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Space Opera
Publisher: Fantasy Games Unlimited
by Philip W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/27/2023 02:43:46

This is a very nice old school SF roleplaying game. I fondly remember it from the 80's. It is really to have an electronic copy. My only big issue with this product is that I think that the scan could have been done better. Even better still- a complete remastering (but don't change anything!).

I have chosen to give this a 3 star solely on the quality of the scanning. More effort and this could have been 5 stars.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Space Opera
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Mutual Extermination: The Valley of Tears, Oct. 7-9, 1973
Publisher: Firefight Games
by Philip W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/16/2023 22:48:10

I thought that overall, this was quite a good little game. I printed the map out on two A4 sheets, which is quite adequate for this game. The counters were OK and the rules nice and short. The game captures the nature of this battle fairly well without bogging the players down in a pile of complicated rules. I think that this can be a common trap when simulating post WW2 battles because there are lots of interesting things such as ATGWs, which you don't really get in a WW2 game.

This is a 2 player game, but is easily playable solo. The solobility of this game is made possible because this is really an attacker-defender scenario. The Syrians are the attackers and the IDF are defending from prepared positions.

I have played quite a few post WW2 games in the past, but few boardgames on the subject at this level (one counter = about one company). Most of what I have played in the past were at a lower level (one model/chit = 1 or say 5 tanks). At this higher level I can see that the designer has had to make a number of simplifications in order to keep the game flowing, yet still allow it to provide a reasonable simulation on the 'Valley of Tears' scenario.

overall, I think the designer has done fairly well. There are a number of notable problems however. The rules feel that they needed much more proof reading, as suggested by a number of typos. There seems to be a glaring problem with the use of the Sagger ATGM. They say that it can't be used inside 4 hexes and has a maximum range of 4 hexes. Fact checking gives Sagger a range of about 500 (maybe up to 700) m mim to a Max of 3000m. That is between about say 3 to 10 hexes in the game scale. The minimum range is due the the flight profile if the ATGW. At longer ranges, operators were very unlikely to hit,and I think that the designer factored this in buy imposing a maximum range of 4 hexes. His minimum range of 4 hexes is far to long. I would suggest that it should be 3 hexes, in accordance with what is generally known about it. This is not a deal bearker.

There is also a problem with the counter sheet. A number of the chits are not properly lined up neatly. This is not a major problem as I certainly can't cut them out that accurately anyway. The choice of some of the colours was not helpful. The turquoise lettering on geen or purple backgrounds was very hard to read when printed out. This needs a serious fix.

Overall , this is a good game. I does need some cleaning up. Putting the problems to one side it was enjoyable. It just needs some more work in it's presentation. The problems with presentation and with some of the rukes is why I have chosen to give it a 3 star.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Mutual Extermination: The Valley of Tears, Oct. 7-9, 1973
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CORFÙ 1716 JUDITHA TRIUMPHANS
Publisher: Lumaca Games
by Philip W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/11/2023 20:20:10

I got this product because it focused on a siege/battle that was a little bit different from the mainstream periods and battles that everyone else wants to refight and make a game about. This game shows that there is always room for fresh narratives and on wars or battles that are often overlooked by mainstream gamers. This game was made by an Italian author on a battle that is probably better known to the Italian community than the English speaking community.

I have printed out and played through this game as I feel that it is the only way to fairly appraise a game. I printed the map on an A3 sheet. That seems to be a good size to play on. The number of counters is fairly low. The number of cards is also not too onerous. Cards can be a problem inP&P. The ones here fit nicely onto an A4 sheet.

I thought that the game played through fairly well. It gave a good feel of a siege during the early 1770's. The card driven events are good. They provide a number of random events that help make the game interesting (sieges can be by their very nature boring if random events aren't catered for). The game seemed to work well.

I do however feel that there are a number of problems with this game that have impacted negatively on the star rating that I have given it:

The map is quite low resolution. It is not very clear. The map needs to be at a higher resolution (but don't make the file size too big - say 55MB should suffice). If this can not easily be done, I suggest redrawing the map to make it clearer.

