Winding down another Year

In the final stretch of 2021, our group is coasting toward the new year trying out new games, running one-shots for old ones, play-testing new rules, and basically collecting ourselves before we launch into 2022.

Most recently, we ran several sessions of “The Well”, an indie RPG that’s essentially an inverted dungeon crawl. I used the opportunity to color up some figs on the painting desk, notably several most excellent Northumberland Tin Soldier dwarves, a studious Stunty from Lead Adventure, and a large, hammer-wielding fella I found on eBay.

Have to confess, the tactical tabletop gamer in me could not wrap my head around The Well’s ‘theater-of-the-mind’, rules-lite, pencil and paper game. Quick character creation, cool ‘gambit’ mechanics but no real advancements or character progression, some odd damage-tracking, (very punishing too). I can sense its potential and recognize there are plenty of RPGers who would love it. Not my cuppa, tho.

Still, it’s a great little game for generic, one-shot dungeon crawls. And it’s a great excuse to get some color on your zombies.

December features some Shadowrun and Pendragon, an Insurgent Earth play test, and finally a large scale, Zona Alfa – Kontraband deep Zone run to finish the year. It’s been a real life-saver to push lead and roll dice with such excellent and admirable gamers on a regular basis. I look forward to more in the new year.

Speaking of Insurgent Earth

It’s been a few months since we exercised the beta rules, so we ran a refresher mission yesterday evening. Four newbie Resistance members: Corporal Jones, Nurse Beth, Detective Franks, and Mikey Nitz joined up for a salvage run in a low threat area. A short, sharp battle that included a well-placed hand grenade, and the Resistance members pretty much went shopping, glancing occasionally upward in case an Alien Occupation Interdiction team dropped in.

After clearing the patrol, the cell split up, spread out, and salvaged everything they could. Nice-n-easy outing considering the entire planet is occupied by hostile extraterrestrials.

The longer players remain in the mission area, the greater the chance the invaders will send respond in force. Thankfully, the alert rolls remained low and the Alien Occupation Interdiction crew never showed up.


That’s all for now. Look for more reports later this month, as well as some new brushwork on some very tasty 3D printed figs.

Thanks for stopping by. Have an excellent day.

6 responses to “Winding down another Year”

  1. I am really looking forward to seeing the finished product of ‘Insurgent Earth’. Great stuff.

    1. Thank you. I’m being extra careful with IE. I want to make sure the RPG elements work under combat conditions.

  2. The Insurgent Earth stuff looks really good- I’m looking forward to it.



    1. Thanks Pete.
      IE has a bunch of moving parts that need to mesh correctly. Right now, I’m locking down the Alien Invader behavior. Not only are there different tiers/quality levels – the usual D6,D8, and D10 – but different tactical routines. A Sector Patrol behaves one way, Sentries another, Rapid Response different again.
      By necessity, the players move and roll for them, so the AI for the AI (artificial intelligence for the alien invaders) needs to be challenging, make sense, AND easy to remember/implement. I’m hammering out the rough edges now.
      It’s coming together thought and I think IE will be an enjoyable game.

      1. Sounds good. The AI systems sound tricky but I’m sure it will come good in the end. I ran Zona Alfa again at the club- went down really well once more.



  3. Good to hear people had a good time with ZA. Did you use any of the Kontraband supplement?

Leave a Reply to Exploding-DiceCancel reply

%d bloggers like this: