Sunday, April 7, 2024

A 3D Marx Vehicle

I really like Marx Cars of the Future designs.

They are hard to find on the market, and so I decided to design something and get more practice with Blender and my 3D printer.

The Plan in Blender

Here's my humble first attempt:

A stream-lines 50's future car

The Result

And here is the printed version, painted next to a 28mm Dragon Lady from Pulp Action (now Northstar) Figurines.

You can the Blender file and OBJ file here on ThingiVerse at

Sunday, March 31, 2024

MEST Tactics :: Updates

I've been working on several things at once, but I've got some time today to provide some news for MEST Tactics.

MEST Tactics > Quick Start Rules

These QSR 2.x rules are now available at the quick links on the right. They replace all of the version 1.6 and 1.7 rules. I've provided a booklet form as well. These are all very plain but number at 40 pages and 20 pages respectively.

MEST Tactics > Old 1.x Rules

These are now available in the Archives section under Downloads at 

MEST Tactics > 2.x Updates

I've been trying to clean up the working set of MEST Tactics 2.x. There's still a lot of churn on phrasing and the use of keywords. Some traits are streamlined as well. 

Here are the biggest changes:


  • [Automaton] — Altered to work better with revised Controller and with Synchronized
  • [Fragile] — Added as a trial. Added [Flint], [Bronze], [Iron], [Wood] as references to it.
  • Bash — Cleaned up.
  • Brawl — allows additional cascades equal to level for use with Bonus Actions. Unrestricted. The idea is that character with both the Fight and Brawl skill traits are incredible.
  • Controller — Simplified to give 1 AP if Attentive to an Automaton.
  • Fight — allows additional Bonus Action per level superior to target, every Combat action.
  • Protective — Cleaned up.
  • Synchronized — Clarified and expanded to work better with Controller and [Automaton+]
  • Transfix, Torment, Terrifying — All of them cleaned up.

Other Areas

  • Defend! — Cleaned up where possible, and rephrased to make it have a trade-off for usage.
  • Facing — Cleaned up and expanded. It is still an optional rule, but I wanted to make it was more comprehensive than what I've seen in other rule sets. However, facing really messes with several traits such as Perimeter and Leadership, for example. Such as, can a [Winged] model fly backwards? 

MEST Tactics :: Core Rules

I'm still sourcing my prototype book from The Game Crafter, but I think their Perfect Bound Jumbo Book is limited and the glue I just don't trust to hold pages in. But the pages are beautiful.

I'm going to try DTRPG because they have an upper limit of 400 pages and also allow for hard-cover.


I've been creating a bunch of tutorial videos, but this has slowed a bit. I'll get them ready when I can.

Boxed Set

In the meanwhile, I'll continue with The Game Crafter to include the QSR (quick start rules from above) as a booklet in the boxed set I'm fashioning. Of course, all of the tokens and dice are available separately from this. 

Game Store

I don't have a game-store yet. I need to create a small business and file my fictitious business name, as well as get a separate account for managing costs and purchases.

Friday, March 8, 2024

Painted Miniatures 28mm

 I finally got back to some painting of my backlog of miniature figurines. These are 28mm (~ 1:56) from various manufacturers or vendors. I'll try to identify them where possible.

Reaper Orcs. In MEST Tactics and Sarna Len, these are known as Orogs or Orogsu. 

The front are Etsy. The back is an Ogre ("Oaghir"). I'm not sure of the vintage of either set. I'll update when I can.

Dawn People, I think. Maybe Northstar?

Lizard folk ... Yuan Ti? Dang. Not sure.

I always think Phraint, but I'm sure this is from D&D instead.

MageKnight soldiers from WizKids!

A few Lords of the Underworld for Dunjon of Death. I think these are all MageKnight except the orange one ... which I don't know who produced it.

A set of Commanders for the Great Underworld Empire for Dunjon of Death.

A set of archers. Nolzur's Marvelous Miniatures for most of them.

These are from Zombicide: Black Plague by CMON. I didn't paint them, but I did rebase them. Painted by D. Williams.

Not sure, but really cool for Mech, Beast, and Infantry. I could also use the for Near Future within MEST Tactics. 

Troglodytes. Not sure. Northstar?

RAFm Cthonian. A small one. SIZ 6 in MEST Tactics.

Cultist for scale next to a RAFm Shub-niggurath "Black goat of the woods".

Reaper Deep Ones next to a Cult Leader. They are much larger (SIZ 4 vs SIZ 3) than the RAFm ones.

I think these are Gremlins from Reaper. They are upon Megabases (as used within MEST Tactics) and are affixed by magnets. 

Also from Reaper. These are Mites.

