Review: The Rangers

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Eryx
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Postby Eryx » Thu Jan 20, 2005 8:29 pm

Just finished reading my copy of The Rangers, and I enjoyed it. A very good read, lots of info and its a great resource for any era of play.

The only thing I noticed (and unless my eyes are playing tricks on me) there are no map numbers for the map of Tuzenor.
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Postby lastbesthope » Thu Jan 20, 2005 11:28 pm

Not that I would handle such a fine literary work with grubby mitts, oh no!

LBH
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Postby Picaboo » Mon Jan 24, 2005 4:44 pm

Shouldn't the WSC-1 get pivotal thrusters? As it is only the WSC 2 and beyond gets it. Is it a typo? :?:
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Postby Guest » Mon Jan 24, 2005 9:44 pm

How long does it take once you placed an order for your book to come? I ordered mine a week and a half ago. Just anxious to get my copy of this cool book.
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Postby Guest » Thu Jan 27, 2005 10:06 pm

Well I finally got my copy and it's awesome. The history is mind blowing and I'm just at the begining. I do have one compliant, why didn't you guys add the different pics of the varient whitestars. It would be nice to have the stats and the pic so that you can see what your reading about. But thats all good, I still love the book.
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Postby lastbesthope » Fri Jan 28, 2005 12:34 am

Anonymous wrote:Well I finally got my copy and it's awesome. The history is mind blowing and I'm just at the begining. I do have one compliant, why didn't you guys add the different pics of the varient whitestars. It would be nice to have the stats and the pic so that you can see what your reading about. But thats all good, I still love the book.
Maybe they all look the same?

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Postby Defender » Sun Jan 30, 2005 5:42 am

Well, I picked up my copy of The Rangers yesterday, and I have to say this was money well spent. My initial impressions of the book follow below.

I've only read the Core Rulebook and portions of the Centauri Republic sourcebook thus far, but I've been struck by the quality of writing presented in the various B5 supplements. It's clear the people at Mongoose aren't phoning it in.

With the Rangers, we have a look at the most altruistic faction in the B5 universe(or at least the one with the least skeletons in its closet. Mind you, the ones they do have are doozies). One of the things the book makes clear over the course of reading is that Anla'shok are not Jedi. While they were initially the scouts and shock troops of Valen's war against the Shadows, their role has adapted as the centuries passed. They are infiltrators, scouts, protectors and watchmen, but until the era of the ISA the direct, open confrontation of evil was never part of their mandate. Of course, 2262 heralds a new age with the birth of the ISA Ranger, a bit distinct from their more 'traditional' Anla'shok bretheren. Prospective protectors of all races in the ISA are welcomed, and with their fleet of White Stars and the vision of John Sheridan and Delenn to make a better universe behind them, there's almost nothing they cannot accomplish. But things were not always thus. . .

Getting a hint that this book is great? It is. You want a detailed history of the Anla'shok, from their proto-days with Valen aboard the newly arrived Babylon 4 to the years where they were a ship adrift, to their horrific discovery at the Battle of the Line which galvanized them into the force they became under Jeffery Sinclair? You got it. A study of the philosophy behind the Rangers, what their code means and their defining principles when in the field? Got that too. The toys of the Anla'shok, from Denn'bok to Ranger pins to PPGs and White Stars? Got those too. The book touches on everything in the B5 universe to do with the Rangers, and since the Rangers have been far and seen much this leaves the book with a lot of ground to cover, but it does so quite, quite well.

August Hahn deserves serious credit; taking on the Anla'shok as a sourcebook for the B5 RPG and making it not only a 'crunchy' sourcebook for the ruleslovers as well as an entertaining read was no easy task, but he pulls it off swimmingly. The Full Creed of the Anla'shok is a thing of beauty, and everything was well-written and accessible, even to a roleplayer like myself more into story than numbers.

The art was quite good as well, mostly snapshots from the series along with some lovely computer-generated shots (the profile of Babylon 4/Intiera'zhe, the diving White Star, the cover image). All really well done.

If I had to complain (if for no other reason than to cap the gushing), I could have done with some sample Anla'shok, maybe from the Time of Valen as well as the ISA era. And a Ranger sourcebook that didn't have a detailed profile/history of Marcus Cole for those of us who didn't buy the Year by Year sourcebook is a bit of a drag, to say nothing of Dark Lenier. But these are just minor quibbles. On the whole, if you're into the B5 RPG at all, you need to have this book. You may not have a player who wants to play an Anla'shok, you may not even want to feature them directly in any way. But anyone who thinks the Anla'shok don't have an impact on the B5 universe is unobservant in the extreme. . .

. . .which is just the way the Rangers like it. :twisted:

-Def.

Ps. One question though August, if you're handy. One of your 'Extras' was Alan Moore? What was his contribution, and is he the ABC/Watchmen Alan Moore, or a different fellow with a coincidental name? I nearly fell off the couch when I saw that. :wink:
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Postby lastbesthope » Sun Jan 30, 2005 2:42 pm

From what Defender has said I really need to put an evening aside and sit down and read my copy from cover to cover.

