Thursday, 8 June 2023

What a Cowboy!

If you’re in the hobby then I doubt you haven’t heard about the latest offering from TFL, “What a Cowboy”. I didn’t much enjoy What a Tanker so wasn’t sure if these new rules would be any good, at least in my opinion. I watched the YouTube videos and thought “hmmm, maybe?”. Some gamers I noted had mixed reactions after their initial games. But then chum Steve kindly offered to put on a game for a group of us at the Bristol Biguns club last Sunday and I couldn’t resist.

Here’s a little slice of Texas.

Steve has put a lot of effort and skill in to creating this lovely table. Thanks mate! There were six of us playing: Dave, Ken and Jordan versus Alan, Simon and myself, with Steve running the game. Each of us had two characters, a “greenhorn” (the lowest skill level) and a “shootist” (the next level up).

Here are my chaps, Billy Bob Wrigley (shootist) and Chester Tubbs (greenhorn), kindly supplied by Steve. Very nice!

I won’t give a description of the game mechanics as you can get that from TFLs YouTube videos. Anyway, we were soon into the action. The early turns saw little shooting as our miniature cowboys crept forward making the best use of any available cover. The scenario was a simple shoot out where each gang attempts to kill their opponents or perhaps drive them off when they feel they’ve had enough of being shot at.

Whilst pistols and shotguns have a fairly short effective range, as you would expect, a couple of figures on each side were armed with Winchester rifles and these can be deadly! Especially so if the character has one of a number of available skills that might improve his shooting. Other skills help with combat, movement, etc. I haven’t purchased the rules yet but hopefully you get the idea?

The opposing gang close the distance.

There are also rules for NPCs such as the miner leading his on the right of this pic. On the hill in the background you can just make out the base of a cowboy armed with a Winchester. He was proving to be a real threat. My chaps had pistols and a shotgun whilst Simon’s rifle armed chap was helping deal with the baddies opposing Alan’s men.

Given the pressing need for cover against the rifle, Bob and Chester head around the back of Ma Parker’s trading post.

A good roll of action dice allowed my greenhorn to hop over the fence, dash forward and pump a few bullets in to the chap lurking by the pig shed.

Thats’s all the photos I took alas. However, with casualties mounting on both sides we had to make morale rolls. I’m not quite sure how this was calculated but it’s something to do with how many men you have left standing and how many shock dice they have. As mentioned earlier, I’ve not got the rules. Anyway, both sides simultaneously decided enough was enough, so a draw then.

This wasn’t quite my first game as I’d previously had a small shoot out with chums Colin and Bill, (although as there was beer involved, the game became a little “hazy”). They’re not a complex set of rules by any means, which makes them ideal for a relaxed evening of toy soldiers combined with our terrible American accents and movie quotes! Is it an accurate simulation of shoot outs in the Wild West? Tbh, I’ve no idea, but it was a very entertaining evening of gaming with friends so you really can’t ask for more.

The rules allow for random events if you roll several sixes on your action dice. These can be positive or negative and range from one of your chaps being distracted by a snake, to several henchmen turning up, to more esoteric things like an Indian attack or a wandering bear. Anyone who has played Sharp Practice will be familiar with this sort of hilarity. I believe there are also some simple campaign rules so your gang can develop (assuming they don’t end up in Boot Hill) new skills, buy more gear, etc.

Steve is launching a campaign, starting next month, and I’ll be joining in for sure. I’ve ordered a few figures, cowboys from Foundry and Mexicans from Black Sheep Miniatures.

Again, a big thank you to Steve for sorting it all out and running the game!


Phil Robinson said...

YeeAhhh! Don't think you can go wrong with a wild west game no matter which rules you use, wait Once Upon a Time in the West🤔 although they were also fun with someone working things out for you😂

The Wargames Table said...

Cheers Phil! It was a jolly wheeze 🤠😂

Matt Crump said...

A beautiful looking collection but not really my thing at the moment 👍

The Wargames Table said...

Yeah, Steve’s stuff is lovely. Noted the key comment “…at the moment” 😉😂

George Anderson said...

Nice for someone to organise the game and a good read. But I will stick to DMH.

The Wargames Table said...

DMH does look good and maybe easier to manage a complete posse?
Steve is a great guy 😎

rross said...

Lovely looking table Matt! As it happen, my compadres and I will be having a similar Western outing tomorrow, but using the Gunfighters Ball rules from Knuckleduster. A lot of the figures are from the same source. So give it 36 hours, and I should have a game report on my blog!

The Wargames Table said...

Thanks, Steve does put on a good show.
Enjoy your game