Monday, August 19, 2019

Gang Warfare Playtest #2 with Smaller Group

City streets are quiet just before the gangs show up to rumble in my second playtest of my Gang Warfare rules
Since I knew we'd only have five of us, this Sunday, I seized the opportunity to try the rules with a four-player game. I wanted to see if the dynamics or play was different with only four, as opposed to six players last time. I also added in the traits for figures, giving all leaders a special trait and three others to be divided among their eight-figure gangs.
The Hilltop Highlanders prowl down the alley past their turf, the Shell gas station
I also shrunk the board down, keeping the 3' depth, but shortening the width to around 4'. I wanted to see how this affected play, as well. All in all, fewer players meant fewer fights breaking out. One gang, the Linden Daos -- who rumbled the most in the last game -- actually never attacked another gang (or was attacked in return). Keith admitted after the game he missed on his victory points that beating up on certain gangs gave him bonus points. So, he completed his special mission, defended his turf, and sent members out to tag nearby buildings.
The Bexley Block Watch keeps an eye on the playground and basketball court
Each gang is given a special mission (+15 victory points if accomplished), turf to defend (where they can lose up to 15 points), bonus points for knocking out other gang members (sliding scale, some gangs being worth more than others to them to represent arch-rivals), points for "tagging" buildings, and negative points for members knocked out.
The Linden Daos emerge stealthily from an alley way, eyeing their objective
The only gang to not accomplish their special mission were the hapless Bexley Block Watch, whose middle aged members once again took it on the chin. They were jumped by both the Hilltop Highlanders and the Japanese schoolgirls. In the end, Brian had only two members still standing. Last time, I made each player's turf they were trying to defend the object of the special mission of another gang. This time I purposely did NOT do that. Each player's special mission required them crossing the center of the board, though, to give them maximum opportunity to mix things up.
Mike S, Keith, and Mike W watch as Brian measures his move, advancing the Bexley Block Watch towards the center
I liked how the traits worked out, though with less fighting in this game, some of the traits (Blackbelt, in particular), did not get used. I will keep mixing in more of them in upcoming games so that I have a good idea of how powerful they are and how many points to cost them out at. I am thinking of dropping the number of gang members per player for larger games to seven instead of eight. Although this game moved along quickly, I want six player and large games to do so, as well.
The leader of the Hilltop Highlanders emerges to see the coast is definitely NOT clear on these mean streets
Only one new building (Stelzer Steel Industries) was added to my urban landscape this game, but there should be more by next game. I have decided that I really like the dark wool felt I use as the base cloth. In photos, it LOOKS like asphalt, I feel. However, I am going to replace the lighter gray felt as concrete. I hope to find styrene at a reasonable cost to create concrete city blocks, and will flock those so that the board has a more three dimensional look.
A three-way rumble breaks out between the Bexley Block Watch, Hilltop Highlanders, and the Japanese Schoolgirls
No major complaints from the players. I think they are enjoying the games. The interaction between gangs is good, as they attack each other when one gets too close in their eagerness to defend their turf. I may even expand gangs' turf next game from one to two buildings/structures.
A menacing line of martial artists - the Linden Daos take up position to guard their turf, remaining surprisingly passive
I hope to do another playtest in September, and maybe even run it on Saturday night at Advance the Colors. Stay tuned for more gang warfare!
Sneaking through the parking lot seemed like a good idea, but brought the Block Watch too close to Hilltop turf!
Keith watches, keeping an eye on Brian's movement of the Bexley Block Watch -- making sure they don't come too close!
For all their posing, the Linden Daos never attacked another player in this game
The rumble between the Block Watch, Highlanders, and Japanese Schoolgirls rages in the street
The Highlanders get ready to break into the diner to steal some grub for tonight's party
The Highlanders did a good job of protecting their turf in this dust up -- the Shell Gas Station
And then, the gangs cleared the streets - was it the sounds of sirens they heard that made them disappear?


  1. You've built up quite a collection of buildings. The dark cloth looks good. I have never been satisfied with the ways I have tried to represent blocks/sidewalks.