Monday, 10 July 2017

Not Just a Brush War deal of the day

If you swing over by Wargame Vault, you can pick up our Not Just a Brush War supplement on the cheap.
Completely system agnostic, this lets you generate a developing nation, complete with its problems and flaws, then take it through a narrative campaign system that you can use to inspire your tabletop gaming.
This can be mixed with pretty much any rules system for 20th century gaming, from No End in Sight to Command Decision.

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Unity Field Agent player use permissions

A variation of this will be added to all new NWG core rulebooks and (if time permits) to older ones as well.

If you purchased these rules from the War-game Vault, you are fully authorized to do the following:

* Print out copies for personal use, including through commercial print services.

* Print up to 8 pages as handouts at conventions or club games.

* Publish scenarios, characters, house rules and similar for a blog, forum, website or magazine.

  • Set up and run convention scenarios. If you do, reach out to me and I can provide some discount codes to give away.

  • You may publish scenarios or campaigns commercially through any channel desired, provided a copy (digital or otherwise) are provided to the author of Unity Field Agent.
Scenarios and campaigns may reproduce up to approximately one page of relevant information, troop profiles or similar from the official rules.

* You may offer troop profiles for any miniature figure you retail, provided it is clear that the profile is not officially sanctioned by Nordic Weasel Games.

You are not authorized to otherwise distribute these rules. 

You may not charge for any hand-outs you issue for games. 

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Unity Field Agent plan changes. Plus Battle Mission talk

The plan has changed a bit, though it'll be to your benefit.

The goal is that Unity Field Agent will ship with 3 army lists, rather than 1 (Agents, Fringe Spacers and one alien race, most likely the K'Erin).

This should help the "out of the box" playability.

The Encounter Mode will also be beefed up a little to feature 6 possible objectives and 20 battle conditions that can apply to a battle.

For Battle Missions, another will see release this week, if all goes well.
I am curious as to what thoughts people have so far.

I keep having heart-burn that they are too simple and that people want more "grit" in their scenarios.
But that could just be me mis-reading people's intentions.

Saturday, 1 July 2017

Battle Mission 3 - The Patrol

Welcome to Battle Missions 3.

This will be a short series of easy-to-set-up missions that can be used to faciliate a pick-up war game.

The missions are aimed at being generic and include army building suggestions for fantasy/medieval, black powder and 20th century/scifi games.

This allows them to be used with nearly all war game rules systems out there.

Included are also example forces for a world war 2 Eastern Front scenario, letting you simply set up and play.

Brief notes will be included allowing the scenarios to be used in a campaign as well.

* * * * *

Mission 3 begins as two patrols encounter each other, escalating into a fully fledged confrontation, as both sides try to wear out their enemies, while waiting for their reinforcements to arrive.

The battle includes a simple victory point system and army builder, allowing you to use any system, even if it lacks a points system.

Players who are following the Battle Mission series can link them as a campaign, with each mission granting a small advantage in the following mission.

The mission is inspired and adapted from an old 40K mission.

A plea for a friend

Well, an online friend but in any event.
+William Dowie 's wife, who have illustrated several OSR/retro-D&D style books is battling with an extremely aggressive cancer, which at this point has reached stage 4 lung cancer.

You can read a bit about it here:

They have set up a gofundme to help medical expenses and do what they can with what they got.
I know this is outside the typical war-gamers sphere, but please consider if you can spare a few bucks.
The thought of going through all that makes me feel numb and dead inside. I can't even imagine.

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Battle Mission 2 - Nightfall

Welcome to Battle Missions 2.

This will be a short series of easy-to-set-up missions that can be used to faciliate a pick-up war game.

The missions are aimed at being generic and include army building suggestions for fantasy/medieval, black powder and 20th century/scifi games.

This allows them to be used with nearly all war game rules systems out there.

Included are also example forces for a world war 2 Eastern Front scenario, letting you simply set up and play.

Brief notes will be included allowing the scenarios to be used in a campaign as well.

* * * * *

Mission 2 would be a straight-forward area control battle, if it didn't take place at night.

As you deploy your forces, you will be able to use forward elements to spearhead your force, but there's no guarantee they (or the rest of your army) will arrive to the field of battle where you intended them to!

Suggestions are included for handling night fighting in games that do not already provide rules for the situation.

Lastly, players who finished Battle Mission 1 will be able to take advantage of their victory when playing Mission 2.

Available here

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Battle Missions 1 available

Welcome to Battle Missions 1.

This will be a short series of easy-to-set-up missions that can be used to faciliate a pick-up war game.

The missions are aimed at being generic and include army building suggestions for fantasy/medieval, black powder and 20th century/scifi games.

This allows them to be used with nearly all war game rules systems out there.

Included are also example forces for a world war 2 Eastern Front scenario, letting you simply set up and play.

Brief notes will be included allowing the scenarios to be used in a campaign as well.

* * * * *

Mission 1 is inspired by the beloved "Cleanse" mission from old editions of Warhammer 40.000.

It is a very straight-forward "control the table" mission with no complex interactions or special rules to remember and is an excellent pick-up scenario or introduction to a new wargames system.

It is available here

Monday, 26 June 2017

Starport Scum vehicle guide available again

I just discovered that the vehicle guide for Starport Scum had inadvertently been set to Private.

It's now available for sale again, and I'll be more careful with where I click with my clumsy fingers!

