Playtest Session #3: It Gets Personal

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Aug 202020

It’s the mix of military and personal missions that makes this game tick. One minute you’re trying to get your neck out from under the boot of a Portuguese crime lord (and replace it with your rival’s), the next you’re being held at gunpoint as a skirmish rages.

Martin Lloyd aka Volunteer Gentlemen John Lace

This week’s playtest was more of a normal session really – we’re testing a new format for missions to see how it feels upon completion and have started to look at the regiment rules and spitballing ways that they could be improved to make the Regiment (and moreover, the Company) more relevant to the game. I think this is one of the areas where D&H needs to get into step with more modern games ideas – whereas in the past just having a few pre-defined NPCs was innovative, now things like a Blades in the Dark crew mechanic are common place.

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 Posted by at 8:12 am

Playtest Session #2: A Matter of Odds

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Aug 122020

Last night’s session went very well indeed, with a lot of the rules questions being ironed out and only a few clarifications needed (see below). The real talking point of the session was powered by some amazing playtester work on probabilities earlier in the week and a deep discussion on the implications of the smaller hand sizes on Mission design.

You see, they failed the mission.

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 Posted by at 9:55 pm

Playtest Session #1: Questions, Questions!

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Aug 052020

And so, the playtest begins, and from the get-go, I can see the value of playtesting a game whose baseline assumptions are over ten years old. Duty & Honour was borne of the indie revolution of the mid-2000s and a lot of the core assumptions were … vague. In many ways, ideas like shared narrative and conflict resolution have moved into different modern places and this makes the admittedly wishy-washy way I handled it previously just too lose. There was also a little bit of ‘no author included’ going on; people who have played in one of my games see me run it and then do the same, but those that have not always find a new interpretation of the rules to bring to the table. So there was a lot to question as we went along.

Rather than write up a blow-by-blow of the action, I’ll just highlight some of the questions raised, especially around new mechanics.

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 Posted by at 1:51 pm

Once more unto the Peninsular

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Jul 312020

This has been a long time coming, but after a couple of alpha test runs out in the open at Contingency 2020, the full Duty & Honour Revised Edition (Second Edition, Waterloo Edition … I haven’t decided) private playtest has started.

The 103rd Duke of Monmouth Rangers have been dragged from their ceremonial duties and sent to Lisbon in the wake of the retreat from A Coruna. Amongst their number, the drunken Exploring officer Major McAllister has gathered a half company of men together to forage deep into Portugal and return intelligence on the French.

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 Posted by at 9:33 am

Gaming Sharpe: Sharpe’s Enemy

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Dec 082019


It’s December 1812 and Sharpe is tasked with the rescue of some important hostages who have been taken by a group of deserters. To make matters worse, one of the hostages in the wife of a senior officer (and a former flame of Sharpe), another is the wife of a French officer and one of the deserters is his nemesis, Hakeswill. Oh, and he has a troop of rockets as well… 

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 Posted by at 11:51 pm