Hammer’s Slammers

Posted: June 25, 2009 in Role Playing Games
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Just picked up my copy of Mongoose Publishing’s Hammer’s Slammers RPG book for the Traveller rules system. Most of you who know me understand that I was a big fan of Mongoose, then became very disillusioned with them after their abortive forays into miniatures lines and deteriorating quality of their rulebooks. Fortunately, I am such a fan of David Drake’s novels and the Traveller rules system, I could not resist ordering a copy of this book. Boy am I glad I did.

Hats off to the authors, to Matt and to Mongoose on this one. The rulebook is top notch quality. After reading it in its entirety, I found only a few simple typoes (unlike other books published last year). Sorry to start my comments about such trivial things, but Mongoose really had a quality problem for awhile there.

Let’s get to content. They have done a great job of organizing dozens of short stories, novels, novellas and miscellaneous content published about the Slammer’s over the last two decades into a cohesive timeline. They have lavishly illustrated the rulebook — and unlike other companies who suddenly have a license to material that has been previously published — have resisted changing the look and “canon” ideas of the background. For example, the Slammer tanks have been drawn and modeled by Old Crow Publishing into a fine miniatures line. David Drake helped Old Crow with the designs. Mongoose resisted the temptation to reimagine the vehicles and stuck to the designs, which means all of us who like to use miniatures have a ready-made line that fits seamlessly into the game.

The character generation system is Classic Traveller, but modified for players wanting to be a Slammer or play in a Slammer-like mercenary regiment. Full TO&E is given for the Slammers, including their history, traditions, equipment and leadership structure.

Overall I have to say this is the best product I have seen from Mongoose since the hardbound edition of Starship Troopers. Matt and company have won me back as a fan with this single book.


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