Friday, 24 June 2011

7TV Review

I know there are a few people interested in 7TV out there, so I thought I'd have a go at writing another review to try and give you an idea of what the game is like.

First up there are 2 things you should know.

First, if you want to see how the rules work then head over to the Crooked- Dice site and download the free Dr Who Miniatures Game rules {Here}, both DWMG & 7TV share the action:engine rules so basics are exactly the same.

Second, since the rulebook was published the rules have had the odd tweek/rewrite (most noticeably with the Damage table) so if you get the rules then head on over to the Crooked-Dice forum {Here} to check out the latest suggestions/changes.

Right, on with the Review.


In the '60s maverick millionaire Sidney Barron created 7TV Studios as a TV production company. During the '60s and the '70s it produced contemporary, fantastic, action adventure serials.

When Barron mysteriously disappeared from his Monaco yacht his TV empire quickly crumbled and all the un-aired shows and pilots were thought lost, that is until the archive was recently rediscovered.

Basically the idea behind the game is that players put together a “cast” from one of 7TV's old shows and recreate episodes from them.

It's a good, fun concept that harkens back to the old playground days when you'd recreate scenes from your favorite show that had been on TV the night before. It helps if you remember the shows from those periods (or at least seen some of the re-runs that are all over the likes of ITV4 these days), but it's a fun concept anyway and fires up my imagination no end.


184 pages, full colour, hardback, split into 45 pages of rules, 71 pages of cast creation (including Special Effects descriptions and pre-generated casts), 30 pages of episodes and episode creation rules with the rest of the book being appendices (including Event and Gadget cards, tokens and reference sheets).

If you want to see a sneak peek of what you get in the rulebook go {Here} and check out the preview pdf.

The book looks great and the little touches like script pages and Radio Times snippets really give a nice flavor to the overall feel of the book. The in-game photos are great, but it's the internal artwork I like best. It's all silhouettes like on the front cover and really works well IMO and helps make the book feel unique.


The game is in the I-go-you-go format and uses d6s for all dice rolls.

Models are split into Stars, Co-Stars and Extras. All models have a profile that lists their stats, special rules (called Special Effects and Star Qualities in the game) and attack/weapon info. Go {Here} and check out the stats for Group Captain Jim to see how they are laid out in the book. The stats go from 0-10 and are Movement; Defence; Hits; Strength; Agility; Intelligence and Morale.

Each game turn is split into 4 phases: Initiative & Audience Appreciation; First Player Actions; Second Player Actions; End Phase.

Initiative is a straight d6 roll with the highest roll winning. However initiative also serves a second purpose, to determine Audience Appreciation Points for the turn.

AAP is worked out by taking the difference between the winning and losing Initiative roll (between 1 & 5), the winner gets half this number (rounded up if necessary) and the loser getting the rest if there is any. (eg the Initiative rolls are 2 & 5, the resulting AAP would be 2 to the winner and 1 to the loser).

AAP can be used in 2 ways. Either to activate an additional model in the turn (2AAP) or each token equals a +1/-1 to any of your dice rolls (you may use more than one token on a roll if desired).

In the Action Phases players activate their models and perform actions, however this is a TV show and the camera cannot be on all the cast at the same time, in game terms this means that you may only activate ½ the models you have on the table at the beginning of the turn (rounded up).

Each model has 2 actions they can perform in the turn, these can be move; melee; shoot; aim prior to shooting; perform a special action; perform an heroic action (Stars and Co-Stars only).

Shooting can only be done once per turn and only one of your Stars/Co-Stars can use an heroic action in a turn, but otherwise actions may be repeated. Also, if you end a movement in base-to-base with an opposing model you may perform a melee attack immediately as part of the same action.

Combat is handled simply with a target number system (eg. 4+) that can be found in the Hit section of the Attacks part of the models profile, (melee and ranged attacks are all placed in this section).

Get equal to or better and you've hit.

Working out damage is similar to the way things were done in AT-43, you work out the difference between the attacker's physical/weapon strength and the defender's Defence stat and find the result on the Damage Table, you then read down and find the target number you need to equal or better to cause damage.

Any other stat tests you need to make use the Statistic/Morale Test Table and is simply finding the relevant stat number on the table and reading off the target number associated with it.

Occasionally an opposed roll is needed, this is handled by both players rolling 1d6 and adding the result to the relevant stat, whoever rolls highest wins.

Certain attacks and abilities will bestow a Status on the target model, the one you'll see the most is Stunned, which is the usual result of a melee attack (which can only Stun unless the attacker's Strength is higher than the target's Defence). Other status' include Confused, Dominated, Captured, ect. Amongst other things status' can affect whether or not a model counts toward Activations so can effect how many models can activate in a turn. Models may have more than 1 type of status on them at any one time.

