Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Another Charlie Don't Surf Playtest

Last night I inflicted miniatures gaming upon my board gaming group at Myriad Games in Salem. Suffice it to say that they were Very Good Sports and that I completely botched any rules explanations and probably left them mystified.

That being said, what lessons were learned?

Did I mention those people were indeed Very Good Sports as well as being Inhumanly Patient? If you like board games and you're in the Salem, NH area then you should absolutely pay the store a visit.

Renee's ambushing troops accumulate some shock
Secondly, while I feel I'm not unclever, I'm still struggling with the TooFatLardies rules. Charlie Don't Surf is not complex in its' foundation but the basic structure begins to fray when various details are addressed. So, for example, squads and platoons move and fire easily enough. The rules concerning them are intuitive in that once you've moved one squad you know the system. Unfortunately there is a somewhat different system for attack helicopters. And snipers. And antiaircraft fire. And artillery. Not vastly different, but different enough that you need to know them as addition sets of rules.

And then there are the modifiers. I understand the justification for modifying die rolls but there are a Lot of modifiers in Charlie Don't Surf. I ended up just ignoring a lot of them during the game and setting an arbitrary target for success in order to speed the game up and cut down on paper cuts as I flipped through the rules.

Helicopter stand in background
So beyond needing a bit of streamlining the rules are still basically sound and do create a nicely realistic Viet Nam conflict experience. The NVA are outgunned but with snipers and bunkers have the ability to slow and blunt the American advance. They do need to stay mobile. If the Americans can pin the NVA in place that's the end of the battle- and that's very period appropriate.

The terrain was also tweaked a bit and is getting closer to where I want it. I've gone through two bottles of Fray Block as I cut up dozens of tiny rice paddies out of towel material. I'm going to need a few more before I'm done.

Hopefully I'll get one more playtest in before Huzzah. Not with the Myriad folks though, they have done their part!

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