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Renegade: Legion Interceptor Underdogs Hot

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Written by Underdogs     March 21, 2009    
 
8.5 (2)
0   2   0   2   0
Based on an excellent but little-known FASA boardgame of the same name, Renegade is a ship-to-ship space combat simulation that was among the first games to feature turn-based gameplay combined with real-time simultaneous execution of combat. Choose between single-player and two-player hotseat, and create your squadron to take on increasingly difficult missions in the war between the Terran Overlord Government and non-human Commonwealth. A great variety of weapons and other gadgets to outfit your ships and a versatile custom ship builder module make up for the game's lackluster AI and repetitive missions. Overall, a great game for fans of FASA's RPG universe, and a much better game than the mediocre flight-sim sequel Battle for Jacob's Star released years later.

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8.5  (2)
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7.0
expat Reviewed by expat April 13, 2012
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Renegade Legion: Interceptor, based closely on the FASA boardgame, is a fantastic turn-based, ship-to-ship combat simulation. Though it may seem simple at first, there's an amazing amount of depth in such a simple game. Among other things, Renegade Legion: Interceptor features the following:

- Detailed ship damage reports for every ship, which tracks the precise location of hits, including damage to internal subsystems and the effects this damage has on the perfomance of the ship and on the pilot.

- The ability to customize your missile loadout before every mission.

- Pilots who gain experience and prestige, allowing them to be more effective in battle and to purchase more powerful ships.

- A design-your-own-ship interface, which allows pilots with very high prestige to have their own custom fighter built - every aspect of the ship design is customizable, from the amount of armor and shielding, to the type, location, and number of weapons it will be outfitted with.

- The ability to play against the computer as either the freedom-fighting Commonwealth or the oppressive TOG (Terran Overlord Government), or to set up both sides as human players for some hotseat multiplayer action.

- The ever-present threat of being scrambled in between flight missions forces you to prioritize the order in which you repair damaged ships. If a red alert is sounded before all the repairs are completed, some pilots will be forced to fly their already-damaged ships into battle.

This great set of features is even more impressive when the origins of this game are considered. It was pitched by two programmers, Scot & Graeme Bayless, both of whom were working at SSI at the time. Recently, I had the chance to ask Scot to elaborate on the game's humble origins, and he offered the following:

"We pitched the idea to Chuck Kroegel and Joel Billings back in late ’88 as we were finishing up Pool of Radiance. Back in those days Graeme and I were single and game nerds of the first order. We became so infatuated with Interceptor, the paper game, that we wrote an entire campaign system around it. At one point I think we must have had 50% of the development staff at SSI playing that damned game. It was epic. It also became the basis for the campaign system in the computer game.

You might be interested to know that we originally pitched the title as hugely ambitious 3D space combat game with all the ship-building features from the board game and all the character development from our campaign system. We contacted Jordan Weisman at FASA, got him to agree to license the rights for a flat $25K and then got Dynamix to offer us their 3D engine for the same price. Unfortunately, Chuck had recently spent a bunch of money on a new set of PC sound libraries and he was tight for budget that quarter, so he nixed the 3D engine and we ended up opting for a direct port of the game to the PC. Who knows? If he’d been willing to spend some money we might have been the guys to crush Wing Commander before Chris Roberts even got it off the ground.

So we got the green light to do the game with essentially no budget and a partial allocation of our time. That’s right. We did Interceptor in our spare time while we were shipping Curse of the Azure Bonds and Buck Rogers (what a stinker that one was). We brought in a contract engineer (Mike Mancuso), one artist (Fred Butts – who happened to be color blind) and used a little bit of our in-house sound guy. Everything else was Graeme and me moonlighting."

Renegade Legion: Interceptor is truly a labor of love by a small and dedicated team, and their enthusiasm for the source material is easy to see in the finished product. Unfortunately, it never caught on, and fell into relative obscurity.

Though the AI is easily outclassed by a human opponent that understands the game mechanics, the random mission generator provides a decent variety of assignments, including exciting starbase assaults. The only real drawback of Renegade Legion: Interceptor is the lack of a true campaign mode. However, it is still a must-play for every tactical combat enthusiast
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10.0
Jinkeez Reviewed by Jinkeez June 06, 2009
Top 500 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (1)

Renegade Legion: Interceptor - The best game no one ever bought



Renegade Legion: Interceptor, based closely on the FASA boardgame, is a fantastic turn-based, ship-to-ship combat simulation. Though it may seem simple at first, there's an amazing amount of depth in such a simple game. Among other things, Renegade Legion: Interceptor features the following:

- Detailed ship damage reports for every ship, which tracks the precise location of hits, including damage to internal subsystems and the effects this damage has on the perfomance of the ship and on the pilot.

- The ability to customize your missile loadout before every mission.

- Pilots who gain experience and prestige, allowing them to be more effective in battle and to purchase more powerful ships.

- A design-your-own-ship interface, which allows pilots with very high prestige to have their own custom fighter built - every aspect of the ship design is customizable, from the amount of armor and shielding, to the type, location, and number of weapons it will be outfitted with.

- The ability to play against the computer as either the freedom-fighting Commonwealth or the oppressive TOG (Terran Overlord Government), or to set up both sides as human players for some hotseat multiplayer action.

- The ever-present threat of being scrambled in between flight missions forces you to prioritize the order in which you repair damaged ships. If a red alert is sounded before all the repairs are completed, some pilots will be forced to fly their already-damaged ships into battle.

This great set of features is even more impressive when the origins of this game are considered. It was pitched by two programmers, Scot & Graeme Bayless, both of whom were working at SSI at the time. Recently, I had the chance to ask Scot to elaborate on the game's humble origins, and he offered the following:

"We pitched the idea to Chuck Kroegel and Joel Billings back in late ’88 as we were finishing up Pool of Radiance. Back in those days Graeme and I were single and game nerds of the first order. We became so infatuated with Interceptor, the paper game, that we wrote an entire campaign system around it. At one point I think we must have had 50% of the development staff at SSI playing that damned game. It was epic. It also became the basis for the campaign system in the computer game.

You might be interested to know that we originally pitched the title as hugely ambitious 3D space combat game with all the ship-building features from the board game and all the character development from our campaign system. We contacted Jordan Weisman at FASA, got him to agree to license the rights for a flat $25K and then got Dynamix to offer us their 3D engine for the same price. Unfortunately, Chuck had recently spent a bunch of money on a new set of PC sound libraries and he was tight for budget that quarter, so he nixed the 3D engine and we ended up opting for a direct port of the game to the PC. Who knows? If he’d been willing to spend some money we might have been the guys to crush Wing Commander before Chris Roberts even got it off the ground.

So we got the green light to do the game with essentially no budget and a partial allocation of our time. That’s right. We did Interceptor in our spare time while we were shipping Curse of the Azure Bonds and Buck Rogers (what a stinker that one was). We brought in a contract engineer (Mike Mancuso), one artist (Fred Butts – who happened to be color blind) and used a little bit of our in-house sound guy. Everything else was Graeme and me moonlighting."

Renegade Legion: Interceptor is truly a labor of love by a small and dedicated team, and their enthusiasm for the source material is easy to see in the finished product. Unfortunately, it never caught on, and fell into relative obscurity.

Though the AI is easily outclassed by a human opponent that understands the game mechanics, the random mission generator provides a decent variety of assignments, including exciting starbase assaults. The only real drawback of Renegade Legion: Interceptor is the lack of a true campaign mode. However, it is still a must-play for every tactical combat enthusiast

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