Thursday, 21 August 2014

FiveCore/Five parsecs from home cured my slump. A rules overview.

Written by Spacejacker Zero of Tiny Solitary Soldiers
Originally posted here. Used with permission.

FiveCore/Five parsecs from home cured my slump.

Well, I made it back to the UK. I'm much happier and my adventures continue.

This week I took a chance on "Five Parsecs from home", a sci-fi campaign book for the FiveCore system. I say took a chance because I couldn't find much about the product on the internet, but it seemed ideally tailored to the sorts of game I have been looking for, basically forever.

(I bought the PDF versions of Five parsecs from home and FiveCore Skirmish Rules from Wargames Vault.)

Here were the selling points that grabbed me:

  • 5 figures per side average game
  • Narrative heavy campaign system
  • Fast playing, narrative based combat system (as opposed to simulation or math heavy)
  • Firefly-esque setting and scope
  • Sandboxy, but not a totally blank slate
  • Provision for solo play

Unbelievably, every one of these claims was completely accurate. The FiveCore rules are a separate (inexpensive) download but the campaign book is where the whole package really starts to shine. It has a lot of very sci-fi specific extra stuff that meshes seamlessly with the core rules. This is because almost all new rules introduced still follow the same basic (and dead simple) dice mechanic.

This one point makes it very easy to make up new rules, even on the fly if you want.

The campaign system features a plethora of charts to generate characters and events. What I liked about them was that they provide enough detail to get your creativity fired up, but are not especially constrictive. The whole thing is designed to assist imaginative narrative.

The bottom line is that after reading the books, I immediately set to rolling up a Group and playing a game. An extremely rare occurrence!

I used my freshly rolled team against a simple gang for this first skirmish. I would definitely suggest using at least a couple of talents or special bits of gear on each side, even for your first game. Testing the game using bland identical figures will not reveal the richness of the system. It is not an exercise in power-gaming.

The game went splendidly. My group attempted to blow up a parked vehicle and escape into the woods. After 13 turns, 2 of team had bailed (run away) two were down on the ground from gunfire and a brawl respectively, and the last man (alien) standing detonated the vehicle's fuel tank with some well placed rifle fire.

Both downed team members recovered, although one will have to skip the next 2 battles and has a permanent limp, and the other has suffered mental scarring.

I will close this quick post with a bombshell. I've found my system.

I have no regrets about the last 4 years of buying, reading and testing rulesets (e.g Multiple Ganesha games, most THW, Pulp Alley, iTen, FUBAR, Savage Worlds et al) which have all had some really cool points... But the FiveCore Skirmish Narrative campaign combo has rendered all of them second-place in one play through. (at least as far as solo small-scale sci-fi narrative skirmish gaming is concerned).

Thank you Ivan Sorensen for writing such a great set!

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

New Wargaming Site: The Wargames Website!

Just wanted to give everyone a heads up to a new discussion and news site for wargaming, The Wargames Website.

Brought to you by the same folks of Angel Barracks, It's a great place for discussion and news.  I've found everyone there to be very helpful and I don't see any off-the-wall or disturbing discussions.   It also seems to be growing leaps-and-bounds every day!

Shawn Carpenter from Ambush Alley Games has a great blog post about it too and has this nice quote:

"The Wargames Website is a new forum, but it's received quite a bit of backing from various game companies, including Ambush Alley Games. The crowd that's gathered there so far seems to be very friendly and knowledgeable about miniature gaming. I highly recommend checking the place out - it's a nice place and well deserving of our support!"

ClearHorizon Miniatures goes to Strategicon!

Only 10 days to go! ClearHorizon Miniatures will be at Gateway 2014 at the Hilton LAX!  This Labor Day Weekend, Aug 29 - Sep 1!  We'll have two tables set up in the main hallway.  We'll be carrying our entire line plus several brand new releases!

We'll also have the printed Gruntz Rulebook for sale at a discounted price and our entire range will be 10% off.

Our second table will have multiple gaming boards setup just for 15mm Gruntz Gaming!  It's free to check out the dealer area and our tables, so come on by!

For more information:

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Preview: Brigade Models shows off new South Africans vehicles and VTOL

Brigade Models is showing off some great new vehicle models: 

To follow up the recent release of the South African Rhino and Wildebeest, I’ve been working on some additional vehicles. I’ve remodelled the popular Buffel APC from the old range and beefed it up substantially – it now shares the same wheels as the Rhino and Wildebeest and could easily accommodate a full squad of infantry. It can be fitted with a cupola-mounted MG, or the roof turret ring will also take either of the secondary turrets from the Wildebeest’s forward mount.

Buffel CG

The other new model is the Hippo truck, which hasn’t been made in 15mm before. I’ve started with the basic design of the 6mm version, and added lots of detail.

Hippo CG

We’ve already had the new hulls for these two printed and they look great. I’ve been able to reuse lots of parts from the Rhino and Wildebeest, so all that’s needed to get these in production is moulds for the resin hulls – they should be out sometime towards the back end of September.

