Battle Report: Birthday Bash

I had a pair of fun games of Dinosaur Cowboys around my birthday. The first was with my gaming group and the second was having my parents try the game.

First Match – Friends
DC-Birthday-Bash-Friends-0001The first match was a 4 person team game with 2 people per team. Each team had one new player, who got a melee based posse, and then another player who had taken part in the Battle to Seattle campaign.

We used a simple Edge deployment, and the objective was basically “Smash and Grab” but with 5 objectives (dinosaur eggs in this case) spread evenly across the table. Having a dinosaur egg in your possession meant you could re-roll 1 die per carrier activation. The game was set to last 6 turns with a possible extra 7 turn on a D12 roll of 7+ at the end of the 6th turn (which we ended up having). And finally the building in the middle was set to collapse one activation into turn 5 (which the players didn’t know in advance).

The posses involved were…
Team 1: Sundance Stompers and Sassy Slashers (new player)
Team 2: Death Snakes and Path of Rage (new player)

The game went well, Team 2 pushed forward early with their dinosaur and Path of Rage posse, and held back on their left flank with the Death Snakes. Team 1 had the Sundance Stompers in reserve on their right flank, and the Sassy Slashers were fairly outnumbered for the first bit of the game. In the end both teams had 2 eggs each, but the Sassy Slashers were able to dive their dinosaur into the garden to get the last egg. The dinosaur died, but the Sundance Stompers leader was right nearby to pick it up and run far enough out of range. So in the end 3 eggs and the victory for Team 1.
Since I was playing with friends I didn’t take a zillion photos, but the one above should give you an idea of how the table was setup.

Everyone seemed to enjoy the game, although one new player would have liked to roll more dice (like the fistfuls in Warhammer 40,000), so I’ll have to stick to 6 attack and up weapons for him in the future, haha.

Second Match – Family
This game was a couple of days later but I used a very similar table setup. I swapped the Mordheim inn building for my new resin structure (still need to paint it), and also a hill on the side for my old aquarium terrain that looks like an Indiana Jones ruin.


Anyway like I said this game was between my parents, who haven’t really ever played a wargame. So I left out a few rules, mostly around Traits and Dinosaur Panic, and I didn’t list all the weapon special abilities until they were relevant. They both seemd to take to the rules well and enjoy the game. I took a few more pictures during a break.

The two posses were: Sarge’s Lost Platoon vs Meadowlarks

DC-Birthday-Bash-Family-15The setup was similar for this game, using the Edge deploy, but a single Capture objective instead of the Smash and Grab approach from the previous game. So whoever had the most living entities within the resin ruin or garden (anything inside the fences) at the end of turn 6 would win. No special rules or cases otherwise.

Both posses defensively manuevered for the first couple of turns, but eventually the Meadowlarks dinosaur leapt forward with a Charge into Jim Baker. The Lost Platoon decided to focus all fire on the Fin dinosaur, who was eventually brought down after a full turn and a bit of shooting. But Jim Baker had died as the first casualty. Inside the building Preacher Pike from the Meadowlarks was the first person in, but he was charged by the enemy Raptor and slowly brought down to 1 Hitpoint.
Near the end of the game the Meadowlarks were able to bring Alizzar and Sarah Love into the building, which meant they had 3 entities inside. The Lost Platoon moved The Red Stinger from his sniper perch on a far hill a bit too late, and he wasn’t able to reach the building in time. Their leader Sarge was also inside the building, but outnumbered and unable to kill enough targets. So in the end the Meadowlarks won!
The Lost Platoon was close though, as Preacher Pike had 1 HP left, and Samurai Jack (the Meadowlark leader) had 4 HP left, so one good shot on the leader could have made everyone in the ruin Flee away. But that was not to be.

Lots of fun all around, and nice to get some new people to try out the game.

From here I’ll be focusing on getting v2.6 of the rules done (again I’ll post details about that in the future), and maybe painting a few miniatures (although I need to rework my painting table so it’s more comfortable, right now I’m way too hunched over).

Battle Report: The Mountie Chase of Samurai Jack

Cavalier_townWell this week is my 30th birthday (gulp) so what better way to celebrate than a battle report? I mean, there are definitely better ways than tediously formatting text and images, but you know what I mean :)

So the motivation for playing a game was simple: I had 3 new miniatures, I had new fences, and I love Dinosaur Cowboys.

Of course a little narrative goes a long way for giving a greater meaning to the conflict. So I took my usual approach of choosing a random small town in the USA, thinking about the posses involved and their motivation, and making a simple backstory from that.

First of all, the place: Cavalier, North Dakota. You can see it on Google Maps here, and they actually have a nice little quaint town website. Apologies if that sounded condescending, I actually really like the traffic cam of their main street, looks like a nice mellow place. The town actually reminds me of the recent Arnie movie The Last Stand (I don’t care what the critics say, I enjoyed it). Plus, simply put, the name of the town is awesome.

The Villains
DC-Cavalier-Border-Battle-0017Obviously my new samurai-with-a-shotgun mini would be used. He looked like a bandit and highway robber straight up, especially when I dubbed him “Samurai Jack”. I could see him living up in Canada (the border of which Cavalier is very close to), hiding out in the wasteland of ashes, and raiding across into what’s left of the States.
But who was Samurai Jack? Just a dude with an awesome name and a yin yang on his chest? Probably. But I figured anyone crazy (and lonely?) to live alone in a desolate, ruined, ash covered country wouldn’t like human contact much. So his only other non-dinosaur Posse member would be a robotic servant (yeah yeah I know I don’t account much for robots and androids in the backstory of the game) named Sir Javier. And to truly strike fear in his victims Samurai Jack would need an intimidating dinosaur, so T-Rex obviously.
For armament and customization I knew Samurai Jack would need a shotgun (to match the mini), and the top tier 4GJ Auto Shotgun fit well. A backup 100kW Peacemaker would give him some range (16″) until he could get to 9″ and unload with the shotgun. And even though he wouldn’t have any improvement to CTN a Short Sword was necessary for flavor and to match the mini. Then some really good armor (Mesh Armor), buncha Hitpoints, and RTN improvements. No traits for Jack though, he doesn’t need gimmicks to raid caravans.
Sir Javier was purely meant as a support type character. I gave him a Variable Pulse Rifle because it’s nice and versatile, and Boom Grenades because you never know when you’re gonna need grenades. I think of him like a robotic butler for Samurai Jack, haha. Anyway his traits really supported his supporty-ness with “Get Up” and “Retreat”.
Finally the T-Rex, “Red Dragon”, who got the “Sprint” trait. What that meant was if Sir Javier used “Retreat” on the T-Rex who also used “Sprint” the dino would be hauling it 13″ + 6″ for a run, so a 19″ threat range ignoring Difficult Terrain. Kapow!
I called the posse “Jack’s Highway Terrors”, and you can download the PDF of it here: Jack’s Highway Terrors – Roster.

The Story
For every villain there is a hero, and in this case Francis Fitzgerald (named after a real Mountie of course) would wrangle in Samurai Jack.
Obviously the borders are a little looser in the year 2285, so Francis would actually be a lawman modelled after the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police, with officers called Mounties for short). But he lived in the US, in Cavalier, as part of the “perimeter force”. Samurai Jack had been a constant, uncatchable thorn to the town, and finally after a farm was burned to the ground Francis had enough.
Pooling almost all the resources of the town, Francis hired a Neotechnoist sharpshooter, took his second in command Sergeant Kolden, fired up the old cop car (well, Thickskull dinosaur) named Herschel, and headed north to bring Jack to justice.
Of course as most stories are, this one would be told from the “heroes” side.

The Heroes
DC-Cavalier-Border-Battle-0022So as I said, the leader of this posse is Francis Fitzgerald, and he’ll be represented by the new red jacket wearing Mountie mini. The pistol I painted just SCREAMS Volcanic (mainly because it has a glowing orange energy chamber), so a 400kW Volcanic Pistol would do. Yes yes I know Volcanic pistols were lever-action and have nothing to do with actual volcanoes or lava, but this isn’t 1887. Francis seemed like the type of guy who could shoot the dots off a playing card at 100 yards, so “Knee Shot” and 6 RTN would be his specialty.
Next up was Sergeant Kolden, the only other Mountie in the area. I was considering just calling him Deputee or Corporal, but I could also see Francis feeling bad for “the kid”, and wanting to give him a better title and higher standing. Maybe it also helps Kolden stomach the fact that his day-to-day is saving Raptors from trees and he hasn’t had a raise in two years. Kolden would be represented by my classic Ghengis Khan / Russian looking guy.
Finally the hired Neotechnoist, a by-the-book, tight lipped sharpshooter dubbed Winter Council. The name suited the mini I had in mind, since I used the newly painted Necromunda Van Saar with his “sparkling Crest blue” armor. His stats were as by-the-book as his attitude, with 6 RTN and a 200kW Twin-Rifle. “Piercing Shot” as a trait seemed like a good pick, since he’s a sharpshooter after all.
Herschel would be a Thickskull, because I somewhat associate civilized towns and “good guys” with non-carnivorous dinosaurs. Maybe because they seem a bit softer or something? He got “Bonus Speed” to round out his Hustle distance.
So with that the Cavalier Perimeter Force was created. Grab the PDF here: Cavalier Perimeter Force – Roster.

The Setting
New fencessssssssssss! *laser show and pumping music*

And a nice little 3’x4′ chunk of land. Considering Samurai Jack has “Highway” in his posse name, a road down the middle seemed fitting (and the fences fit so perfectly against it). Then the usual smattering of terrain, plus some of the real world fossils I used in my last report.
And yeah, I played the game solo. Which always sounds a bit sad to be playing with toy dinosaurs and rolling dice alone, haha. But I actually enjoy it quite a bit, as I get a chance to play whenever I want, without any rule arguments or stress. And on the flipside by the time this post goes live I will have had a nice team game of Dinosaur Cowboys with my gaming group of four other people (two of who have never played it before, always exciting).

I didn’t take detailed notes for this game, so I’ll do a broad play-by-play from memory and pictures, like I did for the last battle report.

Deployment and Objective
The setup was nice and standard: Edge deploy (on the long 4′ edges) and play until one Posse is wiped out. Sometimes a nice old fashioned extermination is great, especially when there is enough of a backstory to add flavor.

