Author Archive

Tiny games!

Posted on August 21st, 2017 under . Posted by

August is shaping up to be a pretty manic month with work, but last weekend I spent an evening playing games. But not wargames… We played Tiny Epic Quest from Gamelyn Games, and The Cousins’ War from Surprised Stare Games.I had played Tiny Epic Kingd…

Dan Mersey on Y Gododdin

Posted on August 16th, 2017 under Posted by

Image borrowed from the interweb…Dan Mersey, author of Dux Bellorum and Song of Arthur and Merlin among many other fine games and books has posted an interesting article on early Medieval warfare and the poetry of the 6th century. Well worth having a…

Palaeo Diet – out now!

Posted on August 12th, 2017 under . Posted by

A very quick (and delighted) note to say that Palaeo Diet: Eat or be Eaten is available now as a pdf direct from Ganesha Games. A hard copy will be available in the coming weeks.Check it out here —> http://www.ganeshagames.net/product_info.php?cPa…

Big trouble in the desert – Sci-Fi beast hunting with Palaeo Diet

Posted on August 5th, 2017 under . Posted by

Captain Concordia slide her mobile scanner back into its pouch on her belt. She nodded to her men and motioned over to the far side of the empty plaza before them. Quietly, almost under her breath, she outlined her plan over the internal comms sys…

SSD faction leader in a litter

Posted on August 5th, 2017 under . Posted by

I recently picked up this Xyston 15mm pack which is supposed to represent the diadoch Antigonos Monophthalmos (One-Eye). Antigonos had been left as the satrap of Phrygia as Alexander continued east, and was one of the major players in the power vacuum …

Elysium Trading Corp.TM – Firefly Inflitrator

Posted on August 2nd, 2017 under . Posted by

Elysium Trading Corporation TM is proud to unveil the latest step in economic security. The Firefly Infiltrator combines powerful – jump jet augmented – legs, with the agility of much smaller walkers to create this state of the art P2 frame. When you h…

Sabine, Der kleine Husar

Posted on July 30th, 2017 under . Posted by

Although officially denied, it is not unusual to find the spirited young wife of a certain senior hussar officer in the company of Lucky Fuchs. So much has her presence become common place, that Fuch’s jäger have come to embrace her as something of a mascot.

Sabine is an old Old Glory USA figure from one of the French Marshals packs – no longer available from Old Glory (USA or UK). She is supposed to be a mistress for one of the officers. Happily, Mark in Perth (WA, not Scotland) has a spare one on his lead pile and, several emails later, here she is.

I know her shako is very French looking, but I figured a lady hussar could wear what she liked. I did a little research into 1806 hussar regiments and it looks like one of the only (the only) Prussian hussars in shakos at that stage were Gettkandt’s regiment. Dark green pelisse, light green jacket, white or buff trousers with green overalls. Lots of silver lace. 

In our games, I will be using Sabine as a support option, treating her as a holy woman. That way she can follow along beside Fuchs until the lads are under pressure, then step forward, remove their shock, and encourage them to great deeds!

Elysium Trading Corp.TM in action

Posted on July 30th, 2017 under . Posted by

The Elysium Trading Corp.TM got their first outing last night in a three-way Horizon Wars clash. We played 12 force points each, four turns, attempting to secure the wreckage of the fallen super heavy mech in the center of the table. Opposed to my ETC …

Imperium Turbae: Mob Violence in Late Republican Rome

Posted on July 29th, 2017 under . Posted by

I came across this again the other day and thought to link to it here as some useful background reading for anyone looking for inspiration for Song of Shadows and Dust games/campaigns.Imperium Turbae: Mob Violence in Late Republican Romehttp://pqdtopen…

Prehistoric lady hunter

Posted on July 22nd, 2017 under . Posted by

Most of us have an image that comes to mind when we hear the words ‘caveman’ and ‘woman’. Whether it’s Raquel Welch, Daryl Hannah, or Camilla Belle, the lady in question is generally… well… pretty easy on the eyes. I’m afraid the first female …

Mrs prehistoric hunter

Posted on July 22nd, 2017 under . Posted by

Most of us have an image that comes to mind when we hear the words ‘caveman’ and ‘woman’. Whether it’s Raquel Welch, Daryl Hannah, or Camilla Belle, the lady in question is generally… well… pretty easy on the eyes. I’m afraid the first female …

Hetairoi’s hunting adventures

Posted on July 18th, 2017 under . Posted by

Edu over at Hetairoi Wargames has posted reports on his first couple of Palaeo Diet games on his blog.Do go and see how his hunters got on with the Vanilla Skies scenario and The Power of One.

