bluegargantua: (default)
Traitor! A chess variant:

Set up pieces as normal. Each player is randomly assigned a number from 1 - 8 which they write down and keep secret.

That number identifies a pawn of the opponent that is secretly a traitor working for the player.

1 = Queen's Rook Pawn
2 = Queen's Knight Pawn
3 = Queen's Bishop Pawn
etc. etc.

The traitor is used in one of three ways:

1.) On your move, you can reveal your number and the appropriate pawn of your opponent is replaced with a pawn of your color. It's now a pawn under you control and moves and acts like any other pawn you have.

2) When your opponent is about to use a pawn to capture one of your pawns/pieces, and it's your traitor pawn, you can reveal your number proving that pawn to be a traitor. Replace the traitor pawn with a pawn of your color. The pawn now moves and acts like a normal pawn of yours. The intended capture never takes place.

3.) Should your opponent advance the traitor pawn to the back rank, you must reveal it to be a traitor. The pawn is replaced with one of your color as above.

I had the idea that you could also reveal the traitor and then immediately capture an opponent's piece, but I think that would cause games to grind down -- you'd be trying to make space for your pieces to avoid getting traitor'd. Plus, you'd mostly want to use it on turn 1 to wipe out a piece.

Obviously, it's going to suck if you get a flank pawn for a traitor while you opponent has one of your central pawns, but I think it would be fun for the uncertainty factor.
bluegargantua: (Default)
Hi,

So I've not been paying attention to D&D for awhile. I was trying to figure out what the heck "D&D Essentials" was supposed to be and in the process I discovered that in June WTOC made a major revision to Magic Missile (the Wizard's classic at-will). Said change was made solely "to make it more like it used to be" (their words) which I find very interesting.

The change is that magic missile now automatically hits for a set amount of damage (usually X + your INT modifier). Magic Missile was always an auto-hit spell, but in 4th ed. you had to roll to hit. It did a bit more damage.

But while an auto-hit is nice it does invalidate a number of prestige class features that were tailored to work with Magic Missile (or feats you might have taken to improve your hit chances). The other problem is that Magic Missile is still really short-ranged compared to an arrow or crossbow bolt.

But the biggest problem is that in previous editions you got more than one missile (each of which would be independently targeted). So you had (I think) 2 at 5th level and 4 at 12th and so on. So when a high-level wizard cut loose, he'd unleash a small volley (actually I think it was capped a 5 missiles, but still). And I think this is the feature that is sorely missed with magic missile. In fact, multiple missiles to sweep minions or sand-blast regular monsters seems more in line with the Wizard's Controller role. But I think Controllers in general (and the Wizard in particular) has been ill-defined and ill-served in 4th ed.

later
Tom
bluegargantua: (Default)
Hi,

So I've not been paying attention to D&D for awhile. I was trying to figure out what the heck "D&D Essentials" was supposed to be and in the process I discovered that in June WTOC made a major revision to Magic Missile (the Wizard's classic at-will). Said change was made solely "to make it more like it used to be" (their words) which I find very interesting.

The change is that magic missile now automatically hits for a set amount of damage (usually X + your INT modifier). Magic Missile was always an auto-hit spell, but in 4th ed. you had to roll to hit. It did a bit more damage.

But while an auto-hit is nice it does invalidate a number of prestige class features that were tailored to work with Magic Missile (or feats you might have taken to improve your hit chances). The other problem is that Magic Missile is still really short-ranged compared to an arrow or crossbow bolt.

But the biggest problem is that in previous editions you got more than one missile (each of which would be independently targeted). So you had (I think) 2 at 5th level and 4 at 12th and so on. So when a high-level wizard cut loose, he'd unleash a small volley (actually I think it was capped a 5 missiles, but still). And I think this is the feature that is sorely missed with magic missile. In fact, multiple missiles to sweep minions or sand-blast regular monsters seems more in line with the Wizard's Controller role. But I think Controllers in general (and the Wizard in particular) has been ill-defined and ill-served in 4th ed.

later
Tom
bluegargantua: (Default)
Hi,

So when I was in Rochester about a month ago and I picked up a copy of Strandhogg -- a set of Viking Age Skirmish Rules. Tonight I gave the rules a little bit of a playtest.

An overview of the rules )

One fine day on the English coastline )

Final thoughts )

All in all, a pretty interesting little game.

later
Tom
bluegargantua: (Default)
Hi,

So when I was in Rochester about a month ago and I picked up a copy of Strandhogg -- a set of Viking Age Skirmish Rules. Tonight I gave the rules a little bit of a playtest.

An overview of the rules )

One fine day on the English coastline )

Final thoughts )

All in all, a pretty interesting little game.

later
Tom
bluegargantua: (Default)
Hey,

Guess who makes famous game designers think bad-wrong thoughts?

"So that's your tiny superpower?"
"Well, yeah, but I've got a massive superpower IN MY--"
"Get off the water skis, Fonzie."
"Fine! But I'm thinking this could really be how I make my mark."
"Oh?"
"Yeah, I figure I'll be a kind of anti-muse. Game designers will come up with these great concepts and I'll steer them into this dark and twisted place. People will be terrified to play the games, but no one will be able to deny their brilliance."
"..."
"Or we could go make out instead."
"Well, I do like it when you don't talk."
Tom
bluegargantua: (Default)
Hey,

Guess who makes famous game designers think bad-wrong thoughts?

