The local LoTR fans don't like my suggestion that the LoTR movies improve a LOT on the books, removing useless waffle (Tom Bombadil fans, avert your eyes) the only mis-steps being the casting of the Elijah Wood (everything he did, but his weird staring and whiney-ness in paricular) and changing things so the magic ghost army of the dead kinda automatically win for good (in a Deus Ex Machina which renders the heroism of Gondor/Rohan meaningless and makes Aragorn's lucky shortcut the pivotal point of the movie).
I'm sure they would not enjoy the suggestion that the Silmarillion is basically a RPG sourcebook: albeit an incredibly dull one, with probably less literacy merit (and that's a low bar to
The Silmarillion is basically an extra-boring RPG manual. Sometimes I hide from my family, perched on the porcelain throne, and secretly read. After a chapter of the Silmarillion, I was inspired to actually get out and help my kids with their baths and do some mowing: the book made the tasks seem exciting in comparison.
As a pretentious uni student, I remember "liking" Silmarillion but that must have been to impress nerdy friends, surely. It's just a bunch of notes about a fantasy world edited together in a respectful homage
Agh, mentioning that book has triggered me even worse. *takes a deep breath* time to change topic methinks
A while back, I did an article where I basically said all air wargames are rubbish and tend to have advanced little in mechanics and style since the 1970s. I've played a lot of War Thunder lately, and a few things stand out to me: energy management (trading height for speed and vice versa) and positioning vis-a-vis your opponent (such as horizontal turns bleeding off speed/energy in return for a firing solution) as well as general positioning - the ability to spot/ambush enemies and to have the awareness (and ability) ability to break away from disadvantagous fights.
Anyway, I was looking at the free rules for Warlord's upcoming "Blood Red Skies" (which sounds more nautical to me for some reason: perhaps a homage to Crimson Skies?) by Andy Chambers (who I am convinced is the only ex-GW designer with any creativity at all.) And the rules focus a lot on "advantage" which resonates with my PC gaming experiences.
Gaining the Advantage
There's a few things in Blood Red Skies that interests me: the core mechanic revolves around "advantage" which is a kinda aggregate abstract of a planes altitude AND energy state. Planes are either "advantaged" "neutral" or "disadvantaged." Having an advantage means you go first, and only planes less advantaged than yourself can be shot down. Advantage can be traded down or "burned" to increase speed or execute sharp turns. You may even take an action to try to outmaneuver a nearby opponent (reduce their advantage level). "Advantage" not only determines IF you can be hit, but also the effect: if a plane is hit, it loses an advantage level, and if it is already disadvantaged, is is destroyed.
Oh, and once a side suffers enough hits ("boom tokens") + kills equal to their aircraft they lose the game as they break off and run for home (again, an interesting abstraction, this time of damage/morale).
I'm not claiming that Blood Red Skies is the "next big thing" but I do feel more innovation than most aerial wargames sets which are usually rehashes of old rules from Avalon Hill boardgames - probably the most innovative rules I've seen since the incoherent but interesting Bag the Hun.
Anyway, bed time. My body is reminding me I don't recover from sport like I did in the olden days.