SLDWeb Masters Note: This is purely before the fact information. Many, if not ALL of the Doomtown: RangeWars disks and mechanics discussed below have been changed completely since our initial playtest. It is place here solely for the interest of those who are interested...
DATE: Tuesday, May 16th, 2000
TO: Darrell Hardy < email@example.com
Production Manager at Fantasy Flight Games
FROM: Salt Lake DiskWarriors ( James Hunt - Mike Bialecki - Cooper Cazedessus - Dan Morath)
RE: SLDW's Feedback & Playtest (Doomtown: RangeWars)
We found a few of these, thought you wouldn't mind the head's up. Page 2 under Settin' up #3. "Build the Town" 1st sentence should read 'The point of the "Doomtown" scenario is to take over the town...' Page 3 under Settin' up #4 "Place your Homes" #1 should read "1. No Home may be placed less than 12" from another Home." Page 3 under Settin' up #5 "Round up your gang" 2nd Paragraph titled 'Outfit', 3rd sentence "Some dudes belong to no Outfit..." I'm sure there are more, but those are just the ones we quickly found. Now, on to the critique!
We are assuming that the final disks will look quite different from the mock-up disks that we got in the PDF file, but we thought we should comment on them anyway. The symbol for the pistol looks like a semi-automatic rather than a revolver. Change the icon to a revolver. The colors of the silver bullets and brass bullets are far to similar at the moment. Make them distinct and easily recognizable. I personally find the red being used for the influence number too pinkish. Maybe a more pure red. Make the production icon on the deeds (buildings) and the ghost rock cost on the dudes the same color. Make sure to distinguish the 9s from the 6s on the cards.
- Under Gettin' started it says that one needs a deed for every 5 dudes, but under Doomtown scenario it is 1 building for every 6 dudes. This would seem to be a discrepancy. Also, what is the point of calling the building/terrain pieces deeds? It would just seem to add a level of confusion. (Besides for the flavor of the wild west game setting.)
- For simplicity sake, perhaps make the "cards" (Ace-King) more like cards, i.e. square, instead of disk shaped. It would just seem to confuse new players when you say put your cards down, and they are actually disks.
- Have bullets that count for 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 bullets worth. It gets to be a pain and very cumbersome when you have 5 bullet counters on some tough hombre and you try to move him around.
- Mention something in the rules about keeping track of bullets on disks while moving them. More than once, a player forgot to put the bullets back on a disk after moving that disk, then had to try and remember how many the disk had.
- Clarify the setting up of the town/deeds. It says that only 1 unique building may be placed, and if someone picks a second unique, they can't place it. Explicitly say, then, whether or not the 2nd person can grab a new building. We know its a different phase in the setup, but it could come up.
- We found a problem in the setup rules in that in a 3 player game, the person setting up the last home can pinch that player's home between the two other players. It just puts that player at a strategic disadvantage for the remainder of the game.
- Under "Rounding up your gang" clarify whether dudes from different factions can be together. Or can you only include drifters in an army along with your factioned troops? Also, it would not make sense for there to be a Law-Dog and a wanted in the same gang. We would suggest that you make those two types of disks mutually exclusive to one-another.
- Clarify that, unlike in DiskWars, damage carries over from turn-to-turn. Also, along those lines, add a "pick-up" phase or something like that for a concrete time to recycle hexes (spells) etc. Also, are some of the spell effects permanent? If not, then say that spells are always taken off during the "pick-up" phase.
- Clarify that spell damage stays on a dude like normal damage
- Have an example where in a disk's shootin' is reduced to zero by moving, firing into a building, maybe at a sneaky target, just so people understand that the number of bullets a disk tosses can be reduced to zero.
- Under definitions, maybe include things like "Arcane" etc. so that it is a total reference guide.
- Maybe have an example illustrating that it is not possible to quickdraw with a derringer. (Guarantee questions on this if you don't.)
- We thought you should change the 'Unearthly' attribute to 'Harrowed' to be consistent with the Deadlands RPG
- Clarify Vigor and bullets. Does a dude with Vigor 3 but 1 bullet count now as having a Vigor 2? This is an important concept because some disks have special abilities which may affect low vigor dudes.
- We thought you might want to clarify the Ace-King booting as phases, so there is the king phase, all the way to the Ace phase
- Clarify whether a disk inside a building may brawl/attack a disk outside the building. Essentially the same example as you have on page 5 regarding moving, but with disk D *ON TOP* of disk E
- Can a disk take more bullets on itself than it has actual vigor? See bellow regarding heavy rifle
DISKS & BALANCE
Finally, we have a couple qualms regarding the disks themselves and balance:
The Heavy Rifle for the Confederates, no one uses a weapon that annihilates them 50% of the time. Also, clarify whether the bullets can all be placed upon the rifle man, or can one only put bullets on him up to his vigor, and then have to move on down the line?
Sniper and clock tower, at first it would seem that here is an irresistible force vs. an immovable object? We think the clock tower takes precedence so that the sniper may not fire into buildings while in the clock tower, but a clarification would be nice.
Do you have any type of formula for figuring out ghost rock cost? It seems a little flippant like in the 1st expansion of DiskWars. Definitely influence is a huge deal, as is the amount of bullets/silver bullets and toughness. Brawling is good too. At any rate, the cost is a little bit different than DiskWars, however, in that you have armies in this game of the exact same size, and their cost just determines how hard it is to get them in.
Perhaps give homes some victory value, so that one cannot just abandon the home after one has all of the gang out in play. PS The Gatling Gun is a nice disk, well balanced.
Okay, I think that is all for now. If you want we can give you more feedback after this weekend when we demo it at CONduit 10.