"So that's your tiny superpower?"
"Well, yeah, but I've got a massive superpower IN MY--"
"Get off the water skis, Fonzie."
"Fine! But I'm thinking this could really be how I make my mark."
"Oh?"
"Yeah, I figure I'll be a kind of anti-muse. Game designers will come up with these great concepts and I'll steer them into this dark and twisted place. People will be terrified to play the games, but no one will be able to deny their brilliance."
"..."
"Or we could go make out instead."
"Well, I do like it when you don't talk."
Tom
bluegargantua: (Default)
Hi,

And finally, the player's ship:

the Turquoise Jubilee )

later
Tom
bluegargantua: (Default)
Hi,

And finally, the player's ship:

the Turquoise Jubilee )

later
Tom
bluegargantua: (Default)
Hi,

Last of the Diaspora characters...

Cleric )

later
Tom
bluegargantua: (Default)
Hi,

Last of the Diaspora characters...

Cleric )

later
Tom
bluegargantua: (Default)
Hi,

Another Diaspora character:

The Captain )

later
Tom
bluegargantua: (Default)
Hi,

Another Diaspora character:

The Captain )

later
Tom
bluegargantua: (Default)
Hi,

Another Diaspora character.

Doctor )

later
Tom
bluegargantua: (Default)
Hi,

Another Diaspora character.

Doctor )

later
Tom
bluegargantua: (Default)
Hi,

I've also finished reading through Paddy Griffith's Napoleonic Wargaming for Fun.

...and now only [livejournal.com profile] invader_haywire is still reading this.

This is a reprint of a book that came out in 1980 in the UK. And the title pretty much explains it all. The interesting twist here is that Mr. Griffith addresses the issues of realism vs. playability in an interesting way. He suggests that no one game can account for every possible variable and that different games should instead focus on different aspects of combat.

To that end, this slim volume contains seven separate types of wargames. It starts with Skirmish level wargames and then moves up the chain of command to Division, Brigade and Army level games. In each case the underlying system remains relatively fixed, but more and more emphasis is placed on Command and Control and the player's ability to understand what's going on at a macro level vs. the more intimate view of a Lieutenant or Major.

Eventually, the miniatures are dispensed with altogether and a couple of map games are introduced. In particular, the Generalship game looks really neat. The players basically make up a "to-do" list for that game day. Aside from writing orders, they have to spend time maintaining communication/supply lines, maintain correspondence back to their home country, sleep, and move about the countryside. An umpire coordinates the various orders and gives feedback to the players. The combat system is extremely abstracted but sufficient so that a general who has been the most efficient will probably be able to win, although the double-blind nature of the conflict means that there could be any number of unexpected surprises.

Finally, the set concludes with a discussion on "Tactical Exercises Without Troops" (TEWT). Here, the author expects pasty white gamers to actually go out into the woods and conduct imaginary battles. This was an actual training method for Napoleonic officers, but while it sounds interesting, I'm not sure it's a level of authenticity I'm actually striving for.

Overall a fun book if you're interested in wargaming of any stripe and want to dig into our illustrious wargaming past.

later
Tom
bluegargantua: (Default)
Hi,

I've also finished reading through Paddy Griffith's Napoleonic Wargaming for Fun.

...and now only [livejournal.com profile] invader_haywire is still reading this.

This is a reprint of a book that came out in 1980 in the UK. And the title pretty much explains it all. The interesting twist here is that Mr. Griffith addresses the issues of realism vs. playability in an interesting way. He suggests that no one game can account for every possible variable and that different games should instead focus on different aspects of combat.

To that end, this slim volume contains seven separate types of wargames. It starts with Skirmish level wargames and then moves up the chain of command to Division, Brigade and Army level games. In each case the underlying system remains relatively fixed, but more and more emphasis is placed on Command and Control and the player's ability to understand what's going on at a macro level vs. the more intimate view of a Lieutenant or Major.

Eventually, the miniatures are dispensed with altogether and a couple of map games are introduced. In particular, the Generalship game looks really neat. The players basically make up a "to-do" list for that game day. Aside from writing orders, they have to spend time maintaining communication/supply lines, maintain correspondence back to their home country, sleep, and move about the countryside. An umpire coordinates the various orders and gives feedback to the players. The combat system is extremely abstracted but sufficient so that a general who has been the most efficient will probably be able to win, although the double-blind nature of the conflict means that there could be any number of unexpected surprises.

Finally, the set concludes with a discussion on "Tactical Exercises Without Troops" (TEWT). Here, the author expects pasty white gamers to actually go out into the woods and conduct imaginary battles. This was an actual training method for Napoleonic officers, but while it sounds interesting, I'm not sure it's a level of authenticity I'm actually striving for.

Overall a fun book if you're interested in wargaming of any stripe and want to dig into our illustrious wargaming past.

later
Tom
bluegargantua: (Default)
Hi,

Another Diaspora character for my con game. This one seems the weakest of the bunch. OK, I haven't actually made up the other characters yet, but I have clear ideas for their role in the game. This guy...kinda generic. So if you have ideas to punch up this guy, let me know.

Spacer )

later
Tom
bluegargantua: (Default)
Hi,

Another Diaspora character for my con game. This one seems the weakest of the bunch. OK, I haven't actually made up the other characters yet, but I have clear ideas for their role in the game. This guy...kinda generic. So if you have ideas to punch up this guy, let me know.

Spacer )

later
Tom
bluegargantua: (Default)
Hi,

The next character I statted up...
Guardian )

later
Tom

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