LBH
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Postby AnlaShok Lynx » Sun Jan 30, 2005 9:31 pm

I'm just about done with my copy and I have to agree with Defender. August there is no words we can use to tell how great of a job you have done with this book. It was everything I was looking for and more, though I there could have been a bit more pictures of the diffrent WSC but I can deal with that.

But again, AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME job with this book. I'm going to get a second copy so that I have one and my gaming group has one. :)
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Postby Eomer » Mon Jan 31, 2005 10:48 pm

Mongoose August wrote:To answer the earlier question, the appearance of a Shadow vessel at the Battle of the Line is an extrapolation of matertial from JMS. It was never specifically stated as such but it is a logical deduction from certain pieces of source material.
HUH :!: :!: :?:

i don`t buy that one at all. :|
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Postby lastbesthope » Tue Feb 01, 2005 12:41 am

Maybe August could cite his sources?

LBH
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Postby Mongoose Gar » Tue Feb 01, 2005 1:06 am

Defender wrote:One of your 'Extras' was Alan Moore? What was his contribution, and is he the ABC/Watchmen Alan Moore, or a different fellow with a coincidental name? I nearly fell off the couch when I saw that. :wink:
That's one of the playtesters. It's not THE Alan Moore - although he does have a Mongoose connection...
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Postby ronbogard » Tue Feb 01, 2005 2:08 am

Just got my copy in today. All I can say is 'Love it!'. Keep up the good work guys.
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Postby Neo » Tue Feb 01, 2005 10:19 am

Mongoose Gar wrote:
Defender wrote:One of your 'Extras' was Alan Moore? What was his contribution, and is he the ABC/Watchmen Alan Moore, or a different fellow with a coincidental name? I nearly fell off the couch when I saw that. :wink:
That's one of the playtesters. It's not THE Alan Moore - although he does have a Mongoose connection...
Yup the above mentioned Alan Moore the playtester is one of my group and he isnt THE Alan Moore :)
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Postby Perturbatio » Wed Feb 02, 2005 4:16 am

Problem with the book:
The Tuzanor map has a key with numbers, but the numbers do not actually appear anywhere on the map. :\
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Postby crizh » Wed Feb 02, 2005 9:32 am

That is deliberate. It is a test of the initiative of any who wish to join the An'la'shok...
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Postby lastbesthope » Wed Feb 02, 2005 10:04 pm

I'm sure Mongoose will post it up for download once they catch this thread.

LBH
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Postby August » Thu Feb 03, 2005 12:36 pm

Eomer wrote:
Mongoose August wrote:To answer the earlier question, the appearance of a Shadow vessel at the Battle of the Line is an extrapolation of matertial from JMS. It was never specifically stated as such but it is a logical deduction from certain pieces of source material.
HUH :!: :!: :?:

i don`t buy that one at all. :|
Actually, the Shadow vessel present at the battle of the line is, though I did not want to specifically have to spell this out so that GMs can do with it what they wish, is a time echo from the same timeline that saw shadow fighters dragging a bomb to Babylon 4. In that time, the stronger, more aware shadows were already stretching their legs and taking an interest in the galaxy (just as Delenn said in the episode with the same references).

The reference was added to the Rangers book as an interesting anecdote only and an adventure hook for Gamesmasters. Just ignore it if it does not fit with your paradyme. Ultimately, that advice is true of anything you might read in ANY book. :)

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Postby frobisher » Thu Feb 03, 2005 1:53 pm

Mongoose August wrote:Actually, the Shadow vessel present at the battle of the line is, though I did not want to specifically have to spell this out so that GMs can do with it what they wish, is a time echo from the same timeline that saw shadow fighters dragging a bomb to Babylon 4.
That's not an alternative timeline though - that's the B5 timeline as we know it; If they did indeed stem from an echoe of a timeline in which B4 didn't get sent back and make all the difference 1000 years before, then why would they be trying to destroy it? Clearly that act of destruction, averted (and recorded as historical fact by Epsilon 3), was the nexus between the "real" B5 timeline and the one from which the echoes stemmed.
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Postby Eomer » Thu Feb 03, 2005 7:44 pm

Mongoose August wrote:
Eomer wrote:
Mongoose August wrote:To answer the earlier question, the appearance of a Shadow vessel at the Battle of the Line is an extrapolation of matertial from JMS. It was never specifically stated as such but it is a logical deduction from certain pieces of source material.
HUH :!: :!: :?:

i don`t buy that one at all. :|
Actually, the Shadow vessel present at the battle of the line is, though I did not want to specifically have to spell this out so that GMs can do with it what they wish, is a time echo from the same timeline that saw shadow fighters dragging a bomb to Babylon 4. In that time, the stronger, more aware shadows were already stretching their legs and taking an interest in the galaxy (just as Delenn said in the episode with the same references).

The reference was added to the Rangers book as an interesting anecdote only and an adventure hook for Gamesmasters. Just ignore it if it does not fit with your paradyme. Ultimately, that advice is true of anything you might read in ANY book. :)

-August
sigh... it seems that not all replies are answers. :roll:

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