The Warp Less Travelled

Growing up as a teenager in the 80s, during the heyday of D&D, it was hard not be attracted to the RPG genre. However, I knew early on that fantasy theme with all it’s magic “baggage” was not where my interest lay. Fortunately for me, Mark Miller had created the Traveller series and I of course had a copy of the black book (and later the box set of paperbacks). While I never actually got to play the game, I spent hours reading the rules, rolling up characters and hoping for an opportunity to someday be a Traveller among the stars.

(I also loved that it was spelled with two “L”s as “traveler” just looks weird and seems to violate the rules of English!!!)

Flash forward nearly 40 years and Traveller is making a resurgence of sorts (though it never really went away) with not one but two recently released tabletop games.

The first is Traveller Customizable Card Game from Horizon Games. This comes in a base game two-player starter set as well as expansion packs of ship decks and themed cards. But fortunately, the game comes with three solo scenarios in the box and two more already available for download. In this unboxing video I reveal the contents without preconception of what the cards mean.

unboxing the two-player starter set

The second game to come out (after a successful Kickstarter and troubled fulfillment) is Traveller Ascension: Imperial Warrant by Daring Play. This tabletop strategy game comes ready for two players (and has expansions to increase player count to four or six). While not readily soloable, the hope is that solo rules will be developed either officially or by the community in the very near future (of our timeline, not the in-game one).

fresh from the Kickstarter wormhole…

Have already played a round of the CCG and a playthrough video is forthcoming. The plan is to do something similar for Imperial Warrant.

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The ‘Verse Just Got a Whole Lot Smaller

Recently reacquired via a trade Firefly: The Game by GaleForce Nine and as I set it up for another solo play, I realized one of the reasons I’d parted with it before. It’s a table hog. There’s the large board (even without expansion boards), thirteen decks of cards, as well as your player area. Lots of space required.

Setup for one player with the original game board…

I have a pretty decent sized game table, but I would still need to get up and walk around the edges to review the cards in the various discard stacks , etc… I knew a better solution was possible.

I was able to find this image (https://boardgamegeek.com/image/4080967/dalek1) on BGG of the full gameboard with expansions. There were others, but this one had the highest resolution for printing. It loses some of the charm as the nebula background is replaced with just black, but for my purposes that was just fine.

Continue reading “The ‘Verse Just Got a Whole Lot Smaller”

Organization Procrastination

One thing I like to do to get familiar with a game is to organize the components. This is a gamble that sometimes fails if the game turns out to be a dud. But on my third ownership of Fields of Fire by GMT Games, I’m finally going to get it played.

Maybe.

So I picked up this first edition copy with the second edition upgrade kit and once I sifted out the now obsolete first edition stuff, I was left with a second edition makeover ready for punching.

And organizing.

Using my Modular tray design, I created custom sized boxes for the Americans, Asians, Germans and game counters. All fit nicely in the game box and now I can pull out just the ones I want.

The tray patterns are available over on Etsy (buy once, use forever): https://www.etsy.com/listing/674867207/modular-game-storage-trays-gmt-tray

Now on to the rulebook!

But What About Socialization???

When we experimented with homeschooling our kids, the biggest protest from those who didn’t understand the need or desire was “What about socialization???”

Saw this over on BGG:  Do you never miss the social aspect in solo gaming?

One thing in this hobby i really Like is the social aspect of gaming. I really miss that thing when i solo.

Do you ever miss the social aspect when you play solo?

Not really, no. While I enjoy playing some games with family from time to time, solo gaming is just a different beast entirely. They aren’t really a comparable experience. Some like one or the other. Some of us like both.

Some of the Highlights…

Continue reading “But What About Socialization???”

Blinging the Fallout… Tryin’ to Get the Game Out

Was and am not a hater of the other board game based on the Fallout IP, but when I saw the new Fallout: Wasteland Warfare published by Modiphius Entertainment included solo AI rules, my interest was piqued and I placed my order. Finally cracked it open yesterday the first thing I noticed was there are LOTS OF LITTLE COUNTERS. Wow… Tiny little things that make 1/2″ wargame counters seem a blessing (and I hate 1/2″ wargame counters!).

