Monday, July 6, 2009

Hackmaster Basic: Timing Tick Tracking With Poker Chips

I ordered Hackmaster Basic the first day the pre-order went up. I had never played the game before but I have Aces & Eights so I was intrigued. After the book arrived I dug in and liked what I saw. I loved the idea of the roundless second by second combat time tracking. I started out doing it all on a sheet of paper and found that I kinda lost track of individuals so I moved on to using index cards which was an unintended hybrid of the poker chip idea.

After switching over to poker chips the game started to fly and players became even more engaged. Timing became evident to everyone around the table. The chips become a sort of action meter and players try to bend time to their will because they can see that the goblin or bandit is going to get to act a second or two before their fighter. I love it.

To give you an idea of what's going on in the picture let me explain. The fellow with the stack topped with red chips has failed his Threshold of Pain check after being shot by a long bow by the fighter with the all white stack of chips in the background. The fellow with the all blue stack of chips in the foreground is waiting for his shot at the fighter or paladin who is just now trying to decide where to cross the stream.

The game was a lot of fun. We finally got to test out the skill system and things went a-okay. We're looking forward to more hacking.


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