Friday, February 16, 2024

Diplomacy 3D Glow-up

So, at one point I decided to create a gift for a friend who like the game known as Diplomacy.

I went at it for several weeks. I had thought I posted that information here on this blog site months ago, but I didn't find any evidence. 

After I completed the set, the plan was to get together seven (7) dedicated players from among our circle of gamer relations and do an all-day gaming session. Our industry (tech worker) is pretty harsh and fast moving. That plan never took off because people started moving away. 


3D Printed via FDM for 7 players. WWI Tanks and battleships.

Labels for the supply center control tokens.

All of the ship bagged up.

A closer look at the set for the yellow player. Shown are the tanks and the ships.

I created this large frame of ferrous metal upon. Each section is collapsible and can be stored.

The map, mounted. I never created a frame.

A close-up of the map I created using Adobe Illustrator.

The interior of the large box I crafted using thick polystyrene foamboard. That tiny box holds the tanks and ships. The magnetic sections from the frame are kept at the bottom of this box.

The box exterior. Nice and portable.

The map and frame mounted upon the wall of my friend's flat.

Know More

The originally went to Boardgame Geek. Click on that link to get more imagery.

Friday, July 14, 2023

MEST Tactics :: Core Rules > 2nd attempt


Perfect-bound MEST Tactics 

So, I ordered and received my second copy of the MEST Tactics :: Core Rules. I'm nervous about using it too much for now, but I did take some pictures.

I'll check the quality with my co-developer this weekend. If the quality is still poor, then I will see about either continuing with The Game Crafter and making the perfect-bound smaller by having two books or just going for hard-cover version via Kindle publishing.

Here's pictures.

Exterior. 200 pages. Perfect-bound, soft-cover.

Side shot. About 0.50-inches thick for 200 pages. These are very thick pages.

Interior shot. The print color and page thickness is very high quality.

Friday, June 30, 2023

MEST Tactics :: Core Book proof-print

Perfect-bound MEST Tactics 

So, I received my proof-print of the MEST Tactics :: Core rules book. 

The exterior looks nice enough. The interior as well, though I think I could improve on the light ramp for most of the images ... they appear too dark in some placed.

A couple of observations:

  1. Pages were falling out.
  2. Text is larger-than-average for similar TTWG game books.

Letter to The Game Crafter

The Core Rules are about 200 pages in length. Lots of interior pictures, all of which illustrate the various rules in the game. I got this idea from the 3rd edition rules for "The Flames of War" game and I thought it would really help new players learn the game system.

The rules are perfect-bound in this case, and at 200 pages it is the maximum allowed for such a format by The Game Crafter. It is about 0.53-inches thick and the pages are glued to the book cover.

When I lay the book down with it opened, the pages started to come out (see below). As a result, I send a letter to The Game Crafter for suggestions and my options for recompense (if any).

I think that I'll need to re-think my package strategy for the rules. I am already considering Amazon's Kindle Publishing because they offer a hard-cover option and allow up to 500 (OMG) pages. I think I'll limit my books through them to be 250 or 224 or whatever. Most of the back of the books would be charts and tables regardless. For Missions, Scenarios, Archetypes, and maybe some print-and-play tokens and cards.

Text Larger-than-Average

I looked at my copies of Frostgrave and Malifaux. The first by Osprey Publishing, and the latter by Wyrd Games. I've been using Microsoft Cambria11-point and it looks very big. Actually, pleasant for a person my age and visual acuity, but about 20% to 30% larger than those other two books.

I may just keep the text that large as I think the market audience will likely be my age group (Gen X and Millenials). I'm not sure, of course, but I think the younger generation is more "casual-gamer" types if they were to play boardgames at all. Especially a game which requires collecting and painting figurines and terrain (for now ... though I think that will eventually change).

Next Steps

I'll continue editing the Core Rules book. It will be multiple tasks. In no order, these are:
  • Redo the layout to fit the larger dimensions of Kindle Publishing. Not much change, but it is a labor-intensive process even when using Adobe InDesign.
  • See about improving the light ramps on thoses images. This I can do with a macro, but I'd need to get another proof-print. Likely through Kindle Publishing.

Near Future Tasks


  • Create Tactics cards. 
  • Create tokens and marker set.
  • Create Grimoire Basic cards.
  • CreateAgenda cards.
  • Create Resource cards.
  • Create Dunjon of Death tile cards.
  • Create full-color layout of Core rules play-test. (see above)


  • Create full-color layout of Core rules final version.
  • Create full-color layout of Expansion rules.
  • Create 2D play-set for Fantasy Genre characters.
  • Create rules for Dunjon of Death genre book.


