Author: Nathan

Usborne Fantasy Games, it’s all your fault!

I came to the joys of traditional tabletop roleplaying in a bit of a different way than most, and it has had profound impact on me as a games designer. I think most kids of my generation discovered the joys of roleplaying either through the classic red-box DnD, or via computer games – probably the awesome classics such as Pool of Radiance or the like. I was introduced to this “dungeon game thing” by a good friend, Ben, who had read about it in a computer programming book called Write Your Own Fantasy Game, published by Usborne. Ben was big...

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Review: Black Ops by Osprey Games

Black Ops is a new skirmish miniature game from Osprey Games. It is subtitled “Tactical Espionage Wargaming” and the back cover copy describes it as a game that “recreates the tension and excitement of modern action thrillers such as the Bond and Bourne films.” The cover, however, goes a step further with a bandana-wearing operative reminiscent of Solid Snake (from Metal Gear Solid) backed up by some future-tech wielding bad-asses. It is written by Guy Bowers and follows the format of all the other Osprey Games titles; 64 glossy, full colour pages of concise rules that focus on a very specific...

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Playing The Iconic

I joined a game of Battletech: A Time of War recently and was surprised to find that nobody was playing the role of the iconic mechwarrior. It was particularly surprising as we had been told that every character would need at least some skill in battlemech piloting. This got me thinking about other RPG’s I have played where there was a distinct absence of the iconic character roles. This particular instance was strange, to me at least, as everyone needed ‘mech piloting skill and the obvious choice would have been mechwarrior or battle suit pilot, but not one of the other five...

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National Game Design Month

November is upon us and so my thoughts turn to National Game Design Month, or as it is affectionately known, NagaDemon! It is all about inspiring people to create, play and talk about games in November. I first started NagaDemon to encourage people to just finish their games (I knew too many people who were trying to get their designs “perfect”), but now people join in for all kinds of reasons. This year I will be working on my “fast and furious car combat game in a world gone mad” (how many references from movies and games can you spot in...

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Apocalypse Road Design Diary

This is first in what I hope will be a regular series of design diaries! A few months ago I posted some pics of my post-apocalyptic vehicles that I built after watching Mad Max: Fury Road. I then immediately wanted to play games with them, and set about looking at what rules were available. There were quite a lot, from classic Car Wars to Outrider, Dark Future, Gorka Morka, Rush N Crush and even a great old board game called Thunder Road. None of these were quite what I was after, either too complex (requiring Mathis (!) to build...

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