Wednesday, 28 June 2017

The Magic Well

We were going to do Bolt Action last night but perhaps I am jinxed, I got a shout from Julian who wanted to run a Dead man's Hand game so Simon and I changed plans, a little later we were also invited to a game of Dracula's America but it was too late to change things again. I admit however the weird side of Wild West gaming does not appeal to me, but I know the author, Johnny Haythornthwaite, and he comes to the club now and again so I would have given it a try but it was too late.

Our game was supposed to be a four way shoot out but Alex asked to join in as he had watched the game on several occasions and had always wanted to try it out, so we did some juggling as we never leave a man behind and ended up with five players, not ideal but off we went.

Julian explained that in this particular town bang in the middle of main street was a well, someone started a rumour that gold from a previous time had been stashed in the well and someone had claimed recently to have seen it. The rumour spread like wild fire and shortly five interested gangs decided to check it out, but of course they all turned up at the same time.
The gangs muster.
 The Mexicans started the ball rolling by firing at some outlaws while taking over a nearby hotel as a base, the Outlaws did the same and dragged their wounded companion into Rogan's bar to take shelter while sending some riflemen to the roof. Everyone did the same, the Pinkertons settling down in the undertakers and some more Outlaws taking over another Rogan's joint, Rogan's being like Starbucks in this town, one on every corner. Ryan's dodgy bunch were left cowering behind gravestones and the dubious shelter of the nearby gallows. It was going to be a brave man who would run the gauntlet of fire to get to the well.

The Spider heads for Rogan's 2.
Julian gets to the well first with Simon closing in.
It soon became obvious Julian and Ryan had made an agreement and as Ryan took the Pinkerton's under fire Julian moved on into a position to make a run at the well, 'The Spider' (me) decided to assault Julian's Outlaws in Rogan's and cut off his retreat if he did manage to get some gold, my Sniper Bob or Roberto took down the first kill of the game, Julian's gunslinger. Seeing what was happening the Pinkerton's and Simon's Outlaws began some mutual support, I still threw lead at the men leaving Rogan's, I got another two in the course of the game and lost one Vaquero.

Back at the well despite the lethal rain Julian managed to grab some gold, Simon now threw his men at the well and he too managed some loot, Ryan failed to find any. Although men were falling in other parts of the street the well area seemed fairly devoid of dead and wounded considering how much firepower was concentrated there. As the clock struck 10 Simon had four gold and Julian three, although there was no way Julian's Outlaws were getting back to their horses through El Arana and his waiting companeros.

A great game, a lot of banter and laughter and a moving cactus, you would need to have been there. Perhaps an upturned bullion wagon or stage would have been more 'western' than the well but it was a good scenario for a multiplayer game and I would certainly have another go. The camera pans in on the eyes of each gang leader, the tension rises, sweat breaks out on the Mexicans brow, you know it has to be the Mexican, then the frantic scrabble for guns and lead starts flying, that's a rap.

Elsewhere we had a boardgame, Frostgrave and as I said Johnny's Dracula game.

Oh, Julian is off the hook re the tape measure, I found my old friend in the same bag I left it in. The contract has been cancelled.


  1. For years I have been intuitively attracted to large scale wargames, either monster boardgames or miniature rule sets preferably requiring hundreds of figures, planes, ships or vehicles. I spurned skirmish games and board agmes at the platoon or squad level or dogfight games. I think my approach was probably wrong, or at least impractical. Skirmish games with approachable rule sets sound like fun. Dead Man's Hand sounds great but I just don't know if it's sensible to add more minis to the painting backlog. That said, at least the buildings are pre-painted. Hmmm.

    1. Skirmish games have taken over for now, some good, some bad. I play a few now, but you cannot beat big games.

    2. The lack of comments suggests a dip either in popularity of skirmish games or the Old West! Looking again at your photos and particularly the wealth of impressive buildings your club visits must be a logistical nightmare on the transport front?

    3. Only a few regulars comment generally, and I don't think any of them Wild West.

  2. Dave has a sizeable Wild West set up, but we rarely play, we think it more suited to multi player games. Have not tried DMH, too many counters for our liking, but they always seem to be enjoyable games.

    I enjoy skirmish games but you can't beat "proper toy soldiering"

    1. What I like about DMH is no paperwork, no tracking movement, wounds etc. Yes a fair few counters but balanced by the fun game. We had a blast.