On a forum I asked for games that support heavy optimization / powergaming – that is, games which are fun when the entire group optimizes and plays smart with the rules, and which have suitable complexity to make the optimization non-trivial.
One surprising answer was BESM.
I am highly unfamiliar with the rules system. Is it any good for optimization-focused play? As a metric, we can say that D&D3 and D&D4 and their close relatives are fairly good for this sort of play, when it comes to roleplaying games.
There are basically two necessary requirements for a game to be suitable:
- The game has sufficient mechanical depth.
- The game does not have overwhelming balance problems (once people start really engaging it), or has sufficiently few such problems that they can be banned without too much harm.
Does BESM satisfy these two conditions?
Since the question is somewhat subjective, please stress the actual play experience you have with BESM when answering. Textual analysis, if the answer is obvious, can also be useful, but nuanced analysis of the text without play experience is likely to not be. References to reviews or discussions (with summary of the outcome) are also welcome.