Battle Report: Modoc Forest Dinoegg Heist

Encounter Overview
Deep in the Modoc Forest lies plenty of riches for those daring enough to risk their lives. Scattered amidst the thick trees and forgotten marshes are hundreds of dinosaur eggs. If a posse is hardy enough to compete with Oviraptors and other explorers they can make quite an income.
For this battle I used two previous Posses from the Keyes, Oklahoma Street Fight. In this case they had forsaken their dinosaurs to pursue rare and valuable dinoeggs. I continued their stories from the last battle, including awarding IP and ND based on the kills from before. This meant I could further test the Advancing a Posse rules.
Speaking of rules this was another v0.9 based game, which was solid enough that I didn’t even need to make any rule changes after the game. I played through the Dinoegg Heist scenario, modifying and improving it as I went. For the table I went for a big central peak that represented an area heavy with dinoeggs. Since this was deep in the forest I avoided any buildings or signs of civilization except an old set of fences (probably from a once scenic national park).
Onwards to the advancement and improvements each posse made…

Note on images, all of them are clickable and will open the image at the full 1280×960 size. Apologies for the fuzziness, I wasn’t having much luck with photos this game.

Posse: The Dusk Stalkers (previously Duskhelm Posse) – 4/196 IP, $0/1960, 6 Traits
My first order of business was to refund my Dinosaur, a plated beast named Thunderfoot. The scenario calls for foot units only, and normally I would be stuck just not bringing my dino. But in this case my opponent agreed that we could straight up sell our Dinosaurs for their original cost (including recovering any used Traits) which meant I had a bunch of dough to retool my gang with. Thunderfoot was $500, so already my bank was looking better!
In the last battle I had 2 kills which gave me a further 6 IP and $60. Not that great, but I hoped for better this round!
My purchases came first. I bought Tangle Grenades for Duskhelm, the hope being I could tie up melee focused units (or retreating enemies) and give Mitis’Heq a chance to shoot at them (with a bonus of not having any movement penalties). My next purchase was obvious, and that was a beefy 700kW Lever-Action Rifle for Redbeard The Terrible. Last match he truly was terrible, but I think his Musket was partially to blame. At 2A-7D with a max range of 25″ (with his Eagle Eye trait) I had high hopes for a few one shot kills. Survivability was a concern on my end, so two suits of armor were next. I bought Padded Armor for Duskhelm, boosting his AR to 2 (he had spent IP before to get to 1). Then Hasheen, my trust midliner, got a suit of Cloth Armor (which suited the figurine perfectly). Finally I spent the last of my Neodollars on a single SIRP for Duskhelm, since he seemed like the kind of guy to hoard the single piece of healing for himself.
As for IP, I continued the trend of greedy Duskhelm, this time spending all 6 IP to give him +1 HP, boosting him to a total of 10 HP. What’s really nice about going from 9 to 10 HP is your “half damage” value (that you need to make a Bravery Test at) goes from 4 to 5 HP, which can be a big difference on how often you have a chance to flee.
My plan for this fight was simple: win! Okay, well, mainly I wanted to try to hurt Coleman a bunch while still slinking off with a few eggs. I knew that we’d probably get in close and ugly, at which his melee monster Stone Axe excels. But Duskhelm and Mitis’Heq were becoming quite formidable, and I hoped that their firepower combined with Redbeard’s new rifle would spell disaster for anyone foolish enough to rush me. I wasn’t too worried about Oviraptors, since their “default” behaviour was simple enough to outsmart. Besides if they picked up a few eggs THEN I killed them, well, more IP for me!

Anyways my Posse looks like:
Duskhelm - Neotechnoist Leader
MV 4, AR 2, RMC 5, MMC 8, BRV 7, HP 10, Go For The Eyes, Rapid Fire
Heavy Repeater, Tangle Grenades, Padded Armor, SIRP

Mitis'Heq - Neotechnoist Member
MV 4, AR 2, RMC 6, MMC 8, BRV 6, HP 8, Go For The Eyes, Get Up!
Light Repeater

Redbeard The Terrible - Duster Member
MV 3, AR 0, RMC 6, MMC 8, BRV 6, HP 10, Crippling Shot, Eagle Eye
Musket, 700kW Lever-Action Rifle

Hasheen - Bandit Member
MV 6, AR 0, RMC 7, MMC 8, BRV 6, HP 9
Double Barrel Shotgun, Cloth Armor

Burt - Bandit Member
MV 5, AR 0, RMC 7, MMC 8, BRV 6, HP 9

Coleman’s Raiders – 0/208 IP, $0/2080, 6 Traits
No offense to Duskhelm, but last fight I destroyed him. I mean come on now, I ended up with 6 kills! That’s practically enough to get another Trait slot. But yeah, from the murderin’ I dished out I got 18 IP and $180. Plus I refunded Zira (hopefully to a nice, friendly caravan) for $700 and 1 more Trait slot (since she had taken Bonus HP I).
Flush with wealth I thought the first thing to do was recruit someone new. To that end I hired “Skull” (who would be represented by my old, hilariously 1990s painted Eldar scout [I mean come on, flames on his robe?!]). That was a cool $250 for his Neotechnoist help. I was hoping to make him into a semi-sniper…certainly not on par with Redbeard, but good enough to give me a bit of range beyond Handcannons and Dinoprods.
Next I wanted to use some of my new IP, so I spent a full 18 IP to give +3 HP to Skull. Honestly I’m not entirely pleased with this choice, but wandering around with anything less than 8 HP is a recipe for disaster. Hopefully his default Neotechnoist improvement to RMC would help ensure he hit…plus I could always give him a high attack weapon. I went for the “Knee Shot I” Trait, which gives a solid +3 damage boost if the target already moved (easy enough to find that situation!).
Besides recruitment I wanted some new goodies for my posse. First I spent more money on Skull, this time for a Twin Rifle (5A-2D with a nice 18″ range makes it a solid choice. Having the “Both Barrels” special ability just makes it all the sweeter). Stone Axe is already pretty survivable with his 3 AR, but heck for a handful of Neodollars I went ahead and upgraded him to Dinohide Armor, for a total AR of 4. Crazy! Plus he matches his Dark Sun figurine even more now. His old Bone Armor was handed off to Coleman who’s AR ended up as 2. I thought Shadow needed a little something extra besides a plain pistol, so I bought him Glue Grenades. Slowing on hit is super handy, either for Stone Axe to catch someone or to just slow one of Duskhelm’s villains as they retreat with an egg! Finally Coleman got another SIRP, since his was used last match and it’s definitely a handy choice (I mean until you roll +1 HP instead of the max of 6).
I figured my posse is pretty well matched to Duskhelm, and the close in nature of the scenario should help get to grips with his slightly longer ranged members. Heck with luck I’ll get a first turn Charge with Stone Axe. Dinoeggs are still going to be my main focus, and Coleman, Newt, and Shadow will probably be my goto people for that. Skull would be a great egg carrier since he’ll probably hang back, so hopefully I’m lucky and end up near an egg.

My bigger Posse now looks like:
Coleman - Bandit Leader
MV 4, AR 2, RMC 6, MMC 8, BRV 7, HP 12, Rapid Fire
Handcannon, Bone Armor, SIRP

Shadow - Duster Member
MV 3, AR 1, RMC 7, MMC 8, BRV 6, HP 11
300KW Six-Shooter, Glue Grenades, SIRP

Stone Axe - Savage Member
MV 7, AR 3, RMC 9, MMV 7, BRV 6, HP 13, Charger, Inspiring Shot
Dino Prod, 80KW Six-Shooter, Dinohide Armor, SIRP

Newt One-Eye - Bandit Member
MV 5, AR 1, RMC 7, MMC 8, BRV 6, HP 10, Clear Sight, Knockback Shot
Stun Gun

Skull - Neotechnoist Member
MV 4, AR 0, RMC 7, MMV 8, BRV 6, HP 9, Knee Shot I
200kW Twin Rifle

Table Setup
Let us sally forth to the kitchen table! Except this time we’d be playing from the long table edges instead of the short table edges. That and the giant mountain in the middle should make for an interesting game. The table was 4 feet long and 3 feet wide, and aside from the mountain in the middle I placed a bunch of hills and trees around.

I had three dinosaurs ready to join the battle due to the scenarios Oviraptor rules. As a refresher the stats for Oviraptors are:

Size S, MV 6, AR 1, MMC 7, BRV 6, HP 8, 2-2 A-D
Note: Can carry 2 Dinoeggs at once

One of the beasts will join the game on a roll of 8+ (done at the start of each turn), at which point they deploy randomly and start trying to steal eggs (either from the ground or from those foolish enough to hold dinoeggs near them!).

Duskhelm got the north long edge while Coleman got the south edge. Both had to deploy two members within 4″ of the center of the table (aka the top of the mountain) while the rest deployed within 6″ of their table edge. Coleman had to setup first, so he got right to it. After that Dinoeggs were placed throughout the board, and a fast, fun, and vicious game began…

Coleman: Well shucks, first deployment eh. Normally I don’t mind, but this time I have to have two “forward scouts” on the main mountain. To balance their unlucky position they each started with a Dinoegg, so that was handy. I figured Stone Axe would be the best choice, but I wanted him to live through the first turn so he started up the hill a bit and in cover. His massive 7″ movement and +1″ Charge range would help get to grips with any enemies. I had considered putting Coleman up there as well, but Shadow with his Glue Grenades seemed like a better choice. Plus having Coleman in danger too early would kind of suck. So yeah, Shadow kind of in the open central part of the hill and Stone Axe up a bit from him.
Then I put Coleman and Newt One-Eye down below, as far forward as I could so they were in range to support their mates as soon as possible. Skull was off on the right flank on a hill. The elevation would give a nice damage boost, and he should be in good enough range for shots at people on the mountain. Now fingers crossed for good Dinoegg distribution!

Duskhelm: Hmm well deploying second is nice because I can basically mirror my opponent. I wanted to keep my team of Duskhelm and Mitis’Heq together, since they can throw out 12 attacks at 14″, or 16 attacks if they both Rapid Fire. That’s deadly! Plus with Duskhelm’s new Tangle Grenades I figured he’d be a great help to keep Stone Axe locked down. My real mimic was putting Hasheen and Burt in the center, side by side, so they are opposite Coleman and Newt. They would be my second wave towards the middle, or around the flanks depending on how the Dinoeggs ended up. Redbeard was off on his own in the hills, since honestly if he can’t outsnipe Skull then he really deserves his nickname “The Terrible”.

Dinoeggs: Aside from the 4 Dinoeggs in play (held by each of the members on the mountain) I rolled D6 for the additional Dinoeggs. My result was 6! So plenty of mini-objectives to go after. Unfortunately my earlier plan of using Mini Eggs chocolates to represent the dinoeggs didn’t work, so I was back to my usual glass tokens. Stupid heat melting the chocolate all over the table :(
Anyways I rolled a scatter dice and 2D12 to represent inches, and got a pretty south heavy distribution, which seems to favor Coleman.

