Squadron B and EsCon scheduling

Squadron B.

Squadron B with Val’Netine and Krikalev.

I’ll start with the scheduling, first: Purple Fuzzy Monster will be at EsCon most of the day on the 15th, but will probably be missing around lunchtime of the 16th. We’ve got a minor scheduling conflict, so it’s best to look for us Saturday. (Though we’ll be around Sunday morning.)

The picture is of actual Ravenstar frigates, as opposed to Xtreme Hobby ones. Obviously, the new squadron is painted a bit differently  than the original. Since I’m taking more pictures of my models, I’m experimenting with increased saturation to see if they’ll “pop” more. I’m thinking it’s a success, and will be using Squadron B’s colors for any new Terrans I might add from Ravenstar. (As usual, clicking on the picture will show you the full size.)

The other things worth noting are: the Ravenstar models are resin, slightly larger in volume, and have a mounting hole in their “keel”. The holes are kind of small — there was a little bit of knife work necessary to widen them for GW bases — but that’s an improvement over the Xtreme Hobby lead, which required drilling a hole in the hull. Next time I put so of these together, I’ll remember to take a picture and do some measurements.

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This is becoming really interesting. According to the news, a researcher who’s really into debunking these kind of claims took a shot at the EM Drive recently. Like all the previous tests, the equipment claimed the drive produced thrust, and the researcher was unable to identify any error.

At this point, this is the fourth different team to experiment with the drive, and they’ve all had the same result. Either we’ve stumbled onto a new propulsion system, or a wonderfully new way to screw up the various sensors used. Obviously, the first possibility would be ground-breaking; but the second is still very interesting.

For those who want to dig through the paper itself, it’s here.

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Out of Dry Dock and back to a Con

Those parts ain't supposed to be separate!

Those parts ain’t supposed to be separate!

I had friends who had a room at Comic-Con, and they did me a favor and kept an eye on my demo box while I wasn’t working. They even transported it to and from the Con, so that I didn’t have to portage the box on the trolley.

All went well — until they got home. As they were unloading their car, the box fell to the ground. The results are the picture above. Click on it, and you’ll get an idea of how much you need to assemble a few of Ravenstar‘s ships. The good news is, none of the pieces were lost, and after a couple of nights with a bottle of cyanoacrylate, we’re ready to go back into action.

And back into action we’ll go! In keeping with our theme of “find out about a con late in the game, and rush to it,” we’re ending up at EsCon. It’s a small two-day gaming con in Escondido.

We’ll be there, August 15 and 16, demo’ing the miniatures version of Starships along with the prototype for Aliens Built My Hot Rod. Hope to see you there!

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After Comic-Con, 2015

So I had a fun and busy demo session at Comic-Con. I think every Aerospace Engineer at the Con came by my table and played Starships. A good time was had by all, including a few 12-year-olds who weren’t rocket scientists.

So that’s the good news: these are My People, and I can reach them.

The bad news? My People aren’t necessarily miniatures gamers. While I got lots of interest and positive feedback, they weren’t interested in painting miniatures and digital downloads.

So, it looks like the third edition of Starships will be a boxed edition, and probably adjusted to match available components. As that’s a whole new thing for me, it’ll happen sometime after we finish Aliens Built My Hot Rod.

The second edition will still be released in the original format later this year, and will include a print-on-demand option as well.

While I was running demos, Leanne went and schmoozed the other game designers. We ended up going home with a copy of Alpha Bandits, and Leanne is intending to get a copy of Burgle Brothers when it’s available. Also of interest is Villains & Henchmen.

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Comic-Con International, 2015

So they’ve got the schedule up. We’re going to be in the Hyatt, on the Fourth Floor (Regatta A).

We’re going to be there Friday afternoon (1:30 to 5:00) and Saturday (10:00 to 5:00, minus lunch). Right now, the schedule says we’re going to be there from Thursday to Sunday, which is not true. We’re trying to get that corrected.

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Purple Fuzzy Monster will be at Comic-Con International. Officially, we’re demoing Starships, but if you ask nicely, you can talk us into showing off the playtest deck for Aliens Built My Hot Rod. We should be in the Hyatt on Friday afternoon and most of the day on Saturday. Things are not entirely finalized, so check your con schedules when they’re released.

Speaking of Aliens Built My Hot Rod, I should be adding a product page after Comic-Con. At the moment, the game design is pretty much done, but I made a mistake designing it: it needs about 60 pieces of art, and it’s only got 12 so far. Our current schedule is to have that finished by next year’s Kingdom Con.

Finally, a friend of mine’s got a couple of books out. I can’t give an honest review of them yet, because I’m behind on my reading. (So very far behind …) But Jan did regale me with setting information when he was first plotting them, so if the book is half as good as that, then it should be a good read.

(I could apologize for not updating the site recently, but the truth of it is: my day job is very distracting right now, which is a good thing for me. Just not such a good thing for y’all.)


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Starships: Errata and Proposed Changes

Starships has been out for almost a year now, and I’m thinking I’m going to need a 2nd edition eventually. Right now, there aren’t that many changes in the pipeline, so I don’t feel a rush to get them done before a partial art refresh, which should be sometime in 2016.

Given that’s a year away, I figured I’d share the changes that are possible for 2nd edition.

First off, we finally found an error in the 1st edition. It’s in Section 18.4.5, “Evacuating a Station.” The attacker’s objective should be “Attack the Station” instead of “Attack the Convoy.” I doubt it’s affected anybody’s enjoyment of the game, but there’s an overlap between the erroneous scenario and “Blockade.”

As for possible 2nd edition changes, there’s going to be a name change. To make a long story short: when I first published Starships, Flagship Games was out of business; and their Starships! rules, out of print. Since I didn’t really like the name Jump War, I reverted to (Purple Fuzzy) Starships as the title. Then Starships! got bought/licensed by a new publisher, and came back into print. If that weren’t enough, there’s a new video game out — Sid Meier’s Starships  so a name change is inevitable.

I’ve got a new name, which will be the new title the 2nd Edition. If Wargame Vault works the way I think it does, those of you who bought through them will get the update.

The next change should be familiar to those of you who’ve played the the Battle of Ascension: the new special order, Mark A Target. So far, it’s playtested well, though the offensive mark might be too potent. (A –1 modifier to hit might be added.)

Finally, there is going to be a tweak to the interaction of escorts, squadrons, and point defense. I haven’t gotten around to wordsmithing the actual rules change, but it goes something like this: Escorts that provide point defense to its squadron will take damage from ordinance first. (This means that the attacker can no longer ignore escorts on attack, either.)

Without this rule, escorts have been protected from risk, and fighters became ineffective. With this rule, a squadron should still be able to repulse fighters, but the effort will attrit its escorts, making it easier for the next wave of fighters. It’s also more flavorful: who ever heard of an escort providing defense from behind a capital ship?

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I’m in the middle of taking pictures for a new battle report, and I’ve got access to some new equipment and software, so I figured I’d post this up and see what it looks like.

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Workbench: Mauridian Missile Cruisers

Long-time followers of this blog might remember that I bought some Val’Neveg missile cruisers from Ravenstar Studios back in October of 2013. Here’s the picture I took for that post:

Vel'Naveg missile cruiser, from Ravenstar Studios.

Vel’Naveg missile cruiser, from Ravenstar Studios.

Well, I finally got around to painting them. If that seems like a long time to wait, consider that they displaced some Orc ships from Battlefleet Gothic. I was going to paint them, but changed my mind when I decided that I needed to write an Ascension battle report instead. I was missing three matched missile cruisers, and these were sitting in my “unpainted” box.

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I write like
Arthur Clarke

I Write Like. Analyze your writing!

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