Monday, December 15, 2014


Battle for Gallion's Reach Expansion Set went on sale December 12th!

37 new space cards, 2 expansion pieces & 80 additional House Markers allow you to enlarge your galaxy and add new planets, new nebula, and a range of new dangers and unusual space objects such as the The Expanse, Hyperspace Zip Line, Black Nebula, Space Brain, Computer Planet, Hyperspace Alternator, Hyperlane, and others!

Visit the storefront page here:

or the game website here:

Photo: Battle for Gallion's Reach Expansion Set went on sale TODAY! 

37 new space cards, 2 expansion pieces & 80 additional House Markers allow you to enlarge your galaxy and add new planets, new nebula, and a range of new dangers and unusual space objects such as the The Expanse, Hyperspace Zip Line, Black Nebula, Space Brain, Computer Planet, Hyperspace Alternator, Hyperlane, and others!

Visit the storefront page here:

or the game website here:

BATTLEFORCE SATURN has now gone to print! The first printed proof should be in my hands next week!

NEXT UP for Power Play Games:

Now that BattleFront Saturn is about to be released into the market there are two more games in the pipeline of the first quarter of 2015.

January will see the Attack Wing Campaign set as a third-party add-on for Wizkid's Star Trek Attack Wing miniatures game! The set includes a small map with sectors, markers for planets, nebula, etc and numbered task forces as well as a campaign booklet. Two formats will be available: A print-yourself downloadable version which will be free, or a fully printed, manufactured and boxed set for about $35.

 By March 2015 Power Play Games will be releasing it's next card-based game called Roman Commander. Using the same basic mechanic as BattleForce Saturn, players will be able to challenge one another to fast-paced ancient battles.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014


Announcing the ATTACK WING CAMPAIGN SET by Power Play Games - an add-on to the popular miniatures game by Heroclix called Star Trek Attack Wing!


This add-on provides players the ability to play entire campaigns by placing their ships in Task Forces and moving those task forces about on a Campaign game map board. This gives tournaments and players wishing for a larger game the opportunity to do just that!

 Players will bring their miniature ships into battle upon entering the same sector on the 10" x 10" full color game board. The set will come with full color markers for planets, nebula, sensor grids, badlands regions and star bases, as well as fill color-coded and numbered Task Force markers.

Example of miniature star ships in the game

This set will be available as a PDF download for free or for a small printing and shipping fee, players can get the full color game map on a fold-able chipboard with all markers on .06" cardboard chits! the set also comes with a small rules sheet and a Campaign booklet with each campaign described along with game map and ship set-up, rosters, admirals assigned, captains assigned, and objectives of the campaign.

Players can even create their own campaigns!

Ships in battle

The Attack Wing Campaign Set should be available sometime in January 2015!

In the meantime our website has undergone a major overhaul! Take a look!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014


Comp for ROMAN COMMANDER card game

Play testing is coming along and reveals a very fun, fast paced game! Just played the Pharsalus scenario between Caesar and Pompey. It's a large battle with almost all unit types used. Great fun! Game play photos coming soon!


BATTLEFORCE SATURN is in the mid-playtesting stages. The rule book is being written and the final box cover is being designed. Target release date is December 15th 2014. Hopefully we can make it!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014


Using the same system and card-based mechanic as BattleForce Saturn, both Roman Commander and Castle Commander take budding tactical geniuses to new battlefields!

With ROMAN COMMANDER players can command Roman Legions, Germanic and Celtic warbands, Persian hordes, Hunnic armies and Roman rebels in fast paced and furious tactical combat. Players use historically accurate Roman-era commanders and tactics. Battles can be historical or completely random. Players can even create their own!

CASTLE COMMANDER gives players the feel of commanding medieval armies as the both defend and attempt to siege castles. Players can design their own castles from a variety of architectural sections from turrets, walls keeps, draw bridges, moats and use catapults, boiling oil, archers, swordsman, peasants, knights and others to take the castle!

Both games are card-based with fast paced fun!
Roman Commander will be released during the first quarter of 2015. Castle Commander soon after that!

Photos of prototype play will be posted soon! 

For more info, see the website at

Wednesday, October 29, 2014



Box cover concept

EarthForce player plans his attacks

Three-player game

Solar League fleet
Leshlact (alien) player's fleet

There can be up to five players in a game although such a game would probably take a very long time. We recommend keeping it to down to 3-player at a time maximum. So far, in play testing, the first game with only one player knowing how to play, the game took about two hours. the second game took about an hour. So once players know how to play the game moves fairly fast. Of course using smaller ships and fewer ships will provide for a much faster. shorter game. 
The playtesting went very very well. In fact the playtester's comments were "excellent" and fantastic". So that's good to hear!
We are hoping to have another2-player test in a few days now that some modifications have been made to the game. Then we will move on to a 3 & 4-player test. 
From the test it seems that the game is very playable, easy to learn, simple to play, fast moving and most of all FUN! the mechanics used were applauded as being very clean and straightforward. Only a few minor modifications needed to be made which is huge...especially when one is up against a short 7-week deadline!!!