Turn 1 – Blood on the Slopes
Unlike a lot of stand up fights in Dinosaur Cowboys, the close deploy of this scenario meant violence was imminent.
Coleman: Normally getting the first Activation on the first turn doesn’t matter a ton, but heck when I’m like six inches from the enemy’s leader I care a bit more! I put my Glue Grenades investment to good use by hurling one from Shadow to Duskhelm. The fast acting chemical struck him for 1 damage and also meant Duskhelm was Slowed (half Movement, no Run). After that I edged Shadow down the hill, since the further from short range I was the better!
Duskhelm: Glue and yellow belly runnin’? Seems par for the course for Coleman. I advanced Mitis’Heq into short range of Shadow, then opted to activate my “Go For the Eyes” Trait. As you recall this means critical hits are on 10+ instead of 12+. Definitely a smart move as I hit with 2 criticals for 5 total damage. Plus Shadow really WAS a yellow bellied dog as he failed the Bravery Test and was Fleeing.
I lucked out and won the next Activation, which meant I could keep pouring the fire on. Duskhelm was my natural choice, so he also activated his “Go For the Eyes” Trait and ALSO Rapid Fire. 8 attacks with 5 RMC base…sweet. I couldn’t quite get him to short range with Shadow because Duskhelm was Slowed, so I shot first instead. I only needed 7+ to hit, and in total I hit 4 times (including 2 criticals) for 8 damage, which killed Shadow. Woo hoo first blood. Anyways I moved Duskhelm 2″ forward after this, mainly to get closer to dinoeggs.
Coleman: Ouch a death already. Definitely a brutal pit fight up on that mountain. And who better to pit fight than Stone Axe? I moved him 7″ and then Charged 3″ more to Mitis’Heq. I got to roll 9 attacks thanks to the Charge and awesomeness of the Dino Prod, of which I hit for 4 damage. Mitis’Heq actually failed his Bravery Test and was Fleeing from this, haha.
Duskhelm: Time to get my sniper going, now that the obvious center moves are done. Redbeard edged over a bit so that he was at long range of Skull (with my new 700kW Lever-Action Rifle). Time to get my Neodollar’s worth! I hit with 1 attack but that was for 8 damage, so alllllmost a one-shot kill. Skull somehow passed his Bravery Test. And of course, since it’s Redbeard, my other attack was a roll of 1, so he needed to Reload. Even when I get him a better weapon than the Musket he STILL only shoots every other turn.
Coleman: Hey remember when I was like “I bought Skull to give me some range and maybe take on Redbeard?”. Yeah…NO! I Ran him downhill from his perch towards the nearest Dinoegg, which hopefully he could sneak off the board before another Redbeard shot whizzes in.
Duskhelm: The upside of the big mountain in the middle meant a lot of the avenues of fire were blocked. So Hasheen could safely Run towards the furthest west Dinoegg. May as well try to stay focused on the big bonus IP they provide (taking one off the board is basically like killing 3 people in terms of IP awarded).
Coleman: I moved Newt 4″ forward to the edge of the hill in the vain hopes of killing Mitis’Heq before he fled away and out of line of sight. I needed an 11+ to hit, which sucks, but I tried anyways. I got a 2 and 1 on my rolls…go me. I decided to use Coleman’s “Yeehaw!” ability to let her re-roll the 1 (so at least she wouldn’t have to Reload), but I still only managed a 6.
Coleman however had some better luck. I moved him 4″ forward which put Mitis’Heq into medium range which never hurts. I hit him with 1 critical for 8 total damage, which killed Mitis’Heq. Looks like we’re one for one now.
Duskhelm: My last Activation was for Burt. I moved him as far forward as I could, and then scoffed at my total inability to hit Stone Axe. That’s right, I needed 13+ with all the modifiers (mainly his brutally high 4 AR). So I Ran him to the edge of the hill instead.

Turn 2 – A Roar in the Distance
Oviraptor: I rolled a 9 for the Oviraptor chance to appear, so one hurried onto the board looking for dinoeggs.

The dinosaur deployed from the west table end (nearest Hasheen and the dinoegg he was approaching), 14″ down and 6″ inwards.
Duskhelm: I lucked out and got the first Activation, which probably saved me from being charged by Stone Axe. I started with Duskhelm throwing a Tangle Grenade at Stone Axe, which hit him (for 1 damage) and Stopped the melee monster. Looks like the crew around the mountain was safe for a turn! After the throw I moved him back 4″, since the further from Stone Axe the better.
Coleman: Hmm with Stone Axe frozen in the middle I thought I’d try to save Skull for one of my early Activations instead. I moved him towards the nearest Dinoegg and picked it up. He was still pretty exposed, but hopefully Stone Axe would be priority number one this turn for them. Plus I just had to keep him alive with his Dinoegg to get a bunch of sweet rewards at the end.
Duskhelm: Should I start whittling down Stone Axe or try to kill the super weakened Skull? Option two here we go! I might have considered shooting Stone Axe but Redbeard was down to his Musket, so it wasn’t worth the effort even if I did hit. Plus after moving him I could get Skull into medium range, and I only needed a 7+ to hit. I hit with a roll of 11 which killed Skull. Redbeard you’re redeeming yourself for last match (did I jinx him now?).
Next Burt moved towards a Dinoegg near the hill edge. My modifiers were slightly better against Stone Axe since I only needed an 11+ to hit. Unfortunately I missed with his Laserbow with a roll of 10. Almost!
Coleman: Time to get my reserve force in, especially since the battle seemed to be moving away from my deployment zone. Newt moved up towards the Dinoegg that Shadow had dropped, then spent a Run to reach it. I couldn’t quite pick it up yet though unfortunately.
Next Coleman moved into long range with Burt, who he could barely see around the edge of the mountain. I fired and hit for 7 damage…the Handcannon continues to impress. Burt failed his Bravery Test and was Fleeing, so that’s a bonus!
Duskhelm: I just had Hasheen left to Activate, and I was a bit stumped on what to do. I decided to try one shot against the Oviraptor, since if I could kill it I’d have free reign on the nearest Dinoegg. I moved him into medium range and then opted to use the “Both Barrels” feature of my Double Barrel Shotgun. I only needed 8+ to hit, so why not! I hit with an 8, 10, and 12 for 9 total damage, which killed the Oviraptor! That was totally some hunting safari skill right there.
Coleman: Well, better the Oviraptor than me, I guess. Stone Axe didn’t have much to do since he was Stopped, so I fired his wimpy 80kW Six-Shooter at Duskhelm at 12+ to hit. Naturally I missed.

Turn 3 – Here They Come!
Oviraptor: At this rate the Oviraptors will sweep the game…well, once they stop being killed in a single shot. I rolled for another Oviraptor to appear and had one pop up, this time from the east. 15″ down and 6″ in towards the dinoegg Burt was moving towards.
Coleman: Stone Axe is freeee! Before anymore dirty tricks could slow or stop him, I moved and then Charged him down the hill into Duskhelm. I hit for 5 damage, and Duskhelm was Fleeing (after rolling a horrible 12 for his Bravery Test).
Duskhelm: Looks like this turn will be “kill Stone Axe”. But first of all I moved Hasheen over and picked up the Dinoegg (that he so totally rightfully won after destroying that Oviraptor).
Coleman: Before Burt could Flee away I wanted to try my luck with Coleman again. I opened fire at even better mods this time and hit for 9 damage! Burt was dead as a vampire (or something?!). After that Coleman moved back towards the nearest Dinoegg, since it felt like the time to retreat might be soon.
Duskhelm: Redbeard took the turn off to Reload, first moving to the left and then getting his 700kW Lever-Action Rifle ready to rock again.
Next up Duskhelm Flees down the hill away from Stone Axe, which honestly was not too bad of an outcome since it got me out of melee. I knew I couldn’t kill Stone Axe in a single attack, so I opted to use Duskhelm’s SIRP instead. Totally worth it as I rolled a 6 for how many HP he recovered, which put him from 4 HP back to his full 10 HP.
Coleman: I kept with my plan to fallback gracefully, so Newt, dinoegg in hand, Ran back down the hill, still out of sight of anything dangerous.
Oviraptor: The Oviraptor moved towards the nearest Dinoegg, which was right near where Burt died. The beast was able to scoop up the egg, but was still on the prowl for more!

Turn 4 – Into the Sunset
Oviraptor: For once there wasn’t an Oviraptor that deployed. So just the one already on the board to wander around and steal eggs.
Duskhelm: Okay, since last turn ended up being a failure at even SHOOTING Stone Axe, I’ll do my very best to make up for it this time. My best bet at hitting him would be Duskhelm (with his 5 RMC), so that’s who I started with. I was at short range and didn’t want to make the counter-Charge any easier, so I stayed and fired. I hit 3+2+2 for 7 damage, which made Stone Axe Flee! Terrific news. Coleman had already used (wasted?) his Yeehaw! ability so he couldn’t even give a re-reroll. Anyways Duskhelm kept moving back towards his board edge, since more distance from melee never hurt.
Coleman: Well that’s too bad, since I really hoped to pin Duskhelm down this turn. Instead I Fled Stone Axe backwards, which left me without any real options. I didn’t have enough movement to Run all the way down the cliff to the safety of blocking terrain, so instead I Ran him into the cover of a little hill. Hopefully this would outdistance Redbeard or at least reduce the pain.
Next up was Coleman, who flat our Ran towards the edge of the table. That’s a good Bandit right there; got his loot and now he’s hitting the road.
Duskhelm: It seemed like we were both kind of retreating, which meant I probably only have a few more shots before the end of the game. Time to make them count! Redbeard didn’t have a Dinoegg at all, so I focused on getting him into a good firing position against Stone Axe. I moved down the slope and into 14″ on Stone Axe, but also still in 12″ range of Duskhelm (I figured Yeehaw! might be necessary to get this done). I activated Crippling Shot to hopefully slow down Stone Axe if I hit. I needed 11+, and Redbeard let me down by missing both! That’s why Yeehaw! range was important, which I totally used now to re-roll into a hit! That meant 8 damage which outright killed Stone Axe (and Slowed him, but corpses are already pretty slow).
Hasheen Ran with his Dinoegg towards my board edge, and that was about it.
Coleman: Grr that 700kW is a beast. Anyways I Ran Newt towards my own table edge for my last Activation. Into the sunset we go…
Oviraptor: The Oviraptor moved up the hillside towards a Dinoegg there.

At this point the game ended. Both Posses wanted to run their Dinoeggs off without fighting, so they did. In terms of victory The Dusk Stalkers technically won.

After Action Report
A short and savage game! The objective really meant both players were eager to keep their spoils safe instead of risk further fighting, so it ended after only 4 turns. The haul of Dinoeggs was the same for each side: 2. Coleman and Newt both escaped with one, and Duskhelm and Hasheen got one each as well. Redbeard was the other survivor but basically killed Stone Axe instead of focusing on getting a dinoegg. All the survivors were unhurt, which is a bit different than normal.
The game ran a little under an hour in length, but that was mostly because I kept taking breaks to tweak the scenario.
For 2 Dinoeggs the scenario gave 12 IP and $60. Let’s look at how each Posse did overall:

Duskhelm: 4 kills (3 Posse and 1 Oviraptor) = 9 IP, $90 + Dinoeggs = 24 IP, $180, +1 Trait.
Coleman: 2 kills (2 Posse) = 6 IP, $60 + Dinoeggs = 18 IP, $120, +1 Trait.

Game Ideas
A few minor issues that cropped up during the game and might need to be addressed:

  • Make Slowed not allow Charge (instead of just Run)
  • Armor Movement penalties start sooner? 4 AR is really tough to hit
  • Need a way to track Traits, both total and when the next one is given
  • Possible make Fleeing close combat provide a Snap Attack?

Complete Turn Log
Turn 1:
– Shadow hits Duskhelm with Glue Grenade, 1 damage and Slowed. Moves down the hill.
– Mitis’Heq moves to short range of Shadow, uses Go For The Eyes, shoots and hits for 2 crit for 5 damage. Shadow Fleeing.
– Duskhelm uses Go For the Eyes and Rapid Fire. Can’t get to short range of Shadow because he’s Slowed. Shoots 8 Attacks at medium range, 7+ to hit. Hits 4 (2 crit) for 8 damage, killing Shadow. Moves forward 2″.
– Stone Axe Charges 10″ down hill at Mitis’Heq. Hits 4 times out of 9. Mitis’Heq is Fleeing.
– Redbeard edges over into long range of Skull with 700kW Lever-Action Rifle. Hits 1 for 8 damage. Skull passes Bravery Test. Other attack roll is a 1, so Redbeard needs to Reload.
– Skull Runs down hill towards Dinoegg.
– Hasheen Runs towards Dinoegg to the west.
– Newt moves 4″ forward to hill edge, shoots at Mitis’Heq at 11+. Misses with 2 and 1. Coleman uses Yeehaw! to allow re-roll, turn 1 into a 6, still misses.
– Coleman moves 4″ forward, puts Mitis’Heq at medium range. Shoots and hits 1 crit for 8 damage, killing Mitis’Heq.
– Burt moves forward, can’t hit Stone Axe (needed 13+). Runs instead to base of hill.

