Staying Power

Posted: 31 July 2013 in Reviews
Tags: , , ,

Not quite my usual review, but I thought it might be interesting to look at which things I have reviewed that I still use at least a year later; the ones with real staying power.

They turn out to be surprisingly few.


Savage Worlds Deluxe and Beasts & Barbarians are a winning combination, which is not going away anytime soon. I’ve abandoned the Test Drive rules in favour of some homebrew quick reference sheets, mind.

All Things Zombie is peerless at what it does best, namely solo skirmish games set during the zombie apocalypse.

Thirty years on, the Cry Havoc! maps have not, in my opinion, been bettered. Ever. Now, if only there were a science fiction version…


What I’ve learned by using the iPad for a year or so is that it’s not what I thought it would be. I find myself using it more often as time passes, and I’m happy with it overall as a toy, but it’s less helpful at the gaming table than I thought it would be. Hex Map Pro has endured as an arena for solo games, and iBooks allows me to carry pretty much my entire collection of games with me anywhere; but it turns out that I much prefer using hardcopy character sheets and rolling actual dice than their electronic counterparts.


There are a couple of games I keep eyeing up and reading, but never quite getting around to running.

  • Labyrinth Lord, because I’m jealous of the wonderful games my friend Tony runs with White Box OD&D; realistically though, would using similar rules make me as good a GM? I don’t think so. As my karate sensei used to tell me: “Invent your own style. If you copy my style, you will simply become a poor copy of me.”
  • Pathfinder, because it’s so very pretty. Mind you, over 900 pages of core rules and bestiary… it’s not really me, is it? The Beginner’s Box with its 100-page GM guide and 68 page player’s handbook is much more my style, and it takes PCs up to 5th level; I might not run any higher-level PCs than that anyway, because by 5th level your party is composed of Gandalf, Conan, and Elric, and they’re fighting Dracula.
  • Stars Without Number, because it’s just so damned good.

And of course one is still waiting for the Savage Worlds Science Fiction Companion.

  1. wargamingresources says:

    Hi Andy,

    I imagine you have seen the range of tiles from Skeleton Key Games (

    I have the desert ranges (Desert Bluffs, Desert Boulder Field and Desert Ruins) and they come in a 6 x 9 grid as individual pages. Admittedly I had to screen capture each page and create a JPG or PNG file, but the quality is good and I can then put a number together to create a playing area similar in size to the Cry Havoc maps for use in HexMapPro. They can, of course, also be printed onto card/foam core etc for playing with miniatures.

    As I play with HexMapPro, I notice two refinements I would like to see. I would love to be able to load maps directly from Dropbox and I would love to be able to specify the size of the map, e.g. I want a map 36 x 36 hexes for 5150 or similar.

    And I laughed out loud when I read your comment on 5th level characters – best laugh of the day!

    Cheers, Iain

    Best Wishes,

    Iain Davidson

    • andyslack says:

      You know, I’d forgotten I had the Skeleton Key tiles – I must dig them out and experiment. Thanks for reminding me!

      5th level – oh yes. Conan: “He had taken wounds which would have killed any four ordinary men.” Gandalf threatens to throw a fireball at one point in The Hobbit, but he never actually does it, so he might not even be 5th; the highest level spell I can remember him using is Knock…

  2. brassjester says:

    Fully agree with Savage Worlds and Beasts and Barbarians – ran my first Game last Monday and it was a blast. Will post it on Pinnacles site when written up. This will be the focus of our Monday games for the foreseeable future.
    Stars without Number is awesome but hasn’t quite taken with the games group – not sure why. I’m going to run solo games with it (as I want to get going with Suns of Gold and rum a merchant campaign set in the Trade Worlds).
    Diaspora I like, again the gamers are a bit so-so. Not sure they know what’s expected of them. I’d like to see some published adventures or write-ups of games to get a better handle on it.

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