icon.jpg (11242 bytes)


N e w s    f r o m    C G S 

All the latest happenings from CGS. We endeavour to update this page as often as possible with news, events and all the latest goings on. There's also a News Archive section from our old website available if you want to peruse the news of the past.

    follow me on Twitter

    27 Jan 11: New Reviews and new Hot War AP

    Well, it's been a while since we've posted some news, so lets start off the 2011 with some new reviews:

    Firstly there are a couple of Hot War Reviews. One by Karl Larsson at RPG Geek and one by Stefan Schwiedland at Spieletest.at (in German). There is also a Cold City review by R Frazee over at Gameolosophy.

    In other news, we've got a new Actual Play report over at the Collective Endeavour site for a Hot War game run by our very own Malcolm Craig. If you want to have a look, click here.


    11 Oct 10: Hot War Transmission issue 2 now available to buy

    Issue 2 of the Hot War Transmission is now available to buy in full colour print and PDF formats. The print version of this 40 page issue is available exclusively from the Contested Ground Studios shop whilst the PDF pack (both full versions and printer friendly versions are included) is available from RPGNow and Drivethru RPG. Over the next few days it will also be available from Indie Press Revolution.

    For more info on Issue 2 of the Hot War Transmission click here.

    To buy a print copy click here.

    To buy a PDF copy click here for RPGNow and here for Drivethru RPG


    21 Sept 10: Hot War Transmission issue 2 available to pre-order

    Issue 2 of the Hot War Transmission takes a look at the devious, and at times murky, world of politics. Articles in this issue include a look at UK politics prior to the war, scenario nuggets with a political theme, and a look at prominent 1960s politician John Profumo and Enoch Powell and how their lives might have turned out in the world of Hot War.

    Scott Dorward presents 'Things Fall Apart', a scenario that delves into the influences on, and machinations within, the SSG. Complete with pre-generated characters, loads of NPCs, and a rich situation, it can be played on its on or slotted in as part of your ongoing Hot War game.

    Issue 2 will be available in the second week in October, but you can pre-order it right now here

    By pre-ordering you get:

    The PDF package as soon as the issue goes to print, meaning you get your hands on it before anyone else. The PDF package won't be sold to anyone else until the print version is also available.

    Your print copy of the Transmission will be sent out the day we get them from the printers. The hardcopy will not go on general sale until every pre-order has been sent out.

    Title: The Hot War Transmission, Volume 1, Issue 2
    Authors: Malcolm Craig and Scott Dorward
    Illustration & Layout: Paul Bourne
    Book size: A5
    Pages: 40
    Price: 5 (full colour hardcopy and PDF package), $4 (PDF only)
    Available to pre-order NOW
    Available for general sale in the second week in October 2010

    Click here to pre-order

    Click here to go to the Hot War Transmission page


    24 Aug 10: New Hot War Download available

    'Salisbury Plain' by Andrew Kenrick originally featured in the Collective Endeavour Journal. This four page article is a great set up for a Hot War game outside London and features a profile of Salisbury Plain itself, notable locations, notable characters and monsters.

    'To the west of the capital, beyond the ruins of Porton Down, lies the blasted wilderness of Salisbury Plain, once the site of the Army's most ambitious training exercises, and now home to the monstrous survivors of the War.'

    To download 'Salisbury Plain go to the Hot War downloads page or click here.


    17 Aug 10: Cold City Tweaks and Updates

    As of next month we will be releasing Cold City through Cubicle 7 Entertainment. The book will still be available from our web shop but it will also be available from C7 and through major distribution. So, to celebrate this, we decided to update the book a little. So that people who already have a copy of Cold City don't miss out, we have posted PDF versions of the updated pages here on the CGS website. You can download them from the Cold City Downloads page or by following the links below:

    Cold City v1.1 (Cubicle 7 Edition) System Chapter

    If you own v1.0 or v1.1 printings of Cold City, you might be interested in this slightly revised system chapter from the version of v1.1 we have brought out in conjunction with Cubicle 7. A few little typos have been corrected and there is a new section on creating and using NPCs.

    Download it here (1.2Mb)

    Cold City v1.1 (Cubicle 7 Edition) Sample Game Situations

    If you own v1.0 or v1.1 printings of Cold City, you might be interested in this revised game situations section from the version of v1.1 we have brought out in conjunction with Cubicle 7. Old favourite 'Prisoner Number 8' has been replaced with two new sample game situations. 'Operation Violine' is a fully fleshed out sample, complete with player characters. 'Our Man In Berlin' is a blackly comic situation that explores the somewhat lighter side of the RPA. The remain pieces - 'Prodigal Son', 'Inside You', 'Transformations' will be familiar to anyone with the previous versions of the game. They have been given a quick spring clean, but have no major changes.

