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Achtung! Cthulhu Skirmish: Secret War Operations
Publisher: Modiphius
by Thomas R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/30/2016 10:54:04

Seriously disenchanted with this free offering from Modiphius...

As is typical from this publisher the design and presentation are polished. However there is nothing for us to engage with aside from fluff. No game, no rules, no introduction.

Herein we do not learn a single thing about the mechanics of game aside from the fact they are based on Spartan Games' Dystopian Legions 2.0 mechanics. All this is learned in the fine print of the "Legal" section of page 3.

I don't get why Modiphius wouldn't instead tease us with a condensed set of rules and a short scenario we could actually play, something that would convince us that A!CS would be better than the games we currently play.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Achtung! Cthulhu Skirmish: Secret War Operations
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Creator Reply:
Hi Thomas please remember this is a free set of scenarios for those who have purchased the ruleset to help them learn the system. We do provide a lot of free intro's to our games and one for Achtung! Cthulhu Skirmish will be forthcoming when it's ready. However as you've commented on this I've edited the text a little to make it clearer this does not include free rules. Look at this as a free adventure for a roleplaying game :-) This pdf gives you free storyline from the Achtung! Cthulhu universe which is brand new, and free scenarios (which you could actually use with any wargame rules) so it's perfectly usable.
Grandfather's Rain
Publisher: Sine Nomine Publishing
by Thomas R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/02/2015 14:25:44

Grandfather's Rain offers a well structured, flexible adventure perfect for introducing both players and GM's to the smooth yet old-school play of Kevin Crawford's 'Other Dust'.

The module is a good example of the interesting and dynamic environments anyone can create using the sandbox mechanics that feature in Other Dust and once the proposed story-line is exhausted there remain plenty of adventure possibilities to explore in this FREE publication.

Use this as the foundation of your campaign or adapt the material to the system you enjoy most. I think you will be pleased by the useful content and hopefully encouraged to explore more from the talented Mr. Crawford.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Grandfather's Rain
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Pulp Alley - Quick Start PDF
Publisher: Pulp Alley
by Thomas R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/29/2014 22:10:23

Just an excellent game.

Pulp Alley has been thoroughly play-tested and carefully developed. It is clearly written, features easy to read layout and best of all, the game is brilliantly supported by the author and an enthusiastic community of players.

A super combination of elegant dice mechanics, card-play and no-nonsense minis action deliver a truly fun game. Pulp Alley is all about the over-the-top antics of the classic pulp novels, films and radio-plays of the 20's, 30's and 40's, but the system will adapt well to any setting as long as you are looking for a strong narrative element in your game play.

Pulp Alley is different from the usual 'measure, move and roll dice' sort of game. Sure, you do all those things, but the action in Pulp Alley really is cinematic. Focus is on characters, not equipment. Control of initiative allows a player to direct the action. Opposed roll dice-matching ensures that characters and players remain involved at all times. The 'Fortune Deck' provides challenges and opportunities to drive the story. Clever design ensures replayability.

The basic game has been enhanced with two high-quality expansions; the Perilous Island campaign book and the Pulp Guns Gadgets and Vehicles book.

Highly recommended.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Pulp Alley - Quick Start PDF
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Achtung! Cthulhu: Three Kings - Revised Edition
Publisher: Modiphius
by Thomas R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/20/2014 19:19:34

Achtung! Cthulhu is something that had been tempting me fiercely for many months and I jumped at the chance to run it when the opportunity came along. So happy I took the plunge.

I ran 'Three Kings', Call of Cthulhu version, with my regular RPG group over multiple sessions. Our group wanted to make the most of the adventure, to explore the countryside and to interact with the NPC's. While Three Kings can be run in much less time, the module provides enough of a sandbox to allow the sort of leisurely play our group desired... The adventure played to a memorable and exciting finish. One of the highlights amongst decades of Call of Cthulhu game-play.

