Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Unbound: Dungeon Crawler

Dungoen Crawler is a solo card game produced by Canadian company Gifted Vision.
It is planed to had numerous expansions, and the first published deck is called Unbound.
If you are a solo gamer and you love CCG type of games, this might be the very right thing for you.
But, if you want to play it, there are some good and some bad news.
If you live in the US or Canada, cards are reasonably priced, and easily accessible. But if you live in Europe like me, it has to be noticed that company do not have distributors out of Northern America, so the shipping costs can go over the roof, rising the price of the package to the unacceptable level. Luckily for us on this side of Atlantic Ocean, Gifted Vision offers free PnP version of their game on their web page (rules are given in pdf format, and cards are in jpg). You will need to invest some time and effort to assemble all cards, but to the real solo gamer it shouldn't prove too difficult (OK, I did cheat by not printing card backs, but I wanted my set to be playable as soon as possible, not pretty to look at :) )

Friday, May 20, 2011


We have all talked about DOING IT.... We all filled our blogs with plans that some day, when stars align (maybe even 11.11.2011 on solo gaming appropriation day) we are going to DO IT. But no one I know ever reported actually DOING IT.
Well, I DID IT, and now I can proudly wear my Solo Gamer badge even to the streets... I played my first game of BARBARIAN PRINCE!
Day 1. Started in Weshor. Tried to move south to farmland, but got lost. Spent the night in the town.

Day 2. Moved to farmland, met local priest who joined me. One mercenary thug found us, but we killed him and got 5 gold. Hunting was great, I must have killed somebody's cow. :)

Day 3. Crossed the river. Hunting was fine.

Day 4. Stayed by the river bank to heal wound from thug encounter. Hunting was fine.

Day 5. Moved to forest. Great hunting cat surprised us and attacked priest. We managed to kill it, but the priest was seriously wounded. Hunt was OK.

Day 6. Heavy rain stopped our progress. Hunting was great.

Days 7 and 8. Rain stopped. We continued moving west without events.

Day 9. We entered hill country, where we were attacked by another hunting cat. This time, cat grabbed priest and dragged him to it's lair before I could react.

Days 10 and 11. Got lost, but I found wounded warrior. Stayed there for a day for him to heal a bit. Encountered band of Amazons, but they just passed us by.

Days 12 to 14. Tried to cross the river, but got lost. Hunting was fine.

Day 15. We finally crossed the river. Met halfling who engaged us in conversation but at the end had nothing to say. We entered the town and spent the night there, which took the last gold from our pockets.

Day 16. Moved south. I had a hunting accident, got my self hurt and we went to bed hungry.

Day 17. We encountered the band of 5 dwarfs. We thought that they will just pass by, but they suddenly attacked and killed us. Game over.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Xenopiramyd hunt

After heavy playtesting of solo rules from earlier post, I needed to change both period gamed and rule set. So, I made some One Monk SF paper miniatures and decided to finally try mixture of rules from 5150 book by 2 Hour Wargames.

So, here is report by my hero Rastko Rascalrunner, independent adventurer...

"X2F5 is one of these places where future galaxy heroes will be made, and this is why I am here. The whole system is owned by CO COmpany who officially use it for mining, but the real treasure here is the only habitable planet, where remains of ancient civilization can be found, and among them often artifacts of great value.
Planet is lightly infested with Xenos, but CO C. is reluctant to call the army to purge the place, afraid that some valuables might be lost in the process, trusting into mercenary groups who descend to the planet on their own to find and retrieve ancient artifact.
I received inside information that one such artifact, Xenopiramyd, can be found among the ruins freshly discovered under desert sands.
I was not going to trust any of the no good soldiers of fortune in the orbital station, so I decided to take the risk and descend to the surface alone.

I landed south-west from the ruins. Moving as fast as I could I entered oasis to the east of me. Between two pillars I found one of inexperienced boys who are coming to the system in dozens. Kid was still alive, although knocked out cold. I left hem where he was. If he is still there once I finish the job, I will pick him up. If not, well too bad...
The rock formation further east turned out to be buzzers nest. A female specimen tried to attack me, but I fired host of laser beams into its direction, and the creature decided to back up, scared by flashes.
I disturbed another hornet's nest in the oases to the north. This time creature flied directly towards me, trying to strike me with its sting. I fired my laser from point blank, hitting the xeno in one of its wings and taking him down, unable to move.
After this experience, I tried to lower the risk by sneaking to the rock formations, but sneaking up to these xenos is no easy task. Among the rocks I found the Xenopiramyd itself, but guarded by a stalker xeno, who was not at all surprised to see me.
Stalker charged, but I managed to shot before he got to close. Laser beam distracted it and creature lost it's balance. I used this moment to step up, and fire few more rounds directly into its head.
So I picked up the Xenopiramyd, and returned to the first oasis. I figured, while I am here I might take wounded kid back to civilization, he might turn to be useful one day.
No new xenos appeared on the way back..."
After fight, I rolled on recovery table for wounded kid, and he turned out to be Rep 3. I will have to do Talk the Talk to persuade him to join me in the next mission :)

When you play 2HW games with one character, you have to be lucky, or it's Game over. I was very lucky this time. No activation doubles were rolled, so no surprise xenos appeared.
Also, my hero ended CC with Buzzer as winner, even if xeno had 1d6 more to start with. Quest object appeared in 4th "room" that is neither too soon nor too late. Finlay, when I failed sneaking test, it turned out not to affect the outcome at all.

All in all, this was a fun game, and I am looking forward to the next adventure.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Lone shako, solo rules for Song of Drums and Shakos, part 2

Click on the tables to enlarge them.

Behavior models

· Charge – Move one movement allowance towards closest unengaged enemy. If movement gets model in base to base contact with the enemy, model will use remaining successes to attack. Use power attack whenever possible. If no unengaged enemy in sight or within 2 long, model will Join combat.

· Charge infantry – Move one movement allowance towards closest unengaged enemy infantry soldier in the open. If movement gets model in base to base contact with the enemy, model will use remaining successes to attack. Use power attack whenever possible. Mounted won’t charge infantry soldiers hidden in rough terrain. No model will charge enemy defending obstacle, on higher ground or with better weapon. If no unengaged enemy infantry soldier in sight or within 2 long, model will Join combat.

· Join combat - move one movement allowance towards nearest combat. If movement gets model in base to base contact with the enemy, model will use remaining successes to attack. Use power attack whenever possible. When charge is impossible, model will move.

· Shoot – shoot at closest enemy. Models without Marksman ability that find themselves in the open and within one medium from unengaged enemy with Marksman special rule will charge Marksman instead.

· Aim shot – shoot at closes enemy using aimed shoot. Models without Marksman ability that find themselves in the open and within one medium from unengaged enemy with Marksman special rule will charge Marksman instead.

· Reload – reload unloaded firearm. Models without Marksman ability that find themselves in the open and within one medium from unengaged enemy with Marksman special rule will charge Marksman instead.

· Move – change position in order to get closer to enemy model in the open, join skirmishing group or come into command zone of the officer/NCO or base to base contact with nearest friendly model.

Let’s say that in one corner of the table there is a British light dragoon confronted against two French line voltigeurs, who positioned themselves at the inner edge of the forest. Dragoon rolls 3 successes with Q dices and 2 with C dices, getting charge infantry result. He will not charge soldiers in the forest, considering this to be suicide. So, he lowers his result to move and heads one long towards the center of the table, in the direction of the closest enemy infantry model in the open, his officer/NCO/flag bearer or the closest friendly model.

· Move to cover - change position in order end turn in cover, to get bonus pips against enemy shooting and charges. Model in the open that is not a valid shooting target for any enemy model (either by being further away than other friendly model in the open, or as a result of all enemy models having unloaded weapons) counts as being in cover as long as it is further then 2 medium from closes enemy infantry and 2 long from closest enemy cavalry model. This model might find itself on the open at the beginning of next activation!

Models already in cover that can reach different cover closer to action will do so. Other models in cover will stay in place.

If there is no cover within 2 medium, models will move directly away from closest enemy model or enemy group.

