Monday, 18 September 2017

Dungeon Scum. New adventure location

How do you feel about giant frogs and poisonous swamps?

Frog Pond Vale gives you 20 new encounters to work through, in your games of Dungeon Scum.
It can be slotted into almost any campaign with little prep work and should give a new party some stiff challenges to overcome.

Converted Army List available

Unity Field Agent players can go forth and find the army list for the "Converted" ready to purchase.

This follows the philosophy and structure of the existing army lists, and allows you to field cyborg troopers that are definitely not inspired by the Strogg from the old Quake games.

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Unity Field Agent: Rules clarification

The "Accurate" weapon trait applies even to shots made while on Watch.

Friday, 1 September 2017

Generate fantasy character background with a card deck

Today, we're catering to both fantasy war gamers, role players and solo players with the Fantasy character generator.

With this and a simple card deck, you can quickly establish an unexpected character background in a few minutes.
Perfect for GM's, solo players and people interested in adding an unexpected touch (or challenge) to their role playing character.

It's intended for a fairly "D&D" style fantasy world but could easily be adapted to a variety of other systems and settings.

You can grab it here for 1.99.

I've included the two examples from the rules in this blog post, to help showcase how it could be used:

Example 1:

In the Structured Method, we draw four times from the card deck and receive:

7 of Spades, 8 of Clubs, 3 of Hearts and Jack of Diamonds.
Scholar, Patron, Upheaval, Nomad.

We’re drawing our cards before setting up any other aspect of the character.

Our nomadic tribe, known for raiding and pillaging the borderlands eventually met its match when the knights of the Realm carried out a punitive expedition.
Our character was captured and raised in captivity, where our adopted mentors came to realize we had a keen intellect despite our modest origins.

We befriended one of the senior members of the order, who values our characters reliance on rational thought and insightful analysis. 

As a result, our character is a modest-ranking member of the order, with conflicted feelings about their place in the world and the nature of their order.

Example 2: 
In the Chaotic mode, we draw 4 cards and apply them one at a time in a time-line fashion.

The first draw is the King of Spades: Covert.

Our characters origins are shrouded in mystery but as far back as we remember, we’ve been performing actions of infiltration, spying and occasionally even assassination.

The second draw is the 5 of Clubs: Rural.

A mission went wrong and we opted to take refuge in the country-side where less old enemies might be able to track us down.

Third draw is the Ace of Diamonds: Upheaval.

Turns out it didn’t work. We never quite shed our past and one day it came knocking. Armed men looking for us meant we couldn’t hide any longer.

Final draw is the 3 of Diamonds: Mystery.

As we fled the scene, we slipped and were carried down a raging river, barely surviving.
As we lay, half-conscious, we had repeated visions of a young noble man beckoning for our help.

As we came to, we knew we needed to square with our past, kill the men who had threatened the villagers and find out who the young man is. 

Saturday, 19 August 2017

Unity Field Agent expansion pack list

Expansion 1 - Squad Mode Deck
Expansion 2 - Unity Grunts army list
Expansion 3 - Precursor Exiles army list

UFA Precursor Exile army list available

This army list for Unity Field Agent presents the Precursor Exiles.

Precursors are refined, enlightened humanoids, inspired by the Asari or Eldar. Exiles are those that don't quite fit in and seek their fortunes on the Fringes, becoming mercenaries, wanderers or pirates.

This booklet contains a brief background explanation, troop classes (with points values), victory point and experience point rules and notes on painting your forces.

We also provide a new level up table for Squad Mode play.

If you want to add a touch of style (and paint some bright colours),the Precursor army list is for you.

Expectation is that a additional feedback filters in, points values may be adjusted up or down, as the need may be.

Available here

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Where Sten Guns Dare

1943. The Fascist scourge holds Europe in an iron grip.

Across the world, battalions clash and tanks burn.

But in the shadows, another war is being fought. A war of knives and bombs. A war of infiltration. A war of resolute action and a war of daring.

Enter the world of commando actions.

* * * * *

Where Sten Guns Dare sets you in the role as a British Commando squad, tasked with undertaking missions to undermine the German war effort.

Playable solo, with a GM or in a group, you'll find the following features:

*A quick and easy to use game, using the engine from Starport Scum.

*20 character traits are provided.

*Stealth rules are included, for tense infiltration missions (the stealth system originated in FiveCore)

*Random mission set up.

*Campaign rules, letting you fight to liberate a region from Nazi rule.

