Random stuff for Friday, hurrah!
- Ooh, reading through Traveller.
- Runequest Classic Sale
I'm tempted to get a print and PDF copy of Runequest. James Mal suggests 2nd edition is the way to go. I'm not really going to play, I think, but I do want to read it. I've had lots of people suggest Griffin Mountain is amazing, but is it sit on my shelf after I read it amazing? Given the cost?
I should get 1st edition so I can see it from a historical perspective, but, maybe not. I'm not a historian of gaming. That said, I'd really like to read early editions of Pendragon and Chivalry & Sorcery at some point, too. I could get these in PDF only but I know from Tunnels & Trolls that it takes me longer to read a PDF, and I'm much less likely to just play a new game from a PDF. Use material for an existing game? Sure. New game? Nope.
I was shocked when I attempted to get the $20 hardback that shipping was $27 . . . because it's from the UK. Nevermind, softcover POD will do.
And yes, I know it's basically the CoC system . . . I played it when we ran Elfquest, but I'd like to see it as a more generic game system.
War in the East
So I did win War in the East. After my big offensive east, I finished the job on Turn 65. The game pretty much ended once I did - I grabbed a major city (Kazan), moved some units to consolidate my grab, and then as I was fiddling around moving up reinforcements I found many of the commands weren't working. I saved, when to exit the game, and the victory screen came up - ominious music, and scenes of flaming T-34s and German troops poking through wreckage. Decisive Victory. I'm glad I didn't choose one of the "Bitter End" scenarios, but had I done so I think I could have swept the Soviets completely from the map by, oh, turn 75-80 or so. Mostly because it would be hard to run them all down and to seize mountainous southern terrain.
In the end I controlled everything from Chelopets in the north to Kazan in the center, to Stalingrad, Saratov, Engels, Astrakhan, and I was a bit short of Baku (thank to stiff resistance, and ironically, lack of fuel.) I'd taken a bit under 2 million casualties and inflicted around 9 million on the Soviets. That's military . . . civilian losses must have been an appalling multiple of that, nevermind the inevitable sweep of folks meant for slave labor or death camps. Cheery victory, eh?
I was disappointed in the AI. I know I'd gutted the Soviet forces with a big encirclement or two, so offering resistance wasn't going to be easy, but suddenly it just kept pulling back from threatened strongpoints. I was able to just take city after city - often major ones - without any resistance. They'd be dug in, fort level 2 or 3, and very hard to flank . . . and pull out. Instead of spending 2-3 turns, maybe twice that, trying to leverage them out of some city or strongpoint, I was just handed them. That only happned on the last 10 turns, really, but it turned a race to win before winter into a bloody and quick rout.
I guess those Tiger Is can be used in North Africa? I literally had them used in one battle, and they did little except shoot some ammo off, burn some fuel, and have 2 break down in combat. The Soviet unit I struck fled quickly, routing, but only lost a handful of their tanks in the process. It never mattered.
Next time, I'll crank up the difficulty. I learned a lot. And yeah, if/when War in the East II comes out, I'm on it. Maybe I should fire up War in the West and give it a go next.
I've been re-reading AD&D spells recently, and I just want to say, I used to think Magic Jar was in incomprehensible spell. Now, I just think it's potentially comprehensible but a hot mess of explanation. I need to give it another go and see if I can wrap my ahead around how to play it out. No one ever took it, and no dungeon ever seemed to feature it. I'm glad for that.
- I love Morale systems. GURPS has one that's not as easy as, say, B/X D&D, but not as hard to use quickly as, say, AD&D's system. I tried to re-write the GURPS morale rules but ended up just deciding that maybe the original system is better than what I could generate. It works, if I remember to roll it. The PCs just try to shoot down and run down everyone who flees to ensure 100% casualties, so it's almost like save or die in my game when I do roll.
- Weird magic items are where it is at.