Red Letter Norms

The RLM guys are experts at one particular species of cultural tree, but have spent so much time looking at the one tree that they can’t see how the health of the forest is killing that tree. Naturally, that tree is cinema and the forest is the wider culture....

Homestead Hobbying

This is an RPG post.  I promise. For the last few years the family has slow-walked a low-key advance on the homestead front. This past month we added another notch on the victory post by throwing what probably should have been an investment in the hobby wargame channel into...

Pistols at Dawn

Alternative Armies’ En Garde includes not just one set of dueling rules, but three. Unlike the swordplay duel, which include everything from strength to reflexes to movement to endurance, the rules for the pistol duel are simple and streamlined.  The duel itself is comprised of four phases, the first...

Once More, for the Peanut Gallery

It’s very hard to break out of forty years of bad practices. Especially when everyone around you is convinced that they can make the bad practices work if they just buy one more supplement, maybe one more Gygax copypasta ruleset, or one more setting book.  Especially when the guys...

En Garde, Yourself, Mes Ami

It’s time. Your seconds stand in silent testimony. The trash talking has been silenced.  The dancing is over.  You and your 15mm opponent have finally reached the moment of the plunge into violence. In Alternative Armies’ En Garde, when the steel meets the flesh, the players have some important...

En Garde: The Alternative

My recent travels have led me to conclude that my collection lacks a suitable shelf of one-on-one combat games.  If you think about it, these are a natural for the more mobile gamer who has to consider variables such as weight and portability.  If all you need is a...

Vector Based Traveller Combat

The implementation of vector-based spaceship combat in Traveller is easy.  It’s the strategy that results from the process that’s hard.  Like chess, the rules are simple, but lead to a wealth of complex puzzles and potential pitfalls for the unwary. Marc Miller gives Traveller (1977) players two options: Just...

One Billion Suns: Printable Fleets and Tokens

NOT 3D PRINT FILES! Sheesh. A Billion Suns has been on my shelf for far too long.  That’s Mike Hutchinson’s space shoot-em-up wargame built from the bottom up with an objective system that gives it more of an economics and shoot-n-scoot flavor than a line-em-up one.  It’s been languishing...

Solo Traveller: Turning Misjump Straw into Shipping Gold

This isn’t Captain Doose ‘s first trip to the misjump rodeo, and recent events have taught Chad Solo a thing or two about why the Doose is always loose. In the last post, we talked about how fuel-poor the Penfold sector of Traveller space is.  Of the now 25...

A Very Unrefined Campaign

Who knew rolling a 6 or less on 2d6 would be so hard? In proto-Traveller, your chances of rolling up a starport that sells the good jump juice are are about 40%, and somebody really needs to explain that to my dice.  Of the 17 systems I’ve rolled only...