Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Quick & the Dead -Dead Man's Hand AAR

Hugh and I got to run the new gangs in DMH. Hugh played the banditos and I ran the Pinkertons in the Judge Barker scenario.  DMH is played in 3 rounds, or scenes, that roughly model classic Western films. The first scene is a small and fast showdown leading to second fight, and ending with a Big Showdown that sees both sides field their full gang.

SCENE 1 Judge Barker Must Die!: The banditos are out to kill Judge Barker as he's sentenced one of their brethren to hang. The Pinkertons must keep the Judge alive and kill 2 of the 4 banditos.  Hugh took to banditos like a duck to water. Plethora of Pistols meant his pistol-armed bandits never ran out of ammo.  Ambush let him remove a bandito from the table and bring him back later in the game. Using Ambush, his shotgun armed bandito became the Grim Reaper. One by one, my Pinkertons fell to the shotgun and then Judge Barker fell too. Scene 1 to the banditos and I do hope the Agency collected in advance for this job!
A sleepy Western town. 
Deploying in front of the Undertaker's Office is never good.  
Banditos pop an ambush. The Judge can run but cannot hide.  
"4 large coffins, please. To go.   "
Business is booming.
Pinkerton down. Pinkerton down.  
"I'm afraid there's been a terrible misunderstanding, Mr. Muerte!" BLAM!
SCENE 2 The Gauntlet:  With the Judge dead, the Pinkertons loaded a witness into a wagon with 2 Pinkerton guards. All I had to do was get the witness off the table.  Easy right?  Well, no actually. The banditos put riflemen on rooftops and gunmen in the livery where I was starting from.  Just as my wagon passed by, a shotgun opened up and down went my first Pinkerton.  They were all to fall in my run to the border, er, other side of the table.

The wagon made it to the table's edge before a bandito rifle dropped my driver and halted the wagon. I sent a Pinkerton agent to replace the driver but he went down in a hail of bullets, as did my witness. With my Pinkertons failing to keep the Judge and the witness alive, I'm forced to change the agency motto from "We never sleep" to "Bad stuff happens!"
Things get hot from the start.  
The well sited riflemen caused us no end of difficulties.  
The banditos sweep the "Whose hat is bigger?" contest.  
Double trouble.
Last Pinkerton standing. 
The "forever" siesta.  
The Big Showdown:  This town ain't big enough for the both of us! Each side put 7 gunmen on the table and quickly, a back ally became a hotspot.  Both bosses and shotgun armed fellows answered the call. My shotgun wielding agent whiffed with both barrels 3 times at short range, earning him the nickname Mr. Magoo. Before he could procure glasses, he was cut in half by the shotgun-wielding bandito, Mr. Muerte. I did manage to kill the bandito boss and that came into play at the game's end when both gangs had to take Big Nerve tests.

Outside of Rogan's Bar, I had a run of good luck when my agent  dropped 2 banditos in cover over 2 rounds of shooting.  
Now you see 'em.
Now you don't.  
I ran my surviving Boss and right hand man to an alley near the outhouse.  Both gangs were below 50% so we started each round with a Big Nerve test.  Hugh and I passed our tests round after round, and we both continued to bleed out.  At the end, I was down to just my Boss and the banditos were down to two Caballeros. Finally, Hugh failed his nerve test and ran. The good guys win but it's nothing to celebrate.  The Pinkertons have 6 new openings to fill and they need to ensure the press doesn't publish the story of Judge Barker and the witness. The shame of it all!

The new gangs were a blast to run and I must say I like Dead Man's Hand more with each play.  It is fast yet challenging with so many options on a well set table.  The 3 scene structure builds a colorful story and energy for the Big Showdown.  The clever activation system keeps both sides guessing and plotting. Lastly, the game goes  well with beer.  What more could you ask for?
This woman means to kill us, boss!
Hiding in the alley by the Thunder Box.   
 A small queue builds outside of the Thunder Box.