Tuesday, August 30, 2011

RPG Review Recess -- Bulldogs! Fuck yeah!

Another book that I picked up at Gen Con this year was Bulldogs! Sci-Fi that Kicks Ass! by Brennan Taylor and Brian Engard. Now, I got to see bits of the alpha, which made me really want to get the book, so when Brennan said that there would be copies available at Gen Con I knew I had to make my way to the IPR booth at some point in time during the convention.

Well, I made it there on Thursday during when all the VIG's got into the con and I said hello to Darren and asked if there were any Bulldogs! available. He pointed me to the stack and I took the top one and say that it was 200/200 that was signed. Now, I'm not a huge person that needs to get their books signed but it was one of the serendipitous moments that just worked. I picked up the book then and there and have enjoyed every single minute of it.

First of all, this needs to be move out of the way, Bulldogs! and Galileo Games wins at FATE. I bet you didn't know there was a competition, well there is. Every other FATE book I have read, skimmed through, or looked at is working to be the largest book that they can possibly be. Spirit of the Century, Kerberos Club FATE Edition, Dresden Files are all FATE books that are huge. It's like they're trying to see how big the book can be. Now, that's not a knock on FATE games, I'm just saying that most of them ... pretty big books. Malcolm made the joke at Fan Expo that they're great for pickup games, you pick up three and curl them and see how many times you can do that.

Bulldogs! wins because it's not nearly as big as the rest of those books. It still uses FATE, and does some really wonderful things with it, but everything is just more compact. It also wins because it's a great game, but the fact that it's got one of the most concise versions of FATE can't be overlooked at all.

What I like about it
The game itself is brilliant. I love the concept, that you all play people who signed up to be the ones who run the D class ships for a Corporation who will make money on you if you fulfill the requests or die and allow them to claim the insurance.

I love how the captain is defined by the players, and the ship are defined by the players.
I love how the ship is always a wreck no matter what you try to do with it.
I love the focus on adventure and space opera rather than the nitty gritty SF.
I love how FATE is used in this game. It should really be the benchmark for using FATE.

If you want to play a Space Opera game with a lot of action and excitement, this is the game to get. Get it now. No, seriously.

What I don't like about it
Um, it's really picking at nits but this would have to be the book where I feel that the art isn't up to the same standards as the other books. Mortal Coil is amazing, and done by Jennifer Rodgers, to How We Came to Live Here, I don't have the artist's name on hand but they are amazing, to Kingdom of Nothing by Jeff Himmelman. I know it's supposed to be campy, and fun, and it is. It's just not as campy and fun as I think it could have been.

TL;DR
This is the best FATE game you're going to pick up. If you want high action in Space, you should pick it up right now. RIGHT NOW. That way you too can read through the book and make your own alien species.

4 comments:

Brian Engard said...

Glad you liked it.

Signed,
[other dude]

Jonathan said...

Ha ha! Sorry about that Brian.

Totally a page XX moment right there.

Joe said...

I have to agree with almost everything you said here. This was such a phenomenal piece of work and a GREAT use of the FATE system.

I, for one, am a big fan of the art style they chose for the book.. it seems to fit just right.. and DAMN I want to play this.

Jonathan said...

Well, we'll have to give it a shot then won't we. We'll have to schedule stuff and see who can make it.

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