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Renegade Legion: Interceptor

aka: Renegade Legion: Interceptor - The First Line of Defense
Moby ID: 713
DOS Specs

Description official description

Adaptation of the board game from FASA, the game offers a space fighter phased combat, in both skirmish and a campaign mode. The player may play as either side, the Terran Overlord Government or the Commonwealth Rebels.

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Critics

Average score: 57% (based on 9 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.2 out of 5 (based on 9 ratings with 2 reviews)

An excellent tactical (and strategic) space fighter game

The Good
This was a very enjoyable game that allowed you to make battle tactical and individual tactical decisions, in a turn-based environment. I haven't played it for a long while, but I recall that starting out went something like this...

You would start by selecting a side, the Empire or the Renegade Legion You would start with a limited amount of money, and have to select 7 pilots, and purchase 7 ships. Most of the purchased ships were pretty weak, and you tended to lost them (and often the pilot as well).

When you were ready with your ships, you would be sent on a mission, with some back-story or another. That part usually didn't affect gameplay much (see below for the exception). What mattered was setting yourself up tactically in the little star-field hex map that the battle was to take place in.

You arranged all your ships, and the computer would arrange the enemy ships, and after that point it was about turning radius, pilot skill, firepower, and getting yourself positioned behind the enemy. And then - blowing his ships up!

You were frequently outnumbered by the enemy in this game, but that never seemed to be much of an issue, unless they were able to gang up on one of your weaker ships.

In battle you always wanted to be behind the enemy ship, blasting away. Most often you would start out with your fleet cruising toward the enemy. Slowing down and turning around would usually place strain on your ship. If you attempted too many maneuvers in one turn (especially on a larger, heavier ship), it could be damaged, and then it would be shot to pieces.

To an extent, the smaller, less maneuverable ships were the most effective at getting behind the enemy and shooting them... But they lacked serious firepower, and sometimes the enemy could escape before you could take him out. Heavier ships with more firepower couldn't turn well, and didn't accelerate well. The same problems that military ship builders have struggled with for millenia, hahaha.

So at the end of the battle, you hopefully would have racked up a few kills. That would earn you money to purchase better weapons. And your pilots might have gained experience. Here's where the strategy factor comes into play. Your pilots developed skill based on the ship they were using. This skill was important, because it meant your pilot got to move earlier in the movement and battle phases. If you replaced that ship with a superior one, the pilot skill dropped again! Trade offs...

I liked that you could create a fully custom ship. You could even put turrets on it to shoot backwards (although that made the ship about as nimble as a super-tanker).

On to the back-story though. The only time it really mattered was when you had to rescue a spy for your side. He would be drifting in outer space (inevitably moving 5 hexes per turn, hahaha), with the enemy fleet about to overtake him. If they caught and killed him before you engaged and destroyed them, you lost the battle. Frequently in these 'save the spy' scenarios, you would be ambushed. Once you placed your ships, the enemy would show up right behind you. Then you would have to slow down and turn around while the computer enemy blasted you for the first round or two.

The Bad
A bit repetitive. Even the ambush and spy scenarios. The battles never seemed to have an end, turning point, or even a point. It was just battle after battle after battle. Then sometimes your best pilot would be promoted out of your squadron... What a bummer!

The Bottom Line
A fun tactical space game that ought to be played. Wouldn't recommend it for high replay, but it's fun in the beginning and mid-game.

DOS · by ex_navynuke! (42) · 2005

A fun, faithful adaptation of the board game about space dogfighting.

The Good
If one ever played a board game version of a space dogfighting game (be it Renegade Legion: Interceptor, Star Warriors, or one of the few other good ones), or even any of the Avalon Hill air combat board games, you will find yourself at home here. The hexagonal board, the fire arc rules, and even the very feel of having die beng rolled in the background are all present. Everything takes place in intricate, complicated turns and Renegade Legion succeeds in taking most of the number crunching out of your hands. After a few sorties, you learn the basics of velocity and turns and learn how far your pilots of various skills can push the envelope of their craft.

The universe is also faithfully recreated. You can create pilots from a number of species and eventually have them fly quite the catalogue of Commonwealth and TOG fighters. Weapon systems are accurately modeled and recognizable to fans of the board game (or Battletech, which shared many of the 'FASA'-technology). It doesn't take too long, however, to learn the benefits of a mass driver cannon over a laser, however, so people who don't have any prior experience won't be at a loss (though they may lose a squadron in the learning process).

In addition to the strategy of the actual space encounters, the game also features resource management in the form of maintaining and upgrading your squadron. Your squadron can have up to six pilots, who improve their skills over time, gain medals, and earn prestige points that go towards ship upgrades. This leads to some of role-playing side-affects, such as becoming attached to a pilot and watching his/her progress like a proud parent. The game assigns random missions to your squadron based around a set of mission types, so you will never run out of opportunities to advance your squad.

The graphics are pretty and effective for their time (although I prefer the Amiga version, of course). Ships are represented by well-designed and colorful icons which represent the appearance of the vessels and their heading well. The various weapons have their own distinctive appearance, so without even reading the status updates you will eventually learn what's attacking your ships and the potential threat of such.

Finally, there's the option to import and export your squadron. Along with the ability to play a hot-seat game, this allows you to take your favorite squadron out for a spin against your friend's.

The Bad
Although the random mission generator makes for a never-ending game, it also makes for an endless amount of almost-tedious missions. Although there's a number of mission types, they almost all come down to dogfighting an opposing squadron. In the end, you will feel like your squadron pulled the worst duty station in the galaxy and, despite their victories, isn't really having any effect on the war effort.

Turn based fighter games are not everyone's cup of tea. While many of my friends got into this game easily, there were a few that wanted to avoid it like the plague.

The Bottom Line
A good turn-based space dogfighting game based on the FASA board game of the same name, Renegade Legion: Interceptor will provide a number of enjoyable hours, even if you come away feeling as if your actions had little consequence.

DOS · by Ray Soderlund (3501) · 2000

Trivia

Extras

Game came with 24 ship identification cards.

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  • MobyGames ID: 713
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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Tony Van.

Amiga added by Terok Nor.

Additional contributors: Alaka, formercontrib.

Game added January 10, 2000. Last modified January 3, 2024.