Base Camp, November 2022

Base Camp, November 2022
Base Camp Newsletter, Nov 2022

Adapting to the New Normal

It appears that the commercial print industry has changed for the foreseeable future.  What we thought were just temporary supply-chain gaps from the pandemic are now proving to be a new paradigm. Across-the-board inflation and supply-chain issues are conspiring against small volume producers like me. So I am looking at ways to adapt my business model. A couple options include:

  • More PDF products, limited print runs:
    At this point, it appears doubtful that we will be able to continue to have our charts printed on the current thickness (16-pt card stock). Supply is running out nationally. My shop says they can't get it from their wholesalers anymore.  Going to thicker card stock is not an option with my current print shop either due to the limits of their machines. Meanwhile, paper prices have skyrocketed, including shipping, as you know all too well.  Recent sales has shown a marked increase in PDF over hard copy. So in the new model, PDF releases would come first. Hard copy print runs could be done via a pre-order campaigns. This ensures that those who really want a physical copy can support the effort up front and it helps to alleviate stocking (and overstocking) issues in my small office space.  
  • Outsourcing print editions and order fulfillment altogether:
    I am exploring a couple scenarios in which I handoff the physical printing, stocking, and order fulfillment aspect of the business. In this scenario, I would gain time and space, which would allow me to better focus on production and design of more stuff; more seasons; other games. PDF versions would still be available through the SMP Shop on our website the same as today.

Also, computer versions of our games are a growing factor as we look ahead. Thus, we are considering methods to serve both PDF and computer product lines in a more efficient manner. This will include a new PDF team card layout for SCH that has four team cards per page. This layout works for both American letterhead as well as European A4 and it will allow us to expand the catalog of seasons much more quickly. These cards will be slightly smaller, but are closely modelled on the commercial version previously produced in Affinity Publisher.

I just want to affirm, table top games are the type of games I enjoy playing and designing. That is the joy that I take out of this endeavor. The day I cannot produce hard copy versions of my games is the day that I get out of this business. It may be getting tougher, but I want to do this for another eight to ten years.

So I hope you can bear with me as we try to figure out the path forward. For now, it feels like SMP is doing the "rope-a-dope" in hopes that the commercial print industry corrects itself someday. In the meantime, many of you will be happy about the increase our volume of releases when this transition phase is settled.

A couple of items have been brought to our attention recently:

  • Stone Cold Hockey: On the Puck Battle Chart, OT column, the number 87 should be 89. Therefore, the "Crash the Net" result will have a corrected range of 78-89.
  • SCH 1990/91 set, Print and PDF: The following cards were missing FM ranges for these players.
     New Jersey, Allan Stewart
     Calgary, Ron Stern
     Detroit, Joe Kocur
    These cards will be recalculated, reprinted, and mailed-out to those who purchased this set. The turnaround on the reprints is currently two to three weeks. Customers will also receive a corrected PDF copy via email later this week.  (Note: PC game version has already fixed these issues)

Dice United Ratings Guide 


This PDF-only release features over 20 pages and more than 30 tables of supplemental material for expanding your Dice United experience!  Create your favorite teams and seasons from stats, or generate unlimited teams to fill your own fictional sports world. Also included, there is a system for conducting off-season cycles to sustain your league for decades. To get your copy click on the image below (it's linked to the online shop):

Elsewhere around the mountain:

  • GridZone Reloading...
    Work is now underway to get GridZone back on the market.  The changes will mostly be aesthetic, including an easier to read chart book and a return to the formation team sheets. We tried the team cards; didn't like it, so now is the time to make the switch. We will also make a couple of subtle tweaks to the Action charts - yet to be determined. If all goes well, it will be back in stock before the end of the year.  

    This also seems like a good time to revisit Classic GridZone – a basic version of the game based on the original (2013... Has it been THAT long already?). This version referenced only one key player for each action result and featured random ball-handler distribution on the team sheets. If I decide to go through with it, this may go up for pre-order next month.
  • Dice United sets: MLS2022 and World Cup 2022. Target: January 2023
  • LOB20 and Kings of the Ring 2010s. Target: Summer 2023
  • Shrapnel: Early development stage for our robot battle game, based on the Modiphius 2d20 system reference document

Holiday Discount!

Save 20% on all orders over $30 until December 1st

Use Coupon Code:  SMP4CHRISTMAS at checkout.

If you have been thinking about getting into Stone Cold Hockey or Dice United, here is an unprecedented chance – our first ever sale!  Dice United core game inventory is low – only 8 copies in stock – so don't wait too long. Supplies are quite limited on several other season sets too.

Thanks for subscribing! We wish you a Happy Thanksgiving and hopefully even some time to relax with family – or perhaps after they're gone!