Friday, September 9, 2022

MEST Tactics :: v.2.83.55

Matter-Energy-Space-Time
Here are some updates to MEST Tactics. I'm nearly ready to extract the primary game into a Quick Start rules and begin building out series of illustrated instructions. 

I've expanded the semver to include minor updates. It is now the version 2.83.55 rules which are up on the link.

    The changes don't have page numbers because I've been moving the sections and paragraphs around. I recognize that I still need to work on the Interconnect System and will likely break that out into smaller sections.

    STANDARD GAME

    Moved Overreach into the Performing Close Combat section, and simplified.

    • Clarified Leaning and moved that into sections for Terrain and Range Combat.
    • Specify that voluntarily Exiting the battlefield doesn't make a model Eliminated
    • Bonus Actions are returned to v1.x; cascades spent don't affect Damage created.
    • Added Oversized Weapons and Armor block under Additonal Concerns section
    • Clarified Improvised Weapons by adding a block under For Attacks section
    • Clarified Laden and Armor Rating by adding a section under Some Important Traits section
    • Added Concerted Attack variation for Group Actions.
    • Collated the Hindrance types for Blinded, Heat, and Cold under Expanded Effects
    • Added Counter-spells for the Magic System.

    OPTIONAL RULES

    • Added Tricky Terrain into an Exotic Environments section for Optional Rules.
    • Moved Variable Weather from the Environs section, since removed, into Exotic Environments.
    • Added Planetary Variations into Exotic Environments.
    • Added Truly Hindered, Weapon Breakages, Motivated by Fear into Rules Adjustment.
    • Simplified Sweeping Attack, Disarm, Subdue under New Bonus Actions
    • Simplified Hurl, Slam, Drag, and Hold under under New Thematic Actions
    • Added Apex & Free-fall under New Thematic Actions
    • Simplified Noise rules a bit by re-adding [Reveal] where needed, and using [Noisy X] less.
    • Added Fantastic Energys to Noise section so as to intergrated Fantastic Items rules
    • Moved Element Destruction into Optional Rules
    • Expanded and clarified Mission Elements, and re-arranged Standard Missions layout.
    • Expanded Objective Markers, VIPs, and POIs.
    • Rewrote the first 9 Missions to match new Standard Missions layout.
    • Added Campaign Game rules with three basic formats. Included Elan and Postmortems.

    INTERCONNECT SYSTEM

    • Moved the Customization rules into their own section.
    • Create the Interconnect System section.
    • Clearly tied Champions, the Reputation trait, with Levels-of-Absurdity and Time-lines.
    • Expanded Factions to include Organizations.
    • Added Archetype Availabilty lists to Factions.
    • Expanded the Medical Postmortems rules.
    • Clarified and simplified the Allegiance Diagrams to incorporate Availabilty lists.
    • Added Loyalty checks.

    TRAITS

    • [Automaton] - Clarified Automaton vs. Machine vs. Mindless
    • [Blackpowder] - Simplified tremendously.
    • Amphibious - Expanded to work with Tricky Terrain for Shalows, Deeps, and Rapids
    • Believer - Clarified and simplified Believer, Charismatic, Hatred, Comrade
    • Brawl X - Generalized to award +X cascades for any Bonus Actions
    • Celerity X - Rephrased to be simpler and more clear.
    • Disrupt X - Simplified
    • Horrifying X - Simplified
    • Infect X - Added. Useful as a post-Mission effect.
    • Leadership X - Simplified by removing the INT + X Turns benefit.
    • Multi-target X - Added. For Range Combat.
    • Mythos - Re-wrote Mythos, Outsider, Invader to exclude each other
    • Night-vision X - Re-wrote into Night-vision X to allow gradations
    • Reach X - Re-wroteto better handle SIZ 4+ models
    • Sensors X - Clarified
    • Splash - Added Splash > Trait. For throwing bags or glass bottles of Acid or Fire or whatever.
    • Surefooted X - Repointed. It is still very powerful on very cluttered battlefields.
    • Tactics X - Simplified by removing the INT + X Turns benefit.

    ARCHETYPES & ITEMS

    • Re-pointed many Archetypes
    • Re-wrote Common Packages & Upgrades to match the ones used for Variant archetypes
    • Expanded Archaic Equipment List
    • Expanded Modern Equipment List
    • Added Near Future Explosives List

    PLAY-AIDES

    • Clarified and re-wrote as necessary Tactics cards.
    • Clarified and re-wrote as necessary Spell cards.
    • Clarified and re-wrote as necessary Resource cards.
    • Clarified and re-wrote as necessary Agendas.


