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Target! Bearing 093 degrees!
by Shawn K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/15/2014 00:47:45
This is an enjoyable game. I bought it with the intent of using it for resolving submarine battles in role-playing a submarine commander. The game is perfect for this. But this game is also great for just pulling off the shelf and running through a mission. Set up time is only a few minutes (shuffle the deck and lay out the two play sheets).
My first mission did not go so well. I encountered 8 ships and choose to engage 5 of them. I only managed to sink one ship of only 7,000 tons. My submarine was sunk during the 8th encounter. Still it was fun. I actually was glad to see that it was not going to be too easy to score high.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Target! Bearing 093 degrees!
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Obcy Na Dzielni
by Mariusz K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/13/2013 16:02:13
Moim zdaniem „Obcy na dzielni” pozostaną raczej jednorazowym eksperymentem, nie liczę bowiem, że doczekamy się na rpgnow osobnej językowej zakładki. Na pewno jednak jest to rzecz warta wzmianki i kroczek ku zmianom na polskim/polskojęzycznym ryneczku gier fabularnych.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Obcy Na Dzielni
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The Battle of Kaylen
by Nate K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/20/2013 11:13:44
This was the product that introduced me to the Edge of Space system. I've got to say, it's pretty solid. The designer has managed to squeeze multiple interesting action setpieces into one little PocketMod. The system is straightforward enough that even novice RPGers can learn it in an afternoon.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Battle of Kaylen
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The Lair of the Orc Shaman
by Callum S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/07/2013 12:10:51
Well plotted, well drawn and entertaining my after school club. Just the right level for a beginning party.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Lair of the Orc Shaman
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The Lair of the Orc Shaman
by Tim S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/30/2013 16:00:52
Lair of the Orc Shaman is written by Felbrigg Herriot and the maps are provided by the infamous Matt Jackson. This is a micro adventure in PocketMod format. That means its small. Wee even. One page that can be made into a tiny booklet. It will cost you .99 cents to take a peek. Let me tell you about it a little since this is a review.

First off, love the cover. It's what originally made me click on it on RPGNow. Simple and effective. In the preview, it says it's a 1st edition adventure for 5 to 7 first level characters. It has 17 rooms in an underground crawl. The room descriptions are tight. Considering the space limitations I was amazed Felbrigg squeezed in all the rooms. Plus, there are some nice descriptions. It is not a list of rooms with just monsters and loot. He manages to tell you what will happen if this happens and the contents of the room.

While I was reading this adventure I kept thinking this would me a great funnel module for the DCC crowd. Tweak the stats and you'd be good to go. No matter what system you have its a good straight forward adventure that will easily fill a night of gaming and that you can plug into your game at any time.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Shikishima Heroes
by Dale M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/25/2013 12:42:47
A fun little game! The background is clever, the compactness is innovative, and the game play is simple and fun. A good diversion at a con, or a quick game between games!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Shikishima Heroes
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Jane's The Imperial Japanese Navy
by Thomas S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/12/2012 08:11:41
I was really excited about this, but the format is 'e-book' and I could not get it to load on my Kindle. My fault really. What reads an 'e-book'?

Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Jane's The Imperial Japanese Navy
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Publisher Reply:
Hi, I've taken your comment to heart, and added a Kindle file (mobi) to the product. Enjoy.
Torture
by Stephen J. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 08/04/2012 17:38:58
Cost: $2.99
Page count: 25
Full title: Torture, a story telling game and toolkit © 2012
"human depravity knows no bounds"

The book's dedication:
"I dedicate this to all the hard working podcasters on the "Fear the Boot" show, who are probably horrified to find themselves mentioned in the dedication of a tome such as this."

My Summary:
This is a mini-game with its own system. It can be added as a feature of any other game in place of opposed will rolls or the like. It takes place in five (5) rounds, with three phases each. Each round is progressively worse for the victim (giving the torturer a greater die bonus). There are a set of bonuses that both the victim and torturer can choose to add to their roll, but each bonus can only be chosen once per game and only one can be chosen per round.

The most interesting idea is that three (3) secrets are decided upon (or written in secret), before the mini-game begins. The first is of minor importance, but would give the torturer something. The second is of greater importance, and if this is all the torturer gets, they'd feel it a success. The third is of utmost importance and represents the victim being totally broken and revealing whatever would give the other side a definitive victory (like the secret launch codes or the exact nature of an invasion plan).

The mechanics of the mini-game is just a series of opposed rolls, with the additional modifiers based on what round it is and what chosen bonuses (if any) each player pulls in. When the final round is complete, the victim 'wins' if they have not given up the third secret and the torturer 'wins' if the victim has.

Another interesting aspect of the mini-game is the repeated calls for shared, collaborative narration. While the two players are technically competing, they are both encouraged to add details to the story, including the other's memories or flashback's, to expand the scene. Interestingly enough, the nature of the torture is not specified at all. So, if you wanted to have the entire 'torture' scene play out mechanically with "mystical forces, prying open your mind" or with "the galactic emperor's mind probe rooting through your memories!" then you totally could, it wouldn't change the nature of the game at all.

