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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of the best scifi shipboard combat boardgames, June 24, 2009
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This review is from: Azhanti High Lightning (Traveller) [BOX SET] (Game)
One of my favorites from the Traveller game line, the starship deckplans are beautiful and functional, and I believe the scenarios are interesting enough to appeal to players whether or not they are familiar with the extensive Third Imperium setting of the Traveller RPG. The ship *feels* big, with massive engines, huge weapon mounts, fighter bays, troop compartments, all ready to be the battelfield for space marines and naval troopers.
I recommend GDW's Arrival Vengeance: The Final Odyssey (Megatraveller) as a companion product, as this later adventure module includes several pages of updated deckplans, showing a completely refitted main bridge layout and more detailed portrayals of crew quarters and other areas of interest.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Production, Problematic Rules, March 14, 2012
This review is from: Azhanti High Lightning (Traveller) [BOX SET] (Game)
I own this game and many others put out by GDW for their Traveller universe, along with a bunch of other simulation-style games, which is my credential for reviewing Azhanti High Lightning.

What you should get in the shallow box (similar to the ones used for Battleline games like Machiavelli) are a stack of deck plans ruled in 1/4 inch squares (nominal 15mm scale) in, I think, four colors, a counter sheet, a sheet of tables and two booklets, one of rules for the boxed game and one intended to integrate the Lightning Class ships into Traveller.

As an aside you could easily set a Traveller campaign on a ship of this type - it is an immense engine of war with fighters and a marine contingent. Think "Space: Above and Beyond" for the general idea.

However, what's in the box is a simulation-grade wargame. You'll need two six-sided dice to play. I can't remember if the game came with them. GDW games tended to come with dice.

The ship depicted on the box cover is sliced by decks at right angles to the hull, in the "y-z" plane, so the ship is perpetually going "up" from the viewpoint of the crew inside, and the ship has dozens of these decks. The plans depict each deck type, so multiple decks may be represented by a single plan. Each deck is large enough for pitched combat, with some providing rich tactical opportunities and others, not so much.

The game is a development of the very successful Snapshot rules, but some of the changes have introduced problematical situations which call for player to player agreements. The game is quite complex, and I doubt the modern gamer has the patience to even try it, though the rules are laid out in the case format which makes learning-as-you-play easy, and the game should be approached with the attitude that it will be neither possible nor desirable to become proficient without the rulebook as a constantly available play aid. This was how all games of this type were once upon a time. It really is no big deal, as the emphasis is on mechanics that model closely what might be expected to happen in real life.

One of the most annoying changes from the Snapshot rules was the decision to make each square capable of holding four soldiers (Snapshot did not allow stacking) with the result that the amazing line of (oop) military 15mm Traveller figures cannot be used to play AHL.

As for the simulation aspect of the rules, they ain't half bad. The rules allow for opportunity fire of a sort, covering fire (and with some weapons available in AHL that is a very daunting prospect to the attacker I can tell you) and aimed fire. Yes there's a high rules load, but the rulebook is arranged to be very helpful on a moment's notice with minimal thrashing around and the point as I've already said was to have a simulation-grade experience rather than a board game one.

You'll need two people who really want to play to get the best out of this game, but the payoff for the invested is quite worth it.
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Azhanti High Lightning (Traveller) [BOX SET]
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