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They say that the best things in life are free. (They also say that eating squirrel brains can give you some form of mad cow disease; so you ought to watch out.) I say that a good game is one of the best things in life.

Ergo, a free, good game has got to be pretty high on the list of best things in life.

I can't possibly list all of the free games available on the net - I am not that much of a masochist. I can; however, point you to a few free games that you can "try before you buy". Global Games, Demonblade and Pinnacle Entertainment have each made their games (Planetstorm, Inferno, Shock Force and Great Rail Wars respectively) available on the net, for you to check out before you plop down your hard-earned dough.

Check them out at:

STALINGRAD, INFERNO and PLANETSTORM (Beta Rules) - http://www.global-game.com SHOCK FORCE (Preview Rules) - http://www.demonblade.com/index.map?340,146 GREAT RAIL WARS (Express Rules) - http://www.peginc.com/Deadlands/grwe.html

This is a good thing (TM) - try before you buy has long been a staple in the electronic gaming community, with downloads available of games to let you preview them. Without a well-run games store in your local area to demo games for you, you won't get a chance to experience some of the great games out there. After all, only I am fool enough to buy all of them.

Let me be straightforward about what you are getting - bare bones. These certainly don't replace buying the game. They are lean, stripped down, black and white text. They let you kick the tires a little, take the car for a spin, let you see how it handles. They don't show you the nifty sound system, or the deluxe interior and exterior. Or the impressive trunk space.

(I think I have carried that metaphor long enough, thank you very much

Now, as I said, I am sure there are more. If you have a game on the web you would like me to plug, please drop me an email at the address below. If you are selfless enough to let the world view the fruit of your labors, and possibly criticize the hell out of it, be my guest. (I do it, and it sure ain't all roses.)


Let's see, what else needs to be touched on this time around:


White Wolf's miniatures game for TRINITY, Manticore's APOKALPSE for WASTE WORLD, Agent's of Gaming's WYRM WARS for White Wolf's WEREWOLF, Black Knight's Game XXXXXX, the rumored West End/Global Games STAR WARS MINIATURE BATTLES 2nd Edition, the full-blown STALINGRAD game by Global Games, Reaper Miniatures DARK HEAVEN game.


Dark Elf Scouts for Games Workshop's WARHAMMER, Dwarven Crossbowmen for Target Games' CHRONOPIA, a Sharlin Cruiser that stays together from Agents of Gaming for BABYLON 5 WARS, and some Chaos troops for Games Workshop's EPIC 40,000, the full line of figures for Tyrant Games' WEHRMACHT.


Games Workshop's EPIC 40,000 is not selling well. Despite having simple rules and brilliant models, many of the hard-core fans of the old system (known as everything from SPACE MARINE 2nd Edition to EPIC to TITAN LEGIONS) are not flocking to the new game.

BATTLESTORM, from Ral Partha Publishing, is meeting mixed success. Some who hate the Games Workshop empire are flocking to it and singing praises; others are burning effigies of it in the street. The activity on the newsgroups has been the most interesting, given the general abusive attitude of the average newsgroup poster. The major complaint seems to be centered on the lack of a magic system.

An apparent settlement in the lawsuit between Games Workshop and Demonblade is in the works - more news on this as it happens.

Alright, that's all that's on my brain for now folks. Like what I'm doing? Hate it? Let me know. This section is not just for my peculiar brand of therapy, it also here as a resource for the wargaming public. If there is something you would like to see, let me know. For a trained monkey, I am pretty happy to hear what you have to say.

Robert E. Allen III

Feedback and peanuts to Warmaster@rpg.net

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