Blue Shift Unveiled

Discuss Mongoose miniatures game here, including Mighty Armies, Gangs of Mega-City One, and Battlefield Evolution.
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More questions :)

Postby Dave Chase » Fri Jun 22, 2012 5:40 pm

Playtesters?

Solo mission play?

Price range of the starter box/set, weapons/accesories packs, individual fighters?
(Of if you don't have set price yet, can you give us a range give or take a bit)

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Re: Blue Shift Unveiled

Postby GamerDude » Fri Jun 22, 2012 10:11 pm

Is it me or.. I just love the logo?

Fresh, clean,sharp, simple...

um, but strikes me as more for something "Blue Planet"
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Re: Blue Shift Unveiled

Postby JRoss » Sun Jun 24, 2012 9:36 pm

This just may be the game to get me into miniature wargaming.
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Re: Blue Shift Unveiled

Postby Old timer » Mon Jul 02, 2012 11:21 am

Are we allowed to discuss this games play testing here?
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Re: Blue Shift Unveiled

Postby msprange » Mon Jul 02, 2012 1:50 pm

You would be welcome to!
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Re: Blue Shift Unveiled

Postby Old timer » Mon Jul 02, 2012 2:48 pm

Excellent, i will post up my views on this games play testing in a little while, i will try not to be too 'gushing' in my praise of this game (Yep, i like it a lot :) )
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Re: Blue Shift Unveiled

Postby Captain Jonah » Mon Jul 02, 2012 3:05 pm

Gush away.

Just keep a mop handy becasue if there is too much gushing going on you will upset those of us who don't get to play with the rules yet :roll:
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Re: Blue Shift Unveiled

Postby Old timer » Mon Jul 02, 2012 4:10 pm

Right then, with permission from great and good M Sprange (a little flattery hurts no one :D ) and will gush forth my impressions of this game after a few weekends of play testing.
I am not much of a miniature war gamer, i role play far more than i war game, but this one has me hooked. It is easy set of rules to learn (understood the basic rules in less than an hours reading), plays fast (well against most people :) ) and you have plenty of choice on fighter, weapons and equipment. All the fighters, ok well some of them, have their strengths, even if it just they are cheap, and the key to this game seems to be to get the mix of craft and equipment right for the missions you will face.
A turn in this game is simple, both sides roll for initiative, highest chooses to move first or second and each player moves one craft then gets to fire its weapons if a target is available. It become pretty obvious that the side with the most fighter on the table will have an initial advantage, but one that is easily lost once ships start exploding (my ships did that a lot). Ships have three move rates, slow, medium, fast and a turn rating at each speed.
The way weapons and damage work is nice and simple, roll to hit, and then roll damage dice and compare to ships armour, if equal, superficial damage, if higher heavy damage, no hull/shields to worry about. The damage effects a system rolled randomly. If a system takes another heavy to the same location/system, it become a critical, and if hit again for a heavy, that is usually the end of the fighter (ejector seats really help here if you want to preserve a good pilot)
Terrain is important, especially avoiding crashing into it, asteroids make a mess of fighters as one of my opponents found out :)
Fighters can try to dodge incoming fire from guns, and ECM/decoy (if so equipped) missiles and a good pilot helps here. Fighters also have special moves that can all be very useful, and there is a neat little move trick in the game that i really should of tried.
The rules on tailing are nice and give a good dog fight feel to the game (Tailed craft are forced to move first and being tailed gives a bonus to attacks against your craft).
We also played the campaign rules, which are straight forward, build a squadron of at least one ship with the start money, using the money to buy ships, pilots and gear (25,000 in the case of play testing), roll for the mission, and then bid for it. Lowest bidder gets the job, and other players can challenge it. The challenger rolls his own mission to complete, and off you go. This bit of the game has some interesting tactics develop, which really hurt two certain greedy players who thought expensive, heavy fighters with masses of gear and weapons was better.
Money earned (assuming your complete your objectives) is spent on maintenance, pilot salaries, re equipping and other such things.
The game is great as a pick up and play game, and has plenty of potential in campaign play as well.

So it that one mop or two for the gushing :)

(This must be one of my longest posts on this forum, and i could easily write more)
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Re: More questions :)

Postby msprange » Mon Jul 02, 2012 6:22 pm

Dave Chase wrote: Solo mission play?
Wasn't planning on it, until...

