Sticks and Stones
Metagaming Microgame #11
Designed by David Ray (1978)
Stick and Stones (S&S) was Metagaming's pocket game of “warfare in the late Stone Age.” Coming in the early portion of Metagaming's amazing run of Microgames (1977 to 1982) this game has both quality components and a decent rules set. Unlike some of the later games (e.g. the much maligned Dimension Demons), S&S was full of great art by Pat Hidy (who also provided art for Metagaming's Melee, Death Test and other TFT games).
For $2.95 you got a 24 page rulebook, utilitarian game map and 130 well illustrated counters.
Unique subject matter aside, the game itself is a straight forward “I go, I fight, U go, U fight” hex and counter “simulation” of man to man (or Cro-Magnon to Cro-Magnon) combat. Players have a set number of “People Points” used to recruit primitive warriors or to exchange (1:2) for Weapon Points (WP). Players use WP to purchase arms, armor and trained dogs. Your primitive militia can consist of all manner of warriors, ranging from unarmored bare handed grapplers to heavily armored ax, spear or bowmen. Because of the close in nature of these weapons, there are no ZOC in S&S. Additional counters for use in different scenarios include; dependents, goats, mastodons, goods and two types of villages (fortified and unfortified).
There are additional rules for spreading fires and poison weapons. Goats and dependents can be led away but goods have to be carried off. There are several prebuilt scenarios; Small Village Raid, Territorial Ritual Battle (with special rules for “counting coup”), a solo Mastodon Hunt, Migration or the Horde (run, the Huns!) and an all out struggle with “Genesis of Warfare.”
While the game's mechanics are fairly generic, the subject matter and presentation more than make up for any perceived failings.
Destiny's got her hand way, way up in their puppets! It's an unpleasant tingling! The deepest of wriggles!
But my greatest power is this: When Destiny speaks, she speaks to me. She says hi, by the way.
Oh! And I've been killing the bees!
Here's a second Cordwainer Bird Award for you, along with a 3 GG tip for your review.
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