Wednesday, January 16, 2013

5150 Star Army: Taking On Too Many Projects?

Well, between the Bjorn d20 Modern Campaign, and the Arcturus Rangers Carnage Amongst the Stars Campaign, I felt like I wasn't taking on enough new projects all at once. As such, it felt like a smart time to pick up a pdf copy of 5150 Star Army. I have finished printing it out, but have not finished putting the binder together, so I have not had a real thorough read through yet. But first impressions are important, so here goes:

PROS
  • Made for solo gaming. This is one of the few wargames that comes with a method of playing solo built in. This is largely the main reason I felt this one was worth the investment. Saves me a lot of work not needing to hammer out a way for solo.
  • Feel. This is a bit nebulous, as like CAtS, you can shoehorn whatever setting you want in here, but the campaign and PEF rolls (basically dice rolls to determine which 'blips' on the game field have enemy forces in them) make this seem well suited to bug hunt or "Space 'Nam" style games.
  • Model neutral. With that comment about the 'feel' aside, you can use whatever miniatures you want to represent your guys. It seems silly, but with 40k having dominated my gaming for so long, it's weird to be in a game where 'counts as' is the rule. Not feeling like a Pariah for using my HaloCliks guys is nice.
CONS
  • Learning Curve. While substantially easier than picking up 40k, this is still more of a learning curve than 3:16 Carnage Amongst the Stars. After my first game of CAtS, I was pretty confident that I knew how to play and was not making mistakes.
  • Tables. Yeah, any book that has a subsection in it called 'Why So Many Tables' to explain why there are so many tables, probably has a lot of them. It's not a big deal, as this is largely the GM Replacement for Solo play. It's important and well executed, but can be a bit intimidating.
  • No Setting. This is not a problem for me, but the game does not seem to have it's own back story. For players who do not have their own go to fiction property like I do, this can mean some extra work if you want something more story driven than "My Guys Land On The Planet, Roll On Table 4 For Enemy Deployment." 
Like I said, this is still early days for me, so my opinions of the game are likely to change after a few play-throughs, but I figured it was worth putting something out for people like me who were intrigued by the game but scared to take a chance on a fairly pricey pdf without more info.

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