Wild West Exodus: A chat by Parker

   Ahoy-hoy gentle readers, or should i say yeehar-har? No, I should never say that, probably no-one should. It’s hot at the mo, a dusty breeze drifts by bringing with it tumbleweeds and menace. I’m trying to paint cyborg-zombies (cybombies?) for my Wild West Exodus posse but the sweat from my brow keeps dripping into my paint. While I wait for high noon to pass I reckon I’ll tell you a bit about Wild West Exodus (aka WWX) and why it’s got me hankerin’ for a shootout outside the saloon.

For those of you who don’t know, WWX has been around for a while but was bought by Warcradle Studios, a production arm of Wayland Games. Recently, there’s been a beta test for version two of the rules which you can check out HERE. Now first edition was a fine game with some great background and cracking minis but a few things about the new version of the game have got me all twitchy in my gun hand.

Let’s start with the background. It’s been around in the previous iteration of the game but it’s still pretty damn good. It’s set in an alternate version of the wild west where spirit forces aid the Native Americans (known as the Warrior Nation), aliens going by the name Watchers try to stamp out humanity before it reaches the stars and the Enlightened intellectuals of the world have managed to cheat death buy using an army of unliving constructs to make the world a “better” place. This is the wild west with a helping of bonkers fun. Jesse James now has a pair of bionic arms making him truly the fastest gun in the west and “Doc” Holliday has a breathing mask grafted to his face so he can continue to help his compadre Wyatt Earp. There’s plenty more where that came from too so no doubt you’ll find a weird faction to scratch your personal itch. Just don’t bring up the itch in front of Doc, he might suggest amputation.

As far as the system goes there are a couple of really interesting mechanisms to point out. Firstly the use of cards. Each player has a deck of adventure cards and a deck of action cards. The action cards work out your initiative for the turn and before you activate a unit you draw to see how many action points you can use from one to five. The great thing is you decide upon your unit after you draw so if you just get one, use the Hands (general bods in your army) to Hunker Down on the objective they’ve been camping on, if you get a big five you can activate your Boss and let them do something awesome to impact the game. This creates a great sense of unpredictability. There’s no way of knowing exactly what the activation order of the turn will be. The adventure cards on the other hand have two resolvable parts; Glory, which gives you extra victory points for doing something or Guts, that gives you an immediate bonus to use like extra action points or the chance to interrupt your opponents initiative. These cards are another great addition to give you a chance to surprise your opponent adding layers of tactics that will take a while to get right.

  Another interesting mechanism within the game is that every model only has one wound. From the lowliest bandit to Abe Lincoln himself everyone has just one wound. Now of course there are ways to keep the grim reaper at bay from re-rolling Grit checks (the roll made to prevent a wound) to becoming Stunned instead but not having wound trackers on cards or the play area is very refreshing. It also gives the feeling that without a proper plan, your heroes could be in boot hill before they even have chance to draw.
Hopefully this’ll give you some idea of the game and you might head over to their WEBSITE for more information or check out their FACEBOOK page. Of course we’ve got a SHOOTOUT for you to watch too. Maybe we’ll see you out on the plains pardoners but don’t forget there’s only two types of gunslingers, the quick and the (un)dead.

Until next time gentle readers.

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