After punching (and peeling them as they sadly weren’t cleanly punched), I organized them into little piles to determine how best to organize them. Of course this meant I would make a four-module tray using my GMT compatible tray system along with custom printed lid with the game cover art.

Always need terrain in miniatures games and I’m fine with using household items or blocks, etc. to create obstacles. but I purchased some ready to print scenery from Drive-Thru-RPG. However, as these are set to 28mm scale and FWW is 32mm, I opened the PDF pages in Photoshop, scaled by 114%, then cherry picked the pieces I wanted (buildings 1-2) and re-laid them out on to a new document (to maximize components per page). Printed these on 110# white cardstock, scored, and cut them out. Assembly was easy enough, even for big fingers.

Took the base/ground images and scaled to be a full page and printed on 1/2-sheet mailing labels. Stuck each label to a piece of thick coated chipboard, then cut them out with a utility knife. Next I arranged the buildings onto the four bases so they could be placed on the gameboard in clusters.

They aren’t the bees knees when it comes to terrain pieces, but a step up from egg cartons for sure. And these days maybe cheaper.

The barriers and barrels were files available (or used to be) for free on Shapeways. These appear to be identical to ones being sold by Miniature Market (legally, don’t get me wrong), but perhaps theirs are better printed.

Can’t Keep a Good Man Down…

Of course, you can’t keep a good woman down either, but since I’m not a woman, using “or woman” or “person” would have been needlessly cumbersome…

Absence of Malice
Recently had an unplanned “break” from BGG thanks to the Secret Police once again not liking officially unapproved and unauthorized opinions being expressed (even when done so in polite but confident discussion). This is an area that needs to be addressed as I daresay in most cases the offender doesn’t realize they’ve touched a hidden third rail and just get suspended while the so-called “offensive” comment is left on the site. It’s a very odd way of handling things and not one conducive to constructive dialogue between differing parties… but that is a discussion for another time.

EDIT: It would appear “they” HAVE started removing unwelcome (by some) comments from the site. Hopefully in lieu and not in addition to suspension.

But I’m happy to say that in spite of not being able to post or comment on BGG for a spell, I made good use of my time, creating a few modifications for games.

Under a Blood Red Sky
First up, been loving Blood Red Skies but found that I wouldn’t have the time to paint the miniature planes and that in the end (as is most of the time with miniatures), they aren’t 100% necessary to the game. All measurement is from the round bases, which are about 1.5″ in diameter. So I ordered some 1.5″ wooden “coins” and then created 12 labels for each plane type. Made six level 3 and then two each of level 2, 4, and 5. All the coins got a 3 on one side and then another level on the other side. Sealed them with some RightStep Satin and started playing. They work great and less clutter makes it easier to play and measure.

The flight stands use an odd rock forward for “disadvantaged” and rock back for “advantaged” indicator. This not only looks silly, but causes planes to take up even more space on the table than necessary… which in a busy dogfight, can be a problem. To remedy this, I just use a green cube for advantaged, red for disadvantaged, and no cube for neutral. Another win.

Sowing the Gears of War
Gears of War: The Board Game is a bit of a mystery. Widely regarded as a great system and a respected IP, Fantasy Flight Games dropped the ball big time on supporting this game. Even with the IP license lost, the system deserves another sci-fi theme applied to it.

Be that as it may the community has geared up and created several missions and other mods for the game, including a collection of 24 new COGs created by user Alex Hajdasz. In order to make these more playable in-game without proxying other miniatures, I created a set of standees to go along with them.

You can get the COGs and the standees at the BGG file pages below:

Custom COG Pack Collection
alternate COG standees by ones upon a game

Shine On You Crazy Firefly
Another miniatures-replacement project I had in the wings and suddenly had a little time for was for Firefly Adventures: Brigands and Browncoats. Again, with no time to paint, had planned when I first got the game to add Standees. This was not only to make our intrepid heroes clearer on the board (in both casual and heroic states), but I was having a hard time matching the baddy miniatures to their respective stat cards. So while I was in the rhythm of making standees, put this set together as well.

At the very least it would allow people to quickly try out the game before they paint or while they paint…

You can find them here: Firefly Adventures Standees by ones upon a game