Freedom of Game

Granted, there are plenty of skirmish style tabletop games out there. So why care about this one? Especially if it is old by comparison? The answer is quite simple. It’s because of the freedom of choice imbued into the game itself. It’s about the “Freedom of Game”.

When I stumbled over Bladestorm about a year ago, it was because of my ongoing collecting habits for ICE products. I read about the game somewhere online and I was intrigued by the fact that it was set in the Shadow World, which my RPG group was currently exploring. The rules promised to make larger Rolemaster battles that involved more than your garden variety group of adventurers much quicker (anybody who undertook a battle involving more than 20 combatants knows what I mean).

There were other expeditions by ICE towards tabletop gaming. But quite contrary to publications such as War Law or Star Strike this game promised to be way more simple. It feels like an add-on that you can draw upon whenever you need. Combat requires only one roll of dice to resolve the situation. See if you hit and if you do, see how much damage you deal. There are no dice pools made up of dozens of different dice. D6’s and D10’s, that’s it. It’s lean.

Now, converting characters from our Rolemaster Classic group is one thing. But what is even more interesting is the combatant creation that allows you to create combatants from scratch. Anything goes in this department!

  • Take characters from a campaign and throw them onto a larger battlefield, a dungeon, another plane of the void.
  • Have some spare encounters in your back hand. Switching tables is a nice surprise!
  • You own dozens of miniatures and want to breathe life into them for some afternoon fun? Pick your champions!

For those of you who have been exposed to miniatures and roleplaying and followed some of the discussions, it always comes down to this one simple fact: either you have the miniature gene or you don’t. There is no need to argue about bringing miniatures to the table if they’re just standing in the way of your favorite junk food.

But if you do have the miniature gene, Bladestorm brings everything to the table that you could wish for.

The last chapter of the Bladestorm Rulesbook contains all the information that is needed to create your own combatants or units for the game. The first part of combatant creation is governed by Total Point Costs, meaning, the stronger your combatants are, the pricier they become. Each stat increase, weapon or skill has it’s own price that is added to the total. This is very important when setting up a balanced encounter.

The second part is about converting characters from other RPG-systems to become a part of your tabletop adventure. The main stats of these systems are used to acquire the necessary Bladestorm stats. Select the weapons, spells and special powers as known by your character and you’re ready to go.

Either way, what you need now is a way to bring this character or miniature into action. You need a combatant card.

For ease of use we are happy to provide an editable template. You can download these nifty little cards as word-documents from the Product News and Announcements section of our MX forums. The cards carry all information you need to put any miniature on the table.

Bladestorm_Combatant_Card

As can be seen in the above picture, the Bladestorm Combatant Card is divided into several blocks of information. Only the upper blocks containing general information, weapons and hit points are relevant for all miniatures in the game. The blocks for leaders, spell users as well as the lower block contain optional information.

Whenever you have determined what your miniature’s stats, weapons, spells and special powers are, you can print out the template. You might consider printing out some buddies, too. Because we want to make the most of a piece of paper, there are four combatant or unit cards on a template. Templates come in English (US-Letter) and German (A4) paper sizes.

TIP: Save a bunch of prepared combatant cards for later by organizing them on your computer in different folders. That way, you can easily come up with new encounters and speed up the process for setting up a game. 

I hope you found this little excursion into the whys and hows of Bladestorm interesting. Be it as an add-on to your rpg-campaign or as the source for a dedicated tabletop adventure series. It´s all about your game and your miniatures. Enjoy the freedom.

 

Bladestorm goes Facebook

Greetings everybody. You haven’t seen me post here yet so I will take the opportunity to introduce myself. My name is Sebastian and I am supporting Bladestorm at metal express. For those of you who are following the mx forums, you will find me there as DragonReborn. Feel free to join the discussion. There are some nifty tools that will help you get your first game started and I am happy to help along the way.

