Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Tooth and Claw Review

You may recall my post earlier this week on the new VSF hunting rules called "Tooth and Claw" by Chris Peers:
http://pauljamesog.blogspot.com/2007/11/new-prehistoric-animal-hunting-rules.html



Jim at the Lead Adventure forums has posted a review of these rules . He writes:


Here's a quick review of the Tooth and Claw rules, bearing in mind I haven't actually played any games with them yet.

The rules are in glossy colour format throughout although the rulebook is quite slim, more like a magazine supplement in fact. There are 31 pages of text and a large double spread centre section featuring a game in progress. The last couple of pages are adverts for WI, Dee Zee and Copplestone which seems a waste of space.

The contents page on the inside front cover is a welcome addition if you're familiar with Chris Peers rules! There are 10 chapters covering introduction to the game, setting up, crreating characters, sequence of play, positioning of animals, human movement, spotting and shooting, animal attacks, animal statistics and scenrios plus a page of alternative settings at the back.

The rules are written in the usual extended prose 'narrative' style favoured by the author which can make finding specific rule references a bit hit and miss. However, they do read well and are clearly explained, with some nice photos and contemporary drawings to add colour.

The mechanics are very similar (if not virtually identical) to Saurian Safari although there are a few nice touches such as personal traits for characters e.g. nerves of steel, rules for gunbearers, stalk movement, snap shooting and so on. The game sequence follows the familiar rolls for animals to appear, rolls to determine priority of movement, rolls for spotting and shooting plus effects of hits and animal reactions. These are largely the same as Saurian Safari including misfires, reloading etc.

The animals are well covered and include a wide(ish) range of Ice Age / Prehistoric beasties. If you have a look at the DZ miniatures range you won't be surprised to find them all featues in the rules, together with a few additions such as Terror Birds, giant gorilla type things etc. There's plenty of variety and the reaction tables give a nice randomising effect when it comes to their behaviour.

As expected there are a few things missing, most notably a QRF (although I suspect someone will produce one sooner or later).

One thing I noticed was that there are also no rules for terrain affecting movement e.g. snow, swamp, etc or for vehicles of any kind, unlike Saurian Safari.

Overall, a set of rules with some good familiar features which should help speed play but perhaps a little too glossy at the expense of innovation. Worth getting if you haven't tried to play Saurian Safari or as a change from your usual hunting party v. dinosaurs scenarios.

Jim

Thanks very much for the reveiw Jim!


The Lead Adventure thread is located here: http://forum.backofbeyond.de/viewtopic.php?p=35881#35881

EDIT

After this review was posted, I asked Jim :
"It would seem to me that those of us who already own Saurian Safari wouldnt be gettibng much new material, except perhaps for some of the characters' persoanl traits section. Is that about it? "


He said:

I think that if you're after something different then T+C isn't it.

On the other hand, the mechanics of the game are not entirely the same as SS so might provide a clearer and more focussed alternative e.g.the rules for placement of animals seem to be much more detailed withless left up to the umpire to decide.

With regard to the animals themselves the biggest difference from SS is the use or a Priority stat for each creature which determines it's order of movement. I'm not sure but I think this might be a Mammalian Mayhem system?

The other characteristics are Flight (used in the initial positoningof the animals to ensure they aren't too close to hunters), Movement, Strength and Attacks. I'm sure that these could be worked out for theSS dinosaurs and vice versa. Each creature also has it's own notes which determine it's reactions, behaviour etc.

There are some useful rules for the different types of creatures including gore and toss attacks for Jumbos and Rhinos, which could be crossed over into Saurian Safari too. This would add a lot more detailto the game which is either a good or bad thing I guess.

Jim

Thanks again Jim!

1 comment:

Tas said...

Scott Larsen who runs the NAGS website write the following very nice entry in his daily digest today, thanks!

"November 29, 2007 — Tooth and Claw and Thanks

The ever-excellent VSF Blog Yours in a White Wine Sauce has posted a review of Chris Peers’ latest ruleset Tooth and Claw (“Rules for Prehistoric Animal Hunting”) as well as a link to Jim Wright’s Adventures in Jimland, hosted on this very TI website, as well as my Jimland photo album. Many thanks, chaps!"

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