Saturday, 13 April 2013

Modifications and Tweaks

So we just have a few days left in the Warbirds campaign, and we just breached $4000 (woot!). While all of this amazing fund raising has been going on, we have been playtesting the game and Cait and I are almost done the final re-write before we send the whole thing to our copy-editor to get rehashed one more time. After all the playtesting, the final rewrite is changing things I never thought to change and fine-tuning the game in some very awesome ways. So lets talk about some of these changes.

Thach Weave

That is not a misspelling of thatch. Admiral John S. Thach was an American naval aviator during WWII, and one of the best aerial tacticians in history. The Thach Weave was a defensive tactic that he devised that allowed the aerodynamically inferior F4F Wildcats of the US navy to fend off attacks from Japanese Zeros. It required two wingmen to fly together in a weaving motion that protected both from trailing enemies.

I really wanted to fit the Weave into the Warbirds ruleset, but we already had a mechanic for fighters working together, and it seemed to overcomplicate things. I finally figured it out just a few days ago, and added it to our Advanced Stunt list. This makes it an optional move, but one with huge benefits when employed correctly. The text reads like this:

  • Thach Weave - This is the only stunt that requires a wingman. After dodging enemy fire, the pilot weaves in front of his wingman in order to drag an enemy into the shot. The pilot’s Dogfighting roll counts as a 1 in the next round, but their wingman gets a +3 to the Dogfighting roll. This is an excellent stunt to use when facing a smaller number of highly skilled opponents.

The Skill List

The Rapidfire system has never had a very long skill list. We try to keep it short and simple. For Warbirds, though, we had to change a few things. The first thing was adding the 4 skills for when characters are in their planes. Those were pretty easy and obvious. What was less obvious is what we needed for characters out of their planes. It took a lot of playtesting to see where the skill list fell short, and where we had too much.

For those of you familiar with the ruleset, there will be some differences. First, There are a lot fewer personal combat skills. Everything is covered with just Close Combat, Shooting, and Athletics. We dropped Archery/Throwing, Unarmed Combat and Dodge. We collapsed the skills down so that players would have less to deal with if they want to be good at combat, and still have skill points left over to diversify.We also collapsed all of the science skills (Sciences, Social Sciences, History) down to the single skill "Academics". It makes it easier to be an educated character, and, as above, have a diversified character.

We also added and expanded skills, especially those that deal with social situations. There is now Persuade and Publicity to help characters deal with their adoring fans, and we added Mechanics, of course, so characters can modify their planes. The functions of other skills has changed slightly, all in the service of making the game smoother, faster, and more run. 


There are all sorts of other tweaks and alterations being made to the manuscript, but we are almost finished with the final re-write. I can't cover them all here, but the book is going to be awesome when it's done. 

I am incredibly excited about our campaign, and where things are going. We are creeping ever closer to the $5000 stretch goal, and we just might make it. 

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