The Kickstarter just received approval and we have Launched!
Click the logo above, and you’ll be taken to our project, where you can become a backer!
In celebration of the Yula reprint an the latest Matriarchy release, I’m republishing FFG’s interview with Robert Jeschonek.
Soon, you’ll be able to follow all of the action in Robert Jeschonek’s novel. In the meanwhile, we were lucky enough to get the writer to answer a few questions.
Mr. Jeschonek is an accomplished writer, and some of his novels include My Favorite Band Does Not Exist, Earthshaker, and Day 9. He has kindly answered a few of our questions, and here is the first half of his responses.
Gaining some insight
Rising Sun, Falling Shadows is the first novel based on the Tannhäuser universe. Can you give us some insights into the process of translating the setting into this format? What challenges did you encounter?
I studied the background material from the Tannhäuser game extensively, learning the characters and everything I could about their world. I also studied the materials developed for the new Shogunate module, which was still in the formative stages. This did create a challenge in the outline phase, as the module bible changed often, and I had to change the outline to match it. But once the module materials were locked, and I got the go ahead to write, the book fell together beautifully. If ever there were an ideal game to base a novel on, Tannhäuser is it. The history is so rich, and the characters are so vibrant, that it just inspires a million ideas and directions to take--which, of course, is one of the reasons it makes such an awesome game.
What aspect of the Tannhäuser universe most excites you?
I love the mix of genres inherent in the universe, which lets me blend together all sorts of styles, characters, and elements. Tannhäuser is many things all at once: a military story, an occult horror tale, an alternate history saga, and a science fiction story. I can write a hardcore battlefield scene in one chapter, then switch to a dark supernatural scene in the next. It's the perfect universe for me to work in, since my writing in general features lots of crossed genres, mixed influences, and surprising combinations.
Developing a story
What character from the Tannhäuser setting did you most enjoy developing?
In terms of pre-existing characters, I really enjoyed writing Tala Aponi. She has such a bold, in-your-face personality, and she just jumped off the page and came to life for me. I also liked writing MacNeal, a true hero in the classic sense; he's the heart of Tannhäuser and the core of Rising Sun, Falling Shadows. But I have to say I had the most fun with the characters from the Shogunate, because they were brand new, and the game developers had done such a great job laying the groundwork. The Daimyo is totally cool, a master warrior with a complex personality. As for Itami, who wouldn't love writing a blue-skinned demonic monstrosity whose savage impulses exist side-by-side with an excellent vocabulary and misleadingly good manners? My absolute favorite, though, is a character I created for the book, a soldier named Hiruko. He's a decent man forced to take extreme action under extreme circumstances, and he has the soul of a poet. I hope I get the chance to develop him further in future novels set in this world.
Without spoiling anything, can you give Tannhäuser fans some idea of what to expect from Rising Sun, Falling Shadows?
Expect tons of action and lots of surprises. It's a fast-moving book with strong currents of horror and suspense. Readers will get to meet the Shogunate for the first time, which I think is exciting in its own right. But there's plenty of conflict between the Union forces and the Reich, in the person of Von Heïzinger and Zermann. Since the story's set in Kamchatka, under the dominion of the Matriarchy, you'll see plenty of Russians, too, as Holy Commissar Irina and her all new Bogatyr unit join the struggle. The Bogatyrs have their hands full with Oksana Gusarenko and the New Guard, who oppose the Black Angel Rasputin. So we bring in a lot of factions and favorite characters, showing off the awesome scope of the Tannhäuser universe. And they're all out to control a mystical artifact that could change the course of the war. Did I mention they're racing against time, because a massive volcano's about to erupt? Plus, there's lots of exciting Wolf action, as he's a major player in the quest and battle for the artifact.
Thank you, Mr. Jeschonek! Check back for the second part of this interview in the next few weeks. In the meantime, pre-order your copy of Rising Sun, Falling Shadows from the iBookstore.
The Yula Reprint is now available in some stores, expect her nationwide in a few days.
The early street date for the Matriarchy Troop Pack is 2/28.
I should be getting my much delayed Hinansho and the new troops by the end of the week, maybe Monday. So, expect new videos to start soon.
Also don’t forget BATTLE BLOKX launches on Kickstarter on Leap Day.
Here is a link to the preview of our Kickstarter project launching on February 29th.
Also you can check out our project video on Youtube HERE.
My parked car a 2011 Ford Focus with only 7000 miles on it by the way; was just hit by a drunk driver, and now all my joy of an approved Kickstarter for BATTLE BLOKX is more or less crushed, but were insured so it should be alright in the end.
Click image for larger view.
UPDATE: At first we were hoping the damage was all cosmetic, but as you can see in the picture above the front wheel is well out of place, and the car is completely un-drivable.
