Phalanx Games Design

PGD is, basically, a one man operation — run by Phillip McGregor (me), and I have been playing Role Playing Games since the days of the little White Box Dungeons & Dragons rules and have been involved in the Role Playing Game business since 1978.

I am (I hope) well known as a co-designer of Space Opera (FGU) and writer of supplements for the same, as well as for Chivalry & Sorcery (FGU).

In more recent years I’ve written the very first edition of Rigger Black Book for Shadowrun and, since then, have published a number of well received games and supplements under my Phalanx Games Design (PGD) imprint  on (and its sister site, Drive Through RPG) …  including Farm, Forge & Steam (Guidelines for designing a realistic campaign background, mainly for pre-modern games), Displaced (One way time or dimensional travel), Orbis Mundi(What the real late medieval world was like, in some detail), Audace ad Gloriam (a supplement usable with assorted SF RPGs) and Road to Armageddon (the latter for BTRC’s EABA rules).

All as a part time thing, while I pursued a career as a professional Historian (well, a High School History Teacher, 7-12, with a BA from Sydney University, which included a double Major in History & Politics) from 1977-2014. Which I think counts … YMMV).

I taught all over NSW – a year in Newcastle (West Wallsend High School), two years in Menindee (just this side of Broken Hill on the Darling River, the arse end of nowhere) at Menindee Central School, then (yay!) back to Sydney – Granville South High School, Davidson High School, Cromer High School and, finally, Mackellar Girls High School (the last two eventually part of the Northern Beaches Secondary College)

Teaching History was always a pleasure, even if teaching wasn’t (don’t ask) … and I got into it in the first place because I was interested in history from a very early age, and this passion developed through exposure to wargaming (Strategy & Tactics, Avalon Hill and GDW mainly, discovered through adverts appearing in AnalogSF magazine) and, from there, got into RPGs (as noted above) …

I was always interested as much in why things happened the way that they did and not just the what of what happened. History teaching tries (at least in NSW it does) to do more of the latter, especially in the junior years (7-10), but a superficial amount of the former … years 11-12 (University preparation, in effect) does a little deeper digging into the why of things, so that was always good.

However, the depth of the ‘why’ was always relatively superficial … even at University to (pardon the pun) a degree … so I always read voraciously … and was encouraged by reading a lot of Science Fiction and Fantasy as well.

Books like Lest Darkness Fall by L Sprague de Camp and Lord Kalvan of Otherwhen by H Beam Piper led me to an interest in the economics and technology behind the ‘why’ … and that led, eventually, to Displacedand Farm, Forge and Steam which look at the underpinnings of historical change through a lense of what was possible within existing economic and technological realities … and why those realities changed a hell of a lot more slowly than anyone would expect, with, of course, perfect 20:20 hindsight.

Road to Armageddon is based on that – plonking a bunch of early 21st century soldiers and civilians down in a far future world that is regressed technologically and, to a lesser extent, socially and seeing how they can cope with the challenges … a trope that has become increasingly popular in recent years with books like those of Eric Flint’s 1632verse and similar. RtA is, however, quite different, and I’ll expand on it elsewhere …

Now that I am retired, I have more time to devote to writing and publishing my next major project – a massive update and expansion of the Road to Armageddon background using a standalone game system (based on a D10 dice pool) which I hope to Kickstart ‘real soon now’ (later in 2015) … the first tranche of books (at least 7, 3 Core Rules and 4 Adventure) set in the precursor (3rd World War) phase of the RtA world … to be followed by second phase post-nuclear Exchange RtA books and, then, far future SF-Fantasy 27th millennium RtA background.

After that? Well, there are projects in hand and, with luck, I’ll get some of them done before I am too old …

(Oh. You’re wondering about the Logo and Website Header? The bird is a Roman [Imperial] Eagle, as used as [if not always the] main Standard of a Roman Legion. The 28th millennium? From the foundation of the Urbs [Rome] … Anno Urbis Conditae [‘from the founding of the city’], traditionally 753 BC … making it 2768 AUC, the 28th millennium AUC)

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7 thoughts on “Phalanx Games Design

  1. Hi Phil
    Do you have printed books you could mail to Darwin?
    If you can do business this way and provide pdf books as well, I would be interested.
    If you give me your online bank details I can transfer across.