The plot line is fun and clearly geared towards action. The GM and players are given direction without too much detail so it's easy to tailor the story to suit your group. The adventure is presented in a scene-by-scene format, but it isn't stuck rigidly on a rail. Draw inspiration from your favourite films and the task of linking the different elements of the Three Kings plot-lines together will be exciting and fun.

I had written a review for the first edition of this adventure and wanted to pass on my impressions of the revised material because I had been critical of the first edition. The first edition of Three Kings was a stand-alone adventure. This second edition ensures that material is now consistent with the excellent Achtung! Cthulhu Keeper's and Player's Guides. My concerns were mostly about layout and about stats for some of the pre-generated characters. Modiphius did a great job of also addressing these issues with this new release.

This is a better book, boasting three more pages than the first. The layout is less busy but retains the interesting character of the original. Colours are more saturated, textures are smoother and less distracting. Overall the revised edition is much easier on the eyes.

As before, the .pdf is very well annotated and bookmarked for use on a tablet. Many new bookmarks have been added, improving digital navigation of the document. All the important information you will need when running this adventure will be easy to reference and to find.

There is less repetition of information, in fact some material is gone; the "Karlstein Nightmare" section from page 12 of the first edition has been cut, but this was a section that summarised information provided elsewhere in the adventure.

The pre-generated characters have been tuned-up, but the basic German adversaries (troops & officers) still lack a Spot Hidden skill. The best aspects of the random encounters with patrols call for Spot Hidden rolls so you will want to think about giving these NPC's a modest spot hidden skill to be ready for those exciting cat-&-mouse moments. Easy enough to do.

Recommended. Excellent value value for $9.99.

For Call of Cthulhu GM's with moderate experience. Expect mucho gun-play and daring-do.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Achtung! Cthulhu: Three Kings - Revised Edition
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Achtung! Cthulhu: Three Kings - Call of Cthulhu
Publisher: Modiphius
by Thomas R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/16/2014 13:19:50

So I bought the .pdf and started running 'Three Kings', Call of Cthulhu version, with our regular RPG group. This is something that has been tempting me fiercely and I jumped at the chance to run it when the opportunity came along. Our first session was just last night... We had a lot of fun, and I am impressed with 'Three Kings', but I'm going to be a little bit critical of this adventure module.

Great artwork, but a busy layout, this has been said elsewhere and I agree. The document looks good, but important information is hard to scan because of page clutter. I do appreciate the .pdf being well annotated and bookmarked for use on a tablet. While some of this is clunky, requiring multiple 'stabs' to navigate to a topic, all the important information is easy to find!

Other reviews mention the repetition of information, that it amounts to 'padding' to increase the page-count. But I don't mind having useful information at my fingertips, even to the point of redundancy, providing it helps the gaming session maintain momentum or if information is repeated as part of reference or 'player only' sections to be printed out or otherwise distributed.

The plot line is fun and clearly geared towards action. The GM and players are given direction without too much detail so it's easy to tailor the story to suit your group. The adventure is presented in a scene-by-scene format, but it isn't stuck rigidly on a rail. Draw inspiration from your favourite films and linking the different elements of the Three Kings plot-lines together will be exciting and fun.

A few things jump out and are worth spending some time on before gathering your buddies at the table...

All the characters sporting MP38 smg's have a wicked good, 70% skill. Every one of them. Regardless of faction, or role. It looks a lot like a straight up cut-and-paste error. By contrast the average weapon skill for player and non-player characters alike, is around 30-40%. Consider tweaking this for your game sessions.

None of the otherwise excellent pre-generated characters have any additional sneak or hide skill, just the basic 10%. Could be bad news for a team of operatives parachuting behind enemy lines.

None of the basic German adversaries (troops & officers) have a Spot Hidden skill, but the best aspects of the random encounters with patrols call for Spot Hidden rolls.

Now these aren't game breakers; it's easy enough to come up with some suitable numbers before going into your game. But they could be real stumbling blocks for a GM eager to dive right in. Be prepared and fun will follow.

Recommended. Terrific value value for $9.99.

