Collection of great conversions

I had mentioned Hexxenhammer way, way, WAY back in a 2009 post (how time flies!) for his great cowboys riding dinosaur conversion. He pointed me to his Flickr set of “Weird West” images, and I thought since they are getting on 2-3 years old I would mirror them here in case the gallery dies. So from his Weird West set here are some great conversions that make me jealous:

Three more thematic wallpapers

Some more inspiration for various locations in the Dinosaur Cowboys world:


From:
http://interfacelift.com/wallpaper/details/2936/past_rains.html
http://interfacelift.com/wallpaper/details/2938/skippers_canyon.html
http://interfacelift.com/wallpaper/details/2896/ranch_house.html

For the left image I could imagine the great desert canyon as the southern wastes, perhaps Arizona or New Mexico. The middle image looks like a perfect northern setting for a battle, maybe one of the Dakotas. And the right image with the run down truck and town seems common and global enough to be seen anywhere outside The Wall, albeit lacking a bit of overgrown vegetation.

Wild west terrain: general store and prison

I wanted to share some great 28mm wild west terrain from a hobby blog I found. The terrain was created using foamboard and some balsa wood planking, and is especially notable because the roof is removable which allows gamin’ inside the buildings too. Nice details like the goods in the store and the wall scratchings in the prison cells. Overally really great work that I am, of course, jealous of!

General Store:

Prison:

From Gamer Architect Blog: Wild West Store and Prison

Shaolin Cowboy and Steampunk Cowboy

Two neat images today, one from a comic and one from a museum in the real world.

First is of Shaolin Cowboy, a short lived comic that had fairly detailed artwork:

And the next one is the cowboy riding a Triceratops, made from spare parts (which makes it look kind of steampunk-ish). Really cool (even if the scale is off, but who am I to complain about scale), and created by a fella named John Lopez:

Media of real world cowboys

Long time no chat, I guess that happens as summer starts and I can comfortably get outside more.

The batch of Lithko tokens I ordered arrived a couple of weeks ago. They look great! I might try to get some scans/pictures of those up soon, and I also want to try them out in a game. They are nice and clear and will help make my photos and battle reports look a bit more professional than my current makeshift wooden tokens.

Anyways onto the meat of this post, which is two pieces of media around real world cowboys (and cowgirls). The first is a video from 1894 (amazing!) of trick-shooter Annie Oakley shooting two lever-action rifles at some static targets and some thrown targets. Really neat since it’s like a time capsule to see such old footage:

And the second set of media are terrific old images of cowboys. I wish I had found this archive when I was putting images into the rulebook, especially since it’s categorized so well. Really neat to think the pictures come from the late 1800s and early 1900s. Too bad I’m not a pro at image editing since modifying the horses to be dinosaurs would be perfect!
Link: http://www.cartermuseum.org/collections/smith/collection.php
And some samples:

So besides wanting to get another game or two in with my new counters, and still vaguely having a goal of painting some actual cowboy figures, there isn’t much to do around the game (hooray for having a completed rule set!). I might adjust the IP/ND reward to be split for taking a character (human) out of action compared to a dinosaur. Probably using the existing 3 IP / $30 for a character but 5 IP / $50 for a dinosaur. It’d be easy enough to track and maintain since kills during the game are just put to one side of the table, so adding up afterwards would be simple.

More Zombie Dinosaur Cowboys

It looks like a concept art website had a thread with several pictures of dinosaurs, cowboys, zombies, and aliens. Pretty much just a mishmash of craziness, but there were some really cool pictures. The main thread is http://conceptart.org/forums/showthread.php?t=228945 and one focused more on unmounted zombie dinosaurs is at http://conceptart.org/forums/showthread.php?t=179273.
Anyway here are the highlights in my opinion:



Just getting silly at this point!

Thematic desert background

In case you haven’t had the luxury of visiting the vast desert scrub in the southern US, I thought a thematic picture would help inspire players. I can really imagine a lone cowboy riding their dinosaur mount through these rocky passes. Camping under the stars, avoiding bandits and gigantic carnivores, keeping their laser pistols holstered but ready.
From: http://interfacelift.com/wallpaper/details/2868/red_rock_in_the_winter_sun.html

Speaking of pictures that spur the imagination I finally picked up Dinotopia (well, I actually got it for my birthday). I got the 20th anniversary hardcover version and it’s super nice and just chock full of terrific pictures backed by a whimsical storyline. I’d recommend it to anyone who wants a unique “coffee table book” or who is interested in the genre of humanity interacting with prehistoric life:

Gigantic 1860s Pony Express map

I sure do like the brief but very interesting time of the Pony Express. Such a simple and low tech way to transfer messages, but at the same time exciting. Anyways I found a great, flavorful map of the old Pony Express route. Sure would be fun to play a Pony Express campaign in Dinosaur Cowboys!
(Click for the full 4400px size!)

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Pony_Express_Map_William_Henry_Jackson.jpg

Battle Report: Four Player Madness

Encounter Overview and Posses
Well the four player game yesterday went really well and was tons of fun. I had previously shown the table layout, but it looked even more prehistoric once my friend brought over some extra jungle trees. This was using the v1.2 rules (especially the dinosaur changes) and we played from 8:30pm or so until 10:45pm, mainly thanks to the usual socializing and time spent considering moves.
Everyone chose Posses and we rolled for setup position. The Posses involved were Hope’s Wardens in the top left, The Death Snakes (but with a Terror instead of a King) in the top right by the cabin, Drylands United Cattle Company (but with a Ripper instead of a Runner) in the bottom left (played by me), and Tribe of the Blood Pact in the bottom right. We all setup within 4″ of our deploy location, and the locations were evenly spaced from each other.