The playing pieces also seem to be a bit simplistic in their design. They could do with being made looking more attractive and professional. I am OK with playing with counters with Italian names on them as it adds to the flavour. Others may be put off. I think that an English language version of the counters may help you gain a larger audience.

The rules are understandable and are nice and short. I do not think that they are clearly written and I had to re-read them several times to understand what the author's intentions were. Some of this may have been problems in the translation. I do, however,  get the impression that the rules could have done with some more editing. There is also a section in the setup referring to green and blue areas of the map. There are green areas but the areas designated as blue do not look blue! Again, better editing and better map production could have solved this confusion.

Overall, I think that this game has potential. It is unfortunately let down by its quality of production. It would have greatly benefited from more editing and graphic design makeover.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
CORFÙ 1716  JUDITHA TRIUMPHANS
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Creator Reply:
Thank you very much for your review Philip. I am really happy to understand that you like thr game itself; it is a not common topic and siege games can be difficult to desing and to play. I thank you for all the suggestions given to improve the product; I am glad that most of them have been introduced in the upgrade of the game Corfù 1716 Juditha Triumphans NEW GRAPHICS. It has a much better map, increased units with silhouettes and better rules. Feel free to contact me to get a copy of this one. Thank you again for purchaising a Lumaca Games game. Marco
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BattleTech: Total Warfare
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
by Philip W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/11/2023 19:15:39

This product really sells itself.

Very good looking and professionally laid out.

Highly recommended if you are interested in Battletech.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
BattleTech: Total Warfare
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Beyond Terra - Free Edition
Publisher: GG Games
by Philip W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/25/2022 22:33:31

I have chosen to offer publishers these comments in the hope that they may be of some help to improve this game.

This looks like it could be a good game. There seems to be a good background. I have no problem with the dice mechanics and the ideas are essentially all there.

It is a free product. A product such as this is essentially there so that us cuscustomers can appraise the product and decide if we want to spend money on the full product. It therefore is your advertising 'flyer' announcing how good your game is. This is just a sample. If you want more, come and buy our product. Something like this is often called a quick start or jump start set of rules.

Did it impress me? Definitely not! Do I want to buy into this game? No!

Why not?

The layout is really bad. I was just getting into reading the rules when I hit a big blank box with 'features available in full product.' Then another. Then another. Then whole blocks of them. By about page 30 Ihad given up. This was just as bad as a piece of writing that had poor grammar or was full of spelling mistakes. It completely breaks the reader's train of concentration so that the message that the writer is trying to convey is completely lost.

It looks really bad. It looks unprofessional. It looks like the authors and/or publishers have no idea.

I strongly recommend that the authors do the following:

Completely re-edit the 'jump start rules' (hope ypou don't mind me calling them jump start rules).

Remove those annoying boxes.

State what the customers will get in thefull set of rules.

You may also want to advertise other products that you are selling.

Good luck. Happy gaming.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Beyond Terra - Free Edition
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Hostile Setting
Publisher: Zozer Games
by Philip W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/21/2021 03:37:41

This is a very well written source book that is compatible with Cepheus Engine, but in my opinion, could easily be used with otherscience fiction roleplaying games such as Classic Traveller or 1970's 2D6 Retro Rules.

Pual Elliot is a very good writer who has delivered a number of gamesin both science fiction and historical settings. Hostile is set in the 23rd century. His setting is gritty and unromantic. Think movies such as Outland and the Alien franchise. If one is to think of timeline with titles such as Orbital in the near future, (Traveller)2300 in the middle, official Traveller universe in the far future, I would place hostile as being contemporary with 2300. It is much more gritty than 2300.

