Originally posted at: http://diehardgamefan.com/2012/07-
l Spec Tech 2 is another in Catalyst Game Lab’s line of Shadowrun stat block supplements. Much like Parabotany, Used Car Lot and Gun Heaven 2, you’re getting a bunch of stats with a running theme thrown slapped together in a little supplement with JackPoint flavor text and some full colour art to complete the deal. The theme of Mil Spec Tech 2 (not to be confused with Tech Specs from the old Generation One Transformers), is that Glitch (a famous Shadowrunner in the metagame) has acquired the newest Ares (a Megacorp) security catalog. What follows are twenty-nine pages from the catalog, coupled with commentary from the participants of JackPoint and of course, stat blocks for each item.
Remember that all the items in this supplement are high level military items that are expensive even for a small country, so PCs should rarely get a hold of any of them. Rather, they’re going to be on the receiving end. With one of the submarines even Kane (one of the more outlandish and badass Shadowrunners on JackPoint) remarks he wouldn’t think of stealing it as every corporation and government on Earth would try to kill you dead for doing so. Of course, some gamers are going to read that and in true powergaming/munchkin style want to steal one. If you’re the one running Shadowrun for your friends, try not to let the items contained within this supplement turn your campaign into a Monty Haul affair, because some players WILL try and do just that.
So what’s IN Mil Spec Tech 2? Well, at only thirty-one pages, not a lot, but at least what’s here is pretty interesting. You’ve got five drones (one air one robot, three land), two APCs (Armoured Personnel Carrier), an infantry carrier, two missile launching trucks, a VTOL, a stealth bomber, two fighter planes, a frigate, a submarine, a destroyer, three guns, a torpedo, a defense laser, and finally, eleven types of missiles. So that’s thirty-three exotic items that are, while interesting to read about, are things that the vast majority of PCs will never come in contact with unless you are doing a campaign revolving around the Aztlan-Amazonian war down in South America. So to really get any use out of this supplement (other than the joy of reading it), you’ll want to craft an adventure revolving around some of these. Perhaps breaking in to a military base to extract a person, or blow up the new 5.2 million frigate. It’ll take a bit of work to fit anything within Mil Tech Spec 2 into your Shadowrun campaign, but if you can come up with a quality adventure, then the results will be memorable.
At $7.95, it’s hard to recommend something like Mil Spec Tech 2Shadowrun player. While this is a very well written piece with some nice exotic equipment and armaments, the cost is just too high for what you’re getting – especially when this is a very niche product in the first place. When I look at things like the Shadowrun Missions that only cost $3.95 and are also in full colur and roughly the same page length at Mil Spec Tech 2, I find myself wondering why the more useful product is half the cost as a stat dump piece. I think CGL has sort of screwed themselves by offering so many high quality supplements and adventures at a far more affordable price. Then the stat dump pieces, which have far less content and mediocre art, become far less appealing when looked at discerningly. I think the sweet spot price-wise for something like this is going to be around $4.95. Otherwise you’re just paying too much for too little. This is definitely a step up from Used Car Lot in terms of quality, but it also has three less pages so checks and balances, I suppose. Parabotany is another great example of the stat dump concept done right by CGL. It’s the same idea, layout and blocking at Mil Tech Spec 2. It even has the same price point. Parabotany, however, has a page count of 51 compared to 31 and so you’re getting a much bigger bang for your buck there.
In all, I can’t really recommend this supplement unless you pick up everything CGL puts out for Shadowrun. It’s a nicely done piece, but the cost of Mil Tech Spec 2 doesn’t line up with what you’re actually getting – both in terms of page count and content. Wait for a price drop and then pick it up. You might not get much use out of it in an actual game, but it will be a fun read.
[3 of 5 Stars!]