'Barbarism is the natural state of mankind,' the borderer said, still staring somberly at the Cimmerian. 'Civilization is unnatural. It is a whim of circumstance. And barbarism must always ultimately triumph.'

-Robert E. Howard
Beyond The Black River

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Man & Machine.....

Still plugging away at the rules formatting and changing of a few things.  Currently looking at a way to simplify terrain and movement effects.

Other than that, which will be a significant re-write of the rules, I need to set up a stats card for mobs, fill out a table of contents and finish the points system.

Then I will have the Alpha version completed.


Monday, February 23, 2015

Earth Doom.....

One of my favorite models from Khurasan are the Earthdoom suits.  I knew I wanted to use them as the power armor for my RESD troopers.

I killed two birds with one stone over the weekend and set up my new airbrush, an Iawata Neo CN and got one suit painted and my other two base coated.

Base coasted models with a 15mm trooper for scale.

Completed minus the base.  This is the scheme I am going to go with.  Although I am still considering the troopers using custom paints over the cockpit.  My original thought was a hand print.  Some kinda tribalish ideas maybe.

I had some issues with the white paint drying too fast, making it difficult to get the skull to go smooth.  I ended up making a wet pallete after the fact, and will give that a shot this week. 

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Man & Machine Update

Just a quick update this afternoon. Updated the order dial to be round.  Same order selection, but this will allow the addition of more easier.

Also picked up some new sci-fi art from RPGNOW.com, some example stock art, as well as continued to work on my own abilities so I can do the cover art.  I have a new idea for that.

Also did a little more formatting.  Booklet is looking to be about 20 pages right now.  Rules are pretty much finished and formatted.  Just need to finish the points system and put that in the rules and I should be pretty much at a playable alpha stage.




Thursday, February 19, 2015

Blockade Buster Conversion - Missile Pods

One of my original posts detailed a conversion of the Matchox Blockade Buster into a Grav tank.

This little tank from Matchbox is a pretty cool base for light/medium vehicles for 15mm sci-fi.  I bought a few of them.  My current project is to build a base that I can cast in resin and just plug the tops into to mass produce the grav tank from the earlier post.  That is an ongoing project and the subject of an upcoming post.

Today is an overview of a simple missile pod conversion I did.  The first step is to remove the turret leaving a pretty simple APC looking vehicle without a top.  You can see the blockade buster here with a 15mm robot from Ground Zero Games and a Matchbox Stryker.


Once the turret was removed the next step was to cover the hole that was left.  I did this with some 2 part putty.  Shaped a basic hatch and pressed it into the space and left it sit.  I also prepped the tank to take the launch pods by drilling a hole and gluing in a piece of brass rod.

 The next step was to set up the missile pods.  They were created from two quick electric connectors, the front of a bic pen and a piece of wire. 
using my pin vise I drilled a small hole in the bic pen and the two electric connectors.  This allowed me to use the small wire to work as a connecting axle for the two pods. 

 The next step was to afix the missile turret (minus the pods) to the body of the tank.  I did this with both a 2 part putty in the hollow of the pen and super glue.  I felt this would make the missile tank fairly robust.
 
Finally I attached the missile pods to the turret and affixed a small plastic gem to the top to act as a radar or perhaps a laser based active defense system.
And the completed missile tank.  Basic paint job n the pods and a quick wash to bring out the body details.
 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Colony Terrain 15mm Sci-fi

Since getting back into miniatures, I have wanted to build a set of colony terrain. I have started this but have temporarily put it on the back burner as I work on other projects, some miniature related some not.

I wanted to show some examples of the colony terrain I am working on. These are 99% foam core with a few added bits such as cardboard for detail, drywall plaster, 3d paint etc.

Main buildings

Largest building. Imagined as a main control area. Control area with upper level removed.
Smaller utility building. Smaller building with roof removed.

Other Structures
 
 

Control Tower. Bottom with resin cast door.

