For those who know me and/or read my blog on a fairly regular basis, you already know I have a thing for tabletop war games. I became a fan of them back in the early to mid-1980s when I took Military History as an elective class my Sophomore year of high school. My teacher had us play a series of American Civil War tabletop war games every Friday afternoon. These were old-style ones that used cardstock chits to represent the factions’ units and the games were played on paper maps with grids printed over the terrain markings. I became pretty good at them; I was able to more often than not win regardless of whether I played Confederate or Union.
Fast forward 35 years. I have played various games from Games Workshop (GW) using metal, resin and plastic miniatures off and on for the past few years. Because they see fit to reinvent in the wheel every three years or so, I have finally decided I no longer wish to willingly give them my business. I have tinkered around with fan-written, free to download rules including Heralds of Ruin and Tor Megiddo. By and large, I like those rules, but I still felt there was something else out there that might appeal to me more. Enter Osprey Publishing.
Osprey Publishing is famous for its Military History research books. My sons used them when working on military and law enforcement-related projects for school. In recent years Osprey has turned some of their attention toward publishing game rulebooks. Rogue Stars is one of their endeavors. It allows players to run crews of between four to six fighters in skirmish games set in a fully customizable Sci-Fi universe. Because of how the rules are utilized, the game is a combination of a war game and a role-playing game.
I like the concept of Rogue Stars, especially from a story teller’s perspective. Because six characters are the maximum number allowed, it presents the player the opportunity to come up with a personality and background for each miniature. Another reason I stopped playing GW’s games is that, for a regular-sized game, it requires you to assemble and paint entire armies of miniatures. Even a smallish army would require 15 to 30 miniatures and possibly a vehicle or two. I just don’t have the time or patience to slap paint onto that many miniatures. Nor do I wish to spend the money on enough paint to do so, either. Half a dozen or fewer miniatures is much better for me to deal with. Considering that most crews/squads consist of four miniatures, even if I wanted to create two or three crews, that’s only eight to a dozen miniatures. MUCH more doable for me.
Finances for rulebooks is yet an additional reason I have switched horses. GW charges $40 to $50 for each faction’s codex in addition to whatever they’re charging for the latest core rulebook these days. With Rogue Stars, one only needs the single rulebook, which I was able to get for $14.
I have quite a few D6’s (traditional six-sided dice) in my collection. I think I may have one or two D20’s in my inventory. I’ll have to see if I can find them this weekend.