Friday, 29 May 2015

#OVERRIDE: Time for a little chat

Greetings friends!

So I was hoping to be sharing with you the new build of Override including within it new gangs (Wraiths & Trydan) as well as new armour rules.

So yeah; that's not happening right away - but for good reasons!

So earlier this week Tom my collaborator dropped a massive bombshell in the form of a revision behind the dice mechanics behind melee combat. Due to logistics and booking issues we've yet to test these new rules, but via theorycraft we are hoping that the revision will make melee not only more interactive and dynamic but also more realistic of actual real world melee combat. Once you add in the pursuit rules as well we hope that we will have one of the best forms of melee engagements on the market (not that Override is on the market, but you know what I mean).

I'm hoping we can trial out these rules in the next couple of weeks so the new build shouldn't be too far away, I promise!


In other news; you may have noticed that the Wetware short story has now concluded with Part 7. I'd love to hear what you all thought.
Did you like the portrayal of the new group the Trydan?
What about 'Mantic Space?
Favourite character?
What about the reverse? Any characters you didn't like?

At some point I would like to write another story, maybe one that focuses on the Red Claw as they haven't been touched on much in terms of written fluff, but that is going to have to wait - writing Wetware really took a lot out of me and my creative writing juices just are not flowing right now.


Last week I made an appearance on friend of the blog @docbungle's podcast Flock & Awe where I had a great chat with the guys there about Override.

Once it is out I'll be sure to post up a link here to it. I think it was pretty good, even if I did rabbit and talk around the subject a lot. When you hear it you'll see what I mean. It wasn't me trying to avoid any questions or subjects, more the excitement I have for the game causing though trails to flip-flop all over the place as I try my best to cover the important points.

I'm hoping once the new build is put out me (& hopefully Tom) will be able to appear on a few other 'casts as well.


You'll be interested in knowing that my own models are at an annoying stand-still. I've got all but 1 model from my 1000Nt Gang built & under coated, just need to wash and paint but it's finding the time to sit down and do so. I'll try and at least wash them over this weekend so next week I can show off how awesome these proxies are.

I really think keeping the model selection as Open Source is the right way to go. The way both Tom & I see it; Corvus Belli make the best Sci Fi models in the business, and it would just seem stupid to build our own (ultimately not as good) and demand people use inferior models when there are perfectly suitable proxies available that I am sure everyone would use anyway.


While on a totally unrelated subject, over the past couple of weeks, a lot of my free time has been spent playing Remember Me, a game by Capcom set in the near-ish future where memories have been digitised and treated very much as a currency (think Total Recall, only being able to sell off your own memories as well as buy new ones).

If anyone enjoyed the Wetware story I would super advise giving this game a try. Remember how the world is described when being linked to a deck and having a 'Mantic Overlay? That's pretty much how the game appears - of course I had no idea of this at the time of writing, so similarities are purely coincidental - seriously, I hadn't even heard of the game when I was writing about decks & Mantic overlays. It was because of the game's similarity that I picked it up on sale the other week.

Plus the game has an awesome (if not slightly predictable) storyline & ending.


Anyway; I should let you all get on with your daily lives. Remember to tune in to my Twitch channel later tonight for my weekly update on Razor's Edge as well as the next episode of Friday Night Horror (more Obscure - love that game!!)

Until next time; stay safe and be awesome to each other!

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

#OVERRIDE: Wetware Part VII - A Short Story Finale

The images floated around Security Specialist Karus as she flicked from memory to memory. She had observed the interrogation up until the point she had interrupted and most of these memories were nothing new. First she saw Jinn’s first kill, she flicked through to his meeting with the Trydan, further still to his time in Freeport, and continued past his initiation into the Raiders, past several data heists he had taken part of all the way to the big one, the memory of his heist on the HMC data vault located in the Frozen North. Karus extended her left index finger and gently touched the image of the memory which moved and compressed before violently expanding and filling the digital room she currently occupied.

Karus was sat on what felt like a hard metal surface, her body wrapped in industrial thermal clothing, and all around her were a number of humans all wrapped in similar garments. From the vibrations and look of the environment she assumed they were in a UEF APC, but the clothing they wore clearly were not Force Issued. It was at that moment she realised what she was seeing. She was in Jinn’s head, seeing his memory as he saw it. It was not her body that was rapidly overheating in the thermal clothes, it was Jinn's. The others she shared the APC with were not UEF soldiers but Raiders which meant the vehicle itself has been stolen. With a sigh that only she could hear, Karus relaxed slightly and prepared to act as passenger to the events that she knew she would see in Jinn’s memory.

The APC came to a grinding, sudden stop and the doors slid open. Before her Karus could see the other Raiders launching themselves out of the vehicle, but she could see herself not moving. For a moment Karus wondered what was happening, why wasn't she moving? Then her vision turned and a hacking deck was brought into view. Furiously Jinn’s fingers darted across the keyboard while command prompts flashed across his augmented vision. Karus would have been lying if she had said she was not impressed with his obvious talent.

As the typing continued she allowed her focus to move from his hands and to her surroundings. She saw the outside world beyond the APC, sheer volumes of snow and ice and in the distance she could make out the ever diminishing shapes of the other Raiders as they ran straight towards the HMC Data Vault. Not content, Karus continued searching her environment before her eyes settled on what she was looking for. She wanted to kick herself for missing it. Almost sat at the far end of the APC she could see an right foot tall, hunched in a foetal position mechanical humanoid. She recognised the insignia embossed on it’s reinforced shoulders instantly, it was a war-bot from the AI war over thirty years ago back on Earth. It had since been patched up with various pieces of scrap metal and sprayed the distinct red of the Raiders, but it’s origins were unmistakable.

