In the free-wheeling high-concept/questionable-execution years of the mid-90s, a lot of crazy role-playing ideas bubbled up. Better Games explored a few of them, and several of them in Barony ~
Brant Guillory, 18 March 2016
Better Games has disappeared, and with them, several extremely good ideas bound up in some horrid presentation.
There are three books in Barony. One develops characters and introduces players to the concepts of “Free-Style Role Play,” one walks GMs through developing scenarios, and the last one is an interesting work on dragon battles. Covers are colored cardstock, with black and white art. Line drawings abound. The cover is a loose slip-sheet similar to the older D&D modules, but it is plain paper, not cardstock, and so it is flimsy and does not stand on its own.
Better Games had a line of games that were all considered “Free-Style Role Play” that attacked several ideas that gamers had held onto more out of habit than necessity.
Here’s GARPA, our fortnightly bundle of pre-ordering goodness! ~
Pendragon: The Fall of Roman Britain (GMT Games) p500 $65, MSRP $95
It got funded in a few days, so it is going to press. The latest entry into the COIN series keeps giving us counterinsurgency warfare from off the beaten path – no Malaysia or Sri Lanka here. This entry brings in a greater level of economics, and boffo-keen (though ahistorical) castle meeples. Scots and Saxons are among the factions that vie for power and veterans of the COIN system already know how to play. Liberty or Death sold out in a hurry, and that’s after all the p500 orders were delivered. Get this now, or miss out and be the laughingstock of the forums when you look for sympathy.
7th Sea, Second Ed (John Wick) $481k of $30k, ends 13 March 2016
Another project that blew through its funding goal so fast that it almost feels like they’re just making up stretch goals as they go. 7th Sea was a beloved RPG that was popular in the early 00’s, in large part because the world of Theah was such a fantabulous setting. The creator now has the rights to his game back, and is updating all the material for re-publication, and by the looks of it, there’s a few thousand people that can’t wait to get back on the train. Sail over to their Kickstarter page and marvel at the depths of their stretch goals and drop your doubloons on your own pledge.
Dungeon Crawling Underground! But how does it play? ~
By Avery Abernethy
Heroes of Steel is a turn based, combat RPG set in an underground world. Your four characters follow the traditional meme of a medieval world. This is a small party, turn based, combat sim. There is a story to string the combat along, but you have no choices in character personality or alignment. You are good. Your enemies are evil. You need to kill all of the evil.
To strike down the evil hordes you have a party composed of a fighter, a cleric, a thief and a wizard. There is one variant for each character type. For example, your cleric can be based more on healing or more on combat. The thief can be a bow equipped sniper who opens chests and detects traps. Or your thief can be more focused on a stealthy hand-to-hand combat while also opening locked chests and detecting traps.
An expansion for Cuba Libre, Invierno Cubano expands Cuba Libre to focus on Castro’s initial time in charge, as he consolidated power through his own counterinsurgency. Factions include Casto’s forces, the rich landowners threatened by the socialist revolution, the escapees to the US that want to strike back at the new government, and Batista’s holdouts hoping to take the country back. It’s almost like a whole new game on the same map. Wade ashore at GMT’s p500 site to get your order in!
Mark H Walker’s ’65 (Flying Pig Games) $27k of $16k, ends 17 December 2015
The latest Kickstarter for Flying Pig is here, as previewed on The GrogCast – ’65 brings tactical combat in Vietnam to your desktop. Building on the same system they’re using for Night of Man, this card-driven game forces some agonizing decisions on you to manage your forces during intense shootouts. All the Mark Walker hallmarks are here – stunning counters, tight storylines, and fast, fun gameplay. March over to the campaign page and pledge already!
Span the world in a boardgame! We look at what’s inside the new box ~
Michael Eckenfels, 4 November 2015
I ordered Fortune and Glory: The Cliffhanger Game about a month ago and got it a few days before a business trip. That business trip kept me away for a week, and then once back I had a lot of catchup to do…so I’m finally having time to open this bad boy up to show it off.
This game is by Flying Frog, whom also made Shadows of Brimstone (another game of theirs that I own). I really liked the Indiana Jones feel to this game – a comparison that is inevitably made in just about any forum or article anywhere about it. It’s just as well, since it is a very apt description.
The box is huge and comes in at about 8 pounds or so (I’m working from memory on the weight from when it shipped to me). There’s a lot of stuff under the hood here, and I’ve seen plenty of videos on it to know what’s in store…but still, it’s nice to experience this for myself!