Note: This is an archived news article. The information and links are likely out of date.

Tail Feathers: Squad Support

More about Ground Troops in Tail Feathers

Tail FeathersTail 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!


The green-hooded mouse shielded his eyes against the stinging afternoon sun and glanced up at the distant spectacle above the tree canopy. Again and again, the mighty blue jay screeched in agony as the menacing rook raked his claws into the jay’s marvelous plumage. Feathers started raining down on the mouse and his two companions. The mice wore frightened, yet determined expressions on their faces and quickened their pace. Soon, their bows would be close enough to the rook. They were the Oakguard, brave militia of the Downwood. They would save the jay!

In Tail Feathers, players take control of majestic birds and their fearless riders. But not every fight occurs in the sky, and many a battle may be decided by the unsung heroes who have their feet firmly on the ground. In this preview, I'd like to introduce you to Tail Feather’s ground units, their place in the game, their unquestionable usefulness, and their remarkable diversity.

If you are familiar with the original Mice & Mystics game, ground units might awake that warm, fuzzy feeling of familiarity in you – paired with the joy of discovering their many novel uses in Tail Feathers.  Ground unit action mainly happens on tree spaces. Here, they scurry on trunks, branches, and leaves; they build and fire ballistae; they protect your nest; and they clash with intruding forces. Compared to the birds in Tail Feathers, controlling ground units is more streamlined. You simply move a figure up to a number of spaces according to the figure’s move value and perform an action, such as a melee or ranged attack.


“But how can my troops bridge the vast space between trees?” you might wonder after looking at the game’s layout. Ground units cannot enter this dangerous opening using their normal movements. Instead, your resourceful rodents have other means of crossing, as their bravery takes to new heights!

For starters, birds can pick up ground units with their feet and transport them. There is also leaf movement! Both methods have advantages and disadvantages. Bird transports are more reliable, since they don't roll dice for movement. When it comes to battle, however, your troops are fully functional when on a leaf, but unavailable while being transported by a bird. The downside to leaf-riding is that any bird can use its powerful swoop attack on units on a leaf. Choose wisely, brave adventurers!

The rat’s strong paws gripped his sturdy crossbow and quickly loaded a bolt. A sneer signaled his companions to follow, and the rats descended the tree trunk and arrived on the forest floor. One of their scouting birds had reported three green-cloaked mice on patrol. Surely, those had to be the dreaded Oakguard!  They could not interfere with their leader, Snag, and his mighty rook! The rats would not let them down. They were part of the highly trained Snag’s Commando. They would capture those mice!


Tail Feathers includes 13 ground unit figures. Six bow-wielding mice represent the Downwood Militia’s Oakguard, and six menacing rats depict the Vermin Raider’s Snag’s Commandos. These figures are squad units and each group is represented by a single unit card. Whenever you active a squad unit, you can move and attack with a number of those figures up to the squad value of the unit (often 3). A tremendous opportunity to send an uninterrupted arrow storm against any intruders – or to leave a focused path of destruction on your opponent’s home tree! “And what about the thirteenth figure?” you ask? Well, she is so stealthily elusive that she managed to sneak past this preview…

If you own the first Mice & Mystics game, Sorrow & Remembrance, you can play with each and every figure included in it in Tail Feathers! Prince Collin and his trusted band of Barksburg heroes join the Downwood Militia and bring their unique talents to the table. You can expect Collin to lead the battle by squeaking tactical orders, Nez to protect your troops, Maginos to magically appear and disappear from sight, Tilda to save somebody from certain defeat; and Lily’s eagle eyed skills with the bow will prove invaluable on patrol missions. And Filch? Well, he hides so well that birds might regret swooping him.

If you’re playing the Vermin Raiders, you might get even more exciting backup! Scads of hungry roaches can infest your opponent's tree. Rat warriors can join Snag’s gang and improve your chances at winning initiative, and the hulking menaces of the large arthropods are at your service to overpower any feeble attempts by mice to defend a spider’s venomous fangs or block a centipede’s passage.

It's a Revival

The foot troops in Tail Feathers follow your orders and bravely battle to defend your home tree and drive off opponent's forces. Sometimes this means they will be defeated by your foe. No worries. You can use the cheese you've collected to return fallen foot troops to the battlefield. If you end your turn with a full cheese wheel, simply remove all cheese from the wheel and choose up to 3 squad figures, or a single hero or creature from your casualty pile, and place them in your reserves box. Figures in your reserves box will return to play, ready for combat, at the end of the current round.


The mice followed along a trickle and braced themselves against the stinging pain from the abundant thistles in the area. But this was the spot! The two combating birds were overhead, their battle noise drowned out the rustling leaves in the wind, and feathers rained down in a never-ending stream of blue, white, and black. The mice swiftly nocked their arrows. With a nod, they leveled the bows upwards. A sudden splash broke their concentration! Three heavily armed rats emerged from the water and were rushing towards them!

Will the mice be able to defend the jay and repel the Vermin Raiders? Or will the rats be victorious and come one step closer to submitting the Downwood Militia? This is for you to decide when you take control of the often unsung but mightily brave ground units in 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
Videos: Video Overview
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
Week 5: Scenarios, Staborah, Story Part 4

Written by Michael Domrose.
Michael Domrose is a Tail Feathers and Mice & Mystics playtester.