Jeffro's Space Gaming Blog

Microgames, Monster Games, and Role Playing Games

Category Archives: Space Gaming News

Space Gaming News: White Star, Black Swan Nebula, Intro to RPG Design, and Car Wars Arenas

Over on Google+, Benoist Poiré explains what White Star offers  that X-Plorers, Stars Without Number, and/or Hulks & Horrors don’t already:

“Nothing, and everything. Because a game like Stars Without Number is built using a ton of default assumptions and game generators and whatnot, if you get on board with the default it’s great, if you get away from it, or just don’t like all the rules involved, not so great. Hulks & Horrors is fine and good, but it doesn’t do the mash-up of popular sci-fi and fantasy the way White Star does. Basically with White Star you get something lighter than SWN that you can complement with SWN generators if you want to, AND something that can be used straight for replicating Star Wars, Firefly, and Guardians of the Galaxy on the fly with OD&D rules. It doesn’t sound like much, and it doesn’t look like much I guess when you look at the book and expect some modern full color bullcrap to take your eye away from the fact the game might not be so great in the first place, but it works. That’s why you should get it.”

Thank you, sir. That is exactly what we’ve been wanting to know!

Over at Greyhawk Grognard, the imitable Joseph Bloch details a supplement he’s working on for the game: “Deep in the heart of the Black Swan Nebula, mostly cut off from the rest of the civilized galaxy, lies the Cygnus Sector. Underpopulated, rich in resources, and wracked by conflict and religious strife, it is a magnet for the dregs of the Far Rim. Mercenaries looking for work, fanatics looking for converts, prospectors looking for the Big Strike, and colonists looking for a new home.”

Lewis Pulsipher has a new game design class out: An Introduction to Role-playing Game Design. While I have not looked at this particular set of videos, his previous ones are basically like a really good game blog that ends up giving a book-worthy treatment of the topic. They are well worth the time. Check it out!

The Classic Car Wars Arenas Kickstarter closed a few weeks ago, raking in a total of $100,433 pledges. All of those maps that you used to spend hours copying out from tomes like L’Outrance and The Arena Book out by hand…? Duelists everywhere will now be furnished with fourteen AADA sanctioned versions that are playable right out of the box!

Space Gaming News: Squadron Strike Axanar, Open Adventure, The Lone Wolf Adventure Game, and That_Akins_Store

The world of Star Trek: Axanar is set to come to table top gaming in an upcoming collaboration with Ad Astra Games. “Using the critically acclaimed Squadron Strike game engine, Squadron Strike: Axanar will show the arms race between the Klingon Empire and the United Federation of Planets in unprecedented detail.” If you are a fan of the iconic Federation Heavy Cruiser and the Klingon D6 Battlecruiser, this will be your chance to take them beyond the limits of two dimensional thinking…!

Open Adventure is a new retroclone that combines a new unified mechanic with both fantasy and space themed gaming in one integrated system. The intermediate rulebook, which is currently under development, will support sci-fi vehicles including space and star ships. Designer Kyle Mecklem says that “basically every vehicle can move a number of spaces depending on how fast it is traveling, then it can turn 45 or 60 degrees. There’s rules for accelerating/deceleration, encumbrance, collisions, armor and HP, out of control vehicles and so forth. Star ships have different stations that operate individual sections like guns, shields, etc. You can walk around your starship as it travels through space or engage in combat.”

The Lone Wolf Adventure Game is now available in PDF from on DriveThruRpg and wow does it look sharp. I played the heck out of game books like the Lone Wolf series back in the day and I am pleased to see that this actually got off the ground.

Top tier gaming blogger Charles Akins has set up a new web store which includes the tag line, Paying the Bills by Selling Out as Fast as I can. So help a brother out and buy something you like. On his blog he says, “I figure this is a hell of a lot more fun for you guys as you can buy things that you actually get tangible goods for your money instead of just shoving money at me like I’m some scantily clad hooker on her first night in a John’s car.”

