07 October 2008

Hammer's Slammers

Another game from my collection.



I don't think I had played this game since I was in high school, but my friend Leonard and I played a few games recently. This game is as I remembered it: Simple to learn and fast playing, with and an interesting variety of units to play - near invincible Supertanks, lightning fast Combat Cars, ferocious Mercenary Infantry, death-from-afar Artillery, and ... ... and a bunch of conventional units with the unfortunate job of trying to stop all those monsters. It sounds like an unfair fight, and it generally is. The mercenary units are the heroes of this game, but the scenarios are set up so that players must play very aggressively to meet set time limits. This results in fast paced battles with fierce close assault combats, much like the stories the game is based on.

Those stories deserve mention too. David Drake's Hammer's Slammers series are hard hitting tales of military science fiction told by a Vietnam veteran. In my mind the first collection of short stories is the best. Drake is not my favorite author, but his stories have stayed with me for nearly 30 years, and I can think of no higher praise than that.

A bit more information about the game. I contacted Mayfair games and verified that this game is no longer in print, and not likely to be back in print. A few copies can be found for sale. There is inaccurate information on several web sites (what a shock!) that Mayfair went out of business back in 1997, but anyone who has been playing their games already knew that. Thanks to Kim at Mayfair Games for replying to my questions.

I have something more in mind for this game; Its simplicity makes it a good choice to demonstrate some of the mathematics that applies to boardgames. I will be returning to this game periodically with examples that demonstrate the math at work in games.


=== Various links related to the post ===

Mayfair Games:
http://www.mayfairgames.com/

Detailed description of the Hammer's Slammers boardgame:
http://www.boardgamegeeks.com/game/4049

David Drake's Official Home Page:
http://www.david-drake.com/index.html
(Makes me wonder if there is an unofficial one)

Slammer's miniatures:
http://www.oldcrowmodels.co.uk/ocproducts.htm

Another Slammers game, in large scale:
http://www.hammers-slammers.com/index2.htm

Some large scale models (to go with the large scale game):
http://www.david-drake.com/hswargame.html
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