The only really disturbing thing in the game (to me, anyway) was that the possible scenario's listed included a serial killer torturing a victim, like a college co-ed. This is a common trope in exploitive horror movies, but what didn't feel right is that the goal in those stories is not for information or to 'break' the character but to terrify, humiliate, and ultimately kill the victim. Trying to use these rules with the three secrets and progressively more extreme attempts to extract the secrets - to a situation in which the torturer doesn't really care about secrets, but wants to torment their victim for its own sake, is a cognitive stretch.

Finally, there is a "safety valve" of sorts described at the very end of the book:
"All torture is abhorrent and some people will find elements of it make them uncomfortable. If any player feels uncomfortable, they must speak up and stop the game. In this case fall back on using the mechanics and avoid the narration."

Weaknesses:
This book doesn't address several problematic situations which are actually intrinsic to torture.

1) What if the victim doesn't know? This mini-game assumes the victim does, and there are three secrets to pry from them. But, in real life, that may not be the case. This mini-game does not deal with the issue of a wrongfully accused victim being interrogated for information they don't posses.

2) What if the victim lies? Depending on the nature of the information, verifying it may take too long or be impossible. If the lie leads the torturer (or those they represent) on a wild goose chase, then the real threat plays out without any benefit of the information. (Such as revealing the wrong location for a bomb, or identifying the wrong target of an assassination.)

3) What if the point of torture was to get the victim to admit to a crime or conspiracy? Now we return to the "what if they're innocent?" or "what if they lie?" If the victim is innocent and they are tortured enough, then they may be compelled to admit guilt. But, the real threat is still out there, because this victim was innocent. Or, what if they are collaborators with the intended target and decide to lie and admit to being the rebel leader or the famous terrorist or the captured general, to protect the real one? In both of these cases 'winning' as a torturer is actually a significant set-back for the greater narrative.

4) The issue of going too far and killing the victim is not addressed. Is that one of the possible victory conditions, for the victim? "You don't give up your third secret, because the torturer went too far, you've succumbed to your injuries." If that's a possibility, then shouldn't this mini-game have some "push your luck" mechanic to represent that risk?

5) It doesn't address the many traditional motivations for torture outside of information gathering. Torture has, historically, been used for extreme punishment, to terrorize and demoralize a population, to terrorize an enemy (by torturing those captured), and to prop up brutal regimes. In these cases, getting information or revealing secrets is moot.

Conclusion:
If your group is /really/ interested in playing out a torture scene, as either the one tortured or the one doing the torturing, then this mini-game is better and more detailed than the standard "opposed will check" method. But, it only deals with a narrow set of situations and it opens the possibility of your group crossing a narrative boundary that may make some or all of the players very uncomfortable. With care and judicious use of narrative "veils and curtains" (to keep the narration from taking a turn to the obscene) this mini-game can be a useful tool for any GM. Personally, I'd be very uncomfortable with encouraging players to really get into the narration of an abhorrent act, such as torture, and where that narration can go. So, Caveat Emptor!

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Torture
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Jane's The Imperial Japanese Navy
by Ben H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/06/2012 15:27:09
This book is interesting not only for the information it contains on the pre-1920 era Japanese fleet and personel, but it also shows how some things both remain the same and change over time. If you would like information about any of the pre-WW2 powers, this book should be on your list

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Jane's The Imperial Japanese Navy
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Target! Bearing 093 degrees!
by Nate K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/23/2012 15:01:48
(Copied from my review at BGG.com)

I am a big fan of Zed Deck. Chris Fee managed to combine several things that I enjoy in a game--compactness, the ability to play solitaire (often while I'm at work, but don't tell anyone), an interesting theme, an enjoyable push-your-luck mechanic, and some good replayability in attempting to beat my own high score. (I have yet to crack 18 supplies, after a long stretch of thinking that I would never beat 16.)

For fans of Zed Deck and its ilk, such as the more recent Lord of the Rings: The Adventure Deck Game by Michele Esmanech, there is a new kid on the block. Like the afore-mentioned games, Target! Bearing 093 degrees! is a print-and-play card-based solitaire game with a fun push-your-luck mechanic. It isn't free, but is available very inexpensively. (Currently, the price is $2.37 at WarGameVault.com.)

Target! is deliberately non-specific about which faction you are fighting for (or against), but it is set in World War II and puts you in command of an attack sub trying to bring down as much tonnage of enemy cargo ships as possible. You hunt for targets, determine the strength of their escort, and decide whether or not to attack. This game is set apart from similar games that I have played in that there is a significant amount of resource management integrated into the push-your-luck system.

