Old West


Supply train!

Bruce had me over for some Congo Gulch this week. The scenario was a supply train had to cross the board to get to the fort (Bruce's old west fort was out on loan so we made due with a stand-in). The number of wagon in the fort (of the three that arrived on board) at the end of eight turn determined victory level.The locals set up with two units hidden on the board (eight locations to choose from) and an additional unit (owner's choice) arrived each turn at a random board edge.The first of the ambushers unmasked immediately atop of rocky hill to snipe from a distance. They were charged by a unit of cavalry while the wagon train lit out in the opposite direction. Unfortunately for the cavalry, fire plus the arrival of mounted locals meant they were wiped out.The wagon train tried to skirt the table edge to avoid the obvious trap in the canyon and put some distance between the  wagons and the revealed locals. Another pair of lucky rolls saw two more mounted troops materialize right in the wagon's path.This

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Club night and graffiti

I made it out to the club this week. Bruce hosted four guys in another Congo Gulch game. This time it was a good old election, with each player trying to get to the post office to cast ballots for their candidates.As we had a bit of overflow, Chen and I duked it out in Imperial Settlers. Damn, was Chen a hard opponent on his first time through the game!We ended up tied for victory points at the end it was decided based upon remaining resources! need to refresh myself on the rules over a couple of points before playing again.In the meantime, there was a fair bit of shooting and other silliness on main street I left before this was decided. Biggest lesson seemed to be that a secret ballot made for a more interesting game.Some decals I ordered on eBay came in this week. The old time murals and posters were pretty good.The graffiti was printed on clear film and it really needs some white paint in behind to pop. Lesson learned!Evens some basic signage makes a big difference on these buildings, though.And this sign

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Congo Gulch: Gold Rush

Old Jethro came to town with his poke full of gold and now everyone is headed to the hills to stake a claim! Basic mechanics were move to hill, grab a poker chip from one of six piles, and return to bank to stake claim. First chip from each colour to bank got that claim (which yielded victory points at end of game).Everyone hauls for the hills on the first turn except the lawman, who elect to wait in the graveyard to waylay returning prospectors and jump their claim. Richard rather unfortunately got caught in a nasty two-way cross fire between the townies and the lawmen and was reduced to a single unit early on.In the hills, Team Sombero discovers trigger happy prospectors!While gold is collected, some locals encounter a mountain lion.Eventually, Richard and Chen start to come back to town with gold claims.That left Scott and I to try to shoot them up before they could get into the bank.Richard managed to survive numerous combats and got in the bank. So Scott and I turned on Chen and a claim squirted loose.I

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Congo Gulch: Little Round Top

Bruce had me over for another test drive of his old west adaptation of Congo. This time the scenario was Little Round Top. The visiting team arrived from the left and top of the board. The only home team units were in the village at the bottom right. Other home team units could appear on a die roll.For example, rights behind my set up area on turn two. Leading to......this rather difficult tactical issue.The overall thrust of the game was that the visitor units moved down the right side and across the bottom of the table while home-team units ambushed or chased them. Having to constantly adjust to the home-team units appearing was a good and stressful mechanic ("Oh God, they appear WHERE this turn? Oh no. OH NO!").The unit of burros below was completely wiped out in an ambush (removing 1/5th of my overall force in a single turn). Fortunately, the dice were swingy.One unit of visitors made a stand on a hill and managed to push back (and eventually eliminate) the home-team unit through concentrated rifle fire.T

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Congo Gulch: Little Big Horn

Bruce had me over for another test drive of his old west adaptation of Congo. This time the scenario was Little Big Horn. The visiting team arrived from the left and top of the board. The only home team units were in the village at the bottom right. Other home team units could appear on a die roll.For example, rights behind my set up area on turn two. Leading to......this rather difficult tactical issue.The overall thrust of the game was that the visitor units moved down the right side and across the bottom of the table while home-team units ambushed or chased them. Having to constantly adjust to the home-team units appearing was a good and stressful mechanic ("Oh God, they appear WHERE this turn? Oh no. OH NO!").The unit of burros below was completely wiped out in an ambush (removing 1/5th of my overall force in a single turn). Fortunately, the dice were swingy.One unit of visitors made a stand on a hill and managed to push back (and eventually eliminate) the home-team unit through concentrated rifle fire.Th

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Sudan Terrain for The Men Who Would Be Kings

We took the kids to the swimming pool this afternoon so, while they were splashing about, I took the time to read through the whole book of rules for The Men Who Would be Kings. It soon became apparent that the desert terrain board that I planned to use for the 15mm version of my project is way too small, at 32'' square, even for the Skirmish Kings reduced sized game or using centimetres rather than inches, so I have had to do a re-think. It would be a shame not to use the rest of the 15mm desert terrain pieces that I've built for the Sandbox Skirmish project, but for TMWWBK's I'll need to make a full sized 6'' x 4'' set of terrain tiles or find a matching terrain cloth to use instead. This has thrown a proverbial spanner in the works to say the least.In 28mm, however, I have always planned to use my existing Back of Beyond and Wild West desert terrain, which is based on a khaki coloured cloth that I acquired a few years ago and to which I have added various terrain pieces. You can see the effect that I've pr

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Terrain for The Men Who Would Be Kings

