A Tabletop RPG (straddling the line with wargames, particularly through the use of miniature) where the players control troops in The Vietnam War. Characters are encouraged to be made disposable and interchangeable, and the story is barebones, focusing instead on random encounters on the way to generic objectives.
The game saw four new expansions and adventure modules before being reworked into Recon Revised.
Characters have three attributes: strength, alertness and agility, each rolled on a percentage die. If the total is under 100 or any one score is below a thirty, the character is 4-F, unfit for duty and rerolled. The player buys skills in bundles of ten called Military Skill Programs. For instance, basic training contains ten skills: athletics, running, climbing, weapon proficiency pistol, W.P. assault rifle, W.P. grenade and hand to hand: military basic. With other skill trees based along the basic routes of Military, Espionage, Police and Rogue. You get two of these based on your class.
Skills and gear play a major role as compared to supernatural powers in other Palladium games.
A community has arisen around adapting the rules of RECON to various wars historical and contemporary.
RECON contains examples of:
- Anti-Frustration Features: You will die. A lot. But character creation is quick and easy and combat is usually resolved very quickly.
- Anyone Can Die: There's a reason you're not supposed to get attached to your characters.
- Death Is Cheap: Exceptionally so. Players may want to five or six pre-rolled characters lined up and ready to go.
- Splash Damage: A lot of heavy weapons have one, as well as artillery and airstrikes, naturally. A character who can tank a bullet or two from small arms will quickly die if mortars or machineguns are brought out.
- Straight for the Commander: Usually your best option in any ambush scenario, the loss of a leader will demoralize the enemy, often to the point of disengaging entirely.
- Turn-Based Combat: But rounds go very quickly as does most combat.
- War Gaming: Essentially, you control individual troops in a small-unit setting that most cross territory towards an objective and get ambushed or drawn into sidequests along the way.