As Jinn’s fingers darted across his Deck the Mech began to move. Slight subtle movements at first before it finally fired a series of discreetly hidden jet-rockets mounted within it’s legs and ran at a sprint through the open door through the sub zero frozen wasteland ahead. Karus wrinkled her nose at the sight. She had hoped she would be seeing the inner workings of the Raiders, their secrets and hidden commands that allowed them to not only break into the HMC vault, but also escape with data in hand. But her she could see nothing more than a common hacker applying programs to a mech so it would do the hard work for them. She reached out with her thoughts and willed the memory into fast forward.

The images began to jitter and merge together, in a single instance she saw through Jinn’s eyes how the band of Raiders had made seize on the Data Vault, how the salvaged mech they kept calling ‘Big Bro’ had used it’s immense size and bulk to destroy an eight foot tall hole in one of the bulk head doors protecting the HMC bunker where the vault was housed. She saw how the HMC Security Officers stationed there had responded with automatic weapons and plasma cannons. How one of the Raider’s thermos clothing had been damaged and allowed the biting chill of the Frozen North into his clothes and how he has frozen instantly before his heart had pumped one last beat shattering his body in an instant.

Further forward she saw as a HMC technician had tried to override the mech, but how Jinn in close proximity behind has managed to intercept the hack and fed a blocking command to the mech’s CPU. Onwards the memory streamed before it reached the data room, it’s doors torn off it’s hinges by the mech’s immense crunching hands before it appeared to almost stop. Karus willed the memory to play out, but it appeared to be frozen, a twitching image of Akio’s hand typing on his Deck while interfacing with the HMC server. From behind Jinn’s eyes Karus banged on the walls of his mind, tried with everything ounce of will to continue the memory; this was it! This was the commands and secrets she needed to know! Her bosses within HMC wanted to know how Jinn had managed to bypass their server security codes, codes that she alone knew. The information was almost at her fingertips, glitching just out of reach.

In the corner of her vision a small symbol pulsed. No matter how she adjusted her focus it remained in her periphery. After a while the symbol began to grow in size. Karus had no idea how long it had been, maybe only seconds, but as the symbol grew she knew she recognised it, something about it was clearly familiar. And then after what had felt like an eternity of frozen images she saw the image. A skull and crossed bones, the symbol used by the Raider hackers to represent a virus. Large pixelated words spread across her own vision, but this time it was hers, not Jinn's. Appearing almost six feet high the words “OUTSIDE VIRUS DETECTED! Deploying Countermeasures”.

Karus felt a sudden pang of pain, digital tendrils wrapped themselves around her and were pulling her back through her Head Jack and into her own body, her own mind and brain. In what felt like no time at all, but hurt like an eternity of torture, she was looking through her own eyes at the previously drugged and catatonic Jinn. Now however he was stood over him, his dark eyes no longer white but crisp with vivid colour. There was something in those eyes that she couldn't understand, at first she had thought it anger or hatred, but no it was nothing like that. It pleasure, the smug smile of someone who had predicted all of this and made preparations and created countermeasures to ensure he remained in full control when it mattered. She wanted to scream out in rage but her body failed to respond, every inch of her refusing to move beyond the involuntary rise and fall of her lungs and beating of her heart. Karus had experienced this once before; Blackout. Some how this little shit of a hacker had let off an EMP and had temporarily fried her own neural patch and she was trapped, a victim in her own body, immobilised by the very nanotechnology that swam through her blood stream and reinforced her muscle fibres, now no better than dead metal.

Jinn leant towards the paralysed woman and stared into her eyes. With a single finger he strummed at the cable jack connecting both of their neural patches. Slowly he smiled.
“Now I'm going to take what I came here for” Jinn stated. It wasn't a boast or a declaration, more just a statement of fact as if to him what he was about to do was no different to breathing or eating; it was natural. “But when I do, I’ll leave you a gift” Jinn continued “so you know how and why we did this”.

Colours began to swim before Karus’ vision in a way that she could only describe as like tropical birds flocking together. They flocked and merged before exploding in vibrant fireworks leaving a scene playing out before her. Once again she was inside Jinn’s head, her own neural patch logged the date as only a few days before his capture, but something was not right. Karus didn't understand, what she was seeing was dated the exact same date and time as the raid on the HMC data vault, but where as before she was surrounded by the greasy interior of an APC or the crisp icey snow of the Frozen North, here she saw a digital Freeport. She looked again, certainly she was wrong, but no through Jinn’s eyes she could see the ramshackle metal buildings that lined the city streets and over in the distance the unmistakable dome of the Freeport Arena, all of which as they appeared through the Arena’s ‘Mantic based security system.

There was a man walking beside Jinn as they strode purposefully through the Freeport streets, in his hand he held out a stick; Karus recognised it’s model instantly, a Neuro-Stick that allowed the transfer of information into or out of a Neuro-Patch.

“You’re sure this will work?” Jinn asked.

“Of course it will!” The man replied. Karus knew that she recognised this man. She thought as hard as she could; yes! The man from Jinn’s own memories! Tangle!

“So I won’t remember any of this?”

“Nope, at least not until the Anti-Hack kicks in”

Jinn’s voice was clearly worried “So this new memory, this raid on HMC? I'll think that was real?”

Karus was stunned, what was she hearing? No, she thought to herself, impossible!

