Renegade Legion: Centurion
Sunday night 3/7/10 was archeology night. Roughly 16 years ago, my friend Cain and I played a game of 2nd ed Centurion, and apparently that particular set hadn't been played since. We remedied that.
Swift gameplay, "realistic" rules for the TOG setting that don't get up their own sphincter, and a compelling background of SciFi. The exchange of fire betweenthe tanks is immediately rewarding with a great template based damage system. Great looking minatures that you's have to TRY and paint wrong to screw them up they're so cool. Also, tactical manuevering counts -- it's not just a run-at-each-other and throw dice kind of game. The game is readily expandable to include other aspects of the TOG setting like Interceptor and the RPG connected with them.
In the few short hours we got reaquainted with the game, I got plenty more inspiration for an upcoming Star Frontiers campaign I'd like to run and a small pang of regret for not focusing more on this game when it was available as a new product and not a resale.
If TSR ruled the "Old School" era for setting the bar high for RPG's, then FASA had their thumb on the pulse of tactical games -- the fun ones anyway. It's a shame they, like TSR, went belly up. But with the advent of card games like Magic the Gathering (of douchebags -- yes all 6million of them) and the infusion of Goth/emo games full of sparkly douchebaggery like Vampire: The Masquerade, the old school stuff just couldn't sell fast enough.