    1. Hi,

      I have a number of the three core volumes available. Perfect Bound only. Colour and B&W.

      There are two versions of the Player’s Handbook (Book #1), with different covers (the only difference) … Sunset Soldier or Soldier & LAV. Book #2 is the Gear Book. Book #3 is Modern Encounters.

      Books #1 and $2 are $60 each, B&W or $70 colour. Book #3 is $70 B&W, $80 colour.

      I have one copy, B&W only, of a combined in one volume version of Books #1 and #2, going for $80.

      I have no idea what they weigh, but I would guess they’d fit in a 5kg satchel … so probably another $25 for Express or $18 for Standard Mail.

      If you want all three books, I can do 3 B&W for $180 plus postage (or, if you go for the Combined Book #1/#2 and Book #3 instead of 3 separate books, for $150 plus postage), for or 3 Colour for $200 plus postage.

      If you are interested, I have hardcover Proofs of the core rules, Soldier & LAV in B&W and Colour, and Sunset Soldier in B&W which I can let you have for the same price as perfect bound versions … they are proofs that didn’t make the final grade, though. The Soldier & LAV covers have a 1.5 cm black band down the side next to the spine where I managed to forget to bring the cover illustration in front of the black spine, but look perfectly fine. The Sunset Soldier version, the soldier is a little too dark compared to the final version … depends on whether you want them for play or for collection, I suppose.

      If you are interested, let me know what versions you would like and I will go to my Local PO and find out what the mailing costs will be.

      The Introductory Adventure Book and the first three of the (probably) four Book Biafra/West Africa Campaign Trilogy books I don’t have on hand, as I haven’t set them up with Amazon Createspace (the only way I can actually bring them into Australia at a reasonable price … RPGNow’s shipping prices are extortionate), though you can order them from RPGNow (except for the aforementioned extortionate shipping). They will be available eventually, I just haven’t gotten around to it yet … and you can run a perfectly good campaign with the three core books and a little imagination! Book #3 (Modern Encounters) is quite expansive.

      Preferred payment is via PayPal, account details to follow as needed.

      You can contact me direct at

      Phil McGregor


    2. PDFs of everything are available through RPGNow.

      Books are US$20-$24 in PDF (or roughly $A28-35), the Combo of #1-#2 is US$40 (roughly A$55).

      The Combo @ $2.49 is an old version, for EABA (a game system from BTRC, by Greg Porter, and unplayable without it … also, it has fantasy elements in it which the current books for the new version do not), and has been superseded.

      RPGNow take Credit Cards or PayPal.



  2. Thanks Phil
    Will check my finances
    If you could pencil me in for the combined books 1 and 2, with the 3rd book.
    I am currently using your Agents of Rebellion for a Mindjammer game.
    Are you able to arrange PDFs also?
    Sorry to write here again, my computer died so I have to use my phone.


  3. Thanks
    I have an account with Drivethru, I was just wondering if I purchased the books from you, whether I could get a code or something to grab the PDFs as well.
    If I can’t I will probably just get the PDFs.
    But I would like to get physical books, and support a local game designer.
    My son is recently in the army and I thought we could set up a game. Have to FaceTime to start until I get my computer fixed.


  4. There is a group of Space Opera Gamers based out of Brisbane on Facebook that are interested in finding and talking with you. Would you like my to forward this site to them?
    I took your kind assessment of the GPR Atlas I sent you and turned it into Atlas 4 – the GPR and last year Atlas 7 – The Blarads. I’m working on #8 Rauwoof Republics now in addition to a set of novel by Bold Venture Press based in an SO setting (with permission from FGU).
    Your previous email no longer was active but I found this format. I hope this letter finds you well and profiting with the use of your fine talents.
    Glenn Price – Marietta Georgia, USA


    1. Sure, send them my email aspqrz(at)tpg(dot)com(dot)au … I don’t have a Facebook presence, so they’d have to contact me through this page or by direct email.

      Good luck with the work on expanding the Star Atlas series!


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