In the last playtest session here at Mongoose HQ, two players had finished a game and there was just a few asteroids and one fighter left ont he table.

'Hey,' said one player. 'If we pretended the fighter had its thrusters damaged so it could only turn in place, we could play Asteroids!'

I might just write that scenario :) Not one for the rulebook, but as a little bit of fun...
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Re: Blue Shift Unveiled

Postby Dave Chase » Mon Jul 02, 2012 7:06 pm

Any room for more playtesters?

And thanks for the general overview of the game, old timer. :)

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Re: Blue Shift Unveiled

Postby Captain Jonah » Tue Jul 03, 2012 8:42 am

Sounds like a two mop gush there. It went all over the place :wink:

Glad you are enjoying it as that is a very good sign, if the play testers are having that much fun at this stage its going to be good.

Some other old timers will remember the Renegade Legion fighter game which was somewhat like this, you got hit and bits fell off till something fell off you couldn't live without :lol:

Mind you this sounds like a classic case of a good mini game with a great campaign background that should spawn an RPG as well. The idea of handfuls of mercenary fighter squadrons battling for what resources are left in a sector that has been strip mined and abandoned by the big corporations and powers has a nice gritty feel to it.

Your miners and scouts find a small mine and move in to exploit it. Fighters run cap to guard it, ground troops in vacc suits hold the asteroid/moon/world long enough to grab the valuables and go.

Long abandoned corporate bases, mines, cities to loot for anything that has been left behind and undiscovered.

Other peoples mining/salvage/looting operations to drive off so you can claim the valuables.

There will need to be ground bases, shuttles, transports and small or medium freighters to be defended/attacked. Lots of possibilities when you are guarding or attacking a mine or escorting troop transports in or freighters full of loot out or trying to stop the other players doing that.

So get back to play testing, get this one sorted so the rest of us can see it and join in the fun.

Then, of course, we will want the background and campaign guide and the RPG section for staging traveller games in this verse :lol:
Traveller: Nonsense, those rumours about me and crashes, no truth in them at all. I never had a landing I didn't walk away from!

ACTA-SF: Who are we, GORN. What do we want, Cruisers that can turn.... Wait, OK Escorts... Wait. I'll get back to you !
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Re: More questions :)

Postby lastbesthope » Tue Jul 03, 2012 4:51 pm

msprange wrote:
'Hey,' said one player. 'If we pretended the fighter had its thrusters damaged so it could only turn in place, we could play Asteroids!'

I might just write that scenario :) Not one for the rulebook, but as a little bit of fun...
but IIRC Asteroids had forward and reverse thrust and "hyperspace jump" not just turn in place.

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Re: Blue Shift Unveiled

Postby August1 » Wed Aug 08, 2012 10:02 pm

And there's LBH, bringing Logic to a Joke fight. :)

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Re: Blue Shift Unveiled

Postby Ssendam » Fri Aug 10, 2012 10:48 am

Sounds interesting, might be one to get involved with from inception, (I always join the popular stuff too late).

One question though: What scale are the figures? Normally it doesn't really matter but I did notice the game is linked to Reality TEch which will be a 6mm scale game if I'm not mistaken? I suppose I'm wondering if it's a case of the same universe or the craft can be used in a ground attack role for the TT game? (ok, that was probably more than one question :) )
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Re: Blue Shift Unveiled

Postby msprange » Fri Aug 10, 2012 12:12 pm

Same universe. We _did_ look at doing them in the same scale but Blue Shift is all about the fighters and their equipment, so they needed to be larger and more detailed.
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Re: Blue Shift Unveiled

Postby GamerDude » Fri Aug 10, 2012 4:32 pm

msprange wrote:Same universe. We _did_ look at doing them in the same scale but Blue Shift is all about the fighters and their equipment, so they needed to be larger and more detailed.
Wait... if these are going to be "larger and more detailed" what size is my Death Star* gonna have to be to recreate the "Battle of the Ewoks"?*




*NOTE: Death Star and Ewoks (as lame as Ewoks were and are) are the property of Lucasfilm Limited, copyright probably a dozen different times. No attempt has been made to challenge or violate said copyright and all terms are used here in a humorous point making fashion which could result in a tiny bit more advertising for the Lucasfilm Money Making MachineTM We hope you enjoyed the joke, and pray that his Grand Master Jedi George Lucas, in all that is galactic and beardly about him, gets the humor and doesn't sue us.
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Re: Blue Shift Unveiled

Postby Minion » Sat Aug 11, 2012 5:52 am

Hi all!