For Call of Cthulhu GM's with moderate experience. Expect mucho gun-play and daring-do.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Achtung! Cthulhu: Three Kings - Call of Cthulhu
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Rifts® Coalition Wars® Book 4: Cyber-Knights
Publisher: Palladium Books
by Thomas R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/24/2014 16:24:42

Good file, reads well on an older iPad and have had no problem searching for text, pages or terms. Great value for the money.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Rifts® Coalition Wars® Book 4: Cyber-Knights
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VN Rice paddies Map 1 VIETNAM Serie for all Modern Skirmish Games Rules
Publisher: BATTLESPROJECT MAPS
by Thomas R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/19/2013 16:29:45

This is "Map VN 01 B". When you unzip any of this publishers maps the naming convention becomes inconvenient: "1_x_Geomorphic_Map_VIETNAM_Serie_for_all_Modern_Skirmish_Games_Rules" It's only a minor inconvenience, but if you buy a stack of these $2.60 maps and unzip them, you will be spending some time figuring out which is which...

The map is attractive, but the subject, one very large divided rice-paddy, does not provide a lot of variety of terrain, the artwork also bleeds off the edge of the map, leaving the image incomplete along a good portion of the board.

What it is not clear is if this publisher's series of Vietnam themed maps is meant to work together; if it is intended that the various maps should be connected in any way. With all four sheets coming together to create one giant paddy-field, only one type of terrain is really in play so it would be great to be able to tie it in with other maps. Unfortunately the cut-off detail is going to make that less appealing.

The maps are sold as ideal for skirmish games and the small size, the equivalent of a single slice of a typical chit style wargame board reinforces that idea.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
VN Rice paddies Map 1 VIETNAM Serie  for all Modern Skirmish Games Rules
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Creator Reply:
Hello ! Every map is a typical element which will be used or not for such or such scenario according to the players. For this map, (who I remind you the scale in real represent 50 x approximately 30 meters), The rice paddies would be rather little in the reality! There will be other maps of fields of rice that I am going to publish for credit note a panel of choice! Thank you for your constructive criticisms! BATTLESPROJECT MAPS
Hello ! Concerning your critic : " the artwork also bleeds off the edge of the map, leaving the image incomplete along a good portion of the board " - I verified the file pdf: there is no problem of smudges, and a portion of the map is not missing! - Pages have to be to print in the size(format) A4 (210 x 297 mm) otherwise a piece of the map will be missing? - It is also necessary to verify the printer, the problem comes can be from there? BATTLESPROJECT MAPS
VN Hamlet 2 / Jungle Map VIETNAM Serie for all Modern Skirmish Games Rules
Publisher: BATTLESPROJECT MAPS
by Thomas R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/19/2013 16:13:46

This is "Map VN 01 A Version removable roofs". When you unzip any of this publishers maps the naming convention becomes inconvenient: "1_x_Geomorphic_Map_VIETNAM_Serie_for_all_Modern_Skirmish_Games_Rules(01)" It's only a minor inconvenience, but if you buy a stack of these $2.60 maps and unzip them, you will be spending some time figuring out which is which...

The map is attractive and has good potential to do the job, but it is not clear if this series of Vietnam themed maps is meant to work together, or if it is intended that the various maps can be connected in any way.

The maps are sold as ideal for skirmish games and the small size, the equivalent of a single slice of a typical chit style wargame board reinforces that idea.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
VN Hamlet 2 / Jungle Map VIETNAM Serie for all Modern Skirmish Games Rules
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Creator Reply:
Hello ! All the maps (26 x 12 hexagons) are geomorphic, that is they can juxtapose of all the sides (in the same width or the length), there is only the specific maps (river, creek....) which juxtaposes according to the map (river, creek,...) By 2 sides and 2 others are free. It is thus possible to create one big map with various grounds according to the players and the set up scenarios. BATTLESPROJECT MAPS
VN Hill 1 Map 2 VIETNAM Serie for all Modern Skirmish Games Rules
Publisher: BATTLESPROJECT MAPS
by Thomas R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/19/2013 16:00:01

This is supposed to be "Maps VN 02 M1". When you unzip any of this publishers maps the naming convention is really inconvenient: "1_x_Geomorphic_Map_VIETNAM_Serie_for_all_Modern_Skirmish_Games_Rules(02)" That's only a minor inconvenience, but if you buy a stack of these $2.00 maps and unzip them, you will be spending some time figuring out which is which...