Control Tower. Big enought for 15mm to patrol the top.

Drop pod. Used to deliver supplied and then used as a colony building. Converted blockade buster and 15mm Khurasan human for scale.

View of part of the colony layout.

Still have a ways to go. Thinking some larger hexagonal buildings, pipes, tunnels etc. Overall though the buildings go together fairly quickly. The detailed card is probably the most fiddly bit. That's it for now. Hope to get some more work done on Man & Machine today or Friday.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Man & Machine: The stats & more about Mobs

STATS
I am trying to keep the engine fairly simle, but I still want heros to be heroic and be individual. 

Currently the stats I am using are:

Actions: Number of actions a model gets.  As orders are given, models with a lot of actions will get moves at the end of an order phase while other models are unable to respond.
Training: Indicates target number needed for successful roll on a d6.  2+,3+,4+ and 5+ are typical and range from rabble to elite.  Most heroic models will probably be 2+ or 3+.
Prowess: How good is the model in melee.  Indicates number the base number of dice the model gets in hand to hand combat.
Accuracy: How accurate are they with a gun? Indicates the number of base dice used in ranged combat
Agility: How quick and agile are they? Indicates number of dice used when making opposed ranged combat rolls
Life: How much damage can the model take before they are killed
Skill: How many dice does a model get to attempt skill tests
Armor: How many armor dice do they get.  This stat is downgraded as a model takes damage and is denoted as 3/1.  As a model takes damage their armor will downgrade to their minimum roll.  Once at the minimum roll the damage goes to the life of the model. 
Heroism: A spendable stat.  Once a point is spent it is gone for an encouter.  These are used to simulate the luck of a hero on the field.  Spending a point will allow a model to change a singel die pool to all successes or all failures.  They can be spent at any time.  And the opponent may then spend one of their points to counteract the spent point if they choose.  This makes the dice stay as they were.

Machines have similar stats, but have no Heroism stat and no skills.  But they do have one specialized stat:  Mobility: Wheeled, tracked, Walker, Hover and Flight.  These will allow machines to traverse the battlefield quicker

Mobs are similar to the regular stat profile but have no Heroism, a training cap of 4+, no skills and armor that dosen't downgrade(for simplictity) but will end up being expensive.

MOBS
I did a little testing with mobs last night too.  Just a few combat phases with a hero vs a mob of 5.  I will have a max number of dice per roll, as a large mob could roll a huge number of dice.  We can assume there is a maximum effective number of a group, over that they get in each other's way.

Combat stats like accuracy will start with the model's base stat and add one more die per member of the mob.

I may do hand to hand the same way, but I am not sure it will be necessary simply do to the self limiting number of models that can engage in combat.

For shooting at mobs, heros will have the ability to fire at a single member, or spread their fire over a number of models.  The mobs agility in these situations will be their base agility stat +1 die per each additional model.  ie A hero fires at a mob of security officers that have an agility of 3 and a training of 4+.  The hero has an accuracy of 4 and a training of 3+.  The hero decides to fire at 3 of the mob.  The hero rolls a base roll of 4.  The mob gets a base of 3 dice + 2 more dice for the additional targets and rolls a base of 5 dice. 

If the hero scores 2 successes in the above scenario then two of the models take 1 damage, that may or may not be stopped by armor.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Man & Machine: Mobs

Up until now the rules had two basic model classifications:  MAN & MACINE.

MAN was used to represent the heros on the field.  MACHINE was used to represent either small vehicles or non sentinet robotic units.

As the game has materialized in my mind and I have replayed various scenese from movies I decided I was missing something still.

If you wanted to play an assault against a shield generator, with the basic idea I had it could only ever be a unit of elites vs a unit of elites.  You could never have a group of troopers from an evil empire trying to hold out against a group of rebelious heros.  You couldn't even have a single guy controlling a bunch of troopers defending an airlock.