    Friday, July 22, 2022

    MEST Tactics :: Update to v2.83

    Here are some minor updates to MEST Tactics.

    Matter-Energy-Space-Time
    The version 2.83 rules are up on the link. Here are the recent updates to the rules:

    • page 14 > Spear should be shown on this page as 37 BP instead of 27 BP, and the attributes should instead be Damage STR +2m instead of Damage STR +1m. 
    • page 25 > Added that Mission Attacker may state to win Initiative Tests on ties but receive zero cascades. Added Optimized which provides +1 Base die on Turn 1 Initiative Test if starting Mission with an Assembly that has the fewest BP. Also, the Mission Defender chooses the battlefield edge which to deply their own Assembly.
    • page 26 > Recover and Revive applies SIZ Delay tokens, and convert all but 2 into Wound tokens. This makes revived characters be prone to KO'd again.
    • page 29 > Hindrances of both models affect Revive.
    • page 36 > Reposition and Disengage use the reposition keyword instead of the move keyword.
    • page 38 > Clarified that Charge movement disallows direction changes.
    • page 43 > Convert GP to IP altered to 2 GP for 1 IP. An IP converts to 1 GP plus 1 per IP.
    • page 51 + 52 > Spell Mastery stacking. This wasn't clear and must have been removed during an earlier update; that acquiring multiple copies of the same Spell increases the Mastery Level.
    • page 66 > Simplified Busy status under the Optional Rules. I'll need to check this in play-testing and see if it is something which should move into the Advanced Rules. 
    • page 112 > Revised Mission 1 and Mission 2 to be more interesting. Revised VP conditions to have four goals instead of three. Play-testing is much more interesting now for Mission 2.
    • page 141 > Addicted X updated to include Hallucenogenics. 
    • page 148 > Burn X and Confuse X simplified.
    • page 156 > Poison X simplified.


    Friday, January 7, 2022

     Several critical site updates.

    As ridiculous as it may seem, when I converted my sites into the updated Google Sites 2.x apparently many users lost access to my Downloads directories.

    So ... I've updated them.

    MEST Tactics

    https://sites.google.com/site/mesttactics/downloads


    Sarna Len RPG

    https://sites.google.com/site/sarnalen/downloads

     

    Giant Robots of World War II

    Restored this.

    https://sites.google.com/site/groww2/downloads

    Friday, November 12, 2021

    3D Models

     A while back I got an FL-SUN QQ S-PRO 3D printer

    I have been printing a bunch of 3D art (via STL file format) from a bunch of people. I'm learning the limitations of my FDM printer in that it is best suited for larger things such as terrain and buildings. However, I have been working with the Blender app and creating small things.

    Thingiverse

    I'd like to present to you my two latest creations! Both are now on thingiverse.com.

    Spiderbot

    This is just something I've always wanted. It is sort of like a tachikoma but without the human pilot inside. I created it using metaballs and simple hard-surface modeling. It is very low detail and the legs are sort of meh. However, it is my first 3D figurine from design, modeling, to printing, and painting! 

    I like to think that it will fit into my MEST Tactics settings somewhere, perhaps in Combat Modern. It may also fit into the Mech, Beast, and Infantry rules set. 

    Spiderbot Mark-I










    High and Low versions. These have turrets which can swivel.











    Two Spiders

    I always see single giant-spider minis or swarm of small spiders. I have also found three spiders on a disc but never two spiders on a disc. Until now, because I just created it. It is low-detail but it paints up well enough. I mount these on 40mm zinc fender washers. It will be used with my other figurines in the Dunjon of Death and Sarna-len settings within the Fantasy genre.

    Two spiders










    Painted up. 


    Friday, September 17, 2021

    MEST :: Play-aides > Tokens and Markers

    Overview

    I received a nice gift to myself in the mail today !

    My prototype for the MEST Tokens and Markers kit arrived. These kit has two types of components; laser-cut 3mm MDF (thick card-board) for the markers, and acrylic tokens with laser-cut stickers for the tokens.

    This actually is the physical set, as I have been using Tabletop Simulator to employ the digital versions for about 6 months now. I will likely need to adjust the proportions of the kinds of markers which I'll need as I can already determine that there's maybe too much of one kind or another. Something like this doesn't come easy to my mind when I'm designing the art, and the reality of it in physical form undeniable. I looked at the spacing of the slugs shown and I think I can have more images per sheet and maybe one or two fewer sheets. I am WIP for adjusting this.

