Cyber Goth


Twin Rivers Play Testing Sign Ups

Well, I'm all ready to get this show on the road and start some testing. Mmmmm, testing.

All right, so here is what you need to know before hand:
We'll be playing by blog (I have another one set up just for this), every round-half will be it's own post as I'll be manually updating the map to reflect the movements during the turn. Turns will be taken by leaving a comment, keeping to turn order, with your actions. Questions for myself or others can be asked at any time in the comments section. I highly recommend that you come up with some form of relatively synchronous communication for use in diplomacy negotiations.

As a final thought, testing isn't like regular play. It's slow, and things aren't always going to work out. On the other hand, you'll be right there helping to not only explore the rules, but to refine them and create them. Testing is more about the feeling of reward at the end when something you had intimate involvement in is finally ready for the world at large, then any moment to moment fun. (Though hopefully there will be some of the latter as well.)

What You'll Need:
Print out a few of these minimaps, they should fit on 8.5x11 landscape or a sheet of a4. You'll need to form a shorthand to mark them with, but they will be invaluable in keeping up between official board updates.
A notebook, a stack of lined paper, or a word document, whatever the format may be keep a journal of how the game strikes you. It's best to keep this on hand while making turns so you can immediately jot down anything that stands out, positive or negative.
A gaggle of ten sided dice... okay you don't actually need them but they're great stress relievers when your entire army gets bludgeoned out of existence.

Stuff to make your journaling more useful and my life much easier:
Whenever you deal with a unit for the first time, record in your journal the unit and a numbered ranking from 1 to 5. 1 being completely useless, 3 being perfectly balanced, 5 being overpowered to godlike proportions. Then a few rounds later revisit this ranking and update it with your current opinion on how it's ranked.
At the beginning of a round, write down what you expect to accomplish during that round. At the end of the round, write down how your prediction differed, what you think caused it to differ, and how you feel about the differences.
We're going to be moving slowly, especially as it's play by blog, so just take your time and write things out as they occur to you. There is no such thing as too much information at this stage in development.

We'll need six players to start a game, if you want to participate just leave a comment with e-mail address and preferably an im handle below. If you want to participate but aren't comfortable leaving your email in a public place, just send me an email at sara.pickell@gmail.com


Wargame Usable Pieces

With the addition of the ruleset, 'this wall of text', this is almost everything you need to play. All that's missing is a turn order, and the exact pre-game setup which is relatively simple. (Place one village within 4 hexes of your castle.)


When Night Fell

Wintertime Soldier
A Grave of Red and Black

A poem broadcast throughout the Twilight fleet before embarking on a mission. Also oft recited by human mercenaries before embarking on their own missions.

When Night Fell
The dawn is furthest, and the night seems darkest just after twilight.
The sentinels stand at watch, the certainty of danger keeping rest at bay.
In the corners and behind closed doors is muffled weeping.
Family all, departing into night's sweet fold, mourning those they leave at twilight.
The trappings of empire, the artifice of ancient hubris, now touching in their defiant stands.
As though to reassure, that though hard to see, dawn comes always after night.
Light remains even when we can't see it.

With care towards the coming night, the prayers of all are united in sorrowful discord.
With hope of meeting again in those sweet fields of promised youth.
Of the rest from care, and weariness to which they shall depart before dawn may shine.
Filled in peace as they prepare for one final moment of strife.
Greatest and final moment of beautiful glory, in it's terrible repulsion.
Such sorrow their duty, so painful their honor, inconsolable their sacrifice.
Death's debt assuredley paid.

Go we now before them, from twilight into the dark.
And from the night we seek the dawn, in our honor resting their memory.
In our hearts, their souls, in our souls their beauty, our cup filled.
We know not from whence our roads may travel, or if our paths cross again with twilight.
Yet fear shall not o'ercome us, nor anxieties overtake us, fears shall lay to rest.
Though the weight of worlds may rest on our shoulders, their courage shall give us strength.
Strength to tread towards the light.

Sharing a video.

An impressive bit of CG work with great musical composition.

The Third & Seventh

The Third & The Seventh from Alex Roman on Vimeo.

via Abduzeedo


Wargame First Draft Ruleset

Victory Conditions
When no more than 2 mutually allied City States remain.

