Coming home from my holiday, literally stuck on a service station on the M6, I got a phone call to sat the torrential rain had brought the office roof in, along with a huge amount of watery goodness. I’ve been clearing up and moving the saveable stock and stuff to another office. This will add to the delay in getting back onto the orders after my holiday, should be back on track by the end of the week, though. There might be a few snags (we’ll have to reprint lots of starter set cover inserts and there’ll be less book stock than before, water damage) but we’ll do our best.
Your cast has been hand picked, they have learned their lines, and know where and when they should be centre stage. The other cast is across the studio, looking just as ready to get going. The stage crew and cameramen are all ready to go. And… “Action!”
In 7TV your cast faces off against another in a hopefully nail-biting episode of action, drama and daring deeds. The measure of how well you’re doing is the amount of Plot Points you have to spend. Plot points are gained for cast members and for managing dramtic deeds during play. They are spent to make models perform, and perfom better, or to use exciting special effects and their star qualities. How you manage your plot points during an episode may determine who comes out on top.
Plot points in 2nd Edition are an amalgamation of the old 1st edition’s activation tokens and audience appreciation points. As part of the ethos of writing the new edition, I wanted to combine mechanics where possible so players didn’t have to keep track of as many things. Plot points can be represented in the game by just about anything small and generic – glass beads, pennies, teeth.
Plot points are carried forwards from turn to turn. If you don’t spend them all in your turn, you have a chance to spend them during your opponent’s turn. If you still haven’t spent them all, what you have left gets carried forwards to your next turn to add to what you’ll gain in that turn. And so on.
Gaining Plot Points
In order to spend you have to first receive. Players gain plot points in the following ways:
- Losing the initiative roll at the start of the episode
- A player advances the countdown by 2 cards instead of 1
- Countdown cards might win you plot points
- Models in your cast, more for Stars, less for Co-Stars, and less again for Extras
- Removing opposing Stars and Co-Stars from the game
- Using your Stars and Co-Stars to grab objective tokens and the maguffin
If you don’t win the initiative roll you get some plot points so you’re not helpless while your opponent takes his first turn. Advancing the countdown gives you less turns to play out your episode, but both sides gain plot points. Useful if you’re in a pinch, but remember the other side is also gaining out of it. Some countdown cards also may allow you to gain plot points.
Casts with lots of Extras gain lots of plot points, but the ratio gained by Stars and Co-Stars is better. Most likely your cast will have a mix of Stars, Co-Stars and Extras, but the plot point gain for each type of model has been carefully tuned so that a cast of all Stars can match up against a cast of mostly less capable but more numerous Extras.
Removing Stars and Co-Stars from play and grabbing objective tokens and the maguffin may gain you victory points at the end, which is handy to determine if you win. But in a lot of cases you’ll get an immediate gain of plot points as well. Which is handy as then you can be more effective during the actual episode.
Spending Plot Points
You can spend plot points to do all kinds of things. The trick here is to manage your limited amount carefully and make the right decisions. You can spend your plot points to:
- Activate a model or a unit of models
- Make a more effective fight or shoot attack, or statistic roll
- Use a model’s star quality or unexplained special effect
- Play a gadget card
- Attempt a better defence roll during your opponent’s turn
Models almost always require plot points to activate, otherwise it’s assumed the cameramen are away shooting someone else hogging all the screen time. Units require more plot points to activate, but in the end you get to activate more models per point, at a cost of tactical flexibility – the unit has to stick together on the table.
Some models can make quite capable attacks, Co-Stars and Stars even more so. All models can sometime benefit from more effort, so if you put plot points into a strike roll the chance of success goes up. Luckily the attacker always gets to see what the opponent has rolled in their defence first before commiting whether to spend any plot points or not on their strike rolls. If you need to make an important statistic roll (like to keep your cast together if they get axed!) you might want to bolster this with plot points as well.
Some models get Star Qualities, potent effects they can use once per turn, and some get unexplained special effects like Invulnerable or Ghost. Both of these require plot points to work, as they are significantly more powerful than the rest of the special effects. An Invulnerable model could theoretically shrug off a huge amount of incoming shots, but the cost in plot points will be high.
Gadget cards have a listed plot point cost, in some cases this will be 0 for minor gadgets, but more powerful ones will require plot points to be expended before they can be used. Gadget cards don’t count against the other actions a model can take in one turn, so they can be quite useful in the right situation.
You will probably need to keep some plot points for use in your opponent’s turn to use to add to your defence rolls. If you have run out, you’ll just have to rely on luck to a large degree to avoid losses. If you have loads remaining you might be lucky and get through their turn mostly unscathed.
Balancing Use of Plot Points
Plot points really are the single mechanic which ties the whole game together. Yes, you probably can get to use every model in your cast every single turn, but will they be able to do anything effectively? Would you be better concentrating your efforts on one side of the table, and using the spare plot points to get more accurate strike rolls and better defence rolls?
Can you ‘under spend’ compared to your opponent? Using a Star to take shots at important Extras might force your opponent to use their plot points at a faster rate than you. Or will your opponent choose to sacrifice “Unlucky” Bob the Minion to allow them to get more action in during their own next turn?
If your cast relies heavily on their unexplained or special effects or star qualities are you going to have enough plot points to activate who you need to and still be able tho use those special effects? If you decide to hang back and not take the fight to your opponent be aware that they might be collecting plot points for grabbing objectives, and gaining potential episode-winning victory points as well.
Plot points force tough choices, which is exactly what a wargame should be all about. The choice you have right now is to download the free beta test rules and who to play some games with…
Graeme is on holiday from Thursday 9th to Friday 17th July, in the hopefully delightful Forest of Dean. We have booked a gingerbread cottage with a liquorice roof. Yum yum. Last orders for posting out before he goes will be end of TUE 7th. Normal service will resume MON 20th. If you order inside those dates it’ll sit until he gets back. Karl will be in charge of everything else, which should still run as normal.
