Battleshed Diaries

Thursday 19 March 2015

Don't squat with your spurs on

The Old Mine
A very much welcome return to Dead Man's Hand yesterday. It's been many, many months since I last played. Actually, I think my Lawmen last had an outing back in July 2015, whilst I was on holiday in Crete with the family!

The Lawmen on vacation!

It's somewhat typical of the butterfly effect within our hobby, where there is a tendency to flit from project to project, easily distracted by the latest new system and gorgeous models as well as the vagaries of what's popular locally. This is certainly true for me, with grand plans to campaign DMH after the completion of my large terrain board project, A Town called Obsession - only to be distracted by a number of new skirmish games, Saga in particular! It's such a shame DMH has been on the back-burner for so long. But all those plans are still bubbling away and my revisit to the Old West certainly has invigorated my interest in this delightfully pleasurable skirmish game.

Last year, Arabianknight decided to start collecting his own DMH terrain, spurned on, (and gleefully encouraged by me), with a few games in my Battleshed and following the build of Obsession. His build is primarily from terrain from Troll Trader's ( TT Combat Buildings) Industrial Wild West Set, and you can follow his design over at Wee Blokes.

So, where was I? Oh yeah, the Lawmen and Outlaws. Arabianknight had his Old West terrain nicely set-up when I arrived so we set about quickly refreshing ourselves with the rules, settling on a game of Lawmen (me, always me. I am the Law!) and a dodgy gang of Outlaws. 15 Rep, Half Deck with 3 cards in the Hand. No real scenario, just get stuck in and let the lead fly amongst the old mine buildings!

We both seemed to unconsciously build our factions following our natural style of play, with me going for a small number of predominantly high Rep characters - Sheriff, Marshall and two Deputies (Rifle and Shotgun) - whilst Arabianknight opting for the Outlaw boss and a larger number Deputies and Citizens.

The fun soon started with both factions quickly splitting up, with the Marshall and one of his deputies moving to head off some of those sneaky Outlaws trying to out-flank, using the Prospectors office as cover.

Meanwhile, the Sheriff, who'd must've had a particularly long meeting in the local saloon earlier, decided he'd deal with the Outlaws heading towards the mine entrance, with a deputy holding back to cover both Lawman groups with his trusty rifle. If fact, he was the first to open proceedings, with an opportunistic burn of his actions, attempting a Quick Shot at the Outlaws scuttling towards the Prospectors office.

One of the Outlaws tried to make use of the cover provided by entering the mine, but with a play of the "If God did not want them sheared, He would not have made them sheep" card, a citizen worker sheltering in the mine took umbrage at a dastardly felon invading his place of work, and took a pot shot at him. The surprised outlaw took an under-fire marker, before shooting the unfortunate upstanding citizen dead.

By this time, the Outlaw was joined by a couple of his buddies, and with the whiskey fuelled Sheriff bearing down on them a furious, close range firefight ensued; guns blazing, bullets smacking into woodwork kicking up dust. Inevitably, the Sheriff succumbed to his wounds, with the shaken but exuberant Outlaws whooping their delight, one shouting, "I shot the Sheriff, but I didn't shoot no deputy, oh no! Oh!", and then quickly looting the Sheriff's bullet-riddled body. Damn fiends!

Meanwhile, the Marshall and his deputy had their own problems, deciding it was make or break. The deputy quickly got in range of the Outlaws huddled behind the Prospectors office and unloaded two shots at close range from his shotgun. The nearest Outlaw was badly wounded but was, surprisingly, still standing. His buddy then returned the favour with his shotgun. The Marshall, with his options now limited, left the cover of a stack of barrels and unloaded his pistols. But again, the Outlaws were still standing! One of the wounded Outlaws then brazenly charged the shotgun deputy, determined to get up close and personal.

The forsaken deputy, already badly wounded, was only being kept alive by the "Spotted Horse cannot be killed by a bullet" card in play, and was reduced to desperately using up his last reserves of strength in a forlorn hand-to-hand fight!

The shotgun wielding deputy, gave his best but soon fell to the merciless pounding from the grim-faced Outlaw. With the Sheriff already Out of Action, this led to a Big Nerve test. The rifle deputy failed and decided it was time to leg it. The Marshall was on his own, but with his wounds doubling the number of Lawmen still standing, he decided to make an exit too. The mine belonged to the Outlaws!

Yet another fantastic game of Dead Man's Hand. So much fun and thematic. I now have plans to finally dust off the four terrain boards making up Obsession and resurrect DMH at my local club. Hopefully. I can entice some of them into trying out the Legend of Dead Man's Hand campaign system.


  1. It was a fun game indeed. Quite glad I went with short range shooter options. Usually I have a couple of long range rifles and dally with indecision about how to progress. This game I had no option but to push forward. Definitely a case of quantity overcoming quality, but sometimes 6 average shots are better the two decent ones!

  2. Indeed, I thoroughly enjoyed it. So much drama with only a handful of miniatures on the table!

  3. Great stuff. And lovely minis! Dead Man's Hand has been on the wishlist for a while...skirmish games with a story element are my favourite sort of game.

  4. Thanks Gordon. You can't go wrong with DMH! Always fun to play. And you don't need many miniatures either. Highly recommended.

  5. Okay...I lasted two days. DMH ordered from GEGs. Looking forward to checking out!

  6. Great news. I look foward to your review ;)