While BattleForce Saturn is being tested, I'm moving along with work on the next game: Starsword: Race to the Stars. here are some preliminary photos of some of the parts being set-up on the table.

Here is a sample of table set up for a large 4-player game. the cards are Star System cards representing actual stars in the Sun's neighborhood. Each card has up to two planets/objects on it. The Star system cards can be placed randomly upside down or in a non-random pattern based upon actual locations of these stars relative to one another. On the sides are placed the player's Race mats where each player keep track of their resources, research, victory points as well as a description of the race and any special rules pertaining to it.

Each card also has places for population pawns to be placed: Troops, Industry, Research, Farming as well as population limit. Some star systems have alien life on them and some of them are capable of early spaceflight and can become trading partners, allies or enemies. Each system also has a space for ships, star gates, star bases and fleet docks.

Star system cards must be placed almost touching in any pattern desired. Sometimes a card will not be able to touch another one so that makes it a dead-end for movement. Stars that don't touch mean that ships cannot move from one to the seen above.

Each race has special characteristics that make it unique to play. The Humans are aggressive scientists. The Hurc are born traders. The Suri have high population growth and spread their religious faith, while the Vargr are Warriors.

The game is controlled by card hands. Players draw cards and each card has a variety of actions the player can make, from playing an event on another player, to gaining Orders, to obtaining spacial abilities and weapons, etc. These cards are still being designed.

I hope this has been enough to wet your appetite. The game will probably retain for about $70. While that seems pricey, this is big game with quite a few necessary pieces. Hopefull such a price tag won't be too much of an obstruction to playing it! We think the fun involved will make it worth it!


Monday, October 27, 2014


 First 2-player test of Battleforce Saturn went extremely well! The game is "excellent" and "fantastic" according to the play tester's comments. We still have a few more 2-player tests and then we move on to 3 and 4-player tests. From the test, there seems little that has to be altered, which is great since we want this game for sale no later than December 15th! This gives us just 7 weeks to test, modify and test and modify and finish the rule book and get the files uploaded and the first proof copy printed! Whew!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


Here are some of the games coming up from Power Point Games:

Available Christmas 2014!


2- 5 players - ages 12-adult
average playing time 15 min to 30 min for a 2 player game, 30 min to 45 min for a 3-4 player game
Card game with hand management

Each player takes on the role Fleet Admiral in the far future. Five sides are represented: EarthForce, Solar League, Ishbinidob, Leshelact, Cymeks.

Each side has unique star ships with unique weapons and defenses. Players place ship cards on the table in up to four rows. Players then select a random battlefield which varies from open space, solar corona, black holes, asteroid fields and many more - each battlefield having certain effects on play. Then each player plays attack and defense cards from their hands. All cards have a point value that players must stay within. Victory is decided by who had managed to keep the most ships in the game with the most points.

A basic game is included without battlefields, shields and armor strengths.

There are random games and scenario games where players use the ships assigned to them at game-start.

Price should be between $15 and $20 max


Coming Soon!


2-4 players - ages 12-adult
average time 2-4 hours
Table-top game with card hand management, playing pieces and player-specific charts

Four players taker on the role of determining the destiny of for races as they expand their civilizations into the stars. Each race has it's own unique capabilities and means of dominating the stars.

Players assign populations to various tasks such as manufacturing, farming, research and military while sending colonists and star ships outwards in an attempt to be the race that dominates the others.

Game actions are made by managing card hands and playing the right card at the right time. Some cards represent random galactic events, while others are gifts from the stars such as powerful weapons, scientific discoveries, diplomatic actions and powerful leaders looking for an empire to serve.

Play is fast and simple and exciting!

Games can be random set-ups or follow the astronomically accurate star map included. Stars in the game represent the actual stars within 30 light years of the sun.

pPrice should be between $40 and $50

Friday, October 10, 2014




Inherit the Stars (now called Starsword) is progressing along nicely. It's become a game of resource management and abstract combat or space empire building. 

Photos to come!


However, I have been working an a card game called Battleforce Saturn. It's a card game where up to four players battle one another with star ship fleets. the game is very fast-paced and fun and will be cheap., probably no more than $25USD! I intend to have it for sale by Christmas this year!