I’m going to post some news on a regular basis about the 2nd Edition – info on the changes, rules, contents as well as new rules and PDFs to let you use EVEN MORE models in the game. Phew. Today it’s the profile cards…
One of the most obvious things we’ve done in 2nd Edition is to put the model profiles onto cards for ease of reference during play. There’s over 120 different cards for the models, vehicles and units in the core rules. All are available in the free 2nd Edition PDF (45 pages of the 90 page PDF are pages of profile, gadget and countdown cards!), but later on you’ll also be able to buy the cards as a fully printed deck if the thought of a lot of cutting out is a bit much.
Each card has all the info on affiliation (hero/villain or neutral), genre, ratings, stats, attacks and special rules for one model type. So what does this amazing card look like?
The back (not shown) lists each special effect and star quality, along with their rules.
So… why did we go for cards?
Well, it’s incredibly handy to have all the rules you need right there. The old roster sheet is fine (and the new rules also have one you can use of you prefer), but notably don’t have the room to list the rules for each special effect. We’ve cut down the numbers of special effects each model has, but if you’re playing with a lot of diverse models, it’s still a lot of info. With the cards, the info is right there.
The cards don’t need sleeved, but if you print them on paper you might want to for durability. If you sleeve them you can record hits taken on the Health circles bottom middle of the card, or you can note these with tokens as in the 1st edition. The cards come 4 to an A4 page, so you can even just print out the ones you need for any game.
The vehicle cards have a simpler format, as they have less stats and no weapons to keep track of. Units also have cards, each one details the models you can include in any one unit.
Going the cards route does throw up a few issues regarding modifying profiles. There are experimental rules on tweaking the Stars and Co-Stars, change x for y ratings etc. Since the Stars and Co-Stars are fixed profiles on the cards you’ll have to detail these creations on either a blank card (we’ll give you these) or write them down on a roster sheet.
The Extras come as fixed profiles for fixed points. Some (e.g. Minions, Cultists) might have weapon options (Pistol, Rifle, SMG) but now the ranges and effects of these weapons have been adjusted so one shouldn’t be more powerful than the other, they’re just good at different things.
So for example, Minions are 2 ratings each (or 3 for 5 ratings), and come with a cosh and either a pistol, rifle or SMG. No options for grenades, and if you want a Dog Handler or Commander then that’s a different card.
And that’s the cards!
After loads of hard work writing, playtesting and laying out files and web pages, we finally get it together, and now YOU can download the epic work that is the 2nd Edition of 7TV. If you click on the tab (above) you can access 3 pages which detail the what and they why of the game, proposed release schedule, latest news, and the all important download link. We’re inviting feedback, so please let us know what you think, especially in the light of playing it yourselves. We think it’s pretty great, but we’d love to know what you think! Enjoy! G&K.
This is big news! Our crack team of playtesters have been weaned off their crack addictions long enough to give us feedback from the earliest version, which was simply ‘rock, paper, scissors’ with knives. Now it’s looking like an action packed game of top 7TV action. We’ll launch this as a downloadable PDF on 1st July, so you can go get it, download and print it out and get some games in. The flip side is we’d like feedback on it. More news later. Meanwhile we’re getting the last of the revisions and some new 2nd edition pages ready to go up here. More later!
The first 4 of (eventually) 24 Stars and Co-Star models suitable for 7TV have been released. You can get the Action Hero and Tomorrow Person Stars, and the Crackpot Inventor and Strongarm Co-Stars here. Don’t forget we still have our great Summer Sale going on, if you want a rules or accessory bargain.
Argomania has gripped Crooked Towers this month! We have eight new miniatures: two packs of three Mk2 Argonauts (Deal One) and (Deal Two) armed with rifles and two unarmed versions (Deal Three). All come with a choice of two heads. Speaking of heads we also have two new sprues – SAS Gasmask and Helmeted Soldiers – perfect for X-Commando conversions. And speaking of conversions, we also have six new Argonaut Mk3 Weapon Arms available for the bigger resin Mk3 Argonauts to make these bronze behemoths even more dangerous!
NOTE!: Argonaut Mk2 Deal One & Two are expected in Store Monday 4th May – orders for these will be held until they get here. Minor stock adjustments underway…
Our Summer 2015 Sale is live! Now is the time to fill any gaps in your 7TV, 7ombieTV and 7th Voyage collections! We are offering a huge amount of our books and accessories at between 25% and 75% off, right now, while stocks last. Some of these items will NOT be restocked, so once they’re gone, they’re gone! All funds raised will get added to the money we made from all that church roof lead we stole and get used for new Crooked products later this year! We call it “Give Now, Give Later!”.
This month we release the Army Section – a Dependable Deputy plus a stalwart Corporal, and two Scientific Advisors. Our 7ombieTV book Vlad’s Army and the corresponding Cards are also 25% off this month. All available at Salute or over the internet. If you want to collect an order at Salute, either email us with what you want and pay on the day, or order it and we’ll refund you the postage, and you collect on the day.
Inch High Spy-Fi! 7TV is our 28mm skirmish wargame set in the bygone age of the 1960s-70s. Build your own cast or play with one of ours, save the world or dominate it – all before bedtime.
Can you survive 80s horror move action with 7ombieTV? Lead a cast of disparate survivors, or take control of the shambling zombie horde, as you try to make it through the night.
Stop-motion monsters of myth clash with epic heroes in 7th Voyage! Strive to ensure your name is remembered as you undertake tasks of the Gods and face deadly perils.