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"Dinosaur Cowboys quickstart rules" Topic

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19th Century
Science Fiction

1,230 hits since 28 Jan 2014
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Thunderman28 Jan 2014 12:23 p.m. PST

I've been working hard the past couple days to distill my 70-page tabletop skirmish game into an under 10-page document, which I am calling the "Quickdraw" rules.
The main cuts were removing long term play sections like campaign rules, posse customization, weapon purchasing, etc.
I ended up with 4 pages of mechanics, 1 reference sheet, and 4 pages of example Posses to play with.

I'd love to get some feedback on what people think of the core rules, general layout, and how the document helps for transitioning to the full rules.

Here is the Quickdraw PDF (2.3mb):
PDF link

And you can grab the full rulebook from:

Example of the game in play:

Thunderman28 Jan 2014 1:47 p.m. PST

Ideally just post back here so we can get a discussion going, or email: dinosaur.cowboys AT

Thunderman28 Jan 2014 3:15 p.m. PST

Great feedback and much appreciated!

I think I'll just reply to some of your points here. Don't know if we want to get in an annotation-reply-with-annotation conversation :)

Q: 2 players?
A: Technically you can play with more, but for the Quickstart I thought I'd keep it simple. The overall idea is to get a basic dip into the game without being thrown in the deep end. Multiplayer games have a couple different rules associated with them.

Q: 28mm scale?
A: Similarly the game caaaaaan be played with a different scale, but again for the Quickstart I wanted to narrow the focus and give the target audience a set idea of what is needed to play. I'm sure anyone who has 15mm or other scales available naturally considers that any game can be upscaled/downscaled.

Q: Terrain mentioned but not listed as a requirement
A: Good point, will change this.

Q: Grammar
A: Yeah, might be some errors around that…always interested to hear fixes though.

Q: Charge action
A: The idea being Charge is it's a risk. A person doesn't HAVE to Charge to enter combat, and can simply walk up and start hitting an enemy. The 2-6" is to say "If you want to get to 2" away but then risk rolling a 1 and not getting to attack at all, that's your choice, with the possible benefit being a bonus attack".
Difficult Terrain is factored into the Charge. I'll clarify that.

Q: "This book"
A: I agree "book" is a bit of an ambitious term for the slimmed down version. I'll change it to "rules".

Q: Weapon damage
A: Intentionally designed to be (total hits + damage), as compared to (total hits * damage). Gives a greater variety to the weapons, which might not be demonstrated in the Quickdraw rules, but is a bit more evident when a person looks at the full equipment list.

Q: 4x1 Reload
A: Would mean you need to roll FOUR 1s to Reload, aka a very reliable weapon that won't Reload that often.

Q: Effect of Fleeing
A: I'm not sure why a person would Flee towards an enemy, unless I'm misunderstanding what you're getting at. The idea is they see a nearby enemy, and try to run away from them, regardless of where the other positioning is.
The special case of running off the table brings up a concern I had with the Quickdraw rules. The idea is to not bog down the player with a lot of exceptions, corner cases, etc. and instead leave that to the full rules.
Similarly I don't mention what to do if two enemies are the exact same distance apart (ie: no "closest") or worry about falling damage or other rare cases.
In the full rules it talks about if a person cannot Flee they are Stunned instead.

Q: Fleeing while mounted
A: The attacks are separate, which is talked about in the next section "Dinosaurs – Attacking a Mount". So yes a rider and mount could be seriously wounded without affecting the performance of the other. Think of mounts like vehicles as compared to dedicated rides that don't function without a rider. Some times people won't even bother mounting up and will just have the dinosaur fight directly, for example.

Q: Dinosaur sizing
A: Mentioned on the actual posse rosters. I'll mention in that section that the size is on the roster though.

Q: Dismounting contradiction
A: Keep in mind the Action and Movement phases are separate. So dismounting uses ALL of the Action phase, but the dismounted person can still move in their Movement phase. The two phases are mentioned under "The Turn", where it talks about how the phases can be taken in either order.
Does that make it clearer?

Q: Active traits
A: I hadn't considered that interpretation. I'll switch to "once per entity", which should be clear enough.

Q: Allegiance superfluous
A: Yeah, not hugely critical to play the game, but I thought a tiny bit of background/fluff would help.

Q: D/N/S/B on roster
A: This is how the Allegiance is defined. I'll add a note in the Allegiance section about that, saying "your Allegiance will be circled on the roster" or some such.

Thanks a lot for taking the time to go through the doc and provide feedback!

Q: Other terms on roster
A: These acronyms are defined at the start of the doc.

Thunderman28 Jan 2014 3:26 p.m. PST

Here is the updated PDF with some clarifications:
PDF link

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