A player who is destroyed is defeated.
A player who surrenders to another power is defeated.
A player who surrenders may be allowed, at the decision of the player they surrender to, to maintain control of their City State and forces as a subject of their conqueror.
Subjects are considered to have a permanant alliance to their ruler, but are not counted towards victory conditions.
Subjects may be deposed of command at the whim of their ruler.

The game is played in rounds.
Within a single round every player has 2 turns.
A round is split into halves.
During the first half, a player's turn consists of the first two phases, 1st Management and Movement.
During the second half, a player's turn consists of the last two phases, Attack and 2nd Management.
At the end of a round, the turn order is rolled to the right, in other words the last becomes first, first becomes second, etc...

-1st Half-
1st Management
-2nd Half-
2nd Management

1st Management
If resource or population loss from last round dropped the amount of resources or population available below that needed for army upkeep, the player must disband units of their choice until their balance is restored.
If any unit you own is within 3 passable hexes of water, an allied village or allied castle, it's dehydration counters will be removed if necessary.
After those two actions, the following actions may be performed in any order.
Hiring units up to the maximum capacity allowed by your current resources.
Upgrading towns up to the maximum capacity allowed by your current resources.
Placing any unused collection tokens.

Diplomatic States:
May/May not allow negotation of trade routes.
May/May not allow passing through ZOC.
May/May not allow attacking each other's units.
May/May not allow using each other's villages and towns as water sources.
If player's have given full allowance to each other, players may then choose to formally ally allowing them to have joint victory.
Players may make any agreements they wish, pertaining only to in game concerns, but they must explicitely define in their agreements if they wish to change between diplomatic states.
Diplomatic agreements can only be broken during the 1st management phase.

After you have agreed to allow trade with another player, you may establish trade routes.
Trade routes may be established between towns of different owners that are at most 8 passable hexes from each other, are connected by a contiguous body of water, or are connected directly by roads.
A trade route may only be 1 resource for 1 other resource, even mutliples of the same resource require multiple trade routes.
A village may maintain 1 trade route per level.

A unit may move as many hexes as they have MA.
A unit may move only once per turn.
A unit may attack an enemy unit so long as it is within it's MA.
A unit cannot end it's move on top of another unit.
A unit may not enter an enemy zoc without stopping on that hex.
A unit that starts it's turn in an enemy zoc may move so long as it's first unit of movement takes it out of enemy zoc.
A unit can cross one unit of water per turn like a normal hex so long as it's move does not end in water.
A unit that, for any reason, does end it's move on water is destroyed at the end of the player's turn.
A unit that, for any reason, does end it's turn on another unit is destroyed immediately at end of move.

The attacking player declares an attack by a unit.
The attacking player then declares which special abilities they may have that require declaration.
The defending player may then declare any special abilities being used by the defending unit that require declaration.
The defending unit then takes wounds equal to the attacker's attack score.
If the denfending unit takes wounds equal to it's defense score it is destroyed.
If not the defending unit deals wounds equal to it's remaining defense score to the attacker.
At the end of a full round, all wounds are removed.

2nd Management
The player may hire more units.
The player may establish more trade routes if possible.
As the final action of their turn, players add dehydration counters to any unit more than 3 passable hexes from a water source, and remove any unit with 3 or more dehydration counters.


Big Damn Hero

Seems like everyone else heroically ran away...


Twin Rivers

Working on a new tabletop wargame, it's just about ready for it's first round of testing. I'm planning on doing a play-by-blog game for it's test-flight, so drop me a line here if you're interested in getting in on it.




Drawing LOTS

She couldn't help staggering slightly as she walked to her quarters, the slight variations in artificial gravity created the sensation of the ground rising and falling beneath her feet. Finally the nameplate 'Mira Androveka' came into view, marking her destination. Briefly, she took note of the nameplate resting above it, 'Goila Eckert', before opening the door and staggering inside the dark room.

The dim glow of various pilot lights kept the room from being pitch black, but still it took a moment for her eyes to adjust. There were two sleeping racks on either side of the room, one was already pilled high with blankets and eliciting the sounds of steady breathing. Goila, she presumed, as she slid her duffel underneath the empty rack and practically fell onto to rack hoping to relieve herself of the unsteady ground. Too late she realized her mistake as the up and down motion spread to her entire body.

A few hours later.

She couldn't help still feeling a little queasy as she sat in the mess hall watching her new roommate eat. The cause was now in some debate though, she wasn't sure if it was the movement of the ship or the way the blonde girl was tucking away her food like it was going to be her last meal.

"You going to eat that?" The young blonde asked, grinning wide.

"No thanks, I'm not so hungry at the moment."

"Cheers!" It took only moments for the first dish of the newly appropriated rations to disappear. "Must be your first time in FTL travel. Works the same on everyone, you get over it eventually. So where ya from?"

"Etegria, this is my first time off planet." She forced herself to give a mild smile, though it was less than a second before her grimace returned.

"Galactic fissure, huh. Yeah, I guess you probably don't get many ships headed that ways anyway. Me, I'm a Navy brat, used to have to run all over the galaxy chasing my dad." The girl looked a bit sad, then brightened and turned back. "You must be a big fan of the former empress though, getting your face done up to look just like her and all that. My dad was in the Koyobi when it went down protecting her. He even got the Imperial Medal of Valor despite being just a regular gunnery sarge."

Mira gave an awkward smile, "actually I haven't changed my face at all, I've always looked like this."

The girl paused for a moment then gave her a serious look, "you ain't a Unionist are you?"

The awkward smile was now permanently imprinted on Mira's face, "actually we don't hear much of outside politics on Etegria, so I don't really know what you're talking about."

The girl gave a heavy sigh and leaned back in her chair, "you're wandering out into space without even knowing this much. You'll get yourself killed like that, y'know. Listen, after the civil war eighteen years ago a bunch of the reformer fleet just upped and retired. Since the new government didn't have the military to hold the peace on it's own they had to reinstate almost half of the Imperial fleet right then and there, and while they may have disbanded the nobies on paper, most of them kept all their military and economic power as well as most of their lands. So right now the political factions in the empire are roughly divided between the Unionists who want the nobies to give their armies over to the cabinet, and the loyalists who are generally in favor of the nobies staying right where they are, thank you shittin' much."

"Ahh, I'll try to keep that in mind then, thank you." I don't really get it, she thought.

"So where you headed, your highness?"

"Your highness?" She raised an eyebrow.

"Yeah, with your face like that, it totally suits you. Although, given your home planet you might have to settle for empress of the sheep!" The blonde girl guffawed over her own joke for awhile before catching her breath and continuing, "but seriously, what brings you this far from the homestead?"

Mira rolled her eyes and started absentmindedly playing with a lock of her black hair. "I've been enrolled in military academy on Orpheus."

"Wouldn't happen to be Luphi Officer Training School would it?" Goila gave a mischievous half smile at that.

"Yeah, that's it exactly. Are you going there too?" For the first time in the conversation felt herself give a real smile.

"And that's a direct hit! I know dad was always talking about me being some kind of intellectual, but I just can't imagine nothing but Navy life, so I thought, for him at least, I could try and make officer. At least do that much to make sure he can be proud from the other side, ya'know." Mira couldn't help but admire how the girl was able to put so much earnestness into the last bit only to finish with a completely mischievous grin.

"Well, I don't have any great reasoning like that, I just wanted to get out and see the galaxy, you know. Mom, just happened to have an old buddy who could get me in, so I decided to go. Besides, my mother went there when she was younger but she doesn't talk much about stuff like that so I was curious."

Goila laughed, "I hear ya, but careful there sheep empress, Navy life ain't to be underestimated. Still, you never know, it may turn out better than you think, gonna be a lot of hard times 'fore that though, I guarantee it."

"Well then I'll just have to make some friends to ride out those bad times with." The two girls laughed together a while longer.


A little sick today

Not only am I sick today, but I've been working my ass lately. Then I had my dad getting pissed, ironically, at my not working, that is working within his acceptable bounds. (Yay manual labor!) So the stress and all that has kind of been getting to me. Anyways don't really like the arm on this, but the rest is about as good I could have asked for.

By the way, that was done from reference of a photo by Runolfur Gudbjornsson. (http://www.mymodernmet.com/profiles/blogs/magical-metamorphosis)

Bonus Item: Priest