I've signed up to these message boards because I wanted to get involved here with Blue Shift. I realise it's early days, but the previews on Planet Mongoose are getting me excited. A great space dogfighting wargame is basically my holy grail of tabletop gaming -- ever since Wing Commander, Privateer and Starlancer I've been searching for it. I've never found anything that hits the target perfectly, but Blue Shift looks very promising.

The proof, of course, is in the actual ruleset, but what I'm seeing in the previews suggests that the Mongoose folks are aiming for exactly the style of thing I've been after all these years. The problem I've run into time and again is that rules designed to play up jockeying for position (pre-planned movement, for example) end up slowing down play so it turns into a thinking game, rather than an acting game. Dogfighting, in my opinion, should be fast!

In the interests of asking something constructive, could someone give us a sense of the size of an individual fighter miniature? An inch long? Five?

Anyway, yeah, colour me excited!
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Re: Blue Shift Unveiled

Postby msprange » Sat Aug 11, 2012 10:11 am

Minion wrote: The proof, of course, is in the actual ruleset, but what I'm seeing in the previews suggests that the Mongoose folks are aiming for exactly the style of thing I've been after all these years. The problem I've run into time and again is that rules designed to play up jockeying for position (pre-planned movement, for example) end up slowing down play so it turns into a thinking game, rather than an acting game. Dogfighting, in my opinion, should be fast!
We agree completely. It is the Official Mongoose Position that dogfighting games should not be using pre-plotted movement. Blue Shift is all about seat-of-your-pants flying, with fighters diving in, strafing an enemy, then jetting away as quickly as possible. We have been working hard to keep the rules fast, so the average turn can be done in a minute or two. Basically, you pick which fighter to use, and then it is move, then fire. Roll a few dice, next fighter, move and fire.

The trick, however, is how we have layered in tactics. Getting on an enemy's six is always advantageous, of course, but it also affects which fighters can be moved. You can use tailing (and recon pods/fighters, for that matter) to force an enemy to move even when it is your turn to activate a fighter. So, in theory, you could force every enemy to move first before anything in your own squadron has to move (very unlikely - but possible). Masters of this game will be the ones who know which fighter to move, when to move them, and how to force your enemy into doing something he does not want to do.

Bit like real dogfights, really :)

You will also have a wide (and ever expanding, as the game goes on) range of cool weapons and 'gadgets.' Missiles are very common and very powerful, but can be countered. Ballistic and energy weapons cannot be countered but, given the speed and agility of fighters, you need to get up close and personal for them to have an affect.

Then you get things like dual-cockpit upgrades, alien tech, countermeasures, gun pods, auixiliary control thrusters, additional ceramite plating, holo-generators, solid fuel boosters... the list goes on!

And that is before you get to the campaign system. Your fighters and pilots can be developed over time but, as a mercenary leader, you will have to be as much a businessman as combat pilot - in playtests thus far, most squadrons fail not by being blown out of the sky but by not paying their bills!

We are already creating new fighters and weapons beyond those that will appear in the initial box set, along with 'established' mercenary squadrons of the Nethersky that should give you something to aspire to.

Originally due for release in September, we are running playtests for another couple of months to lock everything down on the campaign side, and also to ensure we have lots of lovely models in various mercenary paint schemes to showcase what is possible.

Expect this as a pre-Christmas launch - it is going to be a good 'un!
Minion wrote: In the interests of asking something constructive, could someone give us a sense of the size of an individual fighter miniature? An inch long? Five?
Around 3-4" long - detailed enough that you will be clipping on individual weapons, so you can see what each craft is really armed with!

