memorise a lot of numbers.


*A game that is friendly to being played whatever way you want to. Whether you want to create historical scenarios, play pick up games with army lists, play campaign games, play with friends or solo, it is all provided for. 


*Easy to adapt both historical encounters as well as scenarios from other skirmish games.


The rules are aimed at the platoon level with a typical force having 20-40 infantry and whatever supporting units you like such as a tank or two. You could potentially play quite large games but we suggest starting out smaller. 

All figures are based individually with each figure representing exactly one soldier. 


You may have questions at this point:


Who are the creators?

This is a straight up Nordic Weasel Games production so the writing and design is all Ivan Sørensen, with editing and proof reading assistance by Traci Morrissette (making this the first family project for NWG).


What are the basic mechanics?

Alternating activations with officers being able to activate multiple units, straight forward combat with delayed resolution, a bit more detail for vehicles (where lucky shots and hit locations make an appearance), suppression, concealed units and so forth. As a bonus both close assault and indirect fire rules do not require a correspondence course to understand.


What are some clever bits from the rules?

Casualty resolution is delayed so you don’t know how effective your fire was until the unit goes next. This applies to tanks as well which will often go “silent” when hit and you will have to decide if you give them another round or pick another target.


What all is included?

The “scenario rules” include mechanics for things like engineering and stealth missions, there are 7 scenarios to play, platoon information for the four “big” late-war powers (US, UK, German, Soviet), stats for 25 mid and late war vehicles, tables for rolling random forces, campaign rules, a points system (with the formula documented so you can set up your own vehicles quite easily) and solo play guidelines. 


What scale I can play in? 

Any you like! As long as the figures are based individually you are good to go.

Practically speaking you will probably be using figures from 15mm and upwards. 


Can I use an army built for another skirmish game?

Absolutely. Again, as long as they are individually based you are fine.


What if I don’t know anything about World War 2?

Do not fear! The rule book contains a host of explanations of various concepts of war and every chapter features War Explainers to help you understand what is going on and how the rules relate (or differ) from real, historical combat.


Will there be updates?

Yes. As is always the case when a game is released it turns out that there’s a typo that escaped detection, a rule that could be explained better or a scenario that needs tweaking. There will be updates forthcoming on a regular schedule.

For this reason we do suggest that you wait a few days to print out your copy. 


Will there be more scenarios or expansions?

We are already discussing scenario books covering Poland 39 and Norway 40 in greater detail.


Will there be other conflicts covered?

Great War (1914-1918) will almost certainly be covered though possibly as a stand alone book. If there is interest and sales are sufficient, I would like to cover Korea later as well. 


What exactly is a History Dad?

A History Dad lives within many of us. They find tanks and artillery guns cool, they think a lot about the Ardennes and they probably have “Never was so much owed by so many to so few” as their email signature message. In short, it is a short hand for someone who always had a fascination with and interest in the war but who perhaps never quite took the step into painting model soldiers and playing battles. Perhaps it all looked a bit intimidating. Perhaps they wanted to be able to finish the game in time to get the grill going.


Well, this is their time. Whether they are a mom, dad, sibling or just an interested party, the spirit of the History Dad is alive and well.

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Ivan Sorensen
tag:nordicweasel.posthaven.com,2013:Post/2091177 2024-02-20T20:05:20Z 2024-02-20T20:05:20Z More insight into the process

One of the things that is changing this year is to give you guys a bit more of insights into what I am working on at any given time, particularly when it comes to experiments and ideas.

For now, this will probably be mainly on Patreon but the plan is that each month you'll get to see a "snapshot" of what a project looks like at the moment. These snapshots may be playable or not, it just depends.

The value to you is that you get to have a sneak peek into upcoming things, but you can also help out by letting me know if you find a particular snapshot exciting. If it is playable (or reasonably so) you can of course also test things out and get feedback in at the early stages.

If you are newer here, bear in mind that not every project is a solo game and not every solo game is a warband game :) 

With that folks at any Patreon tier can have a look today and see a snap shot of a tentatively titled "gothic horror" game. 

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Ivan Sorensen
tag:nordicweasel.posthaven.com,2013:Post/2088209 2024-02-12T18:52:19Z 2024-02-12T18:59:49Z Leipzig 007 and 008

I realised I forgot to post on the blog about update 007 so today is a two for one, unless you already checked your Wargame Vault account.

These last two updates bring in Follow On missions (a mission you complete successfully has a chance of spawning a follow on mission, which uses a different objective table) and Patrol missions (missions where the enemy is deployed using "blip" markers that can move erratically and spawn additional enemies. Since some objectives require fighting the enemy and some do not, this should create some interesting moments in trying to figure out the best path forward.

The blip spawn rates on the resolution tables may require tweaking to dial in the difficulty. 


If you are confused about what "Leipzig" is, other than a fun vacation destination, it is a take on the "Five Parsecs" type of engine but for historical games set in the black powder era available here https://www.wargamevault.com/product/308041/Five-Kilometers-From-Leipzig-beta-version 

At present the rulebook is 25 pages so its still early days but new features are being added pretty regularly now. This is a great opportunity to experience the early days of a ruleset and help shape the way forward as things that are bare bones now (like character advancement) will get fleshed out more in the future. 

One of the things I have missed doing is this level of "living system" development where things can get updated and feedback can come in, in a lively manner, so I am enjoying doing this. 

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Ivan Sorensen
tag:nordicweasel.posthaven.com,2013:Post/2085354 2024-02-05T18:58:24Z 2024-05-12T05:58:06Z V3 Renegade Scout. Aka the future

So I have wanted to do an update to Renegade Scout for a while, but the question of what to do has been bothering me for a long time.

"Unified Space" based skirmish gaming is getting a little crowded and the original goal of providing essentially an alternate rule set for old school 40K has been achieved. 

I think there is still room in the indie gaming space for a stat-heavy scifi wargame with an emphasis on points driven games, but which is more open ended than the big commercial offerings. 

The plan I have in mind for a third edition of Renegade Scout is essentially this:

A: Make a few rationalisations of the game rules to slim things down just a tiny bit. It'll still be a pretty detailed game, but try to shift some of that detail towards having more tactical options and less stat fiddling. This may break compatibility with 40K or it may not. 

There's also some obvious clunk that could use tidying up like hand to hand combat. 

B: Move the focus away from the Unified Space setting and instead towards more of a "build your own" scifi approach with more open-ended and generic troops. Im thinking maybe a trait system to allow building your own alien troops, as well as the possibility of working with figure manufacturers to provide stats for specific figures they own.

C: The original game won't disappear. It'll continue existing as a legacy game for the original purpose: Act as an alternative / hypothetical evolution of the original Rogue Trader. This means the folks who do use the rules with their old 40K armies are still able to do so. 

D: Continue work on making the game easier to use, both in unit building but also in having more ready to go scenarios you can plug your armies into. 

What do you think about this plan? Excited? Outraged? Strangely hankering for a burrito? Let me know.

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Ivan Sorensen