The Perimeter Force deployed in tight formation, with the hope of using the tall hill in front of them to shoot down into the road as the enemies advanced. Herschel the dinosaur would likely end up a distraction and method of stalling the enemy approach. Meanwhile on the opposite flank across the road Kolden waited, hoping to swing in from the side as the enemy approached. So basically, lots of “do something deadly when Jack gets here”.
The Highway Terrors went for an opposite approach with Samurai Jack deployed far to their left flank, and Javier and the T-Rex on the right. The hope was to jump the T-Rex right into threatening range, while Javier hung back as support and Jack moved up to get into shotgun range (and minimums of Winter Council’s rifle).

Samurai Jack is Found, Attack!
The Highway Terrors won first initiative, and Red Dragon the T-Rex was off to the races. Like I said base Speed + Retreat trait from Sir Javier + Sprint trait from the T-Rex himself meant he could Move and Hustle a total of 21″ (while ignoring all Difficult Terrain, as dinosaurs do). So basically a big green missile with teeth instead of explosives. You can see how awesome the dive was:
And also how Red Dragon would pretty much catch Sergeant Kolden no matter where he went.

But the T-Rex was now unsupported and alone with a huge gap to the rest of the posse. And across the road trouble waited:

I mean, still, it’s a 2 Defense beast with 24 Hitpoints and a 1A-8D attack:
(And yeah the framed picture on the wall is totally the Dinosaur Cowboys cover art)

DC-Cavalier-Border-Battle-0060The Perimeter Force responded by moving over Herschel to hopefully tie up the T-Rex (and also likely become a light dinner in the process). Sergeant Kolden edged as far back across the road as possible. Then the three humans poured everything they had into the T-Rex, but the titan still stood. Meanwhile the rest of the Highway Terrors advanced without problem, since the good guys had bigger (literally) problems to worry about.

Time to Eat
As expected the T-Rex tore into the Perimeter Force. Herschel tried to ram the side of the T-Rex, and more shots were put into the beast, but none of it compared to the amazing bite attack Red Dragon got:

In case you aren’t familiar with the mechanics of the game (although I assume every reader has read every battle report for 5 years), the T-Rex succeeded at a Charge to reach Sergeant Kolden. This meant he got +1 Attack, so his 1 Attack, 8 Damage chomp became 2A-8D. He then hit with both dice, AND got a Critical on one, for a total of 11 damage. Guess how many Hitpoints Sergeant Kolden had? 10…so…hooray one shot kill!
DC-Cavalier-Border-Battle-0071(Also I like the far left image so much I’ll likely use it somewhere in the upcoming 2.6 version of the rules)

However at this point Red Dragon the T-Rex was a mess. I think he had ~10 Hitpoints left. But Sir Javier had the “Get Up” trait, which restores 5 Hitpoints to an ally in 8″. Since Red Dragon had jumped so far ahead the initial measurement was just a scratch out of range. Thankfully Sir Javier could angle his move differently, and since the measurement is to the closest point on the ally (which in the case of a big T-Rex adds a few inches), Javier was eventually able to use Get Up on the T-Rex and heal some Hitpoints.

At the end of the turn the board looked like this:

Fall of the Dragon
Even with Sir Javier healing the T-Rex, the sustained fire of 2-3 members of the Perimeter Force, plus the slamming attacks of Herschel the dinosaur, meant the T-Rex died almost immediately this turn.

Samurai Jack was getting quite close to the action now, and ducked behind a massive fossil left in the middle of the road. After the T-Rex had fallen Francis the Mountie moved back behind the tall hill to block line of sight to the Highway Terrors. Similarly Herschel had cut across the road and into Cover, with the hope of swinging around and taking out Javier. As for Javier himself he stood behind one of the new fences and hoped to get a shot or two on the Thickskull dinosaur before it pummelled him.

Tensions Mount
Samurai Jack was behind the big fossil, Francis and Winter Council were likewise behind a tall hill, which meant the game settled into an uneasy tension of “who will pop out first!”. Because if Jack rushed forward he’d take two shots from the waiting Perimeter Force members. Likewise if one of the good guys hopped up the hill they’d get a shotgun to the face.
Meanwhile Sir Javier and Herschel had basically started their own deadly game on the other side of the road. Herschel needed to reach Javier, obviously, but with the versatility of the Variable Pulse Rifle (it has “Power Settings” which allow it to change the configuration of Attacks and Damage from say 5A-1D to 3A-3D) Javier could likely hit the dinosaur wherever he went.

The next turn the tension ended and blood was spilled. Herschel managed to Charge Sir Javier and do quite a number on him. But this also exposed the dinosaur to Samurai Jack, who could simply pivot in place and pour fire into the Thickskull, all the while remaining safe behind his fossil from the rest of the Perimeter Force.
(You can see in the right picture how invisible Jack was from the position of Francis and Winter Council, even if they had climbed the hill)

Standing Alone
The Perimeter Force managed to get the first Activation, which meant Herschel could attack Sir Javier again and destroy the poor robot. After that Herschel could still move (so nice to have rules that allow you to attack then move, instead of being forced to move and attack in a set order) so he went into close combat with Samurai Jack, in the hopes of doing a bit of damage, holding the villain in place, and potentially letting the rest of the good guys get into a spot to kill Jack.

Keep in mind Samurai Jack has a 4GJ Auto Shotgun, which gets the “Open Choke” special ability of +1 Attack at Short Distance. So Jack was firing at 5A-4D on Herschel, who had already taken a bite from the T-Rex and a pair of shots from Sir Javier. So when Samurai Jack held down the trigger the Thickskull just evaporated into a pool of superheated plasma (Fallout 2 style! :) ).
Which meant Samurai Jack was now alone against two enemies: Francis and Winter Council. The pair had used Herschel’s attack as a distraction to climb the tall hill in front of them, so they now bore down on Jack and waited for him to move from behind the rock.
The following turn Francis actually moved down from the hill to the other side of the fossil. Again the tension returned in what amounted to a standoff. Who would move first from their unassailable cover?! I could also imagine Francis yelling out “Throw down your gun, we have you surrounded, come out with your hands up” and other such cliches. I love it when the game ends up playing out the natural progression of the backstory.

The Final Firefight
Samurai Jack had killed dozens of people and raided and pillaged his way across the north. He wasn’t scared of an 8 Hitpoint Neotechnoist in a blue jump suit! So Samurai Jack broke the stalemate and edged around the fossil and simply UNLOADED into Winter Council.
And the Neotechnoist folded like a book. In other words, Samurai Jack 1-shot killed Winter Council.

And so the battle came down to the classic protagonist vs antagonist match up. But the firefight wasn’t in the favor of the good guys this time! Francis could hit Jack on 10+, or 9+ if he managed to get into Short Distance, using a simple 5A-4D weapon. Whereas Samurai Jack was hitting back on 8+ (7+ at Short Distance) with a 4A-4D weapon (or 5A if he could again get to Short Distance). And Francis only had 12 Hitpoints while Jack had 14.
Having his whole Perimeter Force wiped out, and now facing the terror of the highways, outskilled and outgunned, Francis wasn’t in the best situation.
(Keep in mind these are actual gameplay photos, not posed. So the game literally came down to a dual in the street between the main hero and villain)

Then an amazing miracle happened to save Francis’ life. He rolled AWESOME:

Oh 9+ at Short Distance you say? Let me hit you 4/5 times for 8 damage says Francis! Samurai Jack did the complete opposite and actually had to Reload his Auto Shotgun (that’s why he has the Reload token in the second picture).
And if the first shot from Francis seemed good, look at that second one! Hit 5/5 with a Critical Hit for a total of 10 damage!

So on that cold morning on an empty street north of Cavalier, the lone Mountie Francis Fitzgerald found and dueled the notorious Samurai Jack and was victorious. Time to take the villain back to Cavalier to pay for his crimes!

So Fun
That was fun! I said it above as well, but I’ll re-iterate it here (in case you just scroll through the pretty pictures, which is fair :) ). I really love it when game mechanics and the flow of a battle end up exactly how you hoped they would. In this case the backstory was a classic matchup of cop vs robber (more or less), and to come down to a duel in the street was too perfect. I remember one of my Windy River campaign games having a similar outcome, where I had setup a caravan raid (using the Line deploy) and it felt exactly like the frantic, chaotic mess getting attacked while spread out in the jungle would be.
I always take such gameplay-fits-narrative (or supports the narrative, however you want to word it) as a good sign for the state of the rules. I also am happy that, at the end of the day, I wrote and developed Dinosaur Cowboys to be the game I want to play. Sure I like suggestions and feedback, and enjoy hearing of other people playing the game, or showing to to friends, or whatever. But in the end my goal was to design my own favorite game, and so far it’s worked wonderfully. I mean, it took ~5 years of on-and-off work, but still!

Battle Report: Get to the Flapper!

ChoppaFirst of all, how has it been over 6 months since my last post?! Well, after the Battle to Seattle campaign and v2.5 release I took a bit of a breather from Dinosaur Cowboys. Then before you know it Christmas came around. And then here we are in 2015. Like I mentioned in my last post my wife and I had a kid, so that’s also been a big factor. Also getting into the computer game Euro Truck Simulator 2 (of all games?!) and back into Awesomenauts also took some time. Regardless my apologies for the lack of posts here.

But I finaaaaally took the time to sit down and play Dinosaur Cowboys yesterday, which I’ve been meaning to do for quite a while. I used a single 3’x4′ board covered with a lot of terrain, as well as some real-life fossils that I collected when I was a teenager. The Flapper area was designed to look like a small landing pad/airport with crates and a wagon nearby.

There aren’t a ton of pictures or notes because I ended up playing with my wife, so there was less time to catalog every turn.

Deployment and Objective
First of all for the sake of simplicity no Features were used. The Objective was “Escort”, where a Civilian has to basically traverse the board and escape. The Deployment was “Layered” to give the impression of fighting through a series of enemy lines (with the unspoken exception that the Civilian would be deployed in the further region from their escape area).
To add a bit of narrative flavor I figured the Civilian is an Archaeologist who found a rare fossil in South Dakota. Before he could return to the nearest city with his find the Black Hill Raiders descended on him and took him prisoner. Now the Raiders are trying to move him to a Flapper (aka the Arnold Schwarzenegger “Get to the chopper Flapper!”) to escape the area, return to their hideout, and ransom the fossil (and Civilian) to the highest bidder. Local homesteaders the Birkshire Family get wind of this plot and assemble to stop the kidnapping. So a fun little twist on what’s normally “good guys escorting through bad guys”. Remember that Flappers are Pterodactyl replacements for airplanes in Dinosaur Cowboys.

