It should always be nap time, at least according to Thor the cat.

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Been building some stuff in minecraft lately, on a server my brother runs.

Found a zombie spawner at about ground level, so I've built this ruined giant corpse around it to dress up my farming operation.

And the last, most dramatic shot of the night: M42, the Orion Nebula. My favorite deep sky object to photograph, and my best shot yet of it.

One of my favorite deep sky targets, the Pleiades, seen with some of their surrounding interstellar dust.

Spent this weekend doing some . It was a rare, clear, calm, moonless night in the winter, and the results are perhaps my best ever deep sky shots.

Perhaps most remarkable to me: this shot of the flame nebula, Orion's Belt, and a shooting star.

The particular interaction of archetype abilities with crew position moves is where some of the game’s magic happens, so that’s something I may talk about later (and I’ll be glad to answer any questions).

During the player turn, each player chooses a single move. This may be a crew position move, a general move (available to all characters during the engagement), or an action specific to their character archetype.

Only the character at a given crew position can use that position’s moves. Only the driver moves the tank. Only the gunner fires the cannon. Characters can change positions during the engagement; if someone else is already in the new position, they take the old position automatically.

At the start of each engagement, players choose their crew positions. These are chosen at each engagement so that players can pick a position their hand of cards is well stocked for, and to reduce player boredom and repetitive experiences. The chosen crew position determines where the character sits in the vehicle (which is important for figuring out how they might take damage from enemy fire), and gives them the move list for that position.

Let’s talk about what it means to be a tank crew member in my .

It means being part of a small team, each of whom has specific responsibilities. Here’s how it works in the game:

Each tank has space for five crew members in the following positions:

Driver (moves the tank)
Loader (selects ammunition and distributes resources)
Gunner (blows stuff up with the cannon)
Spotter (improves situational awareness)
Radio Operator (calls artillery support and uses the machine gun)

Spent the morning at the National Aviary today, and snapped this shot of a Stellar Sea Eagle, among many others.

Another benefit of changing the News cards in from random to pre-ordered: players won’t see News cards that disrupt normal procedures until later in play.

A few playtests saw News cards that messed with the Morale/Situation before players understood the normal procedures. This delayed learning and increased overall confusion.

Now that won’t happen, and the cards that create exceptions will FEEL like exceptions.

By book, I mean like 36-page board game rules document, because this thing has to go in a box and most of the rules are diagrams and are right on the play materials where you need them.

These changes all together accomplish three goals: they make the game faster to pick up and play for the 1st session, they increase the consistency of difficulty in the engagements, and introduce some shorter campaign options.

The original campaign style will be written up as an "advanced" option in the book, recommended for play after completing one of the regular campaigns. It will have the open-ended campaign questions, random News and Terrain, and semi-random enemy vehicles.

So I haven't posted about , my WW2 tank crew in a while. I'm hoping to use the holiday season to put some extra time in on development and get the campaign cards done for fresh playtests in the Spring.

The revisions I'm making:
1. Campaign setup questions are multiple choice (with a write-in option) instead of strictly open-ended.
2. Terrain is now pre-determined instead of strictly random.
3. News card order is stacked by campaign.
4. Multiple campaigns!

Every character is a fighter if you try hard enough.

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