2- 4 players - ages 12-adult

average playing time 15 min to 30 min for a 2 player game, 30 min to 45 min for a 3-4 player game

Each player takes on the roe Fleet Admiral in the far future. Four sides are represented: EarthForce, Solar League, Ishbinidob, Leshlact, Cymeks.

Each side has unique star ships with unique weapons and defenses. Players place ship cards on the table in up to four rows. Then they play attack and defense cards from their hands. All cards have a point value that players must stay within. Victory is decided by who had managed to keep the most ships in the game with the most points.

There are random games and scenario games where players use the ships assigned to them at game-start.

Play testing will commence in a couple of weeks and I expect to have it for sale by the Christmas season.

Photos to come!

For more info, go to the website:

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Battle for Gallion's Reach Space Card Expansion Deck in Testing

First Expansion Being Tested

With the release of the game we have put together a fun and exciting expansion deck of brand new space hex cards! We  wanted to include this deck in the original game but cost issues prevented it. But now, for only $20, players can double their galaxy size or use these new cards in the old game! The new deck comes with many new planets, nebulae and asteroid fields as well as a large number of interesting anomalous and unusual space objects such as:

Space Brain - gives controlling players a technology boost
Hyperspace Zip Line - ships can move across the board in one move
Computer Planet - increases player's research abilities
Alien Starbase - controlling players get a free star base
Hyperlane - gives ships an extra hyper jump move
The Expanse - Only Raiders and Destroyers can fight
The Black Nebula - No missile combat allowed
Jump Node Alternator - controlling player can shut off adjacent jump nodes
Battle Asteroid - controlling players can have a strongpoint in an alien-built asteroid with powerful defenses.

It also comes with 20 additional House Flag markers for each faction and two special playing pieces for the Jump Node Alternator space hex card.

We hope that this expansion will greatly increase the replayability of the game and is the first of more expansions to come! We have more expansion ideas we are working on:

Ship Expansion: Fighters & Carriers, Minelayers, cloaked ships, Hyperspace Missiles and two additional Raiders, Destroyers and Cruisers squadrons for each faction giving each player six of each type.

Additional Players: Two more Great Houses and one Alien Race can join the fray with their own ship types. Also considering adding a forth optional race called the AI. It would be a non-player faction that spreads like a virus. It's appearance would force factions to work together to stop and would change the dynamic of any game where it appears.

Commanders & Admirals: Players can buy leaders to command their fleets and armies (replacing the Great Admiral and Greatest Warlord characters)

New Rules: Supply Lines, Minor Races, Star Clusters, Pirates, etc.

Thursday, August 7, 2014


With included printed full-color rule book and access to downloadable PDF rulebook:

With only the downloadable full-color PDF manual and printer-friendly rule cook:

Wednesday, July 30, 2014



A slight delay due to the printer means the game will go on sale August 7th! 


As of now there are three new games in development. While this list could change if sufficient reason, such as having an intractable problem in early development come up, these are very likely the games that Power Play will be creating over the next year or two:

STAR REBELLION (currently in early play testing)
A strategic game for 2 players about a galactic rebellion. Heavily character-based.

BATTLEFLEET SATURN (currently in early play testing)
A tactical starship combat game for 2 players.

WILL OF THE PEOPLE (currently in early conceptual development)
A fast playing card game where 2 to 6 players (or possibly more) select Congressional candidates and get them elected in modern USA.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


After almost four years the first game published by Power Play Games goes on sale to the public! There are two versions available. One has a down-loadable and printer-friendly PDF rulebook, while the other comes with a full-color printed rulebook.



Both versions will be available for purchase from The Game Crafter website by the end of next week (July 29th-30th)

The links to the purchasing website will be posted here!

Monday, June 30, 2014


Much has happened since the last blog. As I posted last time, the good weather has kept me outside and working on landscaping our new home. However, we have indeed been finding some time to work on our projects and we are now moving rapidly to finish the Battle for Gallion's Reach game and the development of it's successor.


The rule book is DONE! All editing and re-writing have been completed. Instructional video are also ready. the request for the second proof copy of the game is being sent to the printer. The first was back in January. If this proof copy look good, the game will be going on sale immediately. So we are looking at 1-2 weeks until the game is on the market. It all depends on the printer's ability to get it done.


After much research., studying different game ideas and playtesting some of those ideas we have a winner for the next game from Power Play Games:

"Star Rebellion"

While working on Inherit the Stars game, I stumbled on an alternate idea that seemed to provide a better opportunity to create a fun game, still based on space conquest. I was looking at some of computer games from the 1990's and came across a great game from those days: "Rebellion" by LucasArts. It was a strategic game of the Star Wars universe. It came complete with ship building, space battles, ground battles and the famous characters from the original trilogy.

