Hamsterprophecy: Prevision

It\’s All About Pen, Paper and People.

Vesna Thaw Reviews

Posted by Nathan P. on October 3, 2006

The first:

Playability

This is a fairly complex game. There’s lots of fiddly bits to it. Not necessarily unfun fiddly bits, but there’s still a lot of contact. To be fair, the character sheet also has quite a few fiddly bits, so it’s not unreasonable.

Character generation looks like it should be fun, but I still have the faint feeling that the players might be having fun in spite of the system, rather than because of it.

I’m giving it a 5 here. Not necessarily a well-informed 5, but there we go.

Integration of the Character Sheet

The author had a handful with this sheet, I’m sure. But he handled it well. A few bits felt a bit forced, but not unforgivably so.

A good solid 8.

General Cool Factor

Giant Soviet robots in post-apocalyptic battles. That spells COOL in my books.

However, I’m going to ding him a point here because of the terrible font. I’m sure it was some sort of artistic design decision or whatnot, but that doesn’t make my eyes feel any better.

Another solid 8.

Total: 21.

And the second:

Vesna Thaw, by Nathan Paoletta

Vesna Thaw is a game about post-Soviet, post-apocalypse, robot pilots. Players play these brave pilots that use their robots to help their small isolated community survive and grow until they go down in one final blaze of glory.

Playability: 8/10
As I read this game, I could definitely imagine myself playing it. The mechanics didn’t seem to have any trip up points. My biggest problem came in the Robot Scenes section. The section describes how a player’s opponent applies their robot’s Element dice to the conflict, but the text never specifies how the player uses those dice. Fortunately, the play example seems to illustrate the proper use of the dice.

Usefulness of the character sheet: 6/10
I think that Nathan put a lot of effort into using every element of the character sheet, but many of the elements found on the sheet are mapped to new names in the game. The most extreme example of this are the Community boxes in the upper left corner of the sheet. The Community dice names in the game text are Technology Level, Leadership, Population, and Stability. I think that this leads to a dissonance between the sheet and the game.

Wow, that’s cool factor: 10/10
Post-soviet, post-apocalypse, robot pilots. As if that wasn’t enough you get to collaboratively draw your robot with the other players, and then give it mechanical weight. This game seems like it would be tons of fun to play.

Total: 24/30

Thanks Roger! Thanks Dave!

Thats 45/60 – it’s no Architects of Aztlan, but pretty respectable.

I’m not sure I have much to say about the game right now. It’s really, really weird. I have no idea if it’ll play like I want it too. It seems to communicate fairly well, and the premise is cool, but is it fun? I suppose I’ll need to, like, play it, or something.

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