It covers introducing vehicles, fixing them when they break, modifying them and other concerns relevant to the Starport Scum game.

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Unity Field Agent update

Crazy revelations aside, the core mechanics for Unity Field Agent are complete.

There are very minor tweaks from the last uploaded version but if you have the beta (AND have downloaded the latest version), except it will look fundamentally the same mechanically.

That doesn't mean you should seize providing any feedback you have, just bear in mind that sweeping changes at this stage won't be likely.

Now, to iron out the three game modes and the initial army information :)

Did I mention there'll be a platoon to company sized version later? Yeah?
More on that soon.

Friday, 23 June 2017

Another scenario from the generator

Another scenario rolled up at random, using the Scifi scenario generator we sell here

We'll simply go through each table and see how it all turns out:

Why are we fighting?
The roll tells us "Border Tension".
That to me suggests something a little bit lower key, maybe two rival factions or nationalities.

We'll go with human troops on both sides for this one.

Game scale and relative army size:
We'll use the standard table and get a half company.

That means each side will default to roughly this size, though it can be tweaked slightly.
A roll for army size tells us both forces are roughly same size.

I'll set up one side as two platoons of troops (6 squads) while the other gets a single platoon, plus company level support weapons.
The smaller force numerically will be on the defensive.

Army composition:
We roll infantry heavy for both forces, meaning this will be an urban slug fest.
I'll assign two support elements to the defenders and the dice give us Fire Support and Regular Troops.

We add another squad of infantry, bringing them to 4 total.
Fire Support, we'll take as a pair of mortars and a machine gun team.

Troop quality:
For the defenders, we get a roll of Untrained troops with Low Morale. Ouch!

So that tells us these are probably partisans of some sort.
Maybe they've been raiding across the border and the attack on the urban area is a pacification operation.

The attackers receive Extensive Training and High Morale.
We'll give them pretty solid ratings on both fronts.

The attackers objective is retrieval of a Vital Data object from the battle field.
Let's say there's a cache of computer hardware in a make-shift HQ in the town.
The attackers are obviously fairly trustworthy troops, sent to grab it, while the ragtag militia will try to hold them off with stolen heavy weapons.

I will skip the terrain roll, since the image in my head has already pointed me to a city-style table, with the troops fighting street to street.

Since purely games can be a bit dull for the defender, one of their squad leaders gets a side mission.
Turns out he's a bit of a glory-hound and wants to fight the toughest enemy he can find on the battle field.

Leading a squad of fairly hopeless troops, that's not so good, but if the defenders get trounced, this is a good way of allowing a "moral victory".

The dice must be on to the hopeless nature of the fight, since the unforeseen circumstance is bad visibility.
On an urban table, maybe this won't matter that much, but it'll help the out-numbered defenders a little bit.

I hope that helps showcase how you can use the generator.

Thursday, 22 June 2017

UFA - Fringe Worlder special rules

In all games, Fringe Spacers receive the following benefit:

When playing an Ace for an Extra Action, the recipient can remove a Shock marker (representing the sort of nutter determination required to get ahead on the Fringe worlds)

In Encounter battles, when you shuffle the deck, roll a D6 for every objective you hold.

The first time one of these dice turn up a 6, claim 1D6 victory points as you've found a little extra loot.

This can only trigger once per game.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

FiveCore alternate damage dice

One idea I've kept kicking around is to have a small booklet of different damage dice.

Something you could pull out when writing a scenario, creating a variant of the rules or otherwise messing around.

So you might have things like "Stun" dice or whatever.

Anything people might be interested in seeing?

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Unity Field Agent update

A massive update and expansion of the Unity Field Agent public beta, in response to player feedback and suggestions.

Go grab your files again.
If you didn't yet, now's the time.

This version also features far more extensive examples, explanations and descriptions.

Monday, 19 June 2017

Back in civilization

We're safely back in Michigan, so there'll be a BIG update to the public version of Unity Field Agent momentarily.

If you like random events in your war games, I'll have something for you all to look at soon, as well.

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Out of town next week

From tomorrow until the 17th or 18th, I'll be out of town, so things will be fairly quiet.

I'll still respond to email and G+ messages, so don't hesitate but replies might be a touch shorter :-)

If you are in the beta test for Unity Field Agent or An Orc Too Far, this is a great time to get in some games.

If not, why not grab them?

Scifi scenario example

This is the example provided in the booklet, so you can use this as an idea of how it works.

So let’s take a look at how it might all come together:

We start by rolling a 7 for the reason we are fighting and find ourselves in the middle of a full-scale invasion.

That might work better for a big game, so we dig out some 6mm war game rules and roll a 6 for the game scale, getting a reinforced battalion per side.

A 5 for relative size means both armies will be about the same size, meaning 3 companies, the battalion support elements and a support element or two.

I am going to just roll up the composition for my own troops.
The composition rolls give me a 4 meaning my force is heavy on Fast Troops.

That could be motorcycles, scout vehicles, jet bikes or anything like that.

So we’ll set it up as two companies of recon forces with a regular infantry company and then the battalion support guns.

Since our battalion is reinforced, we’ll roll twice for support elements.
A 3 and a 7 gives us Specialists and Regulars.

We add in an extra platoon of infantry and some sniper teams to make things interesting.

Since this is clearly some sort of scout or quick response force, we’re going to skip the quality rolls and just assume they are hardened regulars with dependable morale.

