You're my Huckleberry Part 2

In a previous blog, You’re my Huckleberry, I mentioned we’re playing a Dead Man’s Hand campaign on a Friday evening. I’d taken a US Cavalry force (ok, what amounts to a few drunken soldiers) and started gaming. The campaign has been going strong with half a dozen players most Fridays. Each game is broken down into three separate scenes or scenarios, like you’d find from a movie. They build up the tension and give a back story to the conflict between the two gangs. 

High Noon!

Firstl, I think I should explain the mechanisms in Dead Man’s Hand. It’s quite a simple system, each model usually has three actions where it can move or shoot. The more moves or the more shots you take, the less accurate they are. A D20 is used, with a roll of 19-20 being a ‘KO’. A roll of 15+ is an ‘under fire’ marker and a morale test (failure of which earns you another ‘under fire’ marker). A roll of 11+ is an ‘under fire’ marker. Less is a miss. Collect too many ‘under fire’ markers (typically four) and your man is hit and out of action. The rules are straightforward enough (there are other modifiers) but quite subtle too as you can develop different tactics to deal with your opposition.

Shotgun = BOOM!

Well, the first round of games went well. I won all my games in the first trio of scenarios against Dave D’s outlaws, but in the scond round I went up against Peter G’s corrupt Lawmen. While I won the first game, I soon discovered the power of the shotgun. While my sniping plan ‘sort of’ worked, when it came to a bank heist and stopping the ‘Lawmen’ making off with the loot, my shooting was too slow. In addition my leader ‘Colonel Saunders’, bit the bullet and went to boot hill. He was replaced by corporal ‘Joe’ who had a sudden promotion.

Martin’s Outlaw chief

I decided to revamp the gang and get some young bloods in; rubbish but numbers count. The plan was to have a core of sniping cavalrymen and have a manoeuvre group of pistoleros and “Carl” my half blind drunk, who had a shotgun so he could hit a barn door. Against Martin O’s outlaws, this worked very well. In fact, I managed to win all three of our games. 

Alley shootout.

We’ve one more session of Dead Man’s Hand next Friday before the campaing is likely to close. Overall its been a fun campaign with the campaign system from Dead Man’s Hand Legends working very well - even if it put my one leader in Boot Hill and made the other leader a drunkard! There’s been a few games where the luck of the dice came in (if you can roll 20’s you’re laughing) but otherwise there is some tactics to this Old West game. 

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