  • Create Dunjon of Death tiles.
This is the most daunting set of tasks. I'll create the final rendition of the various genre and settings. The low-hanging fruit are those which I've already worked on, but I'll need to make them solid. For those of you following this (intermittently updated) blog, you'll know them fairly well. 

The first genre and setting books will be the Dunjon of Death. That's the one which is a work-in-progress. I'll see about maybe adding Of Werewolves and Tesla Coils, Retropocalypse, or some others. 

After I get everything ready, I'll see about a Kickstarter campaign. Maybe a total of another year for all of the above? I'll see about hitting Summer 2024.

Perfect-bound Exterior
Interior. Pages are falling out.

Friday, June 9, 2023

MEST Tactics :: Core Rules


I've been working pretty hard at my day job, but in the evenings I'm still pluggin away on the MEST Tactics rules. Here's my checklist on progress:


  • Create full-color set for Tactics cards 
  • Create tokens and marker set
  • Create full-color set for Grimoire Basic cards
  • Create full-color set for Agenda cards 
  • Create full-color set for Resource cards 
  • Create full-color set for Dunjon of Death tile cards.


  • Create full-color layout of Core rules play-test.
  • Create 2D play-set for Fanttasy Genre characters 
  • Create rules for Dunjon of Death genre book
  • Create rules for Expansion. 

In the queue

  • Create full-color layout of Core rules final version.
  • Create full-color layout of Expansion rules.
  • Create full-color Dunjon of Death tiles


The Core Rules are the Basic and Advanced rules which are seen with the 2.x plain-text document. The play-test version is 200 pages owing mostly to many many pictures I've added. I'm using The Game Crafter now but I'll move to Amazon Kindle Publishing later. 

The Expansion Rules cover Champions, Campaigns, Character Progression, Factions, and Custom Archetypes. This will likely go to The Game Crafter first and then move the Amazon Kindle Publishing later.

Dunjon of Death is the first setting within the Fantasy Genre. I think most people already have lots of fantasy figures and a dungeon-crawl setting would be appropriate.


The Core Rules required lots of edits to alter phrasing and terms. Once I started getting them into the full-color layout and saw how some of the terms were being used, I needed to alter them. One of those terms is "Effect" which I had used for both the effect of a Trait and the reduction of that trait as a "range effect". The latter is renamed to "Attenuation". 

Same with Weapons, Armor, and Equipment. I loosely used the term "Items" for those, but I didn't capitalize or italicize it where possible. This sort of styling change I carried through on the full-color layout. I'll need to check on the 2.x plain-text document when I can.

Friday, February 24, 2023

MEST Tactics :: v.2.83.68

Here are some updates to MEST Tactics.

It's been too busy and too cold for me in the past few months to do anything recent.  

However, in this past week I've been honing the rules to work with larger models and larger numbers of models. I still play with my nephew via TTS and I've been prepping that for public consumption as well.


  • Cohesion now allows larger (SIZ 5+) models to have a higher minimum distance unless Visibility disallows it otherwise.
  • SIZ for Situational Test Modifiers in Close Combat for the Hit Test and the Disengage Test are allowed to the smaller character whether it is the Attacker or Defender. I'm unsure when this was altered to be just Defender, but it is returned. It is necessary to give smaller models a chance against giants.
  • Disengage makes it clear that the Active character is also the Defender, and clarifies that Optional Responses are disallowed, but that Bonus Actions do apply upon passing the Test.
  • Friendly Fire simplified and clarified.


  • Defend for the Passive Player Options altered to allow more nuance because having the target reposition truly is very beneficial when Engaged to multiple Opposing models.These models may now reposition to maintain their distances to the target after it is repositioned.
  • Group Actions have been rewritten and clarified. Specifically ensure that characters can always use Rushing, but just the Active character - the Group Leader at start - benefits from using the Concentrate action.
  • Simplified Concerted Attack and disallow Go Points conversion. This latter was too fiddly.
  • Go Points are now awarded 1 per 3 models above the first 3 for all Sides. This facilitates larger battles. This works in conjuction with the Tandem rules.
  • Tandem rules for Group Actions allows joining a Group for zero cost if within Melee Range of a Group Member, and at least 1 GP or IP has already been spent for that Group. This allows for faster game-play in larger games during the maneuver phases.
  • Clarified that Suppression attacks still require an Unopposed Test to allow the Disability traits such as [Jitter], [Jam], and [Feed] to be triggered. The test always passes.


  • No changes.


  • No changes.