I was looking at ideas to improve the Inherit the Stars game idea when it dawned on me that this game needed to be translated into a table-top game. Obviously I wasn't able to use the Star Wars universe, so anything would have to have the flavor and basic appeal of that story but with different names, characters, and back story. As i seriously researched this idea, it became clear that this was very doable and seemed like a worthy follow-up to Gallion's Reach.

As of now we have a complete game ready for early play-testing. Below are some of the preliminary artwork:

The gamer will be for two players. There will be two options of play: a shorter game where the Imperial player must locate the rebel base and the rebels must capture the Imperial home world. The longer game involves those two requirements but also capture certain characters. the Imperial player must capture/kill the rebel leadership and the rebels must capture/kill the Emperor and his second-in-command.

The interesting aspect of the game is that to some degree both players make their moves in relative secrecy. More so for the rebels. For example, when ships and characters move from star system to star system, they enter hyperspace but the opponent is unable to determine where they are headed. 

Also, characters have abilities that allow them to take on specific missions. These missions such as sabotage, espionage, diplomacy, etc require skills that each character must have to increase the chance of success. Characters can also hunt one another.

The strategies for both sides are different. the Imperium will tend to use sheer force and military power to defeat the rebels, while the rebels must keep their main base secret and build up systems to support the rebellion. The game uses a very basic economy where players build facilities on planets starting with factories. factories equal points that are used to buy facilities and ships, troops, etc. Facilities are used to build these things. Each star system can shift it's loyalty from Imperial to rebellion and back. The Empire will use force to make planets join the Empire. The rebellion will tend to use diplomacy.

Preliminary early play-testing will start very soon.

Thursday, June 5, 2014


 I apologize for the long stretch without any posts but as the weather has turned nice here, we have been spending most of our time outdoors planting and landscaping and doing things that you can only do in spring weather. But, throughout, the games being designed are still in the works. progress may be slow but progress is still being made.

Battle for Gallion's Reach
Almost there!!! We are fine-tuning the rule book; making final adjustments and spell checking, grammar checking, etc. It's a laborious process but a critical one. The website needs to be fine-tuned and the web page, where the game will be sold from, also needs some adjustments. However, it looks like the game will FINALLY go on sale sometime in June or early July!

Inherit The Stars
This game is coming along smoothly but slowly. There has been some adjustments to the game map - streamlining the map, mainly. We are hoping for a casual play-test soon just to see if it's going in the right direction.


Starfleet Admirals
 This game was conceived a few  years ago as a Star Trek game but since I didn't feel like trying to obtain the license from Paramount it just collected "dust" in one of my files. But recently I stumbled up upon it as I was working on Inherit the Stars. I was considering a small ship combat module for the game, but as I worked on it I realized that it would just complicate things and so I shelved the idea. However, as I played it I realized that it might be worth resurrecting as an independent game - without Star Trek theme and references. I'll be blogging about this one more in-depth soon.

Battlefleet Saturn
 Another game idea relegated to the "digital dustbin". This one has a cool mechanic whereby the planets move in their orbits and so all strategy involves predicting where a planet will be so your ships can move there at  the right time to engage the enemy. The theme is a near future where the colonists spread out among the planets and their many moons are fighting for independence from Earth.
Unlike other space-oriented games this one is more about using celestial mechanics to plan your moves. For example, say you wanted to send a Task Force to Mars from Earth. Since Earth revolves around the sun in less time that does Mars and the two planets can be close or far away from one another depending on their revolutions, you must plan your advance based upon when Mars will be the closest to Earth. Imagine a chess game where the spaces are always moving, but in a predictable fashion.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Progress Report

Battle for Gallion's Reach

 Editing the manual is proceeding well. We began creating two videos on playing the game and some still -shots for examples of set-up and game-play for the manual.

Inherit the Stars

Development is going well, even though the thrust of our efforts is now on finishing the Gallion's Reach manual. Inherit the Stars is definitely a moderately complex game of sci-fi empire Building. The interrelationships between various racial/empire traits is turning out to be one of the more enjoyable aspects.

Actual game play is dictated by cards representing specific "Operations" which have economic costs associated with them. The more "Wisdom" a race has, the more cards they can draw and play in a turn. 
 There are Operations such as WAR, RAID, MILITARY (building ships & troops), SABOTAGE, INTELLIGENCE, DIPLOMACY, TRADE, INTERNAL, COLONIZE allow players to take specific action sin support of the goals of the type of Operation played. For example, Playing the TRADE Operation allows a player to establish a Trade Hub. Playing a RAID operation allows a player to raid nearby enemy sectors for $$$ (RPs). Playing a SABOTAGE Operation gives a player the opportunity to blow stuff up. Playing an INTERNAL Operation allows the player to make adjustments to the civilizations levels such as reducing Xenophobia, reducing or increasing Domination, quelling Unrest and Revolts, etc. Playing a DIPLOMACY Operation allows players deal with neighbor civilizations, make deals, demands, establish treaties, etc. And of course playing the WAR Operation means going to war. Each operation has cost in RPs (Resource Points - the game's 'money'). 

