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Tail Feathers» Forums » Rules

Subject: Another Inevitable "First Game/We Really Need a FAQ" Thread rss

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Matt Watkins
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Questions:

1) Does each player get a cheese when they finally pass during the Activation phase? It's not clear what the conditions are for this.

2) If a bird's movement ends outside the battle arena, is it an immediate casualty, or can it perform crossing actions on its way out?

3) It's just possible for Aerijin carrying a figure (movement = 4) to fly around the backside of a tree trunk and land on a branch. Is this a legal move?

4) If I'm reading the rules correctly, cheese can be used for 1) re-rolling cheese dice once if your cheese wheel is full, 2) reviving non-bird/pilot casualties or 3) adding initiative dice. Is that it?

5) Group attack values for small figures are number of small figures plus one, correct? The rules are confusing in how they present this value.

6) Can transported figures attack during their activations while in the air?

7) Can birds and pilots ever become separated?
 
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Matt Watkins
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More:

8) Does the final position of my bird figure base count as part of my flight path? In other words, if my bird's base is touching a mission marker at the end of its movement, can I perform a swoop attack? The rulebook says that "When any part of a flight template is touching...that flight path is considered to be crossing...", but it doesn't make sense that the bird's final position wouldn't be part of the flight path, even though there's not a template there.
 
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Matt Watkins
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Another:

9) A ground figure in a space occupied by enemy characters can only range attack characters in its space. Does the same restriction apply to melee attacks? IOW, can a ground figure in a space with other characters melee attack to an adjacent space?
 
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Matt Watkins
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One more, though I get the impression that this game has been abandoned and I'm shouting into the void:

10) If I collide with a trunk while flying, after receiving two wounds, becoming rattled, and turning 180 degrees away from the truck, is my bird perched or flying?
 
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Matt Watkins
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11) Where do you drop feathers due to wounds received during a death spiral? If you have to drop it on the outside, then you're guaranteed to run into them when you exit the spiral.

12) To verify: when making a ranged attack from a ground space, I measure from the nearest edge of the source space to the nearest edge of the target, which means that I can't shoot across two spaces on the sapling because a line drawn through the nearest corners would pass through the trunk?
 
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Targanth Phelandir
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I've not played for a while. These answers are what I remember and quickly find in the rules.

1) If each player has the same number of units to activate, no player would put a cheese on their cheese wheel. A player that passes only puts a cheese on their cheese wheel the first time they can not activate a unit and someone else can. The last player placing units completes the phase, that player does not pass.

2) There should not be any crossing actions to be done once the bird has left the battle area The bird is an immediate casualty when its movement ends if it is still outside the battle area. Before the movement ends, all other (on the board) actions could be performed.

3) Remember that you are not supposed to 'test' a flight path, you simply choose the flight templates you will use and place them on the map surface in the order that you have already identified (Short, Short, Long). If you did not test the flight path first, but do manage to pull off the maneuver, I would call it legal. A bird may leave the battle area as long as it returns during the same activation.

4) I believe in the base game, yes. A scenario might provide an additional use for cheese for that scenario only.

5) No. While you might have 6 Oakguard figures, you will never activate more than 3 of them. You can choose which 3 to activate, but the remaining figures will not be activated. Your group attack value should be the number activated. The number of dice will be different based on Melee or Ranged attack.

6) No. Transported figures are not 'available' so they can not be activated.

7) No

8) No. The base of the bird is not a template. It has finished moving, it can't swoop after it is done moving.

9) A figure may not attack an enemy figure in another space while there are enemy figures in the same space as the attacker.

10) https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1486997/crashing-tree-t...

11) I don't remember.

12) Correct, you need clear line of sight.


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Matt Watkins
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Targanth wrote:
6) No. Transported figures are not 'available' so they can not be activated.


Yeah, I see that now in the rules, but it seems like this represents a big opportunity for variant rules or unit abilities. Imagine a running battle across bird wings, leaping from bird to bird, falling and being caught, firing arrows the whole while. (Maybe such abilities exist; I haven't read through all of the cards.)

And regarding bird/pilot separation. I'm not how it could happen, but there is an entry in the glossary for Pilotless Bird.

The bird's base not being part of the flight path presents a couple of weird situations:
- If I end movement with my bird base on top of a tree branch, but no part of the path touching it, I can't perch.
- If my bird base is on top of the edge of a mission square at movement end, I can't swoop attack at all, even though I could have next turn if my path was a little bit shorter. It just seems weird to have the bird's path "skip" the inch diameter of its base.

The rule that leaves have to stop movement when they cross a mission space is odd too. It's hard to think of a thematic (or gameplay) justification for this rule, which is jarring in a game that leans so heavily on its theme.

