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Review: Dracula's America- Osprey Games  [RSS] Share on facebook Share on Twitter Submit to Reddit
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Made in us
Napoleonics Obsesser




MN

A long time ago, I started some preliminary work on a Weird Wild West game. It never really came to fruition, and instead the core mechanics morphed into something else entirely. Eventually, the mechanics did make it into a game called Turf War. However, the itch of Weird Wild West was still sitting there in the back of my mind.



Then, along comes Osprey Games with this game. Dracula's America: Shadows of the West. I wanted my wild west game to take a more Mythos approach similar to Strange Aeons, but after reading those rules I know I couldn't out Mythos them. So, then I started to think about other "Horror Tropes" to use. Dracula's America clearly settled on applying Gothic overtones and North American themed genre tropes to the Wild West. Good choice!

It took a bit of time, but I eventually picked up all the books. Sadly, I have not had a chance to read them or review them.... until now! There was always some other work just taking a bit of priority over them. Now, with the Pandemic of 2020 going on, it seems like the perfect time to break out these rules and settle in for a read.

Let's open the casket and see what is moldering in side shall we?


https://bloodandspectacles.blogspot.com/2020/04/review-draculas-america-osprey-games.html

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Made in us
Fixture of Dakka





West Michigan, deep in Whitebread, USA

Dracula's America is super fun! I am using Wild West Exodus figures for my warbands, in a slightly more steampunk setting (mostly visually).

I wanted something to revitalize my floundering muse lately, so I decided to get into a game completely out of my comfort zone of the usual Scifi and Fantasy skirmish. I found some really cool and cheap paper Wild West models on Amazon to fill the table with.



"By this point I'm convinced 100% that every single race in the 40k universe have somehow tapped into the ork ability to just have their tech work because they think it should."  
   
Made in us
[MOD]
Street Judge






RVA

Thanks for your thoughts, per usual. I’m sorry I missed this when you first posted. As a few months have gone by now, how are you feeling about write ups on the supplements?

For my part, I have been back and forth on whether to purchase Dracula’s America since the core book first came out. A big part of this dithering is a result of dithering about the Old/Wild West genre in general. By contrast, I love the Horror genre and probably especially the Gothic Horror subgenre. As a teen, I really enjoyed Kim Newman’s Anno Dracula — in which Dracula not only beat out Van Helsing but also marries Queen Victoria! If anything, I like the idea of Dracula toppling Lincoln even better. Of course, that’s not particularly germane to how the game actually works. But I actually really like how the game works and its solid campaign system. So it’s only a matter of time before I finally stop putting it off and just buy the dang books.

In terms of responding to your thoughts: I think the standard two actions per single figure activation mechanic is super solid but I do agree with you about liking how you can split the actions across multiple figures in this game. Elegant indeed! Unlike you, I do like the bidding mechanic for initiative. I have to point out that the game DOES have an alternating activation system: each bid is for a round of activations, with the winning player going first and the loser going second, before the next bid. If you lose a bid and then win a bid then you get two activations in a row, which can be really significant. Using cards rather than dice here works out to knowing all your “dice results” in advance, so to speak, but not knowing your opponents’. To me, this creates enough of a feeling of control to be exciting.This goes back to our aesthetics from dynamics from mechanics conversation last week.

So then we come to premeasuring. I was all set to really dig my heels in on this one for a full barrage on your “old-fashioned and minority opinion.” Certainly, I don’t agree with the technological justification you offer. Characters highly skilled in the use of firearms don’t require anything but their experience to accurately gauge distances, regardless of whether the players controlling them have ever even held a gun. But playing another Old/Wild West game of late has made me think about it from another angle. That game is Gunfighters’ Ball and it is pretty wacky and a huge load of fun, if you’re thinking about it in the appropriate mode:the first bullet fired in a game can as easily kill your best gunfighter flat-out as harmlessly bouncing off of that flask the happened to tuck in his vest pocket. In that kind of game, where the wackiness really drives the action, I think pre-measuring can be safely kicked to the curb. In that “mood” of gaming, the figures shoot first and ask how hard the shot is later. That said, I think allowing pre-measuring is probably appropriate to the “mood” of Dracula’s America, which seems to want to be played as a campaign more so than a one-off/pick up affair.

   
Made in us
Napoleonics Obsesser




MN

I try to be very upfront about my bias in mechanics/style because I have no idea what other people like to play. Therefore, if my review is to have any value i better be upfront about the way "I"
like to do things and the things that "I" am looking for.

As for the supplements, it might be a while as I have a lot on my plate for a bit..... They mostly seem to expand on some rules for different "western" locations and add some more warbands and other assorted add-ons.

Do you like Free Wargames?
http://bloodandspectacles.blogspot.com/ 
   
Made in us
Lesser Daemon of Chaos






Thanks for sharing! I'd love to get into Western skirmish games, it's an itch I've had for a long time. Unfortunately I'm not terribly into steampunk or the grim-dark fairy tale Malifaux aesthetic, so there haven't been a lot of viable options. This looks like it might be worth picking up! I ended up reading a few other articles on yer blog as well, thanks for sharing.

6681 points of
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Have any retro, vintage, or out of print models? Show them off here! 
   
Made in us
Napoleonics Obsesser




MN

Thanks! Love your username!

Do you like Free Wargames?
http://bloodandspectacles.blogspot.com/ 
   
Made in us
Fixture of Dakka





West Michigan, deep in Whitebread, USA

I have been playing Draculas America and love it! I use minis from Wild West Exodus (both plastics and resins).



"By this point I'm convinced 100% that every single race in the 40k universe have somehow tapped into the ork ability to just have their tech work because they think it should."  
   
Made in si
Steady Stonecleaver







This game is on my to-do list for mid 2021 (I have a goal now of 3d printing a full table of terrain for a new genre every 3-4 months and running a campaign on it while working on the next table). The table&game before it will be This is Not a Test, and after it Zone Raiders, for anyone wondering. Curse you, Ash Barker, curse youuuuu

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2020/07/26 20:02:55


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Made in us
Lesser Daemon of Chaos






So I just played a test game of it yesterday with my brother and I ended up really enjoying it. No supernatural rules, just two Advanced Creation gangs ($100 each). I liked the action economy of the activations. It's really tempting to bullrush up with your best shot but when they get taken down most of the rest of the gang is too far behind the board to be able to do much damage.

I thought gambling for initiative was lots of fun, but doing it after every activation slowed things down a bit. In the rulebook they describe matches between three or four players, where that would be less intrusive. One possible solution for two players would be to draw as many cards as there are turns, determine initiative by playing one card each at the top of the round, and then keep that initiative order until all models are activated (each turn activating one model twice or two models once). Not perfect tho - b/c then you'd have slightly more activations. Hm, gotta think that one through a bit.

But it felt like a shootout. Lots of fun, some good bushwacking and backshooting.

6681 points of
My painting log is full of snakes
Have any retro, vintage, or out of print models? Show them off here! 
   
 
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