Saturday, August 18, 2018

Early Pony Wars playtest

Bruce has been kicking around putting together a game loosely based on the old Pony Wars game. The players cooperate against the game system to rescue settlers and thwart bandits in the old west. He put on a playtest using paper counters to see how his updated mechanics worked.

Combat and activation was based on a modified "They might be kings" ruleset (basically Dragon Rampant). He modified NPC play by shrinking the original Pony Wars card deck and adding in some addition colour.

Each turn an event card is drawn (e.g., 3 warbands arrive, bison and bison hunter arrives, landslide) with random placement. Then the NPCs on the board all move (die roll). Then the small number of player units (US 7th Cavalry) moves.

The game is won based upon points. Above, we have a unit persuading the minors to come with the cavalry across the board to the safety of the Fort. Below, the same unit is also grabbing the settlers from an isolated farmstead. The rail workers have also arrived (if they compete their work it is big points) but are being assailed by angry locals.

The cards give rise to lots of funny and/or stressful situations. Below, a wagon train has to get across the board but has been jumped by locals and the wagons have been circled. The cavalry is arriving to save them but, in the meantime, the wagon train has taken casualties.

We also had the usual run of wild dice, including this roll by Bruce. (wow, that was super bad).

Here the Major is bringing two groups of settlers into the fort. Entering the fort heals cavalry injuries. Alas, this did not help much due to some spectacularly bad rolls two turns later.

Here we have a wagon train being pursued through a pass only to run into more locals. The wagon train was not ambushed (a risk of using the pass).

A few turns later, a landslide closed this pass. Future movement would require scaling the hills (slow) or going around).

We also had a smoke signals card come up which made a very bad situation somewhat worse.

Overall, we recorded a loss but had a pretty good time doing it. The various mechanics Bruce has put together worked pretty well and by the halfway point, I stopped using the QRS except for novel units that appeared on the board. Bruce has done a nice job of retreading a very 1970s set of rules.


Rob said...

I tried commenting from iPad but that seems to fail more often than not.
Great game and looked lots of fun! Pony Wars is always a fun game in my experience, my friends usually find a way to leave me in the lurch even though we're supposed to be on the same side! What figures do you intend using, there's lots in 15mm (Hovels, Minifigs, Frei Korps, Old Glory, etc.)?

Bob Barnetson said...

Thanks. Not sure what figures Bruce is considering.