    Pictures

    I'll just upload the lot of these for thumbing through. There will be small comment blocks for each, but I'll summarize way below in paragraph form.

    Two sets of 3 slugs.


    Slug 1. An 8-MU ruler, a Scatter Diagram, some Resource markers, and two Transfixed with 5 Acid markers. I think the Scatter Diagram is nice but could benefit from having a 30mm hole at the center within that red ring. I'll have to try it out.


    Slug 2. Left-to-right are 5 Burned markers, 4 Poisoned markers, 7 ROF/Suppression markers, 2 Emplaced/Fire-lan markers, 3 Out-of-Ammo/Jammed markers, 6 Hidden markers, 3 Victory Point tokens, 4 Initiative Point tokens. The tokens are kept in hand instead of positioned near a model.


    Slug 3. Top-to-bottom. 9 Go Point tokens, 9 Objective Markers [ Yellow/Red-or-Blue ], 9 Delay markers, 9 Wound markers, 9 Fear markers. 


    Top-to-Bottom. 24 Done markers, a slug of stickers, 24 Wait markers. I got an extra Wait (clear) disc with my purchase. 



    A note which came with each slug. I sort of crumpled it, but the message is essentially "this stuff has soot and will smell". The soot is also sort of hard to clean, but I used a wipe and did my best. Be sure to clean your fingers after you finish handling these laser-cut elements as well.




    The kit's very flat 3mm-thick MEST Ruler at the bottom. A bit flimsy but serviceable. The five green sticks above are hand-made and I like them much better. I think with the final published rules what I will do is have a small section or small booklet on hobby crafts.

    At the left are my home-made Initiative Point tokens. At the right are the laser-cut ones. The home-made ones are hefty wood. There was close option for that at the Game Crafter made from 3mm plastic but it would have required even more stickers.

    Left are my Go Point tokens, Right are the laser-cut ones. Again, the home-made ones are hefty because they are stickers on wood. There was no equivalent for the size on the Game Crafter except for some thick laser-cut acrylic at 25mm. But it would have been too fancy in comparison to the more "valuable" IP tokens above.

    Here's where the laser-cut stuff begins to be more impressive. These are Wound markers and I like the nice size for the ones at the right with the inset artwork.

    Fear markers. The skull on the yellow laser-cut markers are very nice.

    Delay markers. Nothing shouts "Distracted" as a nice donut with a line through it.

    Hidden markers. The laser-cut markers are nice in comparison to the gemstones on the left.

    At the left are the Out-of-Ammo! [ top ] and Jammed! [ bottom ] home-made markers which are stickers printed from my color laser-printer affixed to 0.75-inch bingo chips. At the right are the laser-cut ones from the kit which look much better to me. A bit smaller as well.

    These are the Burned markers. The laser-cut ones are the correct size for a Hindrance identifier. I've been using them in my play-testing and the home-made ones are just too big.

    These are Poisoned markers. Like Burned, Delayed, Wound, and Fear these are Hindrance identifiers and are all the same small size. At the left is my too-large home-made version.

    These are the ROF and Suppression markers. At the right these are double-sided with the top ones being ROF. Those are placed and then are flipped to the bottom image to represent Suppression.

    I am really happy with this one. At the left is my single home-made Confused marker. At the right are the laser-cut versions. The top is a Confused marker, and the bottom is a Transfixed marker. Both are Hindrance identifiers.

    Out of all of items from the kit, these Done tokens and the Wait tokens below are my favorites! At the left are my home-version as a big blue glass bead. At the right are the acrylic discs with stickers on them. I've been using this version via Tabletop Simulator.

    The Wait tokens. At the left are my clear glass beads. At the right are the acrylic discs with stickers on them. These discs are the same diameter but thinner than the blue Done tokens and are meant to be stacked together when positioned next to a model.

    Summary

    I really like the new laser-cut kit and the acrylic tokens. I think it provides an professional quality to any MEST Tactics enthusiast and I hope to make them available to others soon. Players won't need to purchase these and may always use their own set of home-made markers and tokens just as I have done. 

    I designed the kit to allow enough markers and tokens for up to 24 models. This number is I think the largest any MEST Tactics game could comfortably manage. It certainly is the limit I've experienced when I've hosted bashes at my work-place and at the gaming conventions.

    I looked over my proportions for each of the markers and I think I could make some adjustments on their numbers. I think I provided too many Delay and Fear markers and I could use the excess when I re-jigger the counts to become additional Burned, Poisoned, or Transfixed markers instead.

