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Valkyrie Magazine and RPGnet are happy to provide this review.

Mecha Carnage

Tabletop Miniatures Game

Gomi Designs

36pp - [sterling]4.50

Mecha Carnage fills a long-vacant niche in the SF wargaming field; a simple, fast-play set of rules for simulating the sort of battles between giant robots which are commonplace in anime. Previous sets of this kind have fallen down in several ways; Battletech is too slow and complicated for anything more than simple skirmish scenarios, both it and Mekton rely on hex sheets to regulate movement, Titan Legions is embedded firmly in the GW house universe and its attendant gothic spiky silliness, and so on.

Mecha Carnage, on the other hand, succeeds brilliantly in capturing the fast, freewheeling action most of us are familiar with from our favourite cartoons, and transferring it to the wargaming table. Although the rules are intended for 1/300th scale miniatures, allowing you to take full advantage of the many ranges of models currently available, other sizes are possible if you adjust the ground scales accordingly.

The rulebook is clearly and simply laid out, following the introduction with the mecha design rules. These are dead easy to get to grips with, allowing you to reproduce almost anything you've seen on screen or in a comic, or can come up with for yourself. Once you've defined the size and tech level of the mecha, you choose how fast, agile, and heavily armoured it is; all these criteria have to be traded off against one another. Then the fun bit; choosing the weapons. These are defined in broad, generic terms, allowing you to tailor them to your campaign environment.

All the rules for transforming or combining mecha are factored in at this stage, and work smoothly and easily in play. Furthermore, the same design process is used to define the abilities of conventional vehicles and infantry units; a neat touch, which makes it easy to remember the abilities of the various 'mech fodder' units.

The turn sequence and movement rules come next, explained clearly and succinctly. Then, finally, combat; your chance to find out how well your brilliant mecha design actually works. As you'd expect from an anime game, this is fast and furious, with an ingenious critical hits system which can leave you in real trouble, real quick. And if all your weapons are down, you'll just have to get in there and slug it out in true anime hero fashion.

As a final finishing touch, the game comes complete with a sheet of cut-out counters, and a quick reference card with all the major rules neatly summarised on it.

If manga, anime, and mecha are your cup of o-cha, then this is the game you've been waiting for.

Reviewed by: Alex Stewart

Product supplied by: Gomi Designs

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