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Deadlands: The Battle for Slaughter Gulch» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Putting the laughter back in Slaughter rss

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Dan Oldenkamp

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DEADLANDS =-= The Battle for Slaughter Gulch =-=

Right from the onslaught of the box art and the title you have this impression that this game is going to rootin' tootin' shootout at the OK Corral "Wild Wild West" style with steampunk and zombies.

For the most part this might be a close description. Slaughter Gulch must be the name of the town and I don't know if Battle really fits what you are trying to accomplish in this game.

This game has a real RPG feel to it. The players play one of six character classes: The Mad Scientist, The Shaman, The Blessed Priest, Texas Ranger, The Huckster, or the Agency. Players get character cards which list traits just like in a Role playing game. Each character has six objective cards which they try to complete to win the game. The players can interact with NPCs to complete their objectives, fight, gamble, purchase items, steal, prospect for ghost rock (currency), preach, arrest, run away, basically a whole slew of of actions easily broken down on each characters unique screen.

The Agency might be trying to arrest bad characters and kill the hanging judge liche while the Huckster might need to learn a new spell or win so much gambling to earn his objective card. Objective cards give immediate rewards that can be used during the game as well as victory points for the end of the game.

A big part of this game is zone control. Each characters starts with 3 identical character minis to control and has the potential of recruiting more to do their factions bidding. There are 12 different locations. Whoever has the most guys in a region controls that area and gets a bonus to certain actions which are easily broken down on every players mini screen.

Each turn event cards are flipped over moving the game with trains bringing new goods and new encounter cards or maybe the graveyard coming to life. The encounter cards are Non-Player characters. Each has an alignment a cool pic and some stats.

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Personally I am a fan of the RPG, Deadlands. I like the idea of the Wild West gone Wizard using playing cards and poker chips instead of DnD dice. That being said, I was not impressed with this game.

Even considering the simplicity of how all the actions are broken down on each screen there is still way to much going on in the game for a game that doesn't cut it as an RPG. This game can't decide whether its trying to be a character building role developing game or a strategic placement point collecting game and it fails at both attempts.

You don't really feel involved with any of the characters even in the off chance of getting supercharged with harrowed undead abilities.

I played this with five other players. Three of whom play Deadlands the RPG and two of whom love in depth strategy themed games. The game took well of two hours even though we were pretty seasoned gamers and towards the end we were all rushing to finish the game. None of the other players really enjoyed the game, but politely said they might someday give it another go. The game has sat on my shelf since then and is now up for trade.

It's a beautiful well themed in depth game without any battles and very little slaughter.

This game is perfect for the potential RPGers with no imagination and without any previous Deadlands experience, but who thought that Will Smith kicked ass in Wild Wild West and are sad that Brisco County Jr was canceled.

To which there are none.
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John Bandettini
United Kingdom
London
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That one not so much
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I have not played the RPG but I do have a lot of the Deadlands CCG, so I was very interested in this game when it came out. I have played it a few times and everyone I have introduced it to has enjoyed it.

The main problem I have with it is the rules. there are just so many things that are not included. Every time I have played it there has been a lot of down time while we tried to figure out things that are just not clear in the rules.

I have not played it lately and the main reason is the problem with the rules.
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CW Lumm
United States
Hampden
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JohnBandettini wrote:
I have not played it lately and the main reason is the problem with the rules.


I just tried this myself for the first time last night, and found it to be awful, even ignoring the ambiguously worded rules.

Having areas where you can send a character to just pump out veeps is silly and unbalancing.

Also, why would you ever bother with your objectives when you can just make camp next to an empty building and go in just before the game ends for 5 VPs each? What interesting in-game behavior do those veeps reward?

Why rob the train when you can just sit around the saloon in pull in an average of 3 VPs per turn, 4 if you're the huckster?

I think this game rewards the most boring possible strategies on the part of the players, and the VP awards are completely out of whack.
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Dan Oldenkamp

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Someone should test run either a more balanced point system or perhaps only counting objective cards towards final points and see how that affects the focus of the game. It would certainly downplay the importance of the mine which seemed to dominate our last play.
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Chris J Davis
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Dimmthewitted wrote:
Someone should test run either a more balanced point system or perhaps only counting objective cards towards final points and see how that affects the focus of the game. It would certainly downplay the importance of the mine which seemed to dominate our last play.


I agree the game would probably be better if objectives were the only things that granted points, with ghost rock as a tie-breaker.
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