Wastelanders: A Post-Apocalyptic Trading Card Game…

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I recently backed a kickstarter for a couple of fellas hailing from Brisbane, Australia.  Seems they’re developing a customizable Trading Card Game called Wastelanders.  I figured, what better way to spend time with the rare dinner guest – when not sniping radrats, scavenging the ruins for vittles, and checking the man-traps for mutated dirtbags who want my stuff!


According to the creators, Jason Keegan and Tyler Woodruff….

“Wastelanders is a Post Apocalyptic Trading Card Game set in a dystopian future after a nuclear war all but destroyed the entire planet. It is all about being the strongest survivor and defeating your opponents in a fast paced and exciting turn based battle system. 

The game is created and designed by Jason Keegan and Tyler Woodruff and the amazing card art has been spectacularly brought to life by our artist Rivaro.

Collect all the cards, build the ultimate pack, gather your companions and see who has the strongest Wastelanders!”


The game will initially be comprised of Character, Item, Battlefield Effect and Base cards.

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Character cards currently include Mech, Creature, Wastelander, and Survivor.

Item cards will be class specific and split into both attack and defence. Items will have to suit the character you are trying to attach it to.

Battlefield Effect cards are a luck of the draw, brutal reality of the wasteland. Battlefield Effect cards generally have detrimental effects on the players on the field ranging from 1-5 turns. Individual cards will determine the effect and duration.

Base cards are what your characters are defending; they will provide bonuses to their corresponding class cards and will be assigned Defence Points.


If you’d like to take a looksee at the rulebook, you can find the Kickstarter Draft Rulebook here.  If you’d like to back the kickstarter, you can go here and do that.

Wastelanders has been featured in well-known postapoc media circles, such as Post-Apokalipsa Polska, Nerd Unfiltered, and Pizza, Games, and Zombies.


Jason and Tyler go on to say that… “We believe that this game is one of a kind in the genre. Our unique rules and gameplay create a fun and immersive experience. Our willingness to encompass all facets of the genre has allowed us not to be limited in the scope of our work, this enables us to bring the players a far broader idea base on which to build on. Our artist is 100% on board with the project and has been working tirelessly to bring our ideas to life. We have put in the effort to bring a high level of quality to the project that is already partially established. We want to show you that we are passionate about this game and we will put in the effort to make it right.

So, if you are like me and can’t think of anything else you’d rather do when not fixing the nick in the edge of your leaf spring short sword (the skulls of those irradiated ghouls are freaking HARD!) or pounding the dents out of your roadsign shoulder pauldron, check out Wastelanders and donate!

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Welcome to the Sixth Age of Extinction

David J Rodger ¦ Science Fiction & Dark Fantasy

Are you sitting comfortably?

Notice something about human history?  We’ve got a habit of exploring our boundaries and we like to tell stories – be it in written word or moving pictures or games.

Featured Hero Image: Apocalyptic City by Vapid Sea

Right now things feel pretty saturated with such experiences past, present and near future. From reality TV shows to YouTube to a billion bloggers typing out their thoughts every day. Content galore.  And a sense that there’s not much left to explore: discounting the unplumbed depths of our vast oceans and the somewhat large expanse of our Galaxy and the rest of the Universe.
But I’m focusing on us and this little blue ball we currently live on.

We’re reaching critical mass. Collapse marker. Reset point.

You’re probably aware of that deep gnawing feeling that something big and bad is heading our way.  That’s because Time is just…

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Robocop remake – I’d really like that hour-and-a-half back…

Finally got around to watching the Robocop remake. It’s free on Amazon Prime right now.

What an absolutely pathetic, bullshit excuse for a movie.

I don’t remember the last time I saw such a blatant example of a mainstream movie being so hate-filled against a political party. Notice I didn’t say “parties”.  I watch movies to be entertained, not to be preached to.

I tend not to get too wrapped up in the details when it comes to entertainment, but this was so blatantly in my face, I couldn’t help but ignore it.  It’s  supposed to be a movie about a dude that get’s changed into a cyborg – not a platform for a political argument.  I want to see him kill bad guys – and stop pulling your “let’s try to confuse the audience about who the bad guys really are” crap.

Hey hollywood, if I wanted to watch a bunch of actors expressing their biases towards the political parties and treating Americans like idiots, I’d watch CNN, FOX, MSNBC, or any of the other ridiculous excuses for news shows the networks can come up with.

Wow, that’s an hour and half of my life I’d really like back.

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Free Friday Giveaway: RT or Share any Tweet or Post and WIN!

Win an autographed book from David J. Rodger! Creator of the RPG Yellow Dawn – The Age of Hastur and author of nine novels!

