Jeffro's Space Gaming Blog

Microgames, Monster Games, and Role Playing Games

Blog Watch: Missile Cruisers, Pageant Judges, Pacific Hunters, Pack Mules, Exhuming Forrest, and Algiers COIN

Star Trek (Future War Stories) FWS Ship of the Line: The Missile Cruiser — “For us Star Trek fans growing up in the 1980’s, there was two Starfleets. The one we saw in films and the television, and the other one in created by FASA. The FASA Starfleet was filled with warships of all classifications that we never saw on-screen, and this Starfleet was more constructed around a hostile galaxy. Some of the more offensive-minded warship including this alien designed missile cruiser, the Andor and the Thufir class Destroyer.”

D&D (Bat in the Attic) Awarding XP in Classic D&D and in 5th edition. — “However not awarding XP for Gold or Magic Item left a huge whole in what the players earned per session. I was and still am big on ‘roleplaying’ i.e. acting as if you are there as your character. So in place of Gold and Magic Item XP, I had a roleplaying award…. At first the factor was based on my judgment on how well the played ‘acted’ as his character. That didn’t work so well. I dislike having to play pageant judge week after week and players invariably protested low awards.”

Movies (New York Post) ‘Gone with the Wind’ should go the way of the Confederate flag — “But what does it say about us as a nation if we continue to embrace a movie that, in the final analysis, stands for many of the same things as the Confederate flag that flutters so dramatically over the dead and wounded soldiers at the Atlanta train station just before the ‘Gone With the Wind’ intermission?”

War Games (Quarter to Three) If you stare into the Andean Abyss — “That is Andean Abyss designer Volko Ruhnke on the left, presenting his game at a class on counterinsurgency at the National Defense University in Washington D.C. taught by Gen. Carlos Ospina Ovalle (far right), former commander of the Colombian Army during the time the game was set in. Gen. Ospina is one of the game’s event cards.”

War Games (Hot Air) America loses its mind: Apple pulls historical games featuring the Confederate flag from the app store — “I’m trying to pinpoint the exact moment when this Confederate flag frenzy went from being about making a gesture of goodwill and healing after the Charleston massacre to being a matter of mindless posturing designed to show you’re on the right side. If we hadn’t reached that point already, we have now.”

Appendix N (Asparagus Jumpsuit) Adding Resonance to RPGs — “I think this is why Appendix N still has so much power. You can point to that bibliography and say here, this is what this game is kind of-sort of about. If you don’t know what sort of character to play or what sort of adventure to run, read a book. If you want to get better at this, and have a deeper understanding of what this is about, read more books. That’s the most basic form of resonance.”

War Games (Apple Insider) Apple reinstates select games with Confederate flag art to iOS App Store — “When Ultimate General: Gettysburg was first taken down as part of a larger culling, Game-Labs refused Apple’s request to remove depictions of the Confederate flag, claiming such a change would be incongruent with the highly detailed and historically accurate Civil War engagement simulator.”

Science Fiction (Castalia House) The Pulp Swordsmen: Darak — “The form did exist through the 1940s evolving into a more hard boiled fiction in the hands of Leigh Brackett. Jack Vance created an excellent modernization with his Tschai sequence of novels in the late 1960s. Jerry Pournelle’s Janissaries novels from the 1980s can be described as sword and planet fiction.”

Comics (Black Gate) Dear Prudentia: Red Sonja is Cooler Than You — “Because Red is cool. She really is. And you are too, honey. And, yes, I’m going to say it: so am I. We’re all different. So very different, but so very alike. It’s like… it’s like we’re actual people with thoughts and feelings all our own, not cheaply drawn caricatures to satisfy cheap, predictable plot lines.”

War Games (Inside GMT Games) Silent Victory: The Hunters goes to the Pacific — “All major fleet boats from World War II are modeled in the game. Additionally, unlike The Hunters, you can upgrade your deck gun as the war progresses (as was done historically) and add radars as well. Beginning in 1945, submarines may come equipped with Cutie defensive torpedoes and NAC defensive barrage jammers to help get out of those tough situations.”

History (NPR) Japanese World War II Battleship Musashi Found, Billionaire Paul Allen Says — “A statement on Allen’s website said he has been searching for the Musashi for more than eight years, ‘and its discovery will not only help fill in the narrative of WWII’s Pacific theater, but bring closure to the families of those lost.'”