Hippo Master

Buffel Master

And check out this awesome VTOL:

 This is the Angelshark. It’s a small, one-man VTOL with a chin-mounted autocannon and a magazine-fed Kestrel-2 missile launcher in each tilting wingtip nacelle, which also house the main thrusters. The pilot sits between the engine inlets in a flat panel cockpit.

The model consists of a resin body with six metal parts – the two nacelles, chin gun and three small landing feet. We don’t have a release date yet, but as soon as we have the production mould for the metal parts we’ll be good to go.

Previews: Armies Army - Reinforcements coming soon!

New previews and news from Armies Army:

Hello everybody :)
Before the update, Id like to thank all the people whom have supported me with the opening of my webstore. Thankfully everything has gone smoothly, yet Ive still some things that need look at and I'm always keen on improving. If you do have any ideas, don't hesitate to drop me an email or post a comment.
Anyhow to the update....
I really hoped that I would have had more items out for sale by now, however the web store was busier then I believed and I basically was learning the ropes. Then the dreaded 'work' word got in the way and is still doing so! This will be around for at least another three weeks, however Ill then be back to normal hours, which will give me time to start releasing my new stuff. I'm hesitant to put dates, due to changes, however I can put up a priority order as to what will be released :)
So here it is
Penal Troops ~(Shipping tonight)

BTR160  and variants (Two weeks time)

Rusk IMV Gaz Cartographa  (around 3 weeks)

Russian Empire Forces  (around 4 weeks)
The Russian Empire remains at civil war with the breakaway colonies of the RUSK forces. They  share many similarities to the RUSK forces, however have more advanced weaponry and vehicles compared to the rugged and dependable items designed of that built by the Buzzard Design Bureau. 
They are fewer in number and lack the winning attitude of the RUSK'S  (so say the RUSK's) forces.
More news to follow , however here is a snifter of old
Enemy Unknown - Reinforcements  (around 4 weeks)
The 'Enemy Unknown'  increase in encounters are causing a rising tension with the World's Empires and Forces. Frequency of an encounter is increasing as is the number of Enemy forces. Unconfirmed rumors suggest several battles are taking place with heavier and heavier armaments involved. The Enemy Unknown are no longer scouting. They look like they are here to stay!
With that in mind, I will be releasing the next lines of EU figures. Ill have a HQ and heavier support weapons in two forms. Ill also have an assault squad with pistol and shield and couple of unusual beasts. 
BTR 290 Variants  (around 6 weeks)
The BTR 290 used by several world's forces will be getting some additional support. The BTR 290 'Shilka' AAA and the BTR290 'Tunguska' AT . Other variants will follow.
Xiangyu WZ993 APC ( around 6-8 weeks)
The PLA Xiangyu APC has had several field issues, resulting in the withdrawal from the front lines. A redesign with additional hatches, turret variants, PLA infantry support drones . The redesign is almost complete and will be sent for mastering in the next two weeks. Several designers have been sent to the Penal Battalions to work off their crimes. 
Unconfirmed rumors also suggest that several other projects are coming to fruition, however with a few unexpected items jumping the queue as my minions churn out the masters etc ( minions being me...) 
So...lots to come, lots being planned, lots being designed, including brand new items and some forces are getting reinforcements to complete the line :)
Ill keep the usual places updated!

Monday, 18 August 2014

New Skirmish Ruleset: Five Parsecs From Home Now Available

By Harold

Nordic Weasel Games has released their latest ruleset, Five Parsecs from Home for $14.99

Salvage crews, free traders, mercenaries, bounty hunters, tax collectors, and secret agents. The fringes of colonized space are teeming with those who seek fortune, freedom, or are too crazy to fit in anywhere else.
Bounty hunters are on your trail, you're pretty sure the new girl that just joined the crew is crazy, and that battle droid you bought last week seems to be convinced it's in love. Time to lock and load. You're Five Parsecs From Home.
Five Parsecs From Home is a skirmish science-fiction game where you follow a small band of unique characters as they try to make their fortunes in the backwaters of human space. Watch your group advance from game to game, learning new skills, finding alien artifacts, and contending with everything the Fringes can throw at you.
Using the Five Men/FiveCore system, the basic game mechanics are extremely quick to learn, and incorporate elements like reaction fire and one of the simplest and fastest suppression mechanics out there.
You get fully fledged campaign rules with random events and encounters, a wide range of possible characters, enemies and opponents, and a flexible system that covers items such as psionics, trade, bluffing, and randomly generated encounters and enemies.
Look at your shelf. Pick out five miniatures you don't get to use too much. Roll up some characters, and see where it takes you.
Please note: This is an expansion for the FiveCore system. You will require a copy of the FiveCore main rules (or Five Men in Normandy) to use these rules.
I've picked up the new expansion and base rule set and I really like what i've read so far!  It's a very interesting system and I look forward to trying it soon and putting up a review.