Hired Dusters and skirmish ideas

A week of no playing can sure turn into a month of silence easily, especially with a few days of travel here and there thrown in to disrupt my schedule.

Minor Rule Updates
Anyways I did some very minor rule tweaks, but figured I should mention them here before I get to the meat of the post:

  • Swapped the name of Boost and Passive Traits so Passive are static, always applied bonuses while Boost are once per combat abilities.
  • Added a “Deficient Weapon” section detailing damaged guns with reduced stats, such as prefixes like Old, Rusty, Dented. This is useful for keeping enemy weapons consistent.
  • Reduced Machete damage to 3 (from 4) to balance against the Hammer. Raised the price of the Hammer from $100 to $120.
  • Added Trait Strain Weapon II (+4 Damage) instead of just one tier.
  • Dinotype Diet changed from ‘V’ for Vegetarian to ‘H’ for Herbivore, to match ‘C’ for Carnivore. Thrilling!

Like I said, mostly minor!

The rules got a bit of exposure thanks to the BoardGameGeek forum thread I posted a while back. I figure once I finalize the rules I’ll add my game to their database, since that’d be cool to have and be able to look back on. Plus as I take more gameplay pictures I can put them up there.

Hired Dusters
Now for the main task I just completed. I was motivated to look closer at the game from a skirmish angle (compared to a standard RPG approach) because of the possibility of a one-off game tomorrow. I remembered how smoothly the Bandits vs Town battle went in a previous game, even with a lot of combatants, and thought it might be neat to have a similar one time game.
I thought I could give each player (me and two other people) a set amount of money. They would generate a Level 4 character plus choose a Dinomount (balanced against the other choices, since currently there is no “ranking” to the strength of Dinomounts). Then a separate pool of money would be spent on hirelings, which would be simple NPC Dusters they can move and fight with in a skirmish style scenario.
So yeah, I generated stat sheets for 9 types of level 2 Hired Dusters with a variety of strengths, abilities, and weapons. The final list ended up being: Hired Duelists, Cattleguards, Riflemen, Archers, Hatchetmen, Grenadiers, Berserkers, Sluggers, and Survivors.

Anyways here is the stats document for them, in the usual OpenDocument and PDF format:

I’m kind of excited at this idea, and also how easily the game molds itself to skirmish scenarios. I figure we could try a straight out pitched battle, or perhaps a capture the flag type scenario where teams have to run unhatched dinosaur eggs back to their base or something.

I think I need to add a few clarification notes to the rules, or some kind of “shorthand tricks” section. This would be necessary for stuff like tracking HP with dice beside the figure and just using a single sheet for each batch of NPCs. Or basic gameplay methods I use, but don’t really record anywhere.
Plus I was looking on the USA Library site for old (circa 1900s) images of cowboys and the west that I can insert into the rulebook to make it look a little more professional. I have trouble with advanced layout and styling in general though, so most of my rules end up being plain white documents with masses of paragraphs.

But yeah, even if I don’t get a game in tomorrow (…basically letting my friends choose what they want to play) I’ll still try to do a battle report sometime this weekend (Sunday likely). I think I’ll be more motivated to do that since I now have some definite sheets to choose from.

Easier Viewing of Documents
I don’t know why I didn’t think of this earlier, but I’ve now updated the Latest Rules section with a “View Online” option that opens the PDF right in your browser thanks to Google Docs Viewer. I figure this’ll help for people who want to just glance at the rules without having to download them all. But yeah, going forward all future PDF documents (if there are anymore!) will have a similar link.

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