Encounter Overview and Posses
Well the four player game yesterday went really well and was tons of fun. I had previously shown the table layout, but it looked even more prehistoric once my friend brought over some extra jungle trees. This was using the v1.2 rules (especially the dinosaur changes) and we played from 8:30pm or so until 10:45pm, mainly thanks to the usual socializing and time spent considering moves.
Everyone chose Posses and we rolled for setup position. The Posses involved were Hope’s Wardens in the top left, The Death Snakes (but with a Terror instead of a King) in the top right by the cabin, Drylands United Cattle Company (but with a Ripper instead of a Runner) in the bottom left (played by me), and Tribe of the Blood Pact in the bottom right. We all setup within 4″ of our deploy location, and the locations were evenly spaced from each other.
The two objectives were a Laser Tower (middle left) with 5A-1D and a max range of 19″, and a Cannon (middle right) with 1A-5D 2″ Explosion and a min range of 4″ and max range of 14″. Whoever had the most characters (dinosaurs didn’t count) within 6″ of either weapon could fire it as their Action Phase. Multiple people could fire it, and if the number of characters was tied both teams could fire it. The Cannon ended up getting a ton of use (but not a ton of hits…) whereas the left side mostly had better equipped characters shooting at each other. Also whoever “captured” more objectives would technically win the game by the end. Really though the weapons were placed to try to stop people from hunkering down and avoiding combat.
Anyways the Drylands Posse split their forces with their dinosaur and Dallas going left, and Quidel and Trista going right. Hope’s Warden kept Glowstar with his Autoshotgun mounted on their Ducky dinosaur and they flanked to meet Drylands dinosaur, while the other members edged towards the gun. The Death Snakes held back their sniper Ice and sent everyone else forward, tending to shoot the Cannon more than their actual guns. Their dinosaur got into melee combat early on with Tribe of the Blood Pact. Speaking of the Tribe of the Blood Pact posse they focused mostly on the Death Snakes, except for sending their Pike armed Illit’taex member left to meet up with the Spear armed Quidel in a fight to the death.
Eventually the Hope’s Wardens player had to head home a bit early (after killing the Drylands dinosaur and losing one of their own number). So we just removed their forces. Then the game became more of a “pick on Tribe of the Blood Pact’s freaking brutal Armored dinosaur”. Basically just pouring fire from Ice and Trista into the Armored dinosaur until it dropped dead.
After Tribe of the Blood Pact was eliminated we called the game. Quidel for Drylands was technically the closest to the turret, but The Death Snakes might have had Drylands if the fight went on. They hadn’t been hurt at all (besides losing their dinosaur) and were in pretty good shape still. Trista and Dallas for Drylands were fine, but Quidel was down to 2 HP so it likely would have ended as a 3vs2 fight, and perhaps eventual victory for The Death Snakes.
The game was lots of fun and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. The rotating activation still worked well with 4 players, as did the bonus +4 HP (+2 HP per player beyond two) since it meant characters could actually reach combat and fight a bit.
The Question of the “Armored” Dinosaur
So as with the last battle using the Armored dinosaur, the feeling came up of “Is 4 AR too powerful?”. There were two characters in the whole match with RMC 6, and even then it was base 10+ to hit. Throw on In Melee and Moved penalties and you’re needing 12s to hit. On top of that the Armored dinosaur was the Feral Breed so his HP was at +2, with an additional +4 for the four player game. But even with all of that the dinosaur wasn’t smashingly effective. Sure the 3A-3D attack hurt a bit and it locked down a few people in melee, but not any more so than the Terror (or even the Ducky).
As it stands (with v1.2) the Armored statistics have been nerfed and look like:
Armored (Large Herbivore): MV 3, PMV D4, AR 4, MMC 7, DIS 5, HP 22, 3A-3D, $500
I want to avoid the Armored being the best and only choice for the $500 dinosaurs, and at the same time I don’t want to nerf it so badly that no one will ever use it. As a ponderously slow tank it is terrific, since it draws (and survives) a lot of fire, slowly wanders around the field, and generally just distracts the enemy from the rest of your team.
But at the same time it’s a bit…dull to fight against? Missing with most of your shots is terribly annoying and frustrating, and moods rapidly change from “Wow he’s a tough one!” to “Ugh won’t he just die already?”.
If I drop the DIS from 5 to 4 the dinosaur is basically stuck going D4″ an Activation because it will be fairly easy to Panic. I could raise the price slightly, especially when you consider an AR 4 suit for humans is $500 on it’s own. I might end up doing that, and also creating or changing a carnivore dinosaur to be in the $600 range as well.
Anyways that was the only real question to come out of the game. That and trying to indicate special abilities of a weapon somewhere on the Posse roster. I might just put a star (*) beside weapons that do something cool, and then that will hint to players to check the rulebook for what feature it has. I had thought about adding a “Special Ability” column to the weapon statline, but there really isn’t space (plus I don’t want to touch the sheet after this much time).