Image from Osprey Games website
Greetings and Salutations! I wanted to start by giving a brief thanks to Andrew for letting me be a guest contributor to the New From the Front project that Chicago Dice has started. This project arrives at a perfect time for me as I’m faced with a lot of the same feelings that our fellow gamers have expressed recently. Despite spending the vast majority of my time working from home (and from the same room that all my hobby projects sit), I have made very little progress on any meaningful hobby projects! I’m quite hopeful that joining this commitment and the peer pressure of producing updated content on a monthly basis will push me into action and I can achieve my hobby goals!
For those that know me, it will come as no surprise that my short (and long term) hobby goals revolve around the game systems that come from Joseph McCullough. I’ve been “all in” on pretty much everything Joe has created since I first learned about Frostgrave. I’ve had the extreme pleasure of running both Frostgrave and Ghost Archipelago games at Adepticon, GenCon and a few other local conventions.
So for this project, I turn my attention away the frozen ruins of Felstad or the crystal pools of the Lost Archipelago and focus skyward, towards the vast unknown that is the Ravaged Galaxy! Here’s the synopsis for Joe’s newest game Stargrave from Osprey Games:
In a galaxy torn apart by the Last War, vast pirate fleets roam from system to system, robbing, extorting, and enslaving. Amidst this chaos, thousands of independent operators – smugglers, relic hunters, freedom fighters, and mercenaries – roam the dead stars in small ships, scratching out a living any way they can.
In Stargrave, players take on the role of one of these independent operators, choosing from a range of backgrounds each with their own strengths, weaknesses, and associated powers. Next, players must hire a crew for their ship, recruiting a lieutenant with a unique skill-set and a handful of soldiers, mechanics, hackers, and other specialists. Some captains may even recruit strange alien lifeforms with abilities no humanoid could ever possess.
Once the players’ crews are assembled, they are ready to dive into a campaign. Over a series of games, their crews will have the chance to carry out a variety of missions – recovering lost technology, stealing data, freeing slaves, and fighting back against the pirate fleets. In time, as the crews gain experience, they will become more powerful and hire more talented specialists. The more they grow, however, the more likely it is that a pirate fleet will take note of their activities and come after them!
As Joe has described this game, it will be a mixture of the Frostgrave and Ghost Archipelago core mechanics but with the obvious Sci-Fi twist. Players will assume the command of “Independent Crews” that feature a Captain and First Mate leading the way. I want to be ready to play when the official rules drop (April 2021 EAT). So this project will be focused on both gaming models and terrain to be ready to dive in straight away! Hopefully there is light at the end of the pandemic tunnel and come April we can all be talking about getting together to safely play with our little toy soldiers!
For this project I have two primary goals and a third related goal. My primary goal will revolve around getting ready to dive into Ravaged Galaxy as early as possible and should be fairly easy to measure the progress along the way!
- Complete enough models to form two Independent crews (after all, I’ll need someone to play against!).
- Complete terrain projects to enable “generic” games to be played.
- My related goal is less concrete and will be more difficult to objectively measure:
- Get my Hobby “Mojo” back and blow the dust off the hobby tools!
The focus of these monthly articles will be on the top two goals listed above and if I’m successful, I would hope that the third goal will be achieved!
While I know that Northstar will be producing an official line of Stargrave figures, waiting for these to be available would just delay the ability start playing the game from Day One. Instead, I’ve decided to double dip with another game system and paint several figures that caught my eye and I suspect will fit the needs for an Independent crew in the Stargrave universe. I’m sure I will buy all the official models when they are released and maybe that will become the subject of a future hobby commitment.
The models I’ve selected for this project are all taken from the CMON board game Zombicide: Invader. Many of these were part of the Kickstarter exclusive release or paid add-ons from the core game that I bought during the Kickstarter campaign. I’ve been very impressed with the CMON plastic models and the Kickstarter editions for their games include a lot of fun pop culture references as well. In fact, in this first crew you can see homages to Rick Deckard, Doc Brown, Marty McFly and Auntie Entity. The second crew is another collection of 10 models from Zombicide Invader. This crew includes a cameo from Starbuck and Judge Dredd also!
The last group of models here are some additional Zombicide: Invaders and a few models from another CMON game – Project ELITE. These Project Elite models are scaled to work with Zombicide Invader but feature a larger base. I’ve grabbed a few of these models from my collection that were simply too cool to not include! My thought for using these models in the project is that based on similar warband building rules seen in Frostgrave and Ghost Archipelago, we will likely see “Specialist” type models that would be more expensive and may be challenge to include in your crew at the start of a campaign so these all represent something that looks to be more like a “heavy hitter”.
With the models selected, I’m off an running. The benefit of these models is that they are preassembled and after a quick airbrush priming, they are ready for paint! I’ll have to sort out basing as I go. I do worry this will be part of the project that bogs me down. Basing for Frostgrave and Ghost Archipelago was easy as the terrain for those systems is fairly predictable. However, for a Science Fiction game, these models could find themselves almost anywhere! For now, I will defer that decision so as to not derail my project before it has begun.
In regards to goal two – I’ll provide a sneak peak and some thoughts relative to terrain related projects. Since I have the benefit of having two 3D printers at home (one for filament and one for resin printing), I can use those for terrain projects that can be used in the Stargrave world. The first I hope to tackle is a sandy desert planet that probably looks familiar. The 3D STL files are from Printable Scenery, one of my favorite 3D printing terrain stores.
Finally, relative to my third “Hobby Mojo” goal…I may, from time to time, sneak in a non-Stargrave related hobby item over the next few months. As is always the case, I have my eye on future Frostgrave projects and I want to tap into whatever Hobby Mojo hits me!
Until Next time… the Ravaged Galaxy awaits.