Every comment and suggestion would be welcome.
I owe gratitude to Ricardo Nakamura for time spent on playtesting of these rules.

Lone shako, solo rules for Song of Drums and Shakos, part 1

For a while I'm trying to make solo rules for Sergio Laliscia Song of Drums and Shakos rule-set, where enemy behavior will be programed. Finally , after heavy playtesting, I am partially satisfied with rules, so I will post them here, in several posts.

Order for activation
All quality values mentioned are after modification. If there are 2 or more identical models, randomly decide who should be activated first.
1. Q2 models that are unable to use or benefit from Leaders special rule in any way
2. Models that are Q2 because being within Leaders command zone, that will not perform group actions
3. Leaders that will order group action (in Q order) and group actions
4. Q3 models that are unable to use or benefit from Leaders special rule in any way
5. Models that are Q3 because being within Leaders command zone, that will not perform group actions
6. All other models within Leaders command zone
7. Other commanding models.
8. Models that entered Leaders command zone once all Leaders moved.
9. All other models

Activation procedure
Activation procedure uses modified solo engine developed for Song of Blades and Heroes by Dogui. Please read his rules before continuing with Lone Shako.
Roll 3 d6 of different colors and D4. Order for colors is green, white and red.
1. Last model to be activated will always use all 3 dices.
2. Q2 models will use green and white dices on D4 roll of 1 or 2 and all 3 dices on D4 roll of 3 or 4.
3. Q3 models will use just green die on D4 roll of 1, green and white on D4 roll of 2 or 3 and all 3 dices on D4 roll of 4
4. Q4 models will use just green die on D4 roll of 1 or 2, green and white on D4 roll of 3 and all 3 dices on D4 roll of 4.
Models with Marksmen special rule use one step higher than other models (therefore Q2 marksman will always use all 3 dices, Q3 Marksman will use dices as normal Q2 model, etc.)

Rolling on behavior tables
• Roll 3 dices for each model. Successful are all the dices that show number of pips lower or equal to the models modified combat value. 1 is always a success, 6 is always a failure.
• Add 1 to combat score of all mounted models. Also, add 1 to combat score of any model that has at least two other unengaged friendly models within one short. Reduce by 1 combat score of all commanding models (2 for standard bearers). These bonuses count only for purpose of rolling on behavior tables.
• Models with Strong and Fear special rules are considered to be Melee troops. When rolling for passing combat dices, modify basic combat value of the model by +1 if model has either both rules mentioned or one of these rules and lance or pike/halberd. Models with Poor shot special rule, mounted models with lance and infantry models with pike/halberd will also roll on Melee table.
• Infantry troops with Light (except troops with both Light and Strong or Fear special rule), Marksman and Weak special rules will roll on Light infantry table. When rolling for passing combat dices, modify basic combat value of each model with Marksman special rule by +1. Models left without ammunition will roll on line infantry table instead. Models armed with rifles and without Marksman special rules are considered riflemen. Models armed with rifles that have Marksman special rule are considered to be marksmen.
• All other troops roll on Line table.

Using behavior tables
Model will use the row of the table corresponding with the number of successes received with C dices. Column used is determined by the number of successes remaining. For each used success move one field to the right.
For example, rifleman gets 3 Q and 2 C successes. In Light infantry table this corresponds with Aim shot action. This action takes two successes, so after shooting rifleman is left with 1Q remaining. Therefore, according to the 1Q/2C field, model will move to cover.
Another example: fallen British grenadier is no longer in close combat. This model also gets 3 Q and 2 C successes. He will use one success to stand up, having 2 Q successes remaining. According to Melee table, 2Q/2C corresponds with Charge action. Grenadier moves 1 medium towards closest enemy model, but let say he does not reach it. He has only 1Q success left and he will use it to shoot, according to 1Q/2C Melee table.
In case Grenadier would connected after his move, ha would use his last activation to attack enemy as described in Behavior models chapter.

