Celebrating National Games Week
November 26, 2004
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I purchased the Traveller Classic Games book this year and I’ve finally started getting some games out of it. I’ve started off with Mayday, a classic “Series 120” game from GDW that came out in the late 70’s. It’s a realistic tactical high-G space game with rules that reflect actual physics. It’s also the first game in the Traveller board game series and expands on the space combat rules from the first three classic “Little Black Books.”
In order to celebrate National Games week, I lassoed an acquaintance and forced him to play a few turns with me. We had just 30 minutes to play, so it was just a quick run through of the rules followed by a single battle pass.
Mayday is counter intuitive in a couple of ways…. Ships just don’t go where you want them to as fast as you’d like them to. And if you are going fast, you’ll move right along even after you don’t want to anymore. Also, because standard homing missiles move towards the enemy’s present position counter instead of the future position counter, it takes longer for them to contact than you expect.
My friend (who’s never played tabletop war games) said Mayday was like a computer program– without the computer. He was intrigued by the way the design was all out in the open compared to how computers just hide how everything works. He insisted that we get together again next week and have a real battle now that we know the rules.
The Classic Games are available here: