This is the second product in the WARGAMES line, but the third in the "Cold War Series". As with the other products, it looks at the period of time known as the Cold War. A period of time of escalating tensions in the world....especially between America and Russia. The first product was Defcon 1 and this was my first exposure to the era. I really enjoyed it and was eager to pick up the next product, Wargames I. I grabbed a copy and was very happy. When Wargames II came out I avidly snatched up a copy and poured over it.
Now my review.....
First and formost this is a setting book and so adds to the world setting more than providing a set of ready-made characters, although they are some in there too.
This module details, to use a phrase, the Superspies and Commandoes of the Cold War....Similar to agencies such as S.H.I.E.L.D. in the Marvel Universe. As such, the power levels dealt with are around PL 8-9 and not the four-color PL 10 that some might be more accustomed to.
The first thing that I have to say struck me was the color.... lots of color!! I really liked that every picture in the book is in color.
The book is laid out in a way that each of the major countries has their own super-spy agency looked at thoroughly. There is no need to flip around looking for fragments of info between different chapters. This is a HUGE plus in my eyes. The first group looked at is U.S.H.E.R. (America), followed by Shturmovik (Russia / Soviet Union) and then The Stonehenge Agency (Great Britain) . Each group is written up with emblem/insignias and sample operatives (normal humans). There are even sample vehicles, battle suits and secret bases, which are fully mapped out.
No Cold War Era piece would be complete without the evil organizations bent on world domination and those that are sworn to stop them. The role of the evil spy network is played by P.H.A.N.T.O.M. A secret spy agency with its roots in WW II. Opposing P.H.A.N.T.O.M. is F.W.H. a United Nations group sworn to stop P.H.A.N.T.O.M.
Rounding out the collection of groups is the FOURTH REICH...The next incarnation of the Nazi party and the RED PROTECTORATE, which serves as the governing agency of 'Supers' in the Soviet Union. Also included is a Soviet Heli-carrier!! (I WANT ONE!!)
Overall, I really enjoyed reading through the product and I found a lot of really cool stuff that can be used to flesh out a game and to bring depth to your gaming world. Even if you do not play in the Cold War Era, I think that the ablility to reference agencies and people's names is a great help in adding that little touch of 'realism' that makes a game more fun. In the back of the book, there are also "Adventure Hooks" that can help the GM set things up and help explain how the characters are involved. These can really help out if, as a GM, you are having some writer's block and cannot think of an intro to that evening's game. Trust me... it sucks!!
I highly recommend this product, especially if you liked the other previous products.
Again.... to wrap up.
Rich colors and all color pics
Detailed agencies for each of the major Cold War players
Independant agencies (Good and Bad)
None come to mind....
OH yeah.... these guys aren't running a game near me!!! ;-)
Hope this helps you make up your mind to buy this product.