Saturday, 20 May 2017

Big Stompy Robots Newsletter

The latest from Gav Thorpe on his 'Big Stompy Robots' project...

Sci-Fi Artwork from Gav's Website
One of Sammy's Robot Toys
I've not done an awful lot with Big Stompy Robots in the last few weeks, but I have had a brief burst of activity in the last several days in preparation for the demo games at ChillCon on the 27th May.
Most importantly I have made some adjustments to the power distribution and activation system, removing the concept of turns altogether which has eliminated a few issues that were cropping up.
Originally the core mechanics didn't have a fixed turn but it wasn't quite working at that point (in fact I moved to the previous system about five minutes into the very first playtest game!). Having now gone through a system that had a more rigid power allocation system and damage assessment system I have now traveled almost full circle. The journey, however, has been very informative and brought me to a little 'eureka!' moment that has not only solved the potential issues I had at the outset but opened up a whole new gameplay aspect to be developed.
I tried out the updated system with my regular playtester and ideas sounding board, Carl Brown of Second Thunder games.
His feedback was very positive so I take that as a sign that I am on the right track again.
Playtesting Big Stompy Robots
Next up will be some time on the contracts system (basically scenario generation and victory conditions). I've got some exciting ideas but to get it right will be as much work as the actual mech rules.

Playtesters Required!

In between ChillCon and DaffCon at the beginning of August, I'm hoping to arrange a playtest event, somewhere in the Nottingham / Derby area. There will be cake. (If this becomes a regular theme, I may have to find a way to incorporate it into the game!). If you'd be happy to come along and give me your feedback, let me know by reply email and I'll contact you when I'm starting to plan it.  If you could let me know whether an evening, or weekend daytime would be preferable, that would be useful too.
Apologies to anyone who lives further afield or overseas - down the line I'll be after some feedback on the written rules, so you'll get your chance to help me out then!

The Rules

In my ongoing series of video updates, my latest installment looks at how shooting works. If you haven't watched the first video introducing the basics of power management I suggest you take a look at that first to get the most out of this one.
And yes, I realise the image below makes me look like I've got a clown nose, but I thought you'd appreciate a laugh.
Video explanation of the shooting mechanism for Big Stompy Robots

The Models

There hasn't been any progress on the models, so instead I thought I'd highlight this Kickstarter, which I think will work brilliantly for Big Stompy Robots. 
The Kickstarter is to fund "detailed 45-60mm resin mecha miniatures" for the WHISPER wargame, but as Stompy isn't tied to any particular miniatures range, they should be suitable to use.
The Kickstarter has nearly doubled its original goal, and still has 22 days to go.
Sokar/Bastet Kneeling mech from the Whisper Kickstarter

The Terrain

For the latest playtest I used some new terrain which I think looked, and worked, really well.  The Martian landscape terrain is a vinyl mat from Leodis Games - it was a Kickstarter I backed some time ago, but the mats are now available to buy on their website.  You can see a short video of me taking a look at the mat here.
New Terrain for Big Stompy Robot Playtest
The road layout tiles and buildings are from the Hawk Wargames' Dropzone Commander scenery range (the Ruinscape scenery pack).  And you might just be able to see some of the painted vehicles and buildings that I featured in the last email (I've only just started but they will be to a table standard by ChillCon).

DaffCon - Cardiff

I'll be taking Big Stompy Robots to DaffCon at Firestorm Games in Cardiff on the 11-13th August.  You can read my event report from last year, if you want to find out more about what you can expect.
DaffCon Logo
So that's where I am to-date.  Thank you to everyone who has emailed with comments, suggestions and motivation - keep it coming!
Finally, as before, this isn't one of those 'do not reply' emails.  It might take a while, depending on how busy I am, but I reply to every email I receive.  All questions, suggestions, and general motivation welcome.
Hope to see you at ChillCon!

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