TOG Bulletin #2
TOG Bulletin #2 Capsule Review by Samurai on 19/02/03
Style: 5 (Excellent!)
Substance: 3 (Average)
Are you ready for war? If not, the TOG Bulletin #2 will shape you up and ship you out!
Product: TOG Bulletin #2
Author: Dennis Detwiller and Greg Stolze
Company/Publisher: Arc Dream Publishing
Page count: 32
Year published: 2003
Comp copy?: yes
Capsule Review by Samurai on 19/02/03
Genre tags: Historical Superhero
Talent Operations Command Intelligence Bulletin #2, August 1942.
"All right soldiers, LISTEN UP! I don't care if you can fly or lift a tank or shoot fireballs out yer rear end! Yer in the US Army now, and yer under my command! Now, I'm not going to stand out here for an hour yellin' at you sorry excuses like I did with the last group! Nope, the War Dept has made my job easier and printed up a handy dandy reference book to get all you green recruits up to speed right quick! But since I'm not sure all'a you can read, we'll go over it together! So take 1 and pass the rest back..."
"Ok, every has a copy? Then turn... yes, Private?"
"Um, Sarge, whatever happened to TOG Bulletin #1, sir?"
"That's CLASSIFIED INFORMATION! You ain't pressin' me to divulge CLASSIFIED INFORMATION, are you, soldier?!"
"Sir, no sir!"
"That's what I thought! Now then, IF THERE ARE NO OTHER QUESTIONS... Good, then turn to page 1. Here ya get a nice little intro speech from a Lt Colonel brining ya up ta speed on the current war situation. HE uses all prettied-up, flowery language like "You are the shining hope of our forces in this conflict," but don't let that go to yer head!"
"Next, ya get the 11 general orders that apply to all soldiers on guard duty, and that includes all of you! While you will be sent on special missions occasionally, the rest of the time you'll be fightin', pulling guard duty, and everything else the resta the soldiers do every day! So memorize these rules!"
"Now we come to the description of the Talent Operation Groups... that's you, for the slow ones in the back! This section gives you an overview of the command structure, the 4 Directives you'll follow when on missions, resupply and replacement of soldiers in the field, when to use AND NOT USE Talent abilities, and how to get along with the regular units. There is also a list of what we currently know about Talents, their powers, and how they work."
"The next page is entitled Training and it contains nuggets of advice from some older, wiser, and far more experienced soldiers than you! It will tell you about the training you will soon be going through, how to send signals in the field, formations and the use of cover, discipline, physucal conditioning, heck, even cooking in the field! Yer mama's ain't here ta cook for ya no more, so you'll have to do it yerselves!"
"Ok, now we come to a 5 page section on yer weapons and equipment! It covers everything from yer M10 Entrenching Tool, which I like ta just call a shovel, to yer trusty M1 Rifle, designed with pride by Mr John C. Garand and the Springfield Armory. A lot of this stuff may not really matter to you in the field... I don't really care how long the barrel of a rifle is, I just need to get you yahoos to know which end to point at the enemy. But if anyone is interested in the history and measurements of yer equipment, it all there for ya!"
"This next part is very important... Know Your Enemy! This section covers everything you need to know about those Nazi scum... their tactics and recon procedures, the organization of their armored car and combat patrols, their insignia markings, and their field equipment. Not quite as detailed as the section on US weapons, they still got a variety of weapon info here, from Luger pistols to Potato masher grenades."
Next, we have 4 more pages of Combat Lessons From the Front Lines by those same guys that told you about yer training. They discuss leadership in combat, urban combat tactics, defending a town once you've captured it, fighting in wooded or rough terrain, night patrols, and a warning about booby traps. Those Nazis can be sneaky..."
"Then there are 3 pages of a now declassified secret mission that another TOG group went on. It seems a German Talent was using his powers of camoflage to help a group of Waffen-SS soldiers in a series of ambushes of our patrols. The details of their mission should help you to picture how such a mission is supposed to proceed."
"Finally, we have a series of miscellanious pages to help you out... a page of common military terms, a page detailing 4 new skills you may learn, a page of info on ammunition types, a page on combat shotguns, a list of all the equipment a standard TOG group is supplied with, and a new TOG Commando Personnel Sheet with more room for weapons, ammo, etc."
"Alright, there ya have it, the quick overview. Now, read it cover to cover, and be ready for your training to begin at 0600 tomorrow morning. I think we'll start with a leisurly 15 mile run, just to start the morning off nice and easy for ya! FALL OUT!"
Well, I think the Sarge gave you a good feeling for what is in the book. Let me add that, while I felt the weapon and equipment listings were too detailed and not all that useful for actual game play, the info on tactics (both TOG and the Germans), training, and missions was very useful and relevant. I would have prefered even more of that kind of info and less weapon minutia, but others may find the weapon details fascinating. The whole book is written as if it were a War Dept. pamphlet from 1942 and has an authentic feel to it that adds to the enjoyment. You feel like one of the new recruits as you read it... :) "Just what does a TOG group DO?" has been a somewhat common question, and I feel this book answers that question.
The book has not actually been printed yet. I and others were sent a photocopy of the proof so that we could review it before publication. It is available for pre-order now, and several sample pages can be downloaded from the Arc Dream website. Here is a link for more information: http://arcdream.com/bulletin/ and here is the link to pre-order it: http://www.arcdream.com/store/