Objectives
The two objectives were a Laser Tower (middle left) with 5A-1D and a max range of 19″, and a Cannon (middle right) with 1A-5D 2″ Explosion and a min range of 4″ and max range of 14″. Whoever had the most characters (dinosaurs didn’t count) within 6″ of either weapon could fire it as their Action Phase. Multiple people could fire it, and if the number of characters was tied both teams could fire it. The Cannon ended up getting a ton of use (but not a ton of hits…) whereas the left side mostly had better equipped characters shooting at each other. Also whoever “captured” more objectives would technically win the game by the end. Really though the weapons were placed to try to stop people from hunkering down and avoiding combat.

Skirmish Pictures
Here are a slew of pictures from the game!:

General Recap
Anyways the Drylands Posse split their forces with their dinosaur and Dallas going left, and Quidel and Trista going right. Hope’s Warden kept Glowstar with his Autoshotgun mounted on their Ducky dinosaur and they flanked to meet Drylands dinosaur, while the other members edged towards the gun. The Death Snakes held back their sniper Ice and sent everyone else forward, tending to shoot the Cannon more than their actual guns. Their dinosaur got into melee combat early on with Tribe of the Blood Pact. Speaking of the Tribe of the Blood Pact posse they focused mostly on the Death Snakes, except for sending their Pike armed Illit’taex member left to meet up with the Spear armed Quidel in a fight to the death.
Eventually the Hope’s Wardens player had to head home a bit early (after killing the Drylands dinosaur and losing one of their own number). So we just removed their forces. Then the game became more of a “pick on Tribe of the Blood Pact’s freaking brutal Armored dinosaur”. Basically just pouring fire from Ice and Trista into the Armored dinosaur until it dropped dead.
After Tribe of the Blood Pact was eliminated we called the game. Quidel for Drylands was technically the closest to the turret, but The Death Snakes might have had Drylands if the fight went on. They hadn’t been hurt at all (besides losing their dinosaur) and were in pretty good shape still. Trista and Dallas for Drylands were fine, but Quidel was down to 2 HP so it likely would have ended as a 3vs2 fight, and perhaps eventual victory for The Death Snakes.

The game was lots of fun and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. The rotating activation still worked well with 4 players, as did the bonus +4 HP (+2 HP per player beyond two) since it meant characters could actually reach combat and fight a bit.

The Question of the “Armored” Dinosaur
So as with the last battle using the Armored dinosaur, the feeling came up of “Is 4 AR too powerful?”. There were two characters in the whole match with RMC 6, and even then it was base 10+ to hit. Throw on In Melee and Moved penalties and you’re needing 12s to hit. On top of that the Armored dinosaur was the Feral Breed so his HP was at +2, with an additional +4 for the four player game. But even with all of that the dinosaur wasn’t smashingly effective. Sure the 3A-3D attack hurt a bit and it locked down a few people in melee, but not any more so than the Terror (or even the Ducky).
As it stands (with v1.2) the Armored statistics have been nerfed and look like:

Armored (Large Herbivore): MV 3, PMV D4, AR 4, MMC 7, DIS 5, HP 22, 3A-3D, $500

I want to avoid the Armored being the best and only choice for the $500 dinosaurs, and at the same time I don’t want to nerf it so badly that no one will ever use it. As a ponderously slow tank it is terrific, since it draws (and survives) a lot of fire, slowly wanders around the field, and generally just distracts the enemy from the rest of your team.
But at the same time it’s a bit…dull to fight against? Missing with most of your shots is terribly annoying and frustrating, and moods rapidly change from “Wow he’s a tough one!” to “Ugh won’t he just die already?”.
If I drop the DIS from 5 to 4 the dinosaur is basically stuck going D4″ an Activation because it will be fairly easy to Panic. I could raise the price slightly, especially when you consider an AR 4 suit for humans is $500 on it’s own. I might end up doing that, and also creating or changing a carnivore dinosaur to be in the $600 range as well.

Anyways that was the only real question to come out of the game. That and trying to indicate special abilities of a weapon somewhere on the Posse roster. I might just put a star (*) beside weapons that do something cool, and then that will hint to players to check the rulebook for what feature it has. I had thought about adding a “Special Ability” column to the weapon statline, but there really isn’t space (plus I don’t want to touch the sheet after this much time).

New Jungle Terrain and a Four Player Game

I thought I’d share some of the new terrain I got, as well as the four player game setup that I’ll be hosting later today.

All this terrain is just basic stuff from a pet store for aquariums. I find it’s pretty obviously for fish unless it’s mixed in with standard terrain, in which case it just spices up the table and gives it a jungle feel. I especially like the sabertooth skeleton because it’s such a perfect fit.



I also have a wooden cabin that I just finished spray painting today, but it was drying while I was taking photos so those will have to wait. Anyways I won’t be doing a turn-by-turn battle report for the game, but I should have a general summary and some (awesome?!) photos to share. I’m going to try a different camera too so hopefully they won’t be too blurry.

Dino Storm Key Contest – Results!

Here are the entries for my little Dino Storm Closed Beta Key Contest, in order received. As I mentioned in the original contest the idea was to send in the best Dinosaur Cowboys related tabletop pictures or artwork. Unfortunately I thought there would be more overlap between computer folks and tabletop people, since all the entries were just found on the internet. All it would have taken for someone to really sweep the contest is an original picture of some figures and a dinosaur, but alas!

Paul
The first entry was from Paul, who came up with some art from what looks like Dino Riders:

Yawar
Then Yawar who took some Dino Storm screenshots and concept art (in fact I had posted similar concept art in the original contest):

Ferran
And finally Ferran, who grabbed what looks like forum signature avatars.

The Winner Is…
After some consideration and deliberation the winner is Yawar! I’ve emailed him the closed beta key and hope he will enjoy Dino Storm.

Anyways back to your regularly scheduled tabletop programming after this. I’m playing a 4-person game of Dinosaur Cowboys tomorrow so that will be thrilling.