    Download it here (1Mb)

    Cold City v1.0 and v1.1 'Prisoner Number 8'

    As it isn't appearing in the Cubicle 7 edition of Cold City, we though people might like to have the classic Cold City game situation 'Prisoner Number 8' by Steve Dempsey.

    Download it here (252Kb)


    03 Aug 10: New Hot War Download & Cold City articles in Protodimension Magazine

    'Firms & Hatchetmen' is an article that originally features in the Collective Endeavour Journal about real-life gangsters and how they can be used in the world of Hot War. Anyway, we have put the full article up for free downloads on the Hot War Downloads page.

    Also, there are two Cold City articles featuring in the summer issue of Protodimension Magazine. The first article is entitled Ich Bin Ein BRAINEATER,  which is a Brain Sucking Scenario by Linden Dunham. The second is Dark Conspiracy in a Cold City, a Cross System Guidance of a Darkly Cold Nature again by Linden Dunham.

    To download 'Firms& Hatchetmen click here.

    To download the summer issue of Protodimension Magazine click here.


    28 July 10: See the Transmission in the flesh!

    As promised, here is a photo of the print version of the Hot War Transmission issue one. The book is printed in full colour on high quality Forest Stewardship Council Certified paper, which basically means it comes from recognised sustainable sources. Anyway, you can have a look at it here.


    26 July 10: Hot War Transmission Print version now available

    As the title suggests, the first issue of the Hot War Transmission is now available from our shop page. The 36 page book is printed in full colour and is priced at 5 plus postage. I'll post some photos of the printed version in the next day or so, but in the mean time you can download the free PDF version from the Hot War downloads page. Or, you can go straight for the print version which is available here.


    20 July 10: Free Hot War Cheat Sheet now available

    The Hot War Cheat Sheet is one page resource dealing with Conflicts in Hot War. It can be used for reference or 'on the fly' during games of Hot War when you don't have time to flick through the book. Either way, it's a handy thing to have!

    You can download the Hot War Cheat Sheet at the Hot War Downloads page or here


    12 July 10: Hot War Transmission Issue 1 now available

    The Hot War Transmission is a new, full colour, quarterly mini-supplement for the Hot War RPG. Each themed issue offers material designed to help and inspire your games.

    Issue 1 focuses on the work of the late, great Nigel Kneale, creator of the hugely influential Quatermass TV series and films. Inside the Transmission you'll find a guide to Quatermass, with useful hints about incorporating situations and themes into your games, locations from the series and films, and a Kneale-esque game situation created by Scott Dorward.

    The game situation gives you background, antagonists, and four pre-generated characters, making ideal for convention play or for slotting in to your own games.

    Issue 1 of the Hot War Transmission is free to download from the Hot War Downloads page, Drivethru RPG and RPG Now. Future issues of the PDF version will be priced at $4 and will be available from Drivethru RPG, RPG Now and Indie Press Revolution.

    Full colour print versions of all Transmission issues will be available from our web shop. the first of which will be available in about a week or so, so keep your eyes peeled!

    For more info on the Hot War Transmission go here.


    25 May 10: Free Hot War demo pack now available

    The free 6 page demo pack centers around the team hot on the trail of a Soviet mole, highly-placed in the British government. But all is not as it seems... The PDF includes a script, background & character sheets and is ideal for running a 15 - 30 minute Hot War demo game. You can download the demo pack by clicking the image below or going to the Hot War downloads page.


    23 Mar 10: New Actual Play, Resources and a|state video reviews

    We thought it was long overdue that we updated the site with some new resources and APstuff, so here is a selection of the latest and best. There is also a 5 part a|state review on YouTube courtesy of DeTzardis. All the links are listed below as well as in the relevant section of the CGS site, so happy viewing/reading.

    a|state review by DeTzardis: 
    Part 1
             Part 2        Part 3        Part 4        Part 5        

    Cold City Resources: 
    A great collection of postcards and other images

    Cold City Actual Play: 
    Steve Ellis uses Cold City to play some Battlestar Galactica

    Hot War Resources: 
    The photography of Edward Burtynsky
    , in particular his studies of the shipbreaking industry in Chittagong:  The horror of the shipbreaking beaches inspired the descriptions of corroding Soviet landing ships in Hot War.

    Exploring 20th Century London. Useful website where you can search under periods and themes for all sorts of interesting tales of the great metropolis.

    Hot War Actual Play: 
    Some thoughts on using Hot War to run games of a|state

    Rich Stokes uses Hot War to run Vampire: The Masquerade*: Discussion and Amendments to Hot War

    Gary Bowerbank uses Hot War to run a highly successful Delta Green**

    *Vampire: The Masquerade is copyright of White Wolf Publishing.
    **Delta Green is copyright of Pagan Publishing.


