Striker II is a typical GDW product: it has a lot of nice ideas, some nice implementations, and a whole whack o' production problems. Where do I begin?
The editing is terrible (surprise, surprise). On page 5 already I find a reference to two tables (Personnel Movement, Small Arms Fire Characteristics) which point to a non-existent page 00. I haven't yet found these tables, although to be fair I haven't looked too hard. If I can't find it in the index, I lose interest rapidly...
The rulebook is very poorly organised and cross-referenced. I cannot for the life of me figure out what the movement rates for foot troops is. Humans on foot move 20cm per turn according to page 11, but the rules are written to imply that other troops do not (which seems reasonable). Nowhere are these other troops' movements defined as far as I can tell. (As I said, however, if I can't find it in the index, I lose interest...)
The various unit values are not defined in the army lists at the back. For example, there is no way of knowing what the troop quality and morale of an Imperial Marine platoon is in relationship to a lift infantry platoon of the 4518th. What precisely is the point of the TO&Es in the game?
On the upside, some of the game mechanics are nice. If you're willing to flesh out the missing detail and repair the outright incorrect rules, Striker II could be made into a serviceable game. It is one of the few such games to include a campaign system -- something I consider fairly important. The mechanics, where defined properly, are reasonably coherent. Players of GDW's House System RPG rules and of Command Decision will have no difficulties with the mechanics once the editing has been corrected for.
How does it compare to other SF games?
- Dirtside II is quicker, better edited, and smoother in feel.
- The vehicle/troop design system is dirt simple in comparison to Fire, Fusion & Steel (and not all that badly unbalanced).
- Obsessive Traveller-philes will want the vast amount of unnecessary details in SII (even though it misses out on a lot of important details!), but since I don't use the Traveller Imperium (in any era) as my setting for wargaming or role-playing, the Traveller universe details are not all that interesting for me.
Michael also wonders:
I've been going over Striker II with a fine-toothed comb, and I've come across a largish anomaly. This revolves around inconsistent use of inches and centimetres in on-table measurements. I had originally assumed that the designer was just being inconsistent but that the values stood. One rule, however, makes me uncertain of that conclusion.
Specifically, the following excerpt from 5.62 gives me doubt:
"...Class II towed weapons are moved 1 inch with a cautious advance order and 2 cm with a rapid advance order."
This, if taken literally, means that they move further in a cautious advance than they do in a rapid advance. This is obviously bogus, especially given the material earlier in that same paragraph. In fact it is obviously supposed to be "1 cm" instead of "1 inch."
This brings up some questions concerning the less obvious parts of the rules. Are inches to be centimetres everywhere? If not, where are they to be ignored and where are they to be enforced?
Tom Harris (firstname.lastname@example.org), the Playtest Coordinator for Striker II, responds:
Everything should be in the same increment. Some text was copied from Command Decision II (where everything is in inches), and my guess is that they must have missed some conversions to the traditional Striker cm format.
Note that for both Command Decision II and Striker II either inches or centimeters could be used, depending on the feel you want and the units involved (i.e. games in an enclosed space with mostly infantry may want to use inches).
I don't have my copy handy so I can't check how they did the other movement rates they listed, but if these are cms then the prolong rate should all be cms, if they are inches then the prolong rates should be inches.
If this is the case, why doesn't the text say it? Further, this is contradicted directly on the ill-fated page 5:
"A double-sized stand . . . is 2 inches wide by 1.5 inches deep (or 50mm by 40mm)."
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|11 April 1997||reorganized|
|19 July 1996||reformatted|
|16 April 1996||reorganized|
|19 April 1995||more comments|
|Comments or corrections?|