Now the posses involved might sound familiar, and that’s because they are pulled directly from the 9-page Quickdraw Rules. Both posses have $1,000 and 100 IP, so pretty standard. The Black Hill Raiders use a Raptor and focus on melee, so the Layered deployment really helped them. The Birkshire Family have quite a few powerful guns like an Ultra Repeater, 500kW Walker Revolver (when explained to my wife she said “That seems like it does a lot of hits”), etc. So the match up should be interesting. I played the Raiders and my wife played the Birkshire Family.

You can get the PDFs here:

Setup and A Few Pictures
The game lasted 5 turns.
The Layered deploy REALLY made a mess of everything. There were some possible “Shot in the Back” moments right from the get-go, due to later groups ending up behind enemies.

For the Black Hill Raiders, Betty One-Eye (Necromunda Escher Juve figure) and The Blade (Dark Sun Mul figure) deployed far to the north of the Flapper, with their Civilian nearby. The plan is to use the mix of melee and firepower to escort the Civilian and distract enemies as they went. Opposite them from the Birkshire Family is Brother Jerrid (preacher figure) and the trusty Ducky mount Drake.
The final deployment zone belonging to the Black Hill Raiders consisted of Maynard Dereus, the shotgun wielding leader (Necromunda Ratskin Shaman figure). Behind him is Malice, the Raptor dinosaur. I had wanted to use the Papo “alternate” paint scheme for this dinosaur, but I think it got bent in the storage bin as it wasn’t standing up properly.
And the last deployment zone for the Birkshire Family, which included the Flapper, had Mama Hanna (Warhammer 40,000 Schaeffer’s Last Chancers figure) with her Ultra Repeater on a hill, and nearby Papa Jonas (bartender figure) blocking the east flank.

Here you can see a few views of the deployment:
From left to right: View from the southern Flapper end of the table, focus on the middle deployment zones, high level view looking west (you can see how everyone ended up pretty much on one flank).

I can’t speak for the Birkshire Family, but I know my plan with the Black Hill Raiders was to split my enemies up. So the Raptor would move south towards the Flapper zone to lock down and distract foes there (classic dinosaur move really), while Maynard would flank into the northern split of Birkshire Family. The Civilian would Hustle every turn in a desperate attempt to stay in cover and not get killed.

Here are a few more pictures of deployment, since like I said once the dice started rolling the photos stopped coming.
On the left you can see the northern deploy, with the Civilian visible (he’s the Prospector looking fellow in the blue hat). Notice how close the Ducky is…could get ugly right away.
On the right is the Flapper “end zone”, with a few supply crates and a nearby wagon. For the purposes of this game the Flapper and wagon dinosaur are just scenery and not something you interact with.

If you’re into fossils, well, here are some zoomed in shots of a few. They make great, thematic terrain pieces, just a bit drab in color (maybe they need a gloss spray). In general they vary from nice cover pieces to full on line-of-sight blocking hunks o’ rock.

And finally some cinematic shots, first of the Black Hill Raiders leader Maynard overlooking the battlefield from his perch. Then a shot of Mama Hanna awaiting her foes in the Flapper area.
DC-Flapper-Escape-0019After Action Report
As for the game itself, Birkshire started by Charging the Ducky into melee with Betty One-Eye, thankfully avoiding the Civilian for now. The Blade counter-Charged into Brother Jerrid, who was nearby on the hill. Of course he then promptly got blasted backwards when Brother Jerrid did “Fan the Hammer” with his 500kW Walker Revolver, followed by a Speed Reload. Maynard had a terrific Saber weapon, so in the interest of utilizing that as soon as possible he climbed down the cliff and moved towards the Ducky. Meanwhile the Civilian ran forward as much as possible. On the backline the Raptor moved towards Papa Jonas but couldn’t quite reach him and didn’t want to risk a Charge. Mama Hanna fired at the Raptor to begin whittling down his Hitpoints.

Turn 2 saw the start of some long dinosaur combats. The Ducky did consistent, but LOW damage to Betty One-Eye, while she alternated between pistol fire and using her Flail depending on what the best odds were. Meanwhile the Raptor Charged at Papa Jonas, but ended up missing nearly all of his 1A-5D attacks through the course of the game. The fact that Mama Hanna used “Get Up!” on Papa Jonas meant he survived the initial Charge and then stayed in combat to futilely try to use his Scattergun.
First blood went to The Blade, who Charged in again and managed to kill Brother Jerrid before being shot down by Mama Hanna in turn. A worthwhile trade as the Civilian had a nearly unobstructed run to the Flapper now, with just Mama Hanna standing in the way.

Turn 3 was much of the same, with the Civilian taking a shot from Mama Hanna. But his substantial 14 HP pool meant more than a few Ultra Repeater hits would be needed. Eventually Maynard Charged into the back of the Ducky, and the pain started…like really, really started. The Saber hits at 3A-6D, with +1 Attack on Charge, so you can imagine how long the Ducky lasted. He basically never cleared Panic and took 11 HP of damage on the first Charge. Unfortunately the Black Hills Raider player (me, haha) didn’t use the “Berserker” Trait for a glorious 6A-6D attack (which likely would have one-shot the Ducky, combined with the existing damage from Betty One-Eye).

Turn 4 saw the Raptor and Papa again fail to hit each other. Papa unfortunately needed a Reload on his pistol fairly early on in the fight, otherwise he could do more reliably done damage that way instead of a risky 1A-5D Scattergun shot hitting on 8+. Luckily the Raptor is hitting on 8+ as well. The Civilian is within a turn of the Flapper now, but took another shot from Mama Hanna on the way and is down to 5 HP. As expected the Ducky didn’t last another turn against Maynard’s wrath, freeing up the two Black Hill characters to move towards the Flapper area.

Turn 5 wrapped up some of the attacks. After killing the Ducky last turn, Maynard had moved south, and this turn could move again and Charge at Mama Hanna. The successful Charge dropped her like a sack of bricks. This left Papa Jonas alive, and the Civilian one Activation away from the Flapper. Summoning his courage the Birkshire leader left combat with the Raptor (who failed to Snap Attack, which would have killed Papa), and angled his line of fire to get one last shot on the Civilian.
Annnnnnd promptly missed! Because he is the Leader he can’t “Yeehaw!” himself, so with that, the Civilian activated, moved to the Flapper, and the game was over. Victory to the Black Hill Raiders!
Here you can see the final, desperate shot of Papa Jonas as the Civilian rounds the hill towards the Flapper.

What’s Next?
Great fun all around! With deployment and rules explaining the game still only took about an hour. As you know I’m so happy with the state of the Dinosaur Cowboy rules. I do have some very minor tweaks (this is literally one of my TODO items: – Fix capitalization in Quickdraw rules for “100kw” instead of “kW”), but otherwise it’s all good.
I won’t make any promises of getting another game in on this table, or doing the Lego town I mentioned in my last post. Instead I’ll just say hopefully I talk to you again soon!

Battle Report: Fight for Flaming Gorge

Encounter Overview
Flaming-Gorge-sceneryIt’s been a long while since a non-Windy River campaign report. But enough factors compounded that made me want to run a standalone game of Dinosaur Cowboys. First of all I just finished one of my 3’x4′ boards, of which I’ll eventually have two that join together to give me 6’x4′ of playing space, or two side-by-side games. I also bought the new Papo Dimetrodon (“Fin” in this game) and Papo Carnotaurus (could be a bunch, but I ran it as a Raptor to match the Fin cost). I finished painting up my Prospector from a while back, and hadn’t used my painted Bartender mini in a game yet. And finally I got some great looking pre-painted crates from Pegasus Hobbies (not the prettiest website, but certainly the prettiest crates!) that match my older pre-painted barrels.
So yeah, time to sit down with some beef jerky, turn on some music, and play some Dinosaur Cowboys. In this case the nearly complete v2.1 that will be released soon.

The backdrop I used for the game was the Flaming Gorge area in southern Wyoming. There was plenty of water around the area, and it is close enough to the volcano and Neotechnoist city that I could see them sending an expedition to determine if the water could be a useful supply to them. And of course there would already be old pioneer Dusters there who are quick to defend (what they see) any intrusion on their land.

DC-Fight-for-Flaming-Gorge-0033aPosse: Flaming Gorge Explorers PDF roster / Saloon link
The Neotechnoist gang of three, who also had the Fin dinosaur (seemed a bit friendlier than the Carnotaurus, even though Dimetrodon was technically a carnivore). Pretty simple gang since there was only $1,200 and 120 IP to work with. High Defense all around and lots of nice weapons like Auto Shotguns.
For Traits I decided to try something fun, which was to buff out Corey, who had the Scattergun. Since it’s an Explosion weapon I figured Rapid Fire and Strain Weapon would go well together, to give him a 3A-5D attack, +2 damage to initial target, and 5 damage to all nearby targets.
Like I said, pretty “by the books” Neotechnoists.

Posse: Flaming Gorge Explorers by Carlo (0/120 IP, 0/1200 ND, 0/3 Traits)

Aura (Neotechnoist Leader)
DEF 2, RTN 7, CTN 8, BTN 7, SPD 4, HP 10, Eagle Eye.
Auto Shotgun, Quilted Armor, Small IRP.

Ace Floren (Neotechnoist)
DEF 2, RTN 6, CTN 8, BTN 8, SPD 4, HP 10.
High Burst Rifle, Cloth Armor.

Corey Jervey (Neotechnoist)
DEF 2, RTN 6, CTN 8, BTN 8, SPD 4, HP 10, Rapid Fire, Strain Weapon.
Scattergun, 80kW Six-Shooter, Padded Armor, Small IRP.

Blazeback (Untrained Fin Dinosaur)
DEF 2, DIS 6, CTN 7, PANIC D6, SPD 5, HP 17.

