Tag Archives: graphics

Chinese Warlord Cards & Blinds

Corey recently started painting up a Chinese Warlord force from Copplestone 28mm figures to extend our Russian Civil War gaming in a more Back of Beyond direction, and he’s actually getting units painted and ready for the tabletop (normally I bug him about being the world’s slowest painter…) so I sat down with Inkscape and created a basic set of cards so his Chinese Warlord forces can run in our Through the Mud & the Blood-powered games.

This isn’t quite the full set I made for the Red & White Russian forces; it’s currently missing a LOT of the cards needed for a full M&B game. It works just fine for a Chinese force allied with a White Russian force, though, which is how they’ll be appearing in the next while, until the force gets bigger.

The PDF is four pages long. The first two pages are the cards, set up to match the earlier Russian cards. Page three has the basic graphic needed for colourful markers for a Warlord force – we use these to mark units that are activated or units that are on overwatch (what M&B calls “Wait For It”). The last page is a pair of blinds.

RCW_Warlord_complete_24March2013 — PDF, 349Kb — this file is Copyright 2013 Wirelizard Design/Brian Burger; permission granted to copy or print for personal use.

I’ll do up a full set of Warlord Chinese cards eventually. When I redid all my Russian cards in January I reconfigured the SVG file in Inkscape to make it a LOT easier to edit and create new versions. I’ll also be producing a set of British cards, so my long-neglected Brits in tropical kit can join the Back of Beyond madness in proper style.

The Russian Civil War at Trumpeter Salute

Sent off my request for a table to run a Russian Civil War game at Trumpeter Salute 2012 over in Vancouver (March 30, April 1 & 2, for those interested!), using the excellent Through The Mud & The Blood rules from TooFatLardies, of course.

I’ve got a pretty good handle on the painting of 50+ White Russians and nearly 70 Reds. The Whites have turned out to be more fun to paint than I thought, as they had some very individualistic units running around, and the habit of wearing items of dress uniform into the field where they could. Pygmy Wars has been a huge help in this regard; if you’re into RCW at all that site is a goldmine of information, and written by a wargamer so it’s far more focused on gamer-friendly information than other sources! I also have a couple of more colourful Red units, so not everything colourful on the table will be White!

As I’ve done in the past, because my mind can work in odd ways, I’ve started a poster (possibly a magazine cover?) for the game. I’m not entirely happy with the current version, although I think the basic idea (a map burnt through, basically) is sound enough. The Devil, as always, is in the details, and those aren’t right yet. Nevertheless:
easposter_draft

Templates for Cards

Because I happen to have a stockpile of them around the place, several years ago I started using pre-punched Avery business card sheets as gaming cards – Encounter Cards and vehicle cards in .45 Adventure, stats sheets for minor characters, more recently the Russian Civil War initiative cards for Mud & Blood. Even if you haven’t got pre-punched sheets around, the 2×3.5″ size is easy to use and handle printed onto ordinary cardstock and cut out.

There is of course a Microsoft Word template available right off Avery’s own website but I created my own templates from scratch in Inkscape, first because Word is a lousy program for actual graphical work, and secondly because the Avery templates are set up with vertical (portrait) orientation of the sheets, while for most gaming cards having a landscape setup makes more sense.

Accordingly, I kicked Inkscape to life, took some measurements from the Avery sheets and from their template and created a new template with the cards set up on a landscape (horizontal) sheet, which makes laying the cards out like small playing cards much easier.

I’ve uploaded three versions for people to use: a PDF version, a PNG version (probably the most generally useful) and finally, for those of you who have taken up Inkscape, an SVG version, which is in a ZIP file as WordPress doesn’t like SVG,

If you’re not sure which version to use, grab the PNG version, any modern graphics program should read PNG. Most should also be able to import PDF, which might get you a more accurate template.

CC0 To the extent possible under law, Brian Burger/Wirelizard Design has waived all copyright and related or neighboring rights to Card Template Blanks (various file formats). This work is published from: Canada.

The little grey block basically means that whoever downloads these can do whatever they like with them, including use them in commercial products. Go nuts. And if you’re from that rather large part of the word that doesn’t use Letter-size paper, sorry, but you’re going to have to come up with your own templates!

Jurassic Pulp II: Rex Stomps Back!

Back in October 2009, near the beginning of this pulp craze of ours, I ran a game I called “Jurassic Pulp”, inspired by that T Rex vs SUV chase scene in the original Jurassic Park movie. We used Model Ts instead of SUVs, though, and they’re just a bit more fragile than a modern SUV. T Rex hasn’t changed, though!

A fairly complete report on that first game can be found over on Lead Adventure, including some post-game ideas from both Corey and I.

