The Alexandrian

Lightning Strike: Behind the VeilLet’s cut to the chase on this one.

Why you should buy Lighting Strike – Behind the Veil: Twenty-eight vessels of the Venusian fleet – including exo-armors, capital ships, and drones – are described technically, narratively, and in terms of rules. This information is supplemented by a number of special case rules which modify the performance of Venusian ships in the game to match their actual strengths and weaknesses. That makes this book pretty much invaluable for anyone wanting to use Venus in their Lightning Strike games.

Why you shouldn’t like this book: In addition to the special case rules modifying Venusian vessels, a number of additional rules are presented for universal use in the Lightning Strike game – providing for grappling, new weapon characteristics, railguns, cluster munition missiles, stealth and cloak vessels, and external cargo. These are good rules, but their presence here suggests that Dream Pod 9 has decided on a design philosophy which will require you to pick up all the supplements for the game in order to have all the rules for the game. This type of methodology is extremely irritating to anyone on a limited budget – if I don’t want to play Venusian vessels, then I shouldn’t have to pick up a supplement on Venus in order to get four pages of rules.

And, now, the wrap-up: Ships and new rules. Although I may have some reservations about the direction the Lightning Strike product line seems to be taking, there’s really no doubt that this book does exactly what it’s supposed to do. A very solid product, and well worth the attention of Lightning Strike players.

Players of the standard Jovian Chronicles game interested in Venus might also want to check this one out: The Venus sourcebook for JC is still somewhere out on the horizon, so Behind the Veil (along with the Venusian volume of the Ships of the Fleet supplements) represents the only solid information on the second planet. This is delivered in the form of current political and military developments, including some tantalizing summary of the break-up of Bank power which took place in mid-2212.

Style: 4
Substance: 3

Author: Wunji Lau
Company/Publisher: Dream Pod 9
Cost: $15.95
Page Count: 32
ISBN: 1-896776-61-2

Originally Posted: 2000/10/14

As I mentioned in a previous review, the Jovian Chronicles universe took a weird turn with the Chaos Principle sourcebook by choosing to fast forward the setting by 3 years while not actually providing a full setting guide for the radically transformed solar system. Then Lightning Strike came along and decided to fast forward the setting again while also, inexplicably, flipping the entire premise of the game so that the Jovians were now the moustache-twirling bad guys. I largely point to this as the moment when Dream Pod 9 put a gun to the back of Jovian Chronicles and blew its brains out.

For an explanation of where these reviews came from and why you can no longer find them at RPGNet, click here.

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