Turn 2:
– Oviraptor is in! West table end, 14″ down, 6″ in towards western Dinoegg Hasheen was going for.
– Duskhelm hits Stone Axe with Tangle Grenade. 1 damage and Stopped. Then moves backwards 4″.
– Skull moves to Dinoegg and picks it up.
– Redbeard moves to medium range with Skull, shoots Musket at 7+. Hits with 11, killing Skull.
– Burt moves towards Dinoegg around the hill edge, shoots 11+ at Stone Axe, misses with 10.
– Newt moves up hill towards Shadow’s dropped Dinoegg, then Runs to reach it.
– Coleman moves over to long range with Burt, shoots and hits once for 7 damage. Burt is Fleeing.
– Hasheen moves into medium range with Oviraptor, uses Both Barrels at 8+ to hit. Hits 8, 10, 12 for 9 damage, killing Oviraptor!
– Stone Axe can’t move (Tangle Grenade), instead shoots at Duskhelm at 12+. Misses.

Turn 3:
– Oviraptor again! From east edge, 15″ down, 6″ in towards egg Burt is moving for.
– Stone Axe moves and Charges Duskhelm. Hits 5 damage, Duskhelm Fleeing (rolled a 12).
– Hasheen moves and picks up Dinoegg to the west.
– Coleman shoots at Burt again, hits 1+2+6 for 9 damage, killing Burt. Moves backwards to Dinoegg.
– Redbeard moves left, reloads 700kW Lever-Action Rifle.
– Duskhelm Flees down hill, uses SIRP for 6 HP from 4 to full 10 HP.
– Newt Runs backwards downhill with Dinoegg.
– Oviraptor moves forward and picks up Dinoegg.

Turn 4:
– No Oviraptor this turn.
– Duskhelm shoots short range at Stone Axe, hits 3+2+2 for 7 damage. Stone Axe is Fleeing. Coleman already used Yeehaw! so he can’t re-roll. Duskhelm moves backwards towards board edge.
– Stone Axe Flees backwards. Doesn’t have enough movement to Run down the cliff so he Runs into cover of the hill to try to outdistance Redbeard.
– Coleman Runs towards table edge.
– Redbeard moves down slope into 14″ range of Stone Axe, and still 12″ of Duskhelm (for Yeehaw!). Uses Crippling Shot and shoots Stone Axe at 11+. Misses both shots. Yeehaw! re-roll hits! 8 damage and Slowed, which doesn’t matter because Stone Axe is dead.
– Hasheen Runs back to table edge.
– Newt Runs back to table edge.
– Oviraptor moves up slope towards Dinoegg.

Battle Report: Keyes, Oklahoma Street Fight

Encounter Overview
This playtest was using v0.8 with a mix of v0.9 (mainly around the removal of Levels), and was fought between two Posses in the small town of Keyes, Oklahoma. Situated on the edge of the vast southern desert, this hopeless town had been reduced to overgrown ruins by time and the forces of nature. The two Posses involved had their own reasons for visiting the forsaken place, but met and fought and died on the single worn road through the town.

This battle was unique because I used a Dinosaur on each team, which was a refreshing change. Also I went for a pretty high level of IP and ND, 190 and $1,900 and 6 Traits in fact. This is equivalent to around Level 3 or 3 1/2 in the old rules, so definitely a lot of power on each side. The fact that I used expensive dinosaurs certainly toned down the equipment involved, but there was still plenty of exotic weapons. Also I took a ton of pictures since the game was pretty long and I found both Posses looked great when photographed in different combat situations.

As before I did a standard pitched battle with the goal of wiping out the other team. The difference was the central terrain feature, an old town bus pitted by vegetation, could actually be fired upon until it exploded. The rules for this are below under the Table Setup. Plus I used mainly buildings on the table, so it was a change of pace from the usual hills and trees.

Onwards to the Posses involved…

Note on images, all of them are clickable and will open the image at the full 1280×960 size.

Posse: Duskhelm Posse – 190 IP, $1,900, 6 Traits
I wanted my Posse to reflect a high powered Neotechnoist expedition. Their leader, Duskhelm, was cold and calculating, and had decided to leave his life of comfort inside The Wall behind. The outside world was harsh to him, and in turn he hardened his heart and became a vicious ruler of his gang. Currently they were preparing to trek into the southern wastes for their own nefarious purposes.
His second-in-command Mitis’Heq was once a loyal and trusted advisor, but now schemes behind Duskhelm’s back and tries to undermine his leadership.
During their travels they fought a tough Duster in a dingy saloon, and were so impressed with his martial ability that they recruited him. So Redbeard The Terrible joined and has eagerly been plundering his way across the continent since.
Hasheen is a stoic bandit who is unfailingly loyal to Duskhelm after swearing a blood oath to protect him. Duskhelm saved the wounded man from a pack of Rippers, and Hasheen has followed him like a lapdog since.
Burt is a little slow, and a little old, but he’s quite content with the small pleasures in life. The feeling of a solid energy bow in his hands, for example.
Finally is Thunderfoot, the Plated dinosaur that accompanies the Posse.

I had a ton of material to work with, since 190 IP means I can get some really mean characters going. My Dinosaur took a large chunk of money, as did recruiting 4 members, but I still managed a few Repeaters and other solid midrange weapons. 6 Traits meant I had lots of choice, and actually ended up mirroring Duskhelm and Mitis’Heq a bit in this regard (they both got “Go For The Eyes” as one selection). I left Hasheen and Burt trait-less; they’d basically rely on their stats to fight and stay alive.

My general plan was to keep Duskhelm and Mitis’Heq together as a pair, and Hasheen and Burt as another. Redbeard would snipe from the back. Thunderfoot would remain unmounted, and mainly would act as a big damage sponge. His insane AR 3 and 28 HP made him perfect for this role, as did his intimidating size.

The Posse looks like:

Duskhelm - Neotechnoist Leader
MV 4, AR 1, RMC 5, MMC 8, BRV 7, HP 9, Go For The Eyes, Rapid Fire
Heavy Repeater

Mitis'Heq - Neotechnoist Member
MV 4, AR 2, RMC 6, MMC 8, BRV 6, HP 8, Go For The Eyes, Get Up!
Light Repeater

Redbeard The Terrible - Duster Member
MV 3, AR 0, RMC 6, MMC 8, BRV 6, HP 10, Crippling Shot, Eagle Eye

Hasheen - Bandit Member
MV 6, AR 0, RMC 7, MMC 8, BRV 6, HP 9
Double Barrel Shotgun

Burt - Bandit Member
MV 5, AR 0, RMC 7, MMC 8, BRV 6, HP 9

Thunderfoot - Plated Dinosaur
MV 4, AR 3, RMC -, MMV 7, BRV 5, HP 28
Slam attack

Posse: Coleman’s Raiders – 190 IP, $1,900, 6 Traits
I had used the general character of Coleman before, but as a medieval highwayman in Dungeons and Dragons. I figured his previous life would work just as well in Dinosaur Cowboys, so I aimed to build a mixed bag bandit Posse around that idea. Coleman is a jolly fellow, good natured but quick to anger, and he planned and lead the Posse’s daring caravan robberies.
Shadow was his flank man, solid with a gun and known for sneaking where he ought not sneak.
Stone Axe was the muscle of the group, and I spent plenty of IP and ND to make him into a true beast. Terrific movement (7″) and very high Armor (3) and HP (13) meant he could tear around the field. I visualized him and Coleman playing the “good-cop, bad-cop” routine on uncooperative caravans.
Finally Newt One-Eye, a young lass Coleman had taken under his wing and kept because he had a soft spot for the poor orphan. She was learning the highwayman trade, and when Coleman wasn’t rip roaring drunk he was sure to teach her how to handle a gun. Also her name was from a Necromunda battle report from way, way back in White Dwarf, so I figured that was a fun nod.
And for my Dinosaur I went with a Horned type, named Zira. Sometimes a mount, and sometimes used just to intimidate merchants with her sheer mass.

As I said most of my money went to Stone Axe. I thought I’d try out the Dino Prod because I love the stats (8A-0D). Speaking of trying out new guns, I gave Coleman a Handcannon, since 2A-6D could hurt a ton, even with the slight minimum range. For my final weapon to test I went with a Stun Gun for Newt One Eye. It seemed like a nice semi-lethal option for her, plus Slowing an enemy is great. The range is sort of terrible though (tops out at 12″ with her Clear Sight trait). In fact I didn’t have a ton of long range firepower, which meant I’d have to get in and hit hard.

My plan was to pile everyone but Stone Axe onto the Dinosaur, and move her forward. Then everyone would unload and stick together in a tight formation while Stone Axe caused havoc on a flank, or carried on with Zira, or counter-charged anyone who got too close to the core group.

The Posse ended up looking like:

Coleman - Bandit Leader
MV 4, AR 0, RMC 6, MMC 8, BRV 7, HP 12, Rapid Fire
Handcannon, S-IRP

Shadow - Duster Member
MV 3, AR 1, RMC 7, MMC 8, BRV 6, HP 11
300KW Six-Shooter, S-IRP

Stone Axe - Savage Member
MV 7, AR 3, RMC 9, MMV 7, BRV 6, HP 13, Charger, Inspiring Shot
Dino Prod, 80KW Six-Shooter, S-IRP, Bone Armor

Newt One-Eye - Bandit Member
MV 5, AR 1, RMC 7, MMC 8, BRV 6, HP 10, Clear Sight, Knockback Shot
Stun Gun

Zira - Horned Dinosaur
MV 6, AR 2, RMC -, MMV 6, BRV 7, HP 25, Bonus HP I
Slam attack

Table Setup
My kitchen table was the battlefield again, 4 feet long and 3 feet wide. Instead of my usual mishmash of hills and trees I went for a town look. The buildings are pulled from Mordheim and a few foamboard creations from my youth. The roads are more recent and I actually made them for Car Wars. They fit in with the theme well. The bus was an some old Greyhound toy, but the scale was mostly right. The bus could be attacked and explode and was treated as:

AR 2, HP 12, 6″ Explosion 5D, if destroyed remove model at end of the turn

Anyways in addition to the asphalt road I tried to create a pathway feel to the town that crisscrossed the main strip. Some hills and trees were outside this, but I figured most of the action would be in the center with some firing happening from the side buildings.

I rolled randomly for setup, with Duskhelm getting north (towards my kitchen) and Coleman getting south (towards my door). Both Posses could deploy up to 8″ in from their respective short table edge. Duskhelm had to set up first, followed by Coleman, followed by the start of one of my favorite games of Dinosaur Cowboys to date…

Duskhelm: Like I said I wanted to keep organized teams. This meant Duskhelm and Mitis’Heq stuck together on the left flank. I planned to get them into a good position in the house ahead where they could overlook the main road. Thunderfoot was next and took the middle, his purpose being to run to the bus and keep the enemy locked down. Snap Attacks help! Redbeard was aiming to snipe. Although his inexpensive Musket was Auto reload (so he could only fire every other turn) it still had a 28″ long range (with his Eagle Eye trait) and was Scoped (ignore Cover), so it could definitely sting. Finally Burt and Hasheen stuck together on the right flank, likely moving to the next building and potentially getting into a solid crossfire with Duskhelm and Mitis’Heq. At least that’s the plan…

Coleman: Well, here comes the easiest deploy ever. Zira was in the middle with Coleman, Shadow, and Newt One-Eye mounted. Stone Axe was far, far to the right inside a building. That’s it really. I hoped to close Stone Axe towards the opposing Leader and lock down that severe firepower. The bus was situated pretty well in the center, so I aimed to get everyone behind that and then maybe use Zira to harass their sniper, if she could get there. The core team of Coleman, Shadow, and Newt had a pretty good balance of firepower and range, so I had high hopes for their killing power.

Turn 1 – Forward!
As with most first turns of Dinosaur Cowboys, everyone pretty much advanced and shuffled into a better position than their deployment provided.
Coleman: I started by Running my melee monster Stone Axe forward. He stayed inside the house and behind cover, but would be ready to reach the nearest hill next.
Duskhelm: Most of Coleman’s team was mounted (and therefore treated as a single Activation) and I won a few Activation rolls so I ended up moving all of my team at once. Duskhelm, Mitis’Heq, Burt, and Hasheen all advanced forward. The former two used a Standard Move, the latter two Ran. Thunderfoot crept up the middle, ending up behind a tree that scarely covered his bulk. Finally Redbeard stood where he was, as I measured the distance and figured Coleman’s gang would get into range soon enough.
Coleman: My last Activation was to move Zira forward with a Run. Another move and I should be at the bus.

Turn 2 – We’re Not Alone on These Streets…
Duskhelm: I had two obvious Activations to get out of the way. First was moving Thunderfoot another 4″ forward, so he was almost at the bus. The next was having Redbeard shoot at Newt One-Eye. I rolled pretty well and hit for 6 total damage, which was better because his Musket was Scoped (so I ignored Cover) and I was at a higher Elevation. Newt passed her Bravery Test though. Next I Ran Burt forward until he was right at the edge of the building, and could pop around the corner and fire at the blob of people on Zira once they moved in a bit more.
Coleman: As I mentioned Zira could reach the bus this turn, so she moved up and all three passengers dismounted to her right flank, which helped because I could use her body as cover. Stone Axe stayed where he was inside the house, as I didn’t want to advance and give Mitis’Heq a chance to shoot me. I hoped the group by the bus could cause enough havoc to give me a chance to slip him forward.
Duskhelm: I’d love to get a shot at Stone Axe with Mitis’Heq, just to start chipping away at his impressive defensives, but he cowered out of sight. I moved Mitis’Heq forward though to keep the pressure on, and maybe be at medium range if Stone Axe ever did emerge. Next up was Duskhelm, who split from Mitis’Heq a bit and went behind a little wooden wall. I’d need to get him closer though since the Repeater doesn’t have the best range.

Turn 3 – Shooting Starts in Earnest
Duskhelm: Well it’s time for Thunderfoot to earn his keep as distraction, one way or another. I moved him forward and was JUST within the maximum 6″ distance I could try to Charge. Thankfully I rolled a 6 and could reach Shadow. Thunderfoot stomped and smashed and did 4 damage.
Charging has changed for v0.9. Now it’s done in the Action Phase when you’re a distance of 2-6″ from an enemy. You roll a D6 (as inches) and if you could reach the enemy you get a bonus attack on your first round of melee, otherwise you can’t do anything. Definitely adds an element of uncertainty and excitement.
Coleman: Pssh, like some dinosaur running in is going to scare my crew. Stone Axe leapt from the house and counter Charged at Thunderfoot (an easier feat thanks to his “Charger” Trait) and hit for 6 damage with his Dino Prod. Putting the weapon to good use!
Duskhelm: I didn’t want to have Duskhelm sitting around forever, so I moved him from one patch of cover to another, this time behind a ruined chimney of a house. He fired at long range against Zira, hitting 5/6 times for 6 total damage. Still a ton of HP to chip away.
Coleman: I activated “Rapid Fire” with Coleman (+2 Attacks) since Thunderfoot was close enough to warrant a big attack. Too bad I rolled horribly! That Plated AR of 3 really hurts. But yeah, not only did I miss with every shot but I rolled enough 1s to require a Reload for Coleman.
Duskhelm: Mitis’Heq moved forward so he was at long range against Stone Axe, then he fired at a horrible 11+ to hit. High armor, distance, and movement meant it was a tough shot, and unfortunately I missed with all my rolls.
Coleman: I saw a perfect opportunity to clear Thunderfoot out of there so that I could move the rest of my team without suffering Snap Attacks. This opportunity was realized by activating Newt’s “Knockback Shot I”, then shooting short range at Thunderfoot. I needed an 11+ to hit, but I still hit once and did 3 damage. More importantly Thunderfoot was moved backwards 2″ (thanks Knockback), and Slowed (due to the Stun Gun). Plus Stone Axe had charged into the dinosaur’s flank, so he was still in melee with her.
Duskhelm: Huh, that’s too bad about Thunderfoot being pushed out of his distraction role. Oh well, next turn I can get him stuck in again. Anyways this Activation was used to have Redbeard Reload his Musket, since it’s “Auto” so I can only fire every other turn with him. At least it was inexpensive and has other nice features.
Coleman: Now that Shadow was free from Thunderfoot, I could shoot without penalty at the dinosaur, and also move if I wanted. I opted to stand and shoot, and hit for a big 8 damage. That higher powered Six-Shooter is nice. Anyways Zira moved away from the bus, trusting in the humans to take care of Thunderfoot. She headed across the road towards Hasheen who was moving up the flank by the building. Too bad I rolled a 1 on my Charge and failed to reach him.
Duskhelm: Zira’s failed Charge basically gave me one free turn to escape her grasp. I moved Hasheen to the second floor of the building, mainly to get Elevation bonuses but also to put himself further from the dinosaur. I used the “Both Barrels” special feature of the Double Barrel Shotgun (+2 Attacks but need Reload), but missed all 4 attacks (at 10+ to hit). Finally Burt fired at Zira from his position around the building corner, but also missed with all his shots. Grr. He moved back to the edge of the house, again to try to distance myself and postphone the melee.

(Told you there were a lot of pictures!)

Turn 4 – Chaos Continues
Coleman: Well that was a busy turn, and with enough firepower I should be able to bring down Thunderfoot. Then again I could roll horribly, as I did when Stone Axe attacked Thunderfoot during my first Activation, since I only hit for 1 damage (on 8 dice!).
Duskhelm: I activated “Crippling Shot” on Redbeard (which would apply Slowed to the target) and fired at Zira (to try to help the rest of my team escape her). Too bad Redbeard started to roll horribly and missed again. He only needed 8+, but I rolled a 1! Back to Reloading for a turn. Next up was Hasheen, who Reloaded, dropped from the second floor of the building and moved backwards 2″.
Coleman: I moved Coleman into the cover of the bus and used his Small IRP on Newt, which I rolled really well for and healed her for 6 HP, which actually put her back to her full 10 HP. Newt also moved behind the bus and shot at Thunderfoot at short range, hitting 2/2 times (with double 11s, almost awesome!). This did 4 damage and re-applied Slowed to Thunderfoot.
Duskhelm: I climbed Burt onto the second floor of the building Hasheen had just left, which also put him dangerously close to Zira. I hit once (needed 10+ to hit) against Zira for 6 damage. Elevation from the second floor certainly helped. Next Thunderfoot tried to use his Natural Weapon of “Trample”, which does minimal damage but has 4″ Knockback, which would push Stone Axe out of the way and let me move Thunderfoot closer to the rest of the team to try to get Snap Attacks. Of course this was all hypothetical, and I totally missed 0/2 attacks on Stone Axe. Bummer.
Coleman: Zira didn’t really have enough HP to suffer another full turn of firing in the open, so instead of risking the Charge I just moved and then Ran her into close combat with Hasheen. This would at least mean she is hit at a -1 “In Melee” penalty, and could Snap Attack at Hasheen if he tried to move away.
Duskhelm: My west flank was looking ugly with Zira tearing around, even if she hadn’t actually attacked yet. I had Duskhelm fire at her back (unfortunately no bonus Surprise Hit effect since she was in melee) and he hit for 7 damage. Next was Mitis’Heq, who moved into line of sight with Stone Axe (he keeps hiding behind my own dinosaur), and fired at 10+ to hit (even at medium range). I hit 4/6 times though. Unlike my previous games I remembered to use the Leader’s “Yeehaw” ability, which I did to let Mitis’Heq re-roll one dice (which had been a miss). He re-rolled a hit, so in total I did 5 damage. If only I had used “Go For The Eyes” as every hit was 10+, which would have meant they would be criticals and it would be 10 damage instead of 5. Oh well, 5 is still nothing to sneeze at.
“Yeehaw” is the renamed version (for flavor) of Leadership. The ability allows one ally in 12″ of the Leader to re-roll a single dice (D6 or D12, it doesn’t matter) once per encounter.
Coleman: I moved Shadow around a bit, still behind the bus, and fired at short range against Thunderfoot, hitting for 5 damage. The dinosaur was now down to 8 HP!

Turn 5 – Dinosaurs Die and Live
Duskhelm: Although I had missed when I first tried “Both Barrels” with Hasheen, I thought I’d use the ability again against Zira. It seemed like a big game hunter technique where they just let go with the shotgun against their target. I had better luck this time and hit once for 6 damage, which killed Zira! I then moved Hasheen closer to the back of the bus, but he needed to Reload.
Coleman: Aw poor Zira. Duskhelm’s dinosaur was still tearing up around my bus, but the rest of my team hadn’t been hit much. I used Shadow to shoot at short range against Thunderfoot, and he hit and did 4 damage. Only 4 HP to go. Next up was Coleman who Reloaded and moved further behind the bus to block the stay clear of the advancing Hasheen.
Duskhelm: Burt tried to keep up with Hasheen towards the bus, but he had to drop down from the building so his progress was slower. My stroke of genius this turn was to activate “Get Up!” that Mitis’Heq had on Thunderfoot, which restored 5 HP (so he was back up to 9 HP). After this I moved Mitis’Heq behind the hill to try to get cover. I had also activated his “Go For The Eyes” trait (since I regretted not doing so last turn), and fired again at Stone Axe. My luck held and I got 3 hits (all of which were Criticals on 10+), so 6 damage total. Stone Axe actually failed his Bravery Test and will have to Flee!
Coleman: Well that was stupid on my part…instead of having Coleman Reload I should have activated Stone Axe or Newt and tried to kill Thunderfoot before he could be healed. Oh well. In fact though when I tried attacking with Newt this Activation she missed with all her short range attacks, so maybe it didn’t matter. Stone Axe had to Flee, so he moved off from the bus, and I used his Action Phase to Run behind a tree so he’d at least be in cover.
Duskhelm: With Zira dead and the flank safe again, Duskhelm moved to focus his attention on the fight around the bus. I needed to get him into a better position so I Ran him onto the second floor of the building he had been hiding behind. Oh and Redbeard Reloaded, since that’s his favorite.

Turn 6 – The Titan Falls
Duskhelm: Well Redbeard was all reloaded, so it was time to shoot with him again. I fired at Stone Axe, but missed. Redbeard is truly living up to his nickname “the Terrible”.
Coleman: Although Mitis’Heq healed Thunderfoot, I still wanted to bring the dinosaur down this turn. Coleman moved back out of minimum range with Thunderfoot and then fired, hitting once and rolling 1 with the other attack (needs to Reload again, haha). Anyways he did 7 damage. I’m beginning to come around to the Handcannon with it’s base of 6D.
Duskhelm: I hoped to get one more attack out of Thunderfoot before his HP was used up. I went to Charge Newt, but unluckily rolled a 1 and failed to reach her, so I settled for moving into melee with Newt and Shadow.
Coleman: Although he had Fled, Stone Axe was back and ready for a fight. I activated his “Inspiring Shot” (restore 7 HP if next attack takes someone out of action), since Thunderfoot was at 2 HP so I planned on bringing him down. I didn’t want to risk failing a Charge, so I just moved him into melee with Thunderfoot. I only hit once, ONCE! out of 8 rolls, which left Thunderfoot with 1 HP. Thankfully Coleman was nearby so I could use Yeehaw and re-roll a miss, which turned into a Critical instead and killed Thunderfoot! The bonus 7 HP from “Inspiring Shot” brought Stone Axe back to full HP. That could have gone a lot worse.
Duskhelm: That Stone Axe is one tough customer (must be his wicked Dark Sun miniature of a Mul). Anyways Burt moved into the edge of the building and fired at medium range against Coleman. This was into his back, so I could potentially get a Surprise Hit. Too bad I rolled a 2, so I missed. Hasheen continued his advance towards the back of the bus. I intended him to move around the left of the bus and tie everyone on the other side up once the rest of my team was in a better position. His Action was to Reload (which was needed due to “Both Barrels” last turn).
Coleman: Shadow moved through Coleman to cover his back, and then fired at Burt at short range. Shadow seems like a pretty consistent hitter, and I did 6 damage to Burt. Burt passed his Bravery Test though. Newt moved into long range of Mitis’Heq (it would have been out of range if not for her “Clear Sight” trait) and fired, hitting him for 3 damage and also applying Slowed, which was handy if he was going to try any fancy moves.
Duskhelm: Mitis’Heq moved up 2″ to be in medium range of Newt, and then fired and hit her for 4 damage. Next Duskhelm continued across the second floor of the building to get a clear long range shot at Stone Axe. He fired and hit for 4 damage (woot Elevation).

