Tonight we had intended to begin our Legends of the Old West Tournament but unfortunately one of our players couldn't make it so things got off to a faltering start. None-the-less we had a good couple of games.
After our training games where I used a Texas Rangers posse I decided to switch to "cowboys" for my posse. Welcome to the Ranchers of Ma Parker's Kinfolk.
Alice "Ma" Parker is up front in black (Trail Boss). Wilma "Lady Day" Holliday is in green, and their friend Molly Maidwich is holding the pistol (Greenhorns). These three fine upstanding ladies definitely were not "painted cats" in a past life now becoming bona fide by investing their money in a cattle ranch. The posse's four Buckaroos are Ma's son Elijah Parker in the brown duster with the repeater rifle, and his younger brother Gideon, backing up Molly in his brown hat. There's also Mexican Bob, and in the background, "Dapper" Dan Teague. Finally, Ma Parker has hired the gunslinger Kenny Kilkenny, an Irish hothead and stone killer (in the bowler hat).
In the first game I played Graeme's Lawmen and we kicked off with a bitter Vendetta scenario. Ma and her kinfolk had gathered at a corral, and the lawmen intended to ambush them and finish matters once and for all.
The lawmen crept in from the south...
Ma Parker and her kin were at the corral when they spotted the trouble brewing.
They piled out of the corral and spread out to avoid getting trapped in. Ma, Molly and Mexican Bob headed west to take on the Sheriff.
Followed by Lady Day.
The boys headed east, with Kilkenny swaggering forwards hollering and threatening the tin stars with all manner of wickedness. The deputies clambered up onto a store roof and took aim at the wild eyed Irishman.
Kilkenny was ambushed from a pile of rocks and turned to face off against the lawman. The gunslinger and deputy, both full of sand, blazed away at each other and when the Peacemaker smoke cleared, the deputy lay shot through.
With the Sheriff and his crew taking cover behind a fence, Ma and Lady Day emptied their belly-busters at the lawmen, amid a hail of accompanying sixguns. The fences exploded with splinters as the Sheriff ducked for cover.
Meanwhile, Kilkenny scrambled onto the roof to finish of the deputy there, and the two rolled about in a tussle, struggling to bring their pistols to bear.
Most of the tin stars now lay gutshot or rolling on the ground leaking from several wounds, and Ma's kinfolk closed in on the Sherrif.
It was only a matter of time and despite their best efforts, the Lawmen headed for the hills, leaving several of their friends dead and dying in the dust.
Ma took her posse back out onto their range and to their ranch house outside the town.
An good game although it was pretty one-sided. Kilkenny the Gunslinger hired gun was brutal, and overall my posse was able to lay down effective fire as a group while the lawmen were still split in two.
After the battle, my fighters survived, and three advanced:
Ma got a Fearsome Rep
Lady Day, apparently is a Card Sharp
And Kenny Kilkenny became a trick shooter!
So onto game two and I took on Dave's Texas Rangers; a hard hitting and tough crew to crack. We rolled "Hang 'em High" for the scenario and Dave's Lawmen were the defenders trying to hang our good friend "Crazy" Cosmo Coffey, a rather eccentric preacher. We'd turned up to save him from the long drop.
|Don't fret Cosmo! We's coming for ya boy!|
Dave set up to the north, near the gibbet. The scenario calls for bystanders, which would have made it easier for me, but as we don't have nice bystander figures (yet), we elected not to use them.
Having played this scenario several times I knew the difficulty is not getting the prisoner down off the noose, but keeping him alive afterwards! I have to either shoot the rope or cut him down, and them keep him alive until the end of Turn 12. This is going to be incredibly tough.
I set up and rushed out in three groups; a duo of pistoliers to head right and block/counter that flank, a rifleman into the rocks to try to shoot the rope, and the main group with all my heroes to try to rush the gibbet.
Dave pushed a fighter out to try to block me, but in a hail of five sixguns we pinned him down behind the timber pile and made the progress we needed.
He kept the bulk of his posse in the rear behind a pile of boulders.
Elijah blazed away at the rope, trying to shoot their preacher friend off the end of it!
|I GOT THIS MA!! *BANG*|
KEEP YORE HEAD DOWN PREACHER! *BANG*
ONE MORE SHOT! *BANG*
And then on turn four Elijah Parker shot the rope!
|Told ya ma! Just like huntin' critters on the range!|
Now the tough part begins - getting the preacher to safety. The Texas Rangers opened fire in a vicious hail of hot lead that chewed up the ground and buzzed through the coat of Crazy Cosmo as he fled in panic.
|Y'all'll burn in Hell fore this ya dang varmints!|
Only God his own self can judge ole Cosmo!!
To try to cover Cosmo's retreat to safety Ma and her folk pushed up, blasting away with buckshot and '45's.
But it wasn't enough and Cosmo's luck ran out. Texian shells found their mark, peppering his back with holes. The bible-thumper staggered back and forth before collapsing dead.
So I lost the second battle, but it was a lot of fun!
Legends of the Old West is an excellent set of skirmish rules the are simple to play, but with tactical depth. They're well worth having a go at if you get the chance.