Friday, 22 August 2014

5 Parsecs from home- Campaign start

I have been spending a lot of time messing around with rosters and QRS sheets convenient to use on my 13" laptop while playing 5 Parsecs. I don't have a printer you see. Unfortunately, in the heat of design, I accidentally deleted part of my original roster. Oops.

No matter, I'll write off the crew of the Patagonia as a test run. A story this crew heard in a bar... Which coincidentally is what I rolled for how they met. A cliche, but hey- If it's good enough for countless RPG campaign beginnings it's good enough for me.
I salvaged what I could, and rolled up what I couldn't remember. This time I used my own house rules to help generate the crew, as is suggested under "freeform characters" on page 23.
My method was to choose my set of 5 figures first. In this case, the free trader crew set from Khurasan (of course) which I have been dying to use for something for a long time.
I rolled all the human characters as normal (some of these were salvaged from my first crew, as I really liked Jella Hart, the outlaw country singer from a rich family. Archer fans will know why this is so funny) but selected "Orange class alien" and randomised between "Droid" and "warbot" for the mechanical member of the crew. I rolled 3 alien traits for Toros, and added "UNITY enforcers" as a group enemy, as Orange class aliens are hunted by the law.

Next, I simply gave each figure the weapon/weapons on the sculpt. Saves a lot of conversion headaches I would otherwise give myself. To "make up" for this, I also roll one drawback assigned to a random member of the group. (whoops, have not done this yet in the JPG)

And there's how it went down. A very eventful campaign turn and a short scuffle with the law. Feelings were hurt, jaws were hurt... Nobody made any money.
Just another day on the Fringe!

(Sadly, I got  phone call in the middle of extracting jpgs of my rosters and accidentally deleted them. That will teach me to do that. Just pics and brief write ups from now on I think.)

Thursday, 21 August 2014

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!

Saturday, 3 May 2014

Third Shivan

Here is another Shivan figure from Blue Moon, joining the two I painted a while ago. The rifle was very thin and musket-like, so I built up one more to my liking from plastic card.
Lots of movement in these sculpts, I've grown to appreciate them more and more.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Pack-Away terrain

Here is a little project I whipped up as my travel kit for my upcoming move back to the UK.
I saw some infinity terrain built similarly, and liked the idea of terrain that stored other terrain inside itself. This kit packs everything pictured into an 11x3.5" space when put away.

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Centalon 2

Sculpted on a cyber eye, went crazy on the OSL. This is a divisive range, but I'm having fun painting it!