DC-Fight-for-Flaming-Gorge-0010aPosse: Flaming Gorge Pioneers PDF roster / Saloon link
This would be the Duster posse that is homesteading at Flaming Gorge. Again I went for a pretty standard spread of characters. The Prospector Leader mostly went melee / close focused. I wanted to try out the “Doctor” Trait some more so I gave their priest, Father Claude, two Small IRPs. They got the Carnotaurus dinosaur (as a Raptor) who I gave Inspiring Shot since that’s a great (if situational) HP recovery mechanism.
It’s always a tough call to go with 3 or 4 initial members, especially in a non-campaign game. But I figured 4 less well equipped and trained members was a better fit for the Dusters, and three specialized members were better for the Neotechnoists.

Posse: Flaming Gorge Pioneers by Carlo (2/120 IP, 0/1200 ND, 0/3 Traits)

Prospector Wippert (Duster Leader)
DEF 2, RTN 8, CTN 6, BTN 7, SPD 3, HP 12, Berserker.
Club, 80kW Six-Shooter, Cloth Armor.

Chieko Barman (Bandit)
DEF 0, RTN 6, CTN 8, BTN 8, SPD 4, HP 10.
Light Repeater.

Winterberg (Duster)
DEF 0, RTN 7, CTN 8, BTN 8, SPD 4, HP 10.

Father Claude (Duster)
DEF 1, RTN 7, CTN 8, BTN 8, SPD 3, HP 11, Doctor.
Double Barrel Shotgun, Small IRP, Small IRP.

Gorgon (Feral Raptor Dinosaur)
DEF 1, DIS 5, CTN 6, PANIC D6, SPD 6, HP 18, Inspiring Shot.

New Table and Crates
First of all, the new boaaaaaaaaard! Oh wait, it’s actually hard to photograph on it’s own because of the glare, haha.
The board is 4’x3′ particle board, which is heavy and stable so overhanging from the table isn’t a big deal. I was originally going to go with MDF but it’s super heavy, sometimes bows, and over-absorbs liquids. I drilled some wooden dowels onto one side so that I can securely join this board with the other half. Then I put the board down on a black non-slip mat.
As for painting there is a nice mottling effect from three colors of spray paint. I started with a base layer of dark green, then did some lighter highlights with a brighter green, and then finished the coloring off with a gentle dusting of brown to give it some dirt patches.
After that I spray painted my wooden edging a bright blue (the can said “Lagoon” which was appealing). The wooden edging is just pre-fabricated textured wood from a craft store. I glued the painted strips around the edges to protect the interior particles. Then I gave everything a solid double spray of protective clear coating. The board was ready to go!

The other newness are the pre-painted crates I got. I actually had to do a bit of touch up on them since the sharp corners tended to chip paint. After I touched up the corners I gave them a protective coat as well to prevent the problem in the future (hopefully). They’re a great size though, in scale with my existing barrels, and perfect for a wild west theme.

Deployment, Objective, Features
Now back to the game.

Since Flaming Gorge has a bunch of water, and that was a central focus to this encounter, I used my textured road pieces to represent the river. Yes, I’ll eventually get some simple blue cloth so it at least LOOKS like water :)
The river used two new Features from the upcoming v2.1: “Strong Current Water” and “Populated Water”. From the rulebook:
Strong Current Water: For every 1″ of Movement within the water, the entity is placed 2″ towards the nearest table edge.
Populated Water: Upon entering or Activating within the water, make a 2A­2D, CTN 7 attack against the entity from all the vicious dinosaurs lurking under the surface.
In other words a fast flowing river full of biting dinosaurs.

The alleviate the danger of crossing the river I used the crates and barrels like a bridge. The idea was they would be Difficult Terrain to climb up, but once on them you could cross at a normal pace. But then to make the crossing just as dangerous (in hindsight…perhaps TOO dangerous) I made the barrels have the Exploding feature (another new one from v2.1). Again from the rulebook:
Exploding Container: Can be attacked with statistics of 0 Defense and 4 HP. When taken Out of Action apply a D6″ Explosion that does 5 damage, and then remove this container from the table.

To make sure everyone was forced to suffer through this horrible river and deadly bridge, I put an objective marker on each crate bridge, for a total of 3, and made the overall Objective “Capture”.

For Deployment the type “Deep Edge” was used, going from the short table edges. This meant both sides would have a forward scout ahead of the rest of their Posse. I figured this fit with the theme since the Neotechnoists would be road wary and the Dusters might be out patrolling their land.

In this case the Duster Pioneers used Winterberg as their scout. The Neotechnoist Explorers used Aura as their scout. Also Prospector Wippert and Father Claude started mounted on Gorgon the Raptor.

The Dusters got the south side (nearest me) and the Neotechnoists got the opposite north side (near the skeleton). I really need to start putting a compass on my pictures.

Game Start
I tried to keep some notes, but not as much as usual since I mainly wanted to enjoy my new scenery, minis, toys, and rules. And enjoy it I did:

Turn 1
As usual the first turn was basically “oh no I deployed like this but the enemy deployed like this, time to react!”. So mostly people just shuffled around and generally forward.
Gorgon stopped a bit short of the water since he couldn’t quite make it across with a Hustle. That would have meant TWO attacks from the Populated River, since he’d suffer one for entering and one for Activating inside (next Turn).
Winterberg crossed the far right bridge to try to get his Laserbow into range, and also lock down an objective.
On the other side Aura almost had a shot at Winterberg, but would have had to aggressively move forward to get in range. Instead he played it safe and moved behind the cover of a tree.
In general I tried to less cover this time to force some shots in the open, for a change of pace.

Turn 2
And so the bloodbath begins.
The Neotechnoists won Initiative and Corey moved as far ahead as possible to barely be in range of the barrel by Winterberg. When I had moved Winterberg I actually forgot about the Exploding barrels, so he ended up awkwardly close to a dangerous barrel. Corey managed to hit the barrel which exploded glorious, doing 5 damage to Winterberg who failed his Bravery Test and was Fleeing. Normally this is just a minor setback, except Winterberg would be Fleeing backwards into a river full of hungry dinosaurs!
Meanwhile Gorgon aggressively moves across the river, but takes an unlucky Critical from the Populated River Feature for a total of 4 damage. This would be a theme for the poor dinosaur. The reason he moved up so recklessly was to get Father Claude (who was a passenger) adjacent to Winterberg. At that point Claude could use a Small IRP (plus his Doctor Trait) to heal Winterberg back to full HP.
When moving Aura I almost forgot about the OTHER river feature of Strong Current. He was trying to move to cross the river, compared to the crate bridge (after seeing the hazardous barrels explode), but then I realized the Strong Current would just push him into the barrels anyway. And even if he did get across he’s outranged by Chieko Barman. So instead Aura cut across towards Winterberg and the dinosaur to try to help there.
At this point Winterberg Fled backwards, into the river, taking 3 additional damage and getting pushed almost off the table!

Turn 3
Forward they surge!
Gorgon starts by crossing the second river, taking another 3 damage in the process (ouch!). The intent was to flank the Neotechnoist dinosaur as well as Corey and eventually Aura. Unfortunately Father Claude had some bad luck shooting. He tried to use Both Barrels against Corey at a 10+, but missed with everything. The Prospector Leader riding nearby used his Yeehaw! ability but Claude STILL missed. So much for the opening shot.
In return Corey moves to Short Distance, uses both his Rapid Fire AND Strain Weapon Trait, and then blasts Gorgon. He hit for a Crit plus one, which with the Strain Weapon Trait resulted in 10 damage to Gorgon! Just as deadly was the Explosion ability of his weapon, which did a further 5 damage (each!) to the passengers. Explosion weapons are the bane of heavily loaded Dinosaurs, since all the passengers get hit when the mount does. To top it all off Father Claude is now Fleeing, which means he’ll steer Gorgon BACK across the river.
Before the river dinosaurs can gobble up Gorgon, Aura decides to try to finish off the clump of enemies. He moves forward to shoot the Prospector at 9+, misses ALL his shots, AND needs to Reload. Dangit Auto Shotgun :(
Meanwhile Ace moves to Long Distance against the Barman, hits easily for 5 damage, and makes him Flee.
And finally Blazeback tries to Charge to finish off Gorgon, but fails by a measly 1″. The lucky Gorgon dinosaur survived for another turn…but just barely.

Turn 4
The Dusters are in a precarious position at this point. Their main push from the mounted Dinosaurs has basically crumbled. Even their long range support (Barman) is now Fleeing. And Winterberg is basically feeding himself to the river dinosaurs after having to cross it so many times.
The Neotechnoists win the first Initiative, which is brutal for the Dusters since they’ll get another shot at Gorgon before it can escape. And who better than Corey. He moves slightly around the side, this time shooting at Father Claude. He hits and kills Claude for 6 damage, and the Explosion also kills Gorgon (from the 5 damage) and leaves the Prospector Leader at 2 HP! I think the MVP for the Neotechnoists this game is: Explosion guns vs mounted dinosaurs!
Desperate to get revenge, Prospector Wippert moves next. He activates Berserker, Charges successfully at Corey, and hits him for 6 damage with his Club (well, Shovel :) ), which makes Corey Flee.
But there is plenty of support nearby, as Blazeback moves forward and bites Prospector Wippert in half. Seeing their Leader die makes BOTH the remaining Dusters Flee.
Winterberg is next, and after Fleeing backwards he shoots desperately at Blazeback, needing an 11+. A lucky 1 Attack Critical hits for a total of 7 damage. But it’s a mere shadow compared to the stomping the rest of the Duster posse received.

At this point the game was pretty much over, and with only 1 Turn until the Objective turn limit I decided to call the game in favor of the Neotechnoists. Talk about rebuffing a charge!

Game 2 Rematch!
Since the first game was so quick, and the night was so young, I decided to keep the terrain, rework the Features and Deployment, and have another game!

This time the Barrels AREN’T Exploding, and do nothing but provide Cover as normal.

The crates are fancier and use the Sturdy Container and Ammo Container Features new to v2.1:
Ammo Container: Adjacent characters can ignore a roll that necessitates a Reload.
Sturdy Container: Adjacent characters can attack with a ranged weapon with a +1 Attack bonus.
So in other words really good for ranged characters!

The water also got a change, to become a Noxious Stagnant river:
Stagnant Water: +1 Defense to any entity attacked within the water.
Noxious Water: Upon exiting the water the entity is Stunned.
So basically nice and defensive if you’re in the river, but a bit tricky to leave the river. I like combining Features like this.

For the Objective I kept the same objective markers and “Capture” Objective.

The deployment used was “Deep Corner”, from the long table edges. Because both Posses could deploy up to the middle, and because the crates and river combination were so awesome (basically +1 Defense, +1 Attack, no Reload) the middle ended up being a cluster of ranged characters eager to use the features.

I took basically no notes, aside from writing down that the game ran for 7 Turns. Here are all the pictures, then a brief recap from memory:
Basically the Dusters played it a bit safer this game, trying to use the crates to snipe and not overcommitting early on. They did try to attack the crate “stronghold” the Neotechnoists had in the middle of the river, which went okay but also had a high casualty rate for the Dusters. The Neotechnoists couldn’t really effectively commit their dinosaur or Corey, which helped the Dusters survive longer. The combination of +2 DEF AND the +1 DEF from the river made shots hard for the Dusters though. In the end the game came down to some cat and mouse (thus why it went to 7 Turns) between Barman vs Ace and Blazeback. Ace basically sat back and let the dinosaur do the work though, since she was outranged by Barman (Heavy Repeater 14″ vs Light Repeater 16″). Barman desperately tried to take down the barely wounded Fin dinosaur, but a bad pair of shots meant the dinosaur reached melee. Then a bad loss of Initiative meant the dinosaur could KEEP in melee even after Barman Fled backwards.
In the end Ace survived with full HP, and Blazeback at a mere 3 HP. If the last Initiative roll had gone better, or even if Barman had been a bit luckier in his earlier shots, he probably could have brought down the dinosaur, and then maybe outranged Ace for the win.
But that’s not how it turned out, and the Neotechnoists took the game 2 rematch as well!

Search for the Antidote – Windy River Day 7

Well, it’s been a whiiiiile! The timestamp of the images for this battle report are from the middle of October! Then again I did have a grand total of 3 or 4 days free in all of December, so I’ve been a bit busy. Too much Mad Men, Robocraft, Simcity 4, family and friends, and gin. At least that’s the excuse I’m going to use :)

Anyway when we last left off the Drylands Expedition had helped defend Hyran Mine against Night Dagger raiders. During the fight Amparo was hit by a “Toxic Gun”, which infected him with a deadly poison. With barely a break to breathe, the posse immediately headed towards an outlying / forward post of the Night Dagger camp. Their intent was simple: get an antidote for Amp!
In addition a new member joined the posse, named Sarah Love, as talked about here. Since I last mentioned her I’ve painted 90% of the figure (mainly just need to finish the base and a few details), so hopefully I can wrap that up soon.

DC-Windy-River_Antidote-0006My notes for this battle are…sparse. As in not even a page. But the pictures speak volumes. I think the table looked really good this time, as I went for slightly lower hills, the black mat (to represent the dark hills around Hyran Mine), an old abandoned bus (which I always love), and best of all I got to use my new inexpensive roads! Brief sidenote, the roads are made by cutting out textured fabric from a local craft store. They look good (especially for the price) and the cobblestone really pops on them. I cut a few to be main roads and a few to be little side trails, so lots of variety. Now that I’ve (successfully) tested the roads I think I’ll try to get more fabric in the near future and make even more roads.

I played on my usual gamesroom table, 4’x3′. I’m hoping to get two slabs of wood to make the table 6’x4′ at some point (so I can run two simultaneous Dinosaur Cowboys games) but for now it’s the classic size.

The Night Daggers had to Destroy 4 casks of Anti-Toxins. If the Drylands Expedition could stop them from doing this, there would be enough antidote leftover to help Amp.

The deployment used was “Quadrant”, although my rolls basically made it “Edge”, haha. Both halves of the Night Daggers deployed on the west side (with the bus) while the Drylands Expedition deployed opposite them. I was hoping for a true Quadrant battle, but like I said the deploy rolls didn’t end up that way.

I had the Drylands Expedition start “Out of Supplies”, to represent their haste from running from Hyran Mine. That meant they would start with all weapons needing a Reload. So the first turn would be catching their breath and moving to better positions while reloading their weapons.
I also had the “Night” variant in effect, which would give some protection against Medium or Long range shots (basically a saving roll).

Drylands Expedition – 1/179 IP, $2,000 – Posse PDF
Night Daggers Antidote Defense – 4/179 IP, $2,000 – Posse PDF

The Drylands Expedition split Quidel with Rhodes and Sarah Love, and then Gibson, Amp, and Dwaal. The first half were in the south east quadrant, with the dino half were north of that (north east quadrant).
The Night Daggers split Lanecaster with Zeus to the south west quadrant, opposite Quidel and those fellows. Then Igel, Aletha, and Cobalt were in the north west quadrant opposite the Dryland’s dinosaur Dwaal.

General Report
In general the Night Daggers surged forward, trying to destroy as many antidote casks as they could. By the end of Turn 2 the newcomer Sarah Love was down, and both objectives near the Night Daggers side of the table had been destroyed. One of these was torn to shreds by their mighty dinosaur Zeus.
There was a great fight around the bus (as usual…that bus is awesome as a focal point), with plenty of moving and position for the best shot. Dwaal had rushed forward to try to slow the cask damage, so he proved to be a useful distraction.
On the south part of the table Quidel and Zeus duked it out around the third cask, with Quidel barely slaying the mighty dinosaur before the T-Rex could tear apart the cask.
Amp spent most of the game sniping from a building, but eventually no targets were in range so he advanced and had a bit of a long range duel with Igel.
Dwaal and Gibson eventually teamed up to do an aggressive flank and further draw the focus away from the fourth cask by Amp’s building. With Quidel and Amp closing from the other side the Night Daggers were in trouble.
However everyone was pretty beat up by this point so both sides had heavy losses in each of these late game turns.
Finally Amp engaged the Night Dagger leader Lanecaster, who had slightly hung back earlier due to her short range, and she was able to take Amp out before help arrived. But Quidel showed up soon after to finish off the enemy leader.
In the end the Drylands expedition were able to offensive defend the last two casks by pushing back the Night Daggers.


End of Encounter Process
Drylands Expedition had everyone except Quidel taken out of action. Ouch! In total they had 5 kills for a total of +15 IP and $150 (plus the usual $30 for winning) and the IP boost gave them another Trait. Luckily 2 casks were undamaged enough that Amp could be healed of his toxic infection.

Like I said, light notes compared to the usual blow-by-blow account!

The Wound and Injuries results weren’t that great for the Drylands Expedition. Amp and Dwaal managed to avoid a Wound, and Quidel’s old “Broken Knee” Wound healed up. But Gibson, Rhodes, and Love all took a Wound, as rolled below.

Gibson Crawford – Cut Feet (W)
“Crazy” Rhodes – Broken Hip (W)
Sarah Love – Shaky Hand (W)

New Resources: 16/194 IP, 180/2180 ND, 5/6 Traits

Flush with cash I decided to rework the Armor setup of the posse a bit. Quidel handed down his Cloth Armor to Sarah Love (no cost), and then bought himself shiny new Bone Armor for $150, leaving the posse with $30. I decided to hold on to the leftover cash for now.
In terms of IP the characters are getting to the point where upgrades are pretty expensive. For example to go from RTN 6 to 5 is 22 IP (but also really awesome and tempting). Instead I gave Quidel another boost, and finally got his Speed up to 4 (from 3) for 10 IP. That left 6 IP, a convenient number considering that is the cost of +1 HP. So Crazy Rhodes got +1 HP, boosting him from 11 to 12 HP.
Traits were a bit tougher, mainly because there are so many I want to get, but I had to narrow it down to a single choice. I considered giving another Trait to Dwaal, perhaps even more HP or some Speed. I considered going for a second tier (II) Trait for someone, maybe Amp with “Inspiring Shot II”. Maybe “Eagle Eye” for Rhodes to push his range out a bit further. An Active Trait was the most appealing, maybe “Retreat!” for someone who normally is near Dwaal, so that the dinosaur could get Speed 14 for a turn! The flat damage Traits are always nice too, and come in handy in pretty much any situation (like Quidel’s “Knee Shot”). “Quick Hands” or “Rally”, “Speed Reload”, the list of things I want is endless. But time to decide (I’m literally sitting here with The Saloon open as I type this, trying to figure out a choice). And that decision is “Rapid Fire II” for Sarah Love, giving her the possibility of 6A-6D, which just might be enough for a one shot kill. Actually it’d be 7A-6D with the Dual Wield variant in play (which it is for this campaign).
I’ll need to boost up Gibson next time, I think, as he’s falling a bit behind.

Final Resources: 0/194 IP, 30/2180 ND, 0/6 Traits

Posse after updates: Saloon link or PDF link.

Next Up
After counter-raiding the outer Night Dagger camp and stealing the antidote the Drylands Expedition have their eyes set directly on the main Night Dagger camp. So the next campaign game will focus on a big attack through the layered defenses of the Night Daggers. I expect a lot of casualties and chaos.

Big Raid at Little Hyran Mine – Windy River Day 6

Another thrilling adventure in the Windy River test campaign. In this case the Drylands Expedition posse had just reached Hyran Mine, after facing some roving Savages mere hours ago.
The land had slowly been turning from lush jungle to blasted lava rock with looming hills and sparse vegetation. As the posse approached the mine they heard the roar of dinosaurs, blasts of weaponry, and shouts of command. Hyran Mine was under attack!

This was my second Dinosaur Cowboys game in my new games room, hooray! This was also one of the most…swingy? games I’ve played yet. Just when I thought one side was out of the running they’d make an impossible shot to come back. Definitely edge of the seat every turn. The game was also longer than normal because multiple posses were involved. As with any “natural deploy” scenarios I found this to be very thematic and fun, much like the older campaign game where a caravan was ambushed.

Encounter Overview
I wanted a large conflict at the mine representing a raid by the Night Dagger bandits (who camp across the mountains). So there would be two posses of Night Daggers involved. The first would be a complete and valid posse, aptly named Night Daggers Attack Force 1. The bandits would deploy on a random long table edge. They would be fighting Lynn and her gang named the Hyran Mine Defense Force, who deployed as if they were hauling ore and not expecting an attack.
At the start of turn 2 the Drylands Expedition would finally reach the table and deploy on the long table edge opposite the Night Dagger Attack Force 1 deployment zone.
Then at the start of turn 3 the Night Daggers Attack Force 2 would deploy from the short table edge furthest from the mine, to represent them being a second wave fresh from the bandit camp. Most importantly the Attack Force 2 would have “Toxic Guns” (same stats as the Auto Shotgun). The idea here is they are trying to capture a few Savages to be their own slaves. This second force didn’t have a Leader, and was just three people with the special guns.