“That’s right kiddo!” Tangle replied “as real as anything, plus we got some boys set up to collaborate everything that your memory will tell them happened”.

“And once this is done, once I have the code, we’re through right?”

“You gotcha man!” Tangle replied “then your debt to the boss is done with and you can go on your way”.

“Good!” Came the overly relieved reply from Jinn “I really want to make a go of it here, ta know? The Raiders have been good to me, but they knew about you guys. Maybe once this is over I can start getting some sort of a life back”

Tangle smiled wryly “Kiddo, you’ve been our agent here for years now, you’ve tasted the Trydan Popsicle, you really wanna go back to regular Human junk?”

Jinn shrugged “I guess I'll only know when I try”.

Back beyond her own dream birds Karus felt a tug and a prong, she swore to herself as she visualised the hacker Jinn filtering through her memories, grasping at strands of data as he put it all together. How could she have been so stupid? So easily fooled. It was then lost amidst her own self loathing and bitterness that she felt the agony of being ripped back out of the neural jack and into the real world. This time she was looked up into the smiling face of Jinn. He had found what he wanted, the codes to the HMC data vault and no doubt was already transmitting them to another Raider right now.

In the periphery of her vision Karus was able to detect the sign of the interrogation room door buckling. No sooner had it begun were the metal reinforced plates holding the door in place torn off by humongous mechanical hands while equally large legs strode mechanically into the room and gently lifted Jinn away in an almost caress. She recognised it’s sound and imagery; the very same Big Bro mech she had seen in Jinn’s false memory, the same memory that had tricked her into lowering her guard and allowing his wetware countermeasures to release their paralysing Blackout.

As her body lay on the ground, wires still connected to her neural patch, Karus silently swore in bitterness at the hacker who had engineered what was now revealed to be a data heist of his own. She saw from her immovable eyes the confused and puzzled looks of HMC employees as they tried to assess her condition and apply Medi-Kits and Neuro-Dampeners across her patch. Her mind had been violated by the same hacker she was supposed to burn up from the inside but she no longer cared, her mind had drifted to the man Jinn had called Tangle, the man with dark hair and ridiculously thin moustache. She knew she had seen him before. Her own memories were wild as her neuro-patch attempted to calm down the erratic charge left behind from Jinn’s invasive hack. After no time at all however it recalled a single memory and played it for Karus’ own dream birds.

The Security Specialist was back at HMC head office, she had been given a data-chit from one of her bumbling Pas; the idiot had almost dropped it as he scampered about, knuckles dragging on the floor like the half-human reject he was, a man who by day wore a cheap suit and by night drank nothing but Second Best. Disgusting, like all the other dregs of society that HMC attempted to elevate from their squalid holes. The data-chit was luminous red demonstrating it had been encoded for high importance and without hesitation she plugged it into her work terminal.

The terminal’s holo projector spluttered into life and a series of briefing messages were displayed. The first detailing the ‘soon to be transmitted’ message as originating from the Honos Mining Corporation™ Data Vault in the Frozen North. The next detailed how the message was found, the death toll caused at the hands of Raider Rebels and that not a single survivor was found. The last briefing outlined a biography in the Raider Ghost Hacker known as Jinn who had been highlighted as the primary Ghost for the attack. Finally a title displayed that the video about to be played was all that was left intact at the Vault site and was made by the last survivor requesting backup from HMC Security Services. The message faded to black and a video of a short man with slick black hair and a pencil thin moustache came into view. It was then she remembered something that she had heard Jinn say before while being interrogated by Geutez, but the words had not been his own but those of the Trydan bastard who disguised himself as human.

“We are everywhere”.

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

#OVERRIDE: Possible Open Day?

Greetings friends!

A couple of things with this post:

Firstly; I'm still alive! Yup I know my posts have been pretty sparse and far apart with only the occasional story post, but you can expect me to resume my regular posts pretty soon.
- You'll need to tune in to this week's Razor's Edge to see how and why.

Secondly; to let you know that the latest build of Override is being compiled and over the next day or two, you should see this put out in .pdf form. I have created a Wordpress site for Override, and I hope to put out this version with that.

Thirdly; so I've had an idea for the past week or so floating around my head and I'd like to put it out there for some feedback. I am talking about the Override Open Day!


So what is the Override Open Day?

Well the aim is to have a day where myself (hopefully with my collaborator Tom, but due to logistical reasons; probably just me) my terrain & models all junk up at a certain venue (ideally a shop so people can buy stuff if they want to) and give the game First Law: Override a try out.

Yes, essentially I'm talking about demos. Probably just one at a time if it is just me, however if others wanted to help out then we could possibly get more tables running.

The plan of this is simple: show people how great this game is!

You see, I've been talking now for months about the game and I know a good few of you have given the ruleset at least the once over, but as my collaborator can confirm; it's not until you actually get everything on the table, start seeing the fire lanes, the hackable objects, ExoSuits & Action Choices that the game really jumps out at you.
- Maybe the problem is me - maybe I'm not that great at selling it, maybe I don't know the right buzz words to use, or maybe I've just been going on about this game for so long it's just turned into white noise.

Whatever the reason I know that I need to get people seeing that it's not just hot air, but instead a well thought out, balanced, but most of all super fun game.
- Sure everyone says that about their games, but that's why I need to get models on boards and showing you all for yourselves how true these statements are.

Ok I'm getting side tracked!

So yeah; play games and then afterwards have a sit down with beer and bar food and talk things out!
- Maybe you have questions, maybe suggestions, who knows?

