Sunday, 21 February 2010

The Next (mini) Project

It has been bothering me recently that I'm coming to the end of a couple of projects. I'm just finishing off the last couple of dozen ECW cavalry figures, then they'll be done. Then I've got a couple of limbers for the Sudan field force and those are closed down as well.

I've got some 25mm Elizabethan Irish figures to do, but they're definitely a back burner project (until the week before I want to use them, of course!).

This is something that non-wargamers usually don't get. There always has to be something on the go. Just playing the games isn't enough for most of us, - there has to be something being built or developed. As Xander once said "It's about the journey".* So what's next?

What has queered this pitch a little bit is that the ECW project has worked out rather well. I usually go through a protracted rules design & development process for each project I work on and end up quite a way from where I started. This then provides me with a session to put on at WD's Conference of Wargamers (CoW) in July. Well this year the rules design bit went really quickly (I say design, - it was an adaptation of Richard Brooks' Square Based rule system). Usually I start off with someone else's rules and end up in a completely different place. This year I sort of ended up quite close to where I started as the rules did what I wanted with a couple of tweaks, - I dropped the squares and playing card activation and to my surprise found the remaining bit of the system worked really well without them. That came as quite a surprise.

What I also tend to enjoy is solving the problems in the various elements of game design, - not just the rules, but how to get a scenario to hang together, providing a visual environment to inform and challenge the players. The ECW project has actually had very few problems overall, so it is completed, pretty much, but has not been really satisfying on all fronts.

And left me with a hole for my CoW project for this year. was sort of coming to the conclusion that this time round I'd just go and play other people's.

However, thanks to Paint it Pink I've got my game sorted. She commented on the last blog that GZG make Prawns. She's right, - they do indeed make Prawns. They're a little too heavily armed for my liking (I'd like some civilian looking ones, - but I can probably carve off the odd rifle). Plus I usually like to have a good name for a game, and it just came into my head - "District 9 and 3/4". Not sure what the Potter elements will be (if any) but it has a hook to it.

So I've ordered a load of Prawns, and I'm now bashing a scenario into shape. I think this won't be a matrix game, and may borrow from an much earlier design called "Looting the Baggage" which had search and destroy elements in it.

It won't have President Jog-Jog in it, and will be set in Zambola's more organised and prosperous southern neighbour Swamibia (which since the transfer of power from its ex-colonial rulers is the stabilising influence in the region**). I thnk we'll have some Zambolan refugees in the mix however.

Just need to decide if I can recycle my Buffels, BTR60s and M113s for the game, or if I should invest in some Casspirs. QRF have just released some, but I'd want quite a few and at £6 a pop it soon adds up.

They are nice models tho'. Wonder if Geoff will do me a deal?

The only other problem I have right now, of course, is I've given the DVD back....

Plus there's some serious "Real Life" coming down the tracks over the next couple of months.

Oh, and does anyone make those combat walkers that get used right near the end of the movie?

*This is a Buffy the Vampire Slayer reference. Great programme, - a quote for every occasion.
** Swamibia is referred to informally as The Martini Nation", as it has been completely shaken up, but still works.

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