I really enjoyed reading Hostile. The universe that Paul created is very detailed with lots of potential ideas for gamers.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hostile Setting
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Tekumel®: The Tekumel Sourcebook - Swords & Glory Vol. 1
Publisher: The Tekumel Foundation
by Philip W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/31/2020 22:12:46

A good overviewoftheworld ofTekumel. Itis very information dense dense and represents good value in that sense.

This appears to be a scan of the original document. There were criticisims of clarity of the scanning. This looks like that issue has been resolved. It is still only a scan, and could benefit from being remastered at some time in the future.

The typography and layout this product is it's major drawback. The small font size and dense layout makes it difficult to read. That is why the the product badly needs to be remastered.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Tekumel®: The Tekumel Sourcebook - Swords & Glory Vol. 1
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Talislanta Third Edition Guidebook
Publisher: Everything Epic
by Philip W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/13/2019 21:10:07

This is actually an excellent product. I have given it only one star, however, because the quality of the scan is quite poor. It is rather blurry and the smaller fonts are very hard to read. This is particuarly noticable on a small screen. The poor quality of the scan is veryt suprising, given the fairly large file size. I suggest that the vendor should update this product with a clearer scan, which I am sure that they can do without increasing the file size.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Talislanta Third Edition Guidebook
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High Seas Fleet, 2nd Edition Annex Booklet
Publisher: Admiralty Trilogy Group
by Philip W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/17/2019 18:55:42

This is a good addition to FG&DN. It gives you all the information that you need to play naval wargames in the EUROPERAN THEATER. For that the authours have chosen to cover thos navies that operated in European warters. This includes the Austro-Hungarians, Germans, Italians, British Russian and French. Only a few Japanese ships are coverd - the important ones that were involved in the Great War. I noticed that one of those ships was the Ibuki, which was involved early on in the hunt for Garf Spee's squadron.

I feel that this suppliment covers in detail most of what it has set out to do. I notice that it has had some bad reviews which I belive is due to percieved ommisions in this data annex. I think that this is a bit unfair, because when I read the blurb before purchase, it was quite clear to me that the subjetct matter is essentially the war in European waters (including Australia/NZ and other salient periferal areas). This is quite clearly not a Pacific US vs Japan what-if and appears to be outside the scope of the suppliment.

As I said, the US fleet is not included in this suppliment. When I purchased this suppliment, I understood that it was not included - yes I did read the blurb before buying! Having said that, I will still argue that for completeness, there should be some US ships in this suppliment because a squadron of US battleships was attatched to the British Grand Fleet from 1917, after the US joined the war. This became the 6th battle squadron. In addition, the authours could have considered the United States' contribution to the war against the German U-boats after they had joined the for. If it is the authours' intent to concentrate in European waters, then this is quite clearly a serious ommission, and some gamers will quite clearlly feel let down because of this. This is something that the authours might want to fix up in an update in order to preserve gppd will with their customers.

Over all, this is a good, solid and well reserched suppliment for FG&DN. I should really give them 5 stars. The ommsions described above, however, means that I can only give them four stars. Apart from that, well done!



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
High Seas Fleet, 2nd Edition Annex Booklet
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Classic Traveller-CT- B05-High Guard
Publisher: Far Future Enterprises - Traveller
by Philip W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/17/2017 20:19:54

This is the original High Guard ruled from ClassTraveller. After the 3 little books itwas oneof my first FRP purchaces. I decided on a digital copy aftmy printed copy was falling to bits from lots of use.

Thisis truely a classic Starship design book. Itdates from the early 1980's. Some aspects suchas the computer ruled a bit quaint today. Other aspects suchas ship's weapons still seem to hold up nicely. What could have been very complicated has been simplified to the extent that pencil, paper and a calulator (no spreadsheets back then) was all you need to star gear heading your first ship.

Many star ship design rules have followed - none have matched CT High Guard's fine balance of elegant simplicity and creative potential. My only criticism is that this is a scan and not a digitally mastered copy (look closely at the fonts - they blurr when you zoom in which is a sign that it is only a scanned copy). This criticism aside, at least a digital copy is available for purchase.

