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Thursday, June 14, 2012

Dawn Patrol and Old School Battlestar Galactica

But first, this picture I randomly ran across on another blog of some Scythians, among the oldest school Steppe Warriors out there; so it's a shout out to my old Guildies from AOL's version of Neverwinter Nights and Yurt dwelling folk everywhere.

Next, I ran across these pics on another blog.

Now I am not generally a huge fan of Sci-Fi cross-overs, but seeing the Cylon on the Enterprise bridge was pretty cool. The second one just reminded me of how I didn't get my Gold Cylon when I sent away for it. Which reminded me of how I was similarly screwed out of this-

What is it with me NOT getting Battlestar Galactica stuff when I was a kid? Was it Karma because I was the only kid I knew that got the Colonial Viper for Christmas that year? Everyone else got stuck with the lame almost viper toys, or, if they were lucky like two of my friends, got the Cylon Raider.

What were they thinking there? Kids will love having a ship never seen on the show? A Viper-esque thing on wheels will be great! Don't toy company execs actually ever have kids look at their proposed toys? Because the Viper and the Raider were the only ones they produced that were necessary. A shuttle might have been nice, or anything in the action figure scale. Action figures with detail and articulation at least as nice as Kenner's Star Wars figures would have made it a competitive line too, as it was I got all of mine as gifts; despite being a HUGE BSG fan (at 9 years old I was apparently their demographic), I knew their action figures were crap. Oddly enough, I have the Muffitt figure sitting on my desk- top shelf, center, under the light, on top of my Cesare Borgia tobacco tin full of old coins, behind a bunch of old school D&D miniatures, mostly Heritage and Ral Partha, some Grenadier or others.

Now I guess that it is apropos to this discussion, in a roundabout way, of BSG that my new copy of Dawn Patrol came in the mail today. Here are the pictures:

It is pretty nearly complete, I didn't count the counters, but the rest of the contents are there except for two maneuver cards used for tailing/being tailed. There are three complete sets of maneuver cards and one set missing two. My wife Mona actually volunteered to make some more sets using her skills with art and graphics programs and I can then print them out onto heavy paper and she'll cut the new decks out. There was also this odd box of counters that doesn't actually go to Dawn Patrol. I've been a Wargamer for three decades and I don't recognize these guys, anyone know what game they're from?

My wife took this picture with our digital camera, because I am impaired at photography, so I thank her for that

Anyway, over the years I have built and rebuilt BSG RPGs, and never got anyone to play with me, even my buddies like Lance who LOVES the original 1978 Battlestar Galactica. How Dawn Patrol fits in to all of this is that in a couple of incarnations of my BSG RPG, I pretty much used Dawn Patrol as a chassis for the fighter combat. Obviously, it needs some modification to make it a space fighter combat game, but, in theory, it works all right. I say in theory, because I never playtested it against anyone but myself. I don't exactly know when I started "designing" games, it seems like I must have been in high school, but that seems kind of late for a BSG project. Probably earlier, I was always stuck chasing the Questing Beast that is the perfect RPG as Big Darryl's Squire, so modifying rules was in my gaming blood from the time I was in junior high I guess.

I don't know how many iterations my BSG RPG went through. I do know that every time some hot new game system came along down the pike I had to see what it had that I could use, modify or be inspired by. I rewrote the WEG D6 Star Wars game into a BSG RPG, that was dead simple, all you really have to do is remove the Jedi and change some terminology. I had an entire GURPS version once, and I didn't even own any GURPS books at the time. Having access to your friends and mentors gaming libraries is a good thing. I am pretty sure I quit trying to put together an original series BSG RPG sometime in the mid 1990s; I am going to guess that I figured if it hadn't happened by then, it just wasn't going to happen. I know I quit before the D20 craze, otherwise I'd probably have driven myself nuts trying to make it happen again and have everyone in my D&D group be all lukewarm on the idea.