I'm not going to pretend that this game will be the next big thing. It won't (not because the game isn't good enough, but because I don't have the money or time required to make it that way), but it can be a great game that you all want to play: maybe once a week or fortnight and have a great time with your friends.

Remember: When v2 of Malifaux didn't 'click' with me, I floundered for ages looking for that one game to grab me like how Malifaux did. I tried many games and they all had good, if not great points behind them, but they didn't click. This game clicked! It clicked in a big way and now I play roughly every week via Vassal, even with Malifaux I never did that!

So what do you say? Fancy coming to the South East of England (probably London) and trying out the game Override with the game's creator(s)?


And on that note: until next time; stay safe and be excellent to each other!

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

#OVERRIDE: Wetware Part VI - A Short Story

Back beyond the dream birds, Akio was still strapped to his chair. Beside him his interrogator Angel Geutez sat with his face in his palms. Angel had tried on three occasions now to get Akio to reveal what the Trydan boss had asked of him, but every time Akio’s response had been vague and non-committal. Angel knew that Akio was a real challenge indeed, but it didn't matter. He wasn't interested in this information, it was his Raider information he needed; codes to the Raider’s vast mantic database and his deadline was beginning to draw close.

In the room next to his Angel could hear his communications co-worker busy tapping and swiping away at a terminal. Angel had no idea what this man was doing other than being jacked in to whatever terminal the complex held. All Angel cared about was his interrogation. Originally his co-worker had suggested doing the interrogation himself, Angel remembered his words vividly;
“It takes a ‘Mancer to understand a ‘Mancer”
“Idiot!” Angel had thought to himself. He was one of the best interrogators the Company had, and he didn't need any fancy neuro-patch to do it. So instead he left the self proclaimed ‘mancer to do whatever it was he was doing, while he instead focussed on getting Akio’s secrets.

Back within the dream birds some time had passed. The Trydan had been true to their word and supplied passage to the Raider city of Freeport through the Badlands. They had even provided Akio with a single room apartment with the rent paid up front for a whole year. Akio was more than aware how rare this was as many of his direct neighbours were a full two to three families squashed into a single room apartment the same as his.

Within days Akio had been introduced to his new boss, a tall man with bull-like shoulders and a square head who went by the name Shotgun. Shotgun was the latest in bosses running the Freeport Arena, a position very important within the city as it attracted attention from all across Honos. It’s patrons heralded from all walks of life and faction and Akio had been put in charge of maintaining the Arena’s security system.

The Arena’s security system was amazing. As arena goers entered the venue they were scanned from head to toe, every part of their physical form recorded. This information was then transmitted to what Shotgun called a ‘demo room’; a form of ‘Mantic Space that was not actually part of the ‘Mantiverse.

“Think of it as an ‘Offline’ ‘Mantiverse” Shotgun had said, and had been right. Using his Eagle, Akio was jacked into this demo room and walking around carefully observing every bit of bio and techno projection that the demo room showed him about those entering the Arena.

Unlike real ‘Mantic space, these projections were not tangible and for good reason. In some cases the crowds were five people thick at a time and Akio, now wearing his Eagle ‘Mantic suit once again and going by the name Jinn full time, needed to get into those crowds and observe their read outs. In the cases of undeclared weapons, biological agents or smuggled goods, all Akio-Jinn needed to do was reach out and touch the projection changing its display from cool blue to angry red. In the real world a repurposed robot would then arrive at the scene and escort the individual away for processing.

The Raiders called them Big Bro’s, large bipedal robots that they had salvaged from the Earth war against the AI. They were old and their self aware circuits were almost all fried making them a viable target for nefarious hackers, but they had a use that Jinn could see clearly. In a world of pacifist AI constructs and non-combative Link-Bots, the Big Bro was the only construct not equipped with First Law programming.

Akio-Jinn smiled as he thought about the whole concept of First Law programming. It was a program code that had been introduced as a legal requirement for all AI constructs since before Akio was born. It introduces certain parameters and made it impossible for any AI construct to knowingly or willingly cause harm to any living Human. There were further laws programmed into the constructs, some of them about preservation of self and of property, but they were all governed by their first law. Or so people had thought.

Over thirty years had passed since the AI war on Earth and still to this day no one knew how the AI had overridden its first law programming. By all intents and purposes it shouldn't have been able to but the subsequent deaths that had followed, forcing the exodus to Honos had been proof that it had indeed happened. What this meant was that there was a readily available supply of non-first law coded robots available to those who knew how to recode them for proper use. These were the Big Bros and they protected the Raiders and citizens of Freeport with their lives.

Akio had just finished his last shift in the demo room for the week and was about to un-Jack and head home for a sleep. He had worked thirty six hours straight and was in need of a rest, when at the top of his vision a warning in bright red flashed:


Akio spun on his heels looking around the simulated environment. Someone else was jacked in to his simulation and he needed to figure out who, his very life may have depended on it. His vision darted from read out to read out until they settled on a single projection, that of a male human who Akio recognised instantly.

“Tangle!” Akio spat the words “How did you get here?”

Tangle smiled wryly “We told you before Jinn, we’re everywhere” he span on his heels as if performing a shoddy interpretation of ballet and almost danced across the simulation towards Akio. About two feet away Tangle stopped, tipped his balance towards Akio and held out thin stick. It looked like an explosive detonator with a button located at the top cap. “Any idea what this is?”