I roll a 3 for my objective, which means I must break through the enemy line.
Ouch, with so many light troops, that’ll be a major challenge.

Okay, so to make this work, we’re going to base this a bit on the Generation Kill book and television show.

Our force is basically the advance marine elements crashing into (and through) scattered enemy forces.

That then tells us that the enemy will be of modest quality and not particularly numerous, so we’ll skip the rolls for relative strength. About a weak battalion of enemy troops in modest defensive positions will work pretty well.

To reflect the surprise attack, they will have very few leadership elements to rally them.

I roll once for terrain setup and get a 7: A central clutter with open spaces.
I set up a number of buildings and debris near the center of the table to create a small village, then the surrounding table will be relatively sparse, with some linear obstacles, copses of trees and a few hills.

Lots of space for the jet bikes to move around on, but we’ll need the infantry to get stuck in hard.

For a side mission, I pick one of the jet bike platoons and roll a 2 for their lieutenant. “Stick to the assigned role” is what we get, so that platoon is going to rely purely on hit and run tactics, avoiding being bogged down in a shoot-out.

Finally an 18 on the Unexpected Circumstances table tells us that a monster is prowling the battle field!

I have some terrain that looks like rocky outcroppings with caves, so when moving near one of them, I’ll roll randomly to see if a monster pops out and tries to eat my bike troops.

Voila, we’re ready to play.

A complete scenario with barely any prep work required and not a scenario I think I’d ever have thought up on my own. 

Friday, 9 June 2017

Sci-fi scenario generator available!

Short on inspiration?
Played all the scenarios in the rule book?
 Want to play something you haven't done before?

 This scenario generator will work with almost any miniatures rules you like to use and can be scaled from squad-to-platoon level skirmishes, all the way up to battalion sized battles and above.

 Whether you need objectives, unexpected conditions, side-objectives for specific characters or guidelines for army composition and quality, we got you covered with 11 random tables, several of which are multi-column.

 * * * * *
 Since the booklet is not system specific, it is also of some value to roleplayers interested in running a military styled scenario.
Roleplayers should take note that this will help you set up the conditions surrounding a military engagement and the troops taking part.
 You would then be able to fit it into an ongoing campaign (or build a short mini-campaign around the battle) using your normal roleplaying game system.

 * * * * *

 It can be adapted to historical, fantasy or contemporary settings with some conversion work.
Please be aware that you will need to do a bit more foot-work if purchasing for these purposes.

Grab it here

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Unity Field Agent

The Wargame Vault file section for the beta has been uploaded with a draft army list for Fringe-Space scum and cretins. Suitable for most Necromunda, post-apoc and even some modern day figures, it'll give you a more structured way of setting up forces during the beta. Points values need testing of course, as they always do.

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

A few quick notes on Unity Field Agent

A few quick Q&A's for the beta test and some general notes:

Q: How does "Double-Wait" work?

A: If a character has this ability and Waits twice, it just means they could reaction fire twice.
Any given action can only be the subject of one Wait reaction though.

So if an enemy moves across their sight, they could shoot.
If that enemy then shoots, they could take their second shot.

Q: How does "Double-Recover" work?

A: Since Shocked figures are forced to recover anyways, the only use for this currently is to try and get rid of Damage status.

Q: Is there a limit to the number of Shock and Damage markers a character can have?

A: In the Beta no.
In the full rules, accumulating 3 Shock or 3 Damage causes removal from play.
You can play with that option if you like.

Q: Will there be racial special rules?

A: A few, yes. The intention is to keep it very limited though.
As much as possible will be handled through the Double-Action and Bonus-Action abilities.

Q: Is there an intended figure scale?

A: As usual, I tend to play with 15mm figures using 25mm measurements, but go with whatever you like.

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Unity Field Agent. Public Beta test.

Unity Field Agent is the upcoming multi-tiered skirmish game from Nordic Weasel Games.

Planned to feature three distinct modes of play, the rules feature a card-driven mechanism and action system that alleviates many common concerns with such systems.

Set firmly within the "Fringe" system of games like Five Parsecs From Home and Clash on the Fringe, all you need is 8-12 scifi figures and the urge to gun down some fools.

The full version of the rules will feature three distinct ways to play: Points driven games suitable for pick-up play, a "gang warfare" mode where you retain your figures and build up experience points and finally a "Story" mode using random tables to construct a complex narrative campaign experience.

Whether you want to play a battle-hardened mercenary sergeant, an enlightened Precursor explorer or a psycho ganger, Unity Field Agent will see you in good shape.

This 12 page Beta version features a condensed version of the core rules, as well as a small selection of ready-to-play troop stats.

It does NOT feature any scenario rules, points values or similar tools. The goal of the public Beta is to further stress test the core mechanics.

It features absolutely minimal attention to layout and no artwork.

The beta test is made available on a "Pay what you want" basis.

If you are curious, you can download the rules for free or you can make a contribution to support further development.

Note that when the beta concludes, this version will not be available for purchase any longer, though existing owners will retain access to it.

Buying the Beta does NOT give you access to the full version, though if you pay 10 dollars or more, shoot me an email at and I'll make sure you get a comp copy once we're live with the final version.

Sunday, 28 May 2017

If you're the guy who sent me spells for An Orc Too Far

Can you hit me up real quick with the document containing the spells and your thoughts on points values?


Saturday, 27 May 2017

Codename UFA: Getting things done

The core of the game is the Action system.

