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.  
Trouble.
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.  


39 comments:

  1. Those are some great game photos, Monty! The action was hot and heavy throughout. In "The Rules With No Name" that I used to play frequently, shotgun armed fighters at close range were definitely a blast...

    Looks like it might be tough recruiting more agents given the casualty counts.

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    1. Thanks Jonathan! The double barreled shotgun is a street-sweeper at close range. Even so, my fellow couldn't hit his own @ss with two hands on this day.

      The Pinkertons might have to go to the NY docks and hire a few toughs!

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  2. Nice photos of a superb looking game, Monty. Terrain and figures look great together. Sounds like a great playing game too. Best, Dean

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    1. Thanks Dean! The 4Ground buildings really shine. It is amazing how much detail they pack onto their buildings and they do make for a great table!

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  3. What an entertaining read! Beautiful looking game, non-stop action, and tells a great story. What more could you want from a game? :-)

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    1. It was a good one! In a 3 scene showdown, generally both sides will come away with at least one win.

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  4. awesome! writing with great photos to boot well done Monty!.... your The Quick & the Dead -Dead Man's Hand AAR would be a perfect article for Wargame Bloggers Quarterly web magazine?

    cheers,

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    1. Thanks Phil, I would like to get published in the WBQ one day!

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  5. Entertaining, great photos and terrain. Having been meaning to look into this game for a while now , and the models look great too.
    cheers
    mark

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    1. I gave this game a try and got hooked right out of the gate. The more I play it, the more I like it. I do think it's worth a spin.

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  6. Great AAR, Monty - be sure to have a selection of Ennio Morricone soundtracks on hand for a more immersive cinematic experience!

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    1. Evan, that is a clever idea! I'm going to get my hands on it and queue it up.

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  7. An excellent review, Monty.
    It felt like one of the good old black-white Western movies. Very entertaining.

    Cheers
    Stefan

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    1. Stefan! It really does have the sweep of an Old Western.

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  8. You've managed to create a very nice, beautiful and zippy AAR...some nice jewelry in both photos and descriptions, thanks for that!

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  9. Wow, great looking game Monty! And a great read as well.

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    1. Thanks Jonas and congrats on the new addition to your family!

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  10. Great AAR. Terrain and figures look wonderful

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  11. Very nice setup like the corpses too.

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    1. Thanks Robert, the guys having a lie down do add an extra bit of color. I hate it when most of those guys are from my gang!

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  12. Nice AAR, action packed and colorful! Makes me want to give DMH a go.

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    1. Iowa! I wish we were in the same city. We'd give this one a spin, and then maybe some of your AWI stuff too!

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  13. Very entertaining AAR and the board looks wonderful! It looks as if the Pinkerton's will be doing some serious recruiting!

    Christopher

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    1. Christopher! It was a bit embarrassing how my Pinkertons started the game.

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  14. Love the linked scenarios, Monty, and the table looks top notch.

    FMB

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    1. Thanks Marcus, I do love the linked scenarios!

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  15. Monty that's some amazing looking game! Your figures as well as the board make this a joy to look at.

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    1. Thanks Moiterei, it is a treat to get it set up on a table!

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  16. Lovely looking setup you have there Monty.

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  17. I have to say that I am relieved that I am not into westerns as these are some of the best looking terrain and figures I have seen.

    John

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    1. LOL! Careful, games like this can sneak up on us despite our best intention to focus on the games we're already playing. This for me was the surprise hit of the year. I tried it and loved it.

      Thans for your very kind words too!

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  18. I love the 4ground buildings. Man that set up just looks awesome!

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    1. Yea, 4Ground rocks. Amazing how our hobby has been beefed up with so many quality choices! Speaking of which, I have to see/raid your new Viking village.

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    2. We play at the FFG Event Center on Sundays typically. Just let me know if you want to give tge game a test drive. For this game we went with pretty much the bare bones table with few to no additional scenery details

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  19. Great to see those minis you painted recently put to good use! Looking lovely with those nice minis and 4Ground buildings!

    Did you play all this in one evening? Looks like DMH plays a lot faster than I would have thought! With the fun factor you had, this seems to be a real nice game!

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    1. A scenario of three scenes takes about 2.5 hours. Board set up and take down about another 45 minutes. Its a great game for an afternoon or evening at the store/club.

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