That Papo Apatosaurus

Papo-Apatosaurus
What an absolute beast! If I didn’t already own their Brachiosaurus (which I refuse to call anything but a Brontosaurus, in honor the “Bronto Gun” in this game) I’d pick one up. Anyway I know this is late news since he was released over summer in 2015, but sometimes I forget to check the new releases :) I can’t wait to see what Papo will bring in 2016.

2 petawatt laser, aka 2,000,000,000,000kW

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Now that’s a laser! Certainly makes a 100kW Six-Shooter and a 600kW Lever-Action Rifle look like peanuts! I don’t think a dinosaur would walk away from a hit from that thing. All in all pretty neat, even if they can only run it for a picosecond.

Credit: http://www.iflscience.com/technology/world-s-most-powerful-laser-2000-trillion-watts-what-s-it

Battle Report: Pillaging the Old Exxon Station

DC-The-Old-Exxon-Station-0011My life has been pretty busy recently so I haven’t had a chance to sit down and play Dinosaur Cowboys really since the successful release of v2.6. Plus I generally like to take a bit of a break after each release. But a few new additions to the ol’ tabletop motivated me to find the time to sit down and play.
DC-The-Old-Exxon-Station-0007First of all I painted a new mini: Mad Max. If you already read that post you might notice some duplicate pictures here, but you’ll live.
Second of all I finally based my little Exxon gas station signs. And finally I finished spraypainting the ruined building I bought a while back. I also put some paint on my Dodge Challenger model (slightly out of scale) from 7-8 years ago (time goes so fast). Still not fully finished it (as I hate painting vehicles), but close enough to look good on the table.

For some background to the game I thought I’d break the Dinosaur Cowboys history a bit and have a fueled car for one of the posses. Also the gangs would be fighting over a few liters of precious gasoline from a ruined Exxon station.

The Table Setup
Right on the northern border of Texas before the boiling desert wastes of the south is a lone two pump Exxon station, ravaged by time and long forgotten by travellers. Except one, old Crazy Carl (Mad Max), who has heard rumors of the precious black juice to fuel his “Orange Lightning” car. The station is slightly east of Perryton and was expected to be empty. Little did Crazy Carl know but the Guzzoline Expedition from the madness filled and barely habitable town of Amarillo had also set out to search the nearby country roads for precious gasoline.
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As you can see from the table I recreated the rough county road near the Exxon station. I used my new fences and cacti to create the stereotypical Texas feel. I also angled some of the fences and had them run into terrain to make it feel like sand and dirt had broken and mangled the once straight lines. The gas station itself has the skeletal remains of some giant feline beast, plus various crates and craters around the back. I used my half-painted propane tank model as well, which fits in perfectly. The Exxon signs really bring the whole scene to life, and are random purchases from a railroad set.

Objective and Deployment
I’m going to be honest, I meant to use the Capture objective (for the gas station itself, most people inside at the end of 7 turns = victory), but pretty much just did a standard Shoot Out instead, haha. For deployment the closest applicable type was “Corner”, since Crazy Carl’s Roadwarriors would setup along the northwest bend of the road and Guzzoline Expedition somewhat opposite them approaching the T-intersection.

Both posses had $1,500 and 150 IP and 4 traits.

Also the road itself was a “Road” feature, which meant anyone starting their move on it would get +1 Speed. This included Hustle and Charge as well, so you could really go far if you stuck to the pavement.

Posse – Crazy Carl’s Roadwarriors
DC-The-Old-Exxon-Station-0005First off Crazy Carl’s Roadwarriors. I envisioned the posse as a motley crew that Crazy Carl had assembled as he travelled the highways. The main focus would of course be “Orange Lightning”, the Dodge Challenger model I had. I toyed with the idea of some car-specific rules as a one-off, but decided to instead represent the car as a Horned Triceratops dinosaur. Big enough to fit everyone if needed, but bulky and powerful like a car. Crazy Carl got a Breach Gun, since a big shotgun is iconic to Mad Max. Vennie the Quick was a pretty standard midrange fighter with a Carbine in case she wanted to stay in the car and fire it. The Natural got the classic Low Burst Rifle with the Attack – Punishment trait to up the damage when necessary. Hadlock received a single big pistol. All in all a pretty standard v2.6 posse, especially when it came to stats (+1 DEF across the board, RTN of 6 or 7, etc.).
PDF of Crazy Carl’s Roadwarriors posse

Posse – Guzzoline Expedition
DC-The-Old-Exxon-Station-0025The Guzzoline Expedition was supposed to be Neotechnoist led from the extremely hot and crushingly depressing town of Amarillo. In the communal “heat craziness” of that outpost, the town leader decided to send Stefan “Blue” Stu, his best friend Hank Mardukas, and a slow-but-steady Plated dinosaur to scout to the furthest northern tip of Texas in search of gasoline. The town leader wanted the gas to power a generator for his icechest. Clearly the noblest of expeditions.
Along the way Stefan picked up an even more outlandish ally named Gary Gary Gary, who showed up in camp one day and kept saying “You’ll need my shotgun, trust me”. A dark and brooding priest named Father Richard completed the gang.
Stefan Stu would be long range focused with a Lever-Action Rifle and excellent RTN. His friend Hank would use a Blasterbow and be pretty generic. Gary Gary Gary main characteristic is his extreme toughness and Enforcer Shotgun (clearly this would be a “battle of the high end shotguns”). And Father Richard had an old Yannigan Pistol and some motivational words from his sermon days (via the “Get in There!” trait).
PDF of Guzzoline Expedition posse

Turn 1 to 3 – Posses Approach
The first few turns were surprisingly quiet. The posses started so far apart, and aside from Stefan’s Lever-Action Rifle there wasn’t much long range firepower. The Roadwarriors deployed entirely in the car (aka Mounted), mainly for flavor. The Guzzoline Expedition started in a line around their dinosaur, ready to advance up the road.

