Beta Station!

I believe Daryl to be dead, consumed by the pint-sized monster he’s raising, but a couple months ago I sat down and finally finished writing out a complete set of rules for our project now long, long in the making:

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Along the way that’s become:

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Beta Station is a fast playing, casual exploration and sci-fi shoot ’em up boardgame. Take the part of a cavalier relic hunter in a derelict space station, searching for lost technology and fighting off hidden terrors and competing treasure seekers in an exciting tabletop adventure!

I’d been fighting the name change for a long time, but in producing this latest iteration and started to think about some future directions I decided it wasn’t worth risking trademark, legal, and search collisions over the Relic Hunter title. Seemingly nothing is camped out on the Beta Station name.

Yesterday I spent an early morning arts and crafts hour putting together a new prototype:

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Assembly was straightforward, though there is a fair amount of cutting just given the quantity of chits and tiles. For the next prototype I need to add cut line guides to both the chits and tiles. The former have none at the moment, so I basically just eyeballed it. The latter do but they get lost in the heavy black wall bleeds on some of the tiles. I also plan to add some doubled-over player markers, so you could use them as stand-ups rather than laying flat like all the chits.

Tom W has the prototype now, with strict instructions to guard it with his life. Hopefully him, Charles, whoever can get together and play some games without me in order to gauge the clarity of the rules writeup. Later this summer I hope to put together another set or two, playtest the rules writeup a bit, update on current manufacturing options and cost, and then get serious about plans for a small Kickstarter. Worse comes to worst, written rules were the last missing component to at least get the game out there as a print & play. The Beta Station prototype is indeed already available as such and I plan to have it remain so as part of drawing in people to the eventual Kickstarter.

Redcap’s Corner Update

Having been away all summer, last week was my first chance to head over and check out Redcap’s new location at 36th and Lancaster.  It must have been kind of bittersweet for the guys to move, having sunk all that work into updating the previous space.  It’s almost certainly for the best though, this is a much bigger venue.  Quick observations:

  • The retail space got a lot bigger, and they’ve filled it with all awesome stuff.  The 40k, Warhammer Fantasy, Warmachine, and Reaper/miscellaneous miniatures selections have gotten pretty large.  The boardgame selection has become very substantial.

    View down the length of the main space. That is indeed a wall of boardgames to the left. Out of sight are several bookcases of boardgames to the right…

    40k!

    Warmachine stock.

  • The main gaming space is as big as before.  There’s a large number of tables for cards and standard boardgames, plus a handful of double tables for miniatures and big boardgames.

    Yu-Gi-Oh!

  • The previous loft became two or three private rooms for role playing and miniatures.  I believe the guys are keeping these generally locked but available for regular groups looking for quieter space.
  • There’s now separate men’s and women’s bathrooms, each bigger and nicer than the old one.
  • They’ve both constructed and purchased a bunch of terrain.  There’s little reason to bring any for a typical night anymore.  Most of it is at least playable, and some of it’s actually really good.

Pile of terrain.

One of several bookcases filled with terrain.

One of the miniatures tables.

All in all, it’s pretty sweet to see the store seemingly doing well, there was a seemingly substantial crowd in there Sunday evening.