Turn 7 – “Target the Vehicle!”
Duskhelm: I felt Burt was a little exposed on the ground floor, so I moved him back to the second floor of his building which should help give Elevation damage. I shot at Shadow and missed though, so that was wasted effort.
Coleman: Shadow again proved his reliability by shooting back at Burt and hitting for 5 damage which took the archer out of combat.
Duskhelm: Aside from my dinosaur Burt was my first loss, so I’m still okay. Intent on equally their kills, I moved Mitis’Heq to medium range with Newt and fired, hitting her for 3 damage. Hasheen had advanced up the left side of the bus and now I swung him around the front. Next turn he could pop out and give Both Barrels to some hapless target.
Coleman: I Reloaded Coleman and moved him behind Newt, just to keep out of line of sight of everyone. Newt also moved back and used her Small IRP to heal 3 HP. I figured taking a turn to recover was worth it, since Hasheen will be nearby in no time.
Duskhelm: Guess what Redbeard did? Yep, Reloaded. I did move him towards the edge of the second floor in case I wanted to drop him down and advance to a better position, since right now he couldn’t see anyone. Changing floors is painful with MV 3 though (since it takes 4″ to climb down 2″ of a building). Duskhelm also had no target due to Coleman’s cowardly hiding behind the bus. So I double checked how tough the bus was…not tough, so it became my target. I fired and hit for 6 damage, which was half the HP of the bus. One more shot like that and the whole thing will explode and do 5 damage to all those Coleman wimps hiding by it.

Turn 8 – Kaboom!
Coleman: I won the first Activation so I decided to get the drop on Hasheen before he could move around the corner and shoot Newt or Coleman. I moved Stone Axe into melee with Hasheen and savaged the poor sod with the Dino Prod. I only needed 7+ to hit, so all 8 dice hit (8 damage total)! This left Hasheen with 1 HP. Naturally Hasheen failed his Bravery Test, but who wouldn’t!
Duskhelm: Well now if I blow up the bus it’ll kill Hasheen, but if you want to make an omelette you have to break some eggs. First though I fired Duskhelm at the now exposed Stone Axe. I activated “Rapid Fire” and “Go For The Eyes” in the hopes of doing some serious damage. Of my 8 attacks (that needed 9+ to hit) I only hit with 1 (which was a Critical) for 4 damage. Ouch, horrible rolls. Mitis’Heq saw his boss drop the ball and decided to show him up and win favor with the gang by firing at the bus. He hit the vehicle with 2 Criticals and 1 normal hit for exactly 6 damage, so kaboom bye-bye bus! The explosion killed Hasheen, but also put Newt and Stone Axe down to 1 HP. Plus Newt AND Shadow both failed their resulting Bravery Tests. Definitely worth it, and I really should have shot the bus way earlier. I guess in my mind it would take longer to destroy, or maybe I was too focused on Zira. Anyways Mitis’Heq moved out of line of sight by going behind the hill.
Coleman: First I thought I’d get my Fleeing people out of the way. Newt fled into the open road, as did Shadow. After the mandatory move I Ran them both towards the nearest building, which was handily towards Redbeard (about time I close with him).
Duskhelm: Redbeard saw the two enemies approaching and tried to shoot Shadow. All he needed to do was hit and it would kill the member as he had 1 HP left. Instead I miiiiiiissed, blargh! I moved Redbeard back towards the wall of his second floor to increase the range and hopefully stop their return fire for a turn.
Coleman: I moved Coleman around the burning bus (it would be removed at the end of this turn) and fired at Duskhelm in his second floor perch. The shot was at long range but I hit once and did 7 damage (Handcannon hooray). Duskhelm didn’t flinch and easily passed his Bravery Test.

Turn 9 – Chipping the Stone
Duskhelm: Even though my massive trait attack didn’t kill Stone Axe, he only had 2 HP left so I should be able to bring him down this turn. To that end Duskhelm opened up and hit for 5 damage, which killed the tough little axe man. After this I moved Duskhelm back from the edge of the second floor, hopefully staying out of sight of the attackers below.
Coleman: I moved Coleman over a tiny bit which succeeded in putting Duskhelm at short range and also opening his line of sight since I could see my target through the window. I fired but missed both my attacks, even though I only needed a 7+ to hit! Next Shadow edged over 3″ to put Duskhelm into long range, and he had more luck. I hit for 3 damage (at 10+ to hit, good old consistent Shadow). This killed Duskhelm and forced a Bravery Test from all surviving members. Only Mitis’Heq failed it though.
Duskhelm: Huzzah Redbeard Reloads. He hasn’t hit anything since the first turn, in case you were keeping track of his horrible rolls.
Coleman: I moved Newt to the building Hasheen and Burt were behind a while back. Now it stood empty and quiet, and would be a perfect spot for her to stay out of line of sight of Redbeard.
Duskhelm: Mitis’Heq was fleeing due to Duskhelm’s death, but since he was at the edge of the table he couldn’t technically flee off the board. So instead he was Stunned, which left me with a Movement Phase. I moved him to the top of the hill he had been hiding behind, and that was it.

Turn 10 – “They’re All Dead!”
Coleman: Coleman was intent on taking out Mitis’Heq to make the game a 3vs1 affair, so I moved him forward and shot at long range, hitting for 6 damage to kill Mitis’Heq. That’s the kind of clean plan-and-kill I like.
Duskhelm: Time for Redbeard to stop sucking on his rolls and actually kill someone. Except…not. I shot at Shadow, needing only a 7+ to hit and kill, but I only a rolled 4. You can imagine the angry smoke pouring from my ears by this point.
Coleman: Well it was 3 against 1 now, with just Redbeard left on their team. I’d say this game was in the bag, except that Shadow and Newt both have 1 HP. At least Redbeard has to Reload each turn after firing, otherwise I doubt I could get into range alive. For now Shadow Ran forward, but was still barely out of range. I left Newt in cover in the hopes of keeping her alive in case I needed to change strategies later.

Turn 11 – Closing, Closing, Closing
Duskhelm: Go Redbeard, do your thrilling Reload so you can miss again! This time I moved him to the building ledge, since the enemies were going to get close enough to shoot anyways, but at least I wouldn’t be cornered anymore.
Coleman: First of all I moved Shadow up to try to kill Redbeard. I only needed 7+ to hit, but I missed with ALL 4 attacks. So much for Shadow being consistent, he must have been watching Redbeard’s technique, haha. Newt stayed behind the building, and Coleman (who had the most HP left of my gang) Ran forward from the side.

Turn 12 – Trying Again
Duskhelm: Okay Redbeard, we only need a 7+ on a single dice to kill someone. You can do this, you can do–he rolled a 2! Can’t I at least take one of these scumbags with me?!
Coleman: Unlike Redbeard, Shadow had just missed once. This turn he moved closer and fired again, hitting for 5 damage. To add insult (a big one) to injury, Redbeard failed his Bravery Test with a roll of 12. Looks like he can’t roll high unless it’s to Flee! Figuring Newt was pretty safe at this point (with only a Fleeing enemy who needs to Reload left) she Ran forward from cover. Coleman continued his advance by Running towards the building again.

Turn 13 – Finally
Coleman: Although Shadow had been doing all the heavy lifting, I figured for my first Activation I’d let Newt try to kill Redbeard. Plus it’d be funny if was Slowed when Fleeing. Anyways she hit once normally and once with a critical for 5 total damage, which killed Redbeard.
Duskhelm: *throws figure of Redbeard The Terrible into the garbage disposal*

After Action Report
Victory for Coleman’s Raiders, after some fun dice rolls and tricks on both sides. The dynamics of the battle were great, and the explodable bus added a lot. Both Posse’s having dinosaurs was fun too. This was the longest game yet at 2 hours and 15 minutes playtime. I took a ton of pictures and had to record 13 turns action-by-action, but yeah, still a long one. I guess the stronger Posse’s take a while since there are more HP to chew through. Anyways in the end Shadow had 2 HP, Newt had 1 HP, and Coleman had 7 HP. Now some thoughts from the players:

Duskhelm: Redbeard. Reeeeeeeeeeedbeard! *screams and runs away in anger* Phew, okay, now that I have that out of the way…the game went well and I really thought after the bus exploded that I could win it. I really couldn’t close the deal against all those 1 HP targets though. I guess in hindsight firing Duskhelm at some of the weaker members instead of focusing on Stone Axe would have been a solid idea. I’m actually surprised at how quickly him and Mitis’Heq died once they were focused on. I guess Thunderfoot spoiled me with his survivability. Anyways my plan mostly worked, and I imagine I could beat those pansy bandits if given the chance again.

Coleman: How ’bout those dice? I like how Shadow hit all but once (I think), and Redbeard missed all but once. I enjoyed the mini-fortress I built around the bus (well, until it blew up and nearly killed everyone), and it really helped me avoid the worst of Duskhelm’s fire. Zira was a great distraction for the west flank, even if she gave her life doing so. Some slightly longer ranged weapons would have helped me, as I basically had to march across the open against Redbeard for 3 turns. If he had a passable gun (besides a Musket) things could have gone a lot different. Anyways I feel obligated to critique since my main star (Stone Axe) was built so well. I liked the part where he healed back to full with Inspiring Shot, haha. Actually healing in general (with the Small IRPs) helped a bunch to ease initial damage and give my team a second wind of sorts.

Thanks for reading the battle report, it was quite the long haul to write, and I’m sure the 6,000 words were a lot to chew through as well. As usual if you like the sound of the game grab the latest rules, although you’ll probably want the preview of v0.9 instead, since that’s closer to what was used for this report.

Complete Turn Log
Turn 1:
– Stone Axe Runs forward along flank behind cover
– Duskhelm, Mitis’Heq, Burt, Hasheen all advance, latter two Run
– Thunderfoot moves up middle
– Redbeard stands still, waiting for enemy to move into range
– Zira moves forward with Run

Turn 2:
– Thunderfoot moves 4″ in
– Redbeard shoots at Newt, hits for 6 damage (ignoring Cover and at a higher Elevation), passes BRV
– Burt Runs to building edge
– Zira moves behind bus, all passengers dismount
– Stone Axe stays, doesn’t want to advance into Mitis’ fire
– Mitis continues forward towards Stone Axe on the flank
– Duskhelm goes behind wall, but is out of range

Turn 3:
– Thunderfoot moves up, tries to Charge Shadow at 6″, rolls 6! Charges in, hits for 4 damage
– Stone Axe counter Charges, hits Thunderfoot for 6 damage
– Duskhelm moves up, still in Cover, shoots at Zira at long range, hit 5/6 for 6 damage
– Coleman uses Rapid Fire, shoots at Thunderfoot, misses horribly and needs to Reload
– Mitis moves into long range of Stone Axe, shoots at 11+ but with no hits
– Newt uses Knockback Shot, hits Thunderfoot once on 11+ for 3 damage
– Redbeard reloads
– Shadow, now out of melee thanks to knockback, hits for 8 damage
– Zira moves towards Hasheen on flank, fails Charge on a roll of 1
– Hasheen climbs building, misses all 4 attacks of Double Barrel Shotgun at 10+
– Burt shoots around corner, misses and moves back to edge of house

Turn 4:
– Stone Axe hits Thunderfoot for 1
– Redbeard uses Crippling Shot, shoots medium range at Zira, misses an 8+ with a roll of 1
– Hasheen reloads, drops from building and backs up 2″
– Coleman moves over, uses his S-IRP on Newt for 6 HP, restores her to full 10 HP
– Newt moves behind bus, shoots Thunderfoot at short range, hits 2/2 with double 11s, does 4 damage and Slowed
– Burt climbs bulding Hasheen just left, hits 1 on 10+ vs Zira, does 6 damage (including Elevation)
– Thunderfoot tries to Trample Stone Axe, misses 0/2
– Zira moves and Runs into combat with Hasheen, doesn’t risk Charge
– Duskhelm shoots at Zira’s back (no bonus Surprise Hit since she’s in melee), hits for 7 damage
– Mitis’Heq moves into line of sight with Stone Axe, shoots 10+ at medium range, hits 4/6, Duskhelm uses Yeehaw to re-roll a miss into a hit. Should have used Go For The Eyes since all hits were 10+.
– Shadow moves behind bus and shoots Thunderfoot at short range for 5 damage, Thunderfoot down to 8 HP

