To the Frontiers! – Reviewing Hard Nova II

Space is big. Really, really friggin big. Someone has to discover it.

So what are you waiting for?

Hard Nova II is the tenth-year anniversary, revised and expanded version of the 2004 role-playing game by the same name. It comes in smooth paperback form with attractive, hand-drawn artwork. Those with tablets may prefer the PDF version, which is readily available for the price of a latte and is of good transfer quality from the paperback form.

The rules themselves are quickly learned and will be very familiar to anyone that plays Savage Worlds. The system seems to stick to the model of “rules as resolution” and lets the mechanics be ignored in a typical game until they are needed to resolve a situation – something of which I, as a storyteller, am very much fond.

I’ll be honest. I didn’t know anything about the universe of Hard Nova prior to receiving this rulebook. Some quick Google-mining reveals a decently-reviewed RPG videogame of the same name from EA back in the 1990’s, though I can’t confirm that this game is the same intellectual property. Aside from that, there’s really not much to go on. I entered this read quite literally blind.

For those of you like me that know nothing of this game, the world universe of Hard Nova consists of an expansive alliance of populated planets called the United Sovereign Worlds (at which Earth seems to be, naturally, the center). Each world is populated by one or more sentient species ranging from humanoid to insectoid to robotic to a puddle of intelligent ooze (seriously!). Humans themselves have branched out into two distinct species – the cybernetics-enhanced Earth-based line and the psionic-powered thread that has evolved on Alpha Centauri.

The game is fast-paced. The system is easy to learn. And the source material presented in the rulebook is quite extensive.

So is this game any good? Read more

Budget Bucket – “Risk Battlefield Rogue”

About two years ago on the PC gaming front, Electronic Arts (EA) released the videogame Battlefield 4 on the market. It came mostly in direct competition with the ever-popular Call of Duty franchise at the time. I’ve been a PC gamer at heart for a long while, but this is a boardgame and role-playing game website, so I’ll do my best to skirt around that mindless nerdrage and instead focus on something that came out around the exact same time as the BF4 release: Risk Battlefield Rogue.

What is it with Battlefield and soldiers sprinting at the camera while on fire?

 

On the surface, a gamer would be forgiven for mistaking this game as a blatant piece of piggy-back marketing. And that gamer, for the most part, would be absolutely correct. This game has very little in common with its boardgame namesake, Risk, to which I’m rather partial given that (aside maybe from Monopoly) Risk was probably the very first bona-fide board game I played with my father that had tactics stretching beyond Chutes and Ladders.

Given these reasons, I’m sure most would forgive me if I approached this game with a roll of my eyes while thinking, Good God, Hasbro, what have you done?!

So. Risk Battlefield Rogue. Now that you can find it for eight bucks on Amazon or in the budget bin at your local Target, is it any good whatsoever? Or should it be left in the Budget Bucket?

Let’s find out!

Read more

For the glory of Dak-Gul! Reviewing Barbarians Versus…

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In today’s post we look at Precis Intermedia‘s second edition release of the tongue-in-cheek role-playing game, Barbarians Versus…. This is a game that, before the release announcement, I knew nothing about. However, my curiosity was perked. There was something about it that seemed interesting. After all, what’s not to love about Barbarians defending their land against Vile Reptilian Invaders from Outer Space?

The newest edition was published just this year. However, the game has been around since 2004 when it was originally released by Mystic Ages Publishing. This latest release, available in both print and PDF, has 68 pages of black and white content which, from my understanding, is double the size of the first edition.

A barbarian without his axe may be more dangerous than a barbarian with his axe. – Ancient Barbarian Wisdom (Barbarians Versus – 1st edition)

Grab your mug of Mush (Barbarian Alcohol) and let’s break down the table of contents to see what this game entails. Read more

To Save Chaosium!

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Well, maybe that’s a little dramatic, definitely helping them move some stock, though. I recently bought some sanity-shattering Chaosium goodies from Amazon, I was quite pleased with my purchase, and then…! Chasoium goes and has a massive sale on all kinds of stuff. Once gone, these rare tomes would not be reordered or reprinted. With Chaosium’s recent changes, and trying to get the company in order, this was my way to help them out. I’ve been a loyal fan and customer for many years. So, I did what any good, Cthulhu-loving cultist would… I begged my wife to let me spent more money, citing that these wondrous items may never be seen in this dimension again. She relented and I made an order. One of the tomes was already out of stock, so they gave me a store credit, which meant I had to place another order! So here’s what I got so far from Amazon and Chaosium’s sale (Which, by the way, is STILL going on), more are on the way. So, please share a pic or tell us what you’ve picked up during the sale. What have you done to pull Chaosium back from the abyss?

http://www.chaosium.com/

Unboxing: Cthulhu Hastur La Vista, Baby!

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In today’s unboxing video GM Hexelis opens a copy of Cthulhu: Hastur La Vista, Baby! from the folks at Twilight Creations Inc.

Purchase it from:
Twilight Creations Inc: http://bit.ly/1LuNAsj
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1KhJoLw