FRAG: More Design Work

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There are so many factors to consider. This battle is far from over.

I’ve been playing around with GIMP and Word a lot today. Having a good looking title on your front cover is so important. It’s the first thing players will see, and it will make an impression (good or bad) every time it’s pulled from a book shelf.

I’m starting to think it’d be a good idea to raise some money for original artwork.

FRAG: Some Graphic Design

@vonuberwald has been helping me design logos and covers for FRAG, the retro FPS tabletop battle game.

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The game studio logo by @vonuberwald.

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A first mock-up of the front cover. God, did I really write ‘twitch gaming’?

Please note that the artwork above is a place holder I found on Google Image search. I have no idea who drew that picture but I love them to bits. I’ll be looking for an illustrator able to do a similiar colour cover picture at some future point.

The same cover with some WIP logo text by @vonuberwald

Below are some more pictures from the FRAG rule book. None of the artwork is official, all of it dates back to when I wanted to make my home brew look nice for my friends.[[MORE]]

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Some of the text is still being gone over, as the story has been altered quite heavily since the first draft (i.e, it’s actually a setting now, not just some text blurbs to give me excuse for me to bang converted miniatures together).

My Tomorrow’s War 2012 Campaign

Below is some information and pictures from my 2012 Tomorrow’s War campaign. I might have shared some of these before. Most of my collection is quite blurry and so only a few are suitable for public consumption.

The Pictures


Solar Empire forces arrive to defend a city.Note the non-combatant ambulance at the back providing Medevac for wounded troops – an important part of Tomorrow’s War.
Republican medium tank watching for Imperial movement. Due to the civilians nearby, it needs to be very careful.
Solar Empire soldiers advance up a road against a Republican position.
Republican soldiers begin deployment next to a group of elite Shadow operators.
Republican forces foil an ambush against an armoured convoy, capturing an entire squad after a deadly close quarters battle.
A special character for the Solar Empire, Empress Eos.
Republican vehicle crew bail from their vehicle after a lucky hit from an Imperial vehicle.
A small Solar Empire army, just prior to a successful ambush against a sizeable Republican armoured group.

The Campaign – Phase 1
The campaign was set during a civil war in a distant, far-future world called Hypolossia. The majority of the (strongly Greco-Roman) planet is controlled by an aristocratic caste of psychic mutants. Most of these ‘aristos’ are fairly unremarkable, but the two most powerful are the twin sisters Eos and Selene who together rule the theocratic Solar Empire.

When a lunar prison colony rebels, the twins disagree and Selene sides with the (nominally) democratic Lunar Republic, becoming a sort of constitutional monarch. Lunar forces land and quickly secure major port cities, but the heartlands of the Solar Empire stay loyal to the God-Empress Eos.

At the start of the campaign the two opposing armies were functionally identical. The Solar Empire had a more robust supply chain, and so benefited from an extra shooting dice (due to their Abundant Supplies) but the Lunar Republic was more enthusiastic with higher morale (rolling a d10 instead of a d8). The two were evenly matched, with an equal tally of wins and losses, and very similar amounts of killed, wounded and captured.

As the campaign progress, the two forces started to diverge. The Solar Empire began to develop new walker technologies, and fielded fanatical two-man groups of flame-thrower infantry (nicknamed “Warcrimes Division” and always targeted first by Republic soldiers due to how devastating they were).

Meanwhile the Lunar Republic began to field units of jump pack equipped special forces (Selene’s Shadows), and a special group of psychics known as the Menae. The Menae were able to phase through terrain and had a terror aura. Despite having no weapons, they were absolutely brutal to face in close combat. Their models looked like the girl from The Ring.

In addition to this, heroes began to emerge. The Solar Empire had a special officer and the Lunar Republic had a particularly deadly Shadow operator as ‘hero’ characters. Both Goddesses were also statted but not put into play.

At the conclusion of Phase 1, the two armies had an equal number of wins and losses. The Solar Empire’s special officer was captured, but managed to escape. The battle had become a near stalemate. Something was needed to tip the balance of power…

We had to conclude the campaign after Phase 1 because I needed to move away for education/work reasons. The plan for Phase 2 was to introduce some new armies but sadly, we never got a chance to play with them.

( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

Sandbox Gaming is Great

I like tabletop games, both RPGs and wargaming. I don’t do much wargaming nowadays, but I’d like to share one of my last big projects I did with a friend many many many years ago (it was 2012). We used a philosophy that I call Sandbox Wargaming to make a narrative campaign.