We've already discussed how the card draw works.

What are Actions? Well, obviously the things you can do on your turn, with a character being able to take 1, 2 or 3 Actions depending on the card and circumstances.

One very important caveat is that characters CANNOT repeat the same action in their activation, unless an ability permits otherwise.

So f.x. if I have two actions, I cannot simply shoot twice.
If I want to use both actions, I could move and fire, aim and fire or even fire and wait (allowing a shot in return later in the turn).

This helps push more creative game play and avoid the temptation to simply stand still and get as many attack dice as possible.

The total list of actions are:
Move, Prowl, Aim, Fire, Brawl, Task, Recover, Wait.

These cover most of what we'd want a character to be able to do, and creates quite a bit of flexibility.

A character creeping forward into an ambush position might Prowl and then Wait.

In a heated firefight, you might Fire and then Wait.

Running across an open space, you might Move and then add a Prowl move at the end (in this case representing your character flinging themselves forward at a run, rather than sneaking as such)

Some actions include an option to "step", allowing a 1" move before the action is taken.
With this, you can generally shift yourself into a suitable position rather than being stuck juuuuust out of sight or whatever.

Combined with the card system, this system will (I think and hope) allow as much freedom as possible, without falling into some of the traps that such systems can have for a player.

Friday, 26 May 2017

Polishing my own feather for a moment

Since my mate +Paolo Greco showed that you could look this up, I decided to find where Nordic Weasel Games ranks sales wise.

On drivethrurpg and rpgnow, in the top 15%.
That's surprising since we only really sell Dungeon Scum and a few other tidbits on those sites.

Then I checked for Wargame Vault and..

Top 0%? I guess the 1% isn't elite enough for this here Weasel :-)

Pretty consistent numbers too. The minus number at the bottom is the number of months ago.

So yeah. Thank you to everyone that buys this stuff, that blog about it, that talk it up, share pictures or write me long emails about how to adapt FiveCore to a game of interpersonal romance in a crossover between Star Trek and Lord of the Rings.

You helped make it happen.

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Codename UFA: Building blocks of a soldier

Figures are rated in 5 ways numerically, 4 of which are expressed as simple target numbers to roll equal or above on a D6.

Speed is of course expressed directly in tabletop inches.

Brawling skill, Firing Skill, Morale and Toughness are all expressed as a dice roll.

So for example, a common infantry trooper might have Speed 6 (moves 6 inches per standard Move action), Brawling skill of 5+, Firing skill of 4+, Morale of 4+, Toughness of 5+.

So he needs to roll a 5 or 6 to hit with a Brawling attack or to deflect an incoming shot, while needing a 4, 5 or 6 to hit with a ranged shot or pass a Morale test.

Some rolls are modified but rather sparingly.
We'll talk about that later on :)

The goal of the troop profile is to have as few steps from "my guy is a Precursor assault trooper" to "I need to roll this to do a thing".

Likewise, the special rules for alien troops will be as consistent and easy as possible, with most abilities being tied to the turn sequence, either being able to perform specific bonus actions or repeat particular actions.

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Codename UFA: How things happen.

Take a deck of cards.

Each player picks a suit (half-deck) or color (full deck).

Draw one card at a time.
When all figures are "Activated"

The player indicated may activate a figure, taking 2 or 3 actions depending on the card.

Karl ran across the open space, firing his pistols as he went.
As he came into the sights of the sniper, he flung himself forward, rolling into cover.

Aces allow an action to be taken by a figure that already acted (or will act later).

The gun slinger turned the corner, certain that he'd get the drop on the marksman busy firing at his friends.
To his dismay, as he stepped into view, he stared right into the barrel of a MK7 "Reciprocator" rifle.

Characters with particular skills can use any card to take a bonus action, even if all of your figures have activated already.

Seeing his opportunity, Zzh'krz leapt from the top of the building, his wings carrying him in a sustained glide.
In moments, he'd covered the span of the plaza, landing behind cover while the humans shot at each other ineffectually.

And lastly Leaders can stick a card aside, to give a bonus action when they activate.

"SHOOT YOU BASTARDS" she shouted.
"I want that Grark DEAD, I want its family DEAD, I want its nest burned to the ground!"

The Corporate Security troopers complied.
Facing an angry Grark was one thing, but facing the Captain was another altogether.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Codename UFA. Ways to play, ways to die.

Day 1 - We assemble two armies bought using a points system.

I field an army entirely from [faction erased by censors] while my opponent mixes things up a little, using troops from [faction erased by censors] with mercenary support and an attached [erased by censors] just because they had a mini sitting on the shelf that'd work really well.

The game is a straight-up pitched battle over a simple objective and stands alone complete.

Day 2 - We build two mercenary forces from a short list, then they fight using a mission table to give us the basic parameters.
It turns out we're both searching for valuable salvage and this world ain't big enough for both of us.

After the encounter between them, each figure earns experience points and progresses towards upgrades.
We even get a few new guns and weapons.

When we play in this way, our forces persist and develop over time.

Day 3 - A scifi story about a personal vendetta during a military option.
Assault troops from the [erased by censors] descend on the world of Cullin's Drift.

The first battle is a raid to knock out a communications bunker, but afterwards, the story tables direct us to a flashback episode. 

We write up younger versions of the main protagonists and play through their first meeting on the battlefield, years prior.

