The Project Continues

So work continues on the project with three major developments in the last few weeks.
1) The Flint and Feather Miniatures are the Figure Spotlight in the current issue of Wargames Illustrated. We are thankful for the support and coverage of this magazine. I have read the article and it gives a great overview of the whole North American period of colonial warfare. It also gives some details about the legendary pre-contact era for which the Flint and Feather miniatures are specifically designed.  The article in Wargames Illustrated written by Neil Smith tells about "...a form of warfare, the raid to take captives and slaves, intensified after European contact, whilst still being waged separately from Europe’s imperialist wars. As tribal casualties mounted, and replacements were desperately needed, a culture of war emerged known as the “mourning wars”. The most successful group to conduct these wars was the Iroquois. The Flint and Feather rules attempts to portray these 'mourning wars' prior to contact with Europeans and in advanced games these early days of European contact. Therefore the basic rules will focus on simply the inter-tribe warfare and keep Europeans out of that context.

2) Howard Whitehouse had a meeting with a gaming group in New Jersey he sometimes plays with and ran a playtest of the Flint and Feather rules with them. Among the group was Sam Mustafa who has some acclaim and experience in miniatures gaming rules. Thanks to Sam for playtesting our rules for us with Howard. Some of the changes to the rules that were discussed and here is the copy that Howard has processed so far:

"Yes, I have been playing around with it and - after feeling that I was simply moving the deck chairs about for a while - ran a playtest with Sam Mustafa, a friend and well regarded game designer, and the group he plays with.

We discussed ways of making the game cleaner and faster for a beginning audience, keeping more detail for 'advanced rules.'

Here's what was discussed with that group:
1) the turn sequence, which as you know, runs action for side A - conditional reaction for side B - action for side A - then reverse, could be much simpler as  A action / B action. This loses a little bit of sophistication because the reaction, being limited, is mostly a pass through firing phase rather than a 'my turn now' phase. However, it makes the close combat part easier, since it doesn't matter  which action it is when the attacker reaches the defender.

I tried this twice, and it worked easily (and would be easier to explain to a newbie). The flip side was that there seems to be less shooting.  One suggestion I have is that, instead of 'shooting while moving' being a -1 to CV, we should assume that is the normal thing, and that standing still gives a +1 to CV as an aimed shot instead.

This also means that putting a group on 'ambush' (or simply 'reaction') status becomes cleaner and maybe more useful. A group is marked as being on reaction on one turn (losing its turn, essentially)  but can then spring in on an opponent's turn, at any time, and take its action. "A begins move, B leaps in to shoot as A comes into the clearing, B finishes turn".
2) It was agreed that close combat has too many steps to reach the result.  What was suggested was that we alter the cards to read, frex, +2 instead of 3/1 (etc) and add that to the CV, plus the existing modifiers, and have each side ADD a die roll to the score. 
3) I think we've all decided that spotting/visibility rules are hard to do in a game where giant humans can see the whole board. We'd talked about just saying that vision inside the woods is 24" and that the edge of the woods is a thick patch (maybe D6" thick at any point?) Have special rules for being hidden in the scenarios rather than as general rules? No decision on changing this though, maybe just find a new system.

4) Activation:
We've discussed using the cards for more than just the close combat. We could put activation along the top of a card - say three feather symbols for all groups, two for 'any with a leader' and one for 'one group only'. In practice, the middle column of the activation table is used 90% of the time, so we could lose the other two.

We could also divorce the 'medicine roll' from that.
You'd mentioned having a deck of medicine cards rather than rolls. The charts are clunky, and I'd prefer the deck if we could do that. It would be more flexible, and we could also put things like 'wounded may recover'  / 'wounded my get worse' in there.
5) Movement: Let's just clarify that as, essentially -

Fast (running or downstream in a canoe) 2D6. No shooting at all.
Standard (walking  / canoe across lake etc) higher of 2 D6
Slow (portaging / women and children / stupid white people in the woods) lower of 2 D6

Half speed on rough terrain (rocks/steep slopes/across streams/thickets - define prior to game). Can 'run' in a scrambly way."

Medicine Roll Deck planned for the Kickstarter as a Stretch Goal
Campaign Deck planned to go with Campaign Rules
3) Bob Murch gave me an update on the sculpting of the new Flint and Feather Miniatures. The two basic sets of fifteen miniatures each of the Huron and Iroquois are complete. These include some of the figures that are already for sale at He also has some open handed miniatures that will be more pose-able and provide options to gamers for how their miniatures look. These figures are slated to be Stretch Goals for the Kickstarter. It is these figures that will possibly get a sprue of muskets to use as musket armed troops. The Canoes are complete and the paddlers underway. Several civillians, old men, children and women have been completed in various poses. So Bob is undertaking to work on the Spirit creatures while completing paddlers and civilians this month and into February. So from that update we are tentatively planning an end of February date for the Kickstarter to begin. This is good news for the project. So here are some images that we will use in the KS to perk your interest level.

 We are playtesting this weekend and Howard is doing some playtesting this week so we should have some things decided on the combat system in the next couple of weeks.


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