    07 Mar 10: Free PDF with all book orders!

    In light of developments in the role-playing games market, We have undertaken a thorough review of our sales policy. So what does that mean for you, our customers?

    Well, the major change is that when you buy the hardcopy version of any of our book products, you get the PDF of that product for free. This means that you get print and electronic versions for exactly the same price as the print version alone. Also, if you buy a book bundle you get a free PDF of every book in that bundle.

    In order to get your free PDF, you'll need to purchase from our online shop, Indie Press Revolution (by buying the 'Print & PDF Bundle' of any given product), or from the Collective Endeavour booth at various UK conventions. Unfortunately, we cannot offer the free PDF service for customers at non-UK conventions or those purchasing our products through brick and mortar games stores. We are looking into ways round this problem, but at the moment there are several logistical barriers.

    To get your free PDF all you need to do is place your book order, we will then send you a link to get your free PDF direct from Drivethru RPG. Because we are having to do this manually it may take up to 24 hours for you to receive you link, so please be patient. At Conventions you will get your PDF on CD, so there is no need to wait!


    14 Feb 10: Ikosa.net interview Malcolm and Paul

    French games site Ikosa.net recently interviewed Malcolm and Paul about all things Hot War and CGS in general. The interview is available in French aswell as an English translation. Anyway, if you want to take a look, you can read the interview here.


    03 Jan 10: The Big CGS Sale Extended plus new Cold City Podcast review

    The CGS Sale has been extended right through to the end of January. So with 20% off a whole host of items, including all book bundles, there is still time to pick up a bargain. So, to take a look at what's on offer visit the Contested Ground Studios shop.

    Also there is a great new Cold City podcast read review by the nice people over at All Games Considered. The podcast is about 19 minutes long and well worth a listen if you are interested in all things Cold City. To listen to the podcast click here.


    30 Nov 09: THE RENDERING ENGINE: The Art of Paul Bourne now available

    The Rendering Engine, the first full colour art book release by Contested Ground Studios' artist Paul Bourne is now available to buy from our online shop. This body of work consists of new versions of previous published illustrations plus a whole host of 'never before seen' material from the artist's personal portfolio. For more information visit the Rendering Engine page where you can get all the book stats, download a free 7 page preview and view a contact sheet of the entire book.

    For more information click here

    To download the free preview click here

    To buy a copy click here


    24 Nov 09: THE RENDERING ENGINE art book free preview now available

    'The Rendering Engine - The Art of Paul Bourne' will be available to buy from Monday 30th November. Until then, there is a free 7 page PDF preview available to download, which includes the book's contents page so you can see exactly what you are getting. 

    The full colour 7x9 inch 46 page book contains art from Cold City, Hot War and 3:16 amongst others, plus a whole host of new original art. The book is priced at 13 and will be available on the web exclusively from the Contested Ground shop. Saying that though, there will be  a few pre-release copies available at Dragonmeet on Saturday 28th Nov at the Collective Endeavour booth, so if you are at Dragonmeet this year, swing by and take a look for yourself.

    Click here to download the preview of The Rendering Engine.


    25th Oct 09: Limited Edition hardback HOT WAR now available

    The hardback limited edition of Hot War is now available to buy exclusively from our shop for the price of 22. This limited edition pack includes the following: One clothbound hardback copy of Hot War with black stamping on the front and spine, plus a full colour soft-laminated slip case. The book also comes with two regular and two oversized colour art cards.

    Click here to see a preview of the pack

    Click here to download a free 15 page preview of Hot War

    Click here to buy a copy from the CGS shop


    04th Oct 09: The Big CGS Sale is back!

    For the months of October and November we are offering 20% off all books and bundles from the CGS shop page. It is no coincidence that this month is the 47th anniversary of the Cuban missile crisis and next month is the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Giving the themes of our two most recent books, it seemed quite fitting to commemorate these historic events. 

    Anyway, the sale ends on 30th November so there is plenty time to pick up a bargain. 

    Go to the shop page to see what is on offer.


    29th Sept 09: News on upcoming releases

    Within the next couple of months we will be releasing a limited edition hardback version of Hot War, which will be cloth bound and come in a pack with some extra goodies. The book will be a strictly limited edition release, so will be on a first come first served basis.

    Also, around the same time, we will be releasing 'The Rendering Engine', a full colour Paul Bourne art book. The book will consist of a whole host of new original art plus some full colour versions of art from Hot War, Cold City, a|state and 3:16 amongst others.

    More information on both releases will follow shortly plus photos of the hardback Hot War pack and a free PDF preview of the art book.


    31 Aug 09: Hot War / Cold City badges now at Indie Press Revolution

    Hot War / Cold City enamel insignia badges are now available from Indie Press Revolution. The shaped badges are  made from bronze coloured plated nickel & three colour hard enamel and are approximately 1 inch in diameter. The badge bundle features one Cold City and one Hot War badge, each mounted on a presentation card, and are priced at $10. So if you want to grab yourself a bundle click here.