Traits like "Domination", "Influence", and "Xenophobia" as well as "Tech Level" of a race play a big part in dealing with other races and economics and even managing your own colonies. Players can select to tax colonies but, based upon your "Domination" level, these colonies can go into Unrest or even outright Revolt. While revolts on most colonies is a serious annoyance and can prevent a colony from contributing it's production or research to an empire, a revolt on your Home world is most serious and can even spread causing all Operations to stop until the revolt can be quelled with the use of StarLegions and BattleFleets. If revolts aren't quelled they can become Independent Rebel worlds. The only way to get these back is to invade with a BattleFleet or a StarLegion. Rebel planets are also good pickings for enemy empires who can make them a part of their empire instead - especially those with low Domination, high Influence and low Xenophobia levels. Nothing can irk you more than an enemy planet deep inside your territory!

Another interesting aspect of play is the way races win the game. Each race acquires Victory Points by doing certain things in the game. 

The Human player, for example, gains more victory points for establishing peaceful Trade by building Trade Hubs within his empire and with other empires. Trade hubs help both races by supplying regular $$$ deposits into the races coffers each turn. But only the Humans get Victory Points for them. Humans also have a nasty mean streak as well, so they also can get some moderate victory points from military conquest too.  

But some races, such as the Leshlact and Vargr gain large numbers of victory points from military conquest alone. 
The Leshlact are the true dangerous enemy of the galaxy. They can exist on green, ocean and desert planets alike without the technology needed to Terraform them and they can establish colonies quickly and fast because they breed quickly. These large and powerful insect-like carnivorous beings build specialized Swarm ships that can overwhelm anything less than the higher tech-level BattleFleets. But they are handicapped by having maximum Domination, maxed-out Xenophobia and low Wisdom and zero Influence (neither of which can be reduced or raised) and they actually lose victory points every turn they are at peace.
The Vargr are also warriors but far less Xenophobic against all races and irrational in their aggression than the Leshlact. They prefer humanoid-like races, like the Human, Drac, Androz and Ursa, and can even become allies with them. But they will almost always prefer war to anything else when it comes to dissimilar races like the Hurc, Kllor, etc, so whoever becomes allied with them will find themselves at war more often than not.

Others like the Androz gain more Victory Points for establishing spy networks and stealing technology and RPs ( the game's "money). They can be formidable warriors but prefer to win by sabotage, spying, and stealing. This makes them uneasy allies but they have very low Xenophobia and so they can work with any race - except perhaps the Leshlact.

The Kllor prefer peace and gain more victory points for establishing Alliances and having Peaceful relations but with such a high level of Xenophobia, this can be difficult to achieve. 

The Hurc like to spread their Religion, so they will establish Missions in neighboring empires and try to turn your planets into followers of their Faith. They get significant Victory Points for this. Because the Hurc are only one of the two water-enjoying species in the game, they can share sectors with species that prefer green or desert worlds. While this reduces chances for conflict it can also help them spread their religion easier and get those Victory Points to win the game.

The Drac prefer to spread their culture in any way they can. They gain big time victory points for establishing Cultural Centers in neighboring sectors. What starts out as a means to peaceful relations ends up becoming a way to turn your planets into their planets as your people gravitate to their dominant culture. They're cultural dominance can become a plague if not kept in check. Insidious.

The Ursa are a mixed bag. They are good at war and also enjoy trade, so they will gain points for both - sort of like Humans but they are just better at it.

Each race has it's unique strong and weak traits and players must learn to find the best means to take advantage of these traits to win the game while navigating the galaxy filled with dangerous enemies, random events that can cause havoc and the ever-menacing Machines!

The Machines are a largely autonomous race in the game left over from the "Old Ones" who once tried to destroy them (but obviously failed). Bad things (and some good) can be found by races who go exploring the stars looking for places to colonize and one of these things are the Machines. They are nano-sized robots that turn planets into grey goo and, if left unchecked, can wipe out an entire civilization quickly. So players need to be upgrading their technology as they explore since stumbling upon a Machine world can unleash this plague and can be difficult to stop without a decent technological knowledge. 


Another "discovery" that can create trouble is Plague which is "discovered' as fleets go snooping about the galaxy and when unleashed, can spread from fleet to fleet and from sector to sector very quickly thus rendering a civilization extinct. So it behooves a player to develop a technology capable of curing this alien disease quickly!

