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Deadwood, 1877


Misc., The Wild West, Legends of the Old West, 28mm

Once every so often I take part in a Leage of Gentleman Wargamers weekend. This is a bunch of gamers who get together three times a year in central Scotland. I missed the last couple of games, so I was determined to make this one – a weekend of Wild West gunfighting. Yes, I know – it isn’t proper wargaming, but it was entertaining…025On the first day (the Saturday) we divided into pairs, and our rival gangs (or posses) fought it out on a small 6×4 foot table. Each of the five tables was different – there was an OK Corall type one, as well as Apache Pass, High Noon, the raid on a Ranch, and a train hijack. Each of these games lasted about an hour, so we spent the day fighting them all out with different opponents, so everybody had a chance to try each scenario, and to fight each of their cowboy competitors. Yes, it was all very silly, but each game was different, and presented the players with a fresh challenge. It was all great fun, and very colourful.013After each game your gang got the chance to regroup, sort out who live, recovered or died, hire and equip new gang members, and gain money and experience points. This meant that your gang slowly evolved, and got slightly better all the time. Mine were lawmen, and the Sheriff developed into a pretty mean hombre, supported by two almost equally ferocious deputies. There was a lot of paperwork, but it was worth it to see your gang evolve as the day wore on. This all came into its own on day two…003After an evening of carousing and a well-earned rest we started again on Sunday morning, but this game was completely different. A town had been created. I never knew people had so many Wild West buildings, but when it all came together it looked like a real Western metropolis, complete with Mexican and Chinese slums, a rail depot, several saloons and hotels, two barber shops, and even a telegraph office.006The idea was that each player would control his gang (sorry, posse) as before, but he would be joined by a new member – one of the personalities from the brilliant TV show Deadwood. Colin Jack who organised the game had a perverse sense of equality – the posse who got the lowest “infamy rating” the previous day got the best new figure – in this case WIld Bill Hickock, while the posse who did most (that would be my one) got the worse than useless Mayor JB Farnum!016Poor old Farnum got killed by one a member of Colin Jack’s all-female outlaw gang, but after a hard fight I finally saw Colin’s gang off. Later on, I took pot-shots at Apaches, while on the far end of town a Mexican gang, an Indian one and the outlaw sidekicks of the Chinese Mr. Wu battled it out for control of the slums and the railyard.022The aim of the game was that by 2.30pm, when we stopped, we would see who controlled which buildings. A playing card was dealt for each one, and these values (Aces low, face cards count as 10) were added together, and added to the infamy rating and cash for each gang, to determine the outright winner. I’m afraid I had to leave before the totalling up, and I also missed what promised to be a fun-filled finale – a four gunman a side shootout, with every player taking one of the figures.019The Warhammer Historic Wild West rules were simple to pick up, and after a while it was intuitive, and you barely needed to look things up. The weekend was great fun, and while this isn’t really my idea of wargaming, it was still something I’d happily do again.008

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