Both forces started to pull around their respective corners and take up position. Stefan ducked behind the far, far, FAR crates near the T-intersection (which would be a mistake as his 20″ range missed a lot of the initial fighting). Hank hung behind the gas station, while Gary dove right into the building to take up quite a defensive position. Father Richard started across the road to the north side of the battlefield, hoping for a flank for a few back shots.
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Right near the end of the third turn Crazy Carl lived up to his name and gunned it in the Orange Lightning car. Basically he pulled a Dukes of Hazzard maneuver and drove straight towards the gas station. Vennie and The Natural had already shoulder rolled from the speeding vehicle (aka Dismounted) and after the car smashed through the fence Crazy Carl and Hadlock did the same.
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“Those crazy Duke boys are at it again”
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Turn 4 – The Exxon Standoff
DC-The-Old-Exxon-Station-0048This turn opened with The Natural rushing across the road, and with the speed boost reaching a cacti for cover. Vennie swung around the back of the car to try to cover the Exxon station. Meanwhile the Plated dinosaur from the Guzzoline Expedition did a Charge forward to reach Orange Lightning. Dinosaur vs car!
The real issue was around the Exxon station itself. Gary and Hank were able to support each other inside the station, behind the tall walls. Outside Crazy Carl and Hadlock waited. Neither side wanted to make the first move and get shot by the enemy support team. So for now the focus shifted to the dinosaur melee as both sides tried to burn Activations before needing to end the standoff. Like I said in the preliminary comments, this really turned out to be a “battle of the shotguns”. Gary with his Enforcer Shotgun and Crazy Carl with his Breach Gun.
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Eventually one side of the standoff had to move. Hadlock fired at Rodger the Dodger (the Plated dinosaur) and backed up behind the propane tank, which meant the 2vs2 had become a 2vs1. Hank responded by advancing to the cover of a crate and shooting at the orange car. Crazy Carl responded in kind with a bold move to the opposite side of the crate, and a point blank shotgun blast (in fact he used Both Barrels)! Similarly Gary jumped over the Exxon wall, careful to stay out of sight from Vennie, and unloaded into Hadlock (causing him to Flee), but also emptying his gun in the process. Quite a flurry of activity!
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Turn 5 – Crazy Driving
The Roadwarriors were in the nerve wracking situation of giving up the first kill. Hadlock was low on Hitpoints, Fleeing, and about to be gunned down by merciless Gary (after he reloaded). To stop this from happening Orange Lightning did some crazy driving right across the fence and into melee with Gary. The Plated dinosaur did a Snap Attack as the car moved, but the risk was worth it. The car now acted as a mobile wall of cover and a line-of-sight blocking shield for Hadlock. Plus it looked awesome!
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Left on his own the dangerously exposed Plated dinosaur settled for smashing into Vennie, causing her to Flee from the damage.
Across the battlefield the Expedition leader Stefan Stu had erroneously placed himself behind crates, but too far from the action. So he had been Hustling forward each turn trying to get a shot. His chance finally came and he could fire on the wounded Vennie, landing an amazing hit from his Lever-Action Rifle which took her out of action.
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Meanwhile Hadlock ducked behind the car to be safe for a turn. Crazy Carl swung back around the Exxon station and fired into the Plated dinosaur, landing a smashing hit that took the wounded creature out of action.
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Turn 6 – Clearing Room to Room
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Now that Gary was outside the Exxon station, Crazy Carl took the opportunity to hop the wall at the end of the last turn. This put him in a prime position to fire at Hank, if he could get around the corner in time.
Instead Hank activated first, edged to the rusted and crumbling store shelf, and fired around the corner at Crazy Carl. Although hit the damage wasn’t enough to take the Roadwarrior leader out, and swift retribution was lined up at the end of a Breach Gun.
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Across the street Father Richard and The Natural had been engaged in a back-and-forth game of chasing each other around a hill. But Father Richard turned his attention back to the main battle for a moment, aimed at the orange car, and fired again and again, leaving Orange Lightning a smoking ruin (and clearing a lot of the table!). This left Hadlock dangerously exposed, but Gary decided to move back into the Exxon station to take Crazy Carl head on.
He wouldn’t get the chance. Stefan Stu, ineffective for most of the battle, moved across the road to get a clear shot through the front doors of the Exxon station. Luck was with the Expedition leader as his shot hit and killed Crazy Carl.
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Turn 7 – Cleaning up the Streets
At hearing his leader die, Hadlock tried to Flee. But he was right at the edge of the table, so he got Stunned instead. The poor old cowboy stood shocked as Gary climbed out of the ruined Exxon station and fired a flurry of shotgun blasts. After all the fancy maneuvering from the Orange Lightning car, Hadlock still died.
Across the road Stefan could turn his attention to the last survivor of the Roadwarriors: The Natural. The Expedition still had Father Richard (a bit wounded), Stefan (slight graze), and Gary (who would heal back to his full impressive 13 HP thanks to his Large IRP). The situation was grim for the Roadwarriors.
There was a ray of hope as The Natural managed to kill Father Richard after the preacher emptied his gun at him from atop a hill. But the Roadwarriors were still in a 2vs1 situation.
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Turn 8 – The Noose Closes
Although The Natural managed one more shot at Stefan, eventually the noose of Gary and the Expedition leader closed and they shot down the last survivor of the Roadwarriors. Victory to the Guzzoline Expedition! (Also quite a few turns, but that’s mainly because the first 2 or 3 were getting setup around Exxon).
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Conclusion
So the Guzzoline Expedition got what they came for: gas! And Crazy Carl was sent back into the wasteland with a ruined car and beaten allies. The game was a lot of fun, and as usual the ruined building representing the Exxon station worked well, made for a tense standoff, and naturally became a focal point for the conflict.
Initially I had planned a third posse to join the fight, to represent the wild savages roaming the Mad Max world: The Bartertown Slaggers (PDF). My plan was to have them spill out from a basement trap door of the Exxon and just attack the nearest target. This would be especially effective considering how many people were within Charge range of the building. They were definitely built as a v2.6 melee posse, with some fun weapons like the Ion Blaster, Coup Stick, Feudbreaker, etc. But in the end I figured the fight between the Roadwarriors and Expedition was close enough that it didn’t need to be disrupted. Maybe in the future I can do a rematch!

