Thursday, April 16, 2009

Warp War

Back in the late 70's and early 80's, several gaming companies such as Steve Jackson Games, Metagaming, SPI, TSR and Task Force Games produced "micro games". They were smaller, portable, and more affordable wargames (although part of what killed off the microgames was that they cost more to make than what they sold them for.)

I found these to be very attractive as a gaming newbie and a pre-teen with limited spending money. I really got into the pocket editions of Car Wars and it's supplements, and also enjoyed Task Force Games Ultra Warrior. As I was cleaning out my garage this week, I came across Warp War by Metagaming. I'd forgotten about it and decided to read through the rules again.

This was such a great game! It was very inventive and for a 17 page rulebook. It had enough in it's content to create a whole campaign using it's rulesystem. What was great about this game is that it was diceless, so chance wasn't a big factor. You had to use strategy to out wit your opponent. You get to design your own starship and pit it against your opponents ship. The goal was to capture as many of your opponents star bases as you can.

Microgames sure packed a huge punch for the limited size of their format. I'd like to see some of the old school wargaming/roleplaying companies look into producing products in the microgame style. I think it could be done cheaper and I think they would be well received.


Josh said...

I'm not old enough to remember the microgames but, what I have heard of them has interested me in awhile. I agree that I would like to see them return if for nothing more than to try out the games that I missed.

Atom Kid said...

Yeah, I wasn't quite old enough to appreciate them. I kind of picked up on them at the tail end of the microgame era. But it would definitely be interesting to see someone produce some newer products.

Eric Downey said...

I was 13 or 14 when I started collecting alot of the Metagaming stuff. WarpWar and Ogre/GEV were definitely my favorites. Car Wars is actually still in production, too.

We had/have a great game store in Newark, DE that carried all of the D&D stuff and other companies games as well as all of the micro games. Too bad war gaming as really died down in the last decade or so.