I haven’t updated about Iron Infantry in a while, but I have been working on it a little.

Last time I mentioned that I needed to start working up a list of skills for the characters to learn and I have done a little bit of research on that path. I’ve looked up military RPGs (that’s role-playing games, not rocket-propelled grenades), not a genre of game I’ve really played before, and have borrowed some ideas from them. Not everything, mind you, but a few skills here and there that I hadn’t already thought of. In addition, I’ve poked into my past to come up with a few more, borrowing ideas from an old video game I loved back in the day called, Wasteland.

Wasteland was a Mad Max-esque RPG that was well-known for having a really good skillset for it’s time, so going there for inspiration seemed like a no-brainer. But the list of skills for Iron Infantry is still in-process, mainly because I want to try to figure out what specialties I want the Iron Infantry characters to have before I dive too much deeper. I need to research those old G.I. Joe figures to see what kinds of specialties might be useful in this campaign, then adjust the skills based on the missions the players might encounter. So, that’s still a work in progress.

I’ve also been working on the equipment situation. I’m modeling this game a lot on Zombicide Black Plague, which allows players to carry up to five items in their backpack, as well as a primary and secondary weapon. So far, I’m thinking along those same lines. Iron Infantry characters will have five slots available to fill with whatever they want, be it additional weapons (i.e., grenades) or general equipment (i.e., first aid kits), and two weapon slots (essentially two hands).

The Zombicide Survivor’s Dashboard

Right now I’m thinking there will be three decks of Equipment cards. The first deck will be called “The Depot” and will be the Iron Infantry‘s basic equipment, like small arms, medical supplies, lockpick kits, bomb disarm kits, and some more unusual equipment that won’t be necessary on every mission, things like mountaineering equipment.

At the beginning of every mission, players will go to The Depot and gear up their characters with whatever they want. One mission they might bring an Uzi and a .45, three medical kits, and a lockpick set; the next mission they might opt for an M4A1 and a .9mm Glock, two medical kits, a bomb disarm kit, and a security breach kit. It’s really up to the player to bring along what they think they might need.

During gameplay, the players will encounter certain spots on the board where they’ll be able to draw from the Field Acquisition deck. This is for things that players will find in the field like grenades or security cards for easy access to locked doors, as well as slightly better firearms and body armor than they can get from The Depot.

However, anything the players find while on their mission can be brought back with them and added to The Depot for future use. So, if a character finds a bulletproof vest, he could pick it up, put it in his backpack, and carry it with him on the mission. If the mission is completed successfully, he can add that vest to The Depot and another player could use it on the next mission. As you might recall, not every character will be on every mission. So, with a communal Depot, you can load up a character who may not have as much experience with some decent weaponry and armor and maybe he’ll have a chance to survive a more advanced mission that he otherwise wouldn’t be ready for.

This ability to add to The Depot will become important because I think I’ve finally figured out what I want the over-arching story to be for Iron Infantry. Obviously I’m not going to give away everything here in a public forum, but essentially, what’s going to happen is that, about halfway through the game, the players are going to breach a vault that’s been heavily guarded by enemy troops. Once inside the vault, the players will be given permission to open a small, sealed envelope in the game box. Inside the envelope will be an equipment card featuring a super-secret weapon.

Once the players have found this secret weapon, they’ll be able to open the third deck of Equipment cards, which will really add a twist to the game with some very advanced weaponry and armor. It will also unlock new types of enemy soldiers and mini-bosses that they haven’t encountered before; it marks a real turning point in the game and will hopefully make for a fun plotline to follow.

So, I kind of killed two birds with one stone this week. I’ve figured out my equipment setup, as well as a way to advance the story that will make the game more challenging and exciting; it’s a real win-win. Obviously I’m nowhere near ready to start designing prototype cards or anything like that, but at least having a road map for future developments is a big step.

For now, I think I need to revisit the skillsets, to start working on the main squad of characters that at least some of which will be on every mission. In terms of G.I. Joe, it would be your Snake-Eyes, your Stalker, your Lady Jaye; the members of a versatile group that can take on anything. Once I’ve determined their skills, I can start to focus on more specialized characters, like a mountain trooper like Alpine or a telecommunications expert like Dial-Tone.

Of course at some point I have to start thinking about missions and figuring out how even the very first mission will tie into the larger story arch that I have for later on. Honestly, that will probably be the hardest part about this game, but it’s also the thing I’m probably looking forward to most.

So, until next time, Yoooooo, Iron Infantry! (Ok, that…no. I need to workshop this a little bit…)

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