Again, space is short (but so am I) so let’s dive straight into this month’s offerings...
I’ve been playing board and miniature wargames for over ten years but have only recently got into computing and I’m glad to find a magazine that covers wargaming. The only problem with computer wargames seems to be the lack of high quality software. As you said, ‘80% of anything is rubbish’ (Actually, I think the percentage is higher — SM) and some of the past games have certainly been bad.
It strikes me that the ideal wargame would be more of a skirmish type game
with the computer handling the display and movement/number-crunching aspects:
I’ve been working on a Samurai period game using skirmish rules and I’ll send
you a copy if it works out Okay.
Please do send me anything you concoct. That goes for anyone
else writing their own material as well. I’ll review everything sent in.
Here’s £20 worth of software to give you some incentive — Okay John?
I frequently read FRONTLINE but must confess to not having a single strategy game in my collection. What ruins most of these games (or puts me oft) is the slow play and number of keys used. Therefore, why don’t companies bring out icon driven wargames? Such games would be more playable, and the inclusion of arcade sequences would widen the appeal to other gainers.
As you may suspect, you’re wrong. Their Finest Hour was
an icon driven strategy game and there have and will be others. I do agree
though, that icon driven software increases the appeal of such games. PSS often
include arcade sections in their wargames, but whether this improves them is a
matter for debate. I think that in such cases you end up with two bad games
rather than one good one — but that’s only my opinion...
The May issue was the best yet — somebody finally reviewed Rebelstar Raiders! I bought this game 12-18 months ago, and for my money it has still not been beaten. Now, to test how good you are at your job — WHERE CAN I GET HOLD OF THE EXPANSION MODULE?
I thought I would compliment you on the way you have picked up Angus Ryall’s
standard (or should that be rifle). After a relatively shaky start, the column
seems to be expanding nicely and the addition of a FRONTLINE FORUM is a great
idea. Who knows, maybe this measly literary effort will win £20 worth of
First things first, you can’t. Nobody has bothered with any RED
SHIFT material since the company went bust. Finding stocks of old games or
expansions now would probably be impossible. Thanks for the creeping bit, but
you’ll have to do better than that to get twenty quid’s worth of games out of
I beg to differ about your views on Rebelstar Raiders being one of the best from RED SHIFT. Have you never seen Apocalypse? I’m not knocking RR but I feel it comes nowhere near Apocalypse in terms of quality. Though you mentioned that RED SHIFT no longer exists, I would be interested to anybody who may have taken over their business, as I would like to send off for expansion maps for Apocalypse and maybe some new scenarios for RR.
Actually, I do prefer Apocalypse but couldn’t get hold
of a copy in time for those reviews. As to your queries, I’m afraid my answer
to the letter above applies here also.
Do you honestly think that wan strategy games are worthy of their own regular column in CRASH? I mean, let’s face facts, strategy games have hardly made any astounding breakthroughs on the Spectrum or any other micro.
Compare games such as Knightlore, Starquake or any other CRASH SMASH with any wargame and I’m sure you’ll find the wargame far inferior in all respects. What I’m trying to prove here is that FRONTLINE along with CRASH COURSE should be abolished, making room for more interesting features. I’m sure that the Crashtionnaire results will prove mine is the popular opinion. If you say, ‘But CRASH should cater for minorities,’ my reply would be that there are Minorities and minorities. I would call adventures or Tech Niche ‘Minorities’ which can be proved by comparing sales of such products. This should prove just how insignificant strategy games really are. Can you imagine the size of CRASH if it catered for all minorities?
Well, that sums up what I have to say except I look forward to the day when
you and Rosetta have to draw your dole.
You’re right that this column satisfies only a small minority.
That minority is indeed smaller than that of adventure gamers. However, you are
the only person who has complained about the column. By your own logic
therefore, you must be in an even smaller minority. I suggest that you follow
your train of thought to its logical conclusion
— and sack yourself!
Why restrict yourself to wargames? In my opinion, strategy games involve more than than bashing up each other’s armies. Maybe you should expand your column to include all kinds of strategy games. Games you could have covered include Shadowfire, Lords of Midnight (which has nothing to do with adventures) and Deus Ex Machina to name but a few. I like strategy whether its in the form of a wargame or not.
Henk Van Versendaal
I don’t consciously restrict coverage to games with military
overtones — it’s just that more such games arrive than anything else. In the
future, I will try and get hold of more of these borderline games before they
disappear off to Derek’s abode.
It was disappointing not to see a FRONTLINE FORUM in CRASH 30 as it is establishing itself as an excellent strategists’ views column.
Recently I visited a branch of GAMES WORKSHOP and purchased a very
interesting fantasy/strategy game called Chaos. The game is very good
indeed — Derek Brewster reviewed it in issue
sixteen and gave it 8/10. But the most important thing was the price,
£2.95, a fiver cheaper than the original asking price. It’s a game of
magical combat between 2-8 wizards in an enclosed arena. Consequently the game
provides a good excuse for a party, yes?
In fact there are several old GW titles up for grabs at
ridiculously cheap prices at the moment as they are off-loading remaindered
stock, now they ha ye pulled out of the software market. My past may make me
biased, but I’m sorry that they ever stopped producing games as they were
beginning to turn out memorable products. C’est la vie.