Battleshed Diaries

Wednesday 20 January 2016

Obession in Falkirk

This week, I moseyed up to the Falkirk club, bringing along two of the terrain boards from my Old West town, Obsession, for a demonstration game or two of Dead Man's Hand.

Obsession boards 1 & 2 at the shiny (literally -look at that floor!) Falkirk club.
As a few of the club members had indicated interested in giving the game a try, I volunteered to moderate a few games by providing a couple of gangs and all the bits n' bobs to get them shootin'.

Transporting all four boards can be a bit of a logistical challenge for my moderately sized family car and would definitely involve removing all the buildings - they aren't fixed in place - and some creative board storage! This time I made things easier for myself by just bringing in the two town sections, with fittings in place.

They aren't heavy, (well, the mountain section is, probably why I took the town sections!), and have been designed with supporting batons. So, with a blanket covering the two boards to keep out the rain whilst I moved them from the car I managed to get them set-up in the hall at Falkirk in one piece.

Thinking about how I could make things as easy as possible for new players, I decided beforehand to create a set of custom 'character cards' for a Lawmen and Banditos gang. It's an idea I picked up along the line - I think I'd possibly seen something similar being used at a club or online - and bookmarked away in my long 'to do' list.

The cards have the title, name (I made them up!) and a picture of each miniature on the front of the card to aid identification. On the reverse, I put all the pertinent stats relating to that miniature for quick reference. I also included a cover card for each gang, with the gang specific rules.

Character cards in action!
Apart from making the miniatures much easier to identify as mentioned - especially for players not using their own, they also resolved the issue of having initiative cards from the Dead Man's Hand deck scattered all over the terrain.

Quite often, one or two have been missed in games I've played. Instead, the initiative cards are placed on top of the gang cards and voilĂ ! you have a neat and tidy solution!

Two full demo games were played, both using my 21 rep Lawmen and Banditos gangs. No specific scenario, the gangs just deployed at both ends of the main street and let rip! Keeps it simple for starter games.   

By the second game I think the players and onlookers were starting to understand the need for cover, especially when there's a mad, or more likely inebriated, Bandito staggering around giving both barrels of his shotgun at every opportunity! Some of the Banditos also seemed to have a penchant for knife-work!

From the feedback, it appears the character cards system worked really well with a number of folks, once they'd finished ogling Obsession, interested in how I made them.

Nothing difficult. I simply used a MS Word playing card template (lots of free downloads online), took a bunch of pictures, adjusted them in my photo-editing software and applied. I typed up the stats on the reverse, did a bit of fiddling with fonts and printed off on card. And stuffed them in plastic card sleeves to finish off. See, easy!
Banditos character cards - front side (click to enlarge)
Banditos character cards - reverse side (click to enlarge)

Anyway, from the feedback it was very successful demo and hopefully I've managed to garner more interest in Dead Man's Hand. I know of at least one Falkirk member who's now bought miniatures and the rules - and I'm getting all the blame!

As an aside, I came across a quirky frontier western movie on Netflix. It's called Slow West.

Its often the case I see advertisements for movies that appeal to me, but then forget about them until they surface on streaming services quite a while later. This is one of em'!

Set in the 1870's, where a young Scottish lad sets out across America in pursuit of his unrequited first love, who had to leave Scotland with her father for reasons later revealed in the film. The boy, Jay Cavendish (Kodi Smit-McPhee) is joined by an outlaw, Silas Selleck (Michael Fassbender), offering to act as his escort and guide...

It's certainly a quirky movie, with an assortment of colourful characters along the way and has, in my opinion, a touch of the Tarantino Style, especially the final scene. There is some beautiful scenery an much work has been done to give the look of the frontier, even though it was filmed in New Zealand! Worth a look if you haven't come across this film. 

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