Home Forums Sci Fi General Sci-Fi Flavours of sci-fi

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    Avatar photoAngel Barracks

    I was chatting to a geezer yesterday about how I don’t get mechs and big stompy robots.
    He said I was old school sci-fi.
    I agreed, then I wondered.

    Having grown up in the late 70’s and early 80’s my initial thought was just that.
    But I like modern sci-fi too.

    Then it struck me, maybe I am western sci-fi.
    Asian sci-fi, specifically Japanese style does not float my boat as much.
    Saying that I am getting into M.ak style suits, and yes they are an influence on my new power armour that will be coming out.

    Do you have a style of sci-fi, does it all excite you or only some?
    What sci-fi do you game?

    Avatar photoFredd Bloggs

    I actually like retro Sci-Fi of the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s.

    I never got on with big stompy robots although tripods from Mars are fine.

    Avatar photoMr. Average

    I like BSRs, as long as they look reasonably mean and military. The early Anime “Battling Siezure Robots” that move like metal ninjas? Not so much. CAVs are much more my speed. But that said I recognize that they’re unlikely to see any kind of real use, even though never is a long time.

    Everything in its place, though – I like classic mil spec sci fi, Heinlein and Drake, mainly. Powered armor as A-OK, as are tanks of all kinds, including the much maligned Grav Armor. Generally I keep my sci fi reasonably “hard,” but I make allowances for things being cool but impractical.

    Avatar photoStroezie

    I like everything sci fi.

    Retro, sword and planet, hard, space opera, over the top or just one or two what if pieces of tech even if its a sci fi kitchen sink. Just so long as we all agree what kind we’ll be playing before we begin, unles we agree to play a total genre mix up of course😉

    Avatar photoPatG

    Right now I like my science fiction Victorian – Space 1889 to be precise (though IHMN is a good little skirmish game)

    I also have several units for Gruntz and those generally betray my SF roots in Traveller and the Military SF of the 60’s to 80’s. I like my SF hard with only the absolute minimum bending of reality required to make it work. That said, I also watched a lot of stompy robots and rubber suiters on VHS tapes sent over from Japan. This of course resulted in many games of Mekton – I consider this more Anime/fantasy than SF though.

    Avatar photoJohn D Salt

    I was brought up on the classic SF authors, and I suspect mostly on stories written in the 50s and 60s, although the activity of a lot of these people spanned many decades; Asimov, Clarke, Heinlein, Aldiss, Wyndham, Russell, Pohl, Sheckley, Harrison. I especially like Reginald Bretnor’s “Papa Schimmelhorn” series, and Colin Kapp’s “Unorthodox Engineers”. I am not at all taken by space opera, and I, too, fail to see the point of big stompy robots — robots should follow Asimov’s laws, in my book. Orson Scott Card is probably about as modern as I get. Most SF films I find to be rubbish; conspicuous exceptions are “Serenity”, “The Fifth Element”, “Mars Attacks” and “Galaxy Quest”, from which you may infer that I don’t like SF films that take themselves too seriously.

    Most SF miniatures wargames fail to appeal to me. There are plenty of possibilities from the literature that would make a basis for tabletop games– Robert Heinlein’s Mobile Infantry, Gordon Dickson’s Dorsai, Christopher Rowley’s Vang, maybe even Papa Schimmelhorn’s combat against the gnurrs when they come from the voodvork out — but I have yet to see such a translation attempted. It all seems to be generic space marines or big stompy robots, unless one cares for steampunk. Boardgames seem more imaginative, as well as better games, but even so it is only the rare gem like “Cosmic Encounter”, “Illuminati” or “Awful Green Things from Outer Space” that appeals to me. And I will admit to playing an absurd amount of “Weird Worlds: Return to Infitinte Space”, but this is really no more than a well executed version of the old Rouguelike game theme.

    Just as there should be more to a dungeon adventure than killing the monsters and taking the treasure, there should be more to a SF wargame than lining up and shooting each other with plasma rifles instead of muskets.

    But perhaps what I call SF is a different thing to this “sci-fi” people keep talking about.

    All the best,


    Avatar photoDarkest Star Games

    I am pulled in multiple directions, but mostly favor “hard” sci-fi. I like big mechs, like Gundam and Robotech/Macross, and played a ton of Battletech back in the day. BUT, most of the time I see big stompy robots are easy targets when on land, especially in any setting where there are lasers. Same goes for anything that flies, if there are lasers. But I love them. I love small mechs even more, like Heavy Gear and VOTOMs and LandMates, they just make so much more sense to me. Of course, the whole problem with any sort of mech like that is that the pilot would go splat if it was hit by a 120mm tank gun…

    So, the genre and the tech level for whatever setting I am playing in makes a difference. I am very fond of Traveller, and though many of it’s technologies are somewhat antiquated in our current view, it’s still a pretty solid setting, hard sci-fi, and what I usually aim for. But I do love me some Space Opera (which was why I started the “Colony 15” line), also being a child of the 70’s and 80’s, so hand me a sword and blaster and we’ll be off!

    "I saw this in a cartoon once, but I'm pretty sure I can do it..."

    Avatar photoAngel Barracks

    I quite like some of Harrison’s the Stainless Steel Rat, though I think I preferred his Bill the Galactic Hero.

    Avatar photoFredd Bloggs

    Stainless Steel Rat is a better roleplay setting than wargames.

    Avatar photoPatG

    I have a very soft spot for H. Beam Piper. He’s not politically correct though. Uller Uprising is a favourite – being based on the Sepoy Rebellion it ties into VSF rather nicely but also retains a hard SF feel. Space Viking is also good, this time blending hard SF with space opera. It’s best used as for ideas for a campaign background.

    Most of his work is available for free from Project Gutenberg and in audio book format from Librivox.

    Avatar photokid bananas

    In some instances the large stompy robots are OK. Like Robotech, Gundam, The Jovian Chronicles, and even some of the smaller Battletech designs. Unfortunately even some of the designs in those universes get to be too goofy. I like my stompy robots to be a bit smaller like VOTOMS, Heavy Gears, and even Star Wars AT-ST’s.

    I also like a mix of harder sci-fi & space opera, with some of the harder elements simplified and the more fantastical toned down or even left out all together. Let’s face it, lightsabers only work in Star Wars, relying on melee combat to get the job done, a-la 40k, should result in a lot of dead bodies littering the field long before they get within hand-to-hand combat.

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