Battleshed Diaries

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Brisk business at the undertakers



A visit to the Old West town of Obsession recently. Well, a suburb anyway. A quick game of Dead Man's Hand was on the, um, cards. My Lawmen were tacking a whole bunch of horse rustling Outlaws. This new lot of hotshot Longriders were planning to raid the Livery on the outskirts of town.
Dead Man's Hand A Town Called Obsession




It was one of our week night sessions and my regular gaming mate, Sam Pate, had brought along his freshly painted Black Scorpion Outlaws. And a lively looking gang they were, for dodgasted' outlaws! Sam was slightly concerned that his miniatures, being approximately 32mm tall (29mm to eye) were too discordant with my regular 28mm Lawmen from Great Escape Games.

Yes, they were a tad bigger, but not enough to cause any issue, especially once the shootin' started. It just meant they'd have to take their hats off when entering any of the town's premises. Although they would only likely be doing that on their way into a jail cell! 

The Cast: Both sides equally matched, 21 Rep.
The Set: a 4'x2' suburb comprised of two section of Obsession, including the Livery and corral.
Action: Full deck of 23 cards, 5 in the Hand
The End: The Outlaws have to steel (B2B contact) at least one horse inside the livery building and lead it to their original deployment area to be successful. Game lasts 2 hours.
Dead Man's Hand A Town Called Obsession
''I’m outlawed and it wasn’t long since I was a law and old Pat an outlaw. Funny thing, the law.''- Billy the Kid to Heiskell Jones, 1880.

Obsession's Lawmen were unusually alert this time around, soon spotting the Outlaws heading into town near the Old Cemetery. They headed up the main street, the Sheriff, Marshal and some of the deputies cutting through the alley between Caldwell's Undertakers and the construction site. 

One of the Deputies, armed with a Repeater, demanded access through the undertaker's premises to gain entry to the upper storey where he knew the windows overlooked the livery and the main street. He was closely followed by the undertaker Caldwell senior with his tape measure.

Dead Man's Hand A Town Called Obsession
"Listen, you're job is to back me up, because you'd starve without me. And you, your job is to shut up." - Butch Cassidy
The remaining Deputies continued up the street, whilst the Outlaws - rather than head directly to the Livery as expected - instead made to head off the Lawmen. This new bunch of outlaws were sure on the shoot!

They were evidently also immune to irony, as most of the Outlaw gang bunched up near the entrance to the alleyway between the Undertakers and the corral's long wooden fence - right next to a pile of freshly prepared coffins! Another outlaw decided to skip the preliminaries and headed straight to the cemetery, taking cover behind a gravestone. Even the undertaker was impressed.
Dead Man's Hand A Town Called Obsession
"Never run a bluff with a six-gun." - Bat Masterson

The lead was soon flying in the alleyway, as were the Hand cards from the outset. It was clear that these Outlaws appeared to have completely forgotten the plan to nab horses and instead appeared to be set on gunning down the Lawmen.

In the alleyway, the Sheriff and the Marshal went in guns a blazin', whilst the Outlaws were Shootin' Iron and blasting with shotguns at point blank range. Both sides must have had dust in their eye' as hardly any of the shots counted. The Marshal even decided enough was enough and went toe-to-toe with the Outlaw Gunslinger, scrapping like a couple of Kilkenny Cats.
"I didn't want to send him to hell on an empty stomach.” - Clay Allison after shooting "Chunk Colbert" at dinner.

Meanwhile, upstairs in the undertakers the deputy opened a side window and leaned out with his Repeater.  He wasn't sure which outlaw to aim at - it was a goddam duck shoot! Downstairs, another deputy had found himself a nice position by the window and started to blast away at a couple of Outlaws disturbing the cemetery.

One Outlaw, who'd given up queuing at the alleyway, slunk off around the front of the Undertakers, only to barge into one of the town's deputies. With a brief, point-blank but utterly useless exchange of fire, the outlaw bolted to join his comrade taking cover in the cemetery. Ultimately into his own grave, compliments of a deputy showing off his rifle skills to his buddies, watching from the safely of Rogan's Bar.

"I love it. It is wild with adventure." - Henry Starr describing the bandit life in the Old West shortly before he was shot to death in a gunfight in Arkansas.
Eventually, the Outlaws realised the war of the alleyway wasn't exactly going to be profitable and the sharper ones made a bid for the Livery instead. However, with the Lawmen dominating the escape route from the undertakers, the Boss whistled to up stakes.
"Can't you hurry this up a bit? I hear they eat dinner in Hades at twelve sharp and I don't aim to be late."- Black Jack Ketchum, just before he was hanged at Clayton, New Mexico on April 26, 1901

Cheers erupted from the Lawmen and the locals, spilling from the safety of their homes and businesses. The Outlaws had been beaten off for now and the Sheriff was already organising a posse to mount up and give chase. 

Undertaker Caldwell stepped into the alleyway with what passed as a grin, unwinding his favourite measuring tape...