Dino Storm browser game review

Yesterday I saddled up with the Dino Storm closed beta. Remember that you can still get my single extra key by emailing me (dinosaur.cowboys@gmail.com) a cool picture of your Dinosaur Cowboys tabletop game or related artwork. Anyways enough shilling.

Everything in my mini-review below is slightly colored by the fact that I am on crappy slow internet and a crappy slow laptop at the moment. I’m on a business trip so I’m basically stuck with 40mbps wireless hotel internet. Because of that I’ll hold off making any judgements on laggyness until I can get home.
Anyways Dino Storm is written in Java, so my browser plugin took a bit to download all the necessary files, then I was good to go. I was first presented with the simple character creation screen, wherein I could choose my name, various colored shirts and hats and so on. No stat choices to be made at the moment, so everyone plays pretty much the same at this point.
After getting into the game I could up the graphics to my native resolution which helped improve the look of the game. I scaled down all the screenshots here though, but originally they were at 1680×1050.
Anyways the music was starting to repeat at this point, so I was looking forward to hitting the open plains. The desert/plains look very immersive with cacti and struggling shrubbery everywhere. Plenty of old buildings too. Following your current quest is simple since you can highlight the path in blue dino footprints.
As for controls, they were actually my favorite part of the game. In a sense they were “sluggish”, but that was intentional to give you a feel of actually steering a mount. Your dinosaur doesn’t turn on a dime, and hitting the left arrow key will have a slight delay before the dinosaur responds. Think of it like driving a big boat or slow city bus. I found making minor adjustments to my heading were easier if I rotated the camera since that seemed to shift where my rider was going.
Anyways I wandered after the blue footprints, which was pretty obvious since the map was tunneling my forward (at least at this point). Eventually they lead to Sue Hunt, riding a Ducky and eager for me to kill 10 Entelodons. In other words, prehistoric boars. There they were, majestically grazing in the field in a giant pack.

Before I go further keep in mind I haven’t played many 3D browser games. My MMO experience is limited to heavy Guild Wars for a few years (still some of the best party based fantasy PVP). And also keep in mind that I want to like Dino Storm. But seriously, BOARS? The joke of “Kill 10 Boars” has been an MMO staple since even before the Southpark World of Warcraft episode. And this is the devs best chance to grab the players and show them how cool and innovative the game can be. And yet there I was in 2012 killing 10 Entelodon’s in a field.

As for combat, well, you can see I have a little quickbar at the bottom of the screen. The first two abilities drain my blue bar (stamina?) a tiny bit and seem to do a tiny bit of extra damage. Combat is initiated by left clicking on the target, the clicking on “Attack” from the single option menu. Yep. Your cowboy will start shooting his gun, which unfortunately sounds and looks like some kind of gunpowder based weapon instead of the promised lasers. Maybe that’s an upgrade later. Anyways I’m not sure what the underlying mechanics or math are like, or whether moving helps make you harder to hit, or anything like that. But it basically seemed like the enemies health bar went down and eventually they died.
At first I tried strafing and sprinting in circles, until I realized I was still taking the same amount of damage but my dinosaur wasn’t able to attack since he was on the move. So after the first boar my strategy became “left click and wait for the boar to die”. I’d stay in place and once an enemy was close enough the dino would automatically bite attack, which helped add damage.
Certainly not the most compelling approach, but honestly mounted anything is super hard to do well. A similar problem happened in the game Auto Assault, which had cars with guns. Either you have turrets that auto aim, in which case moving can help a bit, or you make the player manually move. Dino Storm went for auto aim, so your cowboy swivels in his saddle to keep shooting, and you basically don’t have to do anything. Maybe they’ll add some abilities later so that I can at least mash 1-2-3 on my keyboard.
After decimating some boars I eventually got a level up. Hooray me! You have to painstakingly click to pick up the experience, which shows as floating sheriff badges. I’m not sure what the idea was with making experience a physical item, or taking 2-3 seconds to pick it up (there is a progress bar), but it gets annoying quickly.
Anyways most of the text wasn’t internationalized yet so I just got placeholders like “$profile.district”, which made learning anything about my character or dinosaur a bit hard.

They also have some achievements, but again the text was missing so I couldn’t figure out most of them, besides the one that wanted me to kill 999 Entelodons.

Anyways after leveling up I noticed the “Gold Coins” approach Dino Storm is going to do to make money. Keep in mind all these games need to support the devs and servers somehow, and in this case it looks like real world money can be translated into Gold Coins, which can then be translated into really awesome in game stuff. My test character started with 120 Gold Coins, which seemed like quite a few. Of course they still have non-real world related money in the game (called Dino Dollars) that is used for purchasing some items.
But Gold Coins can get you terrifically overpowered features like a whole new level up (which I did to get from level 2 to 3). You can also speed up research (more on that in a second) and buy some more elite items. I imagine the fancier dinosaurs will cost Gold Coins. I also imagine a person could just grind for all this stuff and never actually buy Gold Coins, but maybe I’m mistaken.
Another option to get Gold Coins is to complete surveys, which I would imagine give the devs some kind of kickback. For example completing a “US Auto Insurance survey” (pictured in the screenshot) would net you 397 Gold.

Anyways this whole approach left a sour taste in my mouth, so I wandered off to find another task in the game to keep me interested. Karl Nelson wanted to talk to me, so I asked him what was up. Deliver 5 fish. I think I took six quests during my first day of playing and every single one had a 0/X item count, be it killing things or delivering things. So yeah, Point A to Point B “Fedex” style quests, something I mistakenly thought the world had left behind with Baldur’s Gate 1.