Also, from time to time there will be exploding stars like Nova and Supernova that can sterilize most planets instantly. Only the higher tech levels can protect your planets from this natural disaster.

Exploring the galaxy can bring you benefits as well, such as Treasure worlds that will give you $$$ and Ancient Knowledge that will increase your Tech Level. And there are Old Ones "Hyperstellar Ziplines" or Star Gates they left lying around, that your Fleets can use to zip around the galaxy from one end to the other in one turn. The downside is that so can your enemies!

Fleets come in three main flavors (with a few races having specialized Fleets like the Leshlact, Hurc and Kllor) and can be built depending on the Tech Level attained. These are StarFleets - the basic ship type you start the sandbox game with and send out to explore the stars; BattleFleets, which are the mainline combat ships of the game and OmegaStars which are moon-sized battleships. Other ships include Fighter squadrons, BattleStations, the Vargr have Fortress Planets which prevent enemies from taking control of a sector without a StarLegion available to do the dirty work. The Hurc have Disruptors which help them escape destruction quickly. The Leshlact have Swarmships which can overwhelm many opponents and the Kllor have Chameleon Fields which prevent an enemy from identifying what sort of ship they are facing down until it's too late. 
Finally all races can build StarLegions which represent automated space-faring robotic ground combat units capable of storming planets.

It's clear that some adjustments need to be made to the game map so that starting sectors are closer to other players. The reason being that in testing, it takes too many turns before players engage one another.

Inherit the Stars seems to have a great deal to offer players who enjoy strategy games that involve exploration, conflict and non-conflict, empire management, etc. Once Gallions' Reach is out the door, this game will come together quickly!

Here is some preliminary art:

Operations Cards

Race Charts

Game Map

Various Determination Charts used in the Game

Sample of Some Game Playing Pieces

Monday, April 21, 2014

Manual "Insanity Test" Results

According to the "Insanity Test" conducted on the Battle for Gallion's Reach game manual and the game shop site, the manual still needs some work. Rating  a 45 out of 100, it is clear that the manual is lacking in a few important areas such as illustrations demonstrating examples of actual play and game set-up.

On the up-side, the game's shop site was rated as well-done and serves as a good advertisement for the game.

I am hoping to get this manual re-done and ready for publication very quickly, but obviously, this project will take more time to get right. A fair assessment of when the game will be ready for sale is that it is another month away.

Friday, April 18, 2014


Battle for Gallions' Reach

As of today, Battle for Gallion's Reach is undergoing what is called: "Insanity Testing". This is lingo used in testing computer software. What it means for our game is that the publisher is testing our game manual and the shop website for our game for any problems or issues. Once we hear back from the testers and make any required fixes, a proof copy will be printed. It will take about a week to receive this copy and then we will examine it in detail. If all looks well, Gallion's Reach will be placed on sale! We are hoping that we can get it up for sale withing two weeks at the most. It all really depends on the Insanity Test and the final proof.

Our Next Game: Inherit the Stars

After much work we have decided to develop the Inherit the Stars game next. In fact we are starting preliminary design and play testing. It seems this title is coming together quickly! In fact we would like to have this game fully play-tested and proofed and in the market by the middle of this summer!

Inherit the Stars actually harks back to the initial design for Gallion's Reach. But instead of focusing on star ship combat, we have decided to concentrate on economics, nation-building, nation relations with combat being only one means of winning a game.

So far we are really pleased with this one! We believe that it will fill a niche in science-fiction based strategy gaming. I do think we have a "winner" on our hands!

We will be putting regular updates here about both games.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

What Are We Playing?

While creating games takes up most of the time available, we enjoy playing games and doing so gives us the ideas and knowledge of what makes an enjoyable game. We have been gaming since the 1970's and gaming has changed a great deal since then. Most strategy games today are very card-driven where once they were very dice and chart driven. While I'm still a fan of having winners and losers, many newer games always provide a means of the loser to stay in the game so no one is expected to leave the game and end up watching his friends play. Also, there have been new mechanics in game design today to eliminated clutter and bookkeeping. I feel the literacy rate has dropped so low that rules and mechanics need to be simple and streamlined.

So what games are we playing these days and which games would we like to play?


