Sunday, January 29, 2012

3.2 post cancon thoughts

Yo, Dredlings,

Before I release 3.2 I want to check a wild idea out...

I always intended Stardred to use D8 dice, thus giving models 7 possible sizes and levels, however it's been nagging me that Skulldred players may like this from the get go with both systems, and certainly it gives models much more room to expand in campaigns.
D8, you see, is the highest 'solid read' dice- it stops quickly and is easy to read at a glance.
The other benefit, I must confess, is purely visual. It gives the game a more old school gamey feel, and a fist full of gem diced look like magical precious stones. Tell I am an artist huh?
Switching to d8 would mean sliding up regulars 1 level but keeping first 3 sizes the same, make bull orcs and beefy barbarian size 4, ogres and mounted humans on horse 5, 80' giants 6, dragons 7 and the otherworld giant is 8. Cavalry therefore get one dice stronger.

Now this makes shooting regulars harder to hit, but this can be balanced with cheaper shoot dice or bigger bonuses for aiming, over watch and so forth.

So how about it folks? D8dred?
How about 2.5 / patched 3.1 players give it a crack and comment below.

I am also pleased to announced the new streamlined damage system tested out well here, so is going in the new release.

Instead of wound tracking and all that stuff, 'to kill' is replaced with a 'defense'. Score under is a repel (dodge or recoil), score equal or higher it's a 'downed' and score double to instant kill.
Example: def 2+ models downed on 2 and 3, and you need 4 to instakill. Def 4+ are only repelled by 3 or less, killed on 8+ and down on 4,5,6,7.
The combat dice are no longer subtracted from each other. It's purely who gets highest wins, and gets to compare to defense, giving you repel/down/kill results.
If opponent drops guard(rolls no hits) the damage is upped a whole step( repel to down, down to kill)
Easy, elegant, takes two maths steps out, no tracking counters and allows a gnome with a knife only a minute chance of downing a legendary dragon lord only if the dragon is horrendously, ridiculously unlucky and the gnome is strategically positioned, buffed, boosted and really committed. The dragon would have to be out of dredskulls to wind up dead. Frankly, my money is still on the dragon.
A downed model only needs to be beaten by 1 to be killed.

So there you are. 3.2 out really soon, and please comment on the D8 idea.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Live from cancon

First ever convention game for skulldred!
And I lost!
It's cancon, I have a demo running at the Eureka table, where Asgard dragon lizards are battling chaos champions backed by a Classic Mark Copplestone giant from Grenadier.

First game winner Ed Fitch, seen here shown reading the demo copy. His dragon lizards regrouped, despite having their leader taken out, and merrily devoured my Jes Goodwin 1980s chaos champ.
The rematch was no better, with a gargantua battle between the giant and trex dragon lizard that pushed halfway across the table before the dragon lizard spawnlings caught up to swarm the poor giant.

Christian and Painting Princess from the battle of froggonia blog (check it out) dropped by the stall and had a game too, which we hope to finish tomorrow.
All in all everyone seems really excited by the game, with comments about how fast it is to learn, play and the dice mechanic being suspenseful, and you can play it with any minis is a big draw.

The shows mood is upbeat but really busy. Think next year a Bederken stall may be in order.

Monday, January 16, 2012


Beta 3.3 is ready for release - I just need to go through and spend a day updating applications, mail merging and so forth. Expect it to come knocking Dredlings... Oh yes.

This afternoon I reshuffled my studio to make room for a dedicated game board/photo shoot scene for the Skulldred manual.
So while you out there are playtesting the ever living heck out of the game, I will be focusing on the painting and assembling the contributor minis, scenery and props for the in-game action shots and photo diagrams.
Though the actual scenery I plan to use is yet to be assembled, and many of these figures need a bit more work, I just could not resist putting a quick scene together using some really old prototype bits I had lying around...

Note these are iphone pics using a desklamp- the real ones are going to be lit and taken by a pro.

That's Skulldred right there! A whole mix of great minis from different companies, made decades apart slogging it out like maniacs on the same board. Now that's what I am talking about!
Here we have stuff from Reaper, Mirliton (classic Mark Copplestone Grenadier figs in this case), Hasslefree miniatures and Fenris.
No army lists, fully points balanced, maths-free mayhem with the figures you want to play with!
Oooh, exciting!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Beta 3.02 looms

Well, its 2.30am and I am getting close to finishing beta 3.2.  I managed to get through 90% of the revisions I wanted for this edition, which I will be rolling out shortly.

