News from Black Armada

We’re picking up our tools again after a bit of a Covid-induced hiatus, and there’s a few things we wanted to let you know about.

1. We published a new resource on the website, titled making your game fun for everyone. It’s a primer on tools to help focus your game on the things your group enjoys, covering everything from CATS, the same page tool and lines and veils, through the X Card and Script Change, through to feedback and the debrief. It covers a lot of stuff that is often included under the rubric of “safety”, but we’ve tried to take a wider perspective on what these tools can be used for, as well as some ideas of our own.

2. Last Fleet is available for pre-order! If you missed it on Kickstarter, it’s a PBTA game about the last of humanity fleeing across space from the alien Corax. You play brave pilots, officers, politicians and journalists struggling to fend off enemy attacks, alien infiltrators, discord on the fleet and the growing pressure on themselves. Basically if you liked Battlestar Galactica, you might like this. Link here:

3. Our patreon is up and running again!

  • Our newest game is HISTORY DIG LIVE!, a tribute to the UK tv show Time Team, where you play TV archaeologists and (in flashbacks) the historical characters whose lives they are digging up.
  • $3 gets you access to the game, as well as our previous one The Great British Snake Off, where you play contestants on the reptile kingdom’s premier baking show. Win on technique or by trickery!
  • We’ve got a whole bunch of excellent games coming up too, from the GMless mystery game Elementary, through the solo journaling card game Wreck This Deck, and more. Come and join us!

Making your game fun for everyone

Hey folks

Just to let you know about a new resource we’ve published on the Black Armada website. We’ve titled it “making your game fun for everyone”, and it’s a collection of advice and tools for use with any game, to help you focus your game on what is most fun for the people at your table and avoid stuff that’s not fun for you.

A lot of this is stuff that is usually presented under the “safety” rubric. We’ve chosen to look at it through a wider lens here. Partly this is because we think those tools are genuinely useful for more than just safety (though they’re also useful for safety of course). Partly it’s to cast the net a bit wider and bring in things like the Same Page tool which aren’t really about safety per se.

We’ve been talking about this stuff for years, but we wanted a place where we can send people that gives our particular take on this subject. The draft Last Fleet doc includes a link to the resource, as will future Black Armada games. And we’ll keep it updated as the state of the art advances.

All of this is very much building on existing resources so none of it is exactly rocket science if you’re already well read on the subject, but you might find stuff you haven’t seen before or old stuff shown in a new light. You’ll also find a brand new debrief tool that I have designed called EARS (Explain, Agenda, Reflect, Support), which I think fills a gap in this space.

Hope you find it useful, and thanks for helping us to create it.



We are back with an October Game!

History Dig Live was our October patreon game. If you missed it, you can now get it on itch.

Ahoy there shipmates!  

Oh my, it is so good to be back to sailing the choppy seas with you all.  

As you may know we took a break over the last 5-6 months while the schools in the UK were closed.  All our spare time was went on juggling work and homeschool. We spent a fair amount of time playing and reading games (and fulfilling the Last Fleet Kickstarter) but didn’t have the energy to create anything new.  Things are currently better and it was noticeable that after a couple of weeks of school both Josh and I were scribbling away and playtesting multiple game projects.  We are very excited to bring those projects to you over the news few months.

One of my indulgences over quarantine was the British TV show Time Team. In Time Team a crew of eccentric, expert archeologists has 3 days to excavate a dig site, usually in someone’s back garden or a farmer’s field. The show ran from 1994 to 2014 and was wildly and weirdly popular.  Even British people who have never seen any Time Team episodes will nevertheless be able to remember whole episodes of Time Team, like a collective national memory.  It was a British institution and still commands a lot of affection.

It led to an explosion of interest in archeology and history which has never really gone away. It was also the perfect crisis TV.  Reassuring, gentle, wholesome and full of interesting and diverting facts. It was the first thing that came to mind when I wanted to write my post-quarantine game.  

History Dig Live! is a GM-less RPG for 3-5 players. Play a team of archeologists uncovering artefacts and speculating about what they might mean.  Then switch roles and play the historical figures whose lives the archeologists are literally piecing back together.

Last Fleet is also open for pre-orders on Backerkit here if you missed the campaign and want to grab something.

Thanks for your patience.