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Stars & Lasers - Even More Lasers...
by Victor D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/17/2020 13:50:29

Even More Lasers adds further depth and options to your games of Stars & Lasers. With additional ships types (the enormous Leviathan super dreadnought and the anti-fighter/missile Flak Boats) and some new weapons (the deadly Nova Bomb launcher, guided missiles & tactical mines) AND rules to alter your ships shielding type to reduce the threat from ships armed with missiles, rockets and combat cannons, Even More Lasers is a good addition to the Star & Lasers range and combines very well with the previous expansions.

These rules are highly recommended in expanding your Stars & Lasers game options even further.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Stars & Lasers - Even More Lasers...
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Blood Sweat & Iron
by Victor D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/17/2020 13:44:23

This is an awesome set of simple fast play ACW Ironclad rules! Although I'm no longer a naval wargamer, after I read through these rules I really liked them & found myself debating the merits of buying some suitable ACW miniatures for me to play them with. And as an introduction to this style & era of naval wargaming, they are absolutely brilliant.

These rule have a lot going for them:

  1. They are cleanly and clearly written
  2. The presentation is simple & understated yet appropriate for the game & setting
  3. The rules themselves very easy to learn & equally quick to play
  4. All you need to play the game (apart from dice and another player perhaps!) is included the rulebook - turning cards, ironclad data cards
  5. A large number of interesting ironclad types are provided on ready to print 'n' laminate 'n' play data cards
  6. Six scenarios are also provided, allowing you to get straight into playing

That said, if you are after a 'count the rivets & them thar beans!' type of player then these rules are probably not for you - they will provide a fast & fun game, but they are NOT a super-mega-highly detailed simulation of early ironclad warfare!

But if they were, I doubt they'd be half as much fun to play ...



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Blood Sweat & Iron
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Blood Sweat & Iron
by Chris R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/10/2020 10:36:07

As a new product, I thought Blood Sweat and Iron deserved a review. I normally prefer to use the Ironclads rules modified for miniatures, so my preference is for more complex sets of rules, but I have thoroughly enjoyed many simpler sets, and some are more appropriate, indeed necessary, for club play. I am a bit of a sucker for looking out for new ideas and innovations in other rulesets, so got these to see what they were like.

The rules are indeed simple, although they have the usual panoply of movement, gunnery, ramming, morale attributes for rules of this period. The activation system is to draw a token one at a time, and depending on its colour that side gets to move and fire one ship of their choice until all are done.

The movement rules are very simple, and each vessel has a speed of 8, 10 or 12. This is a poor discrimination between the widely-variable speeds of the time, and there are some howling inaccuracies – for example the ironclad CSS Georgia that ended up being a floating battery due to its weak engines is given a speed of 8. Thus, historically slower vessels are greatly advantaged.

Weapons are divided into three classes: Light, Medium or Heavy. They all have the same range. There is no differentiation between rifled and smoothbore weapons.

Armour is similarly in three classes: wooden vessels (8), tinclads (12) and armoured vessels (18). Thus again there is no discrimination between different levels of armour, and USS Cairo is treated the same as CSS Columbia or CSS Texas.

These simplifications lead to the ships feeling much the same. Even the mini data cards have the same overhead pictorial, so there is no segregation by even generic class (monitor, casemate ironclad, wooden vessel etc).

The one area where the game is poor is in the vessel data. It is littered with simple errors. For example:

  • CSS Manassas has a Heavy weapon
  • USS Puriton [sic] has 4 guns
  • USS Roanake [sic] with two turrets

There are a large number of spelling errors in the ship's names. For example:

  • CSS Arblemarle
  • USS Onandaga
  • USS Layfayette

And for those of you for whom these things are irritating, the apostrophe police would have a field day.

I acknowledge the intent of the rules to have a simple, fun game of ACW naval warfare. But it is too simple, and too badly produced to really achieve its aim. It feels rushed, as if someone wanted to play with a new set of models and didn’t really care whether the rules and data made sense. I was left wondering: who would like it; who is it aimed at? Someone who understands ACW would get frustrated, so it may work as a GAME that happens to have models or counters with ACW ships names on them. There are lots of other, better, rulesets that meet the intent of this one and deliver it in a far better fashion.

But to end on a positive, I did think the combined gunnery arc and turning aid is neat.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Creator Reply:
Hi Chris, Thanks for the review it is always good to get feedback. Blood Sweat & Iron is not meant to be a historical simulation it’s not that type of game, it is meant to be fun but still give a feel for the battles of the era ( if only slightly ) I didn’t want all the different type of guns of the time on these ships or all the different classes of armour nor even all the different speeds of these ships, if I had added all those it wouldn’t have been a simple game. I have taken note of the three typos you pointed out and I will put up some new ships datasheets to correct these on my site, thank you for that. You are correct the USS Puritan did only have two 20-inch (508 mm) smoothbores Dahlgren guns, again I will correct that, thank you. And I will be adding an extra turret to the USS Roanoke for the extra two guns that have been missed. But my research found that the CSS Manassas had one 64-pounder Dahlgren, later replaced by one 32-pounder, so I believe that is correct. So again thank you for your review and the feedback. I am sorry Blood Sweat & Iron is not the game for you. Mac
Stars & Lasers Colony Spaceships
by Victor D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/21/2019 06:31:21

This expansion for Stars & Lasers is awesome and represents a huge amount of new material for the Stars & Lasers rules.