    17 Aug 09: The Big CGS Sale extended until 24th August

    The Big CGS Sale has been extended by another week until 24th August. We are still offering at least 20% off all books and bundles, so there is still a bit of time to pick up a bargain. To have a look at what's on offer go to the CGS shop page.


    29 Jul 09: Last few days of ENnie voting and Cold City in Italian!?!

    We've been keeping this under our hats for a few months now but for the last while we have been working with Italian publishers Coyote Press to produce an Italian translation of Cold City 1.1. All the original graphic design and artwork is retained, with a few additional art pieces thrown in, so it definitely worth a look. The book is an A4, 160 page softback priced at 26 Euros and is available direct from Coyote Press.

    To visit the Coyote Press website go here or to have a look at their blog go here.

    Also, there are only a few days left to vote for the ENnie awards so, if you are going to vote now is the time. Not that I am biased but I think that 'Hot War' and Box Ninja's '3:16 Carnage Amongst the Stars' are definitely worth voting for! The voting closes at midnight on August 1st so hurry hurry!

    To cast your ENnie Awards vote go here.


    23 July 09: The Big CGS Sale extended to IPR and Drivethru RPG

    The Contested Ground Studios sale has now been extended to all our books & PDFs available from Indie Press Revolution, and all  CGS PDFs at Drivethru RPG. The average discount is 20% but some books, bundles and PDFs have even greater discounts so go and check them out. The sale ends on 17th August so there is no time to lose!

    Go here to visit Indie Press Revolution

    Go here to visit Drivethru RPG


    20 July 09: The Big CGS Sale!

    To celebrate Hot War's double ENnie 2009 nomination we have decided to offer a 20% discount on all books and book bundles until 17th of August, which is the day after the end of GenCon Indy. So if you want to pick up a bargain now is the time. To visit the shop page now go here.


    13 July 09: Hot War gets 2 ENnie award nominations

    Earlier on today the ENnie award nominations were announced. To our great delight, Hot War has been nominated for awards in the 'Best Writing' and 'Best Setting' categories. The public vote for the winners in all categories starts of 24th July and is open for about a week. We would like to thank the judges who thought fit to put Hot War up for nomination, it is very much appreciated. 

    If you'd like to have a look at all this years nominations and see who is up for what, go here.


    27 May 09: Collective Endeavour Journal now available for free download & new Hot War Actual Play

    For a few years now Contested Ground Studios have been part of the Collective Endeavour,  a group of small-press publishers who got together to pool our resources, our knowledge and to offer each other advice about the process of taking a game from vague idea to published book. Our first collaborative release is the Collective Endeavour Journal, an 88 page book that brings together articles, adventures and supplements for some of the hottest games to come out of the UK in the past few years: Hot War, 3:16, Solipsist, Duty & Honour, Mob Justice, Dead of Night and Contenders. It also includes a fully playable quick start ruleset for Pulp! A skirmish wargame of two-fisted action.

    Anyway, if you want to have a more indepth look at the Jounal's contents go here or if you just want to download it and see for yourself go here.

    In other news, I've added some great new Hot War actual play links to the Hot War AP page. 

    'The Law of Supply & Demand' by James Mullen has 3 episodes so far and can be seen here.


    10 May 09: Hot War and Cold City metal/enamel insignia badges now available

    As a little addition to Hot War  and Cold City we have released limited edition Special Situations Group and Reserve Police Agency insignia badges. Each shaped badge in made from bronze coloured plated nickel and hard enamel and are approximately 1" in diameter. Each badge comes in at 3 but if you want both badges you can buy them together for 5. Anyway, if you want to pick up a badge or two go to the shop page.


    15 Apr 09: Cold City 1.1 back in stock!

    After a short interlude, we have Cold City 1.1 back in stock. So, needless to say, we have put it, as well as the Cold War bundle back up on the shop page.


    09 Mar 09: New Hot War actual play link: James Bond meets Hot War!

    As the title suggests we have added a new actual play link to the Hot War AP page. 'Douchbags End of the World' by Joshua A. C. Newman was a game played at GenCon Indie 2008 and features James Bond sent to sabotage Russian Subs! Anyway, you can read it here.


    05 Mar 09: Hot War back in stock!

    It's taken a couple if weeks, but we now have Hot War back in stock. So if you fancy picking up a copy why not click on over to the shop page and take a look. We are also offering the Cold War bundle, which features Hot War and Cold City 1.1 for a price of 25, a saving of 5.