After a while I got a chance to do a few upgrades. The approach to this is interesting and reminds me of Eve Online. You basically “start” the upgrade and it takes a preset amount of time (which can be sped up using Gold Coins). For example to upgrade my Kinetic Enhancer (which helped boost my damage a bit) it took around 5 minutes.

Another upgrade was “evolving” my dinosaur. This made him slightly bigger and gave him spikes along his head, and I assume better stats in the game. I think the idea is to have four or five of these evolution stages to each dinosaur, and goodness knows how many ridable dinosaurs in the final game.
Now so far it might seem like I’m being a bit negative of the game. Unfortunately I think I just had too high of expectations and was out of touch with what are (probably?) pretty standard features/limitations of browser based games. Dino Storm does have a neat feel to it, and the cowboys riding dinosaurs really do look cool. But it doesn’t excite a person or make them want to come back for more. Normally a look at the world map will spark my interest, but even that seemed kind of…lacking? Back to Auto Assault, I remember opening THAT world map and being excited to explore and drive around. And unfortunately Dino Storm just didn’t grab me.
I did have a few fun moments. When I fought some of the larger beasts and was forcing my mount to sprint away it did a good job of capturing what I think this type of genre would feel like. Exciting chase scenes! Daring shoot outs! And so on.

Of course this is just a closed beta, and as you can see from some of the screenshots the game is still in a very early stage (it felt late alpha to me). I’m going to keep abreast of the developments in Dino Storm, but the bar has certainly been lowered and I don’t expect to play it much even when the final game comes out. And yes it is “just” a browser game, but so is Spiral Knights and they did a terrific job of grabbing a player and throwing them into interesting combat right off the bat, plus a playable/workable money model.
Anyways I hope that gave you an idea of how the game looks and feels at the moment. I expect lots of cleanup and improvements to happen rapidly as user feedback comes in, but for the day after the closed beta servers opened it’s a pretty good idea of how Dino Storm is. Anyways, time to hit the dusty trail for now.

And if you need more of cowboys with laser guns riding dinosaurs, why not check out my tabletop game on this very website. First take a look at how it plays and then grab the free PDF rulebook. You’ll be fighting your toy dinosaurs against miniatures in no time!

Dino Storm Closed Beta Key Contest!


Well the Dino Storm closed beta went live today. I’m in the process of loading it up.
In case you missed your chance at a key I have an extra one that I’d love to give away through a simple contest. Just email me the coolest Dinosaur Cowboys picture you can make, be it from a tabletop game or art related. A huge preference will be given to new images that you personally make, as compared to just digging something up on the internet. I imagine there won’t be many entries so give it a shot.
Send all pictures to dinosaur.cowboys@gmail.com. At the end of the week the person who sends the picture I like the most will get my extra beta key.
The contest is now over. See the results!

And if you’re interested in seeing what the game is like, be sure to check out my review from my first day of playing.

Battle Report: Across the Street

Encounter Overview
Well this battle report took a while to get written up. The game took place back near the end of December, but I was tired of formatting these and hassling with the pictures so I let them sit for a while. Anyways it’s here now! The match was quite a bit of fun because of how much the central road changed the flow of combat.

I stuck to the smaller table, this time using a 3 foot square of terrain with 5″ deployment zones in the wilderness opposite the central road. I put up some blocking terrain near the middle to help give a “trench” feel of one posse having to charge out of cover and across the big gap.
The deadly posses involved were The Sunset Riders, which used a dedicated mounted member on a super fast Plains Runner (MV 12). The other posse were The Death Snakes, a smaller but extensively equipped posse with a deadly assassin leader. Who would win?

Note on images, all of them are clickable and will open the image at the full size. Apologies for any blurriness, my old camera is still having some issues.

Posse: The Death Snakes: 1/100 IP, 0/1000 ND, 2/3 Traits (not sure what happened there!)
My goal for the posse was to have a team of hard hitting, vicious combatants who could fight on their own. No weak links here. The Neotechnoist Leader named Ice (reminiscing of the TV show Gladiators) exemplified this with good AR and HP, deadly RMC, and a terrific 400kW Lever-Action rifle for sniping. I gave him the Knee Shot trait since enemies will undoubtedly move, and the +3 Damage from it would mean at least 8 damage if the rifle hit, and upwards of 10 before factoring in criticals. That’s good news for single shotting some basic enemies. Next up was Kallas who used a Double Barrel Shotgun and the Speed Reload trait to hopefully fire Both Barrels in a row with deadly effect. He’d be a bit shorter range, but again AR 1 and HP 12 should see him across the street. Jordana was next (you can thank the TV show Chuck for that one, since it had Jordana Brewster on it for a bit). I gave her a heavy 300kW Six-Shooter, which does a respectable 4A-3D and would be deadly if she used Fan the Hammer. Similar stats for her as Kallas, since I had IP to spare with only 3 humans. My dinosaur choice was made simply because I hadn’t tried the Allosaurus out in combat yet, and it’s such a dynamic toy that I wanted to give it a shot. So I made a Plains King Dinosaur named Klahr, who continued the “deadly weapon” idea with his 1A-7D Bite.
For strategy I imagined Kallas riding Klahr to bring his shotgun into combat faster. Jordana would head up the center, and Ice would snipe from the side. I didn’t expect Jordana to hold the entire enemy force by herself, but if I could focus fire all my attacks on a single target I had lots of confidence I would make one enemy drop per turn.

Ice (Neotechnoist Leader)
MV 4, AR 1, RMC 6, MMC 8, BRV 7, HP 10, Knee Shot I. 400kW Lever-Action Rifle.

Kallas (Duster)
MV 3, AR 1, RMC 7, MMC 8, BRV 6, HP 12, Speed Reload. Double Barrel Shotgun, Whiskey Drop.

Jordana (Duster)
MV 3, AR 1, RMC 7, MMC 8, BRV 5, HP 12. 300kW Six-Shooter, Whiskey Drop.

