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Barnes on Games- Blood Rage Head to Head with Charlie Theel, Shadows over Normandie, Thames-Kosmos titles

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07 Jan 2016 12:20 #219410 by Michael Barnes
The following user(s) said Thank You: OldHippy

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08 Jan 2016 16:15 #219411 by johnnyspys
Steam Time is ok, I enjoyed it but I wouldn't call it ground breaking. Still, for a light game its pretty enjoyable.

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08 Jan 2016 17:11 #219418 by Gary Sax

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08 Jan 2016 17:18 #219419 by Michael Barnes
Yeah, the new one. I haven't followed the response to it, but I'm sure it starts with "dumbed" and ends with "down". Which, like I always say, that phrase USUALLY means that someone has misunderstood how something was actually smarted up.

Johnny, I did play Steam Time last night. It's OK, just one of those forlorn games that doesn't have much of an audience anymore. It is very 2003, 2004. There are some cool mechanics, but it feels old fashioned in a not altogether positive way. It seems like an old design polished up for current release. It is a lot lighter than it seems like it would be from the outset.

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08 Jan 2016 17:24 #219420 by bfkiller
- I'm trying Blood Rage on Tuesday next week. I'm excited for it. I like straight-up conflict games in this vein.

- I haven't played my copy of Psycho Raiders yet, but the idea of the unlikely but always possible arrival of Joey in his Camaro makes me smile.

- I was extremely excited when I spotted A Study in Emerald on the local store shelf this week. I didn't know it was being released already. But it also made me wistful for the 1st edition, which I think would suit my tastes better. Still, I'm not going to pony up the cash that 1st edition sellers want for it, so 2nd edition it is.

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08 Jan 2016 17:47 #219422 by Michael Barnes
YES, that was some BS right there. Turn one, Joey. That had a couple of interesting effects. One, it gave Kurt a very reachable objective other than "run" right up front. Had Joey been sinister, then it would have been freakin' awesome. but it wasn't to be. It also created a situation where I had to slow him down- I could have just attacked him and the Camaro right out, but I decided to let it wait. I used the once-per-turn actions to road trap it and then I had the flamethrower guy pop up magically in front of it. But he didn't do enough damage to it. What was really key is that he managed to get the girl up to the church and then hide behind the Camaro even with raiders in pursuit, so she could slip into the building and out the back.

But like I told Kurt- it could have gone down 1000 other ways, all depending on what went on during the first act (fleeing from the raider van and seeing how far you can get in the truck) and the second act (engaging with the townsfolk and deciding to either search for items or keep running).

Great, great game. By far the best horror game ever made.

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08 Jan 2016 18:01 #219426 by bfkiller
I love how evocative the narrative becomes. And, even though I haven't played it yet (but have read the rules), I know that all that actually happens in the game... it's not some imaginary flavour that you're applying to a few abstract occurrences. I love that it's a simulation, first and foremost. Yet it's relatively light in terms of rules exceptions and whatnot. I thought the rules were pretty straightforward.

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08 Jan 2016 18:13 #219429 by Michael Barnes
Yeah, you know it's interesting because it doesn't really have anything that folks would consider "thematic" rules these days. It's very old fashioned. There isn't anything in it that you wouldn't find in an SPI game circa 1979 apart from the graphic violence. When I explained the basic mechanical rules, I kind of just said "OK, it's pretty free form so if you want to know if you can do something, ask". So he asked "can I scream to get Joey's attention?" Yep. I did explain the hiding since that's the most complicated part of it, but we sort of just worked through it, determining what happened. It's amazing how much very, very specific detail you get out of it...without all of the flavor text or FFG-style "theming".

I still haven't used the tear gas rules or some of the other variant things.

That bit in the car with the sinister mechanic and the raider with the blowtorch...man, that kind of made us both wince. But it really captures the spirit of this game. She got in the car, thinking she had a way out and the dude just grabbed her. Then the raider came in with the torch and you could just FEEL it. TERRIBLE!
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18 Jan 2016 14:18 #220137 by johnnyspys
Yeah steam time not only feels old it looks like a throw back game. I would play it again, but it isn't terrible, so I agree with you I was disappointed. However, for newer gamers in groups where people are hesitant to learn new epic games, this was an easy sell. Would rather play something heavy but this will do for new players who want something light.

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