Special behavior models

  • Fallen models will use first success to stand up, and then will act according the appropriate table.
  • Models in hand to hand combat will continue fight, using power attack when possible. If there is enemy commanding figure in the combat, model will attack it first. If not, models will attack enemy with lowest modified combat value. If there are two or more such models in combat, attack the one with higher points cost.
  • Commanding models (Officers, NCOs and Flag bearers)

Commanding models that find themselves in base to base contact with one or group of friendly models will not roll C dices, but move with the group. They will always try to stay in base to base contact with the majority of the group, and will move only if the majority of the group moves. If the majority of the group is stationary, commanding model will not move but will use its successes to perform other available actions, such as issuing group orders, shooting if there is available target, reloading unloaded weapon or just doing nothing. If commanding model becomes a possible target to enemy shooters (finds itself in the front row of the group) it will use one success to reposition itself behind other friendly model. Commanding model will leave the group only if it can use its successes to reach base to base contact with another, not yet activated friendly group.

Commanding models will always move in such a way to insure that the most models benefit from their Leader ability, but while doing so they will never position themselves in such a way to become target for enemy shooters.

If officer finds himself in position to issue group order, he will do so. If he is further away than 1 long from the group and he has 2 or 3 successes available, he will use one or two spare successes to enter commanding radius. If he has some successes left after issuing group order, officer will use them to try to get in base to base contact and then move with the group.

When group order is issued, roll just one set of C dices for the group, but then apply the result separately for each model in the group, starting from model with highest Q value. In case of tie, first resolve models with higher C value. As the result of this, the group can split.

Only if groups consist of at least 3 models, if all models have loaded weapons and if there is an available target, officer will order volley fire. Add +1 to this number for each marksman in the group (therefore officer needs 4 models in the group to order volley fire if one of them has Marksman special rule, 5 if there are two such models, etc.)

  • Skirmishing groups: 2 or more identical NPC models (for example 2 rifles or 3 line voltigeurs) that start turn closer than 1 small from each other and in LOS are considered to be skirmishing group. Q and C dices should be rolled for a group as a whole, not for the individual models. Each model will then act according to the situation on the table. This can break skirmishing groups.

For example, group of 3riflemen are located 1 long from French voltigeur and 1 medium from some close combatants. Riflemen activate and get 2 Q and 2 C successes. First rifleman fires aimed shoot at voltigeur, wounding him. Remaining 2 rifles have no one to shoot at, and therefore they will join combat. They will end the turn further away than 1 short from rifleman who fired, and 3 models no longer create skirmishing group.

If turnover is rolled when rolling Q dices for the group, one model in the group should be selected as carrier of the turnover. This is the only model that will use action coming from possible lone rolled success.

If the officer joins skirmishing group with no additional models in base to base contact, the only group order he will issue will be volley fire when possible. In all other cases skirmishing group will act on their own, while officer will just move with the group.

If the skirmishing group is joined by a different model, forming bigger group within officer’s command radius, officer will issue group orders as normal.

These rules are applicable only for NPC models!

  • Musicians – to be defined! We do not recommend using them in NPC warbands at the moment.

In next post: Behavior tables.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Mutant Hunter - Assassin, example of play

Not so long ago, Solo nexus invited all to participate in challenge of re-skinning Andrew Domino's game Mutant hunter. So, I made a version located in grim fantasy world, and now it can be downloaded from Andrew's web page.
For all of you who downloaded or think about downloading the rules, here is report from one of my test runs...
I decided to play my assassin (lets call him Bonnan for fun) as typical fighter, good with weapon, but not very familiar with magic or achievements of the civilization. Therefore he has 2 skill points in Sword, 2 in Bow, 0 in Magic and -1 in Social/Spy. He has 15 health points.
One day, mysterious stranger approached my hero and asked him to kill Duke of Bumbaril. Not being very smart and hardly waiting to get himself into trouble, warrior accepted.
To reach his target, assassin has to overcome 20 obstacles, so called level circles. Number at the beginning of each paragraph symbolizes number of level circles left.

