Rob came up to me a week or so ago in Asgard Games and pressed a set of rules into my hands asking me to read them, maybe I’d be interested in trying them out???
I’ve pretty much “been around the block” several times as a wargamer and instantly recognised the mild desperation tinged with hope that you get when someone is really wanting to play a game system but can’t convince his fellows to get involved. It happens to us all. What I should have said was “Thanks Rob but I’m just so busy with other projects I can’t take on another” and it would have had the added bonus of being true. However I am a soft hearted sort really so accepted the proffered rules on the understanding I would read them and return them.
I’m not wholly sure if my intention was to read them, or maybe just wait a week or two and then return them, but read them I did.
The rules are called Aggro, produced by Ainsty and are a semi skirmish set in the mid to late 70s around the theme of football gang violence.
This is a bit of an issue for me personally. I’m old enough to have been there when the real thing was happening – going to the match with my Dad, and can remember being escorted by the Police out of Fleethams after watching the mighty Hartlepool United beat “the Scum” (aka Darlington AFC). Nowadays football violence is something we thankfully seem to have grown out of, but then it was a major issue. Given this I was pretty much prejudiced against Aggro from the start.
So I was pleasantly surprised when I did get a half hour spare and decided to read them. The rules are well written, with some really interesting aspects and mechanisms. They’re card activated and all combat is card driven, all using a standard deck of playing cards. There are rules for gang building and a rudimentary campaign system, all in all pretty good and well worth the price of a tenner. If this is your thing, or you are looking for an interesting non dice mechanism then Aggro may well be worth "having a go" at.
Will I play them ? – probably not. I can’t see myself investing the time and money for what would be another “boutique” game. I’m also 100% sure the setting is not attractive to me either. Given the popularity of fantasy \ Si Fi sports games – BloodBowl, DeathBall & now GuildBall the authors may well have been better shifting the setting to a post match brawl between rival gangs of fans for those types of games – the rules are robust enough to handle it, and would give that extra edge to any fantasy sports game.
So sorry Rob, not this time, but thanks anyway to Rob & Ainsty for a nice set of rules and associated figures. Now I’m off to find my bobble hat and rattle.