Toxic Gun: Same statistics as “Auto Shotgun”. Anyone hit will receive a Wound (unless they get an antidote in 24 hours), and will automatically be considered Taken Out of Action at the end of the game (even if they were still alive).

Table Setup
I went for a thematic table setup, with stacks of terrain covering my aquarium volcano piece to sort of look like a mine. Then a long, loosely barricaded road leading from the mine to the foreman office (where Lynn lived). I put an orderly orchard in the corner that sort of ended up looking like an Italian vineyard. I also created a little supply area with tons of crates and barrels. Otherwise the terrain was pretty open with a few rocks and hills scattered here and there. As much as I love trees for scenery I tried to keep the total number down to represent the rocky nature of the mine. The actual mine was technically a “Gold Mine” Feature from the rulebook, but everyone was so busy fighting for their lives they didn’t have time to grab any extra Neodollars in raw ore.

General table overview

From left to right: Mine entrance, ore hauling road, crop orchard, supply cache

Drylands Expedition (0/152 IP, 75/1700 ND): (PDF Roster) This posse should be familiar to anyone who’s been following the campaign. The latest upgrade was a Heavy Repeater for Gibson Crawford and a smattering of Hitpoint boosts.

Hyran Mine Defense Force (211 IP, 2160 ND): (PDF Roster) This posse would be treated as an ally of the Drylands Expedition, so they’d both use the same Initiative roll, could share Yeehaws!, apply beneficial Trait abilities to each other, etc. I went with a realistic mining force that was caught unaware compared to an optimized roster. Lynn Hyran is the leader so the “Rally” trait made a lot of sense for her. One of her guards is named Emmitt and he got a nice Double Barrel Shotgun for keeping the Savages in line. Then three indentured Savages, from those captured in a raid to others serving a crime sentence from the towns on the plains. Their names were somewhat stereotypical with Falls Hard, Cough of Thunder, and Many Stones. They had a variety of crude melee weapons and tools for mining (like a Bundle of Dynamite). The dinosaur for this posse is “Ore Hauler”, a Plated beast used to running massive bundles of raw stone from the mine.

Night Daggers Attack Force 1 (218 IP, 2470 ND) and 2 (141 IP, 1390 ND): (PDF Roster 1, PDF Roster 2) I wanted to go with a fairly optimized ranged gang for Attack Force 1 to really challenge the Drylands Expedition, since the last random encounter was so brutal for the melee opponents. The leader Classie has a solid Light Repeater and “Go For The Eyes”, which is a classic combination at this point. I went a different route for Frank by giving him TWO Double Barrel Shotguns so he can use “Both Barrels” on one and still have a duplicate weapon. In theory he could throw out 4A-5D twice in a row if he emptied both guns. Silverhorn has a crude Assault Rifle and Stun Grenades (with the “Thrower” Trait these are 3-15 distance). Luciano was meant to ride their dinosaur, so she was tough as nails with 4! Defense and 15 Hitpoints! A Whip seemed like a suitable weapon for a mounted cowgirl. Finally Viana was a dedicated sniper with the deadly 500kW Lever-Action Rifle and RTN 6. Finally the gang has a Terror dinosaur named “Hungry Cactus” with some bonus HP for a total of 27 HP.
Attack Force 2 had the simple goal of hitting as many people as possible with their Toxic Guns. All three members are pretty much duplicates of each other, with good Defense, a nice amount of Hitpoints, plenty of healing with the Large IRP medical device, and of course their Auto Shotgun that would stand-in as Toxic Guns.
Here’s the whole ugly mess of them:

As was mentioned the Hyran Mine Defense Force deployed as if today was any other work day. That meant two Savages escorting Ore Hauler, Emmitt the guard overlooking the process, Lynn overseeing her mine from the door of her house, and another Savage further ahead of the convoy, perhaps to bring Lynn some news.

Then from the East (if North is towards the mine) the Night Daggers Attack Force 1 appears. They deploy up to 6″ in, and the table edge they rolled is actually the furthest away from the bulk of the Defense Force, which is a mixed blessing. However they were quite close to Lynn as she was further up the map. Everyone pretty much deployed in cover, with Luciano aboard Hungry Cactus who started right by the mining house.

Viana was over in the orchard and would have little trouble reaching most of the board with his shots.

And here’s a washed out picture showing just how close Hungry Cactus was to Lynn. The black table cloth I used to represent the mountainous region made taking pictures a bit tough. They were naturally darker, but at least the miniatures tended to “pop out” from the table.

And with that the game began! Note that I didn’t focus on the nitty gritty details of every single Activation or movement, in the interest of time (and motivation :) ). So only the highlights are talked about.

Turn 1 – Scramble the Defenses!
Still caught by surprise, Luciano was able to swing a Rope Lasso around Lynn in a massive hit worth half her health. I’m definitely pleased with aligning Lasso attacks and damage with the dinosaur it’s used from. Anyway Lynn fails her Bravery Test. Since the Rope Lasso has the property “Stopped” Lynn would normally be Stunned when activating (since she can’t physically Flee). Instead she uses her “Rally” trait and risks using her Salve (1D12 HP restored, but at the start of her next Activation).
There was a slight hit on Cough of Thunder, but the Cover of the fence helped reduce the damage.
Everyone else pretty much shuffled forward. Ore Hauler was used intelligently as a movable wall to shield the advance of the Savages, since his massive flanks and short legs make the perfect line-of-sight blocker. For example Viana couldn’t draw a bead on either Many Stones or Falls Hard due to the imposing dinosaur.
Lynn’s lackluster start, the advancing lines of battle

Many Stones hiding behind Ore Hauler, Frank drawing a bead on Cough of Thunder

The table at the end of Turn 1

Turn 2 – Onwards Drylands!
Hearing the raging battle ahead of them, the Drylands Expedition deploy 6″ from the Western table edge, vaguely opposite the Night Daggers Attack Force 1. The core medium range elements of the posse deployed rather central, with Amp on their right flank and Gibson mounted on Dwaal on their left flank, by the mine. His cunning plan was to try to reach Viana in a massive 15″ Hustle at some point in the game.
Hyran-Mine-1170Meanwhile the Salve that Lynn used finally takes effect and restores her to full Hitpoints. She tries to feebly move away from Hungry Cactus but the Dinosaur manages to Charge her and hit for 8 damage! She fails her Bravery Test again. Good thing this match wasn’t centered around the “Assassination” objective!
Hyran-Mine-1172Frank moves right up beside Cough of Thunder and gives him “Both Barrels” WITH the “Eviscerate” trait (meaning his Bravery Test will take a penalty) for 8 damage. As predicted the fickle Savage fails his Bravery Test.
Many Stones tries to retaliate by throwing his Bundle of Dynamite at the distant Silverhorn. With an incredibly lucky Critical Hit the enemy takes 9 damage!
Hearing the report of a Double Barrel Shotgun, Emmitt brings his own shotgun to bear on Frank. Both combatants had to really push forward to get in range, but the damage so far has been worth the risk. In this case Emmitt hits Frank for 6 damage, but that’s still enough to cause the enemy to Flee.
Classie tries to finish off Cough of Thunder but misses an 8+ roll on 6 Attacks! She desperately tries to use “Yeehaw!” but still misses. Note: This was actually an incorrect usage of Yeehaw! since the ability states “one other entity”, so a Leader cannot use Yeehaw! to inspire themselves. Luckily she missed anyway so the rules guffaw had no effect.
Hyran-Mine-1174Silverhorn ends up Fleeing down the hill he just managed to climb, and returns the grenade favor by lobbing a Stun Grenade at the exposed Emmitt. Due to the distance and movement he still needed a 10+ to hit, but manages it with a Critical for 2 damage, but more importantly Emmitt is now Stunned and won’t be able to perform his Action Phase.
Finally Viana shoots at the massive shape of Ore Hauler at 10+, hitting with two Criticals for 9 damage (which also adds a Panic token, and should slow the Defense advance).

Turn 3 – Night Dagger Reinforcements
This turn started with an unexpected surprise…one of the Defense Force Savages was actually a spy and infiltrator for the Night Daggers! I rolled randomly between all unwounded Savages in the Defense Force (which at this point was Falls Hard and Many Stones) for who would be revealed as an attacker. I ended up rolling for Many Stones, who was promptly replaced with Vicky Carmine!
As Robot Chicken and M. Night Shyamalan would say: what a twist! This also was quite a swing in terms of forces, because not only did the attacker get to deploy but the Defense Force lost an additional unhurt model.
The remaining two members of Attack Force 2 deployed 6″ from the Southern short table edge, opposite the mine, and right in the thick of all the combat. Barrier went for a flank on Amp, and Sleighter deployed near a fence facing two enemies and between a bunch more.
Hyran-Mine-1190The turn started with a bang as the newly arrived Sleighter shot and killed Lynn! Of her posse only Falls Hard failed his Bravery Test for having a dead Leader. The other newly arrived Night Dagger named Barrier moved forward and tried to shoot Amp, but missed all 4 of his attacks (on 8+ no less!)
Hyran-Mine-1193The defenders try to return fire with Cough of Thunder firing his Sawed Off Shotgun towards Sleighter, but misses even at the short distance. The firing continued in earnest with Silverhorn barely hitting Cough of Thunder after the bandit slowly crept forward.
Hyran-Mine-1194Hearing Amp’s shout behind him, Quidel broke off his advance and clambered to the other side of the fence near him to shoot at Barrier. He needs a 10+ to hit, and risks the “Knee Shot” trait because of how exposed Amp is. With amazing luck he gets a Critical for 2+4+3 damage which outright kills Barrier!
In retaliation Classie finally manages to put down Cough of Thunder, taking him out from long distance.
Rhodes steadily advanced to medium distance of Silverhorn and punches a dozen holes in the enemy (who only had 1 HP left to begin with) by getting 2 Criticals and 3 normal hits for a total of 10 damage.
Vicky tries to shoot at Falls Hard at melee distance and gets another awesome roll of 2 Criticals and 1 normal hit for 10 damage, which outright single shot kills Falls Hard! In the process Vicky does need to Reload though.
Hyran-Mine-1209Hyran-Mine-1204Viana tries to keep Panic on Ore Hauler, but misses the important shot against the dinosaur.
Having waited long enough, Gibson spurs Dwaal into the mad dash across the mine, using the full 15″ movement to try to get into range of Viana, or better yet Charge and try to lock the sniper in place.
This turn was one of the bloodiest in memory. There was a total of 5 kills, 3 of which were in a single shot against a fresh enemy. Just goes to show the importance of Defense and Hitpoints! Absolute riot to play through though, especially since there are still so many entities on the table.

