Tail Feathers is the exciting new miniature skirmish game by Jerry Hawthorne set in the beloved world of Mice and Mystics. Soar across the table, send your troops on dangerous missions, and defend your nest! Players will recreate the famous battles for aerial supremacy that shaped the Mice and Mystics world. Pre-order Tail Feathers today for $15 off the retail price and a free promo Mice and Mystics Lost Chapter compatible with Downwood Tales!
Also, don't forget, tomorrow is the last day to enter our Tail Feathers contest!
The veteran slipped from the talons of the startling and landed softly on the branch just slightly wind blown from the transport. He hurriedly brushed a bit of down from his well-worn green cloak as he strode up to address a group of fresh volunteers come to join the Downwood Militia.
"I see fear in your eyes, but make no mistake, that's a good thing. A little fear will keep your heads out of the clouds and focused on your goals. Some of you will become pilots riding our winged friends and others of you will join the Oakguard like I did long ago. Let me be clear, this isn't a holiday. You've come to protect your homes and your families. This is just the beginning... We've got a long campaign ahead of us."
Today we're going to talk about the different play modes available in Tail Feathers. The basic game play is a head to head tactical battle game where your goal is to destroy the opponent's nest. Players can opt to face each other in stand-alone battles, but players have additional options providing a deeper play experience.
The Tail Feathers base game includes a scenario book which tells the story of the beginning of the war in the Downwood forest as Snag's Vermin Raiders invade, and the Downwood Militia struggle to protect their homes.
Setting the Stage
Each scenario describes the battlefield layout, showing where the tree overlays are placed and the location of other battlefield features. The setup also describes the number of players, nest point values, victory conditions, and if there is a special mission in this battle.
Some scenarios include special rules, which describe additional mechanics that will be used, and elaborate on how to accomplish any special victory conditions.
Three Ways to Bring it
Once the scenario has been chosen, players have several options for army selection. A quick play force list is provided for each scenario which allows players to jump right into the battle without the need to create their own armies. Also included are suggestions for action cards, if players are using that optional system.
However, players might wish to build their own custom force, so the scenario lists a recommended point value for each army. The scenario books provides players with rules on how to build their own custom forces. In addition to using the figures included in the Tail Feathers starter box, players are provided unit cards for every figure from Mice and Mystics: Sorrow and Remembrance to augment the ground forces for both the Downwood Militia and Vermin Raider factions.
The third way to play is to use the campaign system and advancement rules. Scenario 1 kicks off the included campaign providing a campaign force list for each faction, with each side starting with basic units: common birds and the lowest rank of each pilot.
When playing with the campaign system, each scenario provides a list of campaign special rules, including a list of advancements that players can choose from based on the outcome of the battle. Winners gain more benefits.
One of these benefits is to advance a bird or pilot unit. Players can choose a bird or pilot unit which is upgraded to an improved version. This is similar to unlocking a character in a video game.
For example: The Downwood Militia player began the campaign with a common blue jay and 2 common starlings. After the first scenario she chooses to advance one of the common starlings which is exchanged for Valchirp or Sienna (your choice) for use in subsequent scenarios in the campaign.
Or, the Vermin Raider player advances his standard pilot version of Snag to his Ace version.
Squad units can also be advanced to become veterans which gives that figure a +1 to melee attack, +1 ranged attack and +1 defense. This battle tested soldier will provide you extra battlefield prowess, but if they are defeated, then you will lose this benefit.
If you've advanced your units to your satisfaction, you can also gain an extra cheese for an early tactical boost or add an additional action card to your hand to provide you with even more battlefield options.
The outcome of a scenario might provide players with other special benefits, such as access to a free unit, or the ability to alter the battlefield setup in the next scenario.
Custom Battlefields and Scenarios
Beyond the included scenarios, we aim to provide players with the tools to branch out on their own, and create their own battlefield setups and scenarios. The base set includes 4 tree overlays and a sapling overlay, as well as leaves, and a variety of tokens for use on the battlefield.
With these components, players can select the size of their battlefield, and with multiple base sets, additional configurations for trees. For example, 4 tree templates can be arranged to form one complete tree in the center of the battlefield, outlined by a template at each of the corners.
Players can choose the nest point value to create a longer or shorter game, and the force size giving players the ability to play larger armies. Also, to keep things interesting, we've included 12 objective cards.
As an option, players may use objective cards with any scenario. To do so, simply shuffle the objective deck and deal out 3 objectives, which will be in effect for the duration of that battle. Objectives provide players with additional goals and benefits to achieve during the scenario. Some modify the battlefield setup, and others provide an immediate or lasting benefit. Each objective card lists the conditions players must meet to gain the benefit.
However, battlefield fortunes are fickle, and another player might snatch your hard-earned objective card from you. Objectives provide for a quick and easy way to change up battles, and help you to build your own custom scenarios.
Well, recruits that seems like a lot of information and it is. But now, we've got to get to work. Lots to do, and rest assured, this won't be the last of it. Let's saddle up.
Written by Keith Miller
Keith Miller is the lead playtester of Tail Feathers.
Click here to pre-order Tail Feathers today for $15 off the retail price and a special promo Mice and Mystics scenario with initiative and search cards compatible with Mice and Mystics: Downwood Tales!
Tail Feathers Preview Articles
Week 1: Round Phases, Story Part 1
Week 2: Flight Basics, Aerijin & Zure, Story Part 2
Week 3: Attacking, Grizzard & Snag, Story Part 3
Week 4: Ground Troops, Snibble and Sienna, Valchirp and Wella, Story Part 3