Thursday, 21 March 2013

Quick Playtest Report

Click for full size!
I tried slapping together the photos I took during last night's game in Comic life on my iPad. I now see that it screwed up the layer sorting on export and I should have proof read it... Whoops.

The game is at a bit of a crossroads right now, unsurprisingly. I'm happy with the dice mechanics, the build system, the stunt system, the wound chit draw... It's the random turn sequence that is a bit off.

The idea is directly from "Sacre Bleau!" with a dice for control replacing the "descisive moment" in the original.
It works well to create a suspenseful and chaotic atmosphere, but sometimes if you get a long string of the same roll (eg: the enemy gets 3 or so firing phases in a row where it cant see anything so can't fire) it ruins the "what's going to happen next?" feeling somewhat.

I have a couple of solutions in mind. The first one goes like this:
There is a set of counters in a cup, 1 of each of the following:

Player moves
Enemy moves
Player shoots
Enemy shoots
Exchange of fire (both sides shoot simultaneously)
Moment of Fate (each side rolls a d6 -dead crewmembers, winner chooses the phase)

Draw a chit to see what phase it is. Resolve the phase, then place the chit to the side until eithr all chits have been drawn, or the Moment of fate is resolved, in which case all chits go back in the cup.
This would mean a turn with an unpredictable order, but one less likely to keep repeating the same phase too many times in a row. I have some nice wooden counters in mind to use.

The second solution is a much more radical change, but might be a better solo experience.

Make a set of 6 sided dice (or use a chart, I like making dice) with the following faces:

Move
Move
Shoot 
Shoot
Wild
Un-tap a stunt

The game is igo-ugo. On the player turn, take a number of d6 equal to the number of your force's figures on the table. Roll them and then choose 1 die result to assign to eqch of your figures.
On the Enemy turn simply roll a single die for each one to see what it does.

This is kind of cool bcause it gives you random, semi-limited control, but also gives you some choices about how to spend your dice. Also enemy behaviour is pretty straightforward, yet quite unpredictable too.

I havent tried either method yet, anybody tried something similar?



12 comments:

  1. This is the 1st addition of a comic I've ever owned (Except for "Groo the Wanderer"). Clever way by a cleaver guy to demonstrate visually the effect of dice rolls on game characters and scenario development. Super neat stuff, Jacker.

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    1. Thanks Jay, and Im a Groo fan as well! The main advantage is that its all done on the iPad, from shooting to posting. The disadvantage is the iPad is a but clumsy for this sort of layout...

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  2. That comic book report is great. Might be a good way to write the rules. Just play the game and explain the rules along the way. Great work I am very impressed.

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    1. Thanks! Im fixed on the pocketmod format for the rules, but this would be a nice way to do the examples of play and expanded explanations. Good idea!

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  3. The comic book is a great idea, and it is a very nice post!
    Phil.

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    1. Thanks Phil, hopefully thye next one will have less mistakes ;)

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  4. I like the second idea - at least for the player figures (dice assigned by player). For the opponent, an individual die would have to be rolled for each figure instead of a pool. Maybe replace the wild with a combination "Move and Shoot," giving the opponent an option that player figures simply won't have?

    Also, should "shoot" be replaced with "attack," to represent ranged combat and hand-to-hand?

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    1. Great idea about the superior action for the AI... I was going with a pre-programmed choice based on figure classification.

      Close combat takes place at the end of any move phase, which neatly removes the need for a separate behaviour :)

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  5. I like unpredictable, particularly in solo play, so the latter option probably has my vote. I too like the comic book presentation!

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    1. Cheers GR, Im hoping to get another playtest session in asap!

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  6. Very cool ideas. I like the idea of dice / random action for the AI, though I am not a big fan of IGO/UGO at the moment. I have been playing a fair bit of Bolt Action that has both players place their (different coloured) dice in a cup, drawing them and allocating to a figure.
    I recently played a game with your Gut Check rules, where I marked some order counters as "mine" and drew them randomly, choosing the action when it was my turn, and applying the order counter when it was the opponent's turn. It worked very well.
    Keep up the good work!

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    1. I also prefer an alternating or random activation, but I dislike remembering who has done what. I think this is where TRWNN really shined. The problem was I didn't want to make a custom activation deck every game.
      Igo ugo is helpful in solo situations, because it's easier to manage on your own.

      I like your orders idea, I may have to look at using that too. So glad you had fun with gut check!

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