I'm encouraged by the latest playtests. The core rules are holding up well with the new equipment interactions.
I'm trying some new things with vehicle construction, such as including standard (pre-installed) equipment. At some point I'll set things up so that it's possible to design or modify your own jets.
We're starting to take advantage of our equipment as damage-absorbers. When one of your components takes more damage than it can absorb, you have to apply the excess damage to some other part. If you've used up all of your Overthruster activations (for example), you can "safely" apply 1 point of excess damage to that device, saving your weapons and other vital components.
Overthrusters are expensive to replace, though. Most devices are! But it's usually better to sacrifice one of your devices than one of your weapons.
Basically, every time you're given the choice of applying damage, a whole range of possibilities should come to mind. If I apply 1 damage to my gun, I can probably repair it quickly -- and it's like I didn't take any damage at all. If I apply 1 damage to my hand radar, it'll cost me 100 points to replace it. If I put that point of damage on my crew, fuel, engine or control surfaces, it creates a weak spot that my enemies can exploit if they score a direct hit later. Generally speaking, your devices (while useful) should be the first to go, if you have the choice. You don't always have the choice!
Still waiting on technical support from Wargame Vault to help me out with the Starter Pack file, which isn't downloadable at the moment. Bummer that it had to happen during the launch week.
About 150 of the Free Expansion Packs have been picked up, and 40 of the Starter Sets moved out the door before I hit the snag. I'm glad the free pack is still out there. I'll give it a quick (not vital) update when the Starter Pack comes out, so folks who are waiting for the game will get a reminder about it.
Today I can start putting skins on the Interceptor. This should be fun.
at the moment I'm torn between wanting to be with my gf that has come over to visit until sunday (we live at 200km from one another at the moment) and wanting some time so that I can print and assemble some solid planes..!
happy that I got the rules when they were still available, I've already given them a first read and they seem pretty neat, I want to try them out asap...
I wonder if part of this airplane-hype I'm into is due to my recent download of the Steambirds iOS app from the Appstore on my iPhone, loved that game (it's basically solid state war in videogame format) and can't wait to play the boardgame! ;D
Well that's saying something! I suggest that you spend time with your girlfriend. The game will wait for you forever. She might not!
Someone showed me Steambirds just after I released Solid State. Gameplay seems pretty similar in both games. Even the scenarios are pretty similar. I hope that means that we're both on the right track.
I drew inspiration from a few different games. I played some Car Wars about 20 years ago, but I was mostly interested in designing cars. The actual game was too slow for me.
I played a lot of Magic: The Gathering when it was first introduced. Some of the deck-stacking and collectibility of that game rubbed off on me. I'm not sure that anything else about MtG influenced the design of Solid State, but I do feel like it deserves to be mentioned.
I really enjoyed Pirates of the Spanish Main, at least until everyone figured out that ramming was a great strategy. I felt like there were some balance issues, and after a few expansions the game went in directions I wasn't so interested in. But I loved how self-contained everything was.
Back in 2008 I designed a print-and-play boardgame based on hovering race cars, but never got past the playtesting stage. Some things just weren't coming together in the way that I hoped, and the idea sat for so long that I just gave up on it. Back then, I wanted to use custom dice but it hadn't occurred to me to try filling paper dice with popcorn kernels or lentils to give them extra weight. So I built the game around ordinary D6s, and it just never worked in the way I wanted. Some day I might get around to reviving this game. But in a way, this game was a prototype for what I ended up doing with Solid State.
The Interceptor has been given a full workout and (amazingly) no changes are needed. In terms of game performance, it's what I hoped it would be: fast, maneuverable, deadly at close range, but very fragile.
I'm putting together some ideas for a campaign that I might include with the Interceptor vehicle pack. I'm starting with a simple territory-grab setup. In order to control a certain sector, you need to run a specific scenario. The winner can claim the territory as their own, and gain some extra army points to spend on new planes or equipment. Each team will take turns choosing which neighboring sector they want to fight over, with the ultimate objective of attacking the enemy base.
Here's a quick GIF that demonstrates how a campaign might play out:
It could take as little as five scenarios to complete the campaign, or it could go on for many more games before it's resolved. I need to write up a couple more scenarios to complete the campaign map, but I think I'll start testing this right away with my next games.
Today I'm working on the Interceptor skin. I've got all of the panelization and main shading done. Next, I'm going to do some detail shading. Then I can start chipping the paint and playing around with the colors. Good times.
ciabs, if you can't get it to work, send me a Private Message and let me know the email address you use for your RPGNow/DriveThruRPG/Wargame Vault account. I'll send you a copy of the game directly that way.
It isn't a critical update anyway. It does clear up how to resolve gun jams with linked weapons, and the Quick Reference page has been expanded to 2 pages, which should cover all of the essential rules you need during play. (You shouldn't need to print out the rulebook ever!)
Progress continues on the J-21 Interceptor Vehicle Pack! I should be finished with the 3D model skins today, and the 2D game pieces won't be far behind.
After that, I'll need to set up the assembly instructions pages. (I might do that right now, just to get them out of the way.)
With the 2D pieces complete, I can create the scenario maps. I've written up 2 scenarios, and need to write 1 or 2 more to go with the mini-campaign. I'll also want to test this out tonight and tomorrow to see if it works like I'm expecting it to.
