Dracula’s America: Shadows of the West | Fortified Niche Playtest!

Who could have known that indie miniature wargames is niche that’s like 50% published by Osprey ? With this happy coincidence explained, here’s the companion piece for our Dracula’s America: Shadows of the West podcast episode.

The black line next to the built up area (zoom in, really) is the edge of the 4×4 table we set up. We immediately learned that 4×4 is, in fact, entire too big of a table for Dracula’s America.
In contrast, this the is homey 3×3 board we played our first game on. Maybe not too exciting, but providing some verticality (collision boxes permitting – which they didn’t, since whoever made the models didn’t think that cowboy games would see much roof or sidewalk action) and without four turns of shuffling into range.
Here’s Cassa making good speed with his entire warband of Wild West hyperloop supporters. He had to make full use of activation mechanics allowing to activate two miniatures instead of just blitzing ahead with single pieces. I also may have said “fill you hand, you sonofbitch” every other time we drew cards.
Meanwhile, I had my Confederate necromancer his and 1D3+1 free Revenants (zombies (“state riiiiights…”)) not getting anywhere close to action with their one move per turn. He also got dinged by Perils early on since the game hates you trying to summon faction-specific monsters.
We also had civilians present, though in Dracula’s America, they mostly try to run away from the closest threat, even if they end up somewhere as unpleasant. The game does allow exchanging them for zombies or fledgling vampires – or both!
In the end of the day, we hadn’t move that far before calling the game. I had won won by discovering the loot counter early and running away fast enough that Cassa wouldn’t have ever had a chance of catching up. USE SMALLER TABLES!
All in all, Dracula’s America: Shadows of the West is a fun came about cowboys – both regular and supernatural – and has some elegance in the rules. Just make sure your terrain is exciting and the table is small!
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