Turn 4 – Re-coup and Re-engage
Hyran-Mine-1217At this point 5 attackers remained compared to 6 defenders.
The turn started on the northern flank, with the important duel between Viana and Gibson. The attackers, having won Initiative, chose to have Viana shoot Gibson before he could reach the sniper. With a solid attack of 1 Critical and 1 normal hit (8 total damage) Gibson ends up Fleeing. This is very important since he’s still mounted on Dwaal, so he’ll back off a massive 10″.
Rhodes continues to press up the middle of the field. He reaches short distance from the traitor Vicky, and uses “Fan the Hammer” and his “Skilled Shooter” trait turning his attack into a 9+. He hits well for 7 damage which kills Vicky, and also had two 1s in the process (which don’t matter since he needed to Reload from “Fan the Hammer” already).
Meanwhile the harassment of Amp continues, as Sleighter moves to the side and fires his Toxic Gun at the man, hitting for 6 damage. More importantly Amp is now poisoned and will need an antidote as soon as possible. Instead of firing back Amp moves away and uses his Small IRP to recover 3 Hitpoints.
Gibson finally Activates and would normally Flee 10″ from the nearest enemy. However that would put him off the table, so he’s Stunned instead.
Classie continues to use a nearby tall hill as cover. She edges around the corner to shoot at Rhodes using her “Go For the Eyes” Trait, hitting 1 Critical plus 2 normal hits for a total of 5 damage (thanks to Cover). Rhodes manages to pass his Bravery Test.
Compared to Turn 3 this was a quiet day at the park!

Turn 5 – Dinosaur Crash In
The attackers win the first Activation with a close 12 to 11 on the roll. This allows Viana to again get the drop on Gibson. Lining up another deadly shot the sniper hits Gibson for 7 total damage which takes Gibson out of action. But Viana is in rather dire straits with two dinosaurs getting dangerously close:
Meanwhile the tactical shootout to the south continues. Amp uses his “Inspiring Shot” Trait in a desperate bid to recover some Hitpoints, but misses Sleighter. Seeing the volume of fire coming his way, Sleighter backs off and uses his Large IRP which brings him back to full Hitpoints.
Rhodes continues his rampage in the center by advancing towards Classie and firing with his remaining pistol. After hitting for 5 damage she fails her Bravery Test and will Flee.
Roaring and stomping the ground, Ore Hauler the Plated dinosaur tries to Charge Viana, but fails the 2″ distance with a roll of 1!
On the other hand, Emmitt moves just into range of Classie, who is hiding behind a barrel scorched by laser blasts. Just to be safe and ensure the kill he uses “Both Barrels”, hitting and killing Classie. As she was the leader of Attack Force 1 they all roll Bravery Tests and perform miserably, with everyone but Sleighter Fleeing.
Unlike Ore Hauler, Dwaal goes for the safe (but less deadly) approach of reaching melee and just moves into close combat with Viana. However the fast dinosaur misses all his attacks. On the upside the sniper is now in close combat and will have trouble keeping the dinosaurs out of the 4″ Minimum Range of his 500kW Lever-Action Rifle. Note Viana is Fleeing in the picture due to Classie being taken out of action.

Turn 6 – Toxic Gun Takedown
Hyran-Mine-1240Sleighter starts the turn by missing Quidel with his Toxic Gun, which is unfortunate for the Night Daggers as more poison would be great at this point.
Meanwhile Ore Hauler finally manages to Charge at Viana, hitting the sniper for 6 damage which leaves on 2 Hitpoints left. Amp levels his Lever-Action Rifle at the nearly dead Sleighter, hitting the man for 7 damage. Luckily for Sleighter his Cover reduces the damage to 6, which saves his life and leaves him with 1 Hitpoint.
Having been methodically advancing this whole time after battling Lynn, Hungry Cactus finally reaches melee by Charging Quidel and hitting for 7 damage! The Drylands leader is Fleeing as a result. He Flees backwards from the dinosaur but maintains his target priority by shooting and killing Sleighter. That means all Night Daggers carrying Toxic Guns have been taken out of action.
Hyran-Mine-1245Vianna Flees away from the gaggle of dinosaurs approaching him. However after some deliberation he forgoes the use of the Large IRP and decides to shoots the deadly Rhodes in the back. That means he’ll get a Critical Hit on 10+ instead of 12+. This results in 2 Criticals and a total of 9 damage which kills the troublesome Rhodes. However Viana may have sacrificed his life to do so. The reasoning was healing with the Large IRP would just delay the inevitable, and the two dinosaurs could conceivably kill Viana even when he’s at full Hitpoints. Plus who can resist a chance to use “Shot in the Back”?!

Turn 7 – Melee Bloodbath
Well, bloodbath might be a bit strong, but the dinosaurs made a good showing this turn. Ore Hauler started by Charging Viana again and killing the deadly sniper finally. Hungry Cactus returned the favor two fold by Charging Quidel and killing the leader, which caused Amp to Flee.

Turn 8 – Never Tell me the Odds
Hyran-Mine-1249Hyran-Mine-1251At this point the attackers consisted of Hungry Cactus and his rider Luciano. The defenders still had 4 entities, two of which were dinosaurs.
To maximize the Action Phases the Night Daggers would have, Luciano dismounts from Hungry Cactus. She moves towards Amparo which Hungry Cactus moves towards Emmitt. The hope was to get enough attacks to even the odds. Dismounting is rather costly and when to do so is quite a judgment call. In this case the attackers sacrificed some immediate attacks for the promise of MORE attacks in the future. Plus Luciano was still at full Hitpoints and Hungry Cactus very nearly the same, so they could withstand a turn of punishment.
Meanwhile the defenders respond by having Dwaal rush across the board into melee with Luciano, to try to prevent her from reaching Amp. Speaking of Amp, instead of moving for his Fleeing status, he is Stunned instead since he was right at the table edge and had no where to go.

Turn 9 – Dinosaur Mop Up
The turn opens with Hungry Cactus succeeding with a Charge against Emmitt, who he hits for 7 damage, leaving the guard with only 1 Hitpoint. Emmitt is also Fleeing from the shock of the attack.
Amp tries to line up a shot against Luciano and barely hits her (her +4 Defense is rather tough, especially when she’s in melee) for 6 damage. He also continues to back away from Luciano so he can maximize the number of shots before she reaches him, assuming she kills Dwaal. Luciano ignores the man and instead brings her Whip to bear on Dwaal, hitting the dinosaur for 4 damage.
Ore Hauler moves in to help the struggling Emmitt against Hungry Cactus, hitting the enemy dinosaur for 4 damage.

Turn 10 – Bloody Pulp
Hungry Cactus opens the turn by trying to kill Emmitt. Although he has a powerful 1A-6D bite, the human only has 1 Hitpoint left. So instead the dinosaur opts to use the Beast attack “Trample”, which gives him 2 Attacks and a better chance of killing Emmitt. Hungry Cactus succeeds and Emmitt is paste under his massive feet. That leaves Ore Hauler and Hungry Cactus duking it out in the middle of the board.
Again Amp barely hits Luciano (he’s needing an 11+) for another 5 damage. Slowly she is being whittled down. Dwaal is in even worse shape as he needs a 12+, and misses.

Turn 11 – Lucky Third Shot
Hyran-Mine-1265Luciano tries to lash out at Dwaal again with her Whip, but fails the attack miserably (no hits on 5 Attacks!). Amp barely lands another hit on Luciano which is enough to finally take her out of action.
Having been freed from melee, Dwaal moves to the edge of the roiling fight in the middle. However the dinosaur doesn’t engage Hungry Cactus and instead lets Ore Hauler and the carnivore fight it out.
Both dinosaurs hit well with Ore Hauler doing 6 damage and Hungry Cactus doing 7. At this rate the herbivore will be dead first though.

Turn 12 – Snapping Jaws
Before Ore Hauler can react, Hungry Cactus gets the first Activation and kills the Plated dinosaur. He then moves into melee with Dwaal. Amp misses an important shot against Hungry Cactus. Dwaal however manages a lucky Critical Hit for 4 damage.

Turn 13 – Gun and Claw
With only three combatants left the turns were going fast and furious now. Amp manages to hit Hungry Cactus for 7 damage while Dwaal misses. The Terror responds by biting Dwaal for 6 damage, leaving the smaller dinosaur with only 2 Hitpoints.

Turn 14 – Breather
Haha, everyone misses this turn. Hungry Cactus really missed by rolling a 1!

Turn 15 – All Over
Finally Amp fires the final shot of the game and kills Hungry Cactus before the towering carnivore can react to finish off Dwaal.

Pile of Dead
I took a picture of the casualties because there were SO MANY! The only survivors were Dwaal (at 2 HP) and Amp (at 6 HP). And Amp was poisoned from the Toxic Gun so he was treated as Taken Out of Action for the sake of the End of Encounter Process.
This game was a lot of fun, and like I said very “swingy” where one side seemed to have the lead, then a surprising one-shot kill would turn the tide. Lots of blood and mayhem, and the varied deployment locations and timing meant movement and positioning were critical.
Anyway here are the honored dead:

End of Encounter Process
So Amp was the only one hit by the Toxic Gun, which means he’s considered Taken Out of Action AND will receive an automatic Wound if he doesn’t get the antidote in 24 hours. Know what that means? That the Drylands Expedition are going to pick themselves up, dust themselves off, and rush off to raid the Night Dagger camp! They won’t even stop to talk to Lynn, or help with repairs at the mine, or anything like that. It’ll be a flat out race to find an antidote.

In total 9 enemies were killed (not all by the Drylands Expedition, but kills by their allies count too). So that’s another 27 IP and $270 (plus a bonus $30 for a win) for a total of $300. They will also receive another Trait. That puts them at 179 IP, an even $2,000, and 5 Traits!