I thought I'd be able to publish this by Sunday, but I think Monday is a better bet.
After that, I'll probably finish texturing my medieval wagon model, or the new medieval gate. I'm starting to miss wood planks, bricks and moss.
I'm nearly done with the Interceptor Vehicle Pack! This thing is loaded with goodies.
First, you get the all-new J-21 Interceptor. This jet is going to open up a lot of new strategies. You get record sheets for two variants (the experimental X type, and the main production model). You get 3D paper model files and 2D game pieces for large scale or small scale play, and a quick reference sheet.
You get a new Range Finder, and a complete set of combat dice including the new Checkered die.
You get three new scenarios (Operation Lightning, The Gauntlet, and The Wheel).
You also get the Amazonia Campaign, which will give you a chance to run every scenario released for the game so far. The campaign comes with a snazzy map and double-sided tokens so you can mark which territories your team has conquered.
That's a lot of stuff!
Tomorrow I'll give everything a good look-over and polish things up the best I can. I might even include a "spare parts" sheet with some unusual paint schemes, so you can customize your 3D paper models. I need to think about how to approach that, so I'll sleep on it.
Anyway, it looks like I'll be publishing this one sometime late Sunday.
omfg I totally love the interceptor silhouette..!!! ;D
can't wait for this new pack, at the moment I'm just printing the tigresses, while I'll wait the new expansion for dice, range finder and stuff
my first rebel tigress, armed with missiles because I was kinda lazy at the thought of building those tiny tiny cannons at half scale..!
my cutting mat has lines every cm, the tigress is adorable at this size..! :-[
EDIT2: I almost managed to ruin the tigress by trying to edge it; I stopped halfway trough because I saw that so small the scale, edging didn't quite help the model stand out, rather it dirtied it; I'm not gonna edge the other models I'm gonna build, and if I manage to get both 4-planes squadrons done I could even print again the rebel leader just to rebuild it without any edging done to it;
bottom line: with models this small, you either edge with watercolors and a fine brush, or just leave it alone...
I'm steadily adding MORE STUFF to the Interceptor pack. Right now I'm working on some "spare parts" pages so you can customize your paper models. I'll also bash together some 2D versions of these. The cheetah-skin one is pretty cool.
Although I won't get to it in this pack, I can see that it would be really useful to have shorter versions of the Movement Key. For instance, if you're traveling at Low throttle, you only need the bottom corner of the key. This would make it easier to place the Movement Key in tight quarters -- which is when you're most likely to be at Low throttle anyway. I'd also create a key for Low/Cruising speed only. When I do these, they'll be free add-ons for sure.
All right! I'm ready to create the advert graphics -- the last step before I can publish the Interceptor pack. There is so much stuff in this pack, I can't believe it. It's 36 pages of goodies. I'm exhausted just looking at it, knowing how much work went into it.
Once this is done, I'm going to take a nice long break from Photoshop. Like, three whole hours. Or until I can't stand it.
I've just released my second supplement for the Solid State War print-and-play game. This Interceptor Vehicle Pack adds an all-new jet to your game, with 3 scenarios, a campaign, new dice and much more! It also includes 3D paper model files that you can assemble. The models aren't required for play, but they're a great alternative to 2D playing pieces, and they make great toys all by themselves. Check it out!
Hey Dave, Since I am being young father, and therefore locked at home and oriented at solo play at the moment, have you given a thought to make rules for solo play, where some machines will be controlled by game mechanic and some by player?
That's a great idea, and I'll definitely put together some solo missions for the next pack. The next jet is a surgical-strike bomber, so it's perfect for those sorts of scenarios.
You could be sent on missions to shoot down observation balloons, which would have some guns with standing orders to fire back whenever a target gets within range. That's just a variation of a bombing mission, which could have anti-aircraft guns or other hazards.
I'd also like to do some sort of "supply drop" mission. There's a ground battle going on, and your forces are low on ammo. Every round, each of your troops' positions takes some enemy shelling, and will eventually be destroyed unless you deliver some ammo. If you can drop your supply boxes on the positions that need it the most, they can start firing back. Why not just bomb the enemy forces? That's a good question. Maybe they're "off screen" and very heavily defended by AAA -- so much that it'd be futile to send aircraft into the area.
For AI jets, I suppose I could give them some standing orders about movement and attacking. For instance, you could have the AI jet always move toward the nearest enemy jet, no matter who it is.
On their action, go through a priority list like this:
1. Always attack if able, and always use any devices that assist in targeting/damaging until they're used up. If the attack result "Direct Hit" comes up, choose to damage the component that comes up on the Hexagon (hit location) die. If the result is "Device" or "Weapon," the AI will choose to damage the first operational (undamaged) device or weapon listed on the target's record sheet.
2. If not able to attack, then attempt to repair any damaged weapons.
3. If not able to repair weapons, attempt to heal crew.
4. If not able to heal crew, attempt to repair devices.
Throttling is trickier to program, since it's left at the end of the turn and you (human player) have to anticipate your speed needs for the next turn. AI's not so good at that. Lots of devices are dependent on smart throttling, but it would be possible to ignore them (or just not install them). I'll have to think about that some more.