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Jeff's Gameblog
Sunday, 21 March 2004

It occurred to me today that there are two other chess games I could do writes-up on to send to the Chess Variants page. Sid Sackson did a little chess variant in a book of games he wrote. Also, I have a copy of an ancient TSR game called 4th Dimension.

I got a new Monster Cards page up today at The Erol Otus Shrine. I need to remember to scan in the pictures in the Fiend Folio. Here are my short term plans for the Shrine:

1) Updated index page, with new logo

2) Update to the DDG page, with better cover art

3) Add missing non-Otus minigame covers to the minigame page

4) Otus miscellany page, I might be able to spin this into 2 pages, with one devoted to just module art

5) Links page

6) Non Otus art page, with a piece or two from TSR contemporaries

I also had an idea for a webpage dedicated to my brother-in-law-in-law's old school munchkin character Zal. Stuff like 30th level wizards with superpowers and artifact swords need to be preserved for gaming posterity.

Posted by jrients at 5:44 PM CST

So it turns out that two of the Ancients scenarios I'm interested use blank maps (Leuctra, a Sprtan/Thebes throwdown and Sambre, featuring Julius Caesar in a steel cage against some Gallic types). This turn of events allows me to concentrate on producing some counters, since I can use my old BattleTech megamat for the map. I just have to make up my mind whether I want to take the time to do custom counters, or maybe I should just concentrate on a workable set of generic guys with sword type counters.

Posted by jrients at 10:16 AM CST
Saturday, 20 March 2004

After years of on-again off-again dinking around with it, I finally figured out how to print out some usable full-color components for Ancients, a light an easy pre-gunpowder wargame with a metric buttload of scenarios. I think I'll be able to produce maps and counters larger than the teeny weeny standard size. I may even try to integrate some of Patrick's Cardboard Warriors. I've even got a large sheet of green felt and some iron-on hexes if I wanted to go that route.

One of the nice things about Ancients is that I can really wrap my Dungeons & Dragons-wired brain around it. Heck, you could use Ancients as the super-large scale combat system in a low magic campaign.

Posted by jrients at 6:47 PM CST

I read the Boot Hill 2nd edition rulebook today. It has been at least 15 years since I last read it, maybe 20. I guess the couple of decades of gaming helped, because I think I finally understand the combat system. I'm seriously thinking about tracking down some modules for this puppy. Only 5 adventures and maybe a screen were published for it. I suppose other western games could be of some use, like the old Western Hero supplement from I.C.E. And Dragon issue #71, IIRC, had a great module called The Taming of Brimstone, complete with a nifty little tactical map. I reread most of it off the good ol' Dragon CD-ROM. About the only changes I would make would be to stretch out the time scale (two murders a day seems to be the average situation as written!) and maybe add a a few buildings to the map. I believe a brothel is conspicuously absent, thanks to the political climate of the era the module was published in.

Gave some more thought to my chess variant, Spacewarp 44. I think the warp squares will work like this: Any piece that starts its move on a red 'warp' square may forgo its normal move/capture rules and instead leap to any other warp square, capturing any enemy piece occupying the destination square.

Posted by jrients at 1:54 PM CST
Still awake
Managed to make use of this time to finish my two new submissions for the Star Trek Star Ship Tactical Combat Simulator Millennium Update & Archive. I sent Brad, the site owner/operator stats for two Romulan vessels: the V-24 "Great Bird" class cruiser and the P-8 "Deathsting" class corvette. The V-24 is yet another Bird of Prey lookalike, with the special mission of hunting down Klingon Bird of Prey ripoffs! The P-8 looks like the perfect vessels for a small group of Romulans stirring up trouble in the triangle: its small, has a cloak, atmo-capable, and has some guns. It would be a perfect starter vessels for an Romulan PC group.

Hopefully Brad will eb able to get them up on the site soon.

Posted by jrients at 5:31 AM CST
TSR fever

Can't sleep.

