• Welcome to the new COTI server. We've moved the Citizens to a new server. Please let us know in the COTI Website issue forum if you find any problems.

Your biggest waste of money?

Border Reiver

SOC-14 1K
Originally I was going to call this topic what was the worst Traveller book or supplement but then got to thinking about how much money I forked out over the years on Traveller gear and how some I wish I never bought (except for the completeness factor). My own copy of Azhanti High Lightning was played no more than 5 or 6 times (though I really only wanted it for supplement 5). So anything Traveller, by any publisher or manufacturer.

My own nominations are

1. Fighting Ships of the Shattered Imperium (what a waste of trees and my time)

2. Tarsus (would have been better as a bound book but no I kept losing bits)

3. Supplement 12 Forms & Charts (why?)

4. Games Workshop 15mm Traveller minaitures blister packs (I should have gone for the Grenadier 25mm ones)
I almost felt the same way as Andrew about FFW as I couldn't keep the board and counters in position long enough to complete a game or keep the players interested for long enough.
Dear Folks -

Originally posted by Border Reiver:
4. Games Workshop 15mm Traveller minaitures blister packs (I should have gone for the Grenadier 25mm ones)
Actually, the 15 mm Droyne are the right size for 25 mm Chirpers or the smaller Droyne castes.

And I rather liked the pics in "Shattered Ships", even if the stats were... er, shall we say, "off"?

My choices:

1. T4's First Survey (at least Supp 12 could be USED in a game... ;) )

2. T4's Starships (bleah! 'Nuff said.)

Can I also start a list of the best products?

1. Survival Margin (still has a poignancy that gets to me)

2. The Regency Sourcebook (for all those lovely references)

3. Book 9: Fighting Ships (wow, now that's a book of starships!)

4. Grand Survey (the original, athough the MT upgrade was also great)
0. GT Humaniti (but that hardly counts)
1. TNE Forms and Charts
2. Library Data A-M (as N-Z was nowhere to be found [pre-internet days])
3. Tarsus
4. 101 Robots
5. Kafer Dawn (as it repeats so much what is in the Aurorae Sourcebook) or Traveller 2300AD (2300AD is much slicker and better product) or strictly on a Traveller theme Traveller's Digest Nos 1-4.


0 Anything produced by QLI (up to this date)
1. MegaTraveller Journal#1
2. Book 8 Robots
3. Rebellion Sourcebook
4. Hard Times
5. Earth/Cybertech Sourcebook (I largely ignored the cybertech areas) or in a strictly Traveller vain. Vehicle Sourcebook of the Regency.
Worst waste of money in Traveller products? Off the top of my head I´d have to say T4 in general (never played it for several reasons, mostly because I´m not comfortable with the setting, but also because it´s poorly edited and I don´t like the artwork; that last bit is just my personal view, though, since I have known people who liked it) with the TNE forms a close runner up.

Best products? Most of the DGP stuff (especially love the Vilani/Vargr and Solomani/Aslan books).
BEST = Three way tie between:
  • Twilight's Peak</font>
  • Survival Margin</font>
  • Path of Tears</font>
Worst? None. It's Traveller.

However, I was disappointed that half of GRIP Traveller doesn't work (or is buggy), everyone knows it doesn't, and there's a lot of apathy around it, since you can get the Player's version for free, and most people play, rather than Referee.

Grand Survey, Scouts, Across the Bright Face, Starship Operator's Manual, The Environment Series, The Traveller Book, The Reprints while we are at it. Imperium, 2nd ed is in there, too.

Special Category: Invasion Earth Boardgame. One of the best boardgames I have played and played over the years. At least 30 times in the last 25+ years. Inspired me to make my own planetary maps.
BTW, we are not talking about MT CD ROM in this but paper products...right? Marc really has to improve his electronic delivery...
To echo Hyphen, Mr. Fetters, and others:

Worst Decisions for Me to Buy

T4 Starships
T4 First Survey
Azhanti High Lightning (despite its awesomeness!)

Best Decisions for Me to Buy

The Traveller Book
Twilight's Peak (and other various LBBs)
Survival Margin
MT Imperial Encyclopedia
Hmm, I'm curious why so many dislike AHL. While Lightning Class Cruisers has a lot of information that's not found anywhere else (plus it contains the story of the Bard Endeavor's final battle, one of my favorite stories in all the Traveller canon) I have always held the AHL combat rules as the best CT character-level combat system.