*Scenario friendly. We offer rules for things like radios and mortar fire, to make sure your commandos have the support they need... as long as the Gestapo doesn't get there first.

Where Sten Guns Dare is intentionally written to be a bit more open ended and "British", falling into the category of "tool kit" rather than "complete gaming tome with answers to everything".

As such, it's not ideal for gamers who want a competitive-oriented game.

On the upside, it means the entire package fits in under 50 pages, including the campaign rules.

Short enough to digest on a Friday night, comprehensive enough for a ton of fun scenarios.

Did I mention you get a bonus if you drink tea while you play?

Get it here

Monday, 14 August 2017

A few Q&A's about Where Sten Guns Dare

After quite a while, "Where Sten Guns Dare" is about ready to go out the door.

Wait, what is this?
It's a small game about British Commandos in WW2, blowing up things.

Is it a supplement or a game?
Stand-alone rules. You won't need anything else.

What engine does it use?
The same as "Starport Scum" and "Dungeon Scum". Tweaked ever so slightly.

Can I use Starport supplements?
Most of them should have no problems at all.

Is it a campaign game?
Of course.

Solo rules?
Not explicitly, but there's guidelines for how the enemy moves and acts.

Can we play both sides?
The campaign is purely from the Allied side.
If you play with a friend, take turns or one guy runs the bad guys.

How big will it be?
Kind of short actually. Should be right around 40 pages, which is including the infiltration mission rules, set up and campaign games.

Barely. You can stick an armoured car in a base to fend off the Commandos but its a static piece.

We didn't feel full blown vehicle combat really fit in the rules. Bring a PIAT just in case though.

How is the writing style?
We opted deliberately for a more casual "British" style to this one.
This means that you won't find as many sub-sections and exhaustive rules explanations as usual.

These rules are aimed to be pretty casual.

How much history do I need to know?
We did write with the assumption that the audience understands the period, but if you've watched "Where Eagles Dare" or "Guns of Navarone" you're be right at home.

Any plans for supplements?
Unlikely, it's intended as a stand-alone game.

The goal here isn't a game that will replace all your WW2 gaming, but more a game that fills a fun niche that isn't well covered currently.
It's something you can set up, have a cool and memorable campaign over a few nights and then revisit it later down the road.

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Unity Grunts army list is now available

We are pleased to present the army list for Unity regular army troops, known as "The Grunts" for the Unity Field Agent wargame rules.
This booklet contains a brief background explanation, troop classes (with points values), victory point and experience point rules and notes on painting your forces.
We also provide a new level up table for Squad Mode play.
If you want to add regular combat troops to defend Unity (or expand its domain), this 6 page army list provides everything you might need.

UFA: Stepping while At Risk

I knew a bug would sneak through :-)

A character that is At Risk is NOT able to take a Step.
The description of the Step rule suggests that you can, which is incorrect. (Maddeningly, I did get it correct in the Conditions of the Step rule).

As a point of additional clarification, At Risk status is applied when you declare your action.

To elaborate:
K'Erin can Step before and after Brawling.

If I Step up to an enemy, I am not At Risk (because I started my action more than 1" away) and I can take the second Step after resolving the attack.

If I am already within 1" of the enemy when I take a combat action, I am At Risk and cannot Step at all, whether before or after the attack is made.

Sunday, 6 August 2017

Unity Field Agent. Story Mode example.

I thought I'd take today to give an example of how the Story Mode can work out.

Our Story revolves around a squad of Unity troopers, tasked with hunting down a pirate lord.

In the narrative, there's Unity strike teams throughout the asteroid belts but our Focus will be on just one squad, the one we're currently following.

We pick out a couple of characters in the squad as our protagonists: The Sarge, the second in command and the captain they report to.

The pirates are represented by two antagonists: The pirate scum themselves (given a strength of 2) and the inner circle of the pirate lord (strength 3).

Game 1
The first game is a standard fight as our troopers come down on a pirate crew, trying to apprehend them before they can make their escape with a bunch of loot.

We can use the normal mission cards to set this up, any objectives are simply crates of contraband to be secured.

Consequence roll
Assuming we win, we can roll a D6 with a 1 causing the antagonist we fought to lose Strength.
In this case, we roll a 3. Losing a few starport scummers aren't going to bother any self-respecting pirate gang.

Story Action
The Story Action is an open-ended way to let the player modify the narrative based on the game we just played.
It's inspired by the "Player action" in the original Five Men in Normandy campaign.