Turn 5:
– Hasheen uses Both Barrels in melee with Zira, hits 1 for 6, kills Zira then moves closer to bus
– Shadow shoots short range at Thunderfoot, hits for 4 damage, Thunderfoot down to 4 HP
– Coleman Reloads and moves behind bus
– Burt moves towards back of bus with Hasheen
– Mitish’Heq uses Get Up! on Thunderfoot, restores 5 HP (to 9 HP), moves behind hill and uses Go For the Eyes then shoots Stone Axe for 3 hits (all were 10+ Criticals) for 6 damage. Stone Axe fails BRV and Flees
– Newt shoots at Thunderfoot, short range, misses all
– Stone Axe Flees then goes behind tree with Run
– Redbeard Reloads
– Duskhelm Runs onto building second floor

Turn 6:
– Redbeard shoots long range at Stone Axe, misses
– Coleman moves back out of minimum range of Thunderfoot, shoots and hits with 1, rolls 1 with other (needs Reload), does 7 damage though
– Thunderfoot tries to Charge Newt, fails with a 1, moves into both her and Shadow instead
– Stone Axe moves into melee with Thunderfoot, only hits 1 which leaves Thunderfoot with 1 HP. Coleman calls for re-roll with Yeehaw, gets a Critical instead, kills Thunderfoot. Stone Axe uses Inspiring Shot to get 7 HP back due to kill, so back to full HP
– Burt moves into building, shoots Medium range at Coleman’s back, misses with a roll of 2
– Hasheen moves behind left side of bus, Reloads
– Shadow moves behind Coleman, shoots Burt at short range, hits 6 damage, Burt passes BRV
– Newt moves into long range (thanks to Clear Sight) of Mitis’Heq and shoots for 3 damage and Slowed
– Mitis’Heq moves 2″ forward to medium range against Newt, shoots her for 4 damage
– Duskhelm moves to edge of building for clear long range shot at Stone Axe, hits for 1+2+1

Turn 7:
– Burt moves to second floor of building, shoots at Shadow and misses
– Shadow shoots back, hits 2+3, kills Burt
– Mitis’Heq moves back to medium range on Newt and shoots, hits 2+1
– Hasheen moves to the front of the bus
– Coleman Reloads, moves behind Newt
– Newt moves back and uses her S-IRP for 3 HP
– Redbeard Reloads and moves towards edge of floor
– Duskhelm has no targets so he shoots the bus for 3+2+1 damage, bus has 6 HP left

Turn 8:
– Stone Axe moves into melee with Hasheen, hits 8 times on 7+, puts Hasheen to 1 HP, Hasheen fails BRV
– Duskhelm opens it all up, 9+ to hit Stone Axe. Uses Rapid Fire and Go For The Eyes, only hits 1 critical for 4 damage
– Mitis’Heq shoots the bus, hits for 2 criticals and 1 normal for exactly 6 damage, blows up bus. Explosion kills Hasheen. Newt and Stone Axe are down to 1 HP. Newt and Shadow fail BRV. Mitis’Heq moves behind the hill
– Newt flees into road, then Runs towards nearest building
– Shadow also flees into the open and Runs towards the same building
– Redbeard tries to hit Shadow (to kill), but misses. Moves back to wall of building to increase range
– Coleman edges around the burning bus, shoots Duskhelm at long range, hits 1+6, he passes BRV

Turn 9:
– Duskhelm opens up on Stone Axe, hits and kills (he had 2 HP left) with 5 damage, moves back out of sight of Coleman
– Coleman can still see Duskhelm through the window, shoots at Duskhelm after moving up to short range, misses 0/2 on 7+
– Shadow moves 3″ towards Duskhelm, shoots at long range, hits 1+3-1 at 10+ to kill. All pass BRV except Mitis’Heq who fails
– Redbeard Reloads
– Newt moves behind cover out of sight of Redbeard
– Mitis’Heq would Flee off the table, but is Stunned instead. Moves to the top of the cliff

Turn 10:
– Coleman moves forward and shoots at Mitis’Heq at long range, hits 1+6-1 to kill Mitis’Heq
– Redbeard shoots at Shadow with 1A, only needed 7+ but missed with a 4
– Shadow Runs up, still out of range (barely)
– Newt stays in cover

Turn 11:
– Redbeard Reloads and moves to building ledge
– Shadow shoots at Redbeard at long range, misses all 4 on 7+
– Newt stays in cover
– Coleman Runs up side

Turn 12:
– Redbeard misses Shadow AGAIN on 7+ with a 2
– Shadow moves up to medium range and hits 2+3 on Redbeard. Redbeard fails BRV with a roll of 12
– Newt Runs forward from cover
– Coleman Runs towards Redbeard’s building

Turn 13
– Newt moves into medium range, hits 3 times (1 critical, 1 normal) + 2 damage (5 total) to kill Redbeard

Battle Report: The Bounty at Caldwell Lake

After the Drylands United Cattle Company thrashed Kirk Peterson’s Hunting Expedition in a recent playtest game, I thought I’d continue the storyline.

Kirk retreated north closer to the big Neotechnoist towns, and eventually put a bounty on the Drylands gang. Desperate to escape The Wall in the shortest amount of time, the Drylands crew headed directly south. After escaping over The Wall they figured safety was theirs. Their surprise was complete when a ragged platoon of bounty hunters fell upon them near Caldwell Lake, Wyoming. Resting near a ruined lakehouse, the two posses collided violently.

I levelled up the Drylands Posse, which gave them an extra 30 IP. I figured the hired hunters of The Lost Platoon would have a bit more money, so I settled on $1,500 total. This meant Drylands had $500 additional, which is $200 extra than a standard level up.

Keep in mind this game was played using v0.7 of the rules, with a few tests for v0.8 (mainly around the Initiative system). So ideas like Levels, some of the weapons, etc. will be dated compared to the current version.

Note on images, all of them are clickable and will open the image in a new window/tab as a 1280×960 image. You can also view the images on my Flickr set.

Posse: Drylands United Cattle Company – 130 IP, $1,500
This was the first Posse I created, and so far they had a 1-0 record. Level 2 gave me some more IP and a bunch of Neodollars to spend on goodies.
My goal was to use the new income to expand my Posse a little bit, as well as ensure my equipment stayed up to date. To this end I recruited a new character named Tunher, who was really a Space Marine Scout figure with a shotgun that I had. I bought him a Pump Shotgun and Padded Armor to suit the model. Otherwise I sold Trista’s old 400kW Lever-Action Rifle and bought the ridiculously sweet 600kW version instead.
As for IP most of it went to Tunher. First of all I created him as a Duster, so he started with -1 MV and +2 HP, which would work okay with his shorter ranged weapon. I hoped to supplement his Padded Armor with a further boost, so I spent another 10 IP to give him +1 AR. Finally he got -1 RMC so he could actually hit something.
My remaining IP was spent giving Trista and Tunher +1 HP each (boosting Trista to 8 and Tunher to 11).
For my new Trait I opted for “Clear Sight” for Khulan, which boosted his Assault Rifle’s long range to 20″ and meant he could snipe alongside Trista if needed. Her style was different since her 3A-6D weapon rolled less to hit, but could technically do more damage. Khulan’s trusty Assault Rifle was 6A-1D, but his higher RMC meant such a weapon was well suited to help his aim.
My plan was to use Trista to hold a flank on her own, and maybe swing to the center if she needed to cover somewhere else. Khulan would cover the other flank, with Trask and Tunher advancing as a team and Quidel in as support. Trask’s higher movement meant he’d likely reach combat first, but perhaps he could take some pressure off Quidel and Tunher as they trudged in.
All said and done the Posse looked like:

Quidel - Duster Leader
MV 3, AR 0, RMC 8, MMC 7, BRV 7, HP 13, Berserker
Spear, 80kW Six-Shooter, Whiskey Drop

Khulan - Duster Member
MV 3, AR 1, RMC 7, MMC 8, BRV 6, HP 9, Clear Sight
Assault Rifle, Whiskey Drop

Trista - Neotechnoist Member
MV 4, AR 0, RMC 6, MMC 8, BRV 6, HP 8, Try Again
600kW Lever-Action Rifle

Trask - Bandit Member
MV 5, AR 0, RMC 8, MMV 6, BRV 6, HP 9, Sprint
Club, 80kW Six-Shooter

Tunher - Duster Member
MV 3, AR 2, RMC 7, MMV 8, BRV 6, HP 11
Pump Shotgun, Machete, Padded Armor

Posse: The Lost Platoon – 130 IP, $1,500
I outlined the detail and thought process around this Posse a while back. They are a knockaround ex-military outfit whose members are slowly going insane. Good times. I was interested to see how the Thickskull dinosaur would perform, since he doesn’t have a ton of hitpoints, but his 8″ Movement is almost the fastest of the dinosaurs. 5A-1D in melee doesn’t hurt either.

My plan was to mount Captain Gunfire and Colonel Higgins on The Ram and push them forward, hoping to get to grips with their melee weapons. I was excited to see the Shudder Lance in action, since the Knockback could be rather handy. Otherwise Private Jacobs would act as a second hand and backup man to The Phoenix. The Phoenix had some serious killing power, and if I could get his Light Repeater into range with enemies that were tied up with my melee troops I hoped to do some real damage. And of course once The Ram unloaded his two passengers I planned to throw him forward and lock up any backline shooters, or just cause havoc in general.

As I outlined before, the Posse looks like:

Captain Gunfire - Bandit Leader
MV 4, AR 1, RMC 8, MMC 6, BRV 7, HP 11, Quick Hands
80kW Six-Shooter, Shudder Lance, S-IRP

Colonel Higgins - Bandit Member
MV 4, AR 1, RMC 8, MMC 6, BRV 6, HP 9, Strain Weapon
80kW Six-Shooter, Long Sword, S-IRP

Private Jacobs - Bandit Member
MV 4, AR 1, RMC 7, MMC 8, BRV 6, HP 8
Light Pistol

The Phoenix - Neotechnoist Member
MV 3, AR 1, RMC 5, MMC 8, BRV 6, HP 7, Go For the Eyes, Bonus RMC I
Light Repeater

The Ram - Thickskull Dinosaur
MV 8, AR 1, RMC -, MMC 7, BRV 7, HP 18, Bonus MV I

Table Setup
I used my usual kitchen table for the battle, which is 4 feet long and 3 feet wide with an 8″ deployment zone on either short end. I covered the map with a bunch of hills, mostly just one inch high. The central terrain feature was an old Mordheim building that represented the ruined Lakehouse. It provided solid cover and the second floor would hopefully give some bonus Elevation damage.

During my random deployment side roll the Drylands posse got south (doorwards) and the Platoon got north (kitchenwards). The Drylands team had to set up first, followed by the Platoon, then the real fun could begin.

Drylands: I couldn’t resist the central building, and hoped by aiming most of my forces there I could make The Lost Platoon meet me in a big ball of war on that side. To that end Trask and Quidel setup very far to the right with a bunch of blocking terrain in front of them. Khulan and Tunher setup across the nearest hill to the west. I hoped to get Khulan into a commanding firing position and cut the Platoon to pieces as they advanced. Tunher would scamper up and take the left side of the Lakehouse, and his matching movement speed with Quidel would mean they could do a divide and conquer attack. Trista went for the far left (west) flank all on her own. Her big powerful rifle could bring the pain from 21″ away, so with luck I could shoot by the second or third turn.

Platoon: As I figured the Drylands crew pointed towards the big building. I thought I’d match them, except I’d ignore their sniper with a denied flank tactic. Denied flank basically means you try to avoid playing into the opponent’s hand by totally ignoring a section of his forces. In this case if I kept the building between my troops and the sniper Trista I’d basically stop her from having any impact on the game. As I mentioned the Captain and Colonel hopped aboard The Ram, whereas Jacobs and The Phoenix were up on a hill right by them.