In the basic rules set players are provided with eight pages of colour ship data cards covering both one 'fleet' Human ships and one of Bio-Alien ships. The Colony Spaceships expansion adds no less than thirteen pages of new full colour ship data cards to the game - a full FIVE new Human fleets are added to the game, the fleets of the Zeta, Epsilon, Omicron, Iota & Centaurus colonies. Each new fleet has a different approach to waging war in space, so each fleet and its ships have advantages and disadvantages and bring new ways of doing things to the tabletop.

Two new weapon systems are introduced, the Heavy Combat Cannon and the Centaurus colonys' Rocket Banks. Two new scenarios are also provided that use the ships in this expansion. As well as the five new fleets a new class of cruiser, the Rhino Ram-Cruiser is included, and three types of a new ship class, the heavily armed but slow Gunboat.

The expansion and all the ship data cards are full colour, and again are clearly presented and concise, with pleasing artwork.

This one expansion to the main game expands it enormously, making it great value for the price. I'd rate it 6 out of 5 if I could!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Stars & Lasers Colony Spaceships
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Stars & Lasers "Reformers"
by Victor D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/21/2019 06:14:47

This addition to the Star & Lasers rules brings a strange and potent new threat to your Stars & Lasesr games - a new alien race, the Reformers.

The Reformers are unlike any of the other races seen so far in Stars & Lasers, with their ability to 'reform' their biggest ships during battle, along with such weapons as the powerful Meta-Disruptor and the Micro Pulse Laser, the Reformers expansion brings a new playing experience (and a deadly new enemy) to the Stars & Lasers game. Along with the rules this expansion has the required coloured tokens (for tracking the effects of the Meta-Disruptor weapon) and three pages of new full colour ship data cards.

As with the main rules and other expansions, the rules are presented in a clear & concise fashion, with neat art in the form of pictures of miniatures that doesn't overwhelm the rules themselves.

If you want a new and very alien force for your Stars & Lasers games, this expansion is recommended.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Stars & Lasers "Reformers"
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Stars & Lasers supplement two "Pirates in space"
by Victor D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/21/2019 06:04:52

This expansion brings a new force to your games of Stars & Lasers - Space Pirates!

Featuring new rules covering the pirates use of converted merchant ships, new weapons such as grapples and anti-ship torpedo packs, a new Pirate themed scenario and three pages of new full colour ship data cards, Pirates in Space is a great add-on to the Stars & Lasers rules & provides both new challenges and enjoyment.

Like the main rules (and the other expansions) it is clearly and concisely laid out, with a nice selection of suitable pictures that add to rather than detract from the rules themselves.

The Pirates in Space addition to the Star & Lasers rules is well worth it's price.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Stars & Lasers supplement two "Pirates in space"
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Stars & Lasers Supplement One
by Victor D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/21/2019 05:55:53

This addition to the Stars & Lasers game provides several additional ship types, including the much larger Escort Carrier, two types of escort and alien corvettes, some new rules for boarding actions and some troop carrying assault ships to use them with, new weapons & equipment with which to customise your fleet, and ten new scenarios for the game such as 'Fighters at 12 O'clock High' - an epic carrier vs carrier duel, & 'We are on our Own!!' - an assault upon an Andromeda space station.

As with the main rules the presentation is clear & concise, and the simple artwork adds to whole without overwhelming it.

There's a lot of useful content in this expansion.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Stars & Lasers Supplement One
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Stars & Lasers
by Victor D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/29/2017 15:06:09

Of the many space combat games I've owned and played Stars & Lasers is great addition to my collection. The rules are neat and tidy, with crisp and clear text/layout, in colour but not overwhelmed by said colour. A selection of full colour missile, fighter, strike fighter and turn templates are provided, along with a large array of full colour pre-prepared ship record sheets ready for printing and laminating, allowing for instant gameplay, which was nice.

  • Initiative is handled very neatly (all sides use different coloured dice/tokens, these are placed into a dice bag and then randomly drawn - the side whose coloured dice/token is drawn gets to activate 1 of its ships, once the activation is finished the dice/token is placed by the now activated ship to show its been activated) and another dice/token is drawn.
  • Ranged combat = roll 1d20, get equal to/greater than range in inches (rounded up) to hit. Shields stop laser hits 1 for 1 but then collapse until restored. Each hit that penetrates any shields then strikes any armour. Once armour is gone the ships hull takes damage 1 for 1. Each 1 hull damage gives a chance for a critical hit effect (some of which can cause moer hull damage and further critical rolls ...)
  • Missiles are on-table markers/counters. Missiles that contact ships detonate and cause damage, ignoring shields. However, missiles can be shot down by the ships points defenses before they impact a ship.
  • Fighters and Strike Fighters (bombers) are useful and able units without being vastly overpowered.

Theres a good selection of scenarios included, and the advanced rules allow for some modification of ship weaponry.

There are a few minor of issues:

  • You cannot design your own ships yet - the writer is preparing supplemental material to cover this.
  • There's a minor omission in the rules concerning Damage Control/Repairs - it's easy to work out what was intended though and behave accordingly.
  • The sample fleets provided and generic in that my BB will be the same as your BB - not really an issue for me but some might dislike it.

The writer provides his contact details at the back, allowing players to email queries directly. I did so and received a very quick and helpful reply, which was nice. Friendly too =) As I said, the writer is currently working on a supplement to cover minor gaps, provide new ship types and scenarios - I'm looking forwards to it.

Stars & Lasers is a good little ruleset that provides what it says on the tin - a quick, easy and enjoyably fun game.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Stars & Lasers
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