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Castles & Crusades Arms and Armor
Publisher: Troll Lord Games
by Steven M. W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/04/2013 01:48:01
Let me begin by stating that I DO understand the difference between an historical textbook and a role playing game suppliment. One has a somewhat different purpose from the other. That being said, however, there is no excuse for sloppy scholarship that perpetuates long treasured but misleading and frighteningly innacurate myths. Nor is there any excuse for simply making up information when said information is readily available from a variety of sources.

The listed weight for the broadsword is eight (8) pounds! Really? The two handed sword is listed at a whopping 15!!!! I know that we want our fighters to appear preternaturally strong, but this is overdoing it. The common single handed medieval sword averages a bit less than 3 lbs. The average rennaisance two handed sword a little over 6 lbs. Honestly. Come on guys, get it right for once!

And from what planet did they pull the description of the back sword? The back sword and mortuary hilt swords of history bear no, and I mean NO resemblence what so ever to what is described and illustrated. Sigh.....

The book itself is typical of Troll Lord Games; well laid out, well illustrated, chock full of useful information for the game and horrifically overwritten. Really, this publisher needs a brutal editor.

Overall not bad, but somewhat disappointing.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Castles & Crusades Arms and Armor
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Advanced Edition Companion (Labyrinth Lord)
Publisher: Goblinoid Games
by Steven M. W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/22/2013 12:39:37
This, along with the core rules, managed to rekindle my enthusiasm for Fantasy Role Playing. I have been a game master since 1978 but, over the last decade or so, found my enthusiasm waning. These two products made me realize just how much I missed the hobby. If you are looking for good old fashioned dungeon crawls and characters that grow as the game progresses rather than being born fully formed from the forehead of the game designer, then this is the system for you!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Advanced Edition Companion (Labyrinth Lord)
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Castles & Crusades Condensed
Publisher: Troll Lord Games
by Steven M W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/02/2011 12:38:51
Let me begin by saying that I am definitely an Old School Gamer having GMed AD&D since 1979! I lost my old gaming books recently in a move and was going to replace them but decided to give C&C a try first. I'm glad I did. I absolutely love what they've done with this product. They've taken most of the issues I had with 1st edition AD&D and fixed them, yet managed to retain the flavor.

This product has a couple of negative aspects, but they are minor: 1) The actual prose style is, at times, painfully over dramatic. The writer really should have checked his usage of certain words and phrases before going to press. (One does not "don themselves in the accouterments of battle." One can dress themselves in the accouterments of battle or one can don the accouterments of battle...) 2) The core classes for the system are not all included in the light version. Though I can understand this, the exclusion of the Ranger struck me as rather odd. It didn't end up spoiling my enjoyment of the product as I purchased the full set within a few days of reading the condensed version!

Good product which I highly recommend!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Castles & Crusades Condensed
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2300 AD Man's Battle for the Stars
Publisher: Game Designers' Workshop (GDW)
by Steven M W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/07/2011 12:21:06
I'm a long term fan of the Traveller franchise, having purchased the LBBs during their original print run way back in the dark ages. I remember when 2300 first came out and how excited I was by the box's claim of it being "a hard science role playing game." But I was, at the time, less than thrilled by the game system and never actually ran a campaign. I recently had a surge of nostalgia for the golden age of role playing, however, and decided to pick this up again. And I'm quite pleased to have done so. The system is actually elegant and was well ahead of its time. I really appreciate the background detail and the general feel of the setting.

The only thing that keeps me from giving the game a full five stars is the lack of a ship design system. I realize that the rules for ship combat and design are in a supplement, but I still feel that some basics should have been covered in the core release.

Otherwise an excellent product that I highly recommend!

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
2300  AD Man's Battle for the Stars
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In Harm's Way
Publisher: Better Mousetrap Games
by Steven M W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/02/2011 17:00:37
Well, I finally had to buy it. There just aren't enough Age of Sail RPGs out there that I could ignore this one. Unfortunately, though, I wish I had. Not that it's bad; it isn't. It has interesting character creation and group dynamic rules that would encourage roleplaying. Where it falls short is in integrity of period detail and overall atmosphere. I know that it says right in the blurb that it is aimed more at adventure than historical recreation, but that doesn't excuse the GROSS inaccuracies in their nautical presentation. What really bothers me is that young players coming to the genre through this particular game will tend to take what it professes at face value and encourage ignorance in others they may bring to the hobby.

If you're thinking about buying this and don't have a copy of FGU's old classic Privateers and Gentlemen, do yourself a favor and pick that one up instead!

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
In Harm's Way
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Privateers and Pirates
Publisher: FJ Gaming
by Steven M W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/04/2011 18:03:37
Tough review in all honesty. The game system itself deserves four stars at least, maybe five, but I find the inaccuracies in historic and nautical detail inexcusable. The game is fast moving, well thought out and quite playable. The character generation process is quick, intuitive and results in interesting characters. The combat system is fun and can be bloody lethal!

But the mizzen is not "the aft of the ship;" "anchors aweigh" has NOTHING to do with "throwing the anchor over the side;" the royals are set above the topgallants, not the other way around; there was no rank of "lieutenant commander" during the time covered; "fore" and "bow" are not interchangable; schooners are not "two masted with the foremast shorter than the aft;" square rigged does not mean "the sails at the front are square." And it just goes on.....

Given the proliferation of nautical lexicons available today this unfortunate tendancy to inaccuracy was avoidable and, therefore, quite lamentable.

Otherwise, the game is quite good and highly recommended!

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Privateers and Pirates
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Ship of the Line
Publisher: FJ Gaming
by Steven M W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/23/2011 11:23:03
In actual play this turns out to be a fun little beer and pretzels game. As a simulation, however, it fails on a number of levels. My biggest problem with the game and the reason for a rating of three rather than four lies in the "historic detail" provided. I am a long time sailor, an historian and reenactor and a fan of nautical fiction for more than 40 years, so I speak with a modicum of authority when I say that the period and setting detail is rather off. I didn't expect a level of detail conversant with that of, say, Close Action or a Brian Lavery book, but I did expect basic terminology to be used properly. Sigh.

Is it worth owning? Yes. Is it worth playing? Yes. Is it a reasonably accurate portrayal of the subject matter and period? Not by a long shot!

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Ship of the Line
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