Jumping back in
I know, it’s been a while. Some of these games were, at best, one-shots, one-plays and easily forgettable. Particularly the ones up for review tonight.
Fantastic premise. A sort of near future tactical match up between astronauts on the moon… Soviets versus Americans. The big fight is over a deux est machina device called the Dingus, an Alien “artifact” of immense technological consequence. I would have preferred to have the graphics a little cleaner and I would have been willing to do away with the alien crap totally.
The mechanics were pretty danged simple for the concept, and didn’t focus entirely on combat, which I liked. However, they were hardly what I considered a reasonable simulation of combat in low-gee. There’s a lot you can do with this premise; they just went for the simplest of interpertations with it.
This is a game of invasion of Earth by mysterious alien invaders bent of sucking out all the atmosphere to replace it with some alien environment (that bit is pretty vague)… the game is played out on a global stage; aliens versus all the nations of Earth (represented by some lame silhouettes and NATO counters). The Aliens can pretty much kill anything the earthlings throw at them in a straight up fight but there are ways to combine to make a decent fight
The rules were pretty horrendous, which was too bad; the designer (Keith Gross) was not without talent. One thing I liked was that he did manage was to craft a situation where the aliens and humans were very, very different from each other.
Air Eaters has its fans and it has its detractors; I played it a few times (more than Artifact, that’s for sure). I recall the game having some character and an interesting setting, but kind of a hard slog to get through and not very exciting.
An Archive page on the Wayback machine of Mark Johnson’s Air Eaters AAR (from 1996)
Metagaming Nostalgia Project Posting Index