Monday, February 3, 2014

Monday Memories: Ranger Tom!

When I was in the Army during my first enlistment, just after Desert Storm I think, my roommate was obsessed with the HERO system. He thought it was the best system for an RPG ever designed, and he made it a point to convert every game he ran, and every new game he bought, to that system. One of those games was a short-lived Twilight 2000 game.

For those who don’t recall, Twilight 2000 was a modern military game set in Poland, with the premise being that WWIII didn’t end in nuclear holocaust, and a lot of Western military units were stranded in central Europe, behind enemy (Soviet) lines, and they had to band together, salvage what they could, and make their way to friendly territory.

It was a cool game, with a unique premise, and it promised to be unique for us, as we were all active-duty Army dudes. The game was high on technical realism and accuracy. But when it got converted to HERO, it took on a bit of the “heroic” as it were.

When we decided to play, we all figured we would play ourselves. But the characters would be as we saw ourselves in 10 years (it was 1990 or so when we played). For myself, I decided that, my wife and young child (we didn’t actually have children at the time) had died in a car accident sometime after I got out of the Army. So, not wanting to deal with it, I had re-enlisted, and volunteered for RIP (Ranger Indoctrination Program). When the war broke out, my Ranger battalion was in Europe, and I somehow got separated and captured. So, the game began with the rest of the group rescuing me from the back of a deuce-and-a-half (truck).

The game didn’t last very long after that. I think we all realized that we wanted to play something a bit further from who we actually were. We had a fun couple of sessions, but I think we abandoned it for a Star HERO campaign instead.

I still have my Twilight 2000 books, and I do recall being disappointed that our game was using the HERO system, instead of the system in the books. I don’t recall what that system was like off the top of my head, but I do remember thinking it sounded pretty cool.

Apparently, once the game was outdated by the passage of time and real-world events, it got a reboot in Twilight 2013, as well as an earlier offshoot in Merc 2000. It also served as the pre-history of GDW’s 2300AD game.

As a side note, if you are wanting to run a modern military campaign, even using some other system, the Twilight 2000 books are a good resource for technology, equipment, and military organizations. If you can find the books. I think Twilight 2013 is still in print, though the company that had acquired the rights and made it went under a couple of years ago.

1 comment:

  1. We played a weekly game of Twilight: 2000 in college in the mid 80's, as I remember the system worked very well. The character creation step had quite a bit of math to get derived stats, but actual game play went very smoothly,