Turn 1 – Closing to Range
Note that since I was testing the new Initiative rules I’d roll at the start of each Activation, so instead of seeing a global “X won Initiative” by each turn you’ll just see who Activated and in what order.
Drylands: Trask started my advance up the field by breaking into a dead Run forward.
Platoon: Neither of us were even remotely in range, so I knew this turn would mostly be moving in. To this end I Ran Phoenix down the hill he was on.
Drylands: Next up was Tunher, who also Ran. He aimed for the window in the closest wall of the building, but wasn’t nearly close enough and settled for being in the open.
Platoon: I figured Private Jacobs would try to maintain his role as Phoenix’s buddy, so he Ran down the hill and hung behind the next closest cliff.
Drylands: Quidel edged forward after Trask, but his 3″ Movement was laughable compared to Trask’s 5″. Better to get into cover before the Platoon closes in too far though. I knew eventually they’d arrive, and to that end I decided to reposition my main shooters instead of running them forward and wasting their distance advantage. Trista stayed on her flank, and Khulan climbed the hill by him to get a better vantage point and some bonus Elevation damage (+1).

Turn 2 – Tension Builds
What I like about Dinosaur Cowboys is you aren’t normally in shooting range on the first turn. What that means is everyone gets a turn to shuffle into position and react to the enemy’s advance. This also helps build tension because sometimes you can FEEL the storm of combat brewing.
Platoon: Figuring Khulan had the right idea, Private Jacobs mirrored his approach and climbed the hill he was taking cover behind. The Light Pistol is a handy weapon because it outranges the Six-Shooter, and I figured he was safe enough from Drylands big guns.
Drylands: Tunher continued his forward movement, ending up right at the window of the building. This looked awesome, but also meant he was a bit exposed. The cost of style I guess. Khulan also moved a bit, just to the very edge of the hill to maximize his range and hopefully get someone inside his 20″ killing zone.
Platoon: Time to start the shooting! I positioned Phoenix behind the fence in front of him, and this handily put Tunher into long range. I figured “no time like the present” and activated his “Go For the Eyes” Active Trait (Critical on 10+ instead of 12). With his RMC of 5 I only needed a 9+ to hit, and I smoked Tunher with 4/6 hits. Two of them were Criticals (thanks Trait!). All said and done his Cover reduced the damage by 1, but in total I hit for 6. Tunher promptly failed his Bravery test and was Fleeing. Looks like Drylands newest recruit isn’t working so well, heh.
Drylands: Having a Fleeing character is always annoying, especially in Tunher’s case where he needs every inch of the Pump Shotgun’s 9″ reach. Anyways I thought I’d move the more important stuff first, so Trask Ran forward into the building, and jumped up onto the second floor by the walkway. This gave him a great angle on the advancing Dinosaur.
Platoon: The Ram moved forward, his 8″ Movement being a great help. Then I dismounted Higgins and Gunfire into cover, but foolishly forgot to Face them very well, so their backs were exposed.
Drylands: Well the Dinosaur was dismounted, which meant next turn would be a crazy one. Lots of people were in range, and I suspected I might even sneak some melee in. Anyways Quidel moved forward and shot at Higgins through the window. This happened to be into his back, and a Surprise Hit always helps (Critical on 10+ instead of 12). I hit with 1 Critical, but Cover reduced the cheap and flimsy 80kW Six-Shooter damage to 1. Every bit helps I guess. With the Dinosaur further to the right than I liked it meant Trista was basically useless and out of range, so I Ran her forward.

Turn 3 – Crazy Shootout at the Lakehouse
Now that everyone had closed the gap, this turn would certainly be a blood bath.
Drylands: I won the first Activation, so I figured I’d best make a surprise attack of some sort. Trask used his “Sprint” Active Trait and flew across the walkway and into an elevated, back shot angle of Captain Gunfire and his associates. I hit 3/4 attacks with a total of 6 damage against Captain Gunfire. Regrettably he passed his Bravery test, which is too bad because I love when Leaders flee.
Platoon: Although daring, Trask’s rush forward had exposed him to Phoenix. I moved him up to the fence to ensure he was in cover. Then it was time to put that wonderful 5 RMC to use again. I hit 3/6 of times, but this only did 3 total damage (Trask had Cover).
Drylands: Although Phoenix was a better shot, Trista had a superior gun capable of doing 9 damage compared to his 7. I moved up her full 3″ which just brought Private Jacobs into range. He was exposed on the hill, so I had an easy roll of 7+ to hit. Still, I wanted to be sure, so I activated her trait “Try Again” (optionally re-roll one set of attacks). My first attack only hit once, so I re-rolled with a VAST improvement of 2 Criticals instead! 4 Hits plus 6 base damage meant 10 total damage, so Trista one-shot-killed Private Jacob!
Platoon: Um wow, ouch. I swung Captain Gunfire around the building to get a short range shot at Quidel. I hit and did 3 damage, which wasn’t too bad. I used his trait “Quick Hands” to instantly apply the Small IRP from his pack, but it only restored 2 HP (on a D6).
Drylands: Time for my other big hitter to warm up. Khulan continued creeping along the hill to get a solid shot, in this case putting Captain Gunfire into medium range. I rolled REALLY well, hitting 4/6 times (2 of which were Criticals) for 7 damage, which outright killed Captain Gunfire! Ah, the sweet taste of dead Leader. The rest of The Lost Platoon (except The Ram) passed their Bravery tests…I guess they knew their crazy captain would bite it eventually.
Platoon: Two characters down in one turn, not good. I guess that’s why people don’t move into range of Lever-Action Rifles and Assault Rifles, heh. Anyways I did the mandatory Fleeing move with The Ram, then Ran him forward to try to recapture some lost distance.
Drylands: Quidel continued into the Lakehouse, but couldn’t reach the second floor. He shot Higgins in the back through the window, getting 1 Surprise Hit Critical (he rolled an 11) for 2 damage.
Platoon: With all the deadly firepower going around I thought I should use as many Active Traits as I could, before the characters with them died. So Colonel Higgins activated “Strain Weapon” (more damage on attack), hopped around the corner and moved into melee with Quidel. I only hit 1/2 attacks, but this was still 1+4+2 damage. Quidel failed his Bravery test from the rockin’ damage, the cowardly dog.
Drylands: My last Activation was to Flee Tunher back, which actually helped because I could draw a line on Higgins. I fired at super duper long range (honestly it was ALMOST out of range) and hit with 1 Critical. The Pump Shotgun is nice because it has a high base damage, so all said and done I did 7 damage which killed Higgins!

Turn 4 – Shattered Recovery
After so many decisive kills it was up to The Lost Platoon to try to recover ground. The Ram hadn’t been the focus very much, so he might still get into combat. Plus The Phoenix was still prowling at the back, and even though he was outranged by 5 or 6″ he could hit pretty much anything.
Platoon: I thought I should try to even the odds, and the nearest and juiciest meal to do that with was Trask. The Ram agreed, and Charged up to the second floor and into melee with Trask. I rolled well and hit him 5/6 times which killed Trask.

Drylands: Well I was due to have someone die, and I’d prefer Trask over any of the real ranged hitters. One of these days he’ll get to Club someone to death though. Anyways it was time to focus on The Ram and try to bring it down before it reached the rest of my Posse. To this end Trista moved into short range and fired, hitting 2/3 times for 7 damage (good old Cover) against The Ram. Khulan followed suit, but at medium range, and only hit 3/6 for 3 damage. The Ram was now at 8 HP. Almost there!
Platoon: The Phoenix had to be careful in his movement, since I didn’t want to expose him to another one-hit-kill like poor Private Jacobs. So I played it a bit safer and stood and fired at Quidel through the window of the house. I hit 4/6 times for 4 damage which killed the Drylands Leader, woot. Khulan failed his Bravery test, but the rest passed.
Drylands: Well I guess Quidel couldn’t survive forever. At least my whole Posse didn’t run away as a result of his death. Anyways Tunher fired on The Ram, but needed 10+ to hit (7 base, +1 range, +1 AR, +1 target moved…yeah :( ). Anyways he still hit 1/3 times for 5 damage, so The Ram was down to 3 HP.

Turn 5 – Rampaging Beasts
Platoon: The Ram tried to continue his rampage, but with 3 HP I didn’t expect him to last the turn. Anyways I Ran him into close combat with Tunher. Even though the guy had a Machete, I figured Trista and Khulan hitting at -1 (the In Melee penalty) would be worth it. Plus if Tunher tried to move away I could get a Snap Attack in there.
Drylands: Time to do some big game hunting! Except my dice didn’t agree. Tunher missed entirely with his Machete against The Ram. Khulan Fled backwards, but was still in short range. He fired at The Ram but missed with EVERY FREAKING SHOT. Not only that but he rolled THREE 1s, so his gun was out of ammo and needed to be reloaded.
Platoon: Heh, looks like Khulan’s barbaric powder based rifle finally failed. To show him up I thought The Phoenix would give a demonstration of his laser based Light Repeater. He squeezed the trigger and sent a hail of laser blasts at Tunher, hitting 3 times (including 1 Critical) for 5 total damage, which killed Tunher. That’ll teach him to botch his Machete work. It did however leave The Ram exposed.
Drylands: Trista aimed down the barrel of her powerful rifle, but she must have been unaccustomed to the 600kW version as I MISSED with ALL 3 shots. I only needed 6+! Ugh, anyways I moved her back 4″ to keep out of Run/Charge range of The Ram. Guess I should have saved “Try Again”, but then I wouldn’t have one-shot Jacobs.

Turn 6 – Better Luck?
Platoon: Denied his tasty Tunher meal, The Ram Charged Khulan and hit 2/5 with a bad roll (not as bad as Drylands last turn, heh) for 3 damage. Khulan was down to 6 HP at this point.
Drylands: Khulan had his fill of being bitten by a Dinosaur so I decided he’d risk leaving combat. This meant The Ram got a free Snap Attack against Khulan, but it also cleared the shot for Trista. Too bad The Ram rolled well on his attack and hit Khulan with 2 Criticals and 1 normal hit for 4 total damage. Khulan at least passed his Bravery test. Anyways I moved him to the other side of the cliff and Reloaded his weapon.
Platoon: The 16″ max range of the Light Repeater was painful at this point as I had to Run the Phoenix across the fence and into the Lakehouse courtyard to try to get into range.
Drylands: Surely my dice can’t fail too miserably too often. I moved Trista into short range to be sure and she fired at The Ram, hitting twice for a total of 8 damage which killed the Dinosaur.

Turn 7 – Tightening the Noose
With an unfavorable 2vs1, the situation is looking grim for The Lost Platoon.
Drylands: I won Activation, and since it was a 2:1 ratio I had to handle both my characters. Trista moved closer to The Phoenix, but still was prudent enough to get behind the cover of a small hill. Khulan moved forward into line of sight with The Phoenix and fired at long range (actually at his max 20″ range – thanks to Clear Sight). He hit with 1 Critical (needed a 9+ to hit) for 2 total damage.
Platoon: The Drylands team weren’t looking too great, but neither was I. If I could just get one solid shot in I might take Khulan out. For now I tried to get out of line of sight and I used the Small IRP to heal The Phoenix back to 7 HP. Hopefully it wasn’t just delaying the inevitable.

Turn 8 – Another Notch
Drylands: I won Activation again, which helped since I could hopefully kill The Phoenix before he even got to act. Khulan backed away from the hill, mainly to protect himself. Then Trista maneuvered until she had a clear shot at The Phoenix through a window. Firing at long range she hit 2/3 times for 7 total damage which was just enough to kill The Phoenix and win the game.
Platoon: Nothing because they’re all deaaaaaaad.

After Action Report
The Drylands United Cattle Company was triumphant (again), this time against the bounty hunter mercenaries of The Lost Platoon. I imagine the motley Drylands crew is far enough away from Neotechnoist territory that they can safely blend back into the Duster towns. Anyways the game ran 8 turns and 1 1/2 hours (mostly due to taking the ~50 photos and writing a turn-by-turn report). Some thoughts from the players below:

Drylands: Another win for me. Or should I say for Trista and Khulan, because they pretty much carried the team. Trask acted as solid bait, drawing a lot of fire and distracting the main force of the Platoon. Quidel dying so early was unfortunate, but I guess The Phoenix in the backline was a taste of my own medicine. Tunher worked okay, but I think a smaller, cramped map would be more to his liking (especially with a 9″ range Pump Shotgun). I had some pretty solid dice rolls, but regardless Turn 5 was probably the worst I’ve rolled in a while (in any game, haha). To not be able to bring down The Ram when he only had 3 HP! Sad. Anyways good times, although we basically fought just around the Lakehouse and didn’t really exploit the rest of the map.