Targanth wrote:
9) A figure may not attack an enemy figure in another space while there are enemy figures in the same space as the attacker.


The rules explicitly state this for ranged attacks, but don't for melee attacks. It would be nice if they did.

Thanks, though for clearing a bunch of that up!
 
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Jonathan Liu
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Nice answers! A few additional clarifications:

5) Are you asking about the group attacks from Intercept/Patrol missions? The attack value is exactly equal to the number of small figures (or 3 if it is a large figure). The 1+ refers to the attack value of each individual figure, e.g. it's possible for a figure to have 0 melee or 0 range attack value and then it doesn't contribute.

7) There is one scenario included in the box with a pilotless bird. You might also decide to create a scenario where the pilot and bird could be separated.

8) This is unofficial unless Jerry gives it his blessing, but I believe the intention is that the base of the bird counts as part of the flight template. Back in playtesting, the end template basically looked identical to the other templates. I suspect that it was changed to a special end template when being finalized to ensure that the bird's base would end up precisely in the right place. In the few cases that this would matter, I would go with logic over the literal reading of the rules.

9) Melee attackers can attack any adjacent figure. They can attack the next space even if there is an enemy figure in their space.

11) Yes, drop the feathers on the outside, over the tail of the bird. IIRC, Jerry urged me to practice dropping the feathers in such a way that my bird would clear them on exit!

12) Again, unofficial, but I'd say go with what makes sense. In playtesting, our rules were to always check range using the base of figures, but near the end that was modified to using the edge of the space because there's natural imprecision in the location of the bases of ground figures. In all cases it made sense to draw the line from the closest point... but I think the scenario you are presenting escaped consideration.

Hope that helps!

Adding a P.S. I definitely wouldn't consider this game abandoned! It has quite a passionate following among the right people. So post questions, game sessions, reviews, whatever! I don't think the game has received the buzz that it deserves, and the more people learn about it, the better it will do. I want to play now myself!
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Targanth Phelandir
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nyphot wrote:
Nice answers! A few additional clarifications:
9) Melee attackers can attack any adjacent figure. They can attack the next space even if there is an enemy figure in their space.

Thanks for double checking my responses. I need to remember this one for myself.
 
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steven smolders
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question 11 ) Not sure but if you go ouit of a death spiral you have to pivit the birds 180 away from each other then you would drop the feathers on the inside.

If you are still in a death spiral you drop then outside.
 
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Matt Watkins
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nyphot wrote:
Adding a P.S. I definitely wouldn't consider this game abandoned! It has quite a passionate following among the right people. So post questions, game sessions, reviews, whatever! I don't think the game has received the buzz that it deserves, and the more people learn about it, the better it will do. I want to play now myself! :)


That's good. I hope there's more developer support in the form of expansions, official FAQ, etc. I really like the game and its mechanics, but it's notable in that even though the game as written is full featured and lots of fun, there's more potential here for even more. I can see the bones of a bunch of exciting scenarios:

1) A cooperative scenario where rats and mice have to put aside their differences and cooperate to recover a secret plans that would doom all of Andor. The plans are carried by dragonfly courier, over the surface of a pond: flying units only, dragonfly controlled by an AI deck, mosquito swarm enemies (feathers that can attack) spawn around the playfield.

2) Following the above, Staborah tries to steal the plans for the rats' nefarious purposes and is pursued by Lilly in a running swashbuckling, arrowing, acrobatic battle across the flying units on the playfield.

3) An obstacle course/race with ranged attackers and leafy moving obstacles.

4) Another capture-the-flag scenario where the branch pieces are place so they form a solid trunk with a circle of branches, and the sapling is a 2nd tier above that accessible only by air.

Etc. I'm pretty sure it wouldn't take too much work to come up with rules for these scenarios, but I have zero art capability. I get that the rulebook provides and expects players to come up with scenarios like this, but there aren't any user-created ones here, and only a couple official ones on the Plaid Hat website. Typically people play board games for a more structured experience; it's hard to think of a game (Mage Knight maybe?) that leans so heavily on user effort to flesh out its world, particularly with as well constrained and thematically integrated a ruleset as Tail Feathers has.
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Jonathan Liu
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Agreed on all counts, and love the scenario ideas.

Unfortunately, we can only speculate at this point why there isn't more official support, but I am sure that if there is a way that Plaid Hat Games can deliver that content to us they will.

I've recently been mulling myself on what it would take to get this game to have the impact that it deserves. It is, after all, a unique take on a flight based miniature system and has consistently high ratings... but our industry has so much stuff going on all the time (and so many other great games) that... well, Tail Feathers has not quite had its moment to shine yet. But I believe that someday it will.
 
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