This is a great game for the novice or the experienced gamer who just wants a casual semi-tactical World War 2 war game. The game moves fast and smooth. There are handy reference cards that help players find the modifiers for movement and range. The game takes real World War 2 battles and presents them in a very abstract manner - albeit with "cool" plastic army-men playing pieces! Play is heavily card-driven - so much so that the random factor is perhaps a bit too strong and takes away a good deal of the ability to plan your own strategy.  This is not a game for simulating World War 2 combat but a fun way to play some famous battles in a very light and casual way. And there are many, many scenarios and expansion sets from every theater in the war from Russian Front, Western Front, North Africa, Italy and the Pacific. Most games are short - from one to two hours at most. The larger board and scenarios for it can double that time, but makes for an even better gaming experience.


Using a HUGE board - almost 4' x 4' - and up to seven players, Conquest of Empire is a risk-like strategy game that covers the time of the Roman Empire in an abstract way. There are four types of units: Legions, Cavalry, Catapults and Galleys (ships) and they are led by Generals and Caesars. Players have a "home" territory and then start expanding out and gathering territories so they can make revenue to buy troops. Roman-looking plastic money is the means by which you makethose purchases, but you'd better buy early because, like the Roman Empire, inflation starts making those armies very expensive! It's a great game with very simple rules (for the basic game) and much more complex rules for the advanced game.  My only complaint is that the cavalry have a very un-historical influence in the battles and too much survivability. Legions are the standard units, while cavalry allow you to pursue your enemy if they choose to, or must, retreat from battle. Catapults help you capture walled cities. Players build roman roads from cities you build to collect revenue. The basic rules are VERY simple and the advanced game rules are VERY advanced. It would be nice to have some intermediate rules that gave a more historical feeling to the games without the complexity, but this is a fun one for up to seven casual players and, like memoir '44, it uses "cool" plastic miniatures - which always adds to the "gee-wiz" factor!

I have personally created a few historical scenarios using the basic rules such as the Caesar vs. Pompey Civil Wars as well the later civil wars. I've also introduced barbarians into the mix (albeit using the Roman pieces) to introduce another power historical factor into the game.


Axis & Allies has so many titles covering the Second World War (and a new one covering the First World War) that it may be hard to choose which game to actually start with. There are excellent reviews of the various games on You Tube that I highly recommend before buying any of them. However, the 1942 incarnation is a newer product that uses updated rules. It's a fun, basic-to-moderate level game. Once you understand the movement and combat system the game is fast playing (although setting up can take some time!). It can be played by two to four players, and again, the "cool" factor returns with those plastic miniatures!


While an expensive product ($75), the reviews for this game are superlative! It is a very fun and enjoyable game! It really puts you in the Captains chair and lets you conduct typical Star Trek missions. This one I'd really like to have!


Using a unique command/orders card driven mechanic and wooden blocks for fog-of-war, Strike of the Eagle looks like a game I would really love to play. All reviews are highly positive. It simulates the battles of 1920-21 when the Soviet Red Army invaded Poland in it's attempt to convert, by force, all of Europe to Communism. The Poles single-handedly beat off the invaders and saved Europe from the Communist horde.


Using a re-worked version of the Axis & Allies rules, this very simple and direct game that "simulates" the Normandy invasions in 1944. This is a good game for casual play and is heavily card-driven. A nice game to have handy for play with those who aren't "war gamers".


 This is supposed to be the bast "Command & Colors' game out there. Even better than the "Ancients' versions. From the same designer of Memoir '44, this game is less abstract and has excellent rules to play many Napoleonic battles. There are expansion packs for the Austrian and Russian armies. This is one I very much want to have.


I love the Pacific theater so this one looks like a blast to play. Uses and enormous board and modified Axis & Axis rules.  Definitely on my "must have" list.


 If you ever wanted to command a starship in combat this is the game for you.  Using a unique non-board movement system, players take on the roles of starship captains from Star Trek lore. Characters from the TV show appear and you get three decent plastic miniatures of the well-known Federation, Klingon and Romulan ships. There are expansions for the large variety of aliens and ships in the television show and movies along with a single mission for each. The price is right and the reviews are highly favorable! This is certainly one for every Trek-head's collection!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Inherit the Stars artwork

Working on the idea for this title led to some preliminary artwork. I thought I'd share these ideas now that I've been bold enough to announce this game on the blog.

Preliminary box cover concept art
Some of the Race-Related Game Pieces 
Representing from L-R: Homeworlds, Colonies, Starfleets, Battlefleets, StarLegions (armies), Starbases (stations). At the very bottom are pieces representing the Homeworld, Colonies and ships belonging to the dangerous Nanomachines which will be autonomous forces without a human player and which will operate according to a set of strict rules.

 Game Map Board
This is the entire game map made up of twelve 10"x16" sections (for ease of packaging, setting up and for use with smaller scenarios) making a 4' x 3'-6" total map size. The entire galaxy is represented as seen from the galactic north and looking "down". The galaxy is broken into regions, sub-regions, with galactic geography, and jump routes. The image is a high resolution Hubble Space telescope image of a very distant galaxy similar to what scientists think ours looks like (although we can't know for sure since we are embedded within it).