I came to the conclusion that often the heros are supported by lessers: Minions or helpful aliens.

And so I am going to add a third group of models that can be used.

The Mob will basically be single card for whole unit of models with 1 life and identical weapons and armor.  Basic coherence, simpler order structure, affected by the mental stat of a hero, or presence of a hero.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Yet more Man & Machine

I have been wondering about cover artwork for this project.  I am not sold on doing it myself, i'm not that much of an artist, but have been drawing a fair bit lately so I thought what the heck.

Some variation of this will probably make the Alpha rules at least.  I guess we will see what else I can come up with.


Monday, February 9, 2015

Man & Machine: Turn Sequence

Plotted out the turn sequence for Man & Machine.

I had thought to use a graphic showing a few models and their movement, but decided a flowchart was a simpler and more complete way to show what I was going for, has one small error, which has been fixed, but I haven't had a chance to upload it yet.  This still gives an idea for how I view the game turn working.



The rules are now formatted up to Turn Sequence.  I hope to have a basic alpha rule set for initial play testing in a couple of weeks.



Friday, February 6, 2015

Man & Machine: Example Illustrations

As I close in on having a basic first concept mostly put down on paper, I am turning to layout.  I came across this blog today which was fairly helpful in moving forward with what I want to do design and layout wise. http://the-dark-templar.blogspot.co.uk/2014/10/how-to-design-rulebook-introduction.html.  I set up a basic layout in Scribus this evening and toyed with setting up pages.  I think it should look pretty cool.

One of the things I want to have is some simple, clear examples of the mechanics.

I spent part of tonight drawing a few top down views of soldiers and equipment and then set about digitizing them into the computer so I could use them as samples.


Two miniatures with a set of dice showing success and failure results.
Using the above graphics I can put together fairly simple, and I hope easy to understand examples of game mechanics.


Example showing Blue shooting at Red.  Highlights the relevant stats and any modifies, in this case +1 from the bushes.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Man & Machine: Turn Activation

One of the major hurdles I was trying to overcome was an activation system that was fairly simple, but involved both players at all time.

I have gone with a system that will allow players to alternately use models.

  • Player 1 uses a model
  • Player 2 uses a model
  • Player 3 uses a model
  • etc
The concept is that each player must plan their strategy and assign orders to each model.  Then once they are assigned the models are used one after the other.

My current system has 8 orders, such as move, shoot, use a skill etc, and are arranged around an octagon.  Players would place a paperclip on the order they want and place it face down next to the model or it's card.

Order wheel.   One per model.

One of the things I am trying to do with this system is to create a fairly cool looking game without spending loads of money on art, or having to do it all myself.  I have sourced some from RPGnow.com and of course I am making large use of http://game-icons.net/

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Man & Machine

Rules Rules Rules

So many rules.

I am sure we could all use another set.

I have been considering a skirmish ruleset for sometime.  I had originally envisioned it as a fantasy type game, but then I thought, why not Sci-Fi?

There are certain aspects and mechanics that I really like in a simple fast skirmish game.

I am tentatively thinking of it being infantry and power armor based, hence Man and Machine as a working title.

1) No math
  • This involves rolling a pool of attack, defense, skill dice aiming to hit a particular target.  Various games use this idea: Tomorrow's War, X-wing Miniatures, Conan etc
  • Each die can be a success or a failure (Or possibly critical success or critical failure)
2) No writing
  • Generally apart from possibly writing down and designing your forces life and effects are all tracked via chits and counters.  ie a player gets armor chits or life chits that are used to track each models status
3) Simple rules
  • Simple set of rules to govern combat and basic movement.
  • Simple skills that add depth, such as Technical, Medic etc.
4) Activation....
  • I feel this aspect can really make a game interesting and I am not entirely sure how I want this to work yet.
I have some ideas rattling around as well as some notes on some post-its.  I will probably post some general ideas on the mechanics as I develop it here.