David J Rodger ¦ Science Fiction & Dark Fantasy

Win a signed paperback copy of my new novel Oakfield**FREE

CLOSING DATE: Friday 17th April 2015 @ 12 noon GMT.

**Or any one of 9 novels. If you win, the choice is yours.

Science Fiction Dark Fantasy Author David J Rodger with his new Cthulhu Mythos horror novel OakfieldDavid J Rodger with Oakfield – Yours To Win!

RT or Share to Win!

Just ReTweet @ davidjrodger any of my posts on Twitter <> Share any of my posts on Facebook <> Blog about me or my work (send me the URL!)

If I see it I will put your name into the hat. I’ll pick one winner on the closing date. What’s not to like!

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An Interview With Brian Dorsey. Author of the military science fiction novel, Gateway…

I came across Brian Dorsey quite by accident.  In my early days of twitter, I was checking out the followers of another science fiction writer and happened to see his profile.  After looking at his website and reading a sample of Gateway, I knew that this was a writer I wanted to engage with.  He is one of those writers that honestly likes to talk with his fans, even if it is just about ordinary, everyday topics.

 

One of the exciting things that Brian has done is to develop a website that is a virtual Gateway encyclopedia.  There you can find specs, lineage, personnel records and government data as it pertains to his books.  Plus, it has really, really cool pictures!  It is one of the better websites I have come across for a book series and he’s done it all by himself.  You can find the link at the end of the interview.

 

EC:  I noticed that you created a very in-depth website for your books.  I love it when an author provides behind-the-scenes goodies for their stories.  Could you tell us about it?

BD:  Thanks.  At first I started the website because my publisher wanted me to start one.  I am by no means tech savvy when it comes to social media and IT so I did a little research (and asked an IT guru at the company I was working for at the time) and decided to go with wix.com for the platform.  Luckily, it’s fairly user-friendly so it didn’t give me too many headaches.

As for the content, it was (and still is) a work in progress. My idea of a website is that it should be a place where readers/fans can interact with the writer, learn more about the universe in which the story lives, and find out what the author is working on next.  I added the basic pages I think you would expect to see on an author site such as links to buy, cover photos, and reviews.  After that, I tried to think of things I would want to see if I were a reader that really ‘got into’ the storyline.  I think from that perspective, three things have been very successful.

1.  Concept Art: Although my publisher handles the cover art and other aspects of marketing, I went out on my own to have some additional concept art done.  I was lucky enough to find Jed Tarkowski and he and I have worked pretty well together developing concept pieces for the Gateway Universe.  I think the concept art helps people in two ways: First, it shows people a little bit of what I think things should look like (with some input from Jed) and secondly, some people are more stimulated by visual information and it can actually draw them into the story more than providing excerpts.

2.  Excerpts: I added links to some samples of my writing to give people an idea of the story and the characters in case they aren’t sure Gateway is for them but want to at least check it out. I also occasionally include extra ‘stuff’ that I have written as character development that may not be part of the main storyline.

3.  Wiki/Gateway Universe:  This is my favorite part.  I wanted to provide a way for people who enjoy reading Gateway to be able to dig deeper into the society, the military, and the characters.  If you really like a character, some of them have military records that you can access.  If you like the ships, some have their specs available.   Jed Tarkowski and the concept art came in pretty handy in this area too; he did several ‘schematic’ drawings to go along with some of the ships.  Also available are government structures and some family lineages.  This page will always be a work in process for two reasons:  First, as I continue to develop the series, I will also continue to develop and intertwine the underlying frameworks of civilizations and people involved.  Secondly, I have more information ready to post, but I also try to balance the release so that people have a chance to read the next book in the series and let some of the information be delivered more naturally through the storyline.  What that means is that when Saint (Book 2) releases, there will be another spike in information available on wiki.

 

EC:  Brian, what kind of research do you employ to base your battles, ships, and maneuvers on?  Do you use military experience or gathered information from other sources?  Both?

BD:  It’s a combination of experience, interviews, and research.

I retired from the Navy after 23 years of service, both enlisted and as an officer, so some of that can be seen in my writing although I purposely change some things slightly such as names of compartments and equipment.  (You won’t see a Combat Information Center in the Gateway series; it would more likely be called Combat Center and instead of the ship establishing Material Condition Zebra for combat, it might set Combat Containment).  My plan was to write it in a way that a novice would get the idea but still be close to technically correct. So if there are vets out there that read a line and say “that’s not exactly right,” it’s on purpose to be more inclusive.

For ground combat research, I spoke with some friends with infantry experience as well as utilized my own research (in addition to sci-fi, I have also published historical nonfiction, mostly military history).  An example of interviews is the use of a PLIC (Personnel Clearing Line Charge) which I adapted from discussion with Marines about MICLIC (Mine Clearing Line Charges) and their adapted uses in the recent wars.

