Last night at 4TK we played our first couple of games of Cutlass by Black Scorpion . The basic premise of the game is a pirate skirmish game with an ongoing campaign system . Having always enjoyed Mordheim the chance to play something similar but with pirates was not one I could avoid . Alongside the more "normal" human pirates , privateers and Royal Navy the game allows for dwarves, elves, undead and orcs (including a cracking giant) so there is a good range of options to suit everyone .
Our games last night were just a trial of the rules system and we didn't go into the campaign rules as we wanted to get to grip with the basic mechanics first of all . I have to say that the mechanics were quite different from the usual run of the mill stuff but really rather excellent . Now assuming we had got it right (and given the experience of the players , somewhere in the region of 90 years between the 3 of us, I think we did) the first interesting element was the action point system .
Both forces roll for their action points at the start of each turn and the highest scorer becomes the active player , they then spend their points and keeping activating models until the opposing player can interrupt , they decide to pass or they run out of points . Each action point that is spent allows the player to do a single action (move or shoot or fight etc.) with the number of models indicated by the number of remaining action points ie. if a player has 8 action points and spends his first point on a move then he can move 8 models if he then uses an action point to shoot then he can shoot with 7 models and so on .When an opponent finds that he is in a situation to interrupt he must spend an action point but only gets a chance to activate the interrupting model despite the number of remaining action points . This means that the spending of action points in itself is a very tactical decision and can lead to some excellent and difficult choices.
The core combat mechanic was another excellent surprise and very intuitive when shooting fighting and damaging the players dice against each other ( a system similar to one we used in Rezolution ) which keeps all the players in the game all the time . A models stat line is given as a series of dice ranging from D4 to D20 and is effected by various conditions that either raise or lower the dice used according to whether they are beneficial or detrimental , ie. if a model was shooting it would be using its accuracy dice lets say a D8 and its opponent would roll its dexterity dice a D6 for example , the shooters dice would get reduced to a D6 as his target is behind cover and the target may be injured and thus his dice would be reduced to a D4. these dice are then rolled and the defenders is taken away from the attackers and the charts in the book are checked to see the effects . These rolls are open ended so if the highest roll is scored on the dice then another similar dice is rolled and it's score is added to the result . This system is used throughout and makes it very quick to pick up and easy to judge what needs rolling .
All in all we found the system very playable and enjoyable with a sound set of core mechanics that led to some excellent tactical decision making and fast play with plenty of mayhem and unexpected results.
A place to contain all my ramblings , rantings and ridiculous plans mostly hobby related but with a smattering of comment on real life . The hobbies are basically all things gaming this covers a wide scope for me everything from tabletop wargaming through boardgames , card games and roleplaying to Live action role-play and re-enactment ; there may even be a little computer gaming comment.