Reviews of Obscure but Interesting Games VI – Infernal Machines

Infernal Machines.pngI always thought that Landships was an unique game about topic that interested only few people when originally published. I was one of the few. Originally it was my friend and ASL opponent who found the game accidentally. I thought few years before buying my own copy in a spout of interest in WWI matters. Some years later -I acquired Infernal Machines expansion that completely changed the Landships.

I really do not know what to think of Infernal Machines. I really like most of the concepts that are introduced in the module, but the representation and rules are something only players of Arkham Horror would appreciate.

To this day I do not understand half of the rules (and the other half, I probably do not even have desire to understand) that came with Infernal Machines (or infernal machinations it became known in our circles) but as usual, there was something good in the supplement. In fact, the good part is so good that it really puts one in schizophrenic state and I started to question myself if the bad things were after all so bad. Infernal indeed.

In all it’s profound deficits in the rules writing department – like it’s parent game, Infernal Machines supplement have very, very interesting selection of scenarios. In fact, they are such that I would beg anyone to redo the whole in coherent, understandable and playable manner. Perry Moore will probably never see this, nor there is huge petition elsewhere but there is someone in the world that could fix the problem. I might be turning into thinking that one individual, Arnauld Della Siega, designer of “No Mans Land, Trench Warfare 1914-1918” could ask to convert the scenarios to his system. It could be interesting.

Alternatively, one could write new game for the components, only to play the scenarios provided. One of my favorites was an Enemy Within – such a fantastically interesting situation that any wargamer could appreciate. Germans fighting minor interwar war against communist uprising with A7V tank and other interesting things. How much fun can that be? Even with all the rules mess, the scenario was playable, and proved excellent couple of hours. Time well spent then.

But there are many, many more – most obscure opponents, in most obscure corners of the world, and some really obscure what ifs to pull more fun. Perry Moore may not be a good rulebook writer – or he should have aide-de-camp to assist him in that department, he does have knack for scenarios that are tense, interesting, educational and enticing.


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