Hetairoi’s hunting adventures

Posted on July 18th, 2017 under . Posted by

Edu over at Hetairoi Wargames has posted reports on his first couple of Palaeo Diet games on his blog.Do go and see how his hunters got on with the Vanilla Skies scenario and The Power of One.

Palaeo Diet – cover and a couple of sample pages

Posted on July 16th, 2017 under . Posted by

  

Palaeo Diet – cover and a couple of sample pages

Posted on July 16th, 2017 under . Posted by

  

Footprints in the dust

Posted on July 15th, 2017 under , . Posted by

With Palaeo Diet: Eat or be Eaten in a nice stable form, we had another play around, porting the PDEE mechanics over to a different setting, this time, a group of thieves attempting to steal from a Roman diplomat in 1st century BC Syria.Our thieves had…

Footprints in the dust

Posted on July 15th, 2017 under , . Posted by

With Palaeo Diet: Eat or be Eaten in a nice stable form, we had another play around, porting the PDEE mechanics over to a different setting, this time, a group of thieves attempting to steal from a Roman diplomat in 1st century BC Syria.Our thieves had…

Palaeo Diet bloodbath

Posted on July 15th, 2017 under . Posted by

Palaeo Diet: Eat or be Eaten has been formatted and is currently receiving a much-needed proof read. This week we messed around with a little hunt, keeping going long after our hunters had satisfied their bellies, just to see what happened. In short, i…

Palaeo Diet bloodbath

Posted on July 15th, 2017 under . Posted by

Palaeo Diet: Eat or be Eaten has been formatted and is currently receiving a much-needed proof read. This week we messed around with a little hunt, keeping going long after our hunters had satisfied their bellies, just to see what happened. In short, i…

Meet the hunting party!

Posted on July 3rd, 2017 under . Posted by

From left to right: Urgg, Bow, Herc, Idd (the hound), Ogg, Fergg, Rarr, Tark, and SnoggAs we near the general release of Palaeo Diet: Eat or be Eaten, I thought I would take a moment to formally introduce the full hunting party that has been intensivel…

Meet the hunting party!

Posted on July 3rd, 2017 under . Posted by

From left to right: Urgg, Bow, Herc, Idd (the hound), Ogg, Fergg, Rarr, Tark, and SnoggAs we near the general release of Palaeo Diet: Eat or be Eaten, I thought I would take a moment to formally introduce the full hunting party that has been intensivel…

Disappointment with Flytrap Factory

Posted on June 27th, 2017 under . Posted by

To my great disappointment, I discovered this morning that I have been kicked out of a Facebook group. Normally, this sort of thing wouldn’t annoy me, but in this instance, it has rather touched a nerve. The group in question was The Caveman vs Wild Secret Tribal Council, a closed group for backers of the Flytrap Factory Kickstarter from November 2016, Caveman vs Wild: The Big Chill.


As readers of this blog will know, I have championed Flytrap Factory since mid-last year when I started my descent into prehistoric hunting games with TUSK. The sculpting of their 20mm cavemen is, in my opinion, superb. Despite having already started developing Palaeo Diet, I did my best to promote Flytrap’s Kickstarter, my blog post on the project received over 1300 views and I also posted about it on various forums (Lead Adventure Forum, The Wargames Website and TMP).


I have never hidden the fact that I was working on a prehistoric hunting game for Ganesha Games. Indeed, I have posted on it frequently since December last year. However, while I have shared photos of my painted Flytrap miniatures to their group and on their own forum, I have always been conscious not to discuss Palaeo Diet in those places.


Never the less, back in May I discovered that I had mysteriously been ejected from the group. When I queried this with the owner of Flytrap, he claimed to not know how it had happened and suggested that it was the result of malign interference from a soured previous relationship with another wargaming company… As unlikely as that excuse sounded, I let it pass as I was keen to watch how the project developed.