We have also toyed around with the idea of resin transports and corvettes, basically big ships - but that will be a next year thing, if indeed we feel their presence would be beneficial in the game. It should be all about the fighters, after all.
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Re: Blue Shift Unveiled

Postby Minion » Sat Aug 11, 2012 1:05 pm

Thanks for the speedy response, Matt. It's usually my policy to lurk quietly until games are actually released, so I guess it's a sign of my interest that I'm here now!
msprange wrote:The trick, however, is how we have layered in tactics. Getting on an enemy's six is always advantageous, of course, but it also affects which fighters can be moved. You can use tailing (and recon pods/fighters, for that matter) to force an enemy to move even when it is your turn to activate a fighter. So, in theory, you could force every enemy to move first before anything in your own squadron has to move (very unlikely - but possible). Masters of this game will be the ones who know which fighter to move, when to move them, and how to force your enemy into doing something he does not want to do.
Yup, this system for forcing enemy fighters to activate sounds very promising to me. I'm eager to see it in action. If you're choosing not to go with pre-plotted movement (which is definitely the choice I'd make), you really need something beyond simple alternating activations to keep the manoeuvring interesting, and tense. I always wanted to try some sort of bidding mechanic, probably with a deck of cards, but I was worried it'd slow things down again.

Is there any system for pairing fighters, for wingmen and flying escort missions?
You will also have a wide (and ever expanding, as the game goes on) range of cool weapons and 'gadgets.' Missiles are very common and very powerful, but can be countered.
Oh, that reminds me of another thing I wanted to ask: how are missiles tracked on the tabletop? Counters offer the obvious benefit of cool visuals and maybe clever manoeuvring (leading missiles into asteroid fields, etc), but at the expense of clutter. And possibly speed, if there are dozens of missiles zooming about, locked on to different targets. Are you able to say something about how you've struck that balance?
Then you get things like dual-cockpit upgrades, alien tech, countermeasures, gun pods, auixiliary control thrusters, additional ceramite plating, holo-generators, solid fuel boosters... the list goes on!

And that is before you get to the campaign system. Your fighters and pilots can be developed over time but, as a mercenary leader, you will have to be as much a businessman as combat pilot - in playtests thus far, most squadrons fail not by being blown out of the sky but by not paying their bills!
And speaking as a huge fan of Wing Commander: Privateer, these two aspects -- customisation and a campaign system -- are very, very appealing!
Around 3-4" long - detailed enough that you will be clipping on individual weapons, so you can see what each craft is really armed with!
Works for me. The model renders on the Planet Mongoose posts look really promising. I'm excited to see how they turn out!
We have also toyed around with the idea of resin transports and corvettes, basically big ships - but that will be a next year thing, if indeed we feel their presence would be beneficial in the game. It should be all about the fighters, after all.
I have an enduring memory of a particularly cool mission in Starlancer, where your fighters were scrambled because an enemy carrier had suddenly appeared dangerously close. The two carriers were pouring torpedo fire down on each other, and the fighters were scrambling to screen friendly torpedoes, shoot down enemy torpedoes, and knock out the occasional bomber that managed to launch.

All of which is leading up to me saying that I always sort of considered big ships -- carriers and so forth -- to essentially be terrain as far as the fighters were concerned. Some bigger ships for escort missions and bombing runs are always fun, but for the really big stuff it could just be a portion, or a side, of the board. Depending on the scale of those ships in your setting, I suppose. If I recall correctly, that was the route Crimson Skies (the original tabletop version) took.
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Re: Blue Shift Unveiled

Postby locarno24 » Thu Aug 23, 2012 10:48 am

Cargo mules as target practice must be done!
I have an enduring memory of a particularly cool mission in Starlancer, where your fighters were scrambled because an enemy carrier had suddenly appeared dangerously close. The two carriers were pouring torpedo fire down on each other, and the fighters were scrambling to screen friendly torpedoes, shoot down enemy torpedoes, and knock out the occasional bomber that managed to launch.
Same here. Having a carrier model would be cool, but if the fighters are going to be bigger than a lot of ACTA ships, a carrier is going to be ridiculously huge.

What might be reasonable as a scenario is to have the two long board edges be the carriers! Have an abstract rule for the damage they inflict on one another with their main guns, allow people to land and rearm, have an area of flak coverage from the ship's batteries near your edge and a (random) chance of getting caught in fire by ship-to-ship guns between them. You might have a model/counter for a torpedo spread for people to intercept and shoot down, and first carrier to die loses!
Understand that I'm not advocating violence.
I'm just saying that it's highly effective and I strongly recommend using it.

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