Friday, August 13, 2010

My Metagming collection

I've managed to collect quite a few of Metagaming's old MicroGames. They were small, fast playing wargames using hex maps that were published back in the '70's and '80's. And they're a blast to play.

MicroGame #1: Ogre (1977)

Designed by Steve Jackson and inspired by Keith Laumer's Bolo series of sf stories, this game has you using hovercraft and other AFV's to fight a giant cybernetic tank called the OGRE. An easy game with a lot of replay value. With art by Winchell Chung.

MicroGame #3: Melee (1977)

Another by Steve Jackson. Melee is a game of individual combat that includes many fantasy creatures. Uses a simple point-build system to create characters. Along with Wizard (see below) it was the basis of the FRPG The Fantasy Trip and eventually GURPS. A very good game that I blogged about earlier. And probably the only game ever published with a gargoyle wiener on the cover.

MicroGame #4: Warp War (1977)

Designed by Metagaming founder Howard Thompson, this is a starship combat game with a solid diceless game mechanic and a simple strategic element. A fun game that can easily be expanded upon. More art by Winchell Chung.

MicroGame #5: Rivets (1977)

A toungue-in-cheek take on the old "the humans are gone but the robots keep on fighting" cliché. Each player controls various Boppers that can be programed in different ways. I haven't played this one yet, but it looks fun.

MicroGame #6: Wizard (1978)

The follow-up game to Melee (above), this one covers magic users, obviously. Each player controls a spell caster as they face off in an arena. The spells were all combat oriented, natch, but they were expanded in The Fantasy Trip.

MicroHistory #2: Ram Speed (1980)

"RAMSPEED is a fast playing game from the age of mythical heroes, a time when gods roamed the earth and mystery veiled the oceans." How can you not want to play this game? You command individual ancient ships like triremes or penteconters and try to outmaneuver your opponent.

That's it so far. I'd really like to get MicroGame #7: Olympica (1978) too and maybe a few others. I just wish I would get to play them more often.


Robert Saint John said...

Olympica is great. I could have sworn I had a second copy around here, but can't find it. I'll check next week when I get back from a business trip, yours if I do.

Also worthy: Invasion of the Air Eaters, GEV. Rommels Panzers, Ram Speed and Stalin's Tanks are nice AH-lite microhistorys. I really love The Lords of Underearth. Not really fond of any of the others (other than those you mentioned). Starleader Assault (TFT in space) was a big disappointment, and Trailblazer was unplayable!

Jerry Cornelius said...

Thanks, Robert. That's be great. Wasn't Lords of Underearth the one that made Murphy's Rules for some reason?

Robert Saint John said...

Update: no luck, man, sorry to have gotten your hopes up. I checked the box I thought the extra was in, and it was the microgame Artifact, and it's Chitin that I have two of (two editions). I'm still not convinced that I don't have another tucked away, I'll let you know.

I don't remember LoU being in MR, but I wouldn't be surprised... I think all the metagames made it in there sooner or later!

Jerry Cornelius said...

No problem. Thanks for checking. And I think most games have something that would qualify for Murphy's Rules.