    09 Feb 09: Lostfinders Guide to Mire End and Avenues & Alleyways back in stock

    Well, after a bit of a wait we finally have Lostfinders Guide to Mire End and Avenues & Alleyways back stock. Both books are now back up on the shop page, along with the 'a|state complete' book bundle which features a|state, Lostfinders Guide to Mire End and Avenues & Alleyways for a low price of 38, a saving of 4 over buying the books separately


    29 Jan 09: Hot War stock update for UK and European customers

    Even though we are currently out of stock of Hot War at Contested Ground, Leisure Games in London still have copies available. So, if you want to buy Hot War, but don't fancy paying the postage from the USA you can get it from Leisure Games.


    27 Jan 09: Hot War temporarily out of stock, but don't despair...

    Well the bad news is we are temporarily out of copies of Hot War here at CGS HQ. The good news is there are still copies available at Indie Press Revolution. We are currently in the process of getting another print run done so it shouldn't be too long until we have copies back in stock. We'll keep you informed of progress and when Hot War is again available.


    06 Jan 09: a|state back in stock and podcast interview with Malcolm about Hot War

    Well after a few weeks of a|state being sold out, we finally have copies back in stock. We have also made available the complete a|state bundle, which consists of a|state, The Lostfinders Guide to Mire End plus Avenues & Alleyways for a price of 38 which is a saving of 4 on buying the individual items. 

    To buy a|state or the 'a|state complete' bundle go here.

    In other news, back in August last year Malc did and interview with Robert Bohl for his gaming podcast entitled The Independent Insurgency. The interview took place at GenCon Indie and covers all things Hot War. Anyway you can listen to the resulting podcast here.  I've also added the interview to the main Hot War page, which can be found here.


    11 Dec 08: Some new Hot War & Cold City actual play links added

    As the title suggests, we have added the links to some great Hot War and Cold City actual play. There are two new APs for each game and are as follows:

    Cold City at Dragonmeet 2008 by Pete

    Patrick at RPGdiehard has a one-shot and has a realisation (Cold City)

    Sophie Melchior and Hot War at Fright Night 08

    'Against the French': Warren and friends kick off their HBO-styled game (Hot War)

    Alternatively, you can view all the Cold City APs here, and all the Hot War AP here.


    27 Nov 08: Hot War scenario pack now available for free download

    Now available for free download is Project Breather: a scenario pack for Hot War by Sophie Melchior. The scenario  intended to be played with 4-5 players plus a GM. It was originally written for Fright Night 08.

    It involves a team of people who are members of the Office of Internal Affairs being sent to investigated the slightly shady Special Situations Group (SSG). As this is a scenario written for a shared narration game very little of what happens is pre-planned. There is however a list of key scenes that should happen as well as a moderately detailed explanation (for the GMs eyes only) of what has been going on within the SSG.

    The scenario pack is 16 pages and comes in at 1.3Mb. To download it for free go here.


    19 Nov 08: London Map for Hot War now available for free download

    Well it's been a while since our last update since Malc is in New Zealand for a while, but rest assured it's still business at usual here at CGS headquarters! Anyway, we have finally managed to get together a Map of London circa 1963 for Hot War. The Map is a 2 page 2.2Mb PDF and is available to download for free. Now there is no excuse for getting lost when you're hunting down those Bayonet Troops!

    You can download the London Map here


    06 Oct 08: Hot War Wiki now online

    As promised in the Hot War book, we finally have the Hot War Wiki in a state that we can present it to the public.

    Feel free to go in, add some content from your own games, add films or books that you think are relevant, post up PCs and NPCs, monsters or whatever you feel like.

    We are really looking forward to seeing how it develops as a resource. We are considering doing Wikis for all our other games in the near future but, in the mean time, we will wait and see how the Hot War one developes. 

    If you want to add content, or just browse the Wiki go here.


    23 Sep 08: Hot War & Cold City 1.1 back in stock

    It gives us great pleasure to be able to say that both Hot War and Cold City 1.1 are back in stock at our own online store and at Indie Press Revolution.

    After some unfortunate problems with our original print runs of both books (documented here if you are interested in reading the gruesome details), there are now brand new, pristine, problem free copies of both books available to purchase.

    And out there on the internet there's a new interview about Hot War over at Livingdice.com.


    10 Aug 08: Hot War now available and bundle news

    The print version of Hot War is finally available from our shop, coming  in at 15. For those of you who want to find out more about Hot War before buying, you can have a look at the Hot War pages of the website or go directly to the links below.

    To download a free 15 page preview of Hot War go here.

    To go to the Hot War pages go here.

    To buy a print copy of Hot war go here.

    As well as this, we have decided to release Hot War and Cold City v1.1 together as a bundle. The Cold War bundle is priced at 25. That means you get both books at a saving of 5. 

    To buy the Cold War bundle go here.