We took the kids to the swimming pool this afternoon so, while they were splashing about, I took the time to read through the whole book of rules for The Men Who Would be Kings. It soon became apparent that the desert terrain board that I planned to use for the 15mm version of my project is way too small, at 32'' square, even for the Skirmish Kings reduced sized game or using centimetres rather than inches, so I have had to do a re-think. It would be a shame not to use the rest of the 15mm desert terrain pieces that I've built for the Sandbox Skirmish project, but for TMWWBK's I'll need to make a full sized 6'' x 4'' set of terrain tiles or find a matching terrain cloth to use instead. This has thrown a proverbial spanner in the works to say the least.In 28mm, however, I have always planned to use my existing Back of Beyond and Wild West desert terrain, which is based on a khaki coloured cloth that I acquired a few years ago and to which I have added various terrain pieces. You can see the effect that I've pr

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Congo Gulch

Bruce invited me over to playtest his western adaptation of Congo. The scenario was two forces trying to capture a stage coach full of loot.The stage coach had no horses so has to be dragged from the centre of the table to the corner.I don't recall the details of the mechanics of Congo perfectly, but I think the two main changes had to do with casting fear on an opponent (that action became a rally action) and the effect of the monkey stress token (causing 1d3 bug-out tests).We had a large and bloody rumble on the left side of the table where the outlaws gunned down the townies. I played poorly but got lucky.Over on the right, the Mounties pinned down the outlaws while some townies dragged the wagon towards the bank.It came down to the last turn. I managed to wipe out all our Bruce's forces but Bruce managed to get away with the wagon, giving him a victory!Overall, pretty fun with lots of difficult decisions.

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Hey you, in the jail!

I dropped over to Bruce's on Tuesday to try out "Hey you, in the jail!", a meter Pig rule set akin to AK47. I missed the game at the club last Tuesday and Bruce wanted to give some rules amendments a try (primarily adding in three objective markers to force the defenders to move about the table.Like many PP rules, there is a pregame map phase that creates a campaign-like feel. I ended up defending three objectives with two units. Bruce arrived on the board with three units and sent one on a flank march. The map game eventually played out in favour with my reinforcements arriving early and Bruce's not arriving at all.Above you can see my troops loitering at the farm, ready to defend the bridge (out of shot on right) of the objective marker on the hill. Bruce's flankers have just arrived at my rear.Bruce's main force quickly grabbed the highest value marker in the middle of the table. While a gunfight developed back by the farm. My reinforcements arrived just behind Bruce's flankers. This was heartening but ult

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Pony Wars!

Bruce hosted our annual Remembrance Day game this past weekend, inaugurating his new gaming room and table. To accommodate Andy, me, Chen, Richard, Scott and Terry, Bruce retreaded an old game (Pony Ways), cleaning up the mechanics and using a variant of Lion Rampant for the combat mechanics. The setting is the old west, with the players assuming the roll of the US Cavalry trying to keep the settlers safe. Each turn, a card is drawn that triggers a random event (mostly raiding war bands but also stage coaches, wagon trains, cattle drives, banditos, etc) that the players must manage. The game is scored based on points and at the beginning of each turn, the players play the game (e.g. one war bands) before taking their turns. The game ran 30 turns.Early on, the mining camp as sacked by some locals and the miners forced to flee.The eventually joined up with Richard's troops which had convinced some settlers to accompany them back to the safety of the fort.Sergeant Something-or-other arrived but succumbed to

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DIY Desert Skirmish Board

I was pleased with my DIY gladiatorial arena that I boshed together using an old cork pinboard, some tester pots and some cheap emulsion paint, so I thought I'd have a go at a similar 40cm x 40cm square terrain board with a desert theme for 15mm modern and post colonial skirmish games. This time I used my £4.99 2.5 litre tin of Homebase Cashmere emulsion paint as a basecoat, followed by a random spray pattern of Halfords Ultra Matt Khaki for some variation, with a final light brush splodge from a tester pot of Laura Ashley Old Gold. The board was being thrown out by my daughter so that was a freebie, although it originally cost £7.99 in WHSmiths, making the total cost only a few pence.The overall effect quite subtle and difficult to see in the photos but looks good enough and is accentuated by the cork board texture, which has a nice baked earth effect. I've plonked some AK47 vehicles on top to see what it looks like but I won't be using these with the board, as they are based in a darker shade. Instead, I'll

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Early Pony Wars playtest

Bruce has been kicking around putting together a game loosely based on the old Pony Wars game. The players cooperate against the game system to rescue settlers and thwart bandits in the old west. He put on a playtest using paper counters to see how his updated mechanics worked.Combat and activation was based on a modified "They might be kings" ruleset (basically Dragon Rampant). He modified NPC play by shrinking the original Pony Wars card deck and adding in some addition colour.Each turn an event card is drawn (e.g., 3 warbands arrive, bison and bison hunter arrives, landslide) with random placement. Then the NPCs on the board all move (die roll). Then the small number of player units (US 7th Cavalry) moves.The game is won based upon points. Above, we have a unit persuading the minors to come with the cavalry across the board to the safety of the Fort. Below, the same unit is also grabbing the settlers from an isolated farmstead. The rail workers have also arrived (if they compete their work it is big points

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