Monday, December 5, 2011

Revolt On Antares/Erol Otus: One Fine Young Artist

From the Forward (sic) to The Arduin Grimoire; Volume 1, by Dave Hargrave:

"Special Note. The artwork for this supplement is the sole doing of one fine young artist: Errol (sic) Otus. I'm only glad I'll be able to say ten years from now, 'I knew him when...'"

Erol Otus did not merely produce fantasy artwork during the late 70's and early 80's. He also rendered the science fiction artwork below, which graced the centre pages of the 1981 TSR Revolt On Antares minigame booklet.

Click to embiggen.

With the seeming-success of Metagaming's microgame line, other game companies jumped into the soon-to-be-crashing minigame market. That included TSR, SPI, Task Force Games, Chaosium, Mayfair Games, Heritage USA, Operational Studies Group, Steve Jackson Games, and FASA.
TSR's Revolt On Antares concerns a power struggle on Imhirros, ninth planet in the Antares system, on the fringes of Imperial Space.

Several noble houses, the Imperial government, and alien invaders vie for control of Imhirros using raw military power, alien artifacts, galactic superheroes, and hereditary psychic abilities to achieve their ends. Interplayer diplomatic efforts are encouraged in the rulebook, but there are no game systems to regulate diplomacy.

The game was designed for TSR by Tom Moldvay, who also designed Avalon Hill's Lords Of Creation. Two pieces of Erol Otus art appear within Revolt On Antares.

The game showed great promise, particularly when viewed through the lens of the above Erol Otus art.


Matthew Slepin said...

Played the heck out of this as a kid. I still fondly recall Mad Catherine Braganza, the Noble who could call lightning from the skies and sometimes hit enemy units and sometimes hit her own. Also, some cool mercenaries you could hire on.

It occurs to me now that there was more than a bit of Darkover in the setting, but I didn't know it at the time.

Aaron E. Steele said...

I love these old games, they had a real gonzo lets try it and see what happens attitude.

Peter said...

This was my favorite TSR microgame. I played it over and over, and eventually lost some of the pieces.

I need to find another copy. That EO piece with the various heroes you could hire (like the legion of the dead) was awesome. So is that Jeff Dee cover!