    03 Aug 08: Cold City v1.1 now available and Hot War release news

    Cold City v1.1 is out! You can now get the new and improved version of Cold City from our shop page. even though 1.1 is 32 pages larger than version 1 on Cold City we have kept it at the same price of 15. If you already own Cold city you can still get a free PDF of the updated system chapter at our Cold City downloads page.

    The other big news is that Hot War is now available to buy at Indie Press Revolution. We are due to take delivery of the book within the next few days, so it will be available to buy from our shop from Monday 11th August!

    In addition to this we have added a few quotes and links to Hot War reviews on  the Hot War main page of the site, so you can check out what people are saying about the game.


    21 July 08: Cold City v1.1!

    In addition to the release of Hot War, our other piece of big news is the imminent release of Cold City v1.1!

    This new version of the game takes all the good stuff from the Cold City Companion and incorporates it in the main book. There's also a slightly revised system chapter, with changes to give smoother play and more advice on participating in the game.

    However, if you have the original version of Cold City, have no fear! There's no need to buy the v1.1 book or PDF. The revised system chapter can be downloaded for free from the Cold City Downloads page.

    The PDF version of Cold City 1.1 is currently available in PDF form from Drive Through RPG and RPGnow. The hardcopy and PDF will both be available from Indie Press Revolution within the next couple of weeks. Our own online shop will also have the hardcopy very soon.


    18 July 08: Hot War PDF available to buy and some new Hot War downloads

    Due to the imminent release of Hot War we have decided to release the PDF version. It is priced at $13 and features both the full version and a printer-friendly version of the game. You can get it at RPGNow and Drivethru RPG

    Also, as we mentioned before, you can pre-order Hot War at Indie Press Revolution. It's priced at $28 and if you order the print version of the book before its release next month you get the PDF version free!

    We have also added some new stuff to the Hot War pages of the site, namely some new Actual Play links and some HW desktop wallpaper. There are 5 wallpapers to choose from, all in screen sizes 1280x1024 and 1280x960. Enjoy!

    To have a look at the Actual Play links go here.

    To download the HW desktop wallpapers go here


    11 July 08: Hot War available to pre-order

    London. Winter. 1963.

    It is a year since the Cold War went hot.

    And this was not just a nuclear war. Far more sinister, darker weapons were deployed from the shadows.

    Hot War, the new game from Contested Ground Studios, is now available for pre-order through Indie Press Revolution! Pre-order the book now and you'll receive the PDF version absolutely free!

    What is Hot War, we hear you cry! This alternative history/horror game for three or more participants has players dealing with life a year after the apocalypse. You'll confront hidden agendas, sinister factional machinations and see the changes in relations with friends and enemies.

    Hot War allows both short term and campaign play, with a system that allows the group to work out exactly the kind of game they want to play amongst the wreckage of 1960s London.

    Want to know more? Then head over to the Contested Ground Studios website where we have:

    A 15 page PDF preview...

    Samples of the amazing art...

    Actual play threads...

    And a whole bunch more stuff.

    Hot War will be available to buy  at the start of August and will also go on sale through the CGS shop and in PDF form on Drive Through RPG at the same time.

    Click here to pre-order Hot War


    05 July 08: Hot War pages!

    You can now take a look at the new web pages for our imminent release, Hot War!

    This alternative history/horror game for three or more participants has players dealing with life a year after the apocalypse. You'll confront hidden agendas, sinister factional machinations and see the changes in relations with friends and enemies.

    Hot War allows both short term and campaign play, with a system that allows the group to work out exactly the kind of game they want to play amongst the wreckage of 1960s London.

    Hot War will be available to pre-order from Indie Press Revolution in the very near future. In the meantime, you can check out our downloadable preview, art from the book and links to useful resources.


    27 May 08: CGS at Games Expo

    Well, its been a while since we have posted here (we've been really busy), but this coming weekend (31st May and 1st June), Contested Ground Studios will be at the second UK Games Expo at the Clarendon Suites, Edgbaston, Birmingham.

    We'll be on a booth as part of The Collective Endeavour, joining other fine small press games companies such as BoxNinja, The Giant Brain, Prince of Darkness Games, Realms Publishing and Steampower Publishing.

    Our booth will doubtless be a hive of activity as we are all running quickfire, 15 minute demos for our games throughout the weekend. These are the ideal way to get a feel for our stuff, so if you're planning on attending GE '08, please do swing by the booth, say hi and get involved!

    And if you'd like to get involved in a full length game, there are sessions running across both days of the con. You can check out what is available here. There are still spaces available in our games, so you can either sign up online or when you get there.


    02 Mar 08: Book Bundle Bonanza!

    We have been talking about this for a while, so after much discussion, we thought it would be a good idea to release bundles of our books. There are 3 bundles on offer, so here are the details:

    'The Cold City bundle' 
    (Cold City + Cold City Companion). You get both books for 18, a saving of 4.

