Written by Wolverine
Anyone who grew up with Saturday morning cartoons in the eighties should quickly recognise the inspiration behind OtherWorld Creation’s Strike Force 7 – GI Joe. The writers even admit to borrowing heavily from The Real American Hero franchise for this book. The titular heroes of the game are members of a, until recently, secret anti-terrorism group based in the United States. Opposing them is the insidious Skorpion, an Ancient Egyptian styled organisation dedicated to bringing about their new world order through any means necessary.
Overall, the book is a fairly good read. In traditional Spycraft style, most of the new rules can be found in the first twenty pages of the book, collated to minimise page flipping for players and GC’s – here referred to as CO’s. The remaining three quarters of the book introduces the reader to both major organizations, as well as working each into the annals of history. Fortunately, the writers have taken the stance of not blaming Skorpion for every negative major event in recent times – including 9/11. Skorpion has its own goals and methods, all of which appear as ‘new’ history.
It would be easy to come away from this book thinking that all SF 7 agents are cut from the same cloth, but the writers have left the organization varied enough that gun-toting soldiers can fight alongside more fragile hackers and charismatic facemen. This is where being a Powered by Spycraft product really pays off. Having an entire range of Spycraft products to draw material from, no player need ever play the same character twice, nor does any member of the team. If they so choose, they can even play a Skorpion turncoat. There is also a selection of new ordinance for players to choose from. Everything from the mundane kinetic ram, to the mighty Anubis Battle Armour.
This highlights one of the real strong points of the game. Much of what was available to GI Joe can be found in this book, in one way or another. Some of the more oddball units, like Cobra’s toxin units, don’t make an appearance, but most everything else does. The beauty of this is that if you still have your old GI Joe toys, or have recently picked up the newer range, and like to involve miniatures in your games for tactical combat, then you’re all set. You can even utilise the posability of the GI Joes to represent any special movement actions you may be making. It’s like reliving those childhood games .. with a set of actual rules.
With all that is good with this product, it is almost a shame to bring up something that is bad. However, it is not the fault of bad writing or dodgy editing, it is more a case of timing. For anyone that has missed new rpg releases over the last few months, AEG came out with version 2.0 of the Spycraft rules in August. SF 7 is written to be compatible with the original rules. All is not lost, fortunatly, as the rules have not changed so much as to make the game unplayable, it just requires a little tweaking of certain things before play can commence. For starters, you would want to assign campaign qualities to make the game more 2.0 friendly. Qualities such as Big Budget, Black and White, Blockbuster and Faction [for more details on Campaign Qualities, check out Spycraft 2.0 pg 405].
Strike Force 7 – Spycraft on full-auto.