  • [Awkward] - Added a clause for when receiving a Charge attack to penalize the character only when the Attacker is at least SIZ - 3. This prevents the Defender being awkward if the Attacker is too small to be significant.
  • [Feed], [Jam], [Jitter], and ROF X - Each of these traits become harder to use each additional time during an Initiative.
  • Reach - Added a clause for when the target is smaller than SIZ - 3 and in base-contact. If so, then any attack using the Reach weapon is penalized either a Delay token or another 1 AP.
  • Mind Traits - These include Pack-mentality, Unit, Officer, Swarm, Hivemind, and Mob. All of them have been altered to work better with the updated Group Actions rules.
  • Officer - Each unique Officer Rank within a Group allows that many additional Followers. 
  • Evasive - Clarified that it still requires an Unopposed Test when not in LOS to allow the Disability traits such as [Jitter][Jam], and [Feed] to be triggered. The test always passes.


  • Determined that Dire Wolves in the past were enormous, and so made the standard Dog, Wolf be Dog, Dire Wolf and made a smaller version Dog, Grey Wolf.
  • Stealthy > Sneaky for many Dogs and Apes because they can't really perceive (see/hear) in the dark as well as Felids (Cats).


  • No changes

Friday, October 7, 2022

The Sarna Len Campaign

 I've been working on this role-playing game design for several years.

The background setting goes back to my first homebrew derived from Dungeons & Dragons, first edition. I think it was a brown box with a white label for the front. I don't have it anymore. The point is, this was from a long time ago.

The Old Homebrew

It wasn't pure D&D. I liked the spellcasting points system that Tunnels & Trolls had, and like a magpie added that to my homebrew. Over time, the setting grew. I remember vaguely that the players, my middle-school and high-school friends, got up
to level 8. Across maybe five years? I was sort of stingy on the whole XP thing. 

The game and setting went across several hands when I entered the Marines. I took over the setting when I returned and expanded it further, as a magpie would, by including ideas from GURPS, Cyberpunk, BRP for Call of Cthulhu, and some BTRC stuff from Time Lords. In 1992 I finished it and  named it FYBS (as in the "white-lie", for fanciful story-telling). 

With FYBS I created several settings ranging from post-apocalyptic to amazon-warrior to cyberpunk to a couple of others, including my Superhero 2044 setting. Another setting was for, of course, Sarna Len, my low-fantasy fantasy campaign.

Thus Sprang Forth DXD

The Old Sarna Len Campaign
For about six years now, maybe 10 to 20 gaming sessions a year, I've been entertaining my nephews and nieces in this "make-believe with rules" hobby. I took lots of notes, re-examined my hand-written rules from the earlier homebrew and FYBS incarnations, and built out DXD. DXD "dice by dice" is the game engine for Sarna Len. Sarna Len being "red deer" in the Polish language. Reasons.

DXD is the RPG ('role-playing game") engine which is derived from my development of MEST Tactics. It expands the Attribute line of MEST Tactics with two more attributes; "PER Persuasion" and "KNO Knowledge". Furthermore, it broadens the stat values from 1-2-3-4 for human normal ability range to 7-10-13-16 within DXD. This required a differet dice system and several other big changes, such as how spellcasting is managed. Regardless, I am stating that this setting goes back more than 40 years (summer 1976 until now 2022) and I've got something new. Maybe a better system than my earlier iterations.

To MEST and Back Again

The effort is cross-platform. As I build out Sarna Len, I take those concepts to build out the default settings for MEST Tactics. Although I don't have such things yet ready for presentation, I have been working on and play-testing several Sarn Len modules for MEST Tactics. This includes "Sarna Len :: Dunjon of Death" and also "Sarna Len :: The Black Gates of Hüyük". One is the underworld ("Dunjon of Death") and the other is the overlands above the underworld which lead into it ("The Black Gates").

To Do

I've got lots to do. Too much. Really, too much.
  • Finish Spells list
  • Finish Lore and Setting. Probably need to break this entire section out into a separate volume.
  • Finish Magic Items lists.
  • Finish Bestiary. I need to convert from MEST Tactics, but then there are new entries, soo ...
  • Finish editing. This is really hard to do.
  • Add Hirelings and NPCs. Sort of like D66 Warriors, D66 Knights, D66 Wizards, etc.
  • Add illustrations. I am really glad for Midjourney.
  • Probably dozens if not hundreds of other things. I have notes everywhere.
I think that I'll need to build a quick-start.

Maybe when everything is ready, it will be 500+ pages. It's already 300 pages, and that is without  diagrams, or illustrations. Wow. I am now definitely thinking two if not three volumes.

For More Information

See more about this on the microsite at:

Friday, September 9, 2022

MEST Tactics :: v.2.83.55

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.


    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.


    • 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.


    • 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.


    • [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.


    • 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


    • 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.

    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

    Sarna Len RPG


    Giant Robots of World War II

    Restored this.

    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.


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


    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


    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.


    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.


    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.