    'The a|state bundle'
    (a|state + Avenues & Alleyways + The Lostfinders Guide to Mire End). You get all 3 books for 38, a saving of 4.

    'The CGS Collection bundle'
    (a|state + Mob Justice + Cold City). You get all 3 books for 48, a saving of 5.

    All 3 bundles are available from our shop page here.

    In other news, both Avenues & Alleyways PDF and a|state PDF are now available at Indie Press Revolution, as well as even more CGS bundles at great prices. As if this wasn't enough bundle mania, we have put some exclusive PDF bundles up on RPGNow, including a complete Cold City bundle (3 PDFs) and a complete a|state bundle (a massive 6 PDFs!) So why not drop buy and grab a bargain.


    26 Feb 08: a|state now available in PDF format

    We were waiting on the release of Avenues & Alleyways before we did this, but finally, a|state is available in PDF format. It is priced at $15 and comes in at 252 pages. The PDF is currently only available at RPGNow but will be available at other outlets soon.

    To buy a PDF copy of a|state click here


    16 Feb 08: Avenues & Alleyways now available

    Well, after a bit of a wait and much anticipation, Avenues & Alleyways is now available. This bumper a|state supplement comes in at 112 pages and features 30 brand new City areas to explore and use in your a|state games, as well as a host of essays on a everything from health and disease in The City  to law and weather. The book is available in print and PDF formats and is priced at 16/$26 (print) and $12 (PDF). 

    We've also uploaded a new free PDF A&A preview so you can have a look at what you're getting before you buy.

    For more information on Avenues & Alleyways go here

    To download the free 11 page preview go here

    To buy a print copy from our shop page go here

    To buy a print or PDF copy from Indie Press Revolution (US) go here


    22 Jan 08: The CGS Forums

    After much brain power and a bit of help from our web hosts, we have finally got the forums upgraded and back up and running. In other slightly cryptic news, we have just sent our next book release to the printers. All will be revealed soon...


    12 Jan 08: Bumper Mob Justice New Years update!

    Well it's a new year, and to celebrate we have added a whole host of new Mob Justice stuff to the site. The first is a 20 Minute Mob justice demo pack. The first of many support packs for MJ, it provide a short demo, 15 20 minutes, that shows off the strengths of the game. The pack includes, background, maps, pre-generated character sheets and a whole host of  info. To download the free MJ demo pack go here.

    Next up we have some Mob Justice actual play links, so you can check out other people's MJ games, and maybe get some ideas for your own. To find the Mob Justice actual play links go here.

    Lastly we've added some Mob Justice desktop wallpapers (4 in all), featuring art from the game. All are sized at 1280x960. To download the wallpapers go here.


    16 Dec 07: Website and Forum news

    We are currently in the process or changing our web hosting, so our forums and all our 'CGS' email addresses are currently unavailable. They should be back up in a day or two but, in the mean time, if you desperately need to contact as you can email us at paul.renengine (at) btinternet.com or contestedground (at) gmail.com


    10 Dec 07: Mob Justice promotion ends

    Well that's it, the end of the Mob Justice promotion. But if you missed it, never mind, we will be posting some new additions to the Mob Justice section, as well as some free stuff over the next week or so. That should take your mind off things!


    02 Dec 07: Mob Justice Promotion

    This week is the anniversary of the repeal of the Volstead Act. For those of you who don't know, the Volstead Act enabled the US Government to ban the manufacture and sale of 'alcoholic beverages', basically prohibition. We thought that this tied in nicely with Mob Justice, so, for this week only, we are giving a 20% discount on all copies sold. So if you want to pick up Mob Justice but haven't done so yet, now is the time. Remember though, this promotion ends on Sunday 9th December so you'll have to be quick.

    To pick up a discounted copy of Mob Justice go here


    20 Sep 07: Mob Justice character sheet upload and Cold City Resources

    Well it's been a while since we did a website update, so here it is. We've uploaded a free PDF version of the Mob Justice character sheet. The Zip file includes both the Character sheet as well as the Boss sheet, so now you have no reason to take a pair of scissors to your copy of Mob Justice! To get the character sheet go here.

    Also, we have added some new Cold City reviews and actual play threads. To have a look at the reviews go here, and to have a look at the actual play stuff go here


    02 Aug 07: Cold City Companion & Mob Justice now available from our Shop

    Recently we did a reprint of Cold City. Because we decided to use a different printer, we took the opportunity to update the text a little and make a few 'tweaks', Anyway, so people who bought  the first pressing don't feel like they are missing out, we have decided to PDF the changed pages and make them available as a free download. So, if you don't have the new pressing of Cold City and want the updated pages, you can get them here.


