Playtesting is fun

I got my first real playtest of the new skirmish focused changes tonight. It was a BLAST. I played my previously mentioned Drylands United Cattle Company against Kirk Peterson’s Hunting Expedition. I’ll get to that battle report soon, including a ton of pictures and a blow by blow account of the fast playing 6 turns.

Anyways I made a list of some of the issues that cropped up. Below is that list, with a bold asterick besides items I’ve already fixed:

  • Add spot for Special Abilities for weapons on Posse sheet? Currently have to know the weapon or cram it into the name.
  • * Fill out all of RMC chart, since Savage might need to go from 9 to 8.
  • * Fleeing while Mounted (free Dismount, then flee backwards, can still do Action Phase, dinosaur can continue as normal)
  • Remove Movement modifier to hit? How does it work if the enemy hasn’t Activated yet and you shoot him? Also makes it really tough to hit on base 8 RMC
  • * Make melee adjacent only, since 1″ away is tough to judge with some dinosaur models
  • * Clarify dismounting during melee (provokes Snap Attack, again if you move away), aka dismount first before melee!
  • * Clarify face changing during melee doesn’t provoke Snap Attack
  • Roll for initiative / activation for every entity, instead of once per turn?
  • Make winning initiative mean going first and last?
  • Simultaneous action? When killed go face down, but can still act (if haven’t already) and remove at end of turn?

My biggest question that arose from this list is the last point: simultaneous action or not. Currently the game plays un-simultaneously, and I tend to want to keep it that way. What this means is that if you shoot an un-Activated enemy and take them out of action, then that person can’t shoot back or act or anything. Simultaneous would mean if you take someone out of action you put them face down, but they can still Activate (if they haven’t that turn already), and then are “killed” (removed from the table) at the end of the turn.
The reason for this is sometimes the activating order with uneven numbers means two or three people can shoot at a single target before it can shoot back.

My other possible change would be around Initiative and Activation. I found uneven numbers make figuring the Activation order really tedious, especially if someone dies mid-turn and you need to figure it out again. An alternative is a D12 rolloff (similar to initiative) for every single Activation, and this continues until nothing is left to Activate and then the turn is over as normal. Basically whoever wins the rolloff Activates someone. This could mean, with luck, you activate 2 or 3 (or even 4+) people in a row. It also adds an element of chaos and uncertainty to the game, since who knows when you’ll get to go next. I think if I did this way I’d probably go to simultaneous action as well.

I didn’t have the rules printed, but I had them up on the laptop. I didn’t really need to use them though. Having the ranged modifiers table handy would have helped though, since I basically played the game without accounting for Movement (+1 RMC)…but this actually wasn’t a big deal. There was already enough movement going on, but that might have been since Kirk’s Posse was mostly melee oriented. The -1 Damage while in Cover sure was great though, since -1 Damage is a pretty big deal in the grand scheme of things.

So yeah, it’s almost like I need more playtesting :) It’s also almost like I need to eat dinner instead of playing another game, hehe.

(PS: I totally add a Blunderbuss, which is like a hobo Bazooka. 1A-5D-1×1 with Explosion)

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