Monday, 27 March 2017

Scum of the Earth demo version



For players on the fence, we've made a Demo version available.
This gives you the basic game rules for infantry and cavalry actions (with as little removed as possible) including formations and 10 unit traits.

It omits artillery, characters, scenario setup, victory points, campaign rules and the period specific game notes.

Essentially, for a dollar, you can check out the rules, play a game or three and get a good feel before deciding if you want to get stuck in for real.
Of course, if you're just casually interested and black powder gaming is an occasional pleasure for you, maybe the demo will have everything you could want.

Available here for the cost of a decent candy bar

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Starport/Dungeon scum Rules Variant pack available

One of the strengths of Nordic Weasel products is that they are written to be tinkered with.

The Variant Rules pack provides a collection of new options for your games of both Starport Scum and Dungeon Scum, ranging from the exceptionally simple to the more involved.

Inside, you will find 17 variant rules, covering everything from making the game more or less deadly, more options for sneaking around the battle, outflanking enemies, new initiative options and rules for first aid and dodging in combat.

As a bonus you also get a gnarly table for determining the effects of a Gruesome Death result.

Available here for 2 bucks 

Scum of the Earth FAQ

A few simple Q&A's from the past week or so.

How many units should I have to play a game?
We assumed 3-4 units for starting out, moving to 6 or 7 for a "proper" game.

How are figures based?
Use the figures you already have based.
To get the frontage the rules assume, bases should ideally be in the 20-25mm wide range.

The number of figures per base is up to you: In 25 and 28mm, we assumed people would use individual figures while smaller scales will probably want to stick a few guys on each base.

Units are 6 bases for infantry (occasionally 5), 4 for "dragoon" types and 3 for proper cavalry.
Artillery is one gun and 3 crew figures.

What happened to the beta version?
Since it doesn't look super nice and had some differences from the final rules, it was taken down.
You should still be able to access it through your Library on the Wargame Vault.

I am working on a Demo version which will be available to take its place.

What does a unit represent?
We follow the approach of games like DBA, AK47 or 1 Hour Wargames where units are intentionally vague.
They could be companies, battalions or even regiments as you find the need.

Mostly, they're just your troops.

Doesn't a sliding unit scale mess with range, frontage and a million other things?
It does, but the game works out okay in any event.
Essentially, we assume that larger units also have correspondingly more ability to project themselves.
To take an example, a company of troops can only spare a few men to range ahead but a division may well have an entire battalion skirmishing.
This means that we can justify retaining the same weapon ranges across the scale options.

Players with very specific situations can of course adjust to taste.

Do I have to use the Average dice?
We recommend it as it produces the sort of even performance that characterizes linear warfare, but you can throw it out and just roll a D6 instead and the game will work just fine.

Weapons seem inconsistent across periods?
They are at times.
The  aim of period rules is always to reflect the period in question.
So a given weapon may be more or less effective for a particular period, because of how it relates to other weapons in use and the troops employing it.

I have things to say about my favorite historical period!
Good!
Let me hear what you have to say.
The intention is that missing periods are filled in over time and trait lists get expanded as we go.

Will there be other games based on this engine?
Probably yes. 

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Scum of the Earth is available



"Sire, the reinforcements have arrived on our left flank!"
"Excellent Windsor, let's give these French degenerates what for"
"But Sire, their uniforms... "
"What about their uniforms?"
"They look... well Sire, I swear they look like Austrians"
"By God man, if they are shooting at the French, what does it matter what they look like?"

We all have a shelf full of dusty miniatures: Those 8 grenadiers you bought because you were going to build an army, 20 Austrians and a few Seven Years War cavalry you never got around to using.

Scum of the Earth is a game intended to help get those figures off the dusty shelf and on to your table.

The goal is to remove as many barriers as possible to play: We use small units (6 figures/stands for infantry), the game plays on a 2x2 foot table and require only a couple of dice to play.

Features include:

*Core game rules that can be explained in a couple of minutes.

*Character figures such as flag bearers and leaders are included.

*A Trait building block system letting you construct units that are colourful and
interesting. Your French Hussars might be Arrogant and Stalwart while my British regulars are Veteran Scum.

*Campaign rules using a card system, letting you play a character-ful campaign without relying on maps.

*Rules for retaining your battle hardened veterans across multiple games.

*A quick scenario generator.

*Random terrain and battle complications.

*Notes, rules adjustments and traits to let you play the following conflicts:
English Civil War, Seven Years War, American Revolution, Napoleonic Wars, First Schlesvig War, Crimean War, American Civil War, Second Schlesvig War, Austro-Prussian War, Colonial battles, Franco-Prussian War, Spanish American War, Russo-Japanese War and 1914.

Each period is brought to life with a few rules to adjust the core game mechanics as well as colourful traits such as "Courtesy of Norway", "Rebel Yell" and "Every man a Marshal".

* * * * *

The goal of Scum of the Earth is not to provide an exacting simulation, it is to provide a flavourful microcosm of warfare in the black powder era (and just beyond).
Most importantly, it is about getting picking up a pack of figures that you like the looks of, painting them as you like them and getting them on the table.

Available here!

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Starport Scum vehicle guide



The Vehicle Guide is now available for Starport scum, covering how to acquire vehicles, how to build them in the game rules, how to move and fight with them and how to fix them back up afterwards.

Originally, this was intended to be a combo with the starship rules but I realized that starships bring all manner of other expectations that would make it a bit too heavy, so they will get their own, separate expansion pack later on.

www.wargamevault.com/product/206418/Starport-Scum-Vehicle-Guide

(incidentally all purchases right now will go pretty directly to finance a replacement work computer)

The models on the cover are from Armies Army and are 15mm scale.

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Its okay to just like games

I don't write commentary all that often on here, mostly because I don't know if I am all that interesting and people just want to hear when the **** the revision to Five Parsecs is coming or whatever.

But I wanted to throw this out there:

I like games.

That seems pretty self-evident so let me elaborate:

Across both the RPG, board gaming and miniatures communities I see a lot of squabbling about this or that style of gaming:
Euro games vs Ameritrash, CCG vs LCG, strict simulation vs beer&pretzels, "old school vs new school" etc. with the typical tendency of nerds to divide everything into every-smaller sub-divisions of thought.

And I always feel weird about it, because it doesn't make much sense to me.
I like games, I like almost all games.
I like White Wolf and I like Rolemaster.
I like Command&Colors and Advanced Squad Leader.
I like Face of Battle and I like Black Powder.

Sure, there's games I prefer and there's styles I prefer but the idea of declaring that entire swathes of gaming are bad and that I won't even entertain their discussion seems silly to me, because ultimately that means less gaming.

The sort of sneering attitude that forum personalities adopt when they declare that they "Definitely can't play a wargame that isn't exhaustively researched" or that "they just can't play a eurogame" seems self-limiting for the sake of making some sort of vague internet points.

Why isn't the norm "Oh shoot, I don't play scifi myself but you did a killer job painting those figures" instead?


If I could impart any single thing to the world of gaming through my writing, it'd be that it's okay to just sit down and play.