I strongly recommend this as a purchase for anyone interested in Classic Traveller.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Classic Traveller-CT- B05-High Guard
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Glyphs RPG Blueprint - Digital Edition
Publisher: Scribeworx
by Philip W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/06/2016 20:15:46

This is a good professional product, however it is very incomplete. For it to be usable one has to buy all the tokens that area needed to make the game playable.

Furthermore, my initial thoughts and impressions of this gaming system is that it appears complicated and difficult to understand.

For such a profssionally produced gaming system I really wanted to be more generous in my review, I know how hard it is to produce anything these days.   Unfortunately that is not possible here. Athough this was a free product, ti me it was a bit of a waste of bandwidth.

There are plenty of other products out there that are better.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Glyphs RPG Blueprint - Digital Edition
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Creator Reply:
Thank you for your feedback Philip! Glyphs is intentionally a bare-bones product, which is mentioned in the beginning so there are no misconceptions. It is meant to be a set of mechanics and some default content to be used to make virtually any setting or content. I liken it to a box of Legos. I took a somewhat minimalist approach as far as content was concerned to encourage users to use their imagination and give freedom of creativity. It is not incomplete by any stretch and is exactly as I intended it to be, although I realize this approach may not be for everyone. It looks like a lot to take in, but it\'s actually simple to learn. Glyphs is simply a new approach to RPG\'s that have otherwise been played the same exact way for the last 40 years. I wanted to do something completely new, and I understand the inherent risks in deviating from the norm. The reason I went with the Tokens instead of dice is because they accomplish more, specifically the dexterity component as well as random context. This adds a new take on the game instead of solely relying on the randomness of dice. Otherwise, thank you for your kind words regarding the quality! Give it a chance and you will find Glyphs to be a very fun gameplay experience. Cheers!
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Ebook: The Science Fiction In Traveller
Publisher: Game Designers' Workshop (GDW)
by Philip W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/10/2016 03:23:20

A very interesting read. The discussion covers many works from those that pre-date Traveller, and were influential in it's conception as a SF RGP, though various works of fan fiction. It ends up discussing the most recent works.

I really enjoyed this ebook. There are a lot of works discussed that I did not know about.   It was very informative. Although the writer covered a lot, I feel that there are a lot of other SF works out there that, although not Traveller specific, is still of benifit to anyone designing a scenario.   The subject is however very large and it is not possible to cover everything.

Overall, a very good ebook.   Strongly recommend.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ebook: The Science Fiction In Traveller
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Big Damn Dryden 2503 - Introduction Version
Publisher: Dryden House
by Philip W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/04/2016 03:59:26

A good product. Nicely presented primer on the Dryden 'universe.' Graphics generally very good. I particularly liked the presentation of the solar systems.

Its very hard for indie develers to get new products on to the market.   Speaking from some experience, it is also very hard to produce rpg material.

If this primer is anything to go by, the full product will bet quite good.

Well done.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Big Damn Dryden 2503 - Introduction Version
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GDW Game System Guides [BUNDLE]
Publisher: Game Designers' Workshop (GDW)
by Philip W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/08/2016 16:55:05

Game guides have their uses as they can help establish what serious collectors of gaming products need to get to fill out their collections.

I got the bundled package during the Christmas period when it was free. As a minor point, this is really a form of advertising and should always be free as it is essentially helping the vendor to sell more products.

Overall, was worth getting.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
GDW Game System Guides [BUNDLE]
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Civilian Air/Raft for Traveller
Publisher: Scrying Eye Games
by Philip W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/08/2016 16:42:20

This is a nicely rendered little document. It is quite thin, however it is also free. The artwork is quite good and would look good on any gaming table. Although it is only a small vehicle, it is of the standard that a lot of us now expect from deck plans and maps with full colour and good quality rendering showing things such as seats, fixtures and machinery.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Civilian Air/Raft for Traveller
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