Since we defeated the pirates, we'll figure there's a good chance one of the captured cretins will tell us where one of their refuelling bases are.

Any Story action needs a 3+ roll to apply. We score a 5 so we have a clue that will let us get at them.

Story Actions don't have to just be story bits. We could have given a new weapon to a character (pirate loot), a wounded character might have developed a special ability etc.
Be creative.

Story table
Finally, a D20 roll will give an unforeseen element.
In this case a roll of a 4 is a Hindrance.
Something happens to the narrative to make our lives more difficult.

Well okay, we just trashed a bunch of valuables that the pirates were securing, so odds are they are out for revenge.

We'll play the next battle as a Unity troop ship is raided by space-psychos in retaliation.

All in all, this took maybe 3 minutes to do and we now have an on-going story with a deepening plot.
Not shabby huh?

Saturday, 5 August 2017

Starport Scum Rules Pack 2

Rules Pack 2 includes new options to customize and adjust your Starport Scum experience.
The options presented includes:

The options presented includes:

*Fire Fights (characters may return fire when fired upon)

*Increased Lethality

*More dangerous Goons

*Cinematic mode (requires playing cards)

*Economic Activity

*New HEAT tables for more difficult games.

*And finally 3 new alien world critters to make a game even more interesting.

The Increased Lethality and Cinematic options are applicable to Dungeon Scum as well.

Friday, 4 August 2017

Starport Scum and Unity clarifications

Starport Scum

Unless players agree otherwise or a GM permits, a character that is climbing a terrain feature cannot end their move half-way up (or down).

If you have insufficient movement to make the climb, then it cannot be performed that turn.

Being able to end a move half-way up a wall means all sorts of shenanigans about what happens if that character is hit by fire, can they attack by brawling etc.

For ease of play, it's simpler to just disallow it.

If playing a scenario that involves significant climbing, for example, an infiltration team scaling a tower, you'll have to adjudicate these things.

As a quick rule, a climbing character can only fire a pistol or other side arm and any weapons hit will require a D6 roll of a 3+ to avoid falling down.

Unity Field Agent
Fringe-Spacer Psychos are limited to 2 per army.

Coming soon to Unity Field Agent

Army lists for Unity Grunts and Precursor Exiles are on their way.

What are these?

The Grunts are the basic infantry of Unity armed forces, tasked with invasion and defensive operations.

The army consists of solid, competent, if a bit mundane infantry, backed up by a hard as nails "Sarge" holding it all together.
If you have a soft spot for Apone from Aliens, then this is your army.
Notably, while Sarge sticks around, the grunts won't Abandon Battle due to excessive Shock tokens.

Precursors are the classic "refined, enlighten alien that's a bit obnoxious" from scifi fiction: Mass Effects Asari, 40K Eldar, the blue space girl from Farscape or the Syreen from Star Control.

Exiles are Precursors that have struck out on their own, becoming adventurers, pirates and mercenaries.
On the battle field, they are fast, have good morale but somewhat modest Toughness.
Since they are all connected in a psychic bond, they have no range restrictions on leaders and if they draw a 2 from the card deck, you can choose to play it as an ace instead.

Each expansion army list for the rules features characters, points values, a way to learn bonus victory points and bonus experience, an army-wide special rule to set them apart, the scout rating for deployment AND the experience table for Squad Mode.

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Unity: Squad Mode deck available, plus a rules clarification

If you want to add random events between Squad Mode games, you can.
This functions similar to the in-game event deck but is drawn after you finish your battle and can affect progression, equipment and even the next battle you fight. 

One question that's come up is regarding Linear obstacles.

As written, a character must cease moving immediately after crossing a Linear obstacle.
This can get a little stodgy when a character is right behind a low obstacle and using it for cover, for example firing from behind a line of rubble.

If the terrain doesn't reach above, say, the figures knees, I'd say let them move across without penalty if they begin the Move action in contact with the obstacle.

Monday, 31 July 2017

Unified Space in general. Inspirations

There are three army lists in the core Unity rules: Fringe-Spacers, Unity Agents and the K'Erin.

So where did these come from?

The Fringers are pretty much your average scavengers, scroungers, salvage crews, bandit gangs etc.

Fans of "rundown scifi" (Traveller, Firefly, Trigun etc.) tend to love these sorts and they can be modelled really well with gang models and a few adventurer types thrown in.

