Base Camp Newsletter, March 2023
Here and Gone
All Pre-Orders have Shipped!
Time for another newsletter already? Wow... That month went by really fast! Things may seem quiet online, but I assure you we have been hard at work behind the scenes. The past few weeks, the focus has been in two areas:
The Print Run
This was the most complex set of orders we've ever done. Lots of new components, including the 72-card Player Deck for Classic GridZone, a new coil-bound chart book for Turf War 2, team sheets for both versions of GridZone, a new booklet for AGL Season One, and more. Nonetheless, through many emails and phone conversations, our local print shop came through, only a few days behind schedule. It was worth the wait, because the print components are beautiful! The best we've produced yet. The print shop recently got some new machines and this is our first print run though them. You're going to like the results. I can hardly wait to share some of the new stuff on Gamescape. Look for an unboxing video in the next couple days.
Several of you expressed interest in the GridZone Turf War upgrade pack, so I ordered some extra copies of the primary components. This offering saves money on the box (doubled in price), dice (tripled in price), adhesive label, AGL season set, other game bits, scoresheets, and so forth. You can find the upgrade pack HERE.
Dice United, Second Edition
The next edition is about to go into play-testing. Statistically, the game has already been proofed via the computer version, with analytics based on hundreds of simulated seasons. The goal of this edition was to tighten-up bookings and scoring. In first edition, bookings could get skewed, especially for the more aggressive leagues, like Serie A and La Liga. For instance, too many yellow cards would be needed to achieve a realistic number of red cards. Whereas scoring, was pretty accurate overall, there were too many goals packed into Crunch Time. Now we believe this game engine is as accurate as a highlight-driven model can be. Therefore, the short play-test phase for the table top game will give more attention to the instructions, the flow, and the aesthetics.
Once you are comfortable with the changes, this version plays even faster. Now the game averages 15 sequences per match, which is 2 sequences fewer than 1st edition, and the Pitch Battle mechanics have been simplified too. Here is an excerpt from the instruction booklet summarizing the key changes in DU2:
• Timing: No more final attack rule. Now there are two new timing procedures. These changes achieve a more realistic distribution of scoring opportunities.
▪ After a goal is scored, roll 1-die for timing
▪ When doubles are rolled, do not sum the dice value. Instead, use only a single die for clock advancement and refer to the Doubles Table to resolve the sequence. The Doubles chart brings some extra twists to the action, involving AGG, Composure, and more. Some of you will really enjoy the additional narrative this brings to the game on occasion.
• Crunch Time: Enter crunch time when the timing roll exceeds all remaining time, including added time (1st edition crunch time started when regulation time was exceeded).
• Pitch Battles: This process was completely overhauled and streamlined. Pitch Battle ranges are now static and events are directly modified by each team’s AGG rating. There are also two new sub-tables for Yellow and Red “Intensity” Checks. These changes better simulate bookings in a variety of leagues.
New Release: Central Cities League, Season Two
Competition heats up!
In an upstart league, things are always changing. Such is the case with year two of the CCL. The poor Dayton Bombers did not survive the variety of challenges they faced. This opened up a spot for Madison, Wisconsin to enter the fray with the Mad Dogs franchise making its debut. This expansion club has some talent, including Francis Levesque and Shastin Victorovich from Dayton. We are looking forward to the surprises the Mad Dogs have in store. Meanwhile, Regina and Springfield remain the teams to beat with both resources and talent. However, the teams and the middle of the pack have mostly improved, making things tougher on the elites. For example, in Saskatoon, Jon "the hurt" Sivert will be patroling the ice, making SasCon Centre a tougher place to visit. There are many new players and a couple of new coaches in the league as well, setting the stage for another wild ride.
Next Print Run: 2022 World Cup
Now Open for Pre-Orders!
Yikes! We are overdue for the print edition of the latest World Cup set! Well, here it is. You have until March 22nd to "reserve" your copy. Pre-orders are a gauge for demand, helping us to better predict the number of copies to hold in-stock. The pre-order link is HERE.
Looking farther up the road, here are things that we are, or soon will be, working on:
- Dice United 2nd Edition and DU for Windows – Development is about 95% complete. We are targeting the end of April for the release of both versions – table top and computer. PDFs are yet to be determined.
- SCH Season Sets – Next up are a couple more seasons from the 70s, perhaps including a WHA season, maybe 73/74. Feedback indicates that the 70s are a top decade to cover.
- Dice United Season Sets– EPL and EFL Championship 2022/23 are always on the annual to-do list and we try to get those out in June or July. There are likely to be one or two classic seasons as well, but that has yet to be determined.
- LOB 2nd Edition (20th Anniversay Project) - Work resumes when Dice United is done. Target: July 2023
- LOB: Kings of the Ring: 2010s - Work will resume once LOB 2nd Edition is mostly settled. Target: August 2023
- Untitled Robot Battle Game (formerly Shrapnel): At this point, I'm getting more excited about designing this game "from the ground up", instead of using an open game license. None of the other systems I've studied thus far are really fast enough, nor solitaire-friendly. The design challenge is starting pull me in. A LOB-based model could be a lot of fun for this type of game.
Thanks for subscribing and following developments here at SMP.
Happy St. Patrick's Day to my distant Irish relatives!