Klahr (Plains King Dinosaur)
MV 6, PMV D6, AR 2, MMC 6, DIS 7, HP 24.

Posse: The Sunset Riders: 1/100 IP, 0/1000 ND, 3/3 Traits
The focus of my posse was a lightning fast dinosaur with a deadly close combat rider, then a basic sniper leader and two cheap members that would form a simple firebase. First up was “Old Jim”, my Neotechnoist Leader who uses a deadly 400kW Lever-Action rifle. I also gave him the Rapid Fire trait to help make sure that 4D from the rifle lands on target. With an RMC of 6 he’d basically hang to one side and shoot at enemies crossing the road. Next up was my dinosaur and rider, named Limefly (after an old fast Battletech mech) and The Man in Black respectively. I tried a new approach of reducing the rider’s Movement to 1, which gave me some bonus IP to play with but would also mean he’d never dismount the dinosaur. Let’s just hope the ride never gets shot out from under him! I beefed up his HP and gave him a Motor Blade which is a nice versatile close combat weapon. His goal would be to hang on the flank opposite Old Jim and counter charge anyone coming across the road. Then came the twins, who were cheap members with cheap 100kW Six-Shooters. They’d bulk up the center and either defensively hold ground or advance across the road, depending on how the enemies looked. I used ancient Warhammer 40,000 Sisters of Battle figures for them, and then had tons of trouble remembering who was who once the bullets starting flying, haha.

Old Jim (Neotechnoist Leader)
MV 4, AR 0, RMC 6, MMC 8, BRV 7, HP 8, Rapid Fire I. 400kW Lever-Action Rifle, Small IRP.

The Man in Black (Duster)
MV 1, AR 1, RMC 8, MMC 6, BRV 6, HP 13, Bonus HP I. Motor Blade.

Cardella (Bandit)
MV 4, AR 1, RMC 7, MMC 8, BRV 6, HP 10. 100kW Six-Shooter

Kina (Bandit)
MV 4, AR 1, RMC 7, MMC 8, BRV 5, HP 10. 100kW Six-Shooter

Limefly (Plains Runner Dinosaur)
MV 12, PMV D10, AR 0, MMC 9, DIS 4, HP 10, Bonus MV I.

Deployment
For the roll off to decide table edges The Sunset Riders got the right side (west) and The Death Snakes got the left side (east). The Death Snakes had to setup first. As mentioned the deployment zone was 5″ from each table edge. There was no objective for the game, since the street would inspire enough strategy without artificial goals.

Death: My setup didn’t have a lot of depth or trickery to it, so I wasn’t worried about going first. As planned I put Jordana right in the middle behind the tall, line of sight blocking hill. She’d either advance with Klahr or summit the hill and provide covering fire. Speaking of Klahr I put Kallas on his back and the two of them were slightly north of Jordana, just beside the tall hill. They would be my spearhead, and what better weapon to break the enemy lines than a shotgun? Heck if it’s savage enough to make World War 1 Germans protest about it, it’s probably still fine for rushing an enemy position. Finally Ice hung out on the right side, just to provide some support for that flank in case The Sunset Riders aimed that way. His long range would mean basically full coverage of the street.

Sunset: Seeing a fresh, unhurt and unhurried force arrayed before me is always intimidating. Luckily I outnumbered The Death Snakes, but they sure sounded better equipped. First of all I placed Old Jim, and I decided to put him to the north (my right flank), since I honestly didn’t want to get into a shooting match with Ice (he had better AR and HP). Plus I could start laying down a withering hail of fire against Klahr, since I figured the dinosaur would be quick to advance. Unlike my little Limefly he couldn’t hide behind any hill on the board, so I imagine he’d be deep into the road in no time. Anyways then the twins were put in front of the thin, tall hill slightly back from the main hill adjacent to the road. Sorry for the poor description, but I thought it was necessary since the pictures don’t have much context. I put the Man in Black and Limefly behind that same thin hill, since I wanted to hop him cover to cover and then hopefully charge a flank or counter charge Klahr.


Turn 1 – Snipers and Streets
1a. Death wins Activation
Death: I wanted to get my simple, no brainer moves out of the way and save Ice until the end to react to the enemy if necessary. So I just bumped Jordana 3″ forward to the base of the stepping hill in front of her. She was still blocked from line of sight, but I could move her up soon if necessary.
Sunset: I matched The Death Snakes opening move by pushing Kina forward to the base of my own tall hill that was adjacent to the road. Looks like they might get into a shooting match soon, but I was outmatched by two hundred kilowatts of six-shooter firepower.
1b. Sunset wins Activation
Sunset: Cardella mirrored Kina’s move and placed herself at the base of the same hill. Two 100kW Six-Shooters against Jordana’s single 300kW revolver should be interesting.
Death: Time to move in the spearhead forward! Kallas spurred his mount Klahr forward behind the tall hill. It provided some cover from the middle of The Sunset Rider’s forces, but Old Jim had a pretty clear shot (unfortunately). Not much I can do to prevent that with such a massive dinosaur.
1c. Sunset wins Activation
Sunset: I have two Activations left since I outnumbered the enemy 2:1. First of all I had the Man in Black move Limefly 12″ forward to the cover of the second large hill, right beside the twins. He was in a perfect position to charge Klahr if needed. Then I had Old Jim duck into cover and fire at 10+ at Klahr. His 3A weapon paid off and I hit with 1 critical for 6 damage. Not bad for a ranging shot!
Death: Unlike Old Jim and his cowardly, hiding posse, I didn’t have range to anyone with Ice. I moved him forward and behind a tree on his same hill, hoping to close the gap a bit.


