All the games, and then some

Or, my life in weapons-grade geekery. Mostly for my own amusement and possible future reference, and because making the list and tracking down the pictures was fun.

All the RPGs I’ve actually played, ranked by number of sessions from most to least:

  • Star Wars, 1st ed. Playing continuously since about 1990, still running a campaign for my brothers on our once- or twice-yearly meetings. Hundreds of sessions. Ongoing.
  • RoboTech II: The Sentinels (Palladium). Played a few times 1988 to 1991. Around half a dozen sessions. No idea where the books are.
  • D&D (Type IV). Playing since summer 2011, still going. Probably half a dozen sessions. Will almost certainly pass RoboTech in the next few months and become my second-most-played game. Ongoing.
  • Paranoia. One or two sessions. One of only two RPGs I’ve ever played without ever GMing. Loved it, just never played any more.
  • Marvel Super Heroes (not sure if that’s the right image). One or two sessions. The other one I played without GMing.
  • Tank Girl (Masterbook). One session. I think the box is still in a crate out in the garage.
  • Bloodshadows (Masterbook). One session. No idea where the box is. I mighta sold it.
  • Homebrew D6 thing I ran once for my Star Wars group, in which we played ourselves transported to an alternate universe. My impression from reading around is that a lot of gaming groups try this at some point…usually just once.

RPGs I purchased or downloaded and seriously considered playing but either never played or haven’t played yet, in rough chronological order:

  • Macross II (Palladium). Purchased for the art, frankly. No idea where the book is.
  • Indiana Jones (Masterbook). No idea where the books are, but my brothers and I use the box to hold all the dice and pencils for our Star Wars game.
  • Tales from the Floating Vagabond. Definitely in the crate in the garage.
  • Bughunters (Amazing Engine). Whereabouts unknown. And I’m okay with that.
  • Space: 1889. In the crate in the garage. This one might get dusted off one of these days, either to run in its own right or as a sourcebook for some other system.
  • Human Occupied Landfill. HOLy crap, this game made me laugh, and I didn’t even get all the jokes back when I got it. Definitely in the crate in the garage…I should dust it off and read it again. Brilliant!
  • Risus. I have the PDF somewhere. I admire the idea, and I am actively looking for a rules-light system, but for some reason this one has always left me cold. (I love EC, though, as noted below, so S. John Ross does get some love.)
  • Dragon Age. Downloaded the quick-start rules and bought one adventure book I heard was awesome (it was). Never got around to playing, and probably won’t, now. Still have the book.
  • Encounter Critical (planning to play). The printed-out PDF is on my nightstand, and the hardback is in the mail from lulu.com. Yes, I liked it that much.
  • Savage Worlds (thinking about playing). Hardback is in the pile of RPG books in the front room.
  • More? I am pretty sure I bought more RPGs in the 1990s and just never got around to playing them. I was kind of an RPG junkie for a while. Still am, I guess, given that I’ve purchased two new RPGs since Christmas.

RPGs I wanted to play but never bought:

  • D&D: Dark Sun. I know Dark Sun was/is a campaign setting, not a stand-alone RPG, but at the time I hadn’t played D&D and the flavor of D&D I specifically wanted to play was Dark Sun. Never did. Tempted now to get the 4e version and hack it to something simpler.
  • Buck Rogers. I know this isn’t the cover of the actual game. But it’s the image that made me want to play Buck Rogers. The actual image on the cover of the game was less awesome. In fact, I daresay that the actual image on the cover of any game is less awesome. Probably nothing here I couldn’t do mechanically in Star Wars, but that’s not really the point. Jet packs, ray guns, atomic rocketships…and I’m pretty sure that’s freakin’ Mars in the background. I might have to do a Buck Rogers one-shot sometime, just to get it out of my system.

All the wargames I’ve ever played, ranked by number of sessions from most to least. I’m including the D&D boardgame but leaving out Risk and its variants and HeroScape, which may be inconsistent, but hey, it’s my list, and Wrath of Ashardalon just feels more like a wargame than a boardgame to me.

  • BattleTech. Playing off and on since 1987. Dozens of games. I’ll play this, at least periodically, until they pry the little plastic mechs from my cold, dead hands.
  • Star Wars: Assault on Hoth. Played on and off from maybe 1987 to the mid 1990s. A few dozen games, probably. One of my brothers probably still has this, but I doubt if it has all the components. I haven’t played it in half my life. If I could get a decent copy at a reasonable price, London and I would play the hell out of this. Sheer awesome.
  • OGRE/G.E.V. Played off and on in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Somewhere between a dozen and two dozen games. I still have this and break it out occasionally. A good intro game for people new to hex-based wargames, and a pretty good solo game. I can’t figure out why it keeps going out of print for years at a time.
  • Star Trek: Starship Tactical Combat Simulator. Played probably 1988-1991. Maybe half a dozen games or a dozen games max. Whereabouts unknown. Maybe one of my brothers has it? It might have been Todd’s to begin with.
  • Star Wars: Star Warriors. A handful of games in the mid 1990s. I think I sold this. Move-and-fire combat without terrain never grabbed me.
  • D&D: Wrath of Ashardalon. Three games in 2011. I doubt if I’ll ever play it again. There is a simply amazing amount of high-quality stuff in the box, but IME the games tended to run long and I was frustrated at having some of the RPG feeling but without the freedom to do the crazy stuff that actual RPG players come up with in desperate situations. So I started playing D&D for reals, and just use the stuff from the WoA box as props…and it was still a worthwhile buy.

Wargames I purchased and never played:

  • Centurion: Blood and Steel. Loved everything about this game (that one can, without having played it), but sold it without ever playing it. Yes, I regret that now.
  • Star Wars Miniatures Starship Battles. Didn’t intend to not play this, but ended up just using the figures to goof off with London. Motivation to dig out the rules and play for real is way down, especially now that I’ve got London hooked on BattleTech. (He’s kicking my butt in his second game–one of my mechs has already been decapitated.)

Wargames I wanted to play but never bought:

  • Space Hulk. Yes, I know it’s been reprinted. There’s a copy at my FLGS. I’m thinking about it.
  • Pretty much all of the Renegade Legion wargames. I used to drool over them in the old FASA catalogs that came in the BattleTech boxed sets.

Is there any coherent moral or conclusion to be drawn from all of this? A few things come to mind.

I’ve played more stuff than I thought, before I sat down and really thought about it, and I’ve been exposed to a lot more games than I’ve played. I haven’t talked to enough other gamers to know if that’s normal, but I think it’s not too unusual. My impression is that most game groups have two kinds of people: those who just want to play and will happily play most things, and those whose usually GM who are ‘system junkies’ and often looking for new things to try. I have been the system junkie in every group I’ve played with. I’ve heard record collectors described as people willing to listen to a lot of bad music in the hope of finding the occasional gem. I think GMs are often the same way with game systems.

Putting this list together brought back a lot of fond memories of gaming with my brothers and my buddies from high school and college. I will remember some of those sessions as long as I live. And I’m looking forward to more: more Star Wars, more D&D, more BattleTech. More games. More memories.

Let’s roll.

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5 Responses to All the games, and then some

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