I believe that wargaming is best when it is enjoyed and shared as a collaborative project between friends. I’ve been to lots of tournaments but I’ve never enjoyed the tournament scene in any game. Something that I found particularly inspiring is the pre-Chainmail wargaming of Gary Gygax and his associated gamers in the 70s.

The group, and others like it, would happily invent or modify rules as needed in order to produce fun games and stories. It was an age of experimentation with little set in stone. People were brought together to try out each other’s games. They bonded from their shared love of fantasy stories, military history, and writing games. There was no arguing over points and no list tailoring. The rules were vague, and players made up new rules on the spot when they encountered something unexpected.

This mentality is what I call ‘sandbox’ play. Players have a set of rules (home written or bought) that forms an agreed core framework which they can build on. It turns war gaming into a collaborative project, with players working together to create cool set-pieces (although a competitive element can still be present to varying degrees).

My friend and I had our 2012 project using Tomorrow’s War. This is a science fiction rule set based upon that kind of ‘sandbox’ approach. You have the rules and example army lists but you’re encouraged to play whatever you want to play.

We designed our own army lists and played without points costs. It was an “Imaginations” game (the players create fictional nations / factions) that was VERY tongue in cheek. We also discussed each game and agreed on how the campaign unfolded based on the results of the battles. Sometimes one of us wanted to do stuff not in the rules or do something technically unfair but convenient for both of us – so we talked about it and played fairly liberally when it benefited us both.

It was freewheeling and very fun. Sandbox gaming requires everyone to be good sports and focus on enjoying time with friends. It’s anathema to the hardcore tournament mentality but in my opinion, it’s the best way to play. Toxic players simply don’t play sandbox games. The only drawback is that few people play sandbox games at all, but I highly recommend that you try it with a trusted gaming friend.

Check out my next post for some pictures.

Warzone Abridged (2018)

Warzone Abridged is a homebrew tabletop project that takes Warzone 1st Edition as a base but removes the more cumbersome rules and streamlines it.

It also adds all of the new material from the Modiphius Mutant Chronicles 3rd Edition RPG, including the Russian flavoured Whitestar faction into the wargame for the first time. It also vastly expands the amount of spells and creatures in the game.

The core rules themselves are about 20 A4 pages, and the entire document with full army lists for each faction come to 135 pages. They will soon be available for free online

February Painting

More miniatures.

Doomguy is from Klukva Miniatures. Very clean resin casting, quite easy to paint.

The two ‘Elite Guard’ Nazi ladies are from Thrilling Tales’ She-Wolf characters pack. The models had a lot of flash but they’re old school in design and quite fun to paint.

Caleb and Corzo are from Wargames Foundry and their cowboy line – one of the only lines that has a cowboy wearing a poncho. There are plenty of good Calebs out there, but they’re all part of bundles, and none of those bundles have a passable Corzo in them.

Stuff I’ve Been Painting

 – Nazi Supersoldier on the left is from Dust Tactics, a convention exclusive so I’m told. Dust fans pls don’t REEE at me for ripping him off his exclusive base. I’m not sure how to use him in Konflikt 47 but in FRAG he’ll be an Uber-Mutant personality.

 – YOU HAVE TAKEN THE LEAD is a Warzone Capitol Airborne Ranger with the shoulder logos filed off.

Waffen-SS Officer is made by Warlord Games. He’s wearing a late war spring pattern jacket over a dark grey uniform. He will be seeing use in Bolt Action, Konflikt 47 and FRAG as a platoon leader.

 – Nayla Erdogan is a former New Ottoman officer turned mercenary star ship officer (actually it’s a figure from the Infinity RPG miniatures range, but a buddy mentioned that it looked like one of his characters from a space setting he’s been talking about).

Ranger was tricky and I made a lot of mistakes. Getting the yellow right was hard. Quake Champions has such muddy colours most yellow paint is too bright. After an attempt at mixing darker yellows and dry brushing the breastplate I had to go back and give him a dark ink wash around the curves of the armour. The shoulder pads also didn’t look right when I tried to give them a worn metallic edge; I guess my mind sees reddish brown and just thinks ‘leather’.

He was also supposed be holding the dire orb but I was halfway through priming him before I noticed that I forgot to green stuff his hand. I really can’t explain how that happened.