I have no idea what they’ll buy, but I’ll eventually edit this sentence when I figure it out :)
EDIT: I ended up just talking about what I did with the posse in a new post.

Hope you enjoyed the report! I know I enjoyed playing through it!

Ambush in the Foothills – Windy River Day 5-6

DC-Foothills-0021Well after close to 5 months I’m finally back with a new battle report from my Windy River test campaign. As I mentioned before I’m pretty much just playing this campaign for fun now and not so much for testing. The injury tables seem good and I haven’t run into any major issues with all the stat changes and rulebook updates.

In case you forgot, the Drylands Expedition had just rescued Cecilia at the request of her husband Gordon Glenbrook. At the end of that encounter the posse had returned to Watterson from Matron’s Den, not found much else happening in the town, and decided to scout out the Hyran Mine to the north-east. I had left the last session having travelled for Day 5 and 6 to reach the Mine, but I didn’t roll for random encounters. Well I got one on Day 5, so I wrote up a posse to pit the Drylands Expedition against and had at it! This simpler random encounter helped ease me back into Dinosaur Cowboys. As with the last session I focused on playing the game instead of taking detailed notes, but I did still get a bunch of pictures.

As you might have read I’m in my new house now so this was the first Dinosaur Cowboys game in my new games room. From the pictures you can still just see my old kitchen table, but trust me it’s nice to have a dedicated gaming space!

The Drylands Expedition have slowly been improving and are up to 137 IP, 1520 ND, and 4 Traits when they fought this encounter. Pretty snazzy. Amparo was “Feeling Weak” from his Wound before, so he’d be at -1 HP. On the upside Amparo’s previous “Broken Elbow” had healed up so he could get Critical Hits again. Dwaal had a “Soft Spot” which was -1 DEF, but he already had 0 DEF so no change there.
Anyway here is the PDF roster for Drylands Expedition that was used for this game.

Opposing them were “Tooth and Fang”, a ragtag group of roving Savages (classic random encounter material). I figured they could be escaped slaves from Hyran Mine, or perhaps disposed family members waiting to strike at the Mine itself. I broke the rules a biiiiiit for this posse by including, for the first time ever in print, two Raptor dinosaurs in the same posse! Pretty exciting. So the PDF roster doesn’t have the second dinosaur included, but you can see there are 400 ND to spare to buy it. So I just wrote in “Fang” as the second dinosaur on the roster before the game.
In general the posse is fully melee focused. Crusher and Blitz mount the dinosaurs and ride into combat, trying to use their Lassos to close and then dishing out big damage with their solid melee weapons. Lots of Defense and Hitpoints to go around, so hopefully they could make it across the field.
Here is the PDF roster for Tooth and Fang.

New Dice!
This was the first roll of my new Gamescience precision dice so I was excited to try them out. The idea is “normal” (ie: Chessex) dice are put in a rock tumbler to remove flash marks from the mould. This of course dulls the edges and corners, and introduces slight differences in how each individual dice will roll. Whereas the precision dice have sharp, crisp edges like casino dice, so they technically should roll more accurately. The downside is they come with the flash marks still on, so you have to manually cut or file the marks off (which I did). The round vs sharp edge is really noticeable when you compare the two types of dice though.
Plus let’s be honest, do I really need an excuse to get new dice?! They were an okay price and look neat and I was excited to try them out.

Table and Terrain
I didn’t use the full kitchen table in my setup since I keep the extender leaf in permanently. So I think the board was still close to 4’x3′. Maybe 3.5’x3′.

I really wanted to translate the campaign map to the table since I liked the look of the jungle and hills on the map. I imagined the Drylands Expedition slogging through thick undergrowth, up steep black hills, their feet tenderized from the cracked lava flows of old. Mosquitoes as big as a plate engulf them and the roars of distant dinosaurs echo over the broken canyons.


I put a bunch of deciduous looking trees on the south of the table, which would be the flatland jungle trees. Then the opposite edge is rife with thick jungle trees and the beginnings of dark hills and broken rock.


Deployment, Objective, Features, Variant Rules
Nothing too crazy this game. Just a standard “Edge” deployment (up to 8″ in) with the Drylands Expedition coming from the south and Tooth and Fang emerging from the north. I didn’t even use a fancy Objective, just a plain ol’ “Shoot Out”. No Features either (although I was tempted to have the volcanic rock piece actually be a Volcano feature!)
Remember that the Windy River campaign is using the “Last Man Standing” and “Dual Wield” Variant rules, because I like both of those and should consider moving them into core :)

Here are how the two posses deployed. Drylands Expedition recognized the melee focused nature of their opponents and went for a spread out approach to avoid having everyone stuck in hand to hand. Tooth and Fang kept both dinosaurs tight to the east flank, with Yuonne bringing up the west side.

Game Begins – The Early Rush
Dwaal took the lead for the Drylands Expedition by using his full 15″ Hustle. The idea was to use him as a meat shield and keep the enemy force distracted and occupied while the ranged elements of Drylands eviscerate the opponents. Yuonne moved forward to meet Dwaal in combat, eventually getting a charge and hitting for 10 damage (and adding some Panic)!

Second Wave Arrives
Crusher was the next one to enter combat, and before Quidel could cry out Dwaal was down to 1 HP! I found this rather funny since just last game the dinosaur had been trained to get +1 HP for $50. Who knew it’d make such a difference.
However Tooth and Fang took the worst of the exchange since Quidel, Gibson, and Rhodes could all pour fire indiscriminately into the melee. That’ll teach ’em for bringing a Spine Blade to a Six-Shooter fight!
Eventually Gibson brought down Yuonne with a lucky roll of his 200kW Six-Shooter. Already you could tell the game was turning against Tooth and Fang.
Fear rippled across the surviving Tooth and Fang members after their leader died. Both Crusher and Blitz failed their Bravery Test which is quite a setback when they needed to cover as much ground as possible.

Closing the Gap
On the east flank Blitz kept pushing Fang towards Amp and Rhodes. But the Raptor could only Hustle 9″ and both Drylands members easily outdistanced their enemy. Both riders and dinosaurs took heavy fire, with Tooth in the center being the focus for the west flank and Blitz on the east being the target over there.

Time to Reposition
In the interest of, well, staying alive, Dwaal moved as far as possible to the opposite corner of the table. Not like his 1 HP and feeble 2A-2D attack would do much at this point. Meanwhile Blitz and Fang closed on Amp, trying desperately to get into Lasso range so they could lock him down. In this case Blitz had a Wire Lasso with an 8″ range that would apply Stopped, which would set up Amp perfectly to get Charged.

Unsaddled by Fire!
Finally Tooth succumbed to the volume of fire from Quidel, Gibson, and Rhodes. Between Gibson and Rhodes both using Fan the Hammer (for a massive 12 total attacks between them) to Quidel reliably throwing out 2A-4D hits, the Raptor just crumbled. Unfortunately the dinosaur was taken out after Crusher had Fled, so the rider was left quite far from the action. In the distance of the first picture you can see poor Crusher along amidst the rocks. The second picture is Rhodes complete disregard for ammunition conservation.

The Pain Continues
Fang was the next to fall. Blitz did eventually get a single Lasso attack against Amparo, but missed since he needed an 11 with all the mods. The constant 400kW Lever-Action shots from Amp added up and after the dinosaur was dead Blitz soon followed.
There was a single highlight for the poor Tooth and Fang posse: Crusher actually reached melee! He got a lucky 6″ Charge onto Gibson, which almost made up for two failed Charges by his friends earlier. The angry Savage hit Gibson for 5 damage with his Spine Blade, which took the man down to half his health. Still not enough to seriously hurt the Drylands Expedition. Crusher was killed by gunfire soon after.

Thoughts on the Encounter
From the Drylands Expedition point of view: easy! Having Savages run directly into our (considerable) firepower was great. Killing the Leader and having the other two Flee was even more perfect. Dwaal worked well as a shock trooper distraction, and still managed to barely survive to the end. The one hit Crusher got in did sort of expose the fragility of some members, since Gibson’s 10 HP bled away quickly once he was in melee.
Regardless I think that the next posse encountered needs to be as versatile and ranged focused as the Drylands gang are. Which should work well since the enemy will probably be bandits around Hyran Mine, and you know those guys are full of traps and tricks!
As far as game balance pure range dominating pure melee is exactly what I want, so no complaints there. After all should the guy charging down the street with a knife really win against the guy with the shotgun?

the_jurassic_west_by_24kevin-d59t1kkAwesome art by 24KevinEnd of Encounter Process
Pretty simple process since no one was Taken Out of Action for the Drylands Expedition.

Amp and Dwaal both had their old Wounds heal up.

The posse killed 5 entities so +15 IP, +$150 ND, and a bonus +$30 for winning the encounter (total $180). Including their existing funds and abilities puts them at 3/152 IP and 10/1700 ND.

To be honest there aren’t any easy choices for what to buy or upgrade next. The posse are in quite good shape for weapons, with the next step being a bigger jump (like 400kW Lever-Action to 600kW) than the incremental upgrades so far. It’s actually too bad they don’t have $200 instead of $190 since a lot of equipment breakpoints (like high end Grenades) are $200. I guess I could sell some old gear at half price to make up the difference.
I think that Gibson could use a better weapon. Maybe a high attack rifle like the classic Light Repeater. Too bad I don’t have $600 spare for a Gatling Gun. Everyone else is fine for weapons and armor at the moment.
I’m also a bit stumped on how to spend the IP. I think a smattering of Hitpoints is a safe bet as the gang has fallen a bit behind with that. They were hitting pretty consistently so I think the RTN values are fine for the moment.

New Gear and Stats
I think I’ll sell Gibson’s Laserbow for a $40 refund, which gives me $230. Then I’ll buy him a Heavy Repeater for $150, leaving me $80. I’ll keep that in the bank to save up for some Grenades or a bigger rifle for Amp.

Then +1 HP for Gibson, Amp, and Rhodes at 6 IP / HP for a total of 18 IP. So back down to 0 IP left. This brings them up to 11, 9, 11 HP respectively.

Currently The Saloon has a limitation where removing a weapon refunds it for full price, instead of selling it. So I’ll have to change that before I can get proper values.

Besides the equipment changes here is how the posse looks: Drylands Expedition (Saloon link).