Blog Archives


Bradford Walker continues to school the internet on the more obscure sources of the classic BattleTech game: In terms of BattleMechs, you really only get the Locust, so where the Crushers really come in is with the AeroTech and ground vehicle supplementary rules for the game. The primary Lance-scale Dropship is the Joe’s starship. The […]

Privateers and Gentlemen (by Jon Williams) is like a Marine’s rifle – there are many Napoleonic naval miniature war games like it, but this one is mine. I played the heck out of it back in the ’90s. Well, at least I played the Heart of Oak naval miniatures portion of it. What got short […]

Bradford Walker has more information on the relatively obscure Fang of the Sun Dougram, the “lost” inspiration to BattleTech: It is a happy accident that the people behind BattleTech put in all the hard SF that they did, from technologies to politics, because it turns out that Dougram itself is a nigh-seamless fit into the […]

I guess it all goes back to the Shogun Warriors. And sure Gobots and Transformers were a full fledged craze in their own right. The fact that Robotech had an actual storyline (butchered as it was) was mind-blowing in and of itself. But if you were playing giant robot games at the tabletop during the […]

Author and game designer James Cambias explains why he uses a home-brewed alternative to the official setting of his preferred role-playing system: Why use a fantastical Earth rather than a made-up world? Two reasons: laziness and obsessive attention to detail. Laziness means I can let Google Maps, the CIA Factbook, and Wikipedia do my world-building for […]

You know, I never really liked it but I kind of understood where people were coming from when they eliminated the cleric from their old school D&D games. Not everyone wants to have a flagrantly Catholic Van Helsing style archetype folded into their bizarre post-apocalyptic science fantasy weird future Mediaeval setting. People just can’t handle that […]

In my previous column, I gave an example of how Douglas Cole’s Dungeon Grappling, could be used to add tension to a combat using the classic fight scene by Robert E. Howard. In this one, I discuss an adaption of the Dungeon Grappling rules of my own devising. Disclaimer: I did back the Kickstarter for […]

Last session we explored a quick and easy way to get game ready terrain for your miniature wargame. Today we’re taking things into a whole new dimension – the third dimension, to be precise.  Once again, our focus will be on a few key items that add visual interest, force player choices, and won’t break […]

Okay, Doug and I go way back. The first time that really came up on his radar was way back when I wrote a negative review for one of his GURPS articles from Pyramid. Hard to believe that was 2011! And yeah, I was stunned when my rotten tomato was turned into a point of […]

It’s like a moth to flame with me. First there was GURPS Martial Arts: Technical Grappling. That one  was my first full-length book for anyone: 35,000 words of fairly detailed subsystem that was my first attempt at taking grappling rules and put them on the same scale and mechanical basis as striking with fists or […]

Dungeons and Dragons has always suffered under the lack of a simple system for subduing an opponent as opposed to killing them. Many other role playing games as well if it comes to that. Many times in the course of my 36 years of playing D&D a party exacerbates a physical conflict because the mechanics […]

Welcome back, grognard-in-training. Last time we discussed the decision process you follow when choosing a new wargame project.  This time we discuss the first steps in constructing your wargame.  After you’ve run through the iterative process of choosing figures and a ruleset, and have the figures themselves in your hot little hands, it’s time to […]