Anyway I hope you enjoyed the game session report! Like I’ve said many times, I’ll always try to get battle reports up, even if I’m not actively working on the rules, or am busy with other projects. Certainly not the same volume or speed as other months, but at least you know you’ll have Dinosaur Cowboys fights to read about!

Mad Max the road warrior – a new painted mini

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Know who’s cool? Mad Max. In case you’ve been living under a rock there was the recent “Mad Max 4” movie Fury Road. Unfortunately no “crazy” Mel Gibson as Max this time, but still quite an adrenaline filled, action packed movie.
But we’ll go back a bit in time to the classic de-facto Mad Max movie of The Road Warrior (some people think it’s the first movie, unbeknown of the first less-apocalyptic movie).

Anyway this mini is the Chronoscope “Rex, Dark Future Hero”, while clearly being Mad Max. I do appreciate the old Games Workshop reference to Dark Future though. But yeah, nice leather jacket, good double barrel shotgun, etc.

For the paint scheme I went back to my roots of flames everywhere. Otherwise fairly standard pants/shirt. I did a nice tattoo on the arm of a curving skeletal snake. I also am really happy with how the base turned out, sort of like the classic Trista miniature from my very first battle report, but with a white passing lane instead of a straight yellow dotted line. I did orange hair perhaps as a reference to an old, old fantasy Paladin character I had named Tunher. Otherwise nice copper shoulderpads, the old blackened shotgun, hand painted black glove, slick gold zippers and copper belt buckles, and you have a great looking mini!

Anyway in case the previous preview image didn’t clue you in, or the background Dodge Challenger model or interior fight, I have a battle report queued up with this new Mad Max figure. So that should be up soon!
UPDATE Read the battle report featuring Mad Max: Pillaging the Old Exxon Station

Euro Truck Simulator 2 – Dinosaur paint pack!

ets2-playingIn case you didn’t know, I really enjoy the computer game Euro Truck Simulator 2. I’ve put over 100 hours in so far, and imagine I’ll keep playing it for years to come. I actually have the full Logitech G27 wheel/pedal/shifter setup. It’s fun to just put on some British radio, hook up fifteen tons of cattle, and drive 2,200km.
Anyway how does this relate to Dinosaur Cowboys? Well, they just released a DLC “paintjob pack” that is dinosaur themed. Gotta like that!

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Pick up the ETS 2 Prehistoric Paint Jobs Pack for ~$2.

Anyway some ACTUAL Dinosaur Cowboys content coming soon, as I alluded to a few days ago with my preview post of the next battle report…

Sneak peek of upcoming battle report…

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Looks like I’ve got myself some guzzoline eh, eh?

Frontiersman – the perfect dino hunter (upcoming Infinity mini)

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This is the upcoming “Frontiersman” mini for the sci-fi skirmish game Infinity. Normally the majority of their figures are pretty anime focused, although I do have one or two I want to buy that would be a good fit for Dinosaur Cowboys. It’s hard to actually find them in stores though. Either way this Frontiersman would make the perfect Duster with his cool Laserbow and sidearm pistol. He could maybe even pull off a tougher Neotechnoist, since the gauntlets could be painted to look fancier. All in all pretty awesome, I like the dynamic pose as he aims for a Terror dinosaur.
These pictures are from this Miniwargaming Youtube video.

Picture: Volcanic Eruption

Volcanic-Eruption
Volcán de Fuego, Guatemala by Andrew Shepard

What I’m Up To: Dungeons & Dragons

MolagrathSo the ol’ website will be a bit quieter these days because I’m running a Dungeons & Dragons campaign called “Servants of Molagrath”. I’m the DM and am also hosting at my house, so my games room is generally dominated by character sheets, paper maps, and a slew of dice. We have SEVEN people playing, which is quite the record, so yeah, lots of prep work and general tabletop exhaustion from that. So the site will be a bit quieter, which is okay since I normally tone things down after doing a release (and v2.6 was just a bit ago). I do have one battle report in mind that I want to play out (Mad Max themed!) but no idea when that would happen.

Anyway I thought I’d share some details on the D&D campaign, for those who are interested. We’re playing 4th edition because it has the best combat balance and variety. Much like our last Edge of the Empire campaign (Star Wars RPG by Fantasy Flight Games) this happens weekly and with a similar core group, I was just able to recruit a few more people to get our numbers up so high. EoTE taught me that this group tends to solve problems in a violent way, and even though they might be “good guys” on paper they really act villainous. So with this D&D campaign we just flat out accepted that, and everyone is playing an evil cultist! They are part of the Cult of the Beetle who worships the banished god and lord of decay Molagrath (imagined like the picture to the right), and each session is more or less sowing chaos across the land. For example they started by raiding and poisoning an oasis (killing a sizable merchant caravan as well), and just recently attacked a Church of Lathander (god of spring/renewal, aka their enemy) to rescue a fellow cultist who was going to be burned at the stake. So yeah, pretty fun and interesting to try this approach.

Until you hear from me again, keep on keepin’ on!
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Antediluvian Miniatures: upcoming dinos and explorers

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I was tipped off to an upcoming line of dinosaur miniatures as well as some cool Victorian-type explorers. Sounds like the sculptor is going to model all the dinosaurs from the old Crystal Palace Exhibit (awesome read by the way).

You can see more here: http://www.antediluvianminiatures.com/

Seems like some unique dinosaurs, and the “extracted bone” base looks like it’d be good as an objective marker. So far the humans look good too, especially the pompous noble with the umbrella who just screams Neotechnoist.

