Basic Dungeons & Dragons
In my old gaming group, Basic D&D saw a lot of play along with AD&D. We were always swapping out modules or other materials between the two games. Although none of us ever did purchase or play OD&D, there were several different versions of the Basic rules spread throughout the group.
Holmes Basic D&D Rules
Moldvay/Cook B/X (Basic/Expert) Rules
There were several sets of this version of the Basic rules owned by various members of our playing group. There were some differences from Holmes in this set. The three axis alignment returned and I believe there was a clear distinction between D&D and AD&D with these rules. I also believe that variable weapon damage returned instead of the universal D6 weapon damage seen in Holmes. As much as I absolutely love the Holmes version of the rules, I must say that the layout and presentation of these rules is the perfect representation of Basic Dungeons & Dragons.
Mentzer B-E-C-M-I Rules ( Basic, Expert, Companion, Masters, Immortals)Everyone in our playing group had a copy of Basic through Masters; it allowed play until level 36. I personally never bought the Immortals set and I am unsure of whether or not other members of our group purchased the set. Eventually, I believe that these separate sets were edited together to form the basis of the Rules Cyclopedia that would come later. I thoroughly enjoyed that product but I admit that I was not a big fan of the Mentzer sets. It all comes down to their presentation. It really is that simple. I felt that these sets were too "polished" and too "professional" to properly convey the feeling and atmosphere that the other sets were so good at getting across to me. Put simply, it felt like the suspension of disbelief and immersion had been scaled down with the layout and presentation used throughout these sets. Don't get me wrong, I would still gladly play using these rules today if I had the opportunity it but the presentation just was not my favorite out of the three versions.