July is turning out to be busy as far as painting is concerned, with a Brummbär finished, the Jewel Of July challenge (belatedly) started and the next deadline for my Paraguyan War project rapidly approaching (target of 120 figures to be finished for the end of July)! So, it’s been nice to play another wargame in amongst all this frantic activity.
At the end of my post on the 19th Century Africa game, I casually threw in a comment that it’d be nice to have a Wild West skirmish game sometime, since it’s been a long time since we played one. Well, my subtle hint paid off because my mate John asked me this week if I was free for just such a game, so I wasn’t going to pass up the chance to play! I should therefore maybe dedicate this post to The Imperfect Modeller, since he produces some brilliant Old West dioramas amongst other things, but more than likely he’ll be reading this with the (not too unrealistic) expectation that I’m gonna lose the game!
So, as with the Africa game, all the scenery, buildings and figures here are not mine, I just turned up to play the game and lose/win (delete where appropriate). I was tasked with playing lawmen escorting a prisoner from the town jail to the railway, sorry railroad, station so that he could be sent for trial. John was playing the prisoner’s gang who were dead set on rescuing him before this could happen. At the start of the game I had the town sheriff and four deputies to escort the prisoner to the station, backed up by three Pinkerton detectives who would also escort the prisoner on his turn journey. Figures’ abilities are rated as if they were Hollywood actors, so I had one “Legend”, three “Heroes” and four “Extras”, the latter being cannon fodder really! Since the town was busy, and bad guys might be lurking anywhere, I didn’t know what opposition I faced.
Basically I had to get the prisoner out of the jail (yes, I do know it’s gaol in the UK), along the street to the crossroads, turn right and then along the road to the station. The Pinkertons took point, taking one of the deputies with them, and things started out badly since they failed to spot two Mexicans lurking across the road from the jail! Next came two deputies with the prisoner and lastly the sheriff and the remaining deputy, the latter two forming a rearguard.
Fortunately, the sheriff spotted the Mexicans and took the deputy with him to take a closer look. In response, the two Mexicans started blazing away, gunning down the deputy, but in return the sheriff took down one of his assailants. Upon hearing the gunfire, panic broke out and any bystanders headed for cover!
By this time the Pinkertons had reached the crossroads, only to find another four Mexicans blocking the way. Things started to get pretty mixed up from this point and a regular gun battle developed at very close range. One of the Pinkertons and another deputy went down, along with two of the Mexicans at the crossroads. Bringing up the the rear, the sheriff managed to ambush the Mexican who’d first opened fire on the lawmen and after a flurry of shots were exchanged the Mexican bit the dust!
Just when the lawmen were gaining the upper hand, four cowboys came charging into town in a final bid to free the prisoner. Pulling up short of the building front sheltering the two remaining deputies, a vicious crossfire broke out, not helped by the fact that one of the Mexicans had been feigning death and now started fanning his revolver for all it was worth (when I nominated a shot at the first bad guy on a horse, I was asked if I wanted to shoot the man or the horse – I replied that I’d shoot the rider, because there’d be no way my wife would want me shooting horses, or else)!
This last effort by the baddies ended poorly for them, all of the riders getting gunned down. The last remaining Mexican decided that it was time to grab a horse and make a run for it, but the sheriff dashed after him and shot him down before he could escape! After that, it was a case of dusting down and making sure that the Pinkertons got the prisoner safely on the train.
So, I actually won the game! It turned out to be a real spaghetti-western shoot out and we’d both forgotten how good skirmish games could be! Wonder what’s next!