On the map corners are the Costs Charts for buying a building things such as Starfleets, etc. The circles represent sub-regions as part of larger regions (represented as colored lines around groups of sub-regions). the Sub-regions are where the game pieces move to and from. They use the lines that connect them (Jump Routes) to move from one to another. Each sub-region is controlled/shared by different players and there are three types of sub-regions that determine how many and what type of habitable worlds are potentially available for colonization. The larger Regions are used for random events and for "historical"scenarios delineating where various political entities exist or once existed.

Player Race Records Mat
Each player selects a race to play (based upon personal appeal) and then uses one of these charts to keep track of the game as it plays. Each race is different and plays the game a bit differently. Some races have higher levels of Wisdom (which determines how many cards they can draw and play from the deck each turn), Xenophobia (ability to get along with alien species), Domination (how well captured enemy populations behave under enemy occupation), Influence or "Power"(the ability to project influence to neighboring sub-regions). the Influence (power) category includes such things as overall military ability, propaganda effectiveness and cultural appeal and is used to lure nieghboring alien colonies into becoming joined to your civilization (as well as helping to calm occupied colonies and prevent Revots). The Tech Level determines the things the player can do. It helps determine how many spaces a Fleet or StarLegion can move in a turn, how powerful they are in combat, the overall Influence (Power)  level, Victory Points (for some players), effects on Race Relations and how effective exploration of a sub-region is in looking for colonizable worlds.  There are places for showing what the relations are with each other race in the game are: None, Peace, Neutral or War. What sort of worlds are favored for habitability, Courage level (used in combat determination) and Ingenuity which is used in determining advancing to higher Tech Levels and shown as well. Higher ingenuity helps a player gain higher technology levels. Also, listed under the Homeworld name and the biology of the race, is the means for that race to win the game. For example, advancing Trade with other players is the fastest and most direct means for a Human victory.

 Sample Game in Progress
In this example of early game-play there are four players. The human player is in the upper center in Olive Green. The humans have successfully colonized three regions and one of their Starfleets has discovered some Ancient Knowledge which will boost the Human Tech Level points. However, the Humans are finding themselves surrounded in at least two sides by alien races also looking for colonizable worlds in their direction.
To the Human's left, they have made contact with a race called the Vargr (in Red). As a race, the Vargr are a naturally aggressive species, so this first contact might not end well for the Humans. In fact a Vargr Battlefleet is on it's way to that region to enforce it's claim to to any worlds there. A "Contested Space" marker has been placed there, and will remain there as long as both races share the same space and no war has been averted. If war is averted, the marker is removed and unless one of the races prefers different World types to settle on, one of the players will have to evacuate the region entirely. The Humans are natural traders, so they may be able to prevent a war and at least establish a "Neutral" relationship with the Vargr. Perhaps one where trade between the races will lower tensions between the two. However, Humans have a moderately high Xenophobic Rating with can easily lead them into conflict with races that are physiologically different from them (truly "alien"). It is fortunate that the Vargr resemble earthy apes, so the Xenophobia rating will likely be reduced and peace will result.
 To the Humans right, the Ursa race (in Green)  is expanding their direction quickly. The Ursa are moderately aggressive and very territorial and win the game by having more colonies, so the chance of war between these two is high - unless the Humans can also establish trade with them.
Toward the galactic core another race called the Hurc (in Blue) is expanding and they have no immediate neighbors except, perhaps the Humans. The Hurc are intelligent "octopus-like" lifeforms and therefore truly alien to the Humans, Vargr and the Ursa, so depending on the Xenophobia ratings of each, things can get hairy.
Fortunately, races can attempt to adjust their various ratings (except for Ingenuity, Favored Worlds and Courage  - which always remain the same). These races can attempt to modify their innate tendencies toward aggression and cultural dominance.

A Closer Look at the Section of  the Game in Progress
 If the humans play their cards right they could eventually set up trade hubs with their neighbors which will allow Cultural Centers to then be established which would lower the chances of war and give victory to the Human player. But random events can occur to spoil the best of plans and the Humans have no control over the natural desire of their neighbors to play nice.
Near the Galactic Core and to the immediate right of the Hurc, a Supernova has exploded which contaminates all the immediately surrounding and connected sub-regions until the radiation effects die down. If the explosion had happened closer to the Hurc one of their colonies would have been extinguished. Supernova are extremely rare events but very deadly. Only a Tech Level 5 civilization can reduce the effects of a Supernova.

More artwork coming soon!
Comments and suggestions are welcome!!!