The army list permits the use of more rustic "nomads" as well as ex-army veterans so you can probably scrounge on your shelf and find a handful of suitable models.

Of course, being anarchic crazies, you can paint them any way you like.
A lot of table top gaming armies tend to look a bit same'ish, so being able to shake it up with purple hair, tattoos or bright red jackets will look very striking.

The Unity Agents take a little bit of inspiration from 40Ks inquisitors, but with a bit less grim-dark about them.
There's a few nice "special agent" models out there. but it can be a bit harder to fit into a game, especially as many generic games tend to aim for more of a military-sci-fi approach (unsurprising since we're wargaming after all).

The rest of the models in the unit will be various operatives and "volunteered" army guys, so most any human scifi troopers you have will work.

Standard color schemes in Unity is grey uniforms with dark red helmets or armor pieces, but since Agents have wide discretion, feel free to change that up.

What about the K'Erin then?
One of the enduring stereotypes in scifi is the "ritualistic warrior aliens".
Whether its Travellers Aslan, Klingons from Star Trek, Star Wars Wookies or the Turian in Mass Effect, these guys like to fight, typically have some sort of ritualized or highly structured existence and end up serving as mercenaries or forming very effective, expansionist armies.

Clash on the Fringe introduced the K'Erin as an example of the generic alien Warrior (originally introduced in No Stars In Sight) and with Unity Field Agent, it seemed reasonable to stop relegating them to being an example.

For K'Erin miniatures, there's a lot of options out there, so I tried to keep the description somewhat vague.
They're suggested as tending towards grey or even blue skin, as a nod to their Turian background, but go with anything you like.

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Example of the UFA Mission deck

The way you set up a game is by drawing cards.
After all, if the regular game uses cards, why not also use them to set up?

It should be added that nothing prevents you from just throwing some terrain together and putting a couple Objective markers. This is, as always, icing on the cake.

So lets draw 6 cards and see how that plays out.

We remove the Jokers from the deck and then draw.

Normally you draw all the cards at the same time, but I find it more interesting to draw one at a time.

Step 1: Basic terrain
Each sector of the gaming table (about a foot by a foot) receives a few terrain features.
The guide is 1 large, 2 medium or 3-4 smaller features.

That'll give a pretty crowded table but the game does feel a lot more fun when played in this way.

Draw 1 - 6 of Hearts
Heart cards extend the length of the battle.
A standard battle lasts 8 "clicks" of the clock.
Practically that can be anywhere from 4 to 8 turns, depending on the card draw.
This card will raise the duration to 9.

Draw 2 - Ace of Clubs
This suit adds scenery to the table.

The Ace will add an interior structure to one of the table quarters.
This might be a cave or tunnel complex. A building that can be entered is common as well.

You will need some floor plans or similar. In this case, I have some old Star Wars floor tiles, so we'll have an underground bunker complex.

Draw 3 - 2 of Spades
Nice even distribution so far.
This is a Condition and in our case, its a Dense Fog.

Fighting through this soup, both sides will be unable to shoot at targets over 12" away.

Draw 4 - 4 of Spades
Fitting rather well, we get another condition: "Mud and misery".
The troops have been soaked through and as a result, it will be much harder to repair any jammed weapon.

Draw 5 - 4 of Hearts
We add another Click to the game length.

Draw 6 - 6 of Diamonds
I was wondering if we'd end up fighting without an objective at all, but this gives us a central objective, which will be worth 6 Victory Points to whoever controls it by the end.

(For comparison, a typical character is worth 2-3 Victory Points when destroyed).

Normally Objectives go on the center line between the two forces but in this case, it's too tempting not to put it in the underground bunker.

Putting it all together:
A somewhat long, miserable fight between troops that are wet, mud-stained and barely able to see anything, which will culminate in a fist-fight underground over a central objective.

Sounds like a good time if you ask me!

Saturday, 29 July 2017

Unity Field Agent: Turn Sequence

The core mechanic of UFA is the card draw, so let's talk about how that works in a bit of detail.

You will need a basic deck of playing (poker) cards, with one suit assigned to each player (in a smaller game) or one colour (in a larger game).

So I might have clubs and spades while you have hearts and diamonds.

When a card is drawn, it can be used for a few different things:

A regular card (2 through 10) allows a character to activate and carry out 2 actions.
So a guy might move, then fire for example.

Face cards let you take 3 actions, representing a burst of activity or a character finding just the right moment to act.
So our guy might move, take aim and then fire in this case.

