Tuesday, 25 July 2017

What am I working on right now?

I know a few people seem to enjoy these little updates, so here goes...

I mentioned a little while ago that I was working on a 'legendary' Arthurian skirmish game. Well, as the game developed, I realised that it was moving closer and closer to my ultimate goal, which is an Arthurian adventure boardgame. My development has increasingly moved away from miniature-versus-miniature battle gaming and more about quests. Let's see where it goes! This one might be a hard sell on boardgame companies, but I want to remain true to my aim of creating a properly themed Arthurian game rather than one of the 'fantasy with knights' games I've seen more recently. If this means it doesn't find a publisher, so be it - if I complete an Arthurian boardgame, that's my own personal Holy Grail so it will have to be on my own terms.

The other game I'm working on at the moment is a WW1 aircraft game. Now, this has been a huge area of (historical as opposed to gaming) interest over many, many years, and it's finally dawned on me how I want it to work. I've played so many boardgames and miniatures games covering the first air war, and still own a respectable collection of them, but now I'm tackling the subject in the way I will enjoy the most: simple rules trying to capture the feel of dogfighting as described in the books I've read since I was a young chap. Once again, let's see where this one goes but I've been in overdrive working on this recently.

There's one more project, a miniatures ones, but that must remain hush hush for now. Sorry!

This is the real joy of being an independent designer - tied neither to a specific publisher or miniatures range - in that I can work on what I fancy rather than worrying about the market's demands! And I can chop and change what I'm working on depending on my latest whim or inspiration - sometimes all it takes is rewatching a favourite movie and me then realising that I have no game that scratches that itch. That said, these current games have been bubbling away for some time now and are at fairly advanced stages of development.

Alongside these new games, my three completed boardgames are still with the publisher, waiting to emerge onto an unsuspecting market. And +Strongsword+, my fantasy skirmish written for Westfalia Miniatures, will hopefully be available very soon. Patience, I must keep telling myself.

If either of the new boardgames pick up traction, I'll post more news here. At some point, I might even be looking for a few extra playtesters, so keep your eyes peeled if that interests you. The miniatures game will definitely be featuring on this blog in the future :-)

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Online resources and rosters for my Osprey games

Many of you may already know about this, but if you're looking for printable rosters, quick reference sheets, and so on for any of my Osprey-published games, you will find them on the Osprey website:

Osprey Publishing Gaming Resources

Friday, 23 June 2017

Availability of my Wargamer's Guide books

I've noticed that Amazon's stock of my Wargamer's Guides seems patchy at best - sometimes they are in stock, other times they show up with a 'despatch within 2-5 weeks' notice, which is pretty off-putting.

Judging from a few emails I've received, it's not just me who's noticed this.

Therefore, I thought it worth sharing here that you can always purchase copies direct from the publisher, Pen & Sword, and at the time of writing this, the books are cheaper from them than Amazon's own price.

Check them out HERE. Payment cards at the ready, please.

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

A Wargamer's Guide to The Desert War publishes today

Publishing today and available from your favourite online bookstore - and if you're lucky, a real-life bookshop close to where you live!

If you do buy this book, I hope you enjoy it! It's written as a guide to playing games set in North Africa in World War Two, and focusses on gameplay, rules, scenarios, and how best to represent the battles on the tabletop more than the history (although there's a bit of that included too).

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Dragon Rampant shortlisted in Origin Awards 2017

Back in 2015, I found out that Lion Rampant was shortlisted for the Origins Awards. I knew I wouldn't win, when comparing my modest efforts to some of the other games listed, but it was very flattering to make the list.

Well, at the end of last week I received the very unexpected but very welcome news that Lion Rampant's fantasy spin-off, Dragon Rampant, has been nominated for the 2017 Origins Awards! How very exciting!

You can see the list of all shortlisted games HERE.