2015-06-05-21.23.01

As some of you might already have noticed, there have been some things going on with Bladestorm behind the scenes. For a while now there has been a collective effort to put this classic skirmish style tabletop game back into focus. A large demo game for individual combatants has concluded earlier this year which has triggered some interesting new features to be researched in depth in the following months.

Had it been for earlier postings, I would have simply pointed you towards our forums but for the first time, I can close this introduction with the words: “follow us on Facebook” for starting today, you can find a dedicated Bladestorm Tabletop page on the social network.

So if you are already on there, pay us a visit and join up. Well, that’s it for now. I am looking forward to keep you informed about all things Bladestorm.

Let the dice roll!

Farewell, Mr. Spock! R.I.P. Actor Leonard Nimoy, Age 83

A great loss reported today for all of us sci fi fans, as actor and director Leonard Nimoy -the man best known for his portrayal of the half human half Vulcan First Officer Mr. Spock on television and in film- passed away at the age of 83. To even begin to try and articulate Nimoy’s legacy to science fiction fandom and canon is something that I find at this moment to be beyond my poor capability to adequately express. I think Nimoy’s portrayal of Spock and those of his fellow cast members on the original Star Trek television series and how they impacted me personally is already well stated by Doktor Zoom on Wonkette:

http://wonkette.com/577821/leonard-nimoy-1931-2015-we-have-been-and-always-shall-be-your-fan

Leonard Nimoy as Captain Spock, The Wrath of Khan

I personally will always remember Mr. Spock’s timeless wisdom that was his logic, “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few… or the one.”

May your spirit race among the stars now, Leonard Nimoy, as surely and as easily as Mr. Spock will always travel among them in our imagination thanks to you.

Metal Express Links Page Updated, New Photos in the Gallery, and More Photos on the Forum!

“And so it begins…” this journey too many years delayed has commenced with a first small set of steps to bring Silent Death and Bladestorm back to their loyal fans! Thanks to the hard work of the Metal Express Creative Content Team including some new faces of dedicated, extremely talented fans who have so generously thrown their hats in the ring, we have begun to make visible progress on a new and updated edition of Bladestorm, new ship display sheets for playtesting the Night Brood, and other surprises on the horizon!

Adam Peszel is an old fan of Silent Death, and he has generously given of his time and many talents as a CAD and Graphics Design wizard to get things moving with the Night Brood reboot among other mischief. We are extremely grateful to Adam for his generosity. Needless to say, Adam and I are up to some mischief which will remain classified for the moment, but watch this space and the metal Express Forum for updates in the near future…

Our Man in Germany Sebastian Klapdor has generously taken up the gauntlet of revising and updating Bladestorm, the original Metal Express Dice Engine game that was the precursor to Silent Death 1st edition so long ago! Sebastian’s work playtesting and critically evaluating this classic game of fantasy skirmish combat has been chronicled on the Metal Express Forum since last year, and his terrain layout and warbands of fearsome orcs, terrible trolls, and hirsute barbarians are simply a treat for the eyes and very inspiring just to look at!

Sebastian's fearless barbarians advance to the attack!

As the title of this announcement says, we’ve added more links to the Metal Express Links page, more photos in the Metal Express gallery in the Kagetora folder (that’s me!), and more photos of things various starship and sundry to the Metal Express Forum. This is going to be an ongoing process from now on, the goal being to resume developing Metal Express into a resource site of the first order for miniature and board gamers in general, and fans of Metal Express games alike! Yours truly will be adding new links and photos every week as a matter of course, so stay tuned to this TBD frequency for the next update from the fringes of Terran Space!

Cheers!

Leland R. Erickson
Evil Genius in Residence
Metal Express Creative Content Team

Onward! Into 2015 and Beyond!

2014 has passed and despite the trials and tribulations of a runaway master’s degree program, teaching, and other assorted mischief we did manage to get started on playtesting the revised Night Brood ship designs and rules, a major first step in restarting Silent Death: The Next Millennium! Once we have enough playtester feedback to make some determinations, we can publish a revised edition to the Night Brood supplement, and make the Grubs in all their biotechnological nastiness both playable and finally *enjoyable* to play with and against.