The End Phase is when you try and remove status' (roll a number of d6 equal to model's current Hits and any 6s remove a status), check to see if Morale checks are needed for 50%+ losses and perform any functions that need to be done (i.e. advance a countdown etc.)

To create a cast, you first decide if you're playing as heroes or villains and then pick the type of show they are from (Law & Order; Action; Tomorrow's World; Madmen & Miscreants; Crime Does Pay; The Outer Limits), each of which has certain archetypes suggested for it.

Next you decide on a Ratings total for the cast, (ranging from 50 -500 points, Stars and Co-stars range in cost from 25 points up to 60 points, extras are a lot cheaper with costs dependent on whether you're playing heroes or villains), I think around 200/250 points per side is around a standard size for a game that takes about 1 - 1 ½ hours to play, (the campaign day mentioned in an earlier post was 200 points with an extra 50 points to swap out if needed, that gave me 12 models in total, 1 star, 2 co-stars and 9 extras, however I only used 9 of the models throughout the day).

Then you pick your cast. The nice thing with 7TV is that there is an element of customisation available with the Stars & Co-stars. When you choose the archetype you want you get a basic template for them and the option to alter stats (except Hits) and choose some of the characters Special Effects, you get a basic number of options and can add more if you want, but that will add to the cost of the figure. Extras are less customisable, but you can still do a few tweaks to them as well. This means that although you potentially could have 2 cast with exactly the same archetypes facing off against each other you'll actually likely to still have completely different forces.

The book also includes pre-generated show casts from some of 7TV's better known shows, like The Man From 2000 and Department X which give a nice idea of the type of things you can do with your casts.

In 7TV scenarios are called Episodes and the book provides a number of individual episodes as well as a 4 episode linked campaign with an escalating ratings total which looks like a lot of fun to play through.

One thing all episodes have in common is the Prelude section, this is where 7TV's other nice touch comes into play, Event and Gadget cards.

All players start with at least 4 Event cards which allow you to do certain things during the game, the events are a nice addition and can make for much entertainment during a game. Some cards can also act in the same way as the Luck special effect and can allow one dice roll that affects a model to be re-rolled (this can be a roll by either player).

Gadgets are “bought” via a Think Tank roll, basically you get 1d6 per star and anyone with the Gadget &/or Boffin special effect, add the totals up and that gives you an number of points to spend on gadgets that can be assigned to your stars and co-stars. Again, like the event cards, gadgets are a characterful addition to the game and can make for some entertaining moments in play.

The rules work well to provide a fun game that moves along at a steady clip. Only being able to activate ½ the models on your side a turn really adds a tactical element to the game as well.

The Event and Gadget cards are something that really can make a fun difference and some of them are rather entertaining.

To get the best out of the game though you really need to play the character of your cast. Play them as if it were a TV episode, be the dastardly villain or the stalwart hero, don't just play to win the game and you will have a great time whatever the outcome.


It's a great game to play and have fun with. Although I have to admit that when I first played it I wasn't overly fond of the melee rules (they seemed very one sided), however when I mentioned this to Rich he pointed out that this is a game based around TV shows, and usually if you get hit on TV you usually stay hit & one punch knock downs are exactly what should happen. Once I got my head around that it made me realise that to get the most out of this game you have got to play it like a TV episode as much as a wargame. At the club, when we've played our casts as if they really were in a episode of one of our favorite TV shows we've got a lot more out of the experience than if we just played it for the win.

It's not an expensive game to get into, £25 for the rulebook and if you've got access to a photocopier or scanner and printer then everything you need is in the book apart from miniatures and scenery. However Crooked Dice do do a very nice set of Event/Gadget cards as well as tokens for only around £4 each so it shouldn't break the bank to get them as well.

Models wise you need from as little a 2 models a side to start playing and you can use any appropriate looking figure you have, (the Tongs I used for the campaign day were my Pulp Figures Chinese which I got for playing '20s era pulp games, but I just picked out the ones that looked the most contemporary and used them).

I can highly recommend 7TV and I think that it's a game that, if there's any justice in the world, deserves to be a big success. So go check it out and start re-living though hazy playground days once more :)

Well, I hope you like the review, as you can tell I'm somewhat partial to the game. I think that this game, along with Pulp City really fires up my imagination on every level, from the gaming itself, to the terrain and scenario design through to the models to be used. It's nice to know there are games out there that can still do that.

Anyway, normal bloging service will be resumed next time, so 'til then, take care.


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