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Jaynes Intelligence Review: The Manticoran Navy
by Richard R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/12/2015 17:57:59

I enjoyed this very much wish it had more written detail.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Jaynes Intelligence Review: The Manticoran Navy
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Jaynes Intelligence Review: The Manticoran Navy
by jose l. v. g. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/31/2015 08:06:51

Excellent book with very good documentation to play. Too bad that does not have a section to design ships.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Attack Vector Tactical 2nd Edition Bundle
by Simon H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/13/2013 18:49:51

I am a huge fan of Attack Vector: Tactical (AV:T) and have owned a hard copy of the original for a decade. I was delighted to see it made available in .pdf form recently and snapped up a copy as my board-game rules library is now stored on my tablet.

The game is the first (and in my opinion) best in the Ad Astra Games space combat stable which also includes the Saganami Island Tactical Simulator (spaceship combat in the universe of David Weber's of Honor Harrington) and Squadron Strike which takes the core of this game engine and applies it to cinematic space combat.

In Attack Vector: Tactical movement is fully 3D and fully Newtonian. Accelerations alter as reaction mass is shed and accelerations cause displacement (the most frequent omission in space combat games). Pivoting takes into account moments of inertia. Beam weapons, kinetics and missiles all have energy values for their launch, waste heat and damage. Damage is calculated from the direction the ship is hit, the weapon damage profile, the effect of ablative armour and the internal structure of the ship.

This amount of detail, and dare I say, realism, comes with a significant complexity overhead. However, the game design is very elegant and the game does most of the calculations for you. You really can concentrate on flying the ship and making the best use of your weapons load-out. Turns take about 20 minutes (a bit less with experience) and a full game lasts 8 - 18 turns. It's a high-complexity war-game, but tremendously rewarding to those willing to take the plunge.

The bundle comes with the latest version of the rules (162 pages), several very detailed walk-through tutorials to learn the game, 15 ship types with two more downloadable from the Ad Astra website when you register your game, a fully developed setting (called "The Ten Worlds") with defined politics, economics and histories, including 15 historical scenarios in the form of key battles along with 3 campaigns and a further 9 "Hypothetical Scenarios". You can easily use it as an RPG setting, even incorporating the game for ship to ship combat within the RPG.

The main omission for this type of game is the lack of ship design rules - the process is basically far too complex. However, the large number of ship types and scenarios mean this has practically no impact on replayability (if you really want ship design rules, check out Squadron Strike, which is simpler by a long chalk and the ship design still requires a vast spreadsheet in Excel with an array of options so bewildering it makes my head hurt. So much so, that I always use the pre-designed ships).

AV:T is heavily simulationist at its heart, re-creating the tactical decisions of real space combat on your table-top. If you're looking for swooping fighters and lumbering capital ships then you can safely move on to any number of 2D "space" combat games. If you really want to explore how Physics will determine the nature of ship to ship combat in space then this is the holy grail.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Attack Vector Tactical 2nd Edition Bundle
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Treasure at the Dalles: A Changeverse Adventure
by Joshua D. S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/06/2013 17:50:41

In the end the game suffers from flat, cardboard NPCs, a one note fetch quest adventure and a feeling that the player is a player and not a living, breathing person in the world.

Positives have to be what little artwork is in the book, interesting uses of road maps and the setting itself. In a good referee this setting can shine even with a system that doesn’t seem to suit it.

I unfortunately need to give this game a 2 out of 5. It didn’t feel like the Emberverse for me, and the inability to create immersion just killed it.

I do hold out hope, however, that Final Sword’s next Emberverse adventure will feel more natural and more like the Emberverse. If I could give them any advice it would be to ditch the McKenzies and go with the Bearkillers which lend themselves more toward the type of stories that Final Sword wants to tell.

Full Review here: http://geniuslocigames.blogspot.com/2013/11/quick-review-treasure-at-dalles-i-hate.html



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Treasure at the Dalles: A Changeverse Adventure
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D6 Epic
by Phil H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/12/2013 17:16:52

This is a slightly new take on D6. It introduces a couple of new ideas, and slightly tweaks some things from regular D6.

The layout of the product is rather plain looking, with some computer generated art throughout. The biggest problem with the layout is that there are times when a sections title is located at the bottom of one column, but the text for the section is located at the top of the other column. If a 2nd edition of this is created, they should make an effort to fix the several instances of this layout problem.

They have a decent collection of gear and weapons, but unfortunately they don't explain the mechanics of what you see on the charts until AFTER you've scrolled through all of the charts and past all of the descriptions of items. A bit more focus on order would help to make things much more understandable.

They provide a fair amount of advantages and disadvantages, along with a not-insignificant amount of space devoted to creating magic spells (and a list of pre-generated spells).

The NPC section is sorely lacking, and mainly focuses on some real-world animals and a total of about 9 fantasy monsters. More creatures would have been helpful.

All told, you can tell this is a project someone had some ideas for, and had put those ideas out there, but they didn't seem to spend a lot of time making sure their product was in top form before putting it out for public consumption. Not terrible, but not all that good either.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
D6 Epic
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Creator Reply:
Many thanks for your feedback, truly appreciated. The layout issue slipped past us in this version and will be fixed in the coming week, and I'll make sure that an announcement is sent to all those who have purchased the product. When you've looked at something a hundred times sometimes the most obvious things fail to register. There will be more NPC's in future products but it was decided that keeping them to a minimum for the basic core rule book was for the best - and I appreciate this is a decision that not all would agree with. Once again, thank you. Terri Pray on behalf of Final Sword Productions.
Layout issues have been addressed, and new file uploaded. Once again, thank you.
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