6mm-Minis is Maksim-Smelchak's blog to discuss gaming, miniatures, books, movies, food, Israel, Judaism, life in general and other funny crud. My favorite scale of miniatures is 6mm, which is also called 1/285 or 1/300 scale. I enjoy many different kinds of games including ancients, Napoleonics, WWI, WWII, the Arab-Israeli conflict, Car Wars AKA Autoduel (a sort of crash'n'derby automobile combat game), 6mm Godzilla AKA Kaiju games, and science fiction games. I'm open to everything though!

Saturday, October 08, 2005

GAMING NEWS: Two Successful Playtests of Maksim's Sci-fi Game!

Hi Everyone,

I would, first of all, like to thank everyone who made suggestions for the name of my new sci-fi game. There were some incredibly clever, humorous and dramatic name suggestions. I've put them together into a document and will post it at a later time for everyone's enjoyment.

For those of you who have no idea who I am or what I'm talking about, I'm a gamer, somewhat well-known in the community for my actions helping to restore the 6mm_miniatures E-group, my participation at the TMP site and for other things.

I'm a big fan of miniature wargames and love games like Dirtside II, and Striker II, which have unfortunately not seen sequels for a long time. I tried to get involved with these companies at different times to be a part of seeing newer better versions of these classic games come out and nothing seemed to get done. Fans organized projects and wrote great house rules, but I wanted to see a new version of the game come out, not the old game juryrigged with house rules. So...

I decided to design my own game for sci-fi minis. I wanted a system with the greatness of Traveller and Striker II, the ease of play inherent to Dirtside II, the fun factors I associate with GW's Epic series and the versatility of GURPs. I wanted a game not tied down to any cannon or specific background. I wanted a game that had sophisticated but not overly complicated game mechanics for leaders, command and control, morale, unit experience, suppression, combat engineering, air support, armor, force fields and many other things. So... I made it!

My game is currently in playtest and I've already found three manufacturers who have expressed an interest in publishing it. Several other game retaillers have expressed an interest in stocking and selling it.

The basic game is designed as a game engine, sort of like GURPS, that can be adapted to any sci-fi canon or background a player desires. Want to recreate modern units who have gone back in time? Want to have WWII armies face "War Of the Worlds" invaders? Want to see if Star Wars can give Star Trek a black eye? My game system is designed to do just those things. It can pit armies of various technological sophistication against each other.

I plan to sell the main book for $15.00 USD, which will come with a game module that has the engine adapted to one science-fiction background. Further game modules will be available for different science fiction backgrounds. The modules will cost $10.00 USD each.

And thanks to the dozens of suggestions from fans, I now have a name for the game:

"PLANETFALL: The Generic Universal Science Fiction Miniatures Wargame Engine!"

I plan to start an E-group for those interested soon and already have an E-mail mailing list for those interested. If you would like to be on the E-mail mailing list to receive news of the game, when it goes on sale or possibly become a playtester for the game, please send me your E-mail. I am selective with my playtesters though so it is possible that you may not be chosen to be a playtester although I plan to enroll as many playtesters as possible..

I have been playtesting the game myself, but am formulating a simple version of the rules to give to playtesters soon. I playtested a final form of the game this past Thursday and again today on Saturday (8 October 2005). Both playtests went smoothly and rules performed very well. Thursday's playtest was with an adult and I ran two playtest games today both with a combination of young children (8-10 years old) and adults. The game was easy enough to learn that one of the children taught his friend how to play in about ten to fifteen minutes and enrolled him on his side (...to help the Empire defeat the Rebel scum!).

The sci-fi background I've used in recent playtests has been "Star Wars: The Battle of Hoth," but I don't think I could ever afford to buy a license for that franchise so when the game gets published, I will offer those rules for free on the game's web site. We had a great time playing "Planetfall" and I can't wait to try out other adaptions of the game I've created for other sci-fi books, movies and television series. Of course, I can't publish any of those without a license (...I've made inquiries with a number of my favorite sci-fi license holders...) so I'll offer any game modules for backgrounds I can't afford to buy a license from... for free.

Thanks for your time!

Shabbat Shalom,

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