    With the custom cards, the custom dice, and these custom markers, I have nearly everything I need to start focusing on a specific setting. I'll discuss that soon and lay out my next steps.

    How everything looks together.



    Friday, September 3, 2021

    MEST :: Play-aides > Cards

    Overview

    I created several decks of cards via The Game Crafter for use with MEST Tactics. I received them a while back but apparently I've never shared them. These are meant to be used with the game system and increase the re-playability extensively.

    I have not yet created the tuck-boxes but when I do, these will be available for downloads and also via the Noble Pursuits TGC shopping portal ... which for now is not yet public. Older versions of the cards are available at the Google Sites URL at https://sites.google.com/site/mesttactics/downloads

    Pictures

    The entire set

    All decks for MEST 2.x bagged.











    Agenda deck. These are used with the Faction rules.

    Resource deck. These can be used in conjunction with Objective Markers. Use with Scholars.

    Spell deck. These for use by Sorcerers.

    Tactics deck. For use with Tacticians.


    Friday, August 20, 2021

    All Things Zombie > Generator

     Wow.  How time flies.

    Overview

    Take a look at this link which goes to my Generator project at https://robert-kurcina.github.io/generator/projects/ATZ/index.html

    I created this JavaScript project a long time ago (around 2008 or 2009) back when jQuery and ThemeRoller were still fairly hot stuff. I never uploaded it until recently, and not until just a few days ago did I decide to host it using GitHub Pages.

    Derp.

    All Things Zombie is a game by Ed Texeira of Two Hour Wargames. It is one of the most thematic TTWG ("Table-top Wargame") featuring zombies and a survival arc unfolding across several books. Zombie outbreak. Zombie survival. Gangs. Cops. Military. Civilians. All surviving, hunting and foraging, and avoiding trouble ("PEF" or "Possible Enemy Force").

    Features

    The ATZ Generator was designed to be forked and utilized as a library. It has several features which build upon each other.

    Dice Roller

    This is a universal library of sorts. Of course it can be improved, but it generates dice rolls via directives such as "2D6+2". It can also be invoked using a method such as foo.rollDice(4,6)







    Name Generator

    This uses a list which can be edited, and outputs randomly generated names of characters.

    Data Tables


    There are several data tables. These essentially come from the All Things Zombies game books. Here's an example of the Armory Information table.


    Character Generator


    This benefits from the Name Generator and the various Data Tables mentioned above. Again as a library, it can generate specific types of characters using directives such as 2xSurvivor-F for "Two Female Survivors" or 1xMilitary for "One Military Character".

    These look like the sample below when in data table mode:

    Character Roster


    But wait, there's more! This is best part!

    The characters can be generated as poker-sized playing cards. Full color. 2.5 x 3.5-inches. You can use the generator to create thousands of characters, and print them out and sleeve them.

    The idea is that this format can be used to quickly generate a deck of PEFs which can be shuffled and used for game-play. Here's an example of just 6. 







    Campaign Generator


    I didn't get to finish this, but it generates a series of encounter settings which chain together to form a campaign. You can give the campaign any sort of name, but it defaults to "The Forsaken".




    Map Generator

    This is also not finished. It generates a battlefield for use with All Things Zombie. It is supposed to merge into the Campaign generator. Anyhow, you could set some parameters and change the output size. I've used it to create really large tiles by setting the cell size on the input forms. This creates a map which is big enough for my models to sit atop.


    Conclusion

    Although this project was never complete, and is really really old (like 12 years ago), I hope that somebody can find it useful. Maybe they can fork my project and build other generators for other games, or maybe merely finish my rudimentary implementation and make it better.












    Friday, August 13, 2021

    Large Office Building

    Overview

    This one has been in its incomplete state for years. I finally got around to providing some exterior paint.

    The building is really large and will serve as the central point of interest for many games. It is two floors tall plus a roof. Each floor is really just a large hallway which I can and will eventually partition with doors which will allow the interior to be modular.

    Pictures

    Here they be.

    Internal with some partitions.
























    Partitions removed.

























    Flat black primer on the first floor section.

























    Aerial view with my new black-top road sections.

    Back entrance near the chimney.

    Some rough marshy terrain leading to the back entrance.

    Aerial view three-quarters turn.

    Side entrance is guarded by a copper.

    The Green Door entrance. And also the red-carpet entrance.

    Above it all. You can see the roof-top trap-door entrance.