Monday, August 11, 2014

Black Hats have a 'Bonanza'

Mike S had a hankering to do a 28mm Cowboy game, so after raiding Keith's Old Glory Western terrain, he set up a White Hats (good guys) vs. Black Hats (bad guys) scenario. This episode feature myself as the Cartwrights seeking to chase off some outlaws who have been trespassing on our ranch. Joel was the Texas rangers, come to help us round up the scofflaws, while Keith and Tom played the bad guys.

Mike had made some changes to Ganesha Games' "Flying Lead" rules to better reflect the Hollywood Western. Essentially, every character was "Tough," which meant taking a wound merely worsened their Quality by 1 to 3, depending on how badly they were hit (beaten, doubled, or tripled). Once a character's Quality rose to a "6", he was out of action, or dead. In general, the rules worked well, though Mike had some changes he'd like to see, and we had some we suggested, as well. One odd feature -- more of a random aspect of cards and dice -- saw 5 of the first 6 turns the player whose card was drawn last had his drawn first in the following turn. The infamous "double move" before your opponents can respond is one of the reason I dislike card activation games. I prefer an established turn order, and feel you should win or lose based on your tactics (and dice, perhaps) -- not a fluke of the cards.
"Pa" and Cain find good firing positions near the fenced-in chicken coop
We deployed first, and I foolishly focused only on where my own troops were, ignoring where me ally Joel had deployed. Both Tom and Keith deployed near one corner of the battlefield, directly across the table from me. I had my Cartwrights dash across the field to take up good firing positions and fill the bad guys with lead as they attempted to cross the battlefield and escape into the mesas on the opposite edge from them. I was successful in putting Pa and Cain inside the fenced-in, chicken pen, while my other three dashed into a two story house that overlooked the bad guys. I was the first to benefit from the "double move," so blasted away at Keith's gang of outlaws, all of who were named Bob. Since an abnormally high number of my hits were "retreat" outcomes rather than wounds (depended on whether my die score was odd or even), we laughingly called them the "Running Bobbs." Even worse, they lined up for cover behind the outhouse, which provoked howls of laughter saying they all had the "runs" and were scrambling for the outhouse.
The rest of my gang find a great firing position in the two story house overlooking the bad guys' position
What I had not noticed, though, was that Joel deployed his troops "a fair piece" away from mine. In fact, they couldn't have been in a worse position to support my attack -- they were hidden away in the mesas, and it would take a number of turns for them to advance to where they would be a factor in the battle. We have a saying on Sunday nights, and it proved true again this night: "Tom's winning!" Tom cleverly deduced they could gang both of their forces up against mine, and he proceeded to move his entire force into the house I'd holed up in, or blasting away at me through the windows. My three Cartwrights inside were cut down relatively quickly.  And when Keith woke up from his die rolling slump ("crapping out" twice in a row on activations, early on -- which meant none of his troops were able to act at all for two turns), the Cartwrights began to drop like flies.
And here's why it wasn't such a good idea...Tom's entire gang uses his "double move" to race around the side of the house and rush it, outnumbering my guys 6-3...
The Texas rangers did race in impressively when Joel got the double move, firing at the hip as they came. However, with my men whittled down to essentially just Cain -- and he was bleeding badly -- it was now Joel's turn to ganged up on by Tom and Keith. Tactically, the White Hats blundered this game. Joel deployed too far away, but worse, I stuck my neck out too far and the Black Hats were only too glad to slip a noose around it. We went down kicking, though, and shot up Keith's "Running Bobs" fairly heavily. However, it was obvious that the Cartwright Ranch would be under new ownership come sundown.

The game worked well enough that I'm sure we will see another Western episode on Sunday nights. Hopefully next time the good guys will prove to have a little more between their ears than a big white hat...!

No comments:

Post a Comment