Review: Nerd Rage Games – War Rage


Product Name: War Rage
Publisher: Nerd Rage Games
Author: Richard Green, Nicholas Huth, BJ Lewis, Zachariah Stevenovich
System: Rage Series
Setting:
Series:
Theme: Modern Action, Combat, Warfare
Type: Core
Link: http://www.nerdragegames.webs.com/

War Rage is the third core module for the Rage Series published by Nerd Rage Games. These modules are designed to be compatible and interchangeable. War Rage brings about a modern action system with plenty of combat and warfare possibilities placed in a near-future or modern day setting based off an alternate look at recent history. The setting creates a world that has progressed in a way with additional warfare, altercations, and at times a society with dystopian tendencies.

The Rage Series is a roll-under system using a single d20. Target numbers are based off a character’s own attributes and skills or the capabilities of the vehicles they operate. Outside of character creation, the rules and mechanics are kept light for fast and easy game-play. This core module brings about a good number of options for players and GMs with the ease of incorporating future sourcebooks.

CHARACTER CREATION

Character Creation is probably the most cumbersome part of the game system. This detailed creation allows the players and GMs to make game-play mechanics simpler and rules-light as the stat modifiers are all determined during character creation. There are several types of characters that can be created, but one that stands out to me is the Aristocrat. The reason for this is because the mechanics within the rest of the module do not show a use for a character that is an Aristocrat. I question the need for this character type and would rather see more options and details for character types that line-up with this module’s mechanics.

War Rage has the same afflictions as Space Rage and Medieval Rage concerning the layout and presentation of the character creation. I will not go into further detail, but you may refer to those reviews for more information.

MECHANICS

The general resolution mechanics for War Rage and the entire Rage Series is quite simple. The only opposed mechanics seems to be combat related. This is done using an Attack Class and opposing a Defense Class (plus or minus applicable modifiers). This level of resolution could make games quick and simple. However, I don’t see any mechanics for pinning characters skills against each other even though there are rules for governing skill success.

EQUIPMENT

There is a great amount of equipment and weapons options that any player could easily outfit their character with everything they need for survival. I find the “cost” to be quite interesting and wonder why some items seem overpriced while others seem underpriced. The list is very comprehensive and doesn’t need much expansion for proper game-play.

AIRCRAFT/BOATS/VEHICLES

These sections of the War Rage module exhibit the best layout and presentation of the entire module. The options for aircraft (planes and helicopters), watercraft (boats and hovercrafts), and armored vehicles (tanks, cars, and APCs) are fantastic. They are all presented in a very realistic way and could easily create epic battles throughout any game. Plus there are a lot of mechanics governing these including movement, construction, weapons, and more.

SETTING

The setting for War Rage takes an alternate look at Earth through the 20th century and into the early years of the 21st century. The major changes are primarily war and government-related in a way creating more conflict between the different countries involved.

OVERALL

While the combat and warfare mechanics come out quite well, the rest of the system seems a bit fuzzy at times. However, once getting through character creation, players could be in for a type of battle they’ve never experienced before. Those with a military background could easily relate to the system and find themselves staring down an enemy that feels all too common.

RATINGS

Publication Quality: 4 out of 10
The rules and mechanics sections could be greatly improved by removing the large amount of white space, an improved presentation, and examples provided throughout. There are times where the content appears to have been copied and pasted from Space Rage but some of the edits were missed. While this may seem confusing at times, it is relatively easy to spot and especially easy if you’ve already read through the Space Rage module. However, the aircraft, boats, and vehicles sections are very well done with wonderful details, descriptions, stats, and illustrations.

Mechanics: 6 out of 10
There are plenty of mechanics developed for modern combat and warfare, but I have a hard time determining the mechanics for action and adventure or even diplomatic encounters. While the focus of War Rage is war, there could be more to war than open battlefields with armored vehicles and aircraft. I would like to see more mechanics (not just skills) focusing on personal encounters like skirmishes, covert operations, or even espionage.

Desire to Play: 9 out of 10
War Rage places a lot of focus on creating games that center around modern combat and warfare. It contains a great amount of mechanics and source material to recreate massive battles like those of modern day war. Combined with the Space Rage module and you could create quite epic battles on land, sea, or within the stars.

Overall: 6 out of 10
If you are looking for a system that gives you that feeling of modern warfare, then I recommend War Rage and even offer the suggestion of adding Space Rage to create a whole new look and feel. With mechanics for aircraft, tanks, and boats, players could find themselves within the midst of a new world war.

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