Sunday, November 18, 2012

More SSOM playtesting in HQ Club

The scenario objective.  The initial assault was easily rebuked.
Ben and Urbain had a go at the rules, version 0.51 or thereabout, and we used more units than the usual 3 squads a side, with the German player fielding a mix of regular troops and FSJ, supported by some StuG and Panzers, including a Panther.  The US player had to defend this headquarter for 9 turns, and fielded 6 squads of Airborne, with LMG and 60 mm mortar support and 3 tanks in support.

The battle did not last very long, with the German player giving up rather quickly due to what I considered limited losses during a full on charge without any smoke cover across a 100 m long field.  The rules, on the other hand, held out all the way.  There were quite a few constructive comments, and the dividing line between what the rules should cover and what they should not is becoming clearer: it's useless to talk about markers, bases and so on, these are things that depend on the players and their gear.  Another thing that I have to start thinking more about is a first scenario pack.  The rules in themselves are near finition, even if the manuscript is not.  The manual remarks, corrections and improvements now need to make it into the v1.0 rulebook.

However, for the rules to have playability, we need a scenario pack too.  The first pack will definitely treat the 1944 Europe theater, with Normandy, Arnhem and Bastogne as the three turning points.  We have already seen how much balancing a single scenario requires, so there will be a lot of playing in the near future.

Another project that has to be tackled in parallel is the Build Your Scenario book, which lists armylists and rarity of equipment and will propose a method for building scenarios in any scenario.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

A new terrain piece from Crisis

One of the items I got at Crisis 2012 is this ruined factory n 10 mm scale. I think it'll turn out a very useful piece, and the main objective for many a scenario. I quickly slapped on some color with my drybrush, models like this don't need much to look the part. The bottom is not very straight though, I might have to look into that, either sand it down to a lesser thickness, or slope the edges a bit with spackle and chicken wire, I'll test it in operation first.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Playtesting v0.51 again

Everything was about the bridge...
The US advance was easily thwarted
We had another at ironing out errors yesterday, with a small - and frightfully unbalanced - ruined city scenario we ran. Teun ran into an iron German defence, and did not have the troops to do the job. His platoon leader's early demise did not help. The amount of feedback generated was plentiful. Lots of work ahead there.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Making tokens for SSOM

I have been working on som new markers for SSOM. From left to right, here are the fire session counter, with kept rate of fire on the back. Then the pinned / cowered markers. The third ones are not yet clear, and the 4 times 4 on the right are the gun malfunction / broken down counter.

Still working on them, but here they are!
a new test game is planned next Saturday after the Crisis exhibition, and that will be the official relaunch of the development, which has been in hibernation for about a year now. I need the repeat test of v 0.5, because I want to have a clear image in my head, and my notes from last time are not good enough for that.


Sunday, October 28, 2012

Current To Do List

After rereading the to-do list on basecamp, here's the items I'm going to be working on first.  After getting back into the project of course.

Miniatures that need to be finished:

Trucks and APC
6th German Paratroopers
German SS
US army troops

Gaming Aids we still need to improve game flow:

Quick Reference Sheet (in progress)
Fire tokens Rudy Boeynaems
Smoke tokens Rudy Boeynaems (demo version)
Movement tokens for vehicles (demo version)

SSOM Manual (CHAPTER - Subject)

UNITS - Heavy team: firegroup of rifle team and LMG/BAR team (2 teams)
UNITS - Heavy Squad: firegroup of 2 rifle teams and LMG/BAR team (3 teams)
COMBAT - Mines and minefields
COMBAT - Forward observer rules for artillery and mortars, also on board indirect fire
MOVEMENT - Infantry movement types and influence of terrain on movement
MOVEMENT  -Vehicular movement and influence on terrain
MOVEMENT  -Limbered artillery, troop transport, tank riders
GAMEPLAY  -Weather, wind, effects on smoke, fire
GAMEPLAY - Description of in game effect counters, dice, markers (secondary)

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Preliminary rulebook v0.5 on dropbox

I took my stuff to the club to show some people, but it turned out I forgot my finished units.  Here's why: everything is in two cases, but the finished miniatures are in this special, magnetic drawer, storage cabinet, and I simply forgot about them.  Now that is perfect storage for you!  Mind you, these units are not finished! It's an old photo.

How time flies.  After a year of being focused on Rune Quest, I will try to shift some of the loving care back in this direction.  Meanwhile, I'll have to ignore the large box full of Call of Cthulhu miniatures still awaiting a base coat.

While slowly getting back up to speed after this one year lapse, I notice I have never put the last version of the rules - that's version 0.5 - online.  Here it is, not yet finished, but a lot more complete than version 0.3 that had been published up to now.

I will start splitting the effort from today onwards, focusing exclusively on the rules and its effects on game play on our personal game table, rather than putting some of the effort into the effect these rules might have on other people playing with these rules.  We have been paying attention at both so far, which definitely slows development down, but it is a good thing that the foundation has been created with the general player in mind.  However, we now enter the realm of tiny details, and trying to invent a rule for every eventuality tunred out - and turns out - to be madness.  People will have to find their own way of indicating status and so on.  Since I have no intention to actually provide - sell or otherwise - game markers, I think this is only sensible.  Given the limited number of followers, I think there will be little objection.

I intend to make a set of markers - it's high on the to do list - and I will use small coins with coloured dots, in a later stage I might order custom ones from Litko.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Table for the Crisis Demo

Here is the table set up for the Crisis Demo.  Table size is 4" square.  The terrain is simple, the scenario is as well, purpose is to show the different game mechanics, without getting bogged down in a scenario that is too big for an inexperienced player.
The forest tiles have woodland scenic trees on them, river tiles hand made, roads are strips of rubber, and everything else is scratchbuilt.  I might pass by the model shop tomorrow for some more bling for the roads, I'm thinking a bit of track, some trees alongside the road, electricity poles, but that depends on the time left: Friday it's over to Crisis straight from work, Saturday morning we need to finish the set-up.