What really rankles is that this particular product is not delivered as described.

Maps VN 02 M1 "element of HILL 1 ( contains 5 NEW maps )" does not contain five maps. There are only four pages. The "3 x Bunkers , Sandbags, Zone Landing for helicopter, concernita wires" are not included.

The feature "3 LEVELS = 5 meters ( - or + ) by level ( your choice )" is not apparent and is unexplained, so is misleading.

Might have been worth it if it came with all the details it promised.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
VN Hill 1 Map 2 VIETNAM Serie  for all Modern Skirmish Games Rules
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Creator Reply:
Hello ! A map is divided into 4 sheets to be printed. These 4 sheets will be to stick on a support(cardboard, mdf,....) to have the map as a whole. It is true the title of maps " 1x geomorphic map........ " is not enough retailed, but it is of general order for all the rules of game! The titles recent maps are more precise. In the case of this map: the various levels are locatable by colors different from the ground. I shall soon make a Terrain Chart of all the grounds of maps at present taken out. BATTLESPROJECT MAPS
GM Screen Inserts--Tour of Darkness
Publisher: Pinnacle Entertainment
by Thomas R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/06/2012 16:15:46

Buy it mostly for the artwork.

This set features good artwork that will make for a decent looking screen. However there are lots of setting-specific references that should be and could be part of this set.

The tables and such chosen for this set of inserts seem like they were chosen by someone who knows the game very well indeed and only needs a bit of privacy, not quick reference to setting specific details. I needed to make my own inserts to go with this set.

Tour of Darkness is filled with groovy potential, and like some of the best classic horror RPG settings, the GM can use a hand getting the flavour-rich environment details right.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
GM Screen Inserts--Tour of Darkness
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Gruntz 15mm SCI-FI
Publisher: Rottenlead Publishing
by Thomas R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/06/2011 10:52:11

The excellent reviews alongside this one all touch on important aspects of this great game; mechanics, scale, depth of play, cinematic excitement and they are right. Gruntz checks all the boxes for great Sci-fi game-play and that's what I was anticipating having followed the development of the rules via the Gruntz Yahoo Group.

But the unexpected thing that really struck me about this game when I received my copy of V.1.0 was the accessibility and organisation of the book. Not just another pretty face; Gruntz delivers an easy, structured read well suited to the both the first time gamer unfamiliar with basic terms and the experienced Grognard looking for something shiny and new.

The Unit Builders are brilliant. Many of us have seen this done before, but rarely with both such depth and simplicity. ANY model or figure by any manufacturer -or- any concept for a troop-type or heinous alien can easily be incorporated into YOUR games. And importantly the builders give you a point total allowing you to bring these new units into scenarios or competitive club play.

The magic of Gruntz is in the Unit Profile Cards. Your .pdf copy comes with example cards, blank templates and even a spread-sheet for quickly building new units (you don't need a spread-sheet to build units, it's fun and easy). In-game all the information a player needs is right on the cards. An editable .pdf multi-card template will soon be available for download but is not quite ready at the time of this review.

When it comes to requirements for special equipment Gruntz has few demands: A) You are going to want 6 to 8 coloured pairs of six-sided dice. I use little ones. B) Card-protectors, as for baseball cards or collectible card games will be indispensable. C) A set of fine-tip erasable markers to track changes to each unit's profile during play. That's it, that's all. Aside from your 15mm minis, that's all you are going to need.

I'll wrap up by pointing out that Gruntz is the product of a community of gamers, lead by Robin Fitton. This is a game for gamers, by gamers. But Gruntz also has the support of the dynamic 15mm Sci-fi manufacturing community as well.

This is definitely a good time to get involved in the renaissance of 15mm Sci-fi gaming.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Gruntz 15mm SCI-FI
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