Akio-Jinn shook his head slowly

“It’s a metaphor” came the smug reply from Tangle “this here is a representation of a program. When you push that button the program will activate sending billions of lines of code into ‘Mantic space. It’ll search high and low for any reference to ol’ Akio Sampson and delete it!” Tangle mimed a miniature explosion with his free hand “poof! Away it goes! Akio Sampson never existed. Your old life, all those mistakes you made and accidents you were involved in; gone. In it’s place we’ll leave place holders that create infinite loops to ensure that no data-paradoxes occur. In other places we’ll plant false information giving birth and a name to our own secret agent, the great and powerful Jinn!”

Akio-Jinn’s eyes lit up at the sound of this. For weeks now he had been using Jinn as his name anyway. His boss; Shotgun knew him by it, and the few friends he had made also knew him that way.

“This is a second chance kiddo” continued Tangle “make the right decision”.

In that moment Tangle began to fade from view, his very form shadowing and becoming an opaque version of itself. The program stick began to fall from his incorporeal grasp and Akio-Jinn leapt towards it, his hands outstretched, his fingers reaching, willing themselves longer to catch this device. As his chest felt the cold hard thud of the simulation floor his fingers felt the comforting grip of the program stick in their grasp. With satisfaction he held the device to his face and for the first time noticed the slight red glow emanating from it’s top-mounted button.

“A second chance?” Akio-Jinn muttered to himself as he swiped the air signalling the arrival of a control point. Swiping through menus and commands a large screen appeared in front of him providing him with a digital representation of a mirror. He looked at himself, saw his face; older beyond it’s years and the tired rings of worry and guilt that constantly surrounded his eyes. “Good bye shit head” he said as a smile crept across his face and he slammed his thumb down on the program stick.

Back beyond the dream birds the intercom sounded again and the familiar sound of Angel Geutez’s supervisor rang through the airwaves like surf crashing on water.
“Geutez!” Came the intercom voice. Angel looked in the direction of the sounder.
“Geutez, you’re out of time. The boss isn’t happy so he’s sending someone in”.

Angel nodded and glanced over to the door to the interrogation room as it slid open. Past the door bright light streamed in like blinding beams illuminating the silhouette of a figure. It was about the same height as Angel but complete with the shapely body of an athletic woman. The figure strode confidently into the room. She was covered in a tight armoured body suit, the armour appearing as if thin plates that moved with her body enhancing each and every movement of muscle. Her face, the only visible skin was pale and revealed what appeared to Angel a sour expression. Attached to her back was a large cube-like mechanical pack which appeared clunky in comparison to the lithe body armour that coated her body. Draping over her shoulders were a series of this black dreadlocks. Angel swallowed hard through a dry throat and opened his mouth to speak.

“Security Specialist Karus” Angel blurted out “how can I help?”

The woman narrowed her eyes at him and drew one of two automatic pistols holstered to her belt.

“I’m taking over this operation as of now” Karus replied. You’re no longer needed.
“What? But!” Spluttered Angel as he tried to respond but was cut short by a loud burst of fire from Karus’ pistol. His body fell to the floor, it’s head jerking back from the impact.

Karus lightly stepped over the body of Angel as his blood began to pool at her feet and with a single smooth action pulled a cable jack from a pouch and punched it directly into Akio’s wetware patch. She leaned over his, her lips only inches away from his right ear and gently whispered.
“You’re friends are at the gates, Jinn. In a matter of minutes they will be bursting in through those doors to save you, but not before I've extracted what I need” She smiled and gently bit her lip “but what I don't need is you, so I'm sorry to say that before this is all over your brain will be nothing better than a soft potato”.

With a grimace Karus held the other end of the cable jack and inserted it directly into her own patch. Her body involuntarily shrieked as the dream birds surrounded her. They buffeted her mind as it tried to connect with Akio’s before finally in his drugged state it gave out and Karus’ vision cleared.

She was stood in a blue room, the floor lines of digital code and the walls and ceiling were nothing more than faint holographic images. Floating within the centre of the room, as if dancing on a current of air that no one else could sense were small image squares each one representing a significant memory in Akio’s life. Karus strode towards these images and thrust her hand out grabbing the nearest one. As she drew it closer to her she smiled slightly to herself.

“Let’s see what we can see, shall we?”

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Thursday, 14 May 2015

#OVERRIDE: Wetware Part V - A Short Story

Akio awoke with a start, the very action impulsively trying to force his body upright, but all he could do was arch his back as solid immovable restraints held his arms and legs against whatever it was he was currently strapped to. The previous events were a blur to him but he remembered the Eagle deck, the sensation of both flying and falling as well as being able to see the world for what it was, as a mixture of the physical and the digital. Memories began to return to him, of a Hydan in full-body armour and the pain of a dermal press injecting a drug into his system. Then awaking here, in this room of darkness unable to see a thing, strapped to a bed.

“Mother-fuckers!” Akio shouted in rage. Clearly he had been abducted and to make matters worse they had unplugged him from his deck.

As if in response to his outburst a door creaked open allowing the faintest of lights to penetrate the dark. The silhouette of a figure entered the room. It did not walk however, no Akio thought to himself as the figure got nearer and nearer, this person was waddling.

The figure continued past Akio, it’s body and musky smell far too close to his head and leaned over him before the familiar clicking sound of a light switch filled the room. For a moment nothing happened and then as if in a delayed stupor a light hanging from the centre of the room sprang into life. It cast a garish blue-white light over the room revealing a space no bigger than four feet by eight, only slightly bigger than the bed he was strapped to. Akio looked at the figure who hovered over him, his eyes meeting those of a elderly Hydan.

“Where?” Asked Akio, his voice feeling harsh and dry. The Hydan looked down at him and gently waved an index finger in his direction before straightening up and waddling out of the room.

