Sunday, August 16, 2009

Can't beat the Classics!

Yesterday's trip to the local game/comic shop, The Comic Shop (on the corner of 3rd Street and Steese in Fairbanks AK) resulted in some solid gold finds, both of which are either as old or based on material older than myself.

First off, I finally picked up Steve Jackson's classic card game of conspiracy, Illuminati, which was published about the time I was born in 1982. I can understand why its remained an off and on classic that has been through so many printings. Its good, silly, paranoid fun! My wife and I played a game last night, and I was surprised by how much she enjoyed the game!

As always, it started off slow with us both referencing and arguing about the rules (especially about how many money transfers you get within a turn...). We drew our cards, and she was playing "The Network" and I played the "Bavarian Illuminati". Her goal was to amass a total of 25 points of 'transferable' power (to include The Network's 7 points...) while my Bavarian Illuminati had only to collect a grand total of 35 points of power total (including my 10 points for my Illuminati). Game play is simple, each player starts out with just their Illuminati group, which attacks and takes over un-controlled groups drawn from the deck at the beginning of the players turn. Each group you take over has the ability to use its power to take over other groups (some have none and remain dead ends however...). Each group also has its own Power, Resistance (how well they resist take-over by other groups), and Income. Taking over groups with groups is a matter of using the Power of the attacker, subtracting the resistance, and then rolling equal to or under that number (say a Power 10 group attacks a Resistance 5 group, they must roll a 5 or less to do so...). Some groups, like the Illuminati you start with, can transfer a few points (or all) of their power to assist other groups; this along with spending Mega-Bucks will result in better die rolls. However, rolling a 11 or 12 results in an automatic failure, which is great as that leaves a chance of failure no matter how much money you spend and how hard you try...

Last nights game resulted in the Bavarian Illuminati taking over the world through conquest of "Multi-National Oil Companies", "TV-Preachers", "The Tri-Liberal Council", "Democratic Party", and a few others I've since forgotten. However, these combined with my Illuminati's power resulting in a "Special Goal" victory of 35 points of amassed power! The only other way to win is through knocking off the other player by ensuring they don't take any group over for three turns in a row (and just have their Illuminati card)...

Overall, it was fun, now we are going to play again tonight!!

Now, the best part was finding a Traveller RPG supplement for David Drake's 'Hammers Slammers' series! Folks who have glanced at my blog the last year or so will remember when I posted the Black Five interview with David Drake with great glee! While not a lot of games have been made officially, Drake's military SF has had a massive influence on the hobby of wargaming and SF roleplaying games. Mostly, I described the influence seen in 'Stargrunt II' and 'Dirtside II' along with some rules and models by Old Crow and Pireme Press. Now, Mongoose Press has released a "Hammer's Slammers" Traveller supplement for their edition of the classic Traveller RPG rules! While I don't have the current Traveller book by MGP, I have read an original 1977 1st ed. of the Traveller Book years ago from the Security Public Library in my home town, many, many, many times. Even if I'd lacked that familiarity, I'd have still enjoyed reading the detailed information in this book about David Drake's 'Hammers Slammers' universe! Now, I need to hit the library and find more in this series to read...

I do however take issue with some of the artwork; gratuitous use of photos and just using clone brushes in Photoshop hardly does this book justice. I enjoyed the technique when it involved the Old Crow models, however, they went way too far when they used DoD photos... Way to recognizable as today's equipment and men, with little real effort to paint a picture of the Drake equipment... In my opinion. However, the cover is one of the finest pieces of art (go figure!), and there are some fantastic portraits of the Hammer's personnel that were clearly done from just about scratch. I strongly suspect, time was running out and deadlines were close on this project, and some of the art seems to reflect that... MGP really needs to give that particular part of the book a good overhaul, other than that, fantastic!

No comments:

Post a Comment