RPGs (The Guardian) The joy of reading role-playing games — “Great RPG writers give players a sophisticated narrative framework, with which they too can be great storytellers.”

Don’t Feed the Trolls (Vanity Fair) Twitter Attacks Fifty Shades of Grey’s E.L. James Like It Is Paid Per Insult — “Despite the tumult of Twitter insults, James admirably answered questions for an hour as she had promised. She did not once respond to the haters with a playful, ‘Tell me what you really think, Twitter’ or ‘Hey, last time I checked, Fifty Shades of Grey was not required reading for every global citizen.’ At the end of her time, James bid adieu to the Internet.”

Game Design (Violent Resolution) You’ve got to move it move it — “As with everything in Fate Core, if it’s not an Aspect, Extra, or Stunt, it’s fluff. That’s not a slam, it’s a restatement of the Fate Fractal – you can treat anything in the game as if it were a character. If it’s important, a character might take the Aspect ‘Loaded like a Pack Mule,’ which would be invoked against any Overcome actions that involved physical stunting. On the other hand, the player of that character might be able to invoke that same Aspect to procure a needed piece of gear at just the right moment: ‘Oh, I just happened to have a spare set of surveying tools with me; after all, one doesn’t carry this much gear without a certain amount of preparedness and forethought!'”

Science Fiction (Cirsova) Short Reviews – Doctor Rivet and Supercon Sal, Gary K Wolf — “Putting crime noir characters in the sort of pulpy setting from which great stuff like Futurama liberally borrows, Doctor Rivet and Supercon Sal embodies so much of what makes science fiction fun. It’s subversive fun, and feels a bit naughty, because it knowingly disregards certain conventions and tropes of both ::finger quotes:: “serious” sci-fi and pulp crime thrillers while taking others and playing them to the hilt in a way that makes the mundane outlandish and the outlandish plausible. By making the crime noir thriller a sci-fi romp and the using sci-fi as a means to ramp up action, Wolf creates a stunning synthesis of the genres that spoofs both but makes a masterpiece to fit in either.”

History ( Memphis mayor: Dig up dead Confederate general, wife — “These relics, these messages of this despicable period of this great nation, it’s time for those to be moved. I despise whatever the Confederacy stood for. This is not just an ordinary monument. This is a monument to a man who was the avowed founder of the organization that has as its purpose the intimidation, the oppression of black folks.”

War Games (GMT Games) Colonial Twilight: The French-Algerian War, 1954-62 — “This latest installment in GMT’s popular COIN Series system is the first to be designed for two players. You must consider carefully just what you want to do, and how much of it, before the initiative will slip from your fingers. Also, a full solitaire system enables solo players to test their skill against a devious game-run enemy.”

4 responses to “Blog Watch: Missile Cruisers, Pageant Judges, Pacific Hunters, Pack Mules, Exhuming Forrest, and Algiers COIN

  1. BobtheCertifiedIdiot July 3, 2015 at 6:39 pm

    It was never about goodwill and healing, and was always posturing. Remember that one attempted spree killing that was motivated by support for gay marriage? Remember how we all systemically stopped tolerating support for gay marriage? You don’t remember the second part, and think it sounds like a stupid thing to do?

    • jeffro July 3, 2015 at 6:45 pm

      The only gesture of goodwill and healing that I have observed in recent weeks was when members of the Emanuel AME chose to forgive the guy that shot up their church. It you have not seen video of those exchanges, I highly recommend them.

  2. Douglas Cole July 4, 2015 at 6:04 pm

    Thanks for the nod (the series of nods, actually) to Violent Resolution. I’m glad that the Fate stuff, especially, is catching your attention, since it’s not a system that I’m supremely well versed in. If it gets you to notice both the good and bad, I feel like I’m hitting the right notes.

    • jeffro July 4, 2015 at 6:21 pm

      You’re covered several system that I just don’t have time to give a serious look at. Knowing what to look out for in the event that I do saves me a lot of angst. Plus… half my friends play Fate and I just have no idea what is up what them that they’re so into it. So yeah… really useful. Unlike a lot of blog posts, I will be going back and rereading those again because I know I just don’t quite “get” all of it, yet!

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