Ramshackle Games has released The Tome of Tridlins, a major update to their Nuclear Renaissance game.
From the update:
After much time play testing and laying out, Ramshackle Games is ready to release The Tome of Tridlins. This is a supplement for the game Nuclear Renaissance that really completes the game. The core game rules can be downloaded for free from the Ramshackle website or a printed version can be had from the web store. The Tome of Tridlins adds much more detailed gang design rules, along with a full campaign system and more background.
Nuclear Renaissance is a post apocalyptic themed, turn based, table-top strategy game.
It uses 28mm figures and vehicles. Players play a gang of hardened fighters, pitting themselves against others in the wastelands of the future.
The main aspects of playing Nuclear Renaissance that sets it apart from other games are that it is great for multiple players and that the gang creation rules are really versatile.
The multi player aspect of the game makes it great for gaming groups. Three player games are easily handled, while even five or six players can get through a game in three hours or so. The rules are really designed so that any sized gaming group can have fun together without feeling that the person to go last is at a disadvantage, or that one player has to get left out. The game is biased towards playing campaigns, where players develop their gangs. The new book, the Tome of Tridlins, gives full rules for playing campaigns. This means that players can always get a game in a campaign even if only three people show up for a gaming night! What this comes down to is that gaming groups can easily fit the game around the players that show up and the boards that are available, rather than the other way around.
The gang creation rules were made with the idea of letting players play any type of gang that fits their fancy. Players can choose to play biker gangs, zombie hordes, all animal beast packs (monsters included), bands of mutants, robot death squads and even military conclaves. Players can even mix them all up, to have robot driven battle trucks packed full of mutants, zombies and wild animals with a mighty hero in charge! Vehicles are fully integrated into the game play and there are comprehensive but simple rules for designing ones that suit your gang. Within the gang design rules, players are set very few limitations. There are hundreds of options for making really unique forces. This complexity is condensed down onto simple gang rosters that can easily hold all the information you need to play with, without having masses of notes, counters, cards and other paraphernalia.
The problem with having very open gang design is keeping the game balanced. After six years of testing, the final result balances player gangs in a number of ways. The first is a points system, where each player is given a set amount to spend building their gangs. In campaigns the players are awarded more points as they play more games but the campaign system keeps players who miss gaming nights in the loop. Its easy to catch up, even if you lose! The second way to balance the game is that more power leads to less versatility. Power hungry “one man armies” don’t get many tactical options and are often left waiting while the other players take their turns with larger gangs. The game works with players alternately activating characters, so gangs with the average ten or so members keep playing throughout a turn.
The game is aimed at players who want a new gaming system, nothing too complex to learn but with a lot of options. The game features solid mechanics and balance, which means that its robust enough to play well, but loose enough to let players use their imaginations. Power gamers can indulge their lust for super armoured laser cannon wielding death knights mounted on super bikes but will find that the other players in their gaming group will have the flexibility to constantly undermine their power gaming tactics. On the other hand, players who want to concentrate more on the theme of their gang will find that its easy to build forces that are powerful but have plenty of room for idiosyncrasies and whimsey!