Saturday, October 4, 2014

Book Report: Counterblast Rulebook

Hello there ladies and gentleman (or should I say dolls and cats?), and welcome to an LXG Book review. Today we're going to get to the nitty gritty of the Counterblast rulebook from Bombshell Miniatures.

Counterblast is a bit unique as far as the game itself. It is set in an alternative mid-twentieth century, where atomic testing ushered in visitors from other worlds. The game is soup to nuts a re-visitation of the classic days of pulp era science fiction, with just a touch of a modern flare involved.

The rulebook is no different. A solid 255 pages in 5"x7" size, it is perfectly reminiscent of the science fiction compilations of yesteryear, right down to the greyscale printing. Which....I'm not sure was the best business call. For those that have the nostalgia attached to the format (like yours truly), it goes over well. To a gamer not familiar with that aspect of the genre, it looks like a cost saving measure, and those never look good. The cover is a game specific piece of art from Matt Dixon, which is wonderful for the look and feel it imparts. 

The contents of this dime novel throwback are solid. It basically breaks down into 88 pages of rules, 72 pages of unit information, and 70 pages of backstory covering five different factions within the game (not including nifty things like the glossary, full spread photo pages, and whatnot). That's a pretty even distribution if you ask me. While the $27.99 pricetag might seem a little pricey for an all-grey book (for reasons discussed above), Bombshell does a nice job of cushioning the blow a bit, by including a free download of the PDF with your purchase. Which is great for people that either don't want to have even a short book with them on the table and prefer to play from their phone, or want to be able to print out unit cards for all of the models on the table.

As far as the internal quality of the book... I want to officially congratulate whomever was responsible for proofreading this thing.  While I'm sure there's going to be a cringeworthy passage somewhere as no one is exempt from Gaiman's Law, I've yet to come across it.  Compared to most first edition game books , this one is easy to read for those who think about burning books in effigy when typos occur multiple times on a page. (I'm looking at you, Dark Age...)

The aspects of gameplay we'll go into in a later article, but suffice to say the game functions well in pickup games, has sufficient balance for competitive play, but really shines in extended campaign play.  All in all, if you're a fan of pulp era scifi, character advancement wargaming, or campaign play in general, this book is a solid addition to your collection.

See you on the other side of the table,
The Second Class Elitist.


  1. Looks good I do like a bit of pulp in my life. still sticking to the big two due to availability of other players :(

    1. Cyclical logic Alex- the only way there's more people to play in things that aren't the Big Two, is if people start playing things that aren't the Big Two! Find a game you can love that nobody plays, buy two forces, and convince a friend to try it. You'll be amazed at the results!

    2. Hey Alex,
      2CE nailed it. But here's another way to look at it.
      You said "the big two", once there was only one game in town. If everyone have decided not to look at this "other" option, because of availability of players then there would be no "big two".
      Sometimes it pays to be a leader, expose your friends to the games you want to play, show the community other options. Maybe you'll be at the forefront of a "big 3".

  2. I wanted to back this one, will probably still get a army but it came at a bad time financially. Looking forward to batreps.

    @Alex, the big 2 should not influence your decision on this. I bring my spinespur and deadzone to games and I have 2 people that now have armies in deadzone. I got one more interested in SS.

    I will get this soon.

    1. @Rollntider, glad to hear you have some interest in SS. I know you love that game.

    2. Great job Rollntider! I'm glad you're getting in some Spinespur!!! Keep putting up pics man!