The ace is a bonus action: You only get to take 1 action BUT you could take it with a character that already activated this turn.
The hero brings up their blaster just as the enemy is bearing down on them.
A sniper goes on Watch after rushing into position.
That sort of thing.

Additionally, some characters will have Bonus Action abilities. These allow any card to be played on them and permit them to take the action as a bonus.

So if I draw a 5 but don't really want to use it right now, I could play it on a character with Bonus Move as a skill, and they could take a Move action as a bonus.

If I have any Leaders in my squad, I can also attach a card to them instead of playing it.
They'll then be able to use it later to give a bonus action or help an ally recover from shock.

This way, we strike a good balance (I think) between unpredictability and still letting the player make tactical choices throughout the turn.
Most importantly, the number of times a card will be of no value to the player should be minimized quite a bit.

Of course, nothing stops a player from funneling their regular cards into Bonus actions while waiting for the face cards to come up, but they'll have to endure the enemy's activities while doing so.

Mini's and table by Jeff Fearnow

Friday, 28 July 2017

Unity Field Agent is a reality

Ready your blasters, Unity Field Agent is here.
Unity Field Agent is a space opera war-game for 10-12 figures on each side.

Features include:
Simple unit profiles. Each unit is defined by 5 numerical ratings (Yes, a Nordic Weasel Title with stats!)

Dice rolls use minimal modifiers. You can look at your troop roster and see exactly what you need to roll in almost all cases.

A card driven system that makes the turn sequence unpredictable without taking control completely away from the player. 
This combines with the Action system to create a dynamic flow of the battle. 
*A leader runs forward before dropping to his knee to take an aimed shot. 
*The sniper calmly sights her rifle, prepared for the enemy to break cover.
*A wounded trooper crawls to safety while their comrades lay down suppressing fire.

All possible without complicated mechanics to remember.

In addition to the core game rules, easily summarized on a single reference sheet, you also receive a card-driven random event system (for players that like some chaos in their battle) and a complete set-up sequence that lets you build a custom battle field and scenario, simply by drawing a few playing cards from a deck.

Want army lists? 
You get no less than three, complete with points values, intended for pick-up play:
Fringe-Spacers for all your outlaw scoundrel needs, the proud K’Erin warrior race and the enforcers of mankind: The titular Unity Agents.

Want different ways to play the game?
Set up a pick-up game in Encounter mode using the provided army lists.
Track the experience of your characters in Squad mode and level up as you play.
Use the tools in Story mode to forge an overall narrative surrounding your battles.

Want to make your own scenarios?
We give you generic troop types and weapons to put together a variety of characters and critters for non-competitive games, as well as tools to build scenarios with unique tasks and objectives.

Want to make the game your own?
Of course, we always include lots of rules options, giving you suggestions on how to customize almost any aspect of the game.

Want to know WHO all these guys are and WHY they are fighting?
Enjoy the included setting and world information or grab your favorite figures off the shelf and make your own.

Did I mention it all fits in (juuuust) under 100 pages with the troop record sheet and reference sheet?

The future of the "Living Rules" concept

A while back, I posted about my observations on the Living Rules concept (Blast Pistol, Last Era, Powder and Bayonet, Price of a Mile), how it had gone and the experiences gained from it.

I think to some extent, they were also a bit too far from the material my readers and players typically tend to be interested in.
While there has been strong interest in Nordic Weasel doing "army list" style play, the implementation wasn't as strong as I'd had hoped it would be.
To some extent, the idea behind Blast Pistol was exactly to be similar to existing games, by using very conventional game mechanics and systems.
This of course also makes it very difficult to carve out a niche, because people who are interested in conventional games already have systems they are used to, whether thats Gruntz, FUBAR, 40K or any of a billion other games.

For a while, there was interest from a third party about buying the rights to the game engine but in the end, that doesn't seem to have materialized so I am going to do something else instead:

When I get the chance to do so, the rules and their supplements will become available again in a "Pay what you want" format.
More importantly, when I can get them packaged into one nice document, they will be available under a Creative Commons / open source style license.

This will allow people out there to pick them up, adapt them, use them as a base for new works, develop material for them and generally take them in any direction needed.
Essentially forming more of a toolkit.

If the system finds creative patrons, this would even allow an updated version to be created without me acting as a controlling body to slow everything down :)

This way, the system can get a chance to flourish and develop more of an identity in a market that is reasonably crowded with game systems.

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.