Fifth Frontier War is daunting, but there are electronic play aids now that help a great deal. I used Cyberboard to run the PBEM I ran in 2004 and it worked very well. (See the Traveller Wargames forum for a write-up.)

I skipped the TNE and T4 eras (though I've since picked up the gems from those editions) and never bought much of MT, so I'd have to say the single worst Traveller product I've bought would be COACC. I've also bought one of the Jeff Swycaffer novels from the CT era ("Not In Our Stars", I think) and while I think his milieu is interesting, it's a pretty bad novel.

Best Traveller money ever spent? Wow, hard choice. The DGP World Builder's Handbook is up there, as is the original Scouts (my favorite CT career). Striker and Mercenary are right up there too.

I've never played most of the published adventures (homebrews for the win!) but I agree that Twilight's Peak is one of the best ever done.

- John
Originally posted by jappel:
Hmm, I'm curious why so many dislike AHL.
Oh, no no. No. I found AHL to be super cool. I love decent deckplans, and I like AHL's combat rules, and I like counters and things.

But I never used any of it. Never! It's a horrible waste for me to buy a game and not use it, when someone else could actually be enjoying it. I didn't buy it mint, as a collectible item. I bought it to play.

And it was the most I paid for any Traveller thing, so it was the largest waste of my money.
Worst products:
Atlas of the Imperium. It's just pathetic. I am still amazed by the number of morons willing to shell out good money for that pamphlet on eBay.

Quite honestly, most of the Supplements were pretty rank. Even the much praised Supplement 4 only had 4-6 pages of good stuff; the rest was just filler.

Best products:
I still always go back to The Traveller Book and The Traveller Adventure. Sure they have flaws; sure they could be better. But they work well, even as they are. To me, they are Quintessential Traveller.

The Regency Sourcebook was an admirable attempt to try and make some sort of sense out the the mismashed history and astrography of the Spinward Marches. I especially liked the refreshing views on old saws like the TL16 Darrian fleets and the Jonkeereen.

The Aliens of the Rim has many detractors. But once you look past the red conical hats and "jingle bells", you are left with a pair of wonderfully psychotic races. And the editorial about "humans in rubber suits" is absolutely correct!

Just about all of the GURPS Traveller products I have are quite good (though I don't have them all). Even the deservedly maligned Humaniti does a good job with the important races.
The worst Traveller product I can think of has to be First Survey for T4, as it was a book full of (bald) UWPs, all of which were wrong due to a software error when producing the book.
Worst Buy: Fifth Frontier War. I paid way too much for it, and then never really got to play it. About the only thing I got from the experience was a lesson on eBay economics: it only takes two people who think they have to have something to drive the price to ludicrous heights.

Best Buy: FF&S1, Path of Tears, and Aliens of the Rim. FF&S1 for the hours of fun it gave me when I had a fellow gearhead friend in college, and Path of Tears for being one of the best roleplaying sourcebooks I've ever encountered. I've never seen a book give such a complete campaign setting in so little space. AotR has its annoying bits at first glance, but its aliens seem more convincingly alien than anything else I've encountered in sci fi roleplaying. And rationalizing the silly bits of the Ithklur is fun- they don't "just happen" to have Santa Claus hats and jingle bells, it's an attempt to model themselves on humans, who have been the only race they've encountered so far to resist Hiver manipulation, as well as a call for help. After all, if we can get the humans talking about subjects the Hivers can't control, who knows what could happen? Fnaaah!
Originally posted by robject:
What did the RS have to say about the TL16 Darrian fleets, by the bye?
In a nutshell, it said the TL16 fleet was a paper tiger. The difference between TL15 and TL16 was incremental; the difference between TL14 and TL15 is far greater.
T4 Core
T4 Alien Archives
T4 First Survey
T4 FF&S2

DGP's World Builder's Handbook
GDW's World Tamer's Handbook (TNE)
MT Ref's Companion

Note: Ref's doesn't go in, because it is SOOOO errata heavy, and so dependent upon the errataed material