It was also in May that same time that I found that my name had been omitted from the list of Kickstarter backers in the playtesting draft of the Flytrap rules – something which the owner claims to have fixed but which I can’t comment on as I have not been privy to any updated version. All I can say is that I hope he does include it as he is contractually obliged to do so given my Kickstarter pledge level.


Likewise, I let it pass without much fuss that my Kickstarter pledge was only partially completed on time (March), with the remainder only arriving this month – and then only five of the six models advertised, and those arriving not fully conforming with the advertised sculpts for the pack. I noted my disappointment, but let it go because for my purposes, I only needed three.


Now, as Palaeo Diet nears completion – it is scheduled for release next month – we were thinking about listing companies that make appropriate miniatures in the back, the same as we did with Faustus Furius. I contacted Flytrap to ask permission to list them and, as a courtesy, to allow the owner to have a look at the almost finalised rules. He was happy to receive the rules, but then asked not to be listed as a recommended company given what he saw as the inherent confusion that it might cause.


Then, I was kicked out of the Facebook group again. It was only when I questioned this (although now also ‘unfriended’), that I was provided with an explanation citing a conflict of interests and his need to protect his property as best he could. I suggested this might be something of an overreaction, expressed my disappointment, but accepted his decision. So far all correspondence had been private.


Then, a third party copied me into an open message posted by Flytrap on their group – a message to which I was given no opportunity to reply given my ejection. I repeat it in full below; the emphasis is my own, indicating aspects that I would like the opportunity to respond to after the post.


Gents

Just a small heads up, I have removed IW Nic from this group unfortunately. The reason for this was explained to him via social media message today. In a nutshell, IW Nic recently disclosed to me that he is/has penned a ruleset for Ganesha Games entitled ‘Paleo Diet’, a prehistoric hunting and survival game.

He explained to me in his words that there was no conflict of interest to be had. I was privy to reviewing these rules today and was a little disappointed to see more than a good number of uncannily similar concepts and processes being utilised in his system to those used in CvW.

This has put me a little on the defensive considering I want to take the time with you (my council) to really iron out everything properly and do not wish to be shunted into having to go retail release before I am good and ready just because a competitor is jumping the gun on releasing a set… I owe CvW more than the ‘Johnny-come-lately’ labeling it would suffer having been trumped by the competition.

The decision to let Nic go is not personal, it is however business and not only Flytrap, but all of you in the council have invested a great deal into the development of Caveman vs Wild thus far, and with so much more to come a decision had to be made.

Ganesha games is a clear and present competitor with wide scope, deep pockets and great influence. I need to make moves to protect our investment moving forward.

I do wish Nic and Ganesha all the best for the future, I just need to be a little tighter on our own developments ahead. Especially with part two in development and part three to come.

I just wanted to explain to the group personally.


1) recently disclosed to me

I might be reading into this, but to me this suggests that I had been keeping Palaeo Diet a secret. If the owner has been keeping an eye on the forums, or my own blog, he cannot have been unaware of my project. Indeed, when I offered to show him my draft last week he said that he was already aware of the rules.


2) ‘Paleo Diet’

PalAeo Diet. I have nothing against Americans, but I am not one, and therefore use conventional English spelling. Pedantry? Perhaps.


3) disappointed to see more than a good number of uncannily similar concepts and processes being utilised in his system to those used in CvW.

Having seen both my rules from inception, and the playtest draft of Caveman vs Wild I can confirm that both are prehistoric hunting games where players take on the role of hunters in a prehistoric world. Both also employ an AI mechanic to regulate the actions of animals. There the similarities cease and I cannot imagine a prehistoric hunting game without these similarities.


The implication here is that I might have borrowed some of his ideas. I very much hope that is just a possible implication and not his intention. I pride myself on honesty and decency, and that sort of thing is beyond the pale.


Palaeo Diet embraces an AI mechanism that evolved from the one used in TUSKby Wessex Games. This is integrated into a simplified version of the Ganesha Games core mechanic that I developed for Faustus Furius. The approach has been to keep the actions of hunters quite simple to allow for constant interactions with/from beasts without leaving the player bewildered with numerous charts. There have been a number of small changes to the Palaeo Diet mechanics as a result of playtesting, but nothing substantive since it was first sent out to testers in January. January. Five months before Flytrap’s playtest draft was made available.


