Base Camp: Dec 2022

Base Camp: Dec 2022

The Return of GridZone

Some things have conspired against our efforts to get these new editions wrapped-up this month, but I still think we are going to make it!  

It would have been great to release them with the newsletter, but it looks like I'll need one more week to do it right. My plan is to release both games, PDF-only, on December 22nd.  Overall, there are a few changes that apply to both versions of the game:

  • Free agency has been restricted – This will reduce power creep in career leagues. We found that leagues would escalate greatly in the first 3 or 4 seasons, because free agents and the rookie pool were always assumed to remain available. This is simply unrealistic. A new free agency table addresses this issue.
  • Team Sheets are back. Two or three years ago, I was having some technical (software) challenges that made the team sheets very difficult to edit and produce. In a bit of a panic, I adapted a Dice United team card template to GridZone and found that it was much easier to work on. However, the transition to team cards for this game never felt right. In time, I found myself missing the team sheets. Online, I saw that many of you continued to use team sheets as well. A few months ago, I found a better approach to producing nice-looking team sheets and that just added to my excitement to relaunch this line.
  • Stuns – Tracking stuns can be a pain. It does not need to be so involved in a game like GridZone. So, we went back to an older rule, where stuns are only in-effect for a given drive, but the stun effect is stronger.

Now let's discuss some specifics of the two versions:

GridZone: Turf War 2nd Edition: What's Changed?

  • About 12% of the Action Chart results have been tweaked for better balance in terms of match-ups and outcomes. Ball distribution accounts for the majority of the changes.
  • The frequency of sacks and interceptions have been increased.
  • The instructions have been revised and expanded for clarity.

Classic GridZone: Why?

The original GridZone was more streamlined. There was less concern with tactical logic or narrative depth. For some folks, that is more fun! Since gridball is not even a real sport, then they never felt the need for a realistic pseudo-football experience.   For them, Turf War was a solution to a problem they did not have. As I thought about this for the past few years, I came to the conclusion that it was quite feasible to produce and support both versions. So with the relaunch of Turf War, now is the time to update the original as well.  It will be interesting to see how this goes!

So, how is Classic different?

  • Instead of key player match-ups, there is only one key player per play. That player's skill levels are used as a die modifier on the Action chart rolls.
  • Player ranking – Instead of three ranks by position, Classic features seven ranks for the whole unit (offense or defense). Therefore each player has a distinct rank. This method dictates the frequency of a player's involvment. In Turf War, player involvement is built-in to the Action Charts.
  • Player Deck – Key players, receptions, carries, and random players are all identified in a 72-card mini-deck. Whenever there is a question regarding which player gets credit for something, just flip a card.

The two instruction manuals have about 90% in common, so if you know one game, it won't take much to learn the other version. Perhaps you will want to switch between the two versions, depending on your mood.  

How much?

  • PDF: GridZone: Turf War 2nd Edition $17.50
    Same price as before, but for a limited time. If we do a print run in a few  months, the price will be reevaluated.
  • PDF: Classic GridZone, $15.00
  • PDF: Total GridZone Pack, $25.00
    Both games, complete.

What about a nice commercial print version?

Yes, I still plan to do a print run.  When everything is settled with these games and any errata issues have been addressed, then I will open-up a pre-order window. This will allow everyone who wants a hard copy to reserve one, while minimizing  guesswork, storage space, and over-stock problems here at the home office.

The above discussion is not exhaustive. Keep in mind that both games are still in-development and a few more changes may yet occur. All-in-all, I feel like this game is finally ready to hit its stride, despite my missteps in the past.

There is a ton of other things happening!

Stone Cold Hockey stuff

  • 1967/68 pro season: 95% progress. Target window: Early January. This one will establish the new template for PDF releases with three cards per sheet, landscape, instead of the individual team cards. The effort is a collaboration with Roo Games for computer releases as well
  • 1993/94 pro season: 60% progress. Target window:  Mid-January
  • More 1970s seasons: TBD... probably March

Dice United stuff

  • World Cup 2022 – I plan to start on this after GridZone is released.  Target window: Mid-January
  • MLS 2022, Target window: February
  • Dice United for Windows: Confirmed! Target window: TBD
    Development has begun. Computer analytics have shown there are a couple aspects of the game that could use some adjustments for statistical output (the final attack comes to mind), so we are weighing options.

    Since changes to the charts are forthcoming, this will also be the right time to integrate some more depth into the Pitch Battle chart. So inevitably, the 2nd Edition of Dice United will take form in the next few months. Don't worry, the game will remain 100% backwards compatible with the season sets you already own. An affordable upgrade pack should be available, given the nature of the revisions.  

Legends of Boxing stuff

  • 20th Anniversary Edition, Target window: Summer 2023
  • Kings of the Ring: 2010s set: Target window: Summer 2023

Again, 100% backwards compatibility is assured.

Other Stuff...

  • Shrapnel: A game of heavy metal carnage based on the Modiphius 2d20 System Reference Document. Target: Christmas 2023

Thanks for Subscribing!

There is a lot more I could write about; people I should thank, customers I should recognize, and tangential things related to this crazy hobby. But I know everyone is busy this time of year, so let's stay focused on those things. Look for announcements of the GridZone release next week and...  MERRY CHRISTMAS to All!