Monday, 22 May 2017

Codename UFA. What's this?

*A mysterious agent on the hunt for signs of alien infiltration.

*A squad of hard-bitten mercenaries clearing a section of enemy trench.

*Alien warriors clash in the ruins of a long-gone civilization.

Thursday, 18 May 2017

An Orc Too Far updates

The beta test continues.

We've gotten a ton of good feedback so it'll likely continue until the end of the month, maybe even a bit further.

The good news is that essentially, everything works more or less.
There are individual parts that need some tweaking and a lot of little, unclear parts that will get fixed up.
Formations in particular may end up changing dramatically or even being removed altogether.

We of course have the benefit of working from a core system that was already tested, so we just have to work with the fantasy chrome.

I am in two minds of whether I'll do a significant content update to the beta version.
There will probably be another add-on document to test out, with some war machine and monster traits, but that may be it as far as updating it before release.

The main reason is that with time being somewhat limited of course, I'd sooner spend that time working on the final release instead.

If there are components that people really want to see in the beta, let me know though, I might be judging it wrong.

Campaign rules will most likely be a tweak on the Scum of the Earth campaign rules but with some more "fantastical" chrome added of course.

Ditto for the "veteran battalion" rules.

I will do everything possible to make sure that a points system comes included but if it looks like it's release without it or don't release at all, well...

Lastly, anyone that wants to contribute a photo or two of their gaming tables, hit me up by email.
I'd love to feature your stuff.

Best wishes

New stomping grounds

Nordic Weasel Games will no longer associate with TMP.

I imagine most of my customers get their information either directly through war-game vault email, through this blog or Google +, so this will likely not impact you significantly.

Friday, 12 May 2017

Starport Scum expanded loot

Want more loot and goodies for your squad of space scoundrels? 
With this new mini supplement, you will have access to greatly expanded loot after your encounters, whether you are after gadgets, exotic gear, piles of credits or a chance for new story hooks.
The new tables simply slot into your existing game, without any complexity or difficult mechanics.

It is available for 1.49 and can be found here:

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Fantasy races added to An Orc Too Far

Check your file section of the Vault, and you'll have some army-wide traits for a bunch of fantasy races to play with.

Go break the rules and let me know how they fare.

If you didn't grab "An Orc Too Far" yet, what are you waiting for? :)

Git 'er here!

Monday, 8 May 2017

Un-Named World War 2 platoon action

I pick the second squad to activate.

Being regulars, they roll 2D6, picking the higher die.

They receive 4 actions.

The Bren Gun team will fire at a building containing German troops - 1st action.

Next, I will move the Rifle team forward a bit closer - 2nd action.

I'll use An extra action to reload the Bren gun (giving a bonus firing die) - 3rd action.

And finally try to check on the wounded squad member and see if we can get him back on his feet - 4th action.

Rolling 5 dice to hit plus an extra for the Reload action, I score a single 6 and mark the German squad with a hit.

I also place a Suppression marker on the building.

The rifle team will move Steadily, rolling two dice. A 3 and a 4. I can move each figure 4 inches.

In the German players turn, they roll to resolve the hit they took. A roll of a 4 means the guy is wounded and is marked as such.

They then roll for their actions and the turn proceeds.

Why I also play mainstream war-games.

When discussing the new 40K, a gentleman expressed a bit of surprise that I was intending to get into the new game, being a writer myself.
I've had similar questions regarding my interest in Bolt Action.

Since my ego is basically gargantuan, I figured I'd talk about why I tend to play "mainstream" mini's games despite being deep in the "indie wargaming" scene.

These are in no particular order of priority.

It's job research!

This is a bit of a joke but I don't think you can really write well without knowing what is going on.
That means delving into the avant garde indie game fringe (like Rogue Planet, which you should all go buy) and that means knowing what the mainstream looks like.

The mainstream games like 40K, Flames of War and Bolt Action by and large set the tone and indie design must exist in relation to them.
In turn, we see "indie" mechanics sneak into these games here and there and the cycle continues.

They are easy.
40K can get very sprawling but that's mostly due to all the units. The people I play with have pretty much always been role-players first, so a low learning curve is valuable.

I enjoy most games.
The list of mini's games I've played and didn't like is very short, maybe because I have garbage tastes.

As a result, I can find a game of 40K or Void just as engaging and fun as a game of Stargrunt or Chain of Command.

Simulating hollywood warfare is as valid a design goal as historical simulation (for example).

A different head space.
The games I write tend to involve a lot of alternative mechanics: Whether it's unusual activation mechanics, command systems or weird modifier-less shooting, it's a bit further on the indie-fringe.

When I play purely for recreation, I find it's easier to relax if I play something quite conventional.
When I am playing an indie game, I find it's harder to turn off the designer-vision and I spend more time watching for how the reaction fire rule interacts with close assaults or whatever.

Social responsibility.
The kid is almost 10, which means his tastes are starting to diverge from those of his parents.

In a couple years, I figure he'll either decide toy soldiers are "like totally lame dad" or he will go full-on nerd.
If the latter is the case, I think it's important that he is familiar with at least a few mainstream games so he'll have an easier time going to a store, club or a new gaming group and being able to play with them.

Doesn't mean I won't teach him some FiveCore and Stargrunt on the side though :-)

Was this useful to anyone but myself?
I'm not sure, but then, blogging is partially about self-indulgence right?