The game uses 54 black-and-white low-ink cards, a single-page play board, and an "optional" resource tracker. I found the tracker essential, as there are multiple resources that need managing, more than I can juggle in my head, and the resource tracker made that task very simple. The rulebook is well-written and clear; I was able to play the game after reading through it only once, and I only had to reference it to make sure that I was starting the game with the correct number of torpedoes. (I wasn't, so I'm glad I checked.)

I printed the cards on plain copy paper, cut them out, and placed them into card sleeves with unused Magic: The Gathering land cards for rigidity. Two of the cards are resupply cards and are not supposed to be shuffled into the deck with the other 52 cards, although doing so might make for an interesting variant.

The game is played by shuffling the 52-card deck and selecting one of the two resupply cards. At any point in the game, a resupply submarine will deliver the goods you request with your resupply card. One of the cards allows you to gain back 10 fuel and an additional torpedo, while the other grants you only 5 fuel but 3 torpedoes. You begin the game with 70 fuel, 15 torpedoes, and sufficient ammunition for your deck guns to sink 5 ships.

Each turn, you pay 1 fuel and reveal the top card of the deck. The top of the card shows the tonnage of the target ship. Tonnage varies from 7,000 tons (or tonnes, I suppose, since the game designer, Felbrigg Herriot, is British) to 40,000 tons. If the target looks juicy enough, you pay 1 fuel (to move in closer and) to reveal the next card in the deck to determine the ship's escort. Otherwise, you discard the revealed target and move on.

If you decide to move in closer and see how dangers the escort is, you ignore the top of the card. The next lowest section of the card shows the escort--either Small, Medium, or Large. Large ships are the most dangers; Small, the least. (Although the two times I have been sunk, a Medium-sized escort dealt the final blow.) Once the escort has been determined, you may either attack, or discard both target and escort and continue hunting.

If you attack, you have three options. Option One, you can move in just a little closer and fire a spread (3 torpedoes) to try to sink the target. This has the least likelihood of destroying the target, but conserves fuel and helps keep you out of danger from the escort. Option Two, you can move in even closer and fire a single, aimed torpedo at the target. This has a higher chance of sinking the target, but also requires more fuel and increases your risk of being damaged by the escort. Option the Third, you can move into gun range and blast the bejeezus out of your target with your deck guns. This requires the most fuel, and brings you into uncomfortably close proximity with the escort, but you don't have to use up your torpedoes, and it has the highest likelihood of sinking the target.

Once you have chosen your method of attack, you reveal the next card in the deck, this time looking at the third section. This will show Spread, Single, and Guns, and whether or not each attack type was a Hit! or Miss. Hopefully, you'll get a Hit!, and can add the target's tonnage to your total.

Finally, you have to make your escape. To do this, you reveal a fourth card. The lowest section has a small chart. Referencing both the size of the escort and the type of attack, you determine how much fuel is required to escape. Occasionally, you'll receive a bit of damage, as well. Four points of damage, and your sub is sunk, so play carefully!

Target! is a fun and compact solitaire game. It has tense, hold-your-breath moments as you hope that your torpedo hits. There is plenty of replayability as you try to beat your high score. (I have yet to best the 104,000 tons I sunk my first game.) I particularly enjoy the addition of resource management to a push-your-luck mechanic that I have already enjoyed immensely in other games. The theme is one that I personally love--naval combat!

The only complaint I can level against the game is a minor one. The iconography of the target ships seems to be inconsistent. I can't tell just by looking at the silhouette of the ship how big it is; I have to look at the actual number to determine the tonnage. This doesn't affect gameplay in the slightest, I'm just surprised that the tonnage doesn't seem to be matched with the ship icon more closely.

All in all, I would highly recommend the game, especially for those who have already enjoyed such games as Zed Deck and the Lord of the Rings Adventure Deck Game. To me, Target! is an evolution of those games, taking their wonderful push-your-luck mechanisms and integrating them into a new and fun setting. I, for one, enjoy imagining myself as a WWII submarine captain, on the prowl for large, meagerly-protected targets. The experience is well worth the measly $2.37.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Target! Bearing 093 degrees!
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Tars Tarkas of Mars
by Jacob R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/14/2012 11:04:43
Tars Tarkas of Mars is an inventive gamebook in the style of the best CYOA of the 80s. It has a lot to recommend it, including a gripping if fast-paced story and a professional look and great game system. Also, the price is right.

You'll notice that this review has two stars. The problem that I've encountered is that this hyperlinked epub file is broken. The links seem to be layed out properly, but sometimes you are taken to a section that you did not click, leading to loops in the game. I am not certain that the book can be completed as is. If this problem is fixed, then it will get a far higher review.

Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Tars Tarkas of Mars
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Death Bringers
by Dale F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/14/2011 12:33:42
I highly recommend this product. Although you can run 3:16 off the cuff or do your own prep the scenarios in this book are detailed and offer lots of great ideas that you can incorporate into your own adventures even if you don't use them whole cloth. I bought it the night before I was running 3:16 at a convention and the players loved it. Not all adventures are of the same high quality though. You may want to pick and choose which ones you run.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Death Bringers
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