The room itself was covered in peeling blue-green paint revealing what looked to be white plaster underneath. The paint was the colour of the budget hospitals that littered the Block. Akio knew all about them, he had studied them during his time at re-education, how they were a symbol of the Block itself, how they were hastily built in areas uncontrolled by the gangs that terrorised it’s law abiding citizens but as the gang’s influence spread they would be abandoned and new ones built else where. He considered his location, how he was held in restraints and the dilapidated state of the room and it was obvious that it must be one of these hospitals he was being held in. But who were his captors?

So far he had only seen Hydan, which ruled out the Red Claw. While the group are not above taking hostages it is almost unheard of them working with a single Hydan, never mind two. It could have been the Flaming Fists or whatever the called themselves. They were made up of both Hydan and Humans but we're not known to grab people, they were a smash and grab gang, preferring to rob credits and gear. Then there was the Jokers, mainly made up of Hydan and famous for abducting people. He hoped these weren't the Jokers, those who disappeared in Joker ground were known to appear days later missing their skin and vital organs. That left the Trydan.

The Trydan were the crime lords of the Block and everyone, even those who were not Block residents knew of their name. There wasn't a drug deal or smuggling operation within the Block that the Trydan didn't know about it have a hand in. Until now Akio had never had any dealings with the Trydan, nor had he any reason to but he had heard many stories about them. Most importantly was the gang’s inherent xenophobia for non Hydan. It was rumoured that they only ever recruited from their own race and any dealings with others was always via third party proxy. Out of all of the gangs operating from the Block, the Trydan were by far the most militant and nationalist, their very name meaning Pure-Blooded Hydan.

The door opened further as two more Hydan entered the room. One held Akio down with both arms while the other untied his restraints from whatever surface he was tied to and retied them to each other, stopping him from being able to move his arms more than an inch and his legs incapable of walking. Running was clearly out of the question. The Hydan wore black and red, skin tight body suits that looked very similar to his Eagle suit he had worn earlier while hacked into his deck. He recognised it almost instantly as a Stealth Suit, capable of camouflaging the wearer in almost any situation, but the suits he was used to seeing worn by certain elite soldiers in Nova Casa was a bright blue emblazoned by the logo of the Accord but these suits with their black and red patterning held a small breast motif that until now Akio had only seen on digi-vids; the symbol of the Reavers.

Akio was picked up in almost silence and slung over one of the Stealth Suit wearer’s shoulders. He was carried for what felt like a good five, maybe eight minutes before he was thrown off to land into a hard metal chair. The force of his landing nearly knocking himself and the chair onto the floor. As he felt gravity began to take control and his balance shifting, a large buckled army boot slammed between Akio’s legs. The toe of the boot caught the front lip of his chair and Akio was steadied. Akio stared in bewilderment at the boot and its immediate proximity to his most private of body parts, the two separated by a mere centimetre or two of air.

Akio looked up following the boot past the baggy brown camouflage combat trousers, up past the reinforced armour playing and into the face of a Hydan. Akio realised with a start that he must have been looking at the gang leader due to the bright white tattoo that circled his neuro-patch, a sign he had seen on videos that he knew denoted that this man’s brain belonged to the gang. It was his responsibility to watch out for his members and in the moment he was deemed unworthy then his tattoo; laced with micro combustible elements, would ignite and quite literally fry the connections between his Patch and his brain. The process would leave the gang boss alive, but equal to that of a vegetable, unable to think beyond the very most basic of thought processes.

Akio was right, these were gang members of the Trydan, which meant that every other member had a similar tatoo, theirs on their left breast ready to burn out their heart if given the right command by their boss. This was something that Akio had always found both amusing and respectful; the command to kill his gang members was held by the gang boss. But that same command to burn out the boss’ patch, that was held by the gang members themselves. As a group they both figuratively and literally were responsible for the lives of each other.
The Trydan boss leaned forward and parted his rough scarred lips.
“Our contact says you’re an up and comer” the Boss paused before breathing deeply and letting out a harsh cough “he says that you; Jinn, will be able to solve our little problem”.

Akio clenched his teeth. He remembered how the gang member he had met at the train depot had known his handle; Jinn, but how he had only decided to use it after his meeting with Tangle in the ‘Mantiverse.

“Tangle; you mother…”

“Yes, yes we all know who we’re talking about, but how much do you really know?” The Trydan boss replied.

Akio looked at the Trydan with puzzles eyes.

The Trydan smiled before coughing dryly once more.
“How much do you really know about this Tangle?” The boss asked again as he held out a digi-pad. Akio could read most of the pad’s display and he felt a knot in his stomach.

The digi-pad displayed an image of the very same Hydan he had met at the Train Depot, underneath was a second image, this one of his ‘Mantic Space trader; Tangle. The boss nodded.
“That’s right Jinn, he’s one of ours!”

The boss stood carefully and began to walk behind Akio with an almost determined look in his face.
“It’s amazing what you can do in ‘Mantic Space with the right deck and cartridge. All that time you were dealing with him? You were dealing with us”

The boss landed a firm open palmed grip on Akio’s left shoulder.
“You see, we’re everywhere, even on your side of the Divide, we’re controlling everything and most of your monkey-bred race doesn't even realise it!”

“So why me?” Akio asked, his body tensed as he waited for the inevitable punch or throttle from the boss’ firm hands.