In addition to my military experience and academic work in history, I also have a degree in Radiation Physics and have worked in Navy’s nuclear propulsion program throughout my military career and currently as a civilian Navy employee.  This technical background also helps with some of the science in the series.

 

EC:  Are any of your characters based on yourself?  People you know?

BD:  Not really.  Some of the main characters have names (or part of them) based on friends or family members but not their characteristics or personalities.

Of particular note, however, is the Tyler Stone character.  You may notice the character does not use his more formal name (Venarius).  This is for two reasons.  First, if you check out the family lineage tab in the Gateway Universe tab on my website (www.briandorseybooks.com) you can see the reason that fits the plot line.  Secondly, the character is named after a close family friend (and best friend of one of my kids) that lost his battle with cancer a few years back at the age of 14 (his father was a Navy friend of mine that was killed in action in Afghanistan in 2008).  Before Tyler passed, I made a promise to him I would name a character after him and it just seemed right for it to be the lead character.  In support of the continuing fight against cancer, 10% of my 1st year’s profits from Gateway will go to the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life program under Tyler’s name and my publisher has graciously agreed to match that amount.

As for the other characters, Cataline Tacitus was based on two of the worst leaders I met in the Navy but I’m not naming names.  Likewise, some characteristics of other characters such a Captain Emily Martin, Captain Hugh Jackson, Captain Mori Skye, and Major Tyler Stone are based on a combination of traits from some of the best (or at least most interesting) personalities I have met along the way.

 

EC:  Of these characters, have you ever received an unexpected review of them?

BD:  I would say it has to be the Emily Martin character.  At first, I added her as a supporting character because I wanted show a female in a leadership role in the book.  After a while, however, the character seemed to just write itself as if she was telling me what the character would do next.  From the feedback I have received so far, she has become several readers’ favorite.  Besides seeing her in book 2 of the series (Saint) due out in summer 2015, I am developing a novella based on her as a young lieutenant which should hopefully be available by fall 2015.

 

EC:  Do you classify Saint as space opera?  Military SciFi?  Both?  Neither?

BD:  I would classify it as both.  In my opinion, I think it has the dramatic and epic elements that space opera fans can identify with while at the same time I definitely don’t shy away from the military/combat elements of the story—the lead and almost all supporting characters are in the military so it would be hard not to focus on that element.  Maybe military space opera would be the best descriptor.

Some readers have, however, stated they enjoyed the character development and interaction as much the action and military aspects of the story.

 

EC:  What makes Saint different from other books in the genre?

BD:  I think (or at least hope) two things make Saint, and for that matter the Gateway series, stand out from the rest.

First, I attempt to write the storyline on three levels.  The first level is the typical shoot ‘em up military science fiction with battles, spaceships, and even a little swordplay.  With the second level I attempt to develop the characters in a way that people understand why and how they interact with people around them and why they react the way they do in the situations in which they are placed.  One of my best moments as a writer was when I saw two readers having a ‘discussion’ about why Emily Martin would or wouldn’t have done something in a scene.  Finally, at the lowest, underlying, level I try to look a societal element.  In Gateway, I try to show how society, cultures, and government actually shape our perception of reality and what happens when that reality is challenged.  In Saint, that third-level aspect will look at religion used as a weapon.

Secondly, the main character will not reach full development until the fourth or fifth book in the series.  The Tyler Stone character is one that ‘thought’ he understood his purpose when Gateway begins but eventually has his perception of his universe shattered.  He wants desperately for the world to be black and white and has used codes and principles to guide him and help him to categorized things to fit that mindset.  Once his reality is destroyed, he now has to struggle with a world that is much grayer than he likes.  To help, or maybe make things worse, he has two very strong-minded women (Emily Martin & Mori Skye) pulling him in two directions (which you really begin to see toward the end of Saint).  Both believe what they are doing is right but pull Stone in two different directions. Eventually he will need to choose and the choice will have significant ramifications not only for Stone and his friends but for entire civilizations.

 

EC:  I’d like to hear about your writing that is not in this genre.  

BD:  Although I had the basic storyline for Gateway in my head for about 15 years before I actually wrote it, the Gateway series is my first foray into fiction.  Before that, I wrote academic nonfiction historical works.  In addition to journal articles, I have published two nonfiction books.  They are:

A Call to Arms: The Realities of Military Service for African Americans during the Civil War.  This book examines the factors impacting recruitment of African Americans during the Civil War from a regional perspective.

Southern West Virginia and the Struggle for Modernity.  This was my final project from my graduate program at Syracuse which I developed as a book.  It looks at the social, economic, cultural, and political history of Southern West Virginia (as part of greater Appalachia) from post-Civil War through the present.

