Black Scorpion Pirates fight over wreckage

Open Combat Supplements and Accessories Update

It’s been a long time since I posted an update on the situation with the Open Combat supplements. So where are things at?

Open Combat Black Powder

I’m aiming to put the Black Powder supplement up for preorder in mid to late October 2020 for release in November 2020.

Black Scorpion Pirates fight over wreckage
Pirates fight over the spoils amid wreckage on a stormy coast. Black Scorpion miniatures and terrain from the private collection of Mike Jarvis.

In the same fashion as the Sword Masters supplement, Black Powder will be available in printed and PDF formats.

The Black Powder supplement introduces a number of entertaining new rules and weapons, some of these weapons involve templates. I’ll be including the templates as a PDF available to download from the Resources page of this website so players can print out and make their own for free. I’ll also be releasing the templates as an optional accessory if you prefer to buy them rather than use DIY templates.

Open Combat Battle Gauge prototype
Prototype of the Open Combat Battle Gauge combining all of the templates required in the Black Powder Supplement. Separate templates may also be available.

Along with rules for black powder weapons the supplement will also introduce new skills and abilities along with providing new scenarios to play.

With several of the weapons in the Black Powder supplement capable of rendering models dazed or stunned (such as choking fumes from a stink pot!) your models may lose Actions. Some leaders or trusted subordinates have the personality to urge their friends on in those difficult situations, to represent this one of the new abilities is Alert.

Influence ability: Alert

Numerous events can cause a fighter to become distracted, stunned or otherwise confused. At moments like this a shout or warning from a nearby comrade can alert them to danger and speed their recovery from their temporary daze.

This model can encourage, warn or otherwise berate a nearby model to try to remove the effects of losing one or more Actions.

Compare the MND of the model taking this action with the MND of the target model and make a Psychological Attack.

Range: 6”
Terrible Miss – Despite this models best efforts the attempt results in frustration as the target ignores their entreaties. Lose one action from this models next activation. Lose Initiative.
Minor Hit – Target model regains one lost action.
Solid Hit – Target model regains two lost actions.


Open Combat Multiplayer Supplement

Tentatively titled ‘Open Combat Battle Pits’, the Open Combat multiplayer supplement introduces rules for playing games with three or more players in a battlepit or arena style conflict.

The supplement introduces an alternative approach to turn sequencing and includes extra rules specific for games with three or more players.

There will also be guidance on using existing scenarios to play multiplayer games along with introducing new scenarios for arena style games.

I’m currently considering whether to release this as a physical book or to make it initially a PDF only release with a view to rolling it into a physical ‘omnibus’ book of several supplementary pieces in 2021.

The reason for this is that I have a selection of supplementary material that does not necessarily fit within any specific setting, period or genre or require enough pages to warrant a full book. I’d like to release these digitally as I get the production aspect of them completed to gradually build up enough material to form an omnibus if the interest exists to have a physical version.


Open Combat Magic Supplement

The Open Combat Magic supplement is going to be the main Open Combat release in 2021. This supplement will be released in both PDF and physical format at launch.

I’ve spoken about it to those of you I have met at shows over the years, and once the Black Powder supplement is finally released I can move onto the Magic supplement and give fantasy players several cool new tools to create warbands with.

One of my personal favourite aspects of the Magic supplement is the use of the MND and how that interacts with other aspects of Open Combat.

If you already play Open Combat you’ll know that the Break Point of a warband is based on the combined FOR and MND of your models. In the Magic supplement you will need to balance how much MND you want to sink into your spellcasters as they will be using it as a resource to cast spells. This then makes them important models for your Break Point.

But don’t worry, you won’t always have to batter your own Break Point when casting spells. There are power stones which can be bought as part of creating a warband which can be used in lieu of using a spellcasters own MND. Using charges from a power stone instead of spending MND to cast a spell won’t affect your Break Point, but relying on power stones can be risky. They can be stolen by the opposing warband!

The magic supplement also introduces the concept of enthralled minions. These are followers of a spellcaster who, in addition to being a potential protector can also be used as a resource by a magician needing to recover MND points previously spent casting spells. Normally a model can only recover MND or FOR by taking a Rest Action but an enthralled minion can take a rest action on behalf of their controller. We can imagine the spellcaster drawing energy from their minions to sustain their own magical powers.

Another aspect of the magic supplement I really enjoy is the ‘build your own’ system of creating magic items too but I’ll talk about this more next year.


Open Combat Accessories

If you’ve spoken to me at the various shows I’ve attended over the years you may have heard me discuss getting various accessories put together to support Open Combat. I’m finally sorting out getting them produced.

Over the coming months keep an eye out for:

  • An assortment of counters and tokens for various states/modifiers such as losing actions to Distract, ATK bonuses etc.
  • A customisable deck of cards. I’m still working out the practicalities of this one but essentially it’s a set of cards which allow you to modify the faces to suit the scenario you might be playing. Perfect for creating a draw deck for Retrieve the Prize scenario or a random Hazard generator.
  • Break Point Tracker.
  • Open Combat dice tray.
  • Plus a few other things I’ll talk about another time.

Second Thunder newsletter

That’s where things are at the moment. I’ll be getting the first issue of the Second Thunder Newsletter out soon. It’ll include a number of details relating to playing Open Combat solo. If you haven’t already signed up please subscribe.

Note: You’ll have to click on the confirmation email you get (and prove you’re not a robot) as I think the process is a double opt-in process. I think that’s how I’ve set it up – you’ll find out when you stick you email in!

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