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Black Skies For Babylon is a two page asymmetrical combat tragedy---and a companion game for the mecha drama trpg Live Love Die Remember.

You play as three fireteams attempting to kill a bunch of ace mech pilots outside of their suits. The GM plays the mech pilots, their defenses, the soldiers who rush in to support them, etc, and it all gets very bloody.

Black Skies has a very tight layout, three great character sheets, and all the information in it is compact and easy to use.

At the same time, it's extremely loose mechanically. You roll d6s at a difficulty set by the GM, and failure is strongly implied to mean the death of one of your squad members. The GM doesn't have predefined resources, so you're not ticking off objective boxes on your sheets---instead you're ticking off resources as you use them, pushing closer to death as you go.

The GM decides when the game is done, and if the players won.

The players show what that costs.

Overall, I think this is a solid, compelling game. It's got just enough rules to give you a little structure, but it might almost be easier to disregard them and play Polaris style---you can always succeed, but it always costs you.

If you're a fan of geopolitical mech action dramas, or military SF, this is definitely worth a look. The writing's strong, the tone's quite hard, and it's very easy to get immersed in.


I will admit, the dice rolling is mostly there because the act of rolling a first full of dice is fun. But it also introduces the slight possibility of failure. 


It definitely works with the rolls too! I just dawned on me while reading it that the game could be run diceless.


I was thinking about that the other day while reading Sidney's Twitter thread about 3 Question Matrix, wargames, and OSR.