So what about you? Do you enjoy both "indie"/"hardcore" and "mainstream" war gaming?
Is the distinction even meaningful?
Do my reasons ring true for you or are they self-absorbed junk?

Let me know!

Monday, 1 May 2017

An Orc Too Far beta/demo available

The Beta/Demo version of An Orc Too Far, the fantasy version of Scum of the Earth is available now.

Usually our beta tests are very stripped down and in very early development, but in this case, the game has been in the works about as long as Scum of the Earth has, so we opted to go for a slightly different route.

As such, you'll find that this beta/demo is a bit more fully featured. In fact, it features enough to be a complete game, including scenario set up and victory conditions, artillery, heroes and monsters.

What it lacks is campaign rules, army information for the various critters, rules for using your battalions over multiple games. 

If you are interested in fantasy mass gaming without having to break the bank and if you are interested in getting some dusty miniatures off the gaming shelf, here you go.

Interested parties can check the rules out for 2 bucks, provide any feedback they want and then decide if they wish to eventually invest in the full version or not.

Friday, 21 April 2017

Dungeon Scum Campaign - Part 2

After arriving in town, the party chatted up the locals for any leads.

They'd been drawn here by the rumors of a dangerous infestation near "Bandits Run" and were eager to go look for themselves.

Their scout Will had reasoned that roughing up a few outlaws shouldn't be a big challenge, but talking to the farmers, it seemed that any bandits had left years ago.

Lately, cattle had gone missing and weird things were creeping around the village at night.

Elliran and Grord looked at each other. This wouldn't be as easy of a mission as they'd expected.
Grord quietly calculated that they might be able to sneak in, acquire any loot and then get out unseen, while Elliran insisted that they had a duty to their villagers to defend them.

"Sure, definitely... if it works out that way"


"Oh.. nothing"

They set out the next morning, shuffling their erstwhile companions along and trying to reassure their suspicions with promises of great rewards and "no doubt very tiny monsters, barely anything to worry about really".

(A bit about mechanics, in Dungeon Scum, rather than map step by step you basically just play out the key moments of the expedition.
For this first foray into the caves, we'll have 3 key moments)

Encounter 1 - Help

As the heroes (sort of) approach the caves, cautiously advancing through the woodlands and undergrowth, they meet a rather battle-worn soldier sitting in a clearing.
He accompanied another adventuring party but they fled and he decided to hang around to find gainful employment, rather than hike all the way back on their own.

Introducing himself as Kurt, he joins up with the group.

(Kurt is a plain Minion, with a sword and leather armor. We add him to our roster)

Interlude 1

Entering the caves proper, bolstered by their new-found companion, the heroes find traces of a fight, blood stains decorate the walls (but blood stains from what?), scraps of broken weaponry and a few copper coins dropped by someone.

Roger the thief pockets the coins, wiping the blood on Biff's coat when nobody is looking.

Encounter 2 - Monster

Grord looks back over his shoulder as he turns a corner.
"I think it's a bust, nobody's home".

Then a piercing roar echoes down the corridor as a furious pack of Gnolls charges at them!

Since it's the first fight of the party, I decide to give the heroes the initiative. 
Being a confused tunnel fight, I won't be using mini's for this one. I figure the tunnel is wide enough for 3, with Grord, Kurt and Biff up front.

Moving first, Grord swings his sword at the lead gnoll but in his surprise he fails to make contact and a telling blow from the creatures mace knocks him over the head, stunning him.

Kurt, the experienced dog that he is, smashes the enemy facing him with the hilt of his sword.
Biff yelps in terror as a hyena man menaces him, flailing ineffectually.

Behind the front lines, Elliran moves to find an opening to shoot through (I realize she was supposed to have a bow but I didn't give her one, so I'll figure Kurt had a spare and handed it over to the elf)
The arrow flies true and goes through the throat of the critter facing the party leader.

Will attempts to get a clear shot but misses.
Roger and Bob mill about, unable to do much of anything in the tight space.

As the turn comes to a close, a gnoll from the back rank charges forward, trying to lay into the frantic Biff, the farmer reeling from the blows.

The gnolls easily pass their morale check.

Round 2
The heroes open up with a furious volley of attacks, but between Elliran, Grord and Kurt, all they have to show is a single stunned opponent. Hardly impressive.

The return blows from the enemy proves rather lackluster as well, leaving Grord and Biff stunned.

Round 3
Eager to break the stale mate (they're bad for profit), Grord lunges at the stunned Gnoll in front of him and lays it low with a telling blow from his sword.

Kurt, not to be outdone by the team leader, kicks another enemy in the shins and as the beast jumps around on one foot, Elliran impales its throat with an arrow, sending it gurgling to the ground.

Biff shakes off the cobwebs and Will manages to down another beast with an arrow from the rear-rank.
With losses mounting, the gnolls decide to leg it, leaving the bruised adventurers in charge of the situation.

Digging through the corpses, we find a small purse of gold coins and a mundane but usable Spear.
Kurt seems to particularly talented for a minion, so he'll lug the spear around and the gold goes in the communal fund.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

A Dungeon Scum campaign

Going to do a bit of solo-gaming using Dungeon Scum.

The adventure will have a mix of non-mini's and mini's games, both to showcase that both can work fine and because I am indecisive at times whether I want to role-play or war game.

The typical group in Dungeon Scum tends to resemble an old school D&D party, where you had multiple hired goons along for the ride, along with a few heroes and notables.