Turn 2 – Snipers and Shuffling
2a. Death wins Activation
Death: First of all I continued my slow advance with Jordana. She stepped up the slope leading to the tall hill, but didn’t summit yet as that would require a Run. I didn’t want to Run her into the open and not get a shot off. Instead I figured she’d safely wait in cover and move and shoot next turn.
Sunset: I was a bit worried that Cardella would be outranged by Ice if the flank came to a shootout, so I moved her to the right to add some extra cover between the two.
2b. Death wins Activation
Death: Klahr was shot already, so I wanted to get him across the road as soon as possible. No more skulking behind cover. I Ran him directly forward, with only a crater and some open turf between him and a tasty meal of Cardella.
Sunset: I wanted to keep Old Jim firing at Klahr. I moved him to the right up a slight hill, which afforded a tiny scrap of cover, but more importantly put Klahr into medium range. I shot and again got 1 critical hit for 6 more damage. Still not enough to Panic Klahr, but hey, he’s down to half HP already!
2c. Sunset wins Activation
Sunset: I had a tough choice to make in terms of what Limefly would do. He could try to hold off Klahr in close combat, or try to swing around and reach Ice in close combat. I decided the twins and Old Jim’s firepower could handle Klahr, so I moved Limefly to the left so that he was behind cover at the southern tip of the hill. Next turn he will be able to Run a massive 12+6″ and reach Ice in melee! I finished my turn by moving Kina to the base of the tall hill, since she had to climb up the stepping stone along the way. I was at medium range of Klahr, so I snapped off a shot. Another lucky roll with 1 critical for 3 measly damage.
Death: Klahr was getting pounded, but hopefully could survive another turn and reach the relative safety of melee. Plus Kallas was safe so far, and certainly wouldn’t have survived the trip across the street, so Klahr is serving his purpose. Anyways with Ice I could just barely see Limefly’s head peaking out from behind the hill. The dinosaur was small, but not THAT small. Ice only needed 8+ to hit (so nice when the target doesn’t have Armor), so I decided to activate Knee Shot to hopefully pour on some more damage. I hit with 1 critical for a total of 9 damage, which put Limefly down to 1 HP and caused him to Panic (slowing his massive 12″ Movement to D10!). If only I had hit with just one more attack I could have killed the dinosaur and effectively stranded The Man in Black. As it stands I don’t think the pair will be effective in rushing Ice anytime soon.


Turn 3 – Fangs and Terror
3a. Sunset wins Activation
Sunset: Phew I lucked out winning Activation, since it meant I could have Limefly dive for cover before Ice got another shot off. I rolled for Limefly’s PMV and got a 2! So he basically went from 12″ MV to 2″ :( Anyways I shuffled him around until I was sure Ice couldn’t see him, or move to see him. The Panic was cleared after this, but I didn’t know what to do with the gravely wounded dinosaur now.
Death: With the cowardly Limefly burrowing even further behind the hill I left Ice for now and focused on getting Klahr into melee before he had to weather another round of fire. I moved him directly forward towards Cardella, then rolled to Charge the 3″ to reach her. I rolled enough movement and could reach Cardella, and Klahr viciously went to work on her, hitting with his 1 attack for 8 damage. Cardella passed her Bravery test, goodness knows how!
3b. Death wins Activation
Death: It was time for Jordana to stop hiding and start contributing. She moved into the open on top of the tall hill and fired at 9+ at Kina. The kick from her gun must have been too much as not a single shot hit!
Sunset: Kina couldn’t handle Jordana (and maybe Ice, depending on how he moved) alone, so she ducked back down the hill to the stepping stone. This put her into a Crossfire with Klahr, who was also at short range. She grabbed her revolver and held the trigger and Fanned the Hammer, which gave her a total of 6+2 attacks (thanks Crossfire!) at 9+. She only hit 3 times for a total of 4 damage. The upside is it knocked Khalr 2″ backwards (well, sideways), although he was still in melee with Cardella. Kina will need to Reload though since Fan the Hammer empties the gun (plus I rolled a 1, so it was worth Fanning the Hammer!).
3c. Death wins Activation
Death: Hmm if Klahr can hold out a bit longer he should be able to gobble up Cardella and then lock down Old Jim. I’d love to get Ice in to support, but was waffling on compromising his position or over-extending. As much as I hated to do it, I left Ice where he was, out of range.
Sunset: With Ice far out of range and Jordana blocked from the main fighting by a lot of terrain, I was in a pretty good position to continue my focus fire on Klahr. Cardella was part of the Crossfire against Klahr, and she didn’t have long to live. I decided to Fan the Hammer with her as well. She hit 3 times (2 of which were criticals!) for a total of 6 damage. More importantly the ability has Knockback 2″, so Klahr got pushed out of melee with her! I mean, I guess he could re-Charge next turn, but at least it removes the Melee penalty for Old Jim. Speaking of which the leader moved into a fresh Crossfire position with Klahr, at medium range. I decided to use Rapid Fire for a total of 7 Attacks. And then…I missed with all of them! I could have put down the dinosaur, but Old Jim had a bad case of the shakes or something!


Turn 4 – Titans and Reloads
4a. Death wins Activation
Death: I knew Klahr didn’t have much time left, so I handled him first. Instead of Charging I took a longer move route into combat with Cardella to get out of the numerous Crossfires. Then of course I had to miss with his attack on Cardella. At least it was just 1 Attack compared to Old Jim’s 7 that he missed, haha.
Sunset: Old Jim continued to pour fire into Klahr. He wasn’t in a Crossfire this time, but he still hit twice for 6 damage. Getting close to bringing down the dinosaur now.
4b. Sunset wins Activation
Sunset: I wanted to save Limefly as my trump card, so I got a few housekeeping issues out of the way with this activation. Namely Reloading with Kina, who stayed where she was.
Death: Seeing the swirling melee and mess of laser blasts Jordana Ran down her hill to close the gap, and be a bit less exposed to future return fire.
4c. Sunset wins Activation
Sunset: I had Cardella Reload, yep yep. Then The Man in Black swung Limefly into Klahr’s flank (man oh man 12″ is a long distance and really allows some surprises as opponents often underestimate the reach). Swinging his Motor Blade the rider hit 3 times (2 of which were criticals!) for a big 8 damage, which kills Klahr!
Death: Well that was bound to happen eventually, so I can’t say I’m surprised. In fact I was really impressed with Klahr’s survivability in general. After the first two critical hits when he crossed the street I was nervous, but he really soaked up those Crossfires and still got a hit in there. Plus Kallas is alive and well and at optimum shotgun range! Anyways I moved Ice to the edge of the hill, since he was starting to get a bit of a denied flank going on. Plus with Limefly moved over there wasn’t much that could hurt Ice (yet!).