20> Snake eyes. just as it is to be expected with my luck and dices, my warrior will start with - social event. Lucky thing is that rolling double 1 allows him to raise his Spy skill to 0 just for this event. Event roll: 10. Just as he left the inn where he met mysterious stranger Bonnan, all proud of himself and with nose in the clouds for being hired, forgot to look down and bumped into local dwarf shopkeeper. Our hero stumbled and fell, losing 2 health points, so now he has 13. He should be also moving few level circles back for discussion with dwarf details of the accident, but since there is no back to go, Bonnan stays at 20th level circle.

20> (second time) 10 - combat encounter. Encounter roll 7 - Bonnan will have to duel duke's personal guard (CV4). Assassin rolled 8, that was high enough to kill the guard.

19> 7 - combat, than double 2, two soldiers patrolling down the street. No problem for our warrior.

18> 8 - combat, than 10 - duel with another assassin. Bonnan rolled pretty low - 6, but his opponent turned out to be even bigger amateur (rolled 3). Bonnan moved on.

17> 5 - ranged combat. 5 again - guard at the window. Bonnan eliminated him with one precise shot from his bow.

16> 7 combat, than 10 - rival assassin again. This one was better, and managed to wound Bonnan and to delay him for one circle.

16> (second time) snake eyes again! Social event: 7 duke's servant. This time I was lucky, rolled high and Bonnan managed to trick him. Seems that good help is hard to find these days.

15> Double 6 - magic! 10 - Magic altar. Our warrior tried to solve it's mistery, but failed, lost 2 health points (10 remaining) and had to go back one level.

15> (second time) 11 - magic again! Bonnan tried to destroy magic field with bow, but missed. I need to roll 5+ on 1d6 to pass this magic trap. And I rolled 6. Therefore I have also earned object Magic mirror that can improve my Spy skill in encounter of my choice.

14> 3, social. 8 - duke's wife. I decided to play it safe and seduce her by writing letter with my own blood (-2 health points, 8 left)

13> double 2, found some healing herbs! Health goes back to 10!

12> 10, combat. 8 - Bonnan had to prove his skills in the temple of warrior god, but it is a peace of cake with his +2 sword bonus.

11> 7, combat. 5 - guard in the empty corridor. Easy kill.

10> 5, ranged. 12 - Bow skill is increased by 1 just for this encounter. Next encounter roll: 4 - duke's bodyguard. Bonnan rolls 7, bodyguard 4, victory of the assassin.

9> 7, combat. 5 - guard in the empty corridor. Easy kill.

8> 7, combat. 4 - two soldiers patrolling down the street. No problem for our warrior.

7> 3, social. 4 - our hero finds himself in the middle of the bar brawl. Situation as created for him, and he used his fighting skills to clear it out.

6> 11 magic! 10 - Magic altar again. This time Bonnan knows better, so he sacrifice it's blood on it to open the way forward. (lose 2 health, 8 remaining).

5> double 3! Bonnan found a book of magic that permanently increased his magic skill from 0 to 1! Oh, and it was ranged combat event, our hero had no problem with as usual....

4> 5, ranged. 7, soldier behind the barricade. One arrow was enough, as expected.

3> 9, combat. 5 - guard in the empty corridor again. Easy kill again.

2> 3, social. 12 - empty corridor.

1> 7, combat. 8 - Bonnan had to prove his skills in the temple of warrior god again. He proved his worth for the second time, so the priests allowed him to enter duke's chambers.

Duke is obviously ready for Bonnan, for he is fully dressed, wielding a poisoned dagger in each hand...

In first round Bonnan used his Bow +2 and Sword + 2 skills, and rolled a 3, wounding duke for the first time. But poison started acting, and hero's sword skill is now at +1

Second round: Bow +2 and Sword +1 and roll of 2 - miss! Lose 1 health, 7 remaining. Sword at 0.
Third round: Bow +2 and Magic +1 and roll of 4 - second hit! Magic at 0.
Forth round: Bow +2 and Sword 0 and roll of 2 - miss! Lose 1 health, 6 remaining, Sword at -1.
Fifth round: Bow +2 and Magic 0 and roll of 1 -
miss! Lose 1 health, 5 remaining, Magic at
Sixth round: Bow +2 and Spy -1 and magic mirror Spy+1 and roll of 6 - third and final hit!
The duke is dead. Bonnan can now retire to heal his wounds....