A website dedicate to games of all favors and varieties, from video games to good old D&D.
Thursday, February 11, 2021
#TBT - Star Viking Game Review
Designer: Arnold Hendrick
Graphics Design: David Helber and Arnold Hendrick
Cover Painting: Bob Depew
Rule Set: Unique to set
Number of players: 2*
Star Viking places two players head to head for the survival of civilization. Well, one of you will defend the Federation civilization, the other will try to destroy it. The Star Viking boxed included a rules booklet, two dice, a folded sheet of 154 die-cut cardboard counters (each 1⁄2” square), and a sheet of 12 map tiles, each representing a star system.
Game procedure is easy, but as with all simple things can result in hideously complex results. The players are at cross purposes from the start. The Viking player selects his or her forces while the Federation arrays the map tiles and his or her defenses. Turns are divided into strategic and tactical moves. Tactical moves are only required when both players are in the same place.
The map tiles are divided into sectors, with large cities representing more than one sector while sleepy moons are one sector. These sectors are equivalent to a hex. Some sectors are vacuum, while others are in an atmosphere. They are either contiguous or connected by an orbit line.
There are 20+ units available to the players, each one having a tech level. The sector's tech level determines if a unit can be placed there. For example, a sector with B tech level can support B and C type units.
Each turn is divided in three, Strategic Segment, Tactical Segment and Politics and Economic Segment. Strategic is for moving vast distances, tactical is for combat and Politics and Economics represents responses such as building new ships or plundering.
One interesting twist on this game is, players purchase victory points to win. There are automatic victory conditions, if the Vikings sack the capital or one player accumulates twice as many victory points as his or her opponent via purchasing on or after the 7th round. If the game lasts all 12 rounds, then the player with the most victory points wins.
*This tiny set of rules has multiple expansions presented right in this set. The first variant is to play as a solitaire game. It suggests automatic movement by die roll, but doesn't include any tables. You are to make them yourself. The second is to use two hostile Viking players for a 3 way game. This requires having 2 boxed sets, which is easy to do since you can print them yourself. The third is to merely extend the number of rounds to 20, 30 or more.
There is exactly one errata, this was a very well produced game from the get-go and still provides hours of entertainment 30+ years later.
Thursday, November 5, 2020
#TBT Post - Top Posts
My top book review post is for the Moldy Unicorn by Nate Treme. I love that little book.
For my own products, The Hex Pack was number one. It's such a simple product, but it is adaptable to everything from B/X to Traveller.
My top D&D post is a semi-tie. The best D&D post is a link to Benjamin Connell’s 3.5 D&D sheet. It's not my content yet it's a top contender for search results every month. I have no idea why it is that popular, even if it's my favorite character sheet.First Born, Unicorn. This post makes the AD&D Unicorn a playable character. It worked very nicely when my wife ran the character through a dungeon. It might not be for anyone, but it just goes to show you how adaptable D&D rules are in general and specifically AD&D.
I think I need five. So let's have a bit of science fiction. For some reason my review of WotC's Star Wars game outpaces all other sci-fi posts.
But I already did a book review. So, let's look at the next most popular post. That is Starship Deck Plans for Antelope Alternates for Star Smuggler. That also surprises me because I think it was one of my weaker designs.
Thursday, April 16, 2020
#TBT - Campaign Helper - A Dictionary of Classical Antiquities
As a social studies teacher, I like to tell people that I know everything... just not all at once. :)
The fact is, while I can't know everything, I have complied a list of resources so I can get an overview of a vast variety of subjects rather easily. Today, I found a new resource:
From the desk of Dr. Oskar Seyffert. this 1895 illustrated dictionary runs from Abacus to Zosimus. I'm sure it's horribly dated, but you have to love a dictionary that ends with a Greek historian and an Index. The first seems perfect to me, but the second is most definitively wrong in my internet addled brain.
Archive.org has 10 different files and 19 different ways to download this book for free. Check it out, it could be a great campaign helper for you game.
Thursday, March 26, 2020
The King's Cold, Kobold's Folly Map Set and #TBT
King Minwan has observed that the torc will make him unnaturally cold, even on the hottest days on the savanna. This is one power of the device, but isn't it's true purpose. Minwan does not like to wear the torc as a crown due to this property, he is often seen fidgeting with it. On particularly hot days he uses it as a reward, passing it from kobold to kobold so they may gain relief from the heat. This closer to the device's true purpose.
Before the Empire came with it's roads and supply lines, the indigenous half-elves created many of these devices to support their construction efforts. Each crew was 11 workers under a supervisor. The supervisor was identified by his torc, a mark of office. As he gave out assignments, the workers would tap the torc on his arm. This conveyed 4 hours of immunity to the sunburn and proofed them against the heat. When the work was fully completed, the supervisor would often bury his torc as an offering. The kobold's digging in the Folly uncovered the device that is now known as The King's Cold.
There are variants which protect against cold as well as heat.
This item first appeared in The Kobold's Folly, which is a series of maps available on DriveThruRPG.
The Kobold's Folly is one of the first mini-settings I created, initially hand drawn but then spiced up with Worldographer.
These two images comprise the 3rd floor and has a scale of 1" equals 5 feet. The whole set of maps, interior and exterior are in this scale so you can print your own battlemat.
Thursday, February 13, 2020
#TBT - A Traveller's Atlas of Dunromin and the Land of the Young
Simon's artwork is impressive. I have not decided if it is all handiwork or digital or a little of both. It looks great, very old school but clean.
This title is pay what you want. I chipped in a dollar, but I think I will either have to go back and bump that up or purchase more products from Dunromin University Press.
Thursday, November 14, 2019
A Little Something New For Throwback Thursday - pt. 1
- Pregenerated Characters - Love it.
- GSIV - This is one of my favorite games, Gemstone IV.
- Peninsula of Plenty - My campaign sessions.
- Experimental - Not sure why. This is my experimental writing. I should probably rename it to be clearer.
- The Tek - I share my stats so other bloggers have something, anything to themselves compare to.
- Nace - A city in my campaign.
- mostfavored - These are my favorite products, which I suggest with no compensation.
- AD&D - 'nuf said.
- Appendix N+ - Books that have a role in my worldbuilding and game play.
- Zero to Hero - My first book.
A Little Something New For Throwback Thursday - pt. 2
Never ever do I ever - Horses, Drownings, and First Aid
Miniature Treasures - The Moldy Unicorn
A walk down memory lane... thru a Motte and Bailey Castle
Practical Tactical - Which Edition of D&D is Best?
Macaulay - Great Books, Lousy Pictures
Now, what do I wish was on that list?
At five, I'd like to see the A walk down memory lane... thru a Motte and Bailey Castle. My dad has built many iterations of this castle and it is my favorite.
Number 4, Update for Zero to Hero: Uncommon Commoners! I have to plug my own stuff, right?
Number 3 is my review of Module Review - BSOLO Ghost of Lion Castle.
Number two is another review post called Book Review - A Brief Study of TSR Book Design. This is great, free book by Kevin Crawford. If you want to do retro-games that look like old TSR products, you need this book.
Unconventional, but I would put Miniature Treasures - The Moldy Unicorn at number one.
What do you think? Let me know in the comments.