As such, I'll start with 6 characters, all rolled completely randomly.
The dice give me 4 grunts, 1 retainer, 1 hero and I get to upgrade one of the grunts to an elite.

For the grunts, I get a Petty Thief, a Deserter and a Peasant with a Spear.

Truly the stuff of legends.

The Elite is a Scout.

These "classes' don't mean anything in the rules, they're just for description.

They shall then be Biff the Peasant, Will the Scout, Roger the Thief and Bob the Deserter.

A bit better:
My Retainer rolls for their story and we get that she's an Outcast, they led a dull life, their calling was to be a Mystic, her passion is Sacrifice and her vice is Impulse.

That's a bit unusual.
We figure she's an elf (explains how she could be an outcast AND lead a dull life) looking to achieve wisdom and enlightenment through adventuring.

She'll have 3 traits.
I give her "EXCELLENT VISION - +1D to shooting" since she's an elf.
For the other two, I roll on the book tables and get SURVIVOR (+1 to recover from injuries) and BRAVE (+1 to group morale tests).

Seems oddly fitting so we'll go with that.
Her name is ....Elliran. Yeah.

The hero of the party:
Our main character grew up in a small village but the death of a loved one caused him to set out adventuring.
He felt called to become a ranger and his passion is Justice, so we'll figure orc raiders killed his family and he's out for revenge.
His vice is Deceit. A bit of a scoundrel then, but that explains the motley crew at his side.

For traits, I roll at random and get TACTICAL MOVEMENT (+1 to movement) and STEALTHY (+1dice when sneaking)

We'll dub our ranger Grord.

All characters begin with their choice of a melee weapon and light armor or a melee weapon + missile weapon.

I'll give the ranger and scout bows, everyone else has some sort of pokey-stick plus some scraps of leather.
The elf we'll role-play that she technically does not wear armor but she can dodge, giving her the same benefit.

I roll for extra items and get 2 sacks of gold (the measure of currency) and a piece of adventuring gear. I figure some Rope is fair.

And that's that:
I roll a die for the retainer and hero but neither start with any spells so that's that.
Our very motley crew is ready to begin their quest to no doubt die horribly in some monster-infested pit of hell.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Did I mention..?

That there will be a fantasy version of Scum of the Earth?

Yes, NWG will finally have a non-skirmish fantasy game. (which is officially the oldest thing ever requested).

If you aren't familiar with Scum of the earth, think a tiny tiny bit like Hordes of the things. Maybe.

Sunday, 2 April 2017

Scum of the Earth rules pack

A mini expansion with new rules, options and ideas for Scum of the Earth, including partisans and commander blunders.

Available here!

Saturday, 1 April 2017

Nordic Weasel Games to take a new step

We are proud to announce that all future NWG titles will be vegetable themed, to promote a strong, healthy life style.

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!
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.

(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.

Monday, 20 February 2017

Bills to pay. Starport Scum supplement available

Bills to Pay provides you with:

*4 new jobs (Search, Recon, Bail Out and Face Off) offering new ways to get in trouble.

*A jobs table that will let you randomly pick the next job you get, based on your crew reputation.

*New ways to make money by sending crew members on trivial jobs, gambling or even playing the investment markets.

All for the price of a disappointing hamburger.

Gunrunners guide updated

The Gunrunners guide to Starport Scum has been updated with a compatibility page for the upcoming vehicle rules.

If you haven't picked up the Guide yet, this is an excellent time, it provides a huge arsenal of additional weapons of all types for your games of Starport Scum.

Thursday, 16 February 2017

A shout out to a gamer in need

If any of you want to pitch in and help out a gamer in need, give Ginger Goat a glance on drivethruRPG.

His family are facing medical bills with a sick kid, so they could use a bit of pocket change you have to throw their way.

Go here

They specialize in somewhat off-the beaten path freeform roleplaying and live action roleplaying.
So not the sort of stuff the typical Nordic Weasel player is into ,but give it a look and see if anything strikes your interest to help a gamer out.

Disclosures: I am not financially involved with them in any way whatsoever and my experience with the games is limited to reading reviews and session reports from people who have played it.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Powder&Bayonet updated

A small update to Powder&Bayonet today, covering the "blob" formation, a small unit counterpart to forming square, as well as a few other small tweaks.

No Hope in Sight updated

Just a tiny update today of No Hope in Sight, fixing a few typos and wrong game examples.

No need to print it again.

If you haven't purchased it already, NHIS is the post apocalyptic campaign version of the "No End in Sight" system.

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Scum of the Earth beta-test

Welcome to the beta test for Scum of the Earth.
Scum of the Earth is a simple set of rules for games in the black powder period, with an eye towards the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

They are intended specifically for the "dusty book shelf".
You know that shelf. You got 12 French musketeers and 8 Prussian guardsmen and they've been sitting there ever since, collecting dust because you never got around to painting up an entire army.

Scum of the Earth uses 6 figure units and is aimed at being friendly to casual players and "Imaginary nations". 

It is playable on a 2 by 2 foot table.

The rules take some inspiration from the "Scum" series of wargame rules but uses a new unit based combat system of opposed rolls.