UPDATE: The body shop has estimated the damage at approx. $2500 and it will take about ten days to repair. Insurance will pay for it minus a deductible of course.
UPDATE: 2/8/2012: The traffic investigator just called and told me they had the suspect come in and charged him with “Driving on a Suspended License, and Hit and Run with Property Damage”. He will get his plea hearing on the 25th and then we’ll se how things go from there.
UPDATE: 2/21/2012: We got the car back but it’s still damaged and the insurance is giving us a little bit of a runaround. We’re hoping to have it sorted out in a couple days, but the car's probably not going to be 100% till march. Just in case you don’t remember, it was originally hit on February 5th.
UPDATE: 2/21 again: The Insurance Adjuster just approved everything, apologized for the delay and the shop will be giving us a call to complete the work. Just to clarify the damage is hidden and is only noticeable at speeds over 25 MPH. So it's not really anyone’s fault other then the idiot who hit it in the first place.
Moebius, who has be working diligently to create a great Tannhauser module for Fantasy Grounds, has created a couple of videos to help you get started.
If you need any more info you can always check the Tannhauser forums: HERE.
DT Allies Hero Pack: Feb. 2012
DT Axis Hero Pack: Feb. 2012
DUST Warfare Core Book: Feb. 2012
DT SSU Airborne Transport: April 2012
DT SSU Command Squad: April 2012
DT SSU Battle Squad: April 2012
DT SSU Close Combat Squad: April 2012
DT SSU KV47 Walker: April 2012
DT Campaign Expansion: Zverograd: April 2012
DT MCW M3 Expansion: Announced
DT SSU Specialists: Announced
DT SSU Rifle Squad: Announced
DT SSU Hero Pack: Announced
DUST Warfare: Campaign Book Zverograd: Announced
Tannhauser Yula Reprint: Feb.-April 2012
Tannhauser Novel: Rising Sun, Falling Shadows: April 2012
Tannhauser Matriarchy Trooper Pack: expected by March 1st, but don’t hold your breath.
FFG has announced the SSU Zverograd Campaign Book, this is the first announced rule expansion for the upcoming DUST Warfare.
See more HERE.
DUST Warfare is the tabletop miniature rule set for use with the miniatures from the DUST Tactics board-game.
Moebius has again updated his Fantasy Grounds plugin for Tannhauser.
Here is his post:
-New Look and Feel, everything looks "Tannhauserish" now!!!
- All useless buttons on the sidebar have been removed
- Natalya Added
- Matriarchy troop pack added (that took some pausing, capturing and photo shopping Miah’s video review...)
-Second trooper of each type added (so teams can have now 2 troopers of the same kind)
- Hoax character sheet corrected
- Bonus tokens added
- Lots of minor fixes in tokens, sheets etc...
To install same procedure as before: Download Here, open zip, extract zip on the tannhauser folder (can be reached by clicking start-->all programs-->fantasygrounds II-->application data folder
Do read the "readme" it contains all the instructions you might need.
Here is a link to the FFG forum page where you can get some help if you have issues: Tannhauser Online Updated.
My copy of Hinansho is in with my actual order of the Matriarchy Troopers, which are looking like they’ll be delayed till March.
So… I apologize for no updates lately but I just don’t have any ne material at the moment. As soon as Hinansho shows up expect a video, and a multi-map campaign.
Also BATTLE BLOKX has been consuming a lot of time lately, but I’ll be sure not to delay posts here. So, expect updates the day I get the new releases.
Today we placed orders for the equipment to prototype the Battle Blokx, and filed our papers for incorporation in West Virginia. This means that here in a few days not only will be officially a real company, but we will begin building the first playable Blok prototypes.
We’re very excited here and we hope that some of you are too, if all goes well we should hit our goal of launching the Kickstarter in March.
If you follow this LINK you’ll get to FFG’s preview of the new Tannhauser Novel, Rising Sun, Falling Shadows, there you can read the first chapter!
I just finished the 10 pages preview of Chapter One of Rising Sun, Falling Shadows, and I have to say it looks really good, keep in mind I don’t really read pulp fiction much, but this seems to be a good example of the genera. Its tight and well written, filled with well used imagery without being grandiloquent. It also introduces a new character: Taki Takata, a new member of the 42nd, a Japanese American from San Francisco. I won’t spoil anything for you guys, but I have to say so far I like the interplay between Hoax and Tala, the only other 42nd MSF characters in the preview.
Well I look forward to seeing more in April when it releases.
Continuing this years series of Bonus Tokens we have the next Warehouse 13 artifact…
This artifact was designed by a Roman glass blower in 221 for the emperor Elagabalus, who was incompetent and required this goblet to quiet a room so that he could be heard. When a finger runs along the rim of the goblet, a deafening sonic wave is emitted, causing all the listeners except for the user to fall into submission.
