|The Notorious Midnight Riders -- our first |
long playtest that helped shape the game
into what it finally became.
Another group that dislikes this mechanic is people who have never actually played it. Although we've written and re-written it more than once, it just doesn't sound like it will work as well as it does when you just read the words. It seems a bit... odd, or different to them. When they play it, though, most of them join the the people who love the Retaliation Shot because it does a whiz-bang job of fixing the imbalance caused by our chaotic initiative system.
Taking the rifle down a notch or two
|From Bushwhacked in Beaver Creek!|
So, we had to do some things to make it a more balanced weapon. The first thing we did was eliminate the "to hit" bonus at point blank range. The rationale behind this is sound, but most people don't like it: We figure that if you're bringing a rifle right up to a fella with intent to shoot 'em, they will grab the barrel and try to shove it away or dodge it in any way he can. It's a simple idea, but it helps a lot.
The next thing we did was more severe: we made it impossible to draw and fire a two-handed weapon in the same Action. This had a profound effect on the game. Suddenly rifles and shotguns -- still the most powerful death dealers in terms or range and damage, respectively -- were more unwieldy than the nimble Colt revolver or the sneaky Derringer.
This was an amazing change to the game balance, and the point at which we realized -- over the next four or five playtests with the Midnight Riders -- that we were really on to something great! Suddenly the combat was more balanced and players had a reason to think about their weapon choices. Now we could turn our attention onto other issues.