4) and do not wish to be shunted into having to go retail release before I am good and ready just because a competitor

I do not see how my participation in the group could have impacted on that? We are a month away from release and Flytrap are just starting to playtest. Regardless, I have to say that feedback from other game developers – even those with potentially competing projects – has always benefitted my own rule writing.


5) and not only Flytrap, but all of you in the council have invested a great deal into the development of Caveman vs Wild thus far,

Yes. Including myself. I don’t see in what way my contribution promoting and funding Flytrap has been lessened because of my own projects.


6) Ganesha games is a clear and present competitor with wide scope, deep pockets and great influence

I believe this is something of a misrepresentation. It would be nice for Ganesha to be an apex predator in the world of gaming, and maybe someday it will be. For now, it remains a product of Andrea Sfiligoi’s passion and innovation, supported by one other person with responsibility for the small range of miniatures, and a couple of rule authors like myself who do get royalties, but primarily write because we love it.

So here we are. I still love the Flytrap sculpts. They have such great character and are a joy to paint. The customer service has been… middling. However, as I vent my spleen, I have to state, once again, how very disappointed I am with the attitude and approach taken by the company’s owner. 

Disappointment with Flytrap Factory

Posted on June 27th, 2017 under . Posted by

To my great disappointment, I discovered this morning that I have been kicked out of a Facebook group. Normally, this sort of thing wouldn’t annoy me, but in this instance, it has rather touched a nerve. The group in question was The Caveman vs Wild Secret Tribal Council, a closed group for backers of the Flytrap Factory Kickstarter from November 2016, Caveman vs Wild: The Big Chill.


As readers of this blog will know, I have championed Flytrap Factory since mid-last year when I started my descent into prehistoric hunting games with TUSK. The sculpting of their 20mm cavemen is, in my opinion, superb. Despite having already started developing Palaeo Diet, I did my best to promote Flytrap’s Kickstarter, my blog post on the project received over 1300 views and I also posted about it on various forums (Lead Adventure Forum, The Wargames Website and TMP).


I have never hidden the fact that I was working on a prehistoric hunting game for Ganesha Games. Indeed, I have posted on it frequently since December last year. However, while I have shared photos of my painted Flytrap miniatures to their group and on their own forum, I have always been conscious not to discuss Palaeo Diet in those places.


Never the less, back in May I discovered that I had mysteriously been ejected from the group. When I queried this with the owner of Flytrap, he claimed to not know how it had happened and suggested that it was the result of malign interference from a soured previous relationship with another wargaming company… As unlikely as that excuse sounded, I let it pass as I was keen to watch how the project developed.


It was also in May that same time that I found that my name had been omitted from the list of Kickstarter backers in the playtesting draft of the Flytrap rules – something which the owner claims to have fixed but which I can’t comment on as I have not been privy to any updated version. All I can say is that I hope he does include it as he is contractually obliged to do so given my Kickstarter pledge level.


Likewise, I let it pass without much fuss that my Kickstarter pledge was only partially completed on time (March), with the remainder only arriving this month – and then only five of the six models advertised, and those arriving not fully conforming with the advertised sculpts for the pack. I noted my disappointment, but let it go because for my purposes, I only needed three.


Now, as Palaeo Diet nears completion – it is scheduled for release next month – we were thinking about listing companies that make appropriate miniatures in the back, the same as we did with Faustus Furius. I contacted Flytrap to ask permission to list them and, as a courtesy, to allow the owner to have a look at the almost finalised rules. He was happy to receive the rules, but then asked not to be listed as a recommended company given what he saw as the inherent confusion that it might cause.


Then, I was kicked out of the Facebook group again. It was only when I questioned this (although now also ‘unfriended’), that I was provided with an explanation citing a conflict of interests and his need to protect his property as best he could. I suggested this might be something of an overreaction, expressed my disappointment, but accepted his decision. So far all correspondence had been private.


Then, a third party copied me into an open message posted by Flytrap on their group – a message to which I was given no opportunity to reply given my ejection. I repeat it in full below; the emphasis is my own, indicating aspects that I would like the opportunity to respond to after the post.


Gents

Just a small heads up, I have removed IW Nic from this group unfortunately. The reason for this was explained to him via social media message today. In a nutshell, IW Nic recently disclosed to me that he is/has penned a ruleset for Ganesha Games entitled ‘Paleo Diet’, a prehistoric hunting and survival game.

