d6 Shooters: Dead or Alive – day 1.

Today I begin a game of d6 Shooters: Dead or Alive (the link is to a free pdf). Thanks to Cirsova for finding this for me, because it isn’t on Board Game Geek.

The story is that you are the head of the d6 Shooters, a posse of bounty hunters who have been framed for a crime. You have to find evidence to clear your name, and get to Capital City to present it, in 30 days.

I’d definitely recommend downloading a copy of the game, because it will make a lot more sense if you have it to refer to.

1 6 3   3 3 6 2 3
  5 6 5
  6 2 1
1 6 3   3 3 6 2 1

Rolling for the 6s: 1 6 (1 loss)

February 28, 1873: Had we delayed our journey by another hour, we would all have swung. As it was we rode out of Crowe with the law on our heels. Worse, Jack – ‘Bama’ as everyone called him – was shot and killed. With every man’s hand against us, I have elected to head towards Dotson, for I suppose that we will meet with less danger that way.

Posse: 11
Food: 9
Ammo: 4
Gold: 3
Info: 0

Our current position.

 

Note: Had I gone west I would have gotten 1 gold, but the route looked more dangerous.

Oregon Trail: Week 6, and conclusion.

15 July, 1868: We have arrived in Virginia City at last. My decision to take an alternate route was, I think, vindicated, since we suffered no losses to person or property throughout the journey. At the start of the week we encountered a grizzly bear, but I shot it before it could do any harm. We were also forced to detour due to the danger of rockslides. However we found a safe path fairly quickly.

Stats at the end of the journey:

  • 83 people in the expedition, trail boss not included.
  • 20 wagons.
  • 72 pairs of oxen.
  • Food for the expedition for 14 weeks.
  • Morale is 27.
  • Gros Ventre and Eastern Shoshone are chastised – add 2 to their roll to see what they do.
  • Score was the maximum possible – 300.

Observations on the rules: This is the shortest journey available, and it seems like the journey length has too great an influence on how hard the game is. Perhaps the starting morale, available rations etc should be less for shorter journeys. This might be less of a problem in a game with two or more players, since the ‘race’ factor would encourage you to take risks.

It might also be interesting to have the possibility that getting lost moves you into a new hex (as it does in D&D). This might not be very realistic, but the rules admit that they’ve made the game unrealistic anyway (there are more Indian encounters, and less disease, than were likely to happen in real life, and the rules state that in real life Indians generally only fought in response to overwhelming provocation).

With regard to Indian encounters, I’d also like an option in between combat and being allowed through: they tell you to turn back, giving you the choice of losing MPs or fighting. This might also make a given tribe more hostile to you in future encounters.

A final problem is that you often have to roll several dice in a row, without making any choices. This would be fine in a computer game where the ‘rolls’ are hidden anyway, but it doesn’t work well in a pen-and-paper game.

On the whole, though, it’s a pretty fun game. One thing it has over d6 Shooters is that every decision the player makes is a decision that a trail boss would make. In d6 Shooters the main mechanism is choosing which dice to re-roll, which has no obvious link to any ‘in-game’ decision.

The setup, where you’re an ‘adventurer’-type but you’re responsible for a lot of ‘NPCs’, is more interesting to me than the default D&D scenario where you’re rootless wanderers. It could easily be transferred to a fantasy setting, and in fact I’ve been thinking about a game along these lines set on a sword and planet-style Mars.

EDIT: I also liked that in Oregon Trail, unlike d6 Shooters, you have a ‘character’ with different starting attributes which effect the game.

Oregon Trail: Week 5.

4 July, 1868: The weather has cleared as we continue through the mountains. It has been had hard going, but we have had an uneventful week. Today we celebrated the Fourth in good cheer.

Our present position.

  • 83 people in the expedition, trail boss not included.
  • 20 wagons.
  • 72 pairs of oxen.
  • Food for the expedition for 15 weeks.
  • Morale is 34.
  • Gros Ventre and Eastern Shoshone are chastised – add 2 to their roll to see what they do.

Note: I got two ‘no encounters’ this turn.

Spears of the Dawn – free art.

Sine Nomine Publishing has made all the artwork for their RPG Spears of the Dawn free and public domain. You can get it here (you’ll need to sign up for a free account if you don’t have one).

The game is apparently ‘D&D based on Africa instead of Europe’, and the art reflects that. Fantasy art with black people in it shouldn’t be remarkable, but in my experience it is.

The artwork is mostly black and white, and as you’d expect from a ‘semi-pro’ publisher, ranges from terrible to good.

Oregon Trail: week 4.

25 June, 1868: Terrible rainy weather as we headed west into the mountains. The Indians seem to be more numerous here. Or perhaps they are more hostile, or driven to desperation by hunger. A group that I could not identify, but who I am told are the Gros Ventre, raided our wagon. We defeated them handily, but not before they got away with two week’s rations. No sooner had we crossed the pass than we were raided again, this time by the Eastern Shoshone, normally a friendly tribe. We drove them off also, this time without any loss to our stores.

  • 83 people in the expedition, trail boss not included.
  • 20 wagons.
  • 72 pairs of oxen.
  • Food for the expedition for 16 weeks.
  • Morale is 36.
  • Gros Ventre and Eastern Shoshone are chastised – add 2 to their roll to see what they do.

    Our present position.

Observations on the rules: There are a few places where the name of a town or fort cuts across a mountain side, and it looks like a pass through the mountains. This could have been dealt with by having the towns and forts numbered, with a key at the bottom.