Saturday, November 24, 2012

Alternative Systems: Hostile Realms (Piquet)

I wanted to do a review of this system for a while.  Hostile Realms is a fantasy version of the regular game made by the company called Piquet.  Their website is here for anyone who wants to see it for themselves.  This is a game that uses a card based system to determine the flow of the game, in that a deck of cards is used to determine who and what is eligible to go for that turn.  For anyone who has played BattleMasters, I think that you get the gist as to how it works.  Also there is a system of pips as well to control the times.  I would imagine that you roll dice to determine how much of a different unit is allowed to function.  I have not looked at the cards, nor at the book as a whole to make a better description. 

It does sound like an interesting game and it does remind me a lot of BattleMasters from 20 years ago.  However, my experience over the last 20 years since playing BattleMaster has altered my view of war gaming in general.  I have a problem when it comes to a deck of turn card are being used in a war game. 

1:  Integrity:  While I would never would or have done it in BattleMasters, I can see someone literally stack the deck against an opponent.  Be that as it may, I would not be surprised that some people may do this.  Call me cynical, but I believe that a dice roll is harder to control or cheat with as opposed to a deck of cards.  I am not sure if this is a communal deck that is used, which would be my estimate but that is even worse in my mind.

2:  Portability:  While a deck of turn cards may not be that heavy or cumbersome, it is another damn thing that I am already toting and prone to forget as well.  I have a hard enough time remembering my measuring tape, what makes anyone think that I will remember to keep a deck of cards handy. 

3:  Sensibility:  This is not Magic:The Gathering or any other card game.  Perhaps that I am just biased on this issue but I just don't want to include cards into my war gaming.

4:  Necessity:  I honestly think that I can find a better way to do things than with a deck of cards that determine which does what.  I do like a concept of activation rolls or a more inclusive use of dice rolls to determine morale, fatigue, and competence.  A deck of cards is just too out there for my taste. 

Despite all of this that still stands for the reason why I don't like this part of the game system, I did read through the reasoning that the author produced to explain what they are doing.  He did point out why they used a card system, and honestly I do understand some of his points that he has.  Primarily what he is trying to do is to add randomness in to a gaming system that is more realistic than what is out there.  It is one of those things where I think that there is just a better way to do things than add a deck of cards to the mix.

Honestly it is one of those issues where I just don't want to spend a total for $40 to find out if I am right or wrong.  While I reserve the right to put it back on the list if I do end up playing a few games and actually like it I am taking it off of my list of alternative games systems which stands as follows:

List of Fantasy Game Systems:
1: Reaper Warlord
2: Kings of War (Mantic)*
3: Fantasy Warriors (Miltron)*
4: Armies of Arcana
5: Mighty Armies (Rebel Miniatures)
6: Hostile Realms(Piquet Master Rules)
7: Songs of Blades and Heroes
8: Rally Around the King
9: 100 Kingdoms*
10: For the Masses (Majestic 12)
11: No Quarter
12: War Engine/Shockforce
13: Pride of Lions
14: Battle Systems 2 ed.

On another note I have just received Armies of Arcana and once I have my other reading backlog caught up it is next in line for me to review.  From what I have looked at as I was flipping through the book, it looks very interesting to me.  I know that I have been a "Negative Nancy" on the past few reviews that I have done.  Hopefully this will be different in my next review.