ARK: Survival Evolved (upcoming dino riding computer game)

This game is buzzing on various news sites, and even though it’s not directly related to tabletop gaming I thought I’d mention it because of the possibility of riding dinosaurs! The game is survival multiplayer (what isn’t these days, between RUST and a zillion imitators). I’m tentatively excited about this, since so far computer games with dinosaurs haven’t fared well. The Stomping Land was canceled, the Primal series was just junky, etc.

Anyway you can see the Steam page and official website if you want.

I entered to get a chance at the closed beta, because who knows it could be good. If the game is as slick as the trailer makes it seem (although that’s the point of trailers) I think it could be a real gem.

In some ways I almost think dinosaurs are becoming the new zombies…add them to an otherwise dull game and suddenly it’s cool!
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v2.6 rules release – refine, refine, refine

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Happy release day! I’m happy to report the v2.6 rules are now available for download and The Saloon has been updated accordingly. As I hoped I was able to squeeze the release in right before May starts.

Before I get into the big ol’ changelog, here are the links (of course just downloading from the main rules page works too):

Download the Dinosaur Cowboys v2.6 PDF Rulebook

or the 9-page Quickdraw Rules

So what are the highlights? Well my previous post what will v2.6 have covers the topic quite well, but I’ll repeat here.

Gameplay-Example-2The main focus is weapons. So those players who enjoy equipping their posses, humming and hawing over 6A-2D vs 2A-6D, and having a ton of variety will appreciate that. During development I’ve always had the rule of thumb that ranged weapons have a “top tier” of 9 possible damage, whether this is from 4A-5D, 7A-1D, 3A-6D, etc. and close combat weapons can go up to 10. However some branches or chains of weapons didn’t have a top tier variant. For example the Laserbow in v2.5 maxed out at 1A-6D, similarly the best Pump Shotgun was 3A-4D. This was fine and not really noticeable at the $1,000 posse range, but once you’re into $2k or higher the game boiled down to a whole lot of Lawstar Repeaters (6A-3D).
v2.6 fixes this. Now basically every weapon variant has a top tier equivalent. Do you love the attack pattern of double barrel shotguns? Welcome to the 2A-7D Coach Gun. How about the 1A-8D Laserbow 80 or 3A-6D Settler Defender shotgun? Another big push was to bring the same variety AND consistency to close combat weapons. Attack patterns make more sense, and you can progressively choose a 4A melee weapon right up to the top tier, for example. I also tweaked weapon special abilities. There is now Motivate, which can heal HP (basically the old “Sap” ability reworked and also applied to range weapons).
All in all the weapons are the best they’ve ever been. Think of this v2.6 release as a focus on refining the changes and knowledge gained from the old Battle to Seattle campaign, as well as the many weapons added during that time.

Traits_TotemsAnother big focus is Traits. Some of the Traits have been here since the early RPG versions, more or less, so it was time for a grand rework. Passive Traits now use the highest stage like Active traits, for consistency. Every Trait should be valuable and viable in different situations. Most importantly the “Shot” abilities (like Knee Shot) were renamed and reworked to “Attack”, such as “Attack – Marked” or “Attack – Vital”. Again, consistency!

The Saloon was cleaned up a bit with some nice quality of life features added. Namely weapon special abilities now display their name in the weapon box in addition to the old astericks. Previously you’d know a weapon had an ability, but it was easy to forget which. Now you’ll see “O’Sullivan Sixer*” with “Fan the Hammer” in smaller text in the bottom right. Handy! Brawl weapons can be “bought” now so you can see the stats on your roster, which is nice for people who take the (now awesome) Boxer trait. Speaking of traits previous stages of Active traits will now be “X”ed out, so you can tell you just have one usable version.

I added a section called “Tips for New Players” which gives some ideas and tricks that might not be evident just from reading the rules. Stuff like activating in a certain order, what to do about dinosaurs, etc. Four new sepia photos (featured throughout this post), two new gameplay images, a new Deployment type, a whole bunch of alternative weapon names, etc. Nothing too major, but again refine, refine, refine.

So yeah! It’s been more or less 11 months since the last release, which is just insane for how quickly the time went. All in all I’m happy with the release, and it achieved my main hope for every release: improving the game to be the best it can be. Basically I never want people to think “Oh I liked this old version better”, and hopefully the slew of new weapons, tweaks, and touch ups should ensure that.

Not sure where we’ll go from here. The roadmap hasn’t been as clear since v2.0 to be honest, because in the back of my mind I keep thinking “this is the final release, there isn’t anything else I can tweak”. But somehow I find a bunch to poke and prod. I do want to continue focusing on painting new minis and getting battle reports up here, and really try to resist constantly tweaking the rules like I tend to.

Anyway time for the full changelog, which looks pretty overwhelming, and also might be missing a few changes here and there.

