Codename: Spandex

Okay, so this one has a story behind it…

One of my favourite games of the ’80s was Golden Heroes, a British superhero game published by Games Workshop. It went out of print decades ago, but the author of the game re-wrote it under a new name: Squadron UK and made it available on the Internet.

Unfortunately, in 2012 the author had to stop doing that, after discussion with Games Workshop’s lawyers.

I was saddened by this, and made an offer to the author that I would clone the game and release it for free, so that even though neither of us would be making any money from it at least it would be available for people to play.

I never heard back from the author, and I took that silence to be consent with a side helping of plausible deniability in that if Games Workshop’s lawyers asked him about it he could rightfully claim that he hadn’t asked me or encouraged me to write it on his behalf.

So I wrote the clone, and released it as Codename: Spandex. Quite a few people liked it, as would be expected because the original game was such a good one.

I was later surprised by the author asking me about it. It turned out that he had never got my original message, and was surprised to see Codename: Spandex because he was in the process of writing his own replacement game – a new edition of Squadron UK with modified rules.

I didn’t want to tread on his toes by having my free clone competing with the new edition that he was selling, so I withdrew Codename: Spandex from circulation.

Since then various people who wanted a direct clone of the original game rather than the modified version have asked about it, I’ve continued to give out copies when people have asked.

I still don’t want to publicise it and have it compete with Squadron UK, so I’ve not put it on DriveThruRPG. However, I have made it available here for those who want it: