Townsfolk Tussle is live (Trying out the Townsfolk Tussle demo on TTS)

Update: Townsfolk Tussle has launched on Kickstarter and the campaign will run for 29 days. You may pledge for a copy of the game or choose the extra option of seeing your name on a Eureka Springs tombstone.

In lieu of a preview, you can check my impressions of the TTS demo (published on October 7).

I had been so far reluctant to sit down and learn how to operate a digital board gaming platform, but the announcement of the Townsfolk Tussle demo on Tabletop Simulator prompted me to finally give it a try. By no means am I a wizard of the keyboard, rather the opposite. After some huffing and puffing I managed to play the game but had to take regular breaks, as TTS put my patience to the test. Everything required double time to handle, so e.g. a 15 minute fight took me half an hour. But anyway, let's discuss the game itself.

You will likely find Townsfolk Tussle very charming if you enjoy the looks of 1930s cartoons. I quite like Silly Symphony, and that's exactly the kind of atmosphere the creators of the game convey through the characters, items and terrain.

Everything is a little goofy and humorous, but also true to the theme: for example, if Henlo the hen gets knocked out for the first time, she activates the 'headless chicken' ability which restores her back to one health point. Or if you use the Old Belt as a weapon, you'd better hit the enemy with it, otherwise the belt will go around and hit you instead. Terrain pieces that you place on the board also have 'personality': you may get stuck inside the dense Cornfield and miss your turn. Or shoot the Foul Outhouse and damage everyone close to it with the nastiness that suddenly breaks free.

Learning the rules is a matter of minutes, as Townsfolk Tussle is very simple. It has the basic structure that one finds in many dungeon crawl/adventure games: you first equip your heroes, and draw an event card that gives you either a bonus or disadvantage. With the money you have, you buy things from the market and decide how to prepare for the upcoming fight. Characters may also try to complete 'feats' during the fight to gain extra money at the end of the round.

When you're ready, you set up the board according to the enemy you are going to face. Each enemy comes with a different terrain setup, and their fierceness depends on the current difficulty level. Once everyone takes up their position on the board, the fight begins. You roll a D-10 and deal damage according to the effectiveness of your weapon. Accuracy is the modifier here, so if it is low, it may prevent you from causing harm. When the enemy attacks, you draw a card from their deck and follow its instructions. Usually, the enemy moves towards a character and deducts health points or destroys terrain. When the enemy health deteriorates, they become enraged and take extra turns. You win the fight if you succeed in killing them. Then you receive loot, and proceed to the next market phase and new enemy.