GENERAL CHANGELOG
– Moved version to 2.6
– Added contact email to initial info table
– Finally fixed that annoying overlap of the cloud and text on the title page!
– Compressed table of contents and objects to a single page, and changed page style
– Made table of contents clickable links
– Clarified Cover to be at least 25% obscured, instead of the vague “partially obscured” that was used before
– Added a “Tips for New Players” section (after Standalone Game) with some tips and tricks written in a casual tone
– Changed Armor definitions from flat Defense to +X, to align with possible base Defense from IP
– Defined IRP and STF on Armor/Medical page
– Removed Autosurgeon and Doctor’s Bag, which were Medical Devices to heal Wound/Injuries. Renamed Defibrillator to Autosurgeon as well
– Added a new gameplay image since we had some space on the credits page
– Added a sepia toned Velociraptor amidst the trees image to the Dinosaur Breeds page
– Named Neotechnoist weapon refund aspect of the Allegiance “Wealth” to make it more like a feature
– Changed first History image to a Siberian crater instead of the old volcanic plain
– Updated some minor History text for consistency with what the game world has evolved to (rewriting history to suit the present!)
– Fixed capitalization of “kW” vs “kw” in Quickdraw rules
– Fixed spacing in “Handcannon” in weapons image
– Fixed missing space for Biosteel Lance in weapons chart
– Changed Unbalanced Posse chart to be cumulative instead of “take the highest”
– Added a +2 HP bonus to Leaders when playing the Assassinate objective
– Cleaned up “Yeehaw!” text in various Quick Reference sheets so it doesn’t reference taking a Bravery Test on Leader death
— Added a note under Leader (in creation) and Bravery Tests to note taking a test on Leader death
– Slight clarification on Quick Reference Sheet for “In Close” to be “Attacker/Target” instead of just “Target”
– Also touched up formatting, spacing, and headers of Quick Reference Sheet to closer match Quickdraw version
– Changed “or” for alternative weapons to a slash “/” to match Armor listing. So “Shiv / Shank” instead of “Shiv or Shank”
– Changed any math division (such as Bravery Test formula for Hitpoints) to a proper division (÷) sign instead of the old “/” approach
– Removed the old “Clever Girl” deployment and replaced it with “Diagonal”. Pop culture references are sorta kinda fun, but the deployment was overly complex
– Slight change to “Deep Edge” deployment so the scout is a single unmounted character only, instead of a single entity (since you could technically use your entire posse on a dinosaur as the scout)
– Changed “Delayed” deployment to give a roll bonus per turn for undeployed entities, so that they eventually come on for sure
– Changed hireable Dinosaur list to use XA-YD instead of old X-Y style
– Changed “Scatter” deployment to be a choice, instead of random locations.
– Clarified Push damage to note you only take damage for the distance you actually travelled (ie: no damage if you’re up against a wall)
– Some editing to Game Overview to give it slightly better flow when reading
– Added a sepia wounded image to the Wounds and Injuries table section
– Changed ‘By Air’ travel from 6 passengers to 8 to match dinosaur resizing
– Buffed Lifesaving IRP threshold from < 3 to < 4
– Slight nerf to "Trip" Brawl attack to be 1A-0D instead of 1A-1D to help balance with Boxer trait
– Brawl attacks can now be used against dinosaurs, mounted, etc. Cannot be used as Snap Attack or Charging still.
– Added a sepia image of a fancy house to the end of the Objectives section
– Removed the Wandering/Roving Enemies option from Features
– Clarified Traits so that Active/Passive stages apply the same, so every Passive now has +X/+X instead of cumulative application of successive stages
– Split Traits into two tables with more spacing, instead of jamming it into one. So a table for Active and one for Passive
– Reordered Trait list columns so "Who" is last, to make reading a Trait a bit easier with the Effect immediately apparent
– Added sepia totem image to page containing Passive Trait List table
– Tons of Trait balances, renames, reworks, and stage additions/removals
– Added Dilophosaurus as a possible Raptor type
– Dinosaur change: Horned buffed attack from 6A-1D to 6A-2D. This is because Horned has 2 worse CTN, 1 worse speed, and 2 worse damage (before change) than King in exchange for 6 HP.
– Dinosaur change: Longneck / Titan brought closer together. DEF buffed 2 to 3. DIS from 10 to 9. Longneck CTN from 5 to 4. Titan PSPD from D6-1 to D6 and SPD from 4 to 5. Longneck HP from 35 to 34. Titan HP from 30 to 32. Titan attack to 2A-10D from 1A-15D.