Space Gaming News: OSR Grappling, Doctor Xaos, AVID Assistant, and Violent Resolution

The top two game bloggers of 2014 are teaming up to adapt GURPS Technical Grappling to old school D&D– and even better, their results are coming out in the next issue of Gothridge Manor‘s gaming ‘zine. Don’t miss it! (And if you don’t already read Dungeon Fantastic and Gaming Ballistic, then you need to get with it, son!)

Ron Edwards has a new blog, all about comics and culture. It’s Dr. Xaos Comics Madness, and every time I read it I declare it to be the most interesting thing on the internet. This is the caliber of writing I’d expect to see in the shortlists for the Hugo’s “Best Fan Writer” award. His recent posts on Doctor Doom, Dr. Strange, and The Green Goblin will knock your socks off.

On the space combat front, Ken Burnside’s successful Kickstarter for the Avid Assistant is winding down. As of this writing, it is closing in on a stretch goal for an iOS version. Meanwhile, Traveller fans are waiting to see how the new Squadron Strike: Traveller game stacks up to High Guard and Mayday.

Finally, game designer Douglas Cole will be joining Ken and myself at Castalia House with his new blog series called “Violent Resolution.” As you can see from his first post, this is going to be a doozy. From what I’ve seen, this will do for rpgs what Nick Schuessler did for wargames in his Space Gamer column. If you’re the type of person that’s always wanted a doctorate in comparative gaming, you will faint!

Space Gaming News: Firing Squad, Atomic Rocket, Game Design, and Spaceships

Steve Jackson Interviewed on Douglas Cole’s Firing Squad — For my money, this is the most important gaming-related interview to be done yet this year. And that’s the thing, I didn’t have to pay anything for this! You can’t get this kind of coverage from “real” journalists– it just isn’t their thing I guess. I have an inkling of how much time and effort it takes to pull this sort of thing off. And Doug even goes above and beyond the call of duty by providing transcripts. So, don’t just watch the interview… but please consider hitting up his tip jar.

Winchell Chung’s Atomic Rocket Website is on Patreon — I mostly keep up with Winchell Chung via his flood of posts on his Google+ feed. And yeah, I tend to think of him as sort of belonging to microgame fans like myself, not least for creating the look of the iconic Ogre cybertank and ships like the Annic Nova. But Winch really is involved in so much more than that. He is pretty much the go-to guy for getting your science right in all manner of games and science fiction. Please consider giving his site support so that it can receive the sort of overhaul it deserves.

Lewis Pulsipher’s Game Design Courses — Lewis Pulsipher’s articles were a fixture of all the big gaming magazines of the eighties. If you miss the sort of insights he shared on a regular basis, then consider taking one of his online classes. The content is generally better than even the best game blog type posts, and he covers game design topics with a depth and breadth that you won’t see anywhere else. (Also, check out his new game Sea Kings.)

Ken Burnside is Creating Starships on Patreon — You already know how Ken Burnside’s starship games stack up with the competition (see Tim White’s epic series of posts here.) You may be aware of just how many options there are in his ship design system for Squadron Strike. And hey, you may want to spend your free time actually playing games rather than designing stuff for them. Or maybe its worth a few credits to see what the Master can do with his own game. Anyway, consider supporting Ken’s Patreon for creating new starships. (He’s also involved in a pulp fiction related Patreon as well.)

Space Gaming News: Dice Tower Con, The Traveller Book, and Foreven Supplement

Space Empires: 4X (GMT Games) — Both Talon and Replicators will be at Dice Tower Con— now’s your chance to see these expansions before just about anyone else! There will also be a tournament– see here for details.

Classic Traveller (Far Future Enterprises) — Through the power of TL-7 technology, The Traveller Book is now back in print. This is the definitive edition of the classic science fiction role playing game– and you no longer need to pay a small fortune to get a copy of your very own.

Star Fleet Battles (Amarillo Design Bureau) — Captain’s Log #48 has just been released.

Mongoose Traveller (Jon Brazer Enterprises) — A subsector from just beyond the border of the classic Spinward Marches region has been detailed in an eleven page PDF. If you ever wondered what was across the edge of the map, now’s your chance to enter the Foreven sector!