This is a Beta version featuring the movement and combat rules, rules for optional characters and a list of traits to build anything from enthusiastic rabble to ruthless Redcoats or arrogant French hussars.
It is offered on a pay what you want basis so you can check it out for free or contribute to support the project

Friday, 3 February 2017

FiveCore trench fighting

FiveCore Trench Warfare offers a look into the mud and the grime of late First World War trench fighting, whether at the squad or company level.

Whether it's new character classes, army generation, new campaign tables, a scenario generator or terrain notes, you will find all the details you want for both FiveCore skirmish and Company Command.

Take your men through the hell of the trenches and hope you come out on the other side.

*Note that this supplement does NOT at the moment provide details for Brigade Commander players.

*The supplement focuses on campaign play, terrain and the basics of play, it does not include TO&E details.

Sunday, 15 January 2017

From Shako to Coalscuttle available super soon!

Somewhat overdue, you may recall a public beta test last year for "From Shako to Coal-scuttle".

Well, I am pleased to say that the rules are almost here (Tomorrow if all goes to plan, Tuesday worse case).

So what are they?
They are somewhat abstracted rules aimed a a simpler gaming experience, taking a bit of inspiration from some of Neil Thomas' wonderful creations.

Enough chatter, whats the scoop?
The rules cover warfare nominally from 1805 to 1914, being roughly the period where men fought mostly in formed ranks and armed with firearms.

What is the scale of things?
We've borrowed the "Neil Thomas" approach of having an army for a scenario always be around a certain size of figures, in this case 8-15 units of 4 stands each.

This means that depending on preferences, each unit may be a battalion, a company or a brigade as the need arises.

The rules assume that infantry with smooth bore muskets will engage at 6" with improving firearms engaging at ever increasing distances.

(I should clarify that the good Thomas had nothing to do with these rules, I am simply giving his name to give proper credit, though the idea goes back to DBA of course)

Okay, that's the Neil Thomas part, what about the Nordic Weasel part?

Charging and firing uses a "one roll system" similar to Fivecore, where all results from an attack are immediately apparent with no follow up rolls.

Essentially, roll a handful of dice (typically 3-5) and count out 1's, 5's and 6's.
Every 1 forces the enemy unit back, every 5 inflicts Disarray and every 6 destroys a troop stand.

If you've played Command and Colours it's not super unlike how that game works.

This means there is no "roll to hit, roll to do damage, roll for morale, roll for moderate discomfort and brownness of pants" chain.
One roll and you know what happened to the guys at the receiving end. We call this "effects driven game design".

How is the turn sequence?
It's an IGOUGO which I felt fitted the period best allowing the move and counter-move that books always talk about.

Let me give an example:
I am commanding the Prussians with a Command rating of 2 and my army is rated as being Disciplined.

I can move and fire with all my troops and I can attempt to rally one unit for free and carry out one Shock action (such as charging, double-timing cavalry or pushing through dense ground).

Since my army is Disciplined, I get to do a second Shock action each turn and I may roll two Command dice, with a 1 on either die giving an extra rally and a 6 giving an extra Shock action.

We've used the assumption that basic actions are always possible, due to the local unit commanders, while complex actions are difficult to carry out and require concerted efforts.
An assault on the enemy line in a battle report of the day was always a big deal, so it should be a big deal in our games.

If all else fails, there are rules for sending forward your captains and colonels to push the enemy harder but they may of course not survive that.

Are there troop stats?
Individual units do not have stat lines, but the army is rated in aggregate for its Quality and Discipline as well whether its Brave and/or Disciplined.

Troops are classified on what type of basic formation they operate in (close, loose, open, assault) and their armaments throughout the period (smooth bore, early rifle, muzzle loaded (minie style) rifle, single shot rifle, magazine rifle)

Artillery likewise falls into 5 classes based on technology and towards the end of the period, the Gatling and Maxim guns of course show up to make a mess of things.

How large should my army be to play?
A typical army might be around 10 units of infantry (40 stands), 3 units of cavalry (12 stands) and 2 artillery units (2 or 4 stands depending on preference).
Rules also provide for light troops and heavy weapon stands.

What other features are included?
Campaign rules as always, some scenario options for surprised armies, elite units and so forth, a simple random army generator and a basic points system.
You also get a "meeting engagement" setup that you can use to get your feet wet with the rules.

What has changed from the beta?
Almost everything in the game has been tweaked up and a lot of rules have been cleaned up to make the game simpler.
Rather than tracking which stands are stunned, you now simply track Disarray by unit, requiring just a couple of markers to be placed.

More optional rules have been included, cavalry has been toned down slightly and of course, you get the benefit of the new additions to the game.

Page count and fluff?
The game will be just about 50 pages, give and take a single page, and that's with everything included.
It's a very tight little package.

It's all text too, for printer-friendly purposes, with maybe one exception.
I figure you all have enough nicely looking miniatures to look at already.

Who might like this game?
If you want to play what feels like a big battle, but without painting thousands of figures and taking 8 hours to finish the battle (No hate on those big battle games, they're just not the goal of this set).

If you want to be able to play a number of related periods with one set of rules.

If the feel of battle is more important to you than exact simulation.

Who shouldn't buy these rules?
Players who are very demanding of exact simulation or who exclusively play a single period within the time frame of the rules may be disappointed.
By it's nature, a game intending to cover a lot of ground must omit particular details in any given period.

Hence, rules written specifically for the Napoleonic wars (for example) can afford far more detail for that topic.

The price should be 10 dollars and it'll be available through the wargame vault very shortly.
Let me know if you have any questions.