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Tiny Tin Men :: Archives

Full Thrust takes off

May 24, 2005 10:52 AM - Posted by Robartes - Category: Rulesets

As of today Ground Zero Games is providing free PDF copies of their Full Thrust rules — the rulebook itself and both Fleet Books. While I own the three books mentioned in hardcopy, I will definitely download the PDF versions.

As to why the rules are now available for free — as are the other OOP rulesets by GZG — John of GZG mentions that the books are either out of print or getting there fast. I think the tacit acknowledgement is that the expected return from reprinting the books would be less than the cost of the reprint, hence this generous gift. Another factor in the decision might be the fact that GZG, as most miniatures outfits that produce rules and supporting miniatures, probably makes a lot more money selling the figures than the rules themselves (a business reality that GW was probably one of the first to recognize and use to great advantage), so giving away the rules once they are no longer profitable makes good business sense.

And as an aside, this is the 100th post on Tiny Tin Men. Congratulations to us :)

Comments on this entry

Congrats on the 100th post! Keep up the good work. I like the site.

May 24, 2005 12:13 PM - Posted by Koen (Heverlee)

I always wondered why not more companies are giving away their rules for free … and support it with other products such as miniatures. Of course, this works for GW, since their games and ruleset are designed around collecting a lot of GW-specific miniatures.

I’m not sure this would work for FT. In a typical FT game, you don’t need that many miniatures, and it’s not as if the FT following is willing to buy new spaceships every other year. We’ll see.

But in general, I applaud this decision. It’s not as if the bulk of commercial rules are so much better than what you can come up with yourself or is already available on the internet …

On another note, I always liked the Full Thrust gaming system. I do remember playing my FT game at EuroGenCon 1992, and I’ve been a fan ever since, although is not a game to be played every week, since the tactical options are not always that big of a deal. Once the ships are within range, it’s pretty much a straight shoot-out. We need more historical research in space-ship combat!

May 24, 2005 2:45 PM - Posted by Phil

For me, Full Thrust is ‘special’ in that it was the very first miniature wargame (for a loose definition thereof) I ever played. Way back in 1996 or so, I was a Ph.D. student with time on my hands and was looking for miniatures gamers in Leuven. To make a long story short (the long story will follow when the Phil’s History series gets to around this period. Phil? :) ), I contacted Phil and was told that a game was on in a games shop in Leuven. The game was Full Thrust and in a way led directly to my current involvement in the hobby and thus even to this very blog.

We should play FT again - Phil, care to offer the use of your attic as a big space battlefield some time in the future?

May 24, 2005 2:58 PM - Posted by Robartes


thanks for the kind words - so you are our third reader :)

You seem to be from Heverlee - do you play miniatures games? Care to join us for a game?

May 24, 2005 3:02 PM - Posted by Robartes

Actually - there are more readers, but I’ve only been lurking up till now, from my hiding place in the Dutch mountains ;)

Anyway - congrats!


May 24, 2005 3:31 PM - Posted by Koen De Smedt

Koen (DS),

Dutch mountains??? Those are not mountains, they’re cows!

Thanks for the congrats.

May 24, 2005 3:39 PM - Posted by Robartes

On why there are not more free rule sets with supporting figures. I agree it seems a sound idea. I do find that many rule sets sold are really quite poor value. I find it very irritating to buy expensive, glossy booklets that have little play value.

Jim Wallman’s site by the way is worth looking at. Lots of interesting free rules. He is the guy responsible for the mega-games in UK and, last year, in Nijmegen.

May 25, 2005 9:36 AM - Posted by Alan


I agree, many rulesets being sold are actually quite low in value.

I’m also not sure why people are still keen on selling their rulesets. It’s not as if you can make a living from it. Or am I wrong?

I’m assuming that many wargaming rulesets are written by dedicated players in their free time, after their day-jobs. Then why not put them on the net for free.

One possible issue is credibility. If your ruleset is available as a glossy booklet, it will suddenly have much more ‘street cred’ compared to a pdf file on the net. For some players this is important. On the other hand, this might be exactly what is needed to make a rulest widely accepted.

E.g. Rapid Fire. The rules are actually not that good. Clunky mechanics. But they have a nice booklet with good color pictures. Hence, popularity.

I guess they are reasons pro and con to publish as a booklet instead of only on the net…

May 26, 2005 11:04 AM - Posted by Phil

My apologies for not responding earlier. I didn’t expected to get a reply on this thread, so I didn’t check back untill now.

Yes, I live in Heverlee since november 2004 (near the Colruyt if you know where that is). I’m coming from Boutersem, about 13 km from Leuven, so I’m not entirely new to this region. It’s in Leuven that I stumbled on miniatures, on wargames and on a passion I spend to much time and money on, but don’t we all…?

So yes, I play wargames and I play miniatures games. And yes, I would gladly accept your kind invitation Bart. But in that case, I think a brief introduction might be in order. I’m 31 now and got hooked on the hobby when I was 17. June 1991. I was wandering around in a toy shop, Christiaensen, then located in the Diestsestraat in Leuven, when I suddenly noticed some miniatures on a shelf. I had no idea what they were, but they looked cool. Later on, I discovered that they weren’t just for showing of someones painting and modelling skills, but that they were space marines of Crimson Fist chapter (they were the old ones, with beaky helmets and a lot of niples on their shoulderpads) and that there was a whole gaming world behind it. But it wasn’t untill I found the 6mm scale that I was really lost. So I have to admit that GW brought me in to this hobby (and the good people who showed their painted space marines and orks in Christiaensen).

It’s only during the last five years that I’m really leaving GW behind and that I’m looking for other game systems. At first exploring the scifi systems, then towards fantasy and historical.

Scifi mass combat in 6mm scale remains my favorite genre, but I’m eager to learn other scales, other periodes, other rules. I’m currently painting a 6mm amazone army from Baccus and I am contemplating building a space fleet. In the past I’ve played a few games of Te Wapen in the Lonely Mountain in the Tiensestraat in Leuven. I haven’t had the chance to test the newer version yet. My problem is mostly finding opponents, forcing me to collect both sides of a war and begging family and friends to play with me. Maybe my search is over now…

Wow, this has become a long message. Now how’s that for a professional lurker!

June 15, 2005 8:52 PM - Posted by Koen (Heverlee)

Hi Koen

Your search is over! I live in Tervuren, so very close to you. Bart is not far away, in gentile Zemst. We also have a player in Tremelo, Filip in St Niklaas, Phil in Leuven and a whole gaggle (sorry guys) in Brussel.

I’d be pleased to try a sci fi game if yoou would like to try it out. Maybe we can try to get together next week? Bart, what do you think?

BTW, you’re the same age as Bart. Isn’t that nice? And you’re both young enough to be my sons. Gulp. Isn’t that worrying? Alan

June 16, 2005 7:53 PM - Posted by Alan

Alan & Koen,

perhaps we can indeed organise a spaceship game next week - let’s take the planning to email.

Oh - and I’m actually a few years older than Koen. Can I still call you Daddy? ;)

June 16, 2005 8:02 PM - Posted by Robartes