“Like I said, we have a job for you. The one you know as Tangle? He’s our; how do we put it? Our recruiter. Searches for hidden talent and helps bring it to the foreground. That’s what we did for you. Remember your Eagle? We got it for you, and at such a great price too! We practically have it away. We’ve even got you lodging with your own kind, including rent paid up for the rest of the year! All you gotta do is do us a small favour when the time comes. Think you can do that?”

Akio strained his head to look at the crime boss as he replied.
“I guess I don't really have a choice do I?”

The boss released Akio’s shoulder and paced back to his own chair.
“Not if you want to keep your parents breathing” the boss smiled up one side of his mouth, his lips parted revealing a row of teeth sharpened into points, they looked more like that of an Earthen Shark than an omnivorous Hydan.

“Ok” came Akio’s reply “I'll do it”.

“I knew you would”.

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Monday, 11 May 2015

The Razer's Edge

Greetings friends!

At the tail end of last week I received a great email from the company Razer, maker of such fine products as my beloved Diamondback mouse.

This email gave me a code that I could redeem with Razer to be provided with a small number of select goods of theirs related to health and fitness as well as gaming and social media.

What are these wonderful devices? I hear you cry from behind your phones, tablets and computers.

Well sadly I am not at liberty to say at the moment but will be revealing all in the near future in an episode of LoxBotLive where I will be giving away a small number of these to you my beloved viewers! But of course you need to watch the show to know what and when this competition is.

So what is the point of this post?
I'm glad you asked that question! Really I am.

This post is largely for two reasons:

1). It's allowing a small degree of my excitement for this to leave my body, as I am super excited for this and as you all know I suck at keeping secrets!

2). It's to act as an unveiling. Once my shipment has been received (which should be either at the end of this week or next) I'll be starting a new mini stream.

I'm committing to this now as if I put it out there on the internet then it is a lot harder to go back against my word, and pull out later.

This pledge is to start a new show to be featured on both my Twitch and YouTube channels, called something like LoxBot on the Razer's Edge or something more catchy.

Not only will I be putting this new hardware through it's paces, but will also be providing face-to-face (per se) updates on how I am finding my health and new lifestyle.


This has been coming for a while now, and after the health issues I've suffered from post-Christmas it's long over due.

The Razer's Edge should only be roughly 10 minutes every week (so expect them more on YouTube, but I'll be using Twitch as a way of getting them online) but during these short shows I'll be sharing information such as current weight, any weight loss since the last show, random bits of information such as stats recorded from my new bit of hardware as well as any tricks or tips that I may have learned from the last show.

Expect nothing major here. I'm far from a fitness/exorcise nut, but I figure if I'm going to do something then I should give it my all in terms of commitment.

What can I do to help? I hear you scream with unexpected enthusiasm.

Well you can start by keeping an eye out for The Razer's Edge and follow my LoxBotLive Twitter account @loxbotlive for updates and info.

Then once things are up and running and you have taken part in my competition you can also contribute in your own way.

Trying to loose some weight and have some tricks or tips? Send them in to me either via Twitter or email and I'll be sure to read it out on the air and depending on the suggestion even try it out myself (videos of me trying it out are almost certainly NOT going to happen). Maybe you've done really well in your own fitness regime or weight loss program and want to share this with the world? Let me know and I'll happily share this out as well.


In the modern world, technology is supposed to help and not hinder our attempts to better ourselves, our lives and the lives of those around us.

Call me sentimental or maybe cynical, but here's an opportunity for me to try just that and see if modern technology can help drag a modern troglodyte such as myself into a healthier lifestyle.

Until next time; stay safe and be excellent to each other!

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

#OVERRIDE More Updates & Open Model Sourcing

Greetings friends!

Today's post is largely a "we're not dead!" post.

Sadly after one very tiring weekend we had a little accident at Chez Loxley and now have to wait for an engineer to come and fix our phone line. Until then there is little to no real updates as no test playing.


One thing there is however; possible rule adjustments!

Are you familiar with the combat mechanics? Rolling to hit against your Range or Melee stat, then rolling your armour against your Defence stat?

We're currently looking to revitalise this with the removal of Defence and changing how Armour and the different units interact with attacking stats.

There's not much I can really go into detail at the moment, we're still looking to tweak these numbers and try out different combos, but one thing we should see is larger targets being hit more often, smaller targets being hit less often and the Red Claw being able to actually make an armour save every now and then!

Make no mistake, this is a big shake up of the rules that like with the introduction of pre-measuring (which by the way turned out to be a change most certainly for the better) is a small change with big ramifications.


You might be asking why I'm telling you this, what benefit does it bring?

Well I'm trying my best to keep the transparency of this project going. To date it has been very received very well, you guys and gals seem to like seeing how it is progressing, what changes we are looking at, how we are adding different units and gangs and I for one love being able to share it with you.

If it wasn't obvious; Override and the First Law Universe is a labour of love for me. Every part of the game; Rule Design, Fluff Writing, Model Selection and Game Playing is a pure pleasure, where as to date with most games there has been at least one aspect of that which has seemed like a chore.

I hope all of this comes across and as we look to release the latest build of the game I hope this comes across.


If I may I would also like to talk about Open Model Sourcing.

You all almost certainly know this as 'proxying', using one model to represent another.

Override doesn't have a miniature range, and unless it becomes more popular than I am able to envision, it never will (it just takes too much money and time to go down that route). Instead we use the Open Model Source system.

We ask players to look around, read the fluff and decide for themselves how they think something should look and to purchase their gangs accordingly.

