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Book 1: Mercenary
[978-1-906103-34-7]
$24.99 $14.99
Publisher: Mongoose
par David S. [Acheteur vérifié] Date Ajoutée: 09/12/2008 17:37:11

This book continues Mongoose's policy of reusing the names of the original Traveller books but failing to emulate them in any way.

The book is softback but seems well bound, black and white interior with illustrations that are a matter of taste.

The books starts well by adding an number of additional careers to character generation and some extended event and mishap tables. In fact if you are a Mongoose Traveller player this section alone is worth the investment, there are regular service careers like airforce and wet navy as well as more merc orientated specific ones like guerill and warmonger.

There are some new skills and specialities, useful enough but not mind blowing.

The section on mercenary tickets proves to be very interesting, expanding and improving on the rules found in the Classic rules. Here there are rules for running an SF mercenary unit, playing out their contracts from engagement and recruitment to getting the hell off the planet now that your employers are no longer in charge.

To help with the resolution of these ticket we are also presented with a quite nice mass combat system, very abstract and containing what I believe to be a few flaws/typos in unit size tables. A very handy addition to the rules.

The are additions to the combat rules range from the welcome ("Kill Shots") to the horrendously flawed and poorly written ("suppressive fire" was patently written by someone that did not understand the concept).

A strange but not unpleasant chunk of the book is devoted to rear echelon life, unit headquarters and facilities. Nothing wrong with this section but it doesn't seem to gel with the rest of the book, like a magazine article shoved in as filler. Yet this is possibly the best written part of the book.

Now for the biggest let down of the book. Equipment. I was fully aware that this was a "generic sf" MGT product and was looking forward to some alternate tech from that normally presented in the Traveller Universe. The preview including the outrageously devastating railgun was a little worrying, spinning disks do not make great penetrators but they look good on video games. The whole equipment section left me feeling cold. Worst of all for me was the complete lack of understanding of artillery and its use on the battlefield. Bizarre definitions and poor descriptions abound; mortars firing energy balls anyone? Perhaps I was expecting too much from this section but to me all the gems (and there are gems) are hidden by the utter crud that dominates it.

This is not a bad product, just terribly let down by the equipment section. The fact that this reader's (and many others') expectations of it were so high means what is overall quite a sound product feels just average.



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