I bring this up, because, back in 1981, I was already playing GDW's science fiction RPG, Traveller, and loving it. Until a few years, it was my go-to sci-fi game and, even though I don't play it anymore, there's no question that it's shaped my understanding of what a SF RPG is and ought to be like no other. So, when GDW released Striker in that year, I was very keen to buy it and use it, even though it was quite explicitly a set of 15 mm miniatures rules rather than a "proper" supplement to Traveller.
For whatever reason, though, I could never find a copy of the boxed set in any of my local game stores and, in those days, if I couldn't find it in a store, I couldn't buy it. I did see a range of 15 mm miniatures intended for use with Striker and they contributed to my inexplicable lust for it. It'd be a couple of years before I'd actually see a copy of Striker, at a local games day, by which point my ardor had lessened considerably. That's probably just as well, since, as I discovered, Frank Chadwick's rules were dense and complicated, at least to my early teenage self. They took up three 48-page booklets, the first two of which described the basic and advanced rules, while the third presented design sequences for every sort of technology, along with extensive equipment lists.
To this day, I honestly can't tell you whether or not the rules for Striker are as complex in play as they seemed to me even after I got a chance to read them in depth. However, I can tell you that Striker exercised a baleful influence over Traveller as the '80s wore on. The design sequences, originally intended to aid in the creation of new units and equipment for use in miniatures battles, came to be used more broadly. By the time of Traveller's second edition -- the goofily named MegaTraveller -- these sequences were expanded and incorporated into the main game, thereby ensuring that MegaTraveller would be one of the most unnecessarily confusing and heavily erratafied RPGs I've ever owned. Likewise, many aspects of Striker's combat system were also incorporated into MegaTraveller, making it feel far less wild and woolly than the original version of the game I fell in love with in the early '80s.
I don't want to come down too hard on Striker. Firstly, I've never actually played it, even though I've read the rules. Secondly, like a lot of spin-off products from RPGs, Striker was intended as something to run in parallel to Traveller rather than something that would supplant it. Yet, supplant it Striker did, at least in part, because those design sequences, which gave referees and players alike the ability to design a wide variety of technology, were simply too appealing a toolbox not to be used. Traveller already had a lot gearheads among its fans, thanks to earlier supplements like High Guard, but Striker enabled them to become a prominent fixture of the game forever, the effects of which are still felt even today.
Another reason I don't want to criticize Striker unduly is because of a comment it includes on its credits page:
Although this game (as presented in Books 1, 2, and 3) envisions a referee or umpire to supervise play and resolve questions, the publisher is prepared to answer questions or inquiries on Striker provided a stamped, self-addressed envelope accompanies the request.That's a pretty incredible thing to read, isn't it? Like Loren Wiseman's editorial from issue #2 of The Journal of the Travellers Aid Society, it suggests that GDW's designers only grudgingly felt it was their job to clarify rules rules, since this was properly the purview of one's referee. If that doesn't speak to the question of just how different the hobby was three decades ago, I don't know what does.