Destresser: Tabletop Combat

To say it’s been quite a year is an understatement. And to think it ain’t over yet. *holds breath*

Still, everyone here is mercifully healthy, reasonably sane, and cautiously optimistic about the future. Christmas is upon us. I’ve got family, friends, work, and projects lined up in the coming months…. ‘Hope springs eternal’, I guess.

Despite all that’s gone on, I want to credit the tabletop war game hobby as one of the things that’s carried me through 2020’s deep strangeness. Come to think of it, the hobby has carried me through a lot of things since I was first introduced to it nearly 45 years ago; this is just the latest slog and I’m grateful.

Wait. Check that.

It’s not the hobby per se – although miniature building, painting, terrain making, rules writing are an awesome creative outlet and help me center myself – it’s the people in the hobby community that have been a real encouragement. Whether it’s the Stalker7 Facebook Group or my local game group, the mutual support, inspiration, and all around enthusiasm for the coolest hobby going has really been a genuine source of relief.

Although attendance in our weekly sessions has understandably been reduced from Covid19 concerns, a handful of us still meet regularly to roll dice, push figs, eat snacks and talk trash over our fictional conflicts and adventures.

We’ve been playing a fair amount of our own Hardwired, Nightwatch, and Zona Alfa. Plus our current favorite RPG, Symbaroum. We’ve also got some good old 5E on the radar, as well as Free League’s new and hazardous-looking Alien RPG. I even managed to snag an extremely cool Praetorian Xenoform off eBay the other day. (Game Over, man. Game over. )

On top of that, there’s all-important play testing to be done for Hardwired: Hostile Takeover and another solo/co-op game, Resistance: Earth, a tactical RPG set in our world, post alien invasion.

And of course there’s a couple shelves worth of board games we could dip into if we really, really run out of ideas.

That’s it for now. I just wanted to get those thoughts down, put some photos up, and say “Thank You” to the TTG/RPG community around me.

And perhaps encourage you to keep adventuring, keep exploring, keep fighting with your friends. You’ll make it through this and on the other side find you’ve scored some serious XP and perhaps a few very cool artifacts.

Have a good one. Take care.

12 responses to “Destresser: Tabletop Combat”

  1. Really enjoy all of your rulesets, Zona Alpha has sparked my gaming group. Have been reading over Nightwatch I think this one is going to take off with group as well. Daughter just got stationed at Cape Code hope to get up there in the near future would love to meet you. Thanks for keeping the hobby moving forward. John

    1. Thank you. Let me know if you have any questions.
      Best of luck to your daughter.
      And let me know in advance if/when you make the trip to see if we can’t schedule something.

  2. Could you elaborate on Resistance Earth? A time frame when we might see some sample games? What is the background? Bugs or technologically advanced aliens?

    I am looking forward to the Hardwired expansion.

    I am going to be running Night Watch games via Zoom in 2021 with one of my sons who moved out of state.

    1. Hi Scott.
      Well, if I do it right, R:E should be able to handle anything with firearms, so WWI to Near-Future. Old fashioned ‘War of the Worlds’ tripods to that ‘Falling Skies’ series. (couldn’t make it past the first couple episodes) It’s got open miniature format, so Aliens are whatever flavor you want. Tweak to taste.
      The game is built on the Hardwired mechanics and like HW/NW is designed for Co-op/Solo play. I’ve added lite RPG elements on top of combat and survival. I’ve got to get Hostile Takeover off the ground first so play tests should start early next year, say February or March.
      Good luck to your Nightwatch Hunters. Let me know if you have any questions.
      Take Care.

  3. Thank you, Patrick!

    I really enjoy Zona Alfa and appreciate the work you do for the hobby. Happy Gaming!


    1. Thanks Luke.
      This isn’t something I ‘have’ to do; it’s something I get to do.
      Good gaming to you and happy holidays.
      Here’s to a good new year filled with friends, adventure, and treasure.

  4. Am so glad of gaming (and content providers such as your good self) for keeping what remains of my sanity during this time.

    Really looking forward to your new rules too. That and the chance to play them….



    1. Thank you, Pete.
      I’ll send a copy your way after I’ve whipped them into shape.

      1. Thank you- that is very kind.



  5. I always thought of our hobby to be a great destresser and perfect way to relax. Really like your table set-up. Looks versatile and well made. Your newest miniature are also well painted. The monk is my favourite

    1. Thanks.
      ‘Less stress’ is probably why I gravitate toward narrative war gaming over straight up competition. I’m in this to have fun with friends.
      Have a merry Christmas and a good new year.
      Oh and I’m glad you like the monk. Easy to make such a great miniature look good.

      1. I seldomly play these days (not even remote), but I am looking into Rangers of Shadow Deep. Might get my wife to enjoy it, as it is coop.

        I think the monk’s tunic is well done, but as you say a good sculpt makes life easier.

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