Artifact • As an action, flip this token face down, all characters who share your path immediately lose their next action (they may still move). Flip this token face up during the Refresh Tokens Step.
Last night we played a 200 point DUST Tactics game including all the Tannhauser characters from the Tannhauser Core set. It went rather well for the Axis/Reich they defeated the Allies/Union in only 2 and half turns, but this may have more to do with the Allies unit choice then anything else. They had very high value units but only one squad and two walkers beyond the TH units. The Axis had lower value units but more of them; so they had an advantage in sheer numbers.
We made a couple changes for balance as we played, First we reduced Heizinger to range 5 and Health 2, we did this both for “realism” (he is 96 years old after all), and to bring down his power a little, we may still alter his weapon rows a little after more testing. Second we changed Eva’s Strafe to a 1/3 1/3 1/3 –, but it’s hard to get the feel of the whip right. Finally we took one weapon away from the Stosstruppen.
We didn’t make any changes to the Union characters, but we might after more testing. I’m hoping to do a 300 point game tonight, I’ll let you all know how it goes.
Here is the first run for the Tannhauser Core Set (and Trooper Pack) Reich characters as DUST Tactics units. Let me know what you think, I’ve been getting vey good suggestions for these DT conversions, and will be happy to hear more. I will say I prefer to start with overpowered characters, and then pare them down into balanced characters.
As the pools of energy swirled around Heizinger, John could feel the pull of the dark forces in the vortex, then with out warning a wave of energy engulfed all those still in the crypt…
“Where are we? Barry said dusting the snow from his gun.
“I don’t know, but it’s cold,” Tala said through chattering teeth.
The Major looked sternly at his men, and then out at the vast snowy distance. “OK people we need to find some shelter, then we can worry about where we are!”
As they began to move out a squad of what appeared to be Army Rangers popped up over a snow drift… “Halt and identify your selves,” yelled a young Sergeant.
“I’m Major MacNeal with the 42nd Marine Special Forces!”
“The 42nd who!?” Said the Sergeant, “I DON’T CARE WHO YOU ARE DROP THOSE GUNS AND COME WITH US TO HQ!”
“Major?” Barry said tensing up on his trigger.
“Do as he says,” said John calmly, “at least we’ll get out of this cold, and maybe we’ll find out where we are.”
Over hearing John the Sergeant called back, “Where you are! Your in Antarctica!”
Antarctica… now the question was, where was Heizinger, John thought…
I rejigged both Barry and John to address some concerns with possible overpowered stats, and I went ahead and did Tala (as a mechanic/ medic) and the Commandos with two machine guns.
I hope you folks like them, now on to the base set Reich characters.
Now I know what your thinking: how is this a “weird war” genera movie? Well in Catch 22 the war was never weirder. 22 tells the story of Captain Yossarian a bombardier in an US Army bomber wing stationed in North Africa. But this is not a unit like any other, and without giving too much away here are a few examples.
(Caution Catch 22 is not for children it contains: nudity, sex, rape, and violence.)
Through out the movie and the novel on which it’s based (written by Joseph Heller) it can be hard to separate Yossarian’s reality from what may be delusion: and by the end of the story your left asking did all that just happen? At the beginning of the film he is stabbed, and then the movie goes into a series of flashbacks; or are they delusions, or both? Either way we get brief glimpses of the present where Yossarian is fighting for his life on an operating table, and short sequences where a member of his flight crew dies in his arms. The over all feel and tone of the film gives the viewer a look inside not only the insanity of war but also what it must be like to be driven insane by what we would call today Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
While I won’t go more into Yossarian’s main plot line to give you an idea of how the film goes from normal to madness, here is 1st Lt. Milo Mindbender’s subplot. Milo begins the film as the squadron supply chief and is in charge of gathering supplies. Early in the story he convinces the Colonel to allow him to set up a “syndicate” to begin profiting from exchanging good with other unit and the locals on Sicily. By the middle of the film he is no longer preforming any of his duties, and is working solely on cornering every market in what has to be the greatest war profiteering scheme ever. Suffice it to say by the end of the film not only does Milo run Sicily but he also has half the military units in the area under his command, wearing his logo, and acting as his private army. So you can see in a place like this how Captain Yossarian may begin to feel he’s gone insane.
Over all it is a very good move the with an excellent cast Yossarian is played briantly by Alan Arkin and the supporting cast includes Bob Newheart, Jon Voight, Martin Sheen, and Orsen Wells to name a few. It’s directed by awesome director Mike Nichols, who also directed Biloxi Blues, The Graduate, and Charlie Wilson’s War, and many more great films. While this movie is not really for all World War movie fans, or all Tannhauser fans, it is a great classic picture in the same vein as One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, and defiantly worth watching.