It's really starting to get exciting now.  Especially since I plugged in some of the contributor photos (thanks kindly!) and new artwork, such as the Skull logo below.  The hard work is paying off, and I feel Skulldred is transforming into a really high end glossy product before my very eyes!

Skullbaron 3.2 style!

 The game is feeling tighter, as is the text, which I have pretty much rewritten to make the game clearer to new players.  The rulebook is weighing in at a chunky 150 A5 pages at the moment.  This includes all the spells, abilties, items and so forth.  I plan to cram in at least one scenario and a section with some pregenerated warbands, plus showcase pages for mini companies to show of their delicious models.

Magic, you may be pleased to hear, is back in.  The magic system has been totally redesigned, so will need severe playtesting- especially getting the points pricing right.  Dust off your sorcerer minis!  It features mix your own spells, where you can combine multiple spell effects with area effects and bracketing.  This lets you tailor spells to your game world as you would characters.

Right.  Got to get some sleep now.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Beta time line

Hey Dredlings,

Here is my task list so far... in case your wondering what is happening in casa del Skulldred, I thought this may help everyone understand just how much is involved in the project.

Beta 3.2 revisions.
Beta 3.2 release rollout.

Magic 3.2 release.
Warband generator recompile.

Contributing miniature company miniatures painting.
Contributer press pack
Compile and edit feedback wave 3.2
3.2 Counters & Profile Card release.
Final diagram photography.

Bestiary compile (sample stats for creatures)
Beta 3.3 release (if required)
Quick Start profile cards
Bestiary profile cards
Contributer clearances (Sculptor/ Painter sign off)
Playtester credits lock down.
Final Illustration and layout.
Sample P.O.D.
Color correction / layout fixes.

Update website.

Press pack.
Release to POD.

Dance and drink!


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Applications and minis

Hey Dredlings,
  I have now posted out all application welcome emails to everyone who applied.  If you have not received an email today, send an email to with SKULLDRED BETA as the title, and I will get that to you asap.
  Those who have sent in signed legals should have a welcome email inviting them to the forum, and will receive the new beta edition link as soon as it is published.  Phew... that was a loooooot of work.

Its just amazing how many countries Skulldred is being played in at the moment.  Very cool.  Very cool indeed.

Right... now to the cool part.
As you may already know, a bunch of the best indie miniature companies are supporting The Skulldred Project.  After all, the whole idea of the game is to use ANY miniature from any manufacturer in tournament, club and convention games, no matter how converted!  The book will feature lots of drool worthy pictures of miniatures from all over the world- from companies such as Reaper, Otherworld, BeDerken, Eureka, Hasslefree, Splintered Light and more...  oooooh!  The book will feature an appendix listing all the figures, sculptors, companies and painters- along with links.  If you would like to be involved (or just plain show off), then drop me an email to with SKULLDRED CONTRIBUTE in the title!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Return of the King

Yes Dredlings, I am back, bringing with me the oathbreakers and weilding my reforged, uh, word processor... ahh screw it, this metaphors not working.
Okay, Aragorn I ain't, but back I iz.  (Heck, if I can get away with 'ain't' one little 'iz' ain't gonna hurt.)
Ironically, my old English Teacher Mr. Chambers went to school with the great J. R. R. Tolkien himself, though they did not like each other much, he confessed.  Both scholars would be horrified at my use of 'ain't', but at least one would be pleased I use 'dwarfs' instead of 'dwarves'.  Spelling Dread without an 'a' would probably raise another eyebrow- but at least I know when chipped potatoes where introduced to Europe, and besides, no one hassled Judge Dredd about his spelling, and I am waaaaaayy tougher than he is.  Try me punk!
All this focus on the English language is probably due to the fact that I am revving myself up to crack open my Skulldred documents and make it all proper spellink and stuff, ready to release to all the new playtesters joining the club this year!
The problem with long breaks and big documents is diving back in- and I have yet to summon the courage to make that descent just yet- but I thought I would say hi and let you all know I survived the Christmas Turkey!

Those of you going to CANCON this year drop by the Eureka Booth, I am usually found lurking around there somewhere... and this year I may just have a small Skulldred demo board with me.  Stop by and say Hi!