Saturday, October 1, 2016

SciFi gaming, the new frontier... least for me.

I have been looking forward to two games that are on the horizon. Bot of which are Sci-Fi games, which is not my normal wheelhouse.

Rogue StarsThe first of these, which will also be the first to be released is Rogue Stars by Osprey Publishing.This will be released in December, and like all Osprey games, will be designed so that it can be played with whatever miniatures the players wish. This allows me to find a means to put miniatures on the table from Necromunda, Void, Urban War, Infinity and whatever other futuristic minis I have (like Doctor Who personalities and companions). I know little of this game, other than it seems to be a points based squad construction skirmish game. Less like Frostgrave,and more like In Her Majesty's Name. the important thing about it is that it should generate enough of a buzz to get other players interested, and that's all it takes to get games, which is, after all the important thing. That and telling them they can use their 40K minis withour having to put a weekend aside!

The second game I am eagerly awaiting is Cannibal Sector 1 by Daruma Productions. A new game based in the World of Progress. As a player of SLA industries back in the day, I love this IP, and was convinced to part with cash to help them fund their Kickstarter, which should be fulfilled some time next spring/summer. As SLA was a game I played quite often with friends in Scotland, I'm not sure what interest there will be in my local gaming group to try it, but I was heartened to find second hand copies of the RPG in local stores, so someone was playing SLA here. The worst case scenario here is that I get all the CS-1 miniatures (which do look nice), and use them as a faction in Rogue Stars, and use that as a means of attracting the attention of other gamers. A honey trap if you will.

With both these games in mind, I have been looking through my lead pile to find minis that can be used for either game. I think I have a short list, which I have been prepping and basing, ready to get painting. The first batch of SLA-ops should hit the painting table soon!

So that's what's on the horizon, but what about games for the more recent future? Well, the winter gaming season is just round the corner, and for that, I ordered some things from amazon recently, and am now the owner of Back Ops, The Men Who Would be Kings, and Frostgrave: Into the Breeding Pits, All released from Osprey Publishing.

Frostgrave: Into the Breeding PitsIn terms of Play-ability, I foresee most use for the Breeding Pits expansion for Frostgrave. In terms of what it contains, this is not a campaign, like Thaw of the Liche lord (which went down very well with local players), but is the most in depth expansion of rules and options that has been sp far released for Frostgrave. There are 6 scenarios in the book, along with a host of rules for playing in dungeons, traps, and new magic options. In all it seems quite complicated (for Frostgrave), and I will have to sit down and see the best way to implement what it contains. I think I'll try to string the scenarios together into a campaign, and run that with the locals, but it will take a bit more planning, and introducing the players to what is now available.
Black Ops

I have heard of at least one other player in town who would want to play Black Ops. The cover, and indeed interior artwork seems to suggest it was more in the futuristic Solid Snake style game, which is a way it can be played, but the photographed miniatures in the book are more of a Black Hawk Down style. This may just be the miniatures the author had access to, and the rules seem to be able to be played both ways, so this is going in the Sci Fi bracket for me, and I'm going to put together a scenario where I can run my Urban War Triads as modern Ninjas, versus teched our Viridian Colonial Marines. That seems like it'd be a way to get people interested.

The final of the new book triad is then The Men Who Would Be Kings. This is a game that I see the least use out of in my current gaming circle. Unfortunately. One thing I was pleasantly surprised about, was the use of artwork in this book. Along with the usual photographs of pertinent miniatures, there was also judicious use of artwork from Osprey's other books. This was not something I had noticed in the other Osprey wargaming books I have, indeed, in the first expansion book for In Her Majesty's Name was notorious for having absolutely no artwork, not even photos of minis. There may have been a few reasons for that, but it is a poor show in this modern era of wargame publishing, where we have grown to expect more. I think another reason I have not noticed this use of artwork by Osprey is that the other books I have are more fantasy based, and therefore have required the commissioning of specific art. Either way, this book has 6 full page colour plates, 3 of which by Angus McBride, along with many other half page plates. I call that in itself a win. In terms of game play, it seems to be more on scale with the authors previous works, Lion and Dragon Rampant, so mid-scale, with a few units of up to 16 men for large tribal units, normal units are 12. I must say, I don't own enough historicals to run this one, but I will be trying to use it to field my Dystopian Legions miniatures. I can't see that being too much of a clash with the rules, and certainly remains in the spirit of the game, which is more based on the cinematic than the Historic.

So there we go a rahter Opsrey biased look at my near future wargaing plans. Frostgrave as a means to get people to the table, followed up with scenarios written to get player buy-in to the other games (which they already have minis for) followed by (ideally) an Osprey gaming night, where folks come along to play variations of these games and others. Okay, the last bit is a bit of a stretch, but I'm working on the owner of my FLGS to make it more likely, as he gets to sell the books and minis to support such a venture.

As they say, watch this space!


  1. Sounds like a lot projects coming up. I have Frostgrave mainly as something to dabble with the kids with. Black Ops I've read its seems a lot of fun and I like the stealth mechanic. I plan on using it for spy fi

    1. Frostgrave is one that has talen off here (and nearly everywhere else it seems) so I'll be sure to get some games in for that. Black ops I'll have to wor a little harder to get a opponent, although I do know of one guy who is interested.

      The others may be more or a stretch... ;)

  2. There's a lot going on in your world! Looking forward to hearing how some of these play.

    1. It might be a bit overambitious to think I'll get to play them all, but I will try, and be sure to post the results here! ;)

  3. Rogue Stars is definitely on my list of self-gifts for Christmas.

    Black Ops can be used for a range of eras - I've seen batreps of gangster games using it, so it's pretty versatile.

    1. Hadn't thought to go back in time with it, as I saw it as a futuristic type game, but since it does have rules for ninja, it's clear that it should be fairly era flexible!