Gameplay-Example-1WEAPONS CHANGELOG
– Buffed Both Barrels special ability to +2 Damage instead of +2 Attacks
– Buffed Lance special ability to do +1 Attack and +1 Damage on Charge
– Changed Illuminate special ability to do -2 Defense instead of half, for simplicity
– Changed Pulled to use a set inches, like Pushed, instead of the distance of the weapon
– Also reworded Explosion, Fireline, Hail of Shots, Lance, Lasso, Open Choke, Opportunity, Pulled special ability for consistency
– Removed Defoliant Grenades, and as a result the “Cover Breaker” special ability
– Changed Retractable Lasso to 0-7 distance and 6″ Pulled, to fit the new approach
– Kaboom Grenades / Bundle of Dynamite range changed to 5-14 so you can’t hit yourself, also size to Small to match other Grenades
– Buffed Glue Grenades from range 2-12 to range 2-13
– Repriced Flux Rifle from $90 to $80 to be inline with basic Light Repeater
– Changed range bands of Specialty Pistol line (Derringer, LeDuce, Handcannon) to be 1-8, 9-11, 12-14 instead of X-7. This helps balance their $10 higher price
– Repriced Derringer from $40 to $50
– Changed Handcannon to 2A-7D (max) and repriced to $160, changed to Projectile
– Added “Yannigan Pistol” (means “war bag”) between LeDuc and Handcannon, at the $90 price
– Added “Big Iron” as a replacement for old Handcannon stats (2A-6D) and $120 price
– Split Derringer, LeDuc, Yannigan, Big Iron, and Handcannon to a “Custom Pistols” section at the top
– Added a “Boot Blade” specialty melee with 1A-3D and Opportunity
– Changed Laserbow 60 to Large size
– Added Laserbow 70 and 80 to finish the line to top tier
– Added 5GJ and 6GJ Pump Shotgun to finish the line to top tier
– Added Crossbow as next tier Dart Gun
– Added Serrated Knife as Machete alternative
– Renamed Axe to Mountain Man Axe
– Renamed Hammer to Sledgehammer and added Spike Driver as alternative
– Added Overcharged Dinoprod as top tier upgrade to Dinoprod
– Swapped Shiv / Shank for Hunting Knife, then swapped Skinning Knife for Hunting Knife
– Added 300kW Twin Rifle to complete the line
– Changed all Twin Rifles to have 5-18 range instead of high end being only 5-17, to compare to Peacemaker
– Added specialty Pepperbox Pistol / Octochambered that is a good single use attack
– Repriced Glue Grenades to $70, Tangle Grenades to $140, Stun Grenades to $170, Riot Grenades to $50
– Changed Stun Grenades range to 2-11
– Added Winterfrost Grenades as an alternative to Glue Grenades
– Added Dustbomb as an alternative to Stun Grenades
– Added Geyser Grenades as an alternative to Tangle Grenades
– Added Hurricane Grenades as an alternative to Riot Grenades
– Added Harmonica, War Horn / Bugle, Battle Drum that have ranged Sap
– Added The Tombstone, a powerful 1A-9D weapon with Armor Piercing and Slowed that is only effective at exactly 12 distance
– Repriced Grenade Launcher to $220
– Repriced Rotary Rifle to $220
– Added Tirador Rifle as top tier scoped, then switched it with Hunting Rifle so Hunting is top tier
– Added Streetsweeper Shotgun and Coach Gun to finish the line
– Changed Auto Shotgun range to 0-5/6-7/8-9, changed Pump Shotgun short to 0-4/5-6/7-11, because otherwise Auto had no advantage over Pump
– Made 4GJ Pump Shotgun size Large
– Changed generic Shotguns to range 0-3/4-5/6-9 (from 4-6/7-9) to balance their lower price
– Changed Sawed Off Shotgun range to 0-4/5-6/7-9 to fit Open Choke
– Added Clark Airgun and Lewis Airgun that have Pushed special
– Changed Riot Grenades to be D6+3″ Pushed instead of D6″
– Added Harpoon Gun and Dinocatcher with Pulled
– Added Totem as alternative to Sonic Gun
– Replaced Flamethrower with Badlands Burner, made Flamethrower a 6A-0D version. Added Wagon Blazer as 7A-0D version. Changed range to 0-9, reload to 1×1, prices
– Added “Cavalry” weapon special ability: Add +1 Damage while mounted.
– Added Carbines to leverage the new Cavalry ability
– Added three new melee weapons to leverage the new Cavalry ability, including renaming Saber for one
– Added Rustler Revolver as Handcannon alternative
– Changed Long Sword to be an alternative to Motor Blade, and replaced Long Sword with Rattlesnake Axe
– Changed Glaive to be an alternative to Cutlass
– Added Horned Axe as alternative to Scythe
– Added Lasher as alternative to Flail
– Renamed “Sap” special to “Motivate”, to better fit with what weapons use it
– Changed Motivate to “On a hit of 2+ total damage the attacker heals 1 HP to self or another ally in 8″.”
– Reworked close Sap weapons to 1A-3D Catalyst, 4A-0D Coup Stick, 5A-0D Tornado
– Reduced price of Lances, to match the fact that they are unusable once dismounted
– Added Howdah Pistol as alternative to Sawed Off Shotgun
– Added Equalizer Shotgun as alternative to Break Action Shotgun
– Renamed Break Action Shotgun to Break-Action Shotgun, to match Lever-Action
– Added “Bow and Arrows” as alternative Throwing Spear

SALOON CHANGELOG
– Updated version to 2.6
– Updated traits, weapons, and dinosaurs to match v2.6 rules
– Added weapon special abilities to beside their name, in the bottom right corner of the cell, so that at a glance players can see what something does beyond the astericks that was used before (and is still present)
– Added Brawl attacks as a buyable option, useful for players who want to track these attacks in their weapon slots
– Similarly added Rope Lasso as a buyable option
– Slight update to Lasso A-D size in the PDF output, so that the numbers are the proper size if set, otherwise smaller for DinoA/DinoD
– Changed old Armor list headers of “Armor Rating” to “Defense” and “MV Penalty” to “SPD Penalty”, whoops
– Also changed Armor Defense listing to “+X” instead of flat “X”
– Updated Passive traits to apply properly using the new approach
– Close store and trait list on posse load, to ensure a fresh state
– Fixed “Clear Sight” passive trait so it properly works with non-standard weapon ranges. For example it won’t change Repeater med from 0-13 to 1-14 anymore
– Automatically ‘X’ Active traits that have previous stages, to help signify that only the highest stage is used

History_Sunken-Crater

You made it this far? Good on you! Onwards to v2.7!

Battle Report: Purge the Hollowwood

I’ve been making v2.6 changes all day, mostly around Traits (which tediously require updating the Trait document, re-pasting it into the core rulebook, then updating and testing the Saloon list, then updating the Quickdraw rules, and updating existing posses including the example ones – what a horrible process but I don’t know how to improve it). So with that said I won’t have a ton of energy to post as many details of my most recent playtest. The game itself was enjoyable, and I think the pictures turned out well. Amazing what a different and unique table setup can do for fun.

Overview
I created two posses that utilize a lot of new features and weapons fresh in v2.6. The terrain setup I used represented an old crater that had filled in with lush jungle. I envisioned some of the trees having a tough wood (that is actually used for Wood Armor) that happens to be poisonous to dinosaurs. Two gangs are contracted by opposite firms to purge out the “bad seeds”. So in other words 5 tree markers and the Demolish objective (with a slight twist of no attacks on the trees from further than 6″, reasoned as the thick bark). The objective factored very little into the game itself though. Otherwise I used a Corner deployment. No turn limit, and the match ended up going to 9 turns as a result.

Posses
Here are the two posses. Don’t worry about the IP/ND not being even, I went for flavor and added things I wouldn’t normally (like one person carrying FOUR types of grenades).

