The Sleep of Reason – Russell Jackson, Dream Demon Games

It’s best that I start with an apology as this post is about a really obscure game you’ve probably never heard of and will probably never see for sale. Sorry!

However if you try to search for this game you’ll understand my frustration with it’s elusiveness. I consider this post an admittedly desperate attempt to find out if I can track it down or see if anyone else remembers it. Most of my gaming circle are of a similar age to me but none of them have ever heard of it.

Back in 90/91 as a result of a review in either GM or GMI magazine I bought an A5 sized ruleset called ‘The Sleep of Reason’ from an independent gaming company – presumably a ‘one man band’ outfit.

I have to admit at the time I wasn’t playing much beyond GW’s Warhammer Universe but the positive review (possibly by Steve Blease) and the description of the system really piqued my interest.

This was a far future/sci fi skirmish miniatures game where Earth had made contact with an Alien race called something along the lines of the ‘Kray-vaars’.

This contact had initially gone well but both Aliens and Humans realised they carried diseases fatal to each other. The new arrivals subsequently destroyed most of Earth by mutating toxins in an attempt to eradicate the human threat to their species.

Humanity had given them a dose of killer man flu and was left battling to survive against the Aliens who had mutated the landscape, flora and fauna of Earth beyond recognition in an attempt to destroy Mankind.

The game included (amongst other things) Aliens, Human troopers, Terminator style armour called Manitou Suits, various weaponry and grenades, combat drugs, mutants, zombies, cyborgs, robots, crystal trees and weird flying jellyfish. What more could you ask for?

It was a great little game with interesting ideas on Alien invasion with a few little ideas that I suspect were sneaked in from the TV series Red Dwarf, which was only two series in by this point. For instance the name of the Alien race sounded very similar to Rimmer’s Garbage Pod ‘Quagaars’ and Lister had stated that Mankind was probably considered contagious by aliens – ‘Don’t go near Earth, it’s full of HUMAN BEINGS!’

Another interesting idea was it’s take on mutated zones that could shift over the course of the game making terrain that started safe at the beginning possibly deadly by the end. This could prove just as problematic as any enemy engagements unless your troops had the correct sealed suits to survive.

I can’t remember the exact mechanics it used for combat but I do recall it relied on simple math(s) to minus attack values from defence values to work out combat and then somehow reverse the results to calculate damage.

The game was designed to be used with any range of figures. I used to use a mix of GW and Fantasy Forge (now Scotia Grendel) miniatures – Space Marine Beakies, Terminators, Orks, Zombies, Nexus Marines, Hellcats and Kryomeks.

The author was Russell Jackson, he lived in the York area of the UK and his company was called Dream Demon Games.

Sadly my copy of the game got destroyed in 2003. You can probably guess by now that I really want another one.

I can’t find anything about the game, the author or the company on the internet other than Spirit Games in the UK once stocked it. I contacted Spirit but they didn’t have any copies left, apparently it was an old link I’d managed to find. They subsequently removed the link from their website.

Here’s a pic of the front cover.

image

Front cover

As much as I’d like to ask about it on the various gaming forums I think my post would sink unanswered fairly quickly. Not only that but I reckon it’s pretty bad form to join a forum for one question and disappear – I don’t have time to frequent forums properly.

Has anyone else played this game? If anyone knows where I can get a copy or has one they want to sell please let me know too.

Russell Jackson if by pure chance you get to read this please get in touch, I’d love to ask about how the ruleset was developed!

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2 thoughts on “The Sleep of Reason – Russell Jackson, Dream Demon Games

  1. Ann Wycoff

    Never heard of it, but a fun title. I wouldn’t be surprised if the basic premise was inspired by Red Dwarf, which is a very good show. Another influence might be H.G. Well’s War of the Worlds where the aliens only end up failing in their invasion because they spontaneously start dying off from various infections.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Somet Post author

      You’re absolutely right of course about the idea of Aliens succumbing to Earth’s climate or Human diseases being much a older idea – as far as Sci Fi writers they don’t come much older than H.G.Wells!
      It really was an interesting little game and I wish I could find it again.

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