Turn 5 – Shotguns and Fear
5a. Sunset wins Activation
Sunset: Well with Klahr dead I had a new problem: Kallas! There’d be two barrels of hot plasma blasting all over the place pretty soon. Cardella was in melee with him, just because of where he dismounted, so she fired first. Bad rolling though, as I missed with everything and rolled a 1, so she’d have to Reload!
Death: I didn’t expect Kallas to last long that close to so many enemy troops, so he got busy killin’. I used Both Barrels at medium range against Old Jim, rolling 4 Attacks. Kallas hit with 3 (2 of which were criticals) for a massive 10 damage, which killed Old Jim outright! Now that’s an entrance. The Man in Black and Kina both Flee as a result of their Leader being killed.
5b. Death wins Activation
Death: Jordana continued to march across the street, firing as she went. She shot at medium range at 10+, trying to hit Cardella for the kill. Luck was with Jordana as she got 2 hits (1 of which was a critical) for 6 damage, which kills Cardella!
Sunset: Well, that was a terrible turn of events. Cardella was bound to die, but to have Old Jim EXPLODE to unexpectedly definitely hurt. Anyways Limefly had to Flee since his rider was a mess, so he headed very far from anything important. I wanted to keep him in cover at least, so I Ran him behind a large hill in the hopes of surviving another turn.
5c. Death wins Activation
Death: Unlike Old Jim, Ice was still alive, but he certainly wasn’t doing much. What started as not wanting to over-extend has now become a definite lack of shooting from him. To this end I Ran him towards the combat, trying to get into range for a few deadly potshots.
Sunset: Kina had to Flee after seeing Old Jim die, so she headed away from Kallas up a large hill. I fired at medium range at Kallas, his shotgun still smoking, but only hit once on 8+ for 2 damage.


Turn 6 – Firing and Revenge
6a. Death wins Activation
Death: Well it’s time to use Kallas’ trick. He activated Speed Reload to bring his Double Barrel Shotgun back online, then moved over to sight in on Limefly. The shot was at long range but he only needed an 8+ on 4 Attacks to kill. Kallas missed them all! I was really hoping for a double kill with him.
Sunset: Kina backed down the hill to get out of line of sight from Jordana and Ice, then fired at medium range against Kallas, hitting 2 times for 3 damage. I miss the bonuses of Crossfire and Fan the Hammer, haha.
6b. Sunset wins Activation
Sunset: After barely surviving Kallas’ attack The Man in Black wanted to put an end to the deadly shotgun threat. He swung Limefly around and moved into melee with Kallas, hitting 3 times (1 was a critical) for 7 damage, which kills Kallas! Revenge, woo hoo.
Death: That was abrupt…perhaps not quite as abrupt as Old Jim, but still I expected at least another turn from Kallas. Anyways Jordana edged around the nearest crater and fired long range at Limefly. She missed with two 1s (haha). Ice was nearby so he used Yeehaw! to allow a single re-roll, which turned into a critical for a total of 5 damage against Limefly! The dinosaur crumpled to the ground. Jordana would still need to Reload due to her other bad roll of 1. Finally Ice could shoot (for once!) at close to his maximum range (21″ in this case) at 9+ against the now unmounted Man in Black, hitting once for 5 damage.


Turn 7 – Cat and Mouse
7a. Sunset wins Activation
Sunset: With most of the big movers and shakers dead the game would tend towards cleanup at this point. The Man in Black was slow as heck now that he was dismounted, but still feebly Ran 2″ towards the nearest hill.
Death: Ice advanced his full 4″ and gets Man in Black in his sights, shooting at long range at 9+. He missed all his shots, which was just delaying the kill on his incredibly slow opponent.
7b. Death wins Activation
Death: Jordana also moved forward which put the Man in Black in long range for her pistol. She outdid Ice in her shooting though, hitting 2 times (1 was a critical) for 5 damage, which had been reduced a bit because the Man in Black was in a scrap of cover.
Sunset: Kina spun around the edge of the cliff to shoot short range at Jordana. I didn’t want to have her needing to reload from using Fan the Hammer, so I stuck with a normal attack. It didn’t matter anyways as I missed with everything.


Turn 8 – Cleanup and Kills
8a. Death wins Activation
Death: Ice continued his barrage against the Man in Black, again at long range. He had better luck this time with 2 hits (1 of which was a critical) for a total of 7 damage, which kills Man in Black. Only Kina remains!
Sunset: Well there isn’t much left of my shattered posse. Kina and her trusty 100kw Six-Shooter might not do much, but hopefully they can at least kill Jordana. I fired at short range against Jordana, hitting once for 2 damage. After this Kina moved up the tall hill into the cover of the tree, since a commanding position might help a bit.
Death: Jordana spun and fired at short range against Kina, hitting 2 times for 4 damage as the vegetation absorbed some of the shot. Jordana moved to the bottom of the hill but didn’t have enough Movement to reach the top…yet.