 

EC:  What would you like your readers to learn from Saint?

BD:  First, I hope they are entertained and connect with the characters.  The series is meant primarily to entertain and tell (hopefully) a good story.  From a social perspective (as mentioned earlier) Saint has an underlying tone that is a cautionary tale for religion gone wrong.

 

EC:  What impact would you like to give readers so they will remember Saint, long after they are finished reading it?

BD:  First, don’t piss off Emily Martin.   But seriously I guess the takeaway is that we are created by the environment in which we are raised and live and in turn form our opinions of other people and cultures based on our created ‘self.’   We should strive to learn more about people different from us even though it may complicate things and challenge long-standing beliefs.

 

Brian’s second book in the Gateway series is titled Saint and will be released summer of 2015…

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You can find Brian Dorsey at…

Website

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Facebook

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Wattpad

Goodreads

Guest Blog by author A.D. Bloom…. Fascination With Nukes and Fail Safe.

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Fail Safe was a 1962 book made into a 1964 movie about nuclear war between the US and the Soviets. Though not graphic, it has a body count in the millions. At the time of its release, it had to compete with Dr. Strangelove (nuclear black comedy and a favorite of mine). Both were produced when America and American moviegoers were at what may have been the highpoint of public anxiety related to the very real threat of nuclear obliteration. A movie about nuclear war made at a time like that leverages popular fear of and fascination with that threat to put paying butts in theater seats. I don’t mean to speak ill of it. I very much like the movie and wouldn’t knock it for doing that. Heck, fear and fascination with nuclear obliteration is what drove me to find Fail Safe and watch it (and so many other apoc/post-apoc movies). That’s one reason this scene sticks in my mind. The Professor seems to equate that fascination in Ilsa with actually wanting to push the button in some kind of power-mad ecstasy of murder and annihilation. I have a fascination with nukes. I watch test footage even, but I don’t want to nuke anyone. What the hell, Prof?

Perhaps the intended function in this scene was to establish how the character is the kind of guy you can trust with a nuke. I’m not sure. If you’ve seen the movie or read the book, then maybe you can tell me exactly what happened here. Why the hell did he suggest Ilsa wants to murder everyone?

 

Scene: the Professor is driving Ilsa home from a Washington power party where she appeared to get hot and bothered listening to him talk about nuclear war and the deaths of millions. He’s an expert and a man of power. She’s young and hot and attempting a seduction through the end of the scene. He’s Walter Matthau.)

Ilsa Woolfe: …..you know there won’t be any survivors, will there?

Professor Groeteschele: Not many.

Ilsa Woolfe: None. None at all. That’s the beauty of it.

Professor Groeteschele: I’ve heard nuclear war called a lotta things, Miss Woolfe. Never beautiful.

Ilsa Woolfe: People are afraid to call it that, but that’s what they feel.

Professor Groeteschele: The beauty of death?

Ilsa Woolfe: Don’t patronize me. What else but that are you selling, Professor? And we all know we’re going to die, but you make a game out of it, a marvelous game that includes the whole world. You make it seem possible.

Professor Groeteschele: It is possible. Even probable.

Ilsa Woolfe: You make death an entertainment… something that can be played in a living room.

Professor Groeteschele: As good a place as any.

Ilsa Woolfe: No. No, there’s an even better place. Turn in there.[Professor Groeteschele steers his car into that road and stops the car. Graveyard?]

Professor Groeteschele: This where you live?

Ilsa Woolfe[laughs] Don’t joke.

Professor Groeteschele: Why not? I’m a joker. I make death into a game for people like you to get excited about. I watched you tonight. You’d love making it possible, wouldn’t you? You’d love pressing that button. What a thrill that would be, knowing you have to die to have the power to take everyone else with you. The mob of them with their plans, their little hopes, born to be murdered. Turning away from it, closing their eyes to it, and you could be the one to make it true. Do it to them. But you’re afraid, so you look for the thrill someplace else. And who better than a man who isn’t afraid? [Ilsa Woolfe tries seducing him, and he slaps her.] I’m not your kind.

 

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Fail Safe, book 1962 Eugene Burdick and Harvey Wheeler, film 1964 directed by Sidney Lumet, screenplay by Walter Bernstein and Peter George.

 

The only clip of this scene I could find on youtube cuts out the great lines and focuses on the slap.

 

Can anyone clue me in as to why he thinks Ilsa wants to murder everyone? And what’s with, “I’m not your kind?”

 

A.D. Bloom likes watching nuclear testing videos. His favorite is the Cannikin test. He sucks at Warthunder but won’t stop playing it. He writes military scifi novels with titles like The War of Alien Aggression and 2166 – Force Liberty. He doesn’t want to hurt anyone.