Once again, I am very realistic in knowing that I won't win - those are some pretty impressively popular rulebooks I'm up against. Although my rules were published by Osprey, I'm just a part-time, independent designer working on whatever takes my fancy; those other rule sets are - I think - all supported by (or published in support of) ranges of miniatures so are all in a much bigger league of gaming than lil' ol' me. They're also all sets of rules that I see being played quite often, so they must have made a bigger impact on the gaming hobby than I ever expect to. So just making that list is good enough for me!

The winner will be announced in June.

Monday, 8 May 2017

+Strongsword+ preview pages

The ever-helpful Kawe at Westfalia Miniatures has put up some preview pages from the +Strongsword+ rulebook.

You can view them HERE.

These aren't the very final, proofread pages, but there's enough there to give you a feel for the rules and decide whether you want to grab yourself a copy.

If you do like what you see, join the Kickstarter HERE. It's already funded, so there's no doubt that you'll get your rulebook, plus any minis you fancy adding to your hoard. The PDF-only rules are £10 and the printed book is £15.

Why not make Kawe a happy man and head on over :-)

Thursday, 4 May 2017

+Strongsword+ Kickstarter is now live...

Westfalia's Kickstarter for +Strongsword+ is now open for business.

Not only are my upcoming fantasy skirmish rules on offer, but you'll find a whole host of superb little figures up for grabs too! Please head on over to the Kickstarter page and get behind the campaign HERE.

Sunday, 30 April 2017

A Wargamer's Guide to the Anglo-Zulu War publishes today

Publishing today and available from your favourite online bookstore - and if you're lucky, a real-life bookshop close to where you live!

If you do buy this book, I hope you enjoy it! It's written as a guide to playing games set in Zululand, and focusses on gameplay, rules, scenarios, and how best to represent the battles on the tabletop more than the history (although there's a bit of that included too).

EDIT: The pub date has moved around a bit in the past couple of weeks. I have no idea why that is. Anyhow, it seems that the book published on 5 April without me knowing!

Friday, 21 April 2017

If you're off to Salute tomorrow...

Keep your eyes peeled for the University of Edinburgh game of Lion Rampant!

Friday, 14 April 2017

A little bit about +Strongsword+

For quite some time, I've been working quietly in background with Kawe from Westfalia Miniatures to flesh out some of his ideas for fantasy games. In May, he's putting the first of these into his next Kickstarter...

+Strongsword+ is a slightly quirky but simple-to-learn set of rules designed for playing tabletop fantasy wargames, written by me and published by Westfalia Miniatures. 

Many fantasy wargames place in your command of a huge army divided into tactical units or just a handful of models acting independently of one another. +Strongsword+ places you at the head of a mob of ferocious frothing fighters, be that a large or small mob of them! 

The style of play is quite straightforward, but the real challenge is working out how to use the simple rules to command your warriors in battle as effectively as possible. This is because, although all of your models act independently from one another, your whole force is guided by the single tactic or ‘Battle Stance’ you set each turn.

Your Battle Stance is a simple order that’s either shouted by leaders over the tumult of battle, indicated by flag waving, horn blowing, or similar battlefield communication. It tells each of your warriors how to act this turn – maybe they’ll be ordered to be defensive, or aggressive, stand back to catch their breath, or go completely nutty and charge at the nearest living enemy. 

The key focus of commanding your warband in this arena of mob warfare is that you must choose the single Battle Stance that strengthens to your current situation – you can’t go giving differing, complex orders to different warriors under your command because you’re too busy fighting and simply don’t have that luxury of time. Instead, shout your commands as loudly as you’re able to and let your warriors do their best!

Combat and morale is kept pretty simple, as are the spells you can cast. This means that the game is driven by your Battle Stance choices, which I hope presents players with the feeling of really commanding a smallish group of warriors on a low-tech battlefield.

The rules are written with Westfalia's excellent little Halfmen and their new Kobolds in mind, but you'll be able to field pretty much any type of models you desire with a little bit of tinkering of the army lists included in the book.