Turn 9 – Not Over Yet
9a. Death wins Activation
Death: Calmly Ice lifted his rifle to kill Kina, needing only a 7+ to hit. Maybe the wind changed, or maybe a solar flare interfered with his vision, but he missed with everything! Looks like this is going to overtime, haha. Next Jordana Ran up the tall hill to be face to face with Kina, although not quite in melee combat.
Sunset: Intent on showing the cocky Jordana what happened to the last person at short range, Kina Fanned the Hammer for 4 hits (1 of which was a critical) for 6 damage, which causes Jordana to Flee! Kina moved back down the hill to deny Ice his shot.
NOTE: I forgot about the 2″ Knockback with Fan the Hammer, which would have sent Jordana sailing off the cliff

This is a textbook case of old vs new paintjob. I must have been 16 when I painted Kina (left) whereas I just painted Jordana (right).

Turn 10 – Stunning and Surviving
10a. Death wins Activation
Death: Jordana is Fleeing, but is technically too slow to Flee backwards down the tall hill. The hill is 2″ high so she’d need MV 4, but she only has 3. So instead she is Stunned! She decides to just stay where she is. Kina had ducked behind the hill so Ice no longer had a shot. He Ran forward to try to get into line of sight.
Sunset: Kina is a real trooper, and I wish with all my heart she had Old Jim’s 400kW rifle instead of her measly pistol! Anyways she needs to Reload, but instead of doing that Kina moves up the tall hill into melee with Jordana! She uses the Natural Weapon “Push”, which hits for 1 damage, and ALSO applies a 2″ Knockback that sends Jordana off the cliff! She takes a further 2 damage from the fall and is down to 1 HP. The downside is Kina is all alone in Ice’s line of sight now.


Turn 11 – Gotcha!
11a. Sunset wins Activation (with a roll of 11 to 1!)
Sunset: Winning Activation is great since it means I can (hopefully) get into cover. I moved Kina back down the hill and Reloaded her revolver.
Death: I moved Jordana forward to the base of the hill and had her take her Whiskey Drop, which recovered 2 HP so she’s at 3 HP. Ice moves around the hill into line of sight with Kina…no hiding from the inevitable! He fires and hits 2 times for 6 damage, which finally kills Kina!

After Action Report
Death: Pulled out a victory! That was such a tense back and forth battle. When Klahr died I’ll admit I had my doubts, but then Kallas swung it back by killing Old Jim, and subsequently dying soon after in melee with Limefly, but then his killer died, and so on. Definitely could have gone either way at a lot of points. During the game I felt that I didn’t use Ice nearly enough. I was too nervous to move him closer, but as soon as Old Jim was dead I could have been owning the long distances. Instead I had to spend (waste!) turns running him forward. Otherwise everything worked okay. Klahr did well in bringing Kallas into combat, and doing a bit of damage to boot. It’s always a toss up between being the aggressor and just playing defensive. I did take more fire than I would have just sitting in my “hill bunker” as The Sunset Riders did, but at the same time I got to dictate the flow of the game whereas my opponent just had to react to my moves. Anyways all in all I felt the Posse did a solid job, and the high cost weapons paid off very well. I can only imagine what would have happened if Kina didn’t have a cheap knockaround gun but a REAL weapon.

Sunset: Ugh how could I forget the 2″ Knockback on Kina’s Fan the Hammer against Jordana near the end there?! Not saying that was my biggest mistake, but it certainly is the freshest. I think wimping out with Limefly hurt me. He did okay in the backlines once Klahr arrived, but that was more due to The Death Snakes inability to kill Limefly than my own tactical genius. If I had committed him earlier I might have slowed Klahr before he (and Kallas!) really reached my lines. I guess I can’t be too much to blame since he Fled after taking a shot from Ice, so I had to react to that. Anyways everyone did okay. I would have liked Old Jim to survive longer, but who could have foreseen that much damage at once? I’m waffling on whether the twins were a worthwhile investment, since their 100kW Six-Shooters were hitting reliably (and Fan the Hammer + Crossfire rocked!) but they didn’t do a ton of damage, and certainly seemed like an easy “threat” to ignore.

Complete Turn Log
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Two genre bending battle reports

Although these battle reports don’t specifically deal with cowboys, they have dinosaurs romping around various battlefields.

Safari On Venus
I’m just going to jump to the best one, which is the Safari on Venus. Terrific alien scenery, great Lizardmen conversions, and an appearance by the old Papo T-Rex toy (you might remember him from my own Great T-Rex Hunt).
Anyways the first link has more of the play by play while the second has slightly clearer pictures:

http://laughingferret.blogspot.com/2011/07/big-game-hunters-safari-on-venus-battle.html
http://rotanddrivel.com./biggamehunt.html


Saurian Safari
I had actually heard about Saurian Safari way, way back, but only recently remembered it as a comrade in arms to the great “add dinosaurs to improbable scenarios” genre. Think of it as rules to play out The Lost World by Conan Doyle. Except remember that his book was written in 1912 and the Victorian Era was only a decade old. The work must have been mindblowing at the time. Anyways Saurian Safari let’s people play out a dinosaur hunt, and that’s exactly what this battle report shows:

http://fasatrekker.blogspot.com/2011/01/game-session-victorian-steampunk.html
(Note he degrades The Valley of Gwangi with: “the C movies crap, like the cowboys wrassling a T Rex in Valley of Gwangi”. My word, I’m getting the vapors!)

Of course once a person starts searching for “Saurian Safari” you find numerous other awesome photos and battle reports, such as this one about Pirates vs Dinosaurs on an awesome island layout (that really makes me think of Settlers of Cattan).


Final Mention
And just a quick mention (since the post doesn’t have many pictures) someone had an entry about The Lost Legion of Venus using the GASLIGHT rules:

http://onemoregamingproject.blogspot.com/2011/10/fall-in-report-part-ii-saturday.html