    02 Aug 07: Cold City Companion & Mob Justice now available from our Shop

    It's been a bit longer than expected but we have finally got our copies of Cold City: The Companion and Mob Justice through from the printers. Both are now available to buy from our shop.

    Mob Justice is priced at 18 and The Companion is priced at 7. Go here to grab yourself a copy of one, or both if you're really rich!!


    25 July 07: Mob Justice and Cold City Companion double release!!!

    Well, as you may have guessed from the headline we have just released new books, both currently available from Indie Press Revolution and RPG Now

    Mob Justice: 160 pages, Print (US letter) and PDF.
    As members of one of these criminal organisations, players will balance their loyalties to the mob against their loyalties to those close to them, all the while trying to better their own position within their respective gangs. Vast criminal empires can be created, but the bigger your network and the more important you become, the harder you must work to maintain your position.

    Mob Justice makes honour, loyalty, connections and enemies key to the characters and story, setting up exciting and rewarding games of criminality, corruption, betrayal and friendship.

    The print version is priced at $30 and is available here

    The PDF version is priced at $15 and is available at Indie Press Revolution and RPG Now

    Click here for more information and here for a free preview of the game.

    Cold City Companion: 48 pages, Print (8.5"x5.5") and PDF.
    The Cold City Companion offers additional advice and information for Cold City. This Cold City supplement gives information on how to play the game according to different cinematic genres (such as noir, dark horror and black comedy), more in depth ways of creating and structuring games and how to run games in 'open' and 'closed' ways.

    There's also a chapter dedicated to the different intelligence agencies at work in the shadows of Berlin, groups who might offer help or hindrance to characters in the Reserve Police Agency. Each agency also comes with a sample Hidden Agenda that characters associated with them might have.

    For those who want to venture further a field, there's a chapter looking at twisted technology locations beyond Berlin and how they affect the
    work of the Reserve Police Agency in that city.

    The print version is priced at $12 and is available here

    The PDF version is priced at $7 and is available at Indie Press Revolution and RPG Now

    Click here for more information and here for a free preview of the game.


    10 July 07: Mob Justice and Cold City Companion previews

    In our last new entry, we mentioned that Mob Justice and the Cold City Companion had been sent to the printers. In anticipation of their imminent release, we've uploaded some brand new previews for both books for you to have a look at.

    The Mob Justice preview gives you some background the the game, a glimpse at the world and two pages of quick start rules. And, at the back of te preview, you'll also find the full contents page from the finished product, just to give you an idea of what you can expect. The book will be available in print and PDF during the month of August.

    The Cold City Companion preview showcases a few pages from the book. You'll find a list of the contents, and the first pages of the game advice, intelligence organisations and locations chapters. The book will be available in print and PDF during the month of August.

    And finally, we have added a new Previews section to the website (find it on the top nav bar). In this section we have gathered together all the free previews for our games and all relevant links so you can find where to buy the full games or just read more about them.


    05 July 07: New release news & links to Cold City reviews

    Well, there are some exciting new releases on the horizon!

    The finalised, fully artworked, complete version of Mob Justice has recently been sent to the printers and will be available from Indie Press Revolution and our own online store within a few weeks. The hardcopy version is a handsome, 160 page letter-sized volume packed full of quality game potential. Combining gritty, gangster themes with a set of mechanics that really enhance the themes of loyalty, betrayal and  honour.

    The Cold City Companion has also been sent to the printers and will be available in time for Gen Con Indy in mid August. It's a 48 page, digest sized book that contains expanded advice for all participants in Cold City games, as well as details of various shadowy intelligence organisations at work in Berlin, new locations and select bibliography or useful and inspirational works.

    We're also delighted to say that the main Cold City book has also been sent off for a third printing. This is very exciting news for us. The third printing will feature a few, very small changes to the game text. Owners of first and second printing books shouldn't feel worried that they are missing out on anything, however. We'll be making PDFs of any changed pages available for free download from this site.

    And finally: We have added links to a selection of recent reviews of Cold City. You can browse them on the Cold City pages.


    Cold City Dossier now available from RPGnow.com

    Further to last weeks release of The Dossier for Cold City, you can now also purchase it from RPGnow. If you'd like to get your hands on a copy from there, then simply go here.

    Cold City: The Dossier now available to buy.

    As you've probably guessed from the title of this news posting we have released the first supplement for Cold City: The Dossier. The Dossier is based on a limited edition of 30 hand-made folios created for Cold City. The documents contained within these folios were distressed, aged and damaged to create an authentic period feel. The PDF package based on these documents contains scans of the original documents in colour, showing the aging and distressing. There is also a plain white PDF version that allows you to create your own documents from scratch plus an additional bonus PDF.

    The full package comes in at $7.00 and is available exclusively from Indie Press Revolution

    Click here if you want more information on The Dossier.

    Click here if you want to buy a copy.