Monday, January 8, 2018

Random: Rules Writing Goals- What You Might Expect

In my 2018 Of Resolutions and New Year’s Thread, I referred to a few goals around Review Writing.  They were pretty simple goals.  I wanted to complete 2 new Rules Sets for the Blog.  As part of that, I wanted to share which Rules I am working on for 2018.  Technically, I wanted to added two more Work-in-Progress games to the Blog; not even finished works.  So, if I complete or polish off the two Work-In-Progress games it won’t really count towards the goal. 

The astute of you will see that my two Work-In-Progress games are RedLine and Rampant Galaxies.  For RedLine I am adding some factions, tweaking the weapon lists, and developing the campaign side of the game.  However, right now it is perfectly usable as a game and I encourage you to test it out.

Rampant Galaxies is more “complete” as a game but is also in need of some play-testing to make sure it actually works as intended and provides a different feel and gameplay than RampantStars.  The scale and scope of the games are supposed to be very different and I want to make sure that feel comes out.

So, if those do not count towards the goal what else could I be talking about?  Well, I have a few games in the “pipeline”. 

The first I want to talk about is Mageloque.  This game is a Magic and Muskets style game.  However, in the world of Mageloque the musket is a magical weapon built on a massed produced scale.  It is apply fantasy genre wargame tropes to horse and musket and twisting it all up.  Perhaps not an original idea, but one I have wanted to play around with for some time.  Plus, I want it to be scale and miniature line agnostic.

I have two versions in the works.  One is for “Big Battles” where units are Companies, Battalions, and Regiments.  The other version is a scaled down Skirmish version similar in scale and scope to Chosen Men.  I have been working on both on and off again for about 2 years and both are still about the same distance away from being finished.  I am unsure which direction I really want to do more with, so I have been slowly tinkering on both scales. 

The second game I have been working on is Conquest! Rome in Italy.  This game is another Ancients ruleset that focuses on Rome conquest of the Italian Peninsula.  It is a look at fighting before Rome became a world power.  This spans the time from Rome’s founding around 753 BCE to the end of the Pyrrhic Wars in 275 BCE.  That is a huge expanse of time and the military model of Rome and her rivals changed a lot during that period.

As I dig into the history, there is surprisingly little written about the Kingdom of Rome and the Early Roman Republics military.  During this time frame, the Roman military probably went through three distinct phases and trying to represent them all is a challenge.  The military structures used get even sketchier when you move to local rivals such as the Italic Tribes, Oscans, Gauls, Latins, Capuans, etc.  We have a bit more to work with for Etruscans, Samnites, and Magna Graecia but not much.  Therefore, it is as much an exercise in learning and research as it is in rules writing. 

Much of this work will be based on the Men of Bronze/Heirs to Empire style of game engine with local variations and tweaks.  However, if you managed to get your hands on those games while they were in Work-in-Progress then you will have an idea how this one will play.

The final work I am seriously working on at this time is Green Army Men: Plastic Men.  Steel Resolve.    This will be a wargames lite dexterity combat game similar to Total CARnage but between plastic soldiers instead of cars.  My daughter challenged me to make this game after playing a lot of Total CARnage over the Holidays.  I was not able to complete it by Christmas but maybe by next Christmas.

The mechanics will hold some things in common with Z-man Games Flick’em Up!  Basic Shooting and Close Combat is all figured out, but I am working on how I want Movement and Morale to work.  I envision this game using no dice, no templates, and no tape measure.  I want it to use 1:1 scale models and terrain with WYSIWYG resolutions. 

Finally, for those that have been lurking on my plog or old posts on various message boards you may recall Skies of Fire- A Game of High Flying Fantasy.  The concept with this one has been around longer than Mageloque, but I don’t expect to get it done.  My enthusiasm for it was lost when Attack Wing and other Flight Path system games became popular.
The game was pretty simple.  It was going to be a fantasy dogfight game between dragons, Pegasi, Griffons, and their fantasy riders.  Unlike a game like X-wing, it was going to be more squadron based with small flights of models taking part.  Games would be between 2-15 models per side and be closer to 10-15mm in scale.  One of the key mechanics would involve altitude changes and grappling combat.  Individual heroes/upgrades and such would be less important than traditional Flight Path systems. 

I am sure when it was done; it would look a lot like Aeronautica Imperialis but with dragons.  I am not sure that is what I want to do right now, but who knows if inspiration strikes I might crank it out one day.  That is why it stays on the Work-in-Progress list but I do not think it will ever really see the light of day. 

That is what I have on my radar at the moment. However, who knows what crazy idea might strike me next.  I have had a few random ideas dancing around for the following genres as well:

1.       Land Ironclads Game- Big land battleships beating the heck out of each other with big broadsides and thunderous gun barrages.
2.       Rampant Moon- Bringing the Rampant Stars engine to 1:1 Skirmish games between individuals ala Rogue Stars.
3.       Into the Void- Spaceship battle game with variable facings and heights to get far, far away from World War II Naval in SPACE!

These last three are just glimmers in my mind’s eye at the moment, where the others in the group have actually had some work done in the form of rule writing.  However, who knows when inspiration strikes!  I was able to complete a few of my previous rules sets in remarkably short timeframes so who knows.  It all depends on what Real Life brings this year.

So, keep your eyes on the right hand side of the blog.  There is a section called Work In Progress Games and that will be where any new games end up… at least at first.  Once there, I will open a thread in the Message Board for any feedback you want to provide on the game.  After that, I will make tweaks and decide the games’ ultimate fate. 

Here’s to completing some of 2018’s goals!   

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