General Williams Brigade (PDF)
Posse picture left to right (excluding the dinosaur): Bellgloan, Malius Blaze, General William, Tom West, Unit 4-15-3
DC-Hollowwood-26-Test-0008Lots of exciting features here. The leader (General William) is built for charging while mounted, pure and simple. Charger trait, Onslaught, and a top tier Plasma Lance. Lovely. Malius Blaze would test out the improved flamethrower weapons, specifically the Badlands Burner. Tom West was a Boxer, which meant his fists were lethal weapons capable of 2A-8D. The mini I used is an old D&D guy, the iconic representation of the 3.0 Fighter. I’d love to get a bare knuckle boxer type mini, if I could find one that isn’t some goofball straight from the ring. I guess I could just file/cut weapons off someone. Bellgloan was pretty basic, just testing the interaction of the high attack Klondike 7000 (or ‘K7K’) with the classic Rapid Fire and Go For the Eyes traits. Unit 4-15-3 has a special place in my heart (and not just because that was the name of my Doctor character in my recent Edge of the Empire campaign). I mentioned way, way back that I really like medics and support characters, so Unit 4-15-3 exemplifies this within the current rules. Quick Hands for an easy heal, Doctor because it’s one of the best designed passive traits, and Get Up for some remote healing. Then a SLEW of IRPs, just a ton. He will also test the Pushed capabilities of the Lewis Airgun. Dinosaur is pretty simple, except I’d be using the smaller Horned model I have for a change of pace.

Le’Dorfs Royal Force (PDF)
Posse picture left to right (excluding the dinosaur): Iara September, Madhat, Richard Le’Dorf, Glargamar, Corporal Luke Mossly (new mini)
DC-Hollowwood-26-Test-0002Lots more to test with these guys. The leader is taking out The Tombstone for a spin, so who knows how that’ll work. The idea is to use it with Clean Shot for a massive attack (basically 1A-11D with Armor Piercing). He also took one of my favorite named guns the O’Sullivan Sixer, the top tier Six-Shooter. Madhat was purely a grenade man and demolitions expert. With the Thrower traits he could reach 21″ with a Bundle of Dynamite…some arm on him! Glargamar would ride the dinosaur most likely and try to Pull targets in with the Dinocatcher. Iara was a pretty standard sniper with a focus on testing the higher end Frontier Twin Rifle and various traits. Corporal Luke Mossly was a similar support character to Unit 4-15-3 but he went with the unique approach of the Motivate weapons and the Lend a Hand trait. And the dinosaur is a T-Rex named Tiny, so that I have an excused to use the Allosaurus model (since I’ve been overusing my Papo T-Rex I feel).

Table and Deployment
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Early Moves
With a lengthier game like this I can’t recall the exact turn by turn details, and I barely took any notes. I’ll highlight some unique or especially exciting parts though. Otherwise just enjoy the pictures!
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Awesome moment pictured below where Madhat put his super long range Bundle of Dynamite to good use. Everyone had just dismounted from the Horned dinosaur and spread out. Unfortunately they didn’t have much beyond a 3″ to 4″ movement, so they were quite clustered. Which meant Madhat could hit the dinosaur AND get the 4″ Explosion effect on everyone. In other words four targets for the price of one. I thought the game was gonna be over so quickly after this happened.
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Closing the Gap
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Nice usage of the Klondike 7000 pictured below. Bellgloan used his traits Rapid Fire (+2 Attacks) and Go For the Eyes (Crit on 10+) for a total of 9A-1D. But his roll was awesome and ended up doing 11 damage. So many bonus Criticals from the trait.
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Blood Around the Big Tree
General William got his chance to fulfill his purpose of Charging (pictured below). While mounted on the Horned dinosaur he reached Glargamar (who was also mounted) with a big Charge right by the central tree. With the usage of Onslaught (+4 Attacks on Charge) and his great Plasma Lance (+1 Attack and +1 Damage on Charge) meant he was hitting for 7A-9D. You can imagine how Glargamar felt as he got one-shot killed.
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Also Unit 4-15-3 got to really shine, even though he had been Stunned thanks to a long distance Dustbomb from Madhat (you can see the marker in the pictures below). The backline of General William’s posse wasn’t looking so great, but the doc turned it around. He used Get Up! (which doesn’t require an action, so he could do that while Stunned) to fix up the nearby Malius Blaze. Then he used Quick Hands on himself, which also got around the Stunned, and with the help of his Lifesaving IRP healed from 3 HP back to full.
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The Lines Push
General Williams did an awesome move forward to get into melee with the clumped backline of Le’Dorf’s Royal Force. Time to Whirlwind…oh yes, what a time it was. He did take a Snap Attack from the King dinosaur, but the trade off was worth it (T-Rex missed anyway). Also Tom West basically punched a T-Rex over and over in a glorious display of martial prowess. Eventually he’d lose the combat, thanks to supporting fire outside the combat (plus a lot of healing of the T-Rex, including a full stage two Get Up!), but it was still an impressive fight.
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At this point the dinosaurs had basically pushed through to the opposite deployment zone. So all the “squishy” shooters in the back were suddenly panicking. One of the funner dinosaur usages I’ve seen in a while.
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Scramble to Survive
Hilariously enough on Turn 7 the leader Richard Le’Dorf actually got to use Clean Shot (normally it’s an early game opener) because the enemy doctor Unit 4-15-3 had healed himself back up to full. Also Madhat had basically burned himself out of grenades at this point, with nearly everything needing a Reload.
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Last Breaths
By this point Le’Dorf Royal Force consisted of Iara and Madhat, or who I commonly refer to as Trista and Khulan. These minis date WAY back to the original Dinosaur Cowboys skirmish tests, like 4 years ago. From the Bounty at Caldwell Lake you can see them fighting together, so it’s neat to have them trying to survive back to back now.
The picture below with the orange D6 rolling a 1 was for the Charge from the Horned dinosaur, which would have wrecked house. The Le’Dorf posse were definitely on their back foot, especially since Madhat had minimum ranges enough that he’d have to resort to unskilled Brawl attacks in melee. So the failed Charge really helped the situation.
Unit 4-15-3 was sustaining himself very well, and actually managed a pretty neat kill. He took a far shot at Iara, who had risked the Snap Attack to leave combat with the Horned dinosaur. Unit 4-15-3 hit on a roll of 12, and left Iara with 1 HP. But the weapon used was the new Lewis Airgun, so the 4″ Pushed actually sent her back into the impassable Horned dinosaur, which triggered the “Push Damage” rule, and she died from that! Basically she splattered against a dinosaur.
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All Done
In the end the General William Brigade posse won the day against Le’Dorf’s Royal Force. The game was really back and forth, and I thought it would be over many times before it actually was. What really demonstrates the back and forth are some of the total Hitpoint tallies I recorded. Unit 4-15-3 ended up going through 12, 5, 3, 12 (Lifesaving IRP), 3, 12 (Large IRP). Similarly the Horned dinosaur went 32, 24, 20, 14, 13, 8 (what a survivor). And finally the King T-Rex went 26, 15, 25 (Get Up! II), 14, 9, 19 (Lend a Hand), 15, 6, 3, -3.