When we were kicking ideas around for a new .45 Adventure convention game, the idea of reviving Jurassic Pulp came up. I’ve started to run with it, Continue reading Jurassic Pulp II: Rex Stomps Back!

An Egyptian Souvenir

OK, I’ve never actually been to Egypt. But it’s a classic in pulpish destinations (and the closely-related Lovecraftian/Cthulhuian destinations!) and while I’m obviously biased, I like how this luggage tag or sticker has come together.

Egypt! The Mysterious Near East! &c &c. Done in Inkscape, as always!

Done in Inkscape, as usual. The design occurred to me while walking home from work one afternoon, and pretty much fell together once I got home and fired Inkscape up. I love it when inspiration strikes like that!

The Caribbean’s Hidden Paradise!

costa guano poster
Visit the Caribbean's Hidden Paradise, Costa Guano! (View Larger on Flickr by clicking the image)
[M]ore pulp graphic lunacy via Inkscape and the peculiar inside of my skull. This time it’s a travel poster to that oft-forgotten tropical hellhole paradise, The Republic of Costa Guano, which with it’s various neighbours will, eventually, form the background for some pulp/Banana Wars games and pulp adventure lunacy.

“Costa Guano” is, I think, a name originally used in a Joseph Conrad novel I haven’t actually read, but it’s too good a joke to pass up. Pulp steamers and their adventuring crews on the swampy coasts; exiled gangsters and foreign agents skulking in the fetid, dangerous capital Montón De Guano; Lost Worlds in the unmapped jungle-shrouded interior; Banana Wars and uprisings… all these and more are possibly taking place right now in exciting Costa Guano. Book your zeppelin ticket from Miami (with stopover in Havana) today!

Pulp Design Tools & Resources, Part Three: Inspiration

Infection Is Avoided...
A 1930s WPA job-safety poster. Via x-ray_delta_one on Flickr.

A necessarily brief, personal and idiosyncratic tour through some websites with noteworthy archives of 1920s/30s posters, postcards, luggage tags and other graphics. Some photos, some stuff that’s technically outside our chosen era but still cool, and far too short, but enjoy, be inspired, and get a feel for the graphics of the pulp era!

Part One of this series introduced Inkscape. Part Two talked about design, typography & fonts.

The American Library of Congress WPA Posters collection, part of their American Memory project, is huge but not that easy to navigate. Start with the Collection Highlights tour, then just start hitting random keywords or subjects to find gems like Yellowstone Park posters, injunctions to clean up your trash, and even hippos. The WPA was the Works Progress Administration, part of the whole New Deal aimed at keeping Americans employed and maintaining national morale during the Great Depression. There was a whole wing of the WPA dedicated to encouraging the arts, including the graphic arts. Hence the really cool posters.
Continue reading Pulp Design Tools & Resources, Part Three: Inspiration

Pulp Design Tools & Resources, Part Two: Fonts

This is the second in a series of posts (three or more) aimed at introducing gamers to some of the resources out there they might not be aware of for making their own graphics & such. It’s based on our current areas of interest, the 1920s & 30s interwar pulp period, but should be of interest to anyone wanting to add some graphic design details to their gaming!

Part One was a general introduction to Inkscape.
Part Three is on online sources of pulp/interwar design & other images.

A Quick Intro to Some Pulp Design Basics

van isl golf poster
A 1930s Canadian Pacific poster for the Empress Hotel. Via Boston Public Library's Flickr account (CC BY-NC).

Have a look at the image to the right; it’s a good basic distillation of the design principles shared by many of the 20s/30s graphics we’re trying to replicate for our own uses. There were, of course, a number of different styles and variants in use in the period, this one just happens to be a favourite of mine and also easy to replicate in Inkscape!

There’s no gradients, just areas of solid colour. Shading is done with smaller areas of another solid colour — see the area along the golfer’s inner thigh or around his arms — or not done at all. Notice that the grass and sea are simply solid colours; the sea and sky are even exactly the same shade of blue, with the horizon sketched in with a thin tan divider. No outlines or sketch lines, either, just areas of colour.
Continue reading Pulp Design Tools & Resources, Part Two: Fonts

Pulp Design Tools & Resources, Part One: Inkscape

Everytime Corey or I post player aids, faux-vintage ads, building signs, faux magazine covers or similar to forums or elsewhere, there’s always people curious about the tools, fonts and resources we use.

This is the first in a series of posts (probably at least three) aimed at introducing gamers to some of the resources out there they might not be aware of for making their own graphics & such.

Part Two on fonts, typography & design has been published now.

Inkscape

The main tool is Inkscape, an amazing Open Source vector-graphics editor. It’s free to download, available for Windows, Linux, or Mac, and quite possibly the coolest program ever.
Continue reading Pulp Design Tools & Resources, Part One: Inkscape