Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Free Astonishing Swords and Sorcerers of Hyperborea module PDFs!

I periodically turn my rpg session notes into something more publishable. Below are links to a short adventure I wrote and a campaign locale.

First up, a Lovecraftian romp through a statue on the edge of a volcanic island;


Its a bit linear, but its supposed to be a short adventure. I've tried to channel as much Lovecraftian weirdness as I can into it.

Second up, a city in the dark of the Underborea;


This is more of a campaign setting. The wider Underborea has sections of mega dungeon and hex crawl. This is meant to act as a plot trigger and base camp for the players.

Both are written for the rpg Astonish Swords and Sorcerers of Hyperborea, by Northwind Games, which has become my fantasy ruleset and setting of choice.

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Tide of Fortune

I traded off my copy of OCS Reluctant Enemies, something I thought I’d never do.  I’d solo’d it through twice and played the short scenario face to face and sort of felt done with it. It’s a great way into OCS but I think the French strategy can drag the game in a certain direction. If they go defensive they can force the game into a battle of attrition in the Northern Mountains in the late game. The game then descends down to the roll of the dice.

Ever searching for playable but deep Napoleonic Operations I got Seven days of 1809 for it.

But lucky me, (and my dog) the chap I traded with threw in an extra game for free!

Tide of Fortune – a 1992 complex operational war game on the Netherlands in 1944 by John Schettler.

setup for just the western map. I was interested in what happened along the coast before Market Garden. The Germans have the numbers but they are badly out of position (grey counters). If Antwerp falls too quickly they could be out of supply.

Boardgamegeek rates it at an average of … 5.98. So it wasn't a hit. The game has terrible product development. In non-jargon this means they didn’t proofread it and test the final product properly. Some chits are misprinted, there are some gaps in the rule book/scenario setups, and in general it’s a hard game to get into. The rules are pretty complex, though only 20 something pages, might be more complex than OCS actually.

British Armour prepares to assault Antwerp.

But, this is a really interesting game, might be a forgotten treasure. Here’s why;

A unique command and control system. Units are brigades with divisional HQs. Players bid for initiative then as a result of the auction have a series of initiative and reaction operations. The reacting side can also get extra spoiling operations if the other player gets bad results from his or her attacks.

The game is open. The long scenarios puts you in command a week or two before Market Garden and give you all the resources that were used, but you don’t have to do Market Garden. You can instead take the coastal ports, or do something else. You are not shackled to the history, which is a big appeal for me.

It has a low counter density, only one sheet of counters. Whilst the rules are complex, it’s actually simpler in play as there are fewer moving parts than many games.

There is also an appeal in something just being rare and unique. This is a game for deep war game nerds.