What Did We Learn?
A few things, actually. Doctors are awesome, that’s for sure. I mentioned above the “Doctor” passive trait is one of the better designed ones. The reason I said that is because it’s very powerful but also very situational. It can be completely useless or completely game changing, depending on player skill and strategy. It also helps develop and utilize a more niche aspect of the game (some posses don’t even bother with healing). And it also takes some Neodollar investment to work well. But yeah, lots of fun having a “healer” on the battlefield to sustain everyone.
I also realized it’s time to bite the bullet and rename a lot of the Traits. As I look over the (somewhat overly long) list I notice some duplication. Why are Berserker and Rapid Fire a separate trait, when they both give +2 Attacks (just to different weapon types)? There is some attempt at consistency with Traits named “XYZ Shot”, like Knee Shot, Coward Shot, etc. But what I did now is renamed these to an ACTUALLY consistent “Attack – XYZ”, like Attack – Coward, Attack – Inspire, etc.
Balance seems good, and the new weapons are spot on. I tweaked Motivate a bit so you can heal other allies as well as yourself, to really fit the theme. I added a medium range to Lever-Actions to support their 1 Attack. Just minor stuff like that.

So at this point v2.6 is 95% ready to go. I need to do a final readthrough and edit, otherwise it’s just releasing it, updating the Saloon (and posses), posting info to Boardgamegeek, etc. I might get one or two more playtests in (not sure if I’ll record them here), but like I said before look for the rules before the end of April. Maybe a release next week (from the time of this post) in fact!

After that I want to do a battle report featuring my new painted Mad Max style figure, as well as a gas station, Exxon signs, and a propane tank. So that should be pure fun.

New painted mini – Leonius the War Horn Bearer

This is a new mini I just finished painting this past week. So a bit of backstory. I had bought this figure way, way back (as I did with most minis) as part of a Warhammer Fantasy Dark Elf command group, because I liked the leader (who had a big two handed axe and was holding a severed head). As part of the command group I also got a standard bearer and musician. The musician sat unused in my “to paint” box for years, until recently I noticed him when re-organizing.
As you might have seen in the upcoming v2.6 rules, there is a new weapon added called the War Horn. This is a 1A-3D range weapon with the “Motivate” special ability (basically lifesteal). So for once a mini with a musical instrument was useful (outside of being a Bard in D&D).
The downside was, being Warhammer Fantasy, this mini had a sword. But I easily converted that by chopping off his hand and using an autopistol from my Necromunda parts. The best part is this particular Dark Elf mini is meant to have a reptile skin as a cloak, which is a perfect dinosaur looking skin.
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As you can see the arm conversion turned out quite well, I think. For the paint scheme I went with a traditional dinosaur skin color of green. When it comes to painting I generally do a few washes but very little drybrushing. Those are both painting techniques, with “washing” meaning adding water to a darker color and painting it on, and the watered down paint creeps into all the recesses and crevices of the mini. Drybrushing is using a lighter color than what you’re painting onto, wiping off almost all the paint from the brush, and then lightly stroking the brush over the top to pick out the raised areas. Basically think of washing as adding shadows, and drybrushing as adding highlights.
Anyway I normally prefer rich, basic colors instead of the style of drybrushing. However the dinosaur cloak for this mini was the perfect use case for both techniques, as the scales had lots of recesses between them, and I could also pick out the edges with some drybrushing. So I did a green base, then washed with a teal color, then drybrushed some bright green over that. In the end the cloak looks nice and realistic.
Otherwise a simple reddish pink and gold scheme, with the horn being a natural bone color, and the gun (for once) not having steel/metal coloring and instead just being wood and black. I opted to paint the helmet visor pure black instead of a flesh tone because I find it more menacing to look like a completely shadowed face (think of a cheesy 1990s cartoon villain).
All in all I’m happy with the result.
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Redone rulebook gameplay example art

As part of the upcoming v2.6 rules I ended up doing some re-organization of the table of contents/objects, which cleared up the following page and left me with a big blank spot. To fill that spot I put in a new gameplay image, actually from the recent Mountie Chase of Samurai Jack battle report.
This is the image:
Gameplay-Example-1

The problem is the existing gameplay picture in the “Game Overview” section has a lot of similar features, specifically a T-Rex and the road sections. I didn’t think that reflected very well on the game, to have such duplication, so I recently re-took a gameplay photo to replace the old Game Overview one.
This is the result:
Gameplay-Example-2

I made a concentrated effort to not use any minis or terrain from the Samurai Jack gameplay photo. The downside is I staged the photo, whereas the previous gameplay photos were taken during actual games. Either way I’m happy with the result, and I think showing the green table in the first and desert table in the second is a nice way to break them up.

So anyway v2.6 will get a nice facelift with these new photos. As I mentioned before, you can check out the latest, non-released rules on the Bleeding Edge Dropbox which is synced with my computer.