Wednesday, February 6, 2013

36 Days Till GaryCon! What Is A Shootout?

Aces & Eights is one of those games I own but almost never play. I suppose my interest in it is due to the fact that the engine for A&8s was used as the base for HackMaster once the license for the AD&D 1e engine expired. I played in a beta of HackMaster "5th" at GaryCon I, and that piqued my interest in its Wild West predecessor. I especially like the move from a turn-based combat system to a count-based one that had a more dynamic feel to it.

I purchased the softcover version of Aces & Eights at Games Plus a few years back. And right away I found myself in the position of owning a game that no one else played, and therefore had no one else to teach me how to play. Fortunately the game comes with two sets of rules; Basic and Advanced. And it's with the Basic rules that the shootout comes into play.

The Basic Rules of Aces & Eights consists of the simplest things one needs to play the game: an Attack Modifier, a Speed modifier and Hit Points. Those are the only stats one needs for combat outside of weapon range and damage. The Advanced game has more in-depth stats fora typical RPG. But with the Basic Rules comes the opportunity for a "bigger" game as far as number of players goes. And that is where the Shootout comes in.

A Shootout is simply a big ol' gunfight like you would see in an old Western. Since the Basic Rules are all that is needed, character creation takes less than 20 seconds. From there you place your gunfighter on the board and go from there. My game on Friday, "Last Varmint Standing" is an everyone for themselves battle. Your characters move between buildings in the town and attempt to take out everyone else that is playing. And since character creation is so easy, a person that gets taken out and roll up a new character and re-enter the game in no time. The last player standing is declared the winner.

One of the buildings used in the shootout last year

Last year's game (which I will get into Friday) was a lot of fun and had a larger turnout than I expected. And it was really easy to get people who never played before into the game without slowing things down. I'm hoping for a similar turnout this year, and maybe a few more people joining in for a while. In the end, it will be guaranteed to an unpredictable but fun game.

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