Pat slipping me this copy of Boot Hill second edition made me long to play some of those games my old junior high/high school group owned back in the eighties but really never got much use out of. Mostly they were TSR games; it took us a while to acknowledge that other RPG companies mattered. (Kinda like the way we were Marvel zombies. We just didn't know better.) Anyway, I now find myself searching the web (especially eBay) for 2nd edition Boot Hill modules, 2nd edition Gamma World, 1st edition Gangbusters, even Dawn Patrol! These games had extremely small products lines, so getting a complete set for each is not out of the question.

Pat also expressed his interest in the Star Frontiers miniatures line. I'm trying to figure out how exploitive it would be of me to get him to paint some figs for me for Starmada Frontiers. They're not hard to find and not very expensive. TSR seemed to overestimate interest in them. Basing would be the only big issue. Getting him to stick to any sort of schedule is doubtful, but man it would make for a sweet con game to actually have figures for Starmada.

Posted by jrients at 3:56 AM CST
Friday, 19 March 2004

Got a new page up at the Erol Otus Shrine.

Pat was over tonight. We shot the breeze about gaming, mostly discussing his ideas for recreating the entirety of the 1982 Anglo-Argentinian war in the Falkland Islands. He also gave me that copy of Boot Hill he had snagged for me. Its the edition I was looking for and in great shape. Yippee!

Posted by jrients at 10:06 PM CST
Updated: Friday, 19 March 2004 10:07 PM CST

I noticed that alot of the n-squares contest entries at chessvariants.com use names in the format "word n", such as the variant Symmetry 44. Thus, the working title for my variant will be Spacewarp 44.

Over lunch I knocked out some numbers for the Day of the Juggernaut scenario. Even using my relatively wimpy builds for the good guys, the first draft of the Juggernaut was several hundred points shy of being balanced against Strike Force NOVA. I took another stab at it, laying on the special equipment and bumping the Juggernaut's disruptor cannon to a spinal mount. I had to add in auto-repair, which means the good guys should be allowed access to the damage control rules.

Posted by jrients at 1:53 PM CST
Updated: Friday, 19 March 2004 4:31 PM CST
chess first draft

So here's my first crack at a 44-square chess variant. The black space in the middle is a non-space, a hole in the board. The red squares are some sort of funky translocation squares, I'm still working out the details.

The pawns are berolina pawns, the kind sort of inverse to regular pawns, they capture forward and move diagonally. The upside-down rook is a Crook, which moves like a rook but also has a one-shot knight movement. After making the knight movement the Crook is flipped back over to show it is a regular Rook for the rest of the game. The bishops can also move one square orthogonally, making them dragon horses, popes, or ladies depending on the source of your terminology. I was going to use standard bishops until I realized all four were on the same color squares.

No name for this variant yet. Based just upon the pieces "Crooks & Popes" might fit the bill, though it sounds potentially anti-Catholic. The board should really figure into the name, since its a board-related contest.

If I get this puppy submitted, maybe I'll do a Crook page for the Chess Variants Piececlopedia. And I still need to seriously tackle an Enochian Chess page for the site.

Posted by jrients at 11:59 AM CST

Got some more work done on transcribing those Romulan ships for the Archive. I think I should be able to get them submitted this weekend, possibly even tonight. I also should be able to post a new Erol Otus Shrine page soon.

I'm not sure what to do for my next web/gaming projects, but here's what's been oin my mind:

1) BattleTech: maybe a new scenario. I'd also like to put together Read-Outs for the some early model Mechs, particularly the early Ostroc and the prototype Blackjack.

2) Some Starmada scenarios. 2 Starmada Frontiers scenarios will probably come first, the Dramune War and Day of the Juggernaut.

3) Maybe an entry into the Chess Variants 44-square contest. Contest closes April 21st, so I'd have to work fast. Maybe my entry this time won't be a complete dud, like By Rook Or By Crook. Well, maybe not a complete dud. The Crook piece is kinda cool. Maybe I could use it again in my new game...

4) I need to add the rest of the Lords of Creation line to the Pen & Paper RPG database.

Posted by jrients at 9:34 AM CST
Updated: Friday, 19 March 2004 10:01 AM CST

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