My copy of the Origins-award-winning Wild West game “Aces & Eights: Shattered Frontier,” from Kenzer & Co., finally came in! First impressions – man, it’s heavy! Faux leather cover, hardback, 400 glossy thick pages. It’s like a volume of the encyclopedia! (I got a great deal on it from USA Comic Books online, $42 with shipping – list price is $60!)
It seems very cool so far. As a “Deadwood” fan it’s nice to see a straight Western game (no supernatural or any of that). I’m dubious about the point of the ‘alternate history’ where the Confederates and Federals got into a stalemate though… Seems gratuitous and largely irrelevant to the play of the game. It has loads of info on Western campaign activities – town life, prospecting, cattle drives, juries, and more. This is awesome; to really make a Western game takes more than just some combat rules.
I have a soft spot for random character generation. In A&8, chargen is an odd mix of random, random but you can spend points to reroll, choose but it costs more, and choose. I’ll walk through the chargen and show you how quickly a fully fleshed out Western character appears!