A lot of the gangs are quite generic in their feel, so sourcing should never be too difficult:

UEF: Human Military
HMC: Hi-Tech Human Security
Wraiths: Hi-Tech Space Elves

Raiders: Human Militia
Red Claw: Brutal Melee Aliens with swords and glaives.
Trydan: Black Market Space Elves.

So from these you have a whole range of choices

Looking at these three examples, we have two from Infinity. The first as a Red Claw Leader, the second as a UEF HMG. The third is from MERCS and is perfect for a HMC Hacker.

These are just three choices that I happen to have on my phone at the time of writing, but there are so many fantastic models out there it would be crazy not to make use of them!

You might ask about base size and how important is that?

Honestly? It's not! We say that the game is 28mm scale for obvious reasons, and we advise that the base standard is 25mm due to that being the scifi standard on the market, but if you want to use a model that needs a 30mm, a 40mm or even a 60mm base, then there is no reason why you can not!
- Remember, Override uses the magic cylinder rule for Line of Sight, so if you can see a unit, that unit can see you too. Having a bigger base; while allowing you to engage more units in melee will make it harder for you to hide and use cover, plus it also becomes easier for enemy units to block your path and limit your use of pursuit.

But I'm making use of this myself, why at Salute this year I picked up a number of Infinity Morats to use as my Red Claw gang, namely the starter box

See that dude in the massive armour and big 2 handed cannon? He's my Heavy Armoured gang member carrying a HMG who's sole purpose is to wade down the centre of the table, attract attention and try and keep enemy units pinned down, but he is on a 40mm base! What that means is he will be limited in where he can go, creating more opportunities for enemy units to slip by and sneak into hidey holes to avoid my firey HMG death rain! On the other hand; HE LOOKS FREAKING COOL!! and let's be honest, what's more important?

And on that note; take care and be excellent to each other!

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Friday, 1 May 2015

#OVERRIDE: Rules Progression & Thoughts

Greetings friends!

So it's been a pretty hectic few weeks here at chez Loxley where me and my collaborator Tom have been busy little bees getting more rules ironed out.

Sometimes we're looking at small rules changes, just a small stat change here to boost or nerf something. Other times it's a massive rules change.

Take our game on Wednesday night for example:
I was playing Raiders, Tom was Trydan.

One of the major changes was I wanted to try with pre-measuring, something that until that point the game didn't allow. You see when I created the very first pre-alpha pack there was a specific reason I didn't want pre-measuring.

Then last week Tom asked me why I had opted for that and for the life of me I could not remember. Instead what I could remember was the times I had left my Units stranded in the open away from cover because I had declared I was going to walk thinking I could make it to the other side, but instead it was too far, and the only way I could have made it would have been to Sprint. Of course because of the Action Declare system this meant I was stuck at my walk distance with nothing in line of sight to shoot at, so my Interact Action was wasted.

By adding pre-measuring I did away with this gamble, and on Wednesday night would check the range for both moving and sprinting and then made the most tactical choice for the time.

One result was that the game was a lot closer, and it didn't feel like I was making so many poor decisions. Now this may have been my frame of mind, but I'm inclined to believe that adding pre-measuring was a big part. It meant that I felt more in control of my decisions and actions and less at the whim of a poor ability to gauge distance.

Of course none of this actually happened in Chez Loxley, it was all online as I was situated near London while Tom is in Wales, which I think says a lot about the modern state of gaming we are in now.
- I've been writing a few posts about it for Wayland Games Post 1, Post 2. Post 3 has been sat with them for over 2 weeks now, but has yet to make an appearance and they haven't told me why, so if you would like to read it give them a bug on my behalf eh?

Anyway, it says a lot that two people can co-design a game when separated by two and a half, to three hours car journey!

The games we just boot up the reverse engineered Infinity module for Vassal and try out a nee build.

The rules we edit on the fly due to a shared Dropbox folder allowing us to add, remove and change entire chunks of rules on the fly and the other person can see it as we go.

Throw in the occasional email and Skype and you have a recipe for game design without even being in the same country!


So anyway; by now you have probably read Part IV of my latest story; Wetware which covers the adventures of a young kid hacker going by the name Jinn.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on where this is going, if you're enjoying the story? If it bores you? What you think of the 'Mantiverse?

I'm really enjoying writing this story and I get the opportunity to explore a side of the First Law Universe that I haven't had much of a chance to before, namely Mantic Space. After all, the game isn't all about bang-bang stab-stab! It's also got the subtleties of hacking and this was a great opportunity to explore that from the viewpoint of the hacker.

You see I've always liked the idea of Mantic Space, and I think it has a lot of potential. One option is to look into a Mantic Space game itself, maybe as an expansion for Override where it turns your gang on it's head and your soldiers/warriors become peasants and your weak hackers become the super heroes. Another option might be something more personal, maybe an arena style game, or maybe co-op with the players as a group of Hackers using their 'Mantic skills to bring down security constructs and all that.

At the very least, as we build up the world of Honos and start introducing named characters through the campaign system (you're going to love that) there is always the option of an RPG, and let's be honest, who wouldn't like to play an RPG where one game they get to travel to the Block and perform a drug bust on a Trydan-Red Claw exchange? Then next game travel down to the Dead Zone and rescue HMC Researchers from a Pha'Nur nest? Then playing another game session where they venture into Nova Casa in search for a rare plant or animal that has been created via the hyper-evolution-matrix of Honos' terraforming, in order to obtain a sample of venom or toxin to create an antivirus?

Anyway, that's all far away, and for now we still have a lot to do with the base game of Override.

I hope you're all enjoying taking this trip with me, and until next time; stay safe and be excellent to each other.

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley