Thursday, October 24, 2013

Space Templars Adventure 2

While I wait for my Space Marines and enemies, I decided to plot out the next Space Templar adventure. Once again, I pulled out the Space Opera Adventure Generator and came up with:

Retrieve a secret located on an alien world while dealing with a disaster and while opposed by an Empire.

This reminded me of a Star Wars: The Old Republic quest where a Jedi character has to investigate a cavern on Tython. I also took inspiration from the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Who Watches the Watchers."

A Federation scientific expedition doing research on a primitive planet has met with disaster. A massive meteor shower struck the the expedition's outpost in the hilly region. The scientists barely escaped, but they accidentally left behind some prized research. Our heroes will have to explore the ruined outpost and find the expedition's database. Unfortunately, an Imperial force has found the site.

The adventure will have two stages - the Caverns and the Laboratories. Like my previous adventure, I do not have a map; instead I randomly roll for encounters every time I move into a new "room." Here are the first draft of the encounter charts.


  1. Cave Men - indigenous hominids are investigating the caves
  2. Cave In - a section of the roof, weakened by the meteor shower, falls upon the group
  3. Giant Spider - a native spider like creature has taken residence in the caverns
  4. Trap - the scientists left a non lethal trap to discourage the natives from investigating
  5. Imperial Troopers - they're here!
  6. A boon - some good fortune befalls the group
  7. Security door - once opened, proceed to the next section
  1. Security Bot - left by the scientists
  2. Cave In
  3. Carnivorous Plant - a specimen collected by the scientists
  4. Dangerous Predator - another specimen, which has escaped its cage
  5. More Imperial Troopers
  6. Another boon
  7. The Control Chamber - location of the database. An Imperial trooper in full battlesuit is here. He has just defeated the expedition's security bot. The heroes need to defeat him to retrieve the database.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

A New Project - Space Marines

Elizabeth has been wanting to play a scary game (for Halloween) and I've been in a sci fi mood. The answer? Space Hulk!

I have a copy of the Space Hulk: Death Angel card game so we brought that out last night. We actually did pretty well - making to the 3rd of 4 levels before we got swarmed.

Here is our last position before we called it a night. We were pretty much assured of losing at least two more Marines in the next turn.

It is a fun albeit frightening game but the cards aren't as cool as minis. I've toyed with picking up a copy of the re-released Space Hulk game but the price puts me off (since it is OOP, copies are going for over $200!). So I decided to create my own version.

I just placed an order for some minis.

First up, the Space Marines:
Photo from Rebel Miniatures web page

Next, for Elizabeth, some kick-ass female mercenaries:
Photo from Rebel Miniatures web page

These figures are from Rebel Miniatures.

The enemies come from Khurasan Miniatures:

All photos from the Khurasan Miniatures web page.

I wrote up some very basic rules for the game and I'll be working on some sci fi themed tiles to represent the space hulk.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Starfighter Set Up and Rules

I haven't had a chance to run another mission yet, but I have been updating my set up. Here's a peek:

The Board
I picked up a black, 3' x 4' foamcore board from Michael's. Two of the sides fold inward; in this configuration, the board is 2' x 3'.

I used an idea from Terragenesis to create a hex template from cardboard. The hex corners are marked in white, which look like stars to me. My plan was not entirely successful, as my hex template was slightly askew. This caused problems as I neared the end. I finished by using a Memoir '44 hex as a template. Anyway, it seems to be useable.

Initiative Markers
The gray "meteors" act as initiative markers. The idea is to display each fighter's initiative roll. This makes it easier to remember whose turn it is without cluttering the board with unsightly dice.

Throttle Markers
In my rules, fighters select a throttle setting, which determines speed and impacts combat rolls. I realized that I needed to indicate the setting in some manner, so I created rocket exhaust from foam. Orange indicates regular throttle while red indicates afterburners. No marker indicates low throttle.

Laser and Explosion Markers
Not needed for the game itself, I created these for blog pictures. They illustrate the action.

For rules, I picked up a copy of Two Hour Wargames 5150: Fighter Command. It was a bit more detailed than I wanted, so I wrote up my own rules:

Turn Sequence
1.       Initiative – D6
a.       Move tailed ships first
b.      Then move low to high
2.       Set throttle
3.       Move
4.       Shoot
5.       Damage

Set Throttle





[Note: For solo games, I randomly roll for the throttle setting for all fighters except for my personal "Star"]



Move forward 1 space
Turn 60 degrees
Turn 120 degrees

·         Must move forward 1 space before making a turn
·         Can only make 1 turn before moving forward again

1.       Target must be directly ahead of shooter
2.       Maximum range = 6 spaces
3.       Roll 1D6 per functioning cannon

Hit on 4-6
·         Speed mod                         -1 to +1
·         Target speed mod           -1 to +1
·         “Star” pilot                          +1
·         Target hull damage         +?




Lose 1 hull
Enemy get +1 to hit
-1 mp
0 mp if 2 hits
Lose 1 cannon
Lose 2 hull
Enemy gets +2 to hit

Star Fighter Stats
Hull               3
Weapon       2

Engine          2

I like the 5150 concept of "Stars," which are the main characters of each player. Stars get certain advantages. In my practice game, Ray Gunn was the Star (although Ty Rowe performed better; Ray could not hit the broad side of the moon!). I selected the throttle setting for the Star before randomly rolling for the other fighters. This gave a nice element of unpredictability.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Star Fighters

It's been a long time since I actually posted pictures of miniatures on this blog. I'd like to do some pics for my RP sessions, but I don't have the minis. However, the escape from the Temple of Zircon got me thinking about getting some spaceship models. I then remembered an interesting blog post about cheap plastic spaceships. I decided to order some.

The ships came in a bag of 144 for under $8. Here is the lot of them.

There are 7 varieties of ships as shown below.

I'm planning to paint some of them up for space battles. I think they can do double duty - as cruisers for fleet actions and as fighters for smaller scale dogfights.

I've been dying to experiment with them, so I decided to run a solo game with the materials at hand. I picked out 4 of the ships, marking 2 of them with a pen to designate the flight leaders. I didn't have anything black for the battle board so I used a gray foam mat instead. Finally, I tossed down a wooden circle to represent an asteroid.

I wrote up some quick rules for the game. The "good guys" of the battle are two pilots from the Federation Star Fleet Fighter Command. They are in the 501st Squadron (nicknamed the "Genies") and have been sent on a patrol of the Omicron system. The battle report follows.

Battle Report: The Omicron Incident

To: CO - 501st Starfighter Squadron
From: Lt Ray Gunn - A Flight Leader
Re: Omicron Incident

As per orders, Lt Ty Rowe and I were patrolling the outskirts of the Omicron system's asteroid belt when we encountered two fighters of the rebel Aquians. We immediately engaged.

 Starting positions - The Aquians (orange) emerge from behind an asteroid

We quickly closed the range on the Aquains. I rushed past the enemy flight leader and engaged the wingman, but my shots missed. Lt Rowe engaged the enemy leader as it began to turn after me.

 Initial shots by the Federation pilots

I made a hard right turn and was able to line up on the enemy leader. We traded ineffectual shots. Rowe was able to slide into position and unleash a devastating barrage against his target.

The enemy leader about to go up in flames. 

With its leader gone, the remaining fighter turned tail to flee. Rowe and I pursued. I was closest to the enemy and began raking him with fire.

 The pursuit begins

My shots damaged the enemy's engine and it began to slow. I did not compensate correctly and quickly overtook it, accidentally colliding. I suffered minor hull damage.

 Oops. Lt Gunn accidentally runs into the enemy.

Lt Rowe kicked on the afterburners and was able to catch up with the slowed enemy. We poured fire into it. Within seconds, the last fighter exploded.

The last moment of the Aquian fighter

Lt. Rowe performed admirably during the encounter. He was responsible for the destruction of both enemy fighters.

My Galaxy

I love the post over at Grognardia about a "Sci Fi Goulash." The poster compares the success of fantasy RPGs vs. scf fi RPGS and theorizes that the "kitchen sink" setting of D&D contributed to its popularity. Conversely, very few sci fi RPGs adopted an approach
where the United Federation of Planets, whose Navy is Roddenberry's Starfleet and whose Army is Heinlein's Mobile Infantry, squares off against a Galactic-Empire-meets-the-Third-Reich, in a galaxy inhabited by Vulcans, Kzinti, Lensmen/Jedi, Bugs, and just about any other sci-fi species/culture imagined.
This concept has inspired my galaxy.

Since I created this map, I have renamed the "Republic" as the "Federation." The main heroes of my galaxy are the Space Templars, an order of knights inspired by the Jedi. The Empire is likewise influenced by Star Wars. The Dominion is ruled by a race of cyborgs, much like Star Trek's Borg. The Infestation refers to the conquests of a race of insectoid creatures (a la Starship Troopers). Finally, the Conclave is an area of space settled by a race of super intelligent humanoids who hold logic in the highest esteem. Quite the goulash here. And because I have not mapped the galaxy out in detail, I have plenty of room to insert new ideas.

The Federation once united the entire galaxy until corrupt politicians, greedy merchants, and fallen Templars conspired to seize control. They managed to establish an empire, but some of the Federation worlds remained free, leading to a series of wars between Federation and Empire. Later, the Dominion and the Conclave broke off (although the Conclave remains friendly with the Federation). Finally, the "bugs" invaded, seizing sectors from the Dominion and the Empire. Into this chaos, my heroes will struggle to preserve order, freedom, and goodness.

Sunday, October 6, 2013


Sorry, it's been a couple of weeks. Anyway, here is an update.

  • Last week was some 1:1 scale wargaming - I went to a Dagorhir event. I broke my hand in August at an event, so I could not participate, but I hung out and did some heralding (refereeing).
  • I have primarily been doing computer / video gaming recently. World of Warcraft offered a free 7 day membership so my wife and I did a dungeon crawl. We have also been playing Grand Theft Auto 5. I have also played a little Star Wars: The Old Republic.
  • Finally, I've been planning to post this for a while. It's a galaxy map for my sci fi RPG:

    As I mentioned in my last post, I realized that I did not have to map out all the planets. Instead, I mapped out the borders of the major factions, along with some of the major planets and shipping lanes. I plan to write some more about the galaxy. Until then, I'll leave you with a little sci fi inspiration.