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The Borderland $12.99 $7.99
Average Rating:2.0 / 5
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The Borderland
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The Borderland
Publisher: Mongoose
by Francis F. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/15/2015 09:20:44

One of the best Traveller authors out there falls short with this effort sadly. Many players like myself are eager to carry on from the Pirates campaign and have more detail on the subsector, then to have a product which seems to be a subsector guide deliberately not want to provide detail? To be sure there are some broad strokes, a promise of further development and one system developed a bit but overall it is a rehash of general material from other products and what seems like filler to push up the page count. Honestly would advise others to pass on this product as there is not much value to be had therein.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
The Borderland
Publisher: Mongoose
by David T. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/12/2015 13:40:18

Argh! I rushed to purchase this product as I like the other author's works I have and didn't read the reviews first.

It is extremely disappointing to get a rehash of other material for over a fiver, I've upped it from 1 to 2 stars because of the description of all the bodies of the Exocet system.

I'm puzzled why anyone would build a mercenary legion at TL9, when Polycarapace and ACR's come in at TL10 and why there are only 3 sentients in a platoon, if it's an error I'm surprised at it getting past editing.

Sorry big disappointment for me

David



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
The Borderland
Publisher: Mongoose
by Tim C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/08/2015 10:02:55

I don't generally review my purchases, but this was poor enough to make me want to leave a note for other purchasers. I bought this pdf because I'm looking to run Pirates of Drinax with my group, and the idea of a sourcebook tightly focused on the main area of focus sounded extremely useful. Unfortunately, it's absolutely useless.

Up to page 10, we get an overview of the Trojan Reaches as a whole. Possibly necessary for those who haven't purchased the Trojan Reaches sourcebook, but entirely redundant for those that have, and doubly redundant if you have the free Pirates of Drinax campaign.

Pages 11-19 cover groups active in the area. Again, mostly rehashing material. There are a few new/interesting bits - details of Imperial fleet deployments in the area, the Grand Duchy of Requille (although one fleet is deployed to Bastion which - alas! - isn't on my map of the Trojan Reaches?). However, this section suffers from a frustrating lack of detail on some groups, and a major canon clash with the Drinax campaign. Some interesting sounding groups are mentioned - apparently, there exists a Borderland Alliance and a Noraxx Confederation, both local political groupings of stars. Unfortunately, we get no clues as to whom the members of these groups might be, or what they might be doing which could interest our players. I know GM freedom to customise is a good thing, but I want more than just the name of the groups.

The canon clash arises because the Imperium apparently deploys significant forces to Realgar to counter the pirate threat from Theev - think Space Tortuga. Sounds great, but the fact that the Imperium doesn't know the location of Theev is a significant plot point in PoD. The first scenario published specifically includes the location of Theev as a reward for the players, and even more damningly, the sixth scenario is all about the Imperium sending a punitive fleet to search for the pirate world! Obviously, I'll throw this bit out, but it just shows a lack of care and attention, given that I imagine most GM's purchasing this will be looking at PoD.

There's a couple of pages of detailed writeup for one particular system, which mostly seems to be fairly dry planetology descriptions. There seems to have been a drive in recent Traveller publishing to hammer home the point that systems are larger than their mainworld. Valid point; but I'll take a paragraph of cool description and a hook for a cool thing we could do over two pages of dry rockballs every day.

The rest of the book is just generic setting advice which would work equally well in any subsector in the OTU; hell, in any setting. It's not badly written; it just has no relevance to what the book is supposed to be about.

Severe disappointment. My hope is that the follow ups for Wildeman et al. will

  • cut down on the endless rehashing of existing material
  • undergo some checks to make sure they don't clash with PoD
  • provide us with some details/plot hooks for the worlds in question.


Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
The Borderland
Publisher: Mongoose
by James B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/03/2015 12:37:20

Although it contains a decent overview and maps of the handful of worlds that make up the subsector, and with great technical and background attention to one particular system, The Borderland is merely filler from pp 25-37, over 25% of the book. Page upon page of descriptive but frustratingly generic information about types of worlds, roles of various ships and organization and type of military units, sometimes having no place in the setting presented, serve only to repeat information presented elsewhere (cf. Core Rules, Mercenary, High Guard). The background detail and NPCs presented in some of the author's other works (ex. Fiddler's Green) are absent-in fact, not a single individual personage (such as a pirate, Imperial noble, local planetary leader or infamous free trader) is named in the entire text. While one might argue that that level of detail is up to the individual referee, a little extra creativity about local color would have definitely made this a more attractive product.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
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