2015 begins with our continuing the process of juggling professional commitments with our ambitious hopes and dreams for bringing Silent Death and Bladestorm back to our loyal fans in improved, updated formatting. We have been very fortunate indeed to have two very talented people come on board voluntarily to assist us in our efforts! Adam Peszel is an old Silent Death fan like Dr. greaves and I, and he brings some considerable talent and imagination as a 3D and graphics design artist to the party. Adam was instrumental in giving us our first new ship display sheets literally in years and using current programs and methodologies, allowing us to get past the largest immediate hurdle we’ve been stymied by for far too long. Adam is now working on ship displays and ideas for logistical hulls in the Campaign System, and 3D modeling of several other ship designs with an eye towards 3D printing new ships for Silent Death: The Next Millennium.

Sebastian Klapdor is Our Man in Germany and all around Uber Fan of things Bladestorm. Sebastian is as talented as they come, and has begun to work on bringing Bladestorm forward into the 21st century in a systematic fashion, one playtest and eye candy project at a time. He’s ongoing serialized playtesting sessions of Bladestorm featuring his cadillac fantasy skirmish gaming table are a real treat for the eye, and no less so are his well painted miniatures including classic sculpts from the team at RAFM Miniatures and the incomparable Mark Copplestone of Grenadier Miniatures and Copplestone Castings fame. Well worth a look just for the eye candy alone!

Moving forward into 2015, our goals include the following:

1) Finish revising and updating the Night Brood for Silent Death: The Next Millennium.

2) Finish revising, playtesting, and publish the Ship Design Rules in a revised edition of the Silent Death: The Next Millennium rulebook.

3) Introduce for playtesting our new science fiction space opera skirmish rules set in the universe of SD:TNM, the deadly and vast expanse and thousands of worlds of Terran Space. These will utilize the same
Metal Express Dice Engine mechanics already proven so well and thoroughly by Bladestorm and SD:TNM.

4) Introduce for playtesting our first foray into historical miniature wargame rules utilizing the Metal Express Dice Engine that drives SD:TNM and Bladestorm. This will be a one to one scale skirmish system
for the Second World War focusing on tank and infantry combat, the sharpest of the sharp end of warfare during the greatest conflict in human history. Our initial effort will focus on the Early War campaigns
through France and the Low Countries, where a surprising number of tactical engagements occurred that were neither one-sided nor ended in the favor of the German panzerwaffe, desperate fights where the odds
were more even than the German propaganda newsreels ever even suggested (or the German soldats present cared to endure).

Situational Awareness (SA) will be a critical component of game play in this system, as the reality of tank versus tank combat like aerial dogfighting was who spotted who first (and was able to shoot first
accordingly).

5) Print on Demand Miniatures for Silent Death: The Next Millennium. We’re exploring further the prospects offered by 3D printing in producing new ships for use in SD:TNM. This includes finally making available
the various logistical hulls from the Campaign System, plus finally producing the long overdue Totenkopf battle destroyer for House Colos, and new ships for new House books as we move deeper into the new
year.

6) Finish revising and updating Bladestorm into a more current, more user-friendly format including adapting these handy rules for historical skirmish action.

7) More Metal Express Forum content especially photos of well painted miniatures and models for Bladestorm, Silent Death: The Next Millennium, and our new ventures as they unfold. This means new articles on
modeling terrain, making original kitbashed spacecraft and orbital platforms from empty deodorant containers and such, and adapting proxy models like anime kits to our games to enhance the visual experience
of tabletop adventure gaming with the Metal Express Dice Engine.

Bladestorm is the first of the Metal Express Dice Engine game systems to be published. SD:TNM grew out of the experience garnered from Bladestorm, and we plan to pick up where those that came before us left off, and move these fine games forward into the 21st century and add new genres so all of you may have more opportunities for tactical gaming enjoyment!

So onward into The Great Out There ahead of us in 2015! We have our work cut out for us, and we mean to see things get done.

Warm Regards,

The Metal Express Design Team