He explained to me in his words that there was no conflict of interest to be had. I was privy to reviewing these rules today and was a little disappointed to see more than a good number of uncannily similar concepts and processes being utilised in his system to those used in CvW.

This has put me a little on the defensive considering I want to take the time with you (my council) to really iron out everything properly and do not wish to be shunted into having to go retail release before I am good and ready just because a competitor is jumping the gun on releasing a set… I owe CvW more than the ‘Johnny-come-lately’ labeling it would suffer having been trumped by the competition.

The decision to let Nic go is not personal, it is however business and not only Flytrap, but all of you in the council have invested a great deal into the development of Caveman vs Wild thus far, and with so much more to come a decision had to be made.

Ganesha games is a clear and present competitor with wide scope, deep pockets and great influence. I need to make moves to protect our investment moving forward.

I do wish Nic and Ganesha all the best for the future, I just need to be a little tighter on our own developments ahead. Especially with part two in development and part three to come.

I just wanted to explain to the group personally.


1) recently disclosed to me

I might be reading into this, but to me this suggests that I had been keeping Palaeo Diet a secret. If the owner has been keeping an eye on the forums, or my own blog, he cannot have been unaware of my project. Indeed, when I offered to show him my draft last week he said that he was already aware of the rules.


2) ‘Paleo Diet’

PalAeo Diet. I have nothing against Americans, but I am not one, and therefore use conventional English spelling. Pedantry? Perhaps.


3) disappointed to see more than a good number of uncannily similar concepts and processes being utilised in his system to those used in CvW.

Having seen both my rules from inception, and the playtest draft of Caveman vs Wild I can confirm that both are prehistoric hunting games where players take on the role of hunters in a prehistoric world. Both also employ an AI mechanic to regulate the actions of animals. There the similarities cease and I cannot imagine a prehistoric hunting game without these similarities.


The implication here is that I might have borrowed some of his ideas. I very much hope that is just a possible implication and not his intention. I pride myself on honesty and decency, and that sort of thing is beyond the pale.


Palaeo Diet embraces an AI mechanism that evolved from the one used in TUSKby Wessex Games. This is integrated into a simplified version of the Ganesha Games core mechanic that I developed for Faustus Furius. The approach has been to keep the actions of hunters quite simple to allow for constant interactions with/from beasts without leaving the player bewildered with numerous charts. There have been a number of small changes to the Palaeo Diet mechanics as a result of playtesting, but nothing substantive since it was first sent out to testers in January. January. Five months before Flytrap’s playtest draft was made available.


4) and do not wish to be shunted into having to go retail release before I am good and ready just because a competitor

I do not see how my participation in the group could have impacted on that? We are a month away from release and Flytrap are just starting to playtest. Regardless, I have to say that feedback from other game developers – even those with potentially competing projects – has always benefitted my own rule writing.


5) and not only Flytrap, but all of you in the council have invested a great deal into the development of Caveman vs Wild thus far,

Yes. Including myself. I don’t see in what way my contribution promoting and funding Flytrap has been lessened because of my own projects.


6) Ganesha games is a clear and present competitor with wide scope, deep pockets and great influence

I believe this is something of a misrepresentation. It would be nice for Ganesha to be an apex predator in the world of gaming, and maybe someday it will be. For now, it remains a product of Andrea Sfiligoi’s passion and innovation, supported by one other person with responsibility for the small range of miniatures, and a couple of rule authors like myself who do get royalties, but primarily write because we love it.

So here we are. I still love the Flytrap sculpts. They have such great character and are a joy to paint. The customer service has been… middling. However, as I vent my spleen, I have to state, once again, how very disappointed I am with the attitude and approach taken by the company’s owner. 

More Flytrap Factory cavies

Posted on June 23rd, 2017 under . Posted by

 I’m delighted to say that three more brave (if not bright) hunters are almost ready to join my tribe.  All three are from the second pack to the original 20mm hunters produced by Flytrap Factory in New Zealand (now re-branded as pygmy hunter…

More Flytrap Factory cavies

Posted on June 23rd, 2017 under . Posted by

 I’m delighted to say that three more brave (if not bright) hunters are almost ready to join my tribe.  All three are from the second pack to the original 20mm hunters produced by Flytrap Factory in New Zealand (now re-branded as pygmy hunter…