Shootout in Gunsight

As an agent for the White Star Society (precursor to SAGE, the Strategic Authority for Global Equality), Sir Reginald Swanleigh is ordered to the frontier town of Gunsight to investigate rumors of a major villain causing trouble in the Gold Country.
Sir Reggie takes the train from Monterey to the edge of the Crown Colony of California territory. Known as the Gold Country after Lord Sutter's discovery of gold, England's frontier area is a prime target for spies from across the border in the United States.
During the trip, Captain Chapelump of the CCC army introduces himself and, despite repeated hints to the contrary, decides to accompany Sir Reggie to Gunsight. Sir Reggie prefers to travel with no one but his valet, the taciturn Mooshu Tsing Tao.
The train depot at Gunsight is on the edge of town. We join the action as Sir Reggie, Mooshu, and Captain Chapelump walk over the rise and get their first view of the quiet town.

It does not remain quiet for long...
[The plan placed Juan dosTrece and his group in the bank; his #2, Tiburcio Tiburon and two more were in the tavern, robbing the safe. Good guys are in the hotel and the sheriff's office. They were to emerge from their various points as the game progressed.]
Sir Reggie's group moves first, then Juan's group emerges from the bank. This triggers an insight test for Sir Reggie and the shooting begins.
[There was no chance for a second initiative roll! A second round of shots were actually exchanged, with Sir Reggie's Star Power saving him from certain death. Juan also was saved by his Star Power in the process.
Note that I forgot the "outgunned" rule; Sir Reggie should have ducked back behind the wall when Red Tongue fired his rifle...]
Juan dosTrece rolled "retire" and beat a tactical retreat before things got any more frantic. There's always other banks to rob, and his boss Professor Hollister McAllister takes the long view in his campaign to forge an independent society where he can pursue his research undisturbed.
By the way, big thanks to whoever it was that started the comic book style of BatRep. It's almost as much fun as playing the game. Almost.

Rolling dice is like adding salt

Alton Brown said "Salt is what makes your food taste bad... if you don't add it!"
If the life of a solo gamer is a meal, rolling dice is the salt.
I was all fired-up about getting in a game; I'd put the buildings out for an Old West town called Gunsight. I'd even settled upon the rules to use: the free Chain Reaction by Two Hour Wargames.

I set up the camera and took a basic shot (above). I selected my figures and put together the stats for them. I planned to produce a nice write-up for the blog.
Then I froze. Well, I got distracted. I played with the picture. I made new scenery. I painted a few more figures. I read alternate rules.
I stalled.

It turns out that I was avoiding playing because deep down, I was afraid it might not be fun. It took three days for me to realize what was going on. I'd made it too important. It wasn't a game any more.
And that's stupid. Who will know if my Star gets killed in the first round? Only the people I tell. The point is supposed to be to play, to have fun. So I declared a "practice game" and just started rolling dice. My Star, Sir Reginald Swanleigh, member of the secret White Star Society, was killed three times in a row.

But I had fun. And it turns out that the figures on the table don't hold it against me if I kill them. Certainly, the thousands of readers of this blog won't know if I don't tell them.
So add some salt. Roll the dice! As any good GM will tell you, sometimes a quick toss of a few d6 answer a question faster than an hour of research ever will.


Further RRtK armies

A few people have requested copies of the Rally Round the King (RRtK) paper units, so rather than send them to everyone, I've uploaded them to another site.
So far, there's Goblins, Orcs, Stygustani, Black Moon, Brethren, Undead, and White Company/Black Company.
Jump on over to Tassano.org/games and have a look.
I'll eventually get back to RRtK, and will add more armies.


Making World Maps

I admit it: I'm addicted to maps. They let me explore new places without the stress of learning another language, changing money, or finding a restroom.
My favorite style of map is the old one used in Traveller, which was derived from Buckminster Fuller's Dymaxion map; we now call it an icosahedron.

As Fuller described it, the Dymaxion map is free from the majority of the horrid distortions created by the Mercator projection (familiar to school children everywhere). An icosahedron map shows distances accurately along the edge of any triangle with the distortion increasing only slightly toward the center of a triangle.
And with the addition of small tabs in strategic places, the map may be cut out and glued into a reasonable 3D object. Imagine a d20 with a map painted on it...

I use these tools:

Here's an example from Donjon:

This was a square projection. Once I got an image I liked, I saved the image to my computer.

Load into Photoshop and run Flexify:

I turn off tabs and grids, but enable edges.
Play around with latitude, longitude, and spin until the lands are where you'd like them.

I often add an overlay of hexagons to get a leg up on mapping for gaming use.
I absolutely LOVE Hexographer, by the way. It's a Java application for making hexagon-based maps. It can run for free in your browser, or purchased to run standalone with extra features.

Sometimes, though, I'm in the mood for a more artistic map.
Here's one done in Photoshop, based upon a triangle in a different map:


Rally 'Round the King paper units

Being an inherently frugal gamer, and lazy to boot, I have found a good way to produce all the army units I want.

I used Adobe Illustrator (though I suppose one could use Word) to make a block that's 3 times deeper than a unit. On one third, I place the unit information: name, Rep, AC, number of figures. I leave the center third blank. On the last third, I paste images of the figures for the unit.

For example, here's a Goblin unit in various stages of assembly:

Goblin Unit

In the upper left is the paper unit as it comes out of the printer. The upper right is the partially-folded unit. Notice the piece of tape? The stat-block is trimmed a little shorter to allow the tape to attach to the center third. (I used to use glue, but this is faster and doesn't warp the unit)

In the bottom is the unit as it appears to the opponent.

There are a limited number of unit types in the Goblin army, so it was a short task to assemble them onto a single page:

Goblin Army

Of course, this is just a screen shot of the PDF; the real paper image puts the Goblins at about 20mm tall.

The images are in the public domain, AFAIK.

If you'd like copies of the armies (I have about 10 armies completed), drop me a line on my gmail.com email account, 'mftassano'.