Friday, August 19, 2016

Guest Review of Hawking Courier.

     Winchell Chung, Jr., who, in addition to being founder of my favorite website, Atomic Rockets, is the artist behind such SF gaming icons as the Annic Nova and the OGRE, has this to say about our latest offering:
Get yours now!

Review: Ships of the Galaxy: Hawking Courier
I've read a few Traveller ship supplements in my time, but this is something special.

Most such supplements are all the same. Deck plans, list of ship stats, brief description of each of the various rooms, short blurb about the ship's use. Maybe if you are lucky there will be a scenario or two.

While the Hawking Courier supplement has all that, it has two other items that caught my eye.

The first was some nice 3D orthogonal views. This is invaluable to get an idea of how the decks line up in real space. Conventional supplements just give you the overhead view and expect you to stack the levels in your head.

But the true gem is Mr. Slider.
Who is Slider you ask? Well, the supplement is actually a file captured in a Cluster fleet raid on a pirate haven asteroid. It started out as a dossier on Hawking class couriers. But some pirate named Slider annotated the file with handy hints and warnings for any pirates who are attempting to capture one of these ships.

These notes were written with the typical +Rob Garitta eye towards details and implications we have come to expect from his Twilight of the GM blog. Most of Slider's observations are non-obvious but blindingly clear once they are pointed out (you'll be doing a lot of "why didn't I think of that?").
They are not just pirate tactics, some are common booby traps Hawking ship captains install in self defense. All the notes are invaluable for a game master who wants ideas and inspirations to make their player's lives more entertaining.

     High praise indeed.  I'm proud to have helped bring this book to life.  Again, you can get it here.

You can get it for free here.

Friday, August 12, 2016

New Book Coming Out!

     Again, it's the end of the week, RocketFans, and this is the only post we're making.  However, this week it's because we have a new book coming out Monday and have to hustle to get everything ready for publication.

     This book is diferent from our other offerings for a couple of reasons.  First, It's the first Blue Max Studios book to be written and drawn completely by someone else.  Rob Garitta, whom I've collaborated with many times before and recently got the coveted Atomic Rockets Seal of Approval, is the author and artist.  Secondly, this is the first book we've published under the Cepheus Engine, which is a 2D6 system compatible with  Classic SF games set in the Far Future.  You know the one.

    As for the layout and design, this book hearkens back to the earlier days of Blue Max Studios' publications, with the blue-on-blue, immersive narrative, and futuristic interior art.  But while the earlier books in our inventory had some few growing pains, editing and layout on this one has been fairly smooth by comparison.  It's easier on the other side of the learning curve, believe me.

     Anyway, this book will go like of the 15th, which is Monday, and be sold for $5.00.  Look forward to it.
     Now, I did manage to get one map done this week.  This is a Smuggler's Den/ Rebel Base.  Hope you enjoy!

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Starphin Treaty Frigate 027 Deck

     (sigh) Another week in which I've been too busy to make a proper post here at the Blue Max Studios blog.  Part of the reason is that I've been in the beginnings of editing and layout on Rob Garitta's first solo book, the Hawking Class Scout.  Expect this book to come out sometime between the tenth and fifteenth of the month.

     Another reason that I haven't posted just yet, is that I had this map to finish:

     This map is part of the new work I've been doing to provide top-quality maps for SF gaming.  I'm hoping to be able to provide these free and rely on my Patreon account for support.  As it stands, I'm still having to divide my time between this kind of work and more mundane chores.   But I'll keep making maps as often as I can.

     Anyway, this post is about the latest deck of our Starphin-class Treaty Frigate.  This is the 027 Deck:

     At first glance, the 027 Deck has features in common with the two decks above.  In the after compartment are a pair of escape pods and radiators for the second-stage capacitors to the upper pair of turbolasers.  The forward two bays are filled with pump machinery linked to the coolant reservoirs above.  The pair of pumps are monitored with a matching pair of monitor consoles. 

     In the forward central compartment we see something different. The Forward Gun Director station is located here, and is responsible for prioritizing targets and keeping track of the entire forward fire arc of the spacecraft.  The information gathered by the forward targeting array, which extends down to the 022 Deck, is first sorted and prioritized in the Gun Director room before being sent in a more organized fashion to the CIC below.  The responsibilities of a Gun Director are many and varied on any warship, but on a carrier - even a pocket carrier like the Starphin - the job become exponentially more difficult as the movements of a dozen friendly fighter craft must be tracked and accounted for when in battle.  Losing your starfighter forces to friendly fire is an embarrasing yet unfortunately frequent problem without expert fire control.

     I hope you enjoyed this week's maps and I look forward to making more.  In other news, my wife Debra and I are collaborating on a new project that I hope to announce sometime after the release of the Hawking.  I'm bursting with excitement about this new project, so If at all possible I'll announce it even sooner.  Anyway, I'm hoping to get some more posts out next week.  Until then, RocketFans!

Help me make you more awesome maps!