Platoon: Well I ALMOST had my hopes up near the end that I could pull a win out. Then Trista killed The Phoenix, and it was kind of like “Oh…well then”. The early one-shot-kill of Private Jacobs certainly didn’t help. I didn’t even get to use Captain Gunfire’s Shudder Lance because he dawdled around and got himself shot a turn before melee. At least I got Quidel back eventually. That 600kW Lever-Action Rifle Trista had sure was a beast and made The Phoenix’s Light Repeater look like a toy. Then again it costs about three times as much, heh.

Complete Turn Log
Turn 1:
– Trask Runs forward
– Phoenix Runs down hill
– Tunher Runs up middle, behind hill
– Jacobs Runs behind next closest hill
– Quidel slowly follows Trask
– Ram runs big 12″ to cover behind the building
– Khulan climbs hill for better vantage
– Trista stays

Turn 2:
– Jacob climbs hill
– Tunher walks to window
– Khulan moves forward on hill to the edge
– Phoenix forward near the fence, shoots Tunher through the window. Activates “Go For the Eyes”, hit 4/6 (at 9+), 2 are criticals, 7-1 (Cover) = 6 damage, Tunher fails BRV
– Trask Runs into the house, onto second floor
– Ram forward to near Trask, Higgins and Gunfire dismount
– Quidel walks, shoots through window at Higgins, 1 crit at 9+ to hit, 1 damage total (target in Cover)
– Trista Runs closer to get in range

Turn 3:
– Trask uses Sprint, moves along second floor to flank. Hits 3/4 on Captain, Surprise Hit, 5+1 (Elevation) damage to Gunfire, he passes BRV
– Phoenix moves behind fence, shoots Trask at medium range, only 3/6 hit into Cover, so 3 damage to Trask
– Trista moves forward full 3″ to get Jacob in range, activates “Try Again”, hitting 7+. Only 1 hit, so uses re-roll from trait, hits with 2 Criticals instead. 4+6=10 damage, one shot kill on Jacob!
– Gunfire circles building, shoots Quidel at short range, 3 hits. Uses “Quick Hands” to use S-IRP on self for 2 HP
– Khulan inches forward, shoots medium range against Gunfire, hits 4/6, 2 Criticals for 7 damage, killing Gunfire. All members pass BRV test except The Ram.
– Ram Flees back then Runs forward.
– Quidel moves into bottom house floor, shoots Higgins in the back, 1 Surprise Hit Critical (roll 11), for 2 damage
– Higgins uses “Strain Weapon”, moves around corner into melee with Quidel, hit 1/2 but for 1+4+2 damage. Quidel fails BRV
– Tunher flees back, then shoots Higgins in melee at long range (almost out of range), 1 crit for 7 damage, kills Higgins

Turn 4:
– Ram Charges up onto second floor into Trask, hits 5/6 and kills Trask
– Trista moves to short range, hits 2/3 for 8-1 damage vs Ram
– Khulan shoots medium range against Ram, hits 3/6 for 4-1, Ram down to 8 HP
– Phoenix shoots Quidel through window at medium range, hits 4/6 for 5-1 damage, kills Quidel. Khulan fails BRV, all else pass
– Tunher shoots Ram through window at 10 (7 +1 range +1 AR +1 move), hits 1/3 for 6-1, Ram now at 3 HP

Turn 5:
– Ram Runs into close combat with Tunher
– Tunher misses Ram with Machete in melee
– Khulan Flees back, shoots short range at Ram, misses all and rolls 3×1 so needs Reload
– Phoenix stands and shoots at Tunher, his 3 (1 Critical) for 5, kills Tunher
– Trista shoot at Ram, misses 3 times on 6+. Moves back 4″ to keep out of Ram’s range.

Turn 6:
– Ram Charges Khulan, hits 2/5 (bad roll) for 3, Khulan down to 6 HP
– Khulan tries to leave combat to clear the shot for Trista, gets hit 2 Criticals and 1 normal for 4 damage by Snap Attack, passes BRV, moves back and Reloads
– Phoenix crosses fence with a Run
– Trista moves up slope to short range, shoots Ram and his for 2 shots (1 Critical) + 6 damage for 9-1, kills Ram

Turn 7:
– Trista moves up behind hill
– Khulan edges into line of sight of Phoenix, shoots at long 20″ range, hit 1 Critical on 9+, 2 total damage
– Phoenix moves 3″ forward, uses building to block line of sight. Uses S-IRP on self to heal back to 7 HP

Turn 8:
– Khulan backs to the edge of the hill
– Trista moves into line of sight through the window against Phoenix, shoots at long range, hits 2/3 for 7 total to kill Phoenix

Instant Replay
I felt that the game was so close and could have swung either way that I wanted a rematch. I ran through it again, and The Lost Platoon rolled over Drylands with a vengeance, so I guess that Posse is just good when in the spotlight. Although I imagine improving target priority helped a bunch, as did knowing how deadly each member could (or couldn’t!) be.
The map was the same, but the setups were reversed. The Lost Platoon had some solid early turns, basically wiping out everyone but Trista and Khulan. In a sweet twist of fate Private Jacobs actually got into a running shooting match with Trista, and WON! The minimum range on her rifle hurt since she had to keep moving to get into a firing position, and eventually Jacob’s Light Pistol overcame her and won the game for The Lost Platoon. There were a few close calls for sure though! I found it interesting how a second match can change the flow of the game. Plus I could run the game without worrying about too many pictures or writing, so it finished in 30 minutes instead of 1 1/2 hours like the battle report version.
Like I said I didn’t do a turn by turn report for it, but I did take a few pictures:

Battle Report: Encounter at Bosler, Wyoming

Encounter Overview
This playtest encounter was between the two posses described below, spanning 6 turns and 1 hour of playtime (including taking 50+ photos and logging every action by hand, so actual playtime was probably 20-30 minutes), using version 0.7 of the Dinosaur Cowboys skirmish game.

It took place in a stretch of jungle inside The Wall near Bosler, Wyoming. The Drylands Posse was looking to rest and find work at the town, while Kirk’s Expedition were focused on big game hunting the Ankylosaurus common in the surrounding vegetation. The groups stumbled across each other as the sun was setting, and a firefight ensued.

Note on images, all of them are clickable and will open the image in a new window/tab as a 1280×960 image. You can also view the images on my Flickr set.

Posse: Drylands United Cattle Company – 100 IP, $1,000
Drylands: This rough and tumble gang was meant to represent a pretty standard group of adventurers, mostly Dusters. Their leader, Quidel, was focused on close combat with his trusty Spear and higher than usual hitpoints. Khulan was his loyal companion from years back, and the two had been knocking around the desert for quite some time. This was their tenth excursion inside The Wall, and unfortunately ended in violence much like the previous ventures. He prefers an old fashioned Assault Rifle, even with it’s potential ammo problems. Trista was a recent addition to the group, a Neotechnoist they met on an earlier trip. Her and Khulan get along splendidly, and are quite protective of one another. She’s terrific at picking off distant targets with her high tech lever-action rifle. Trask is a necessary evil of the group, for he helps them get inside The Wall, and insisted on accompanying them this trip. He’s a crude, barbaric fighter using a Club and rusty pistol to get the job done.

The plan was the form a solid firebase with Trista the furthest back and Khulan near the middle. Quidel would wait to counter charge, and Trask would either also wait or would try to charge forward and slow any advancing melee enemies.

Quidel - Duster Leader
MV 3 AR 0 RMC 8 MMC 7 BRV 7 HP 13/6, Berserker
Spear & 80KW Six-Shooter, Whiskey Drop

Khulan - Duster Member
MV 3, AR 1, RMC 7, MMC 8, BRV 6, HP 9/4
Assault Rifle, Whiskey Drop

Trista - Neotechnoist Member
MV 4, AR 0, RMC 6, MMC 8, BRV 6, HP 7/3, Try Again
400KW Lever-Action Rifle, Whiskey Drop

Trask - Bandit Member
MV 5, AR 0, RMC 8, MMC 6, BRV 6, HP 9/4, Sprint
Club & 80KW Six-Shooter, Whiskey Drop

Posse: Kirk Peterson’s Hunting Expedition – 100 IP, $1,000
Hunters: This group of hunters represented a fairly standard Neotechnoist journey into the jungle. Affluent and pompous, Kirk and his fiance Mary hired a mount (Blood Claw) and a Savage guide (Four Feather) to take them on a hunting trip, similar to how the old Victorian-era British colonials would act. Kirk is a fair shot with his father’s high end pistol, and loves exposure to controlled, limited danger that he can talk about with his friends later. Mary decided to come along to support her husband-to-be, although she dislikes the heat and struggle of travel by ground. Four Feather is a silent, grim guide who knows the jungle and it’s inhabitants well. Originally from the southern deserts, he slowly migrated towards the supervolcano, scrounging work and goods along the way. He favors the effective stopping power of a plasma powered Double Barreled Shotgun. Finally there is Blood Claw, a fine Raptor steed from Kirk’s estate. He will act as their mount (both Kirk and Mary can comfortably fit on his saddle harnesses), and also as a type of bloodhound to track any wounded dinosaurs. Able to absorb almost as much damage as the rest of the team combined, he’ll be a survivable threat.

The plan was to keep Kirk and Mary mounted on Blood Claw and move that blob of damage forward. Four Feather was built to match Blood Claw’s Movement statistic (6″), so he can parallel their advance to get his shotgun into range. Once close Kirk and Mary will dismount and find some cover, while Blood Claw continues in and hopefully locks some of the big hitters into melee.

Kirk Peterson - Neotechnoist Leader
MV 4, AR 1, RMC 7, MMC 8, BRV 7, HP 11/5, Get Up!
100KW Six-Shooter

Four Feather - Savage Member
MV 6, AR 1, RMC 8, MMC 8, BRV 6, HP 10/5, Lucky
Double Barrel Shotgun

Mary O'Toole - Neotechnoist Member
MV 4, AR 0, RMC 7, MMC 8, BRV 6, HP 9/4
Light Pistol

Blood Claw - Raptor Dinosaur
MV 6, AR 1, RMC -, MMC 6, BRV 6, HP 16/9, Bonus HP I

Table Setup
The table was 4 feet long and 3 feet wide, and covered with a variety of terrain to represent the slopes and valleys of the jungle. Both Posses deployed up to 8″ in from their respective table edges, to represent wandering on unsuspecting of the trouble ahead. Then the game began…

I rolled randomly for table edges with Drylands getting the north table end (towards my kitchen) and the Hunters to the south (towards my door). I rolled again for deployment and Drylands had to set up first, followed by the Hunters.

Drylands: I had planned to form a solid line of firing, and the terrain lent itself well to this idea. I had a fairly well covered central hill with some open spots on either side to expose any advances. I decided to put Trista to my right (west), down on ground level. She would hop in and out of cover depending on the situation and range needed. Her 400KW Lever-Action Rifle topped out at 21″, and I wanted to start shooting it as soon as possible. The remaining three members I clumped together. Khulan was the farthest west, hopefully eventually ending up on the hilltop. Trask was beside him and would act as a buffer between any melee characters. Quidel hung out on the ground level, ready to counter charge if necessary (especially if Trask got stuck in and needed help).

Hunters: Looks like I get the unfortunate task of rushing pretty superior firepower. I decided heading in from the left (west) would be a solid idea, as I had a hill in between me and the Drylands Posse, and I eventually could use the central fences as cover. I kept Kirk and Mary mounted on Blood Claw so they could benefit from his 6″ move (9″ total if he Runs). Four Feather was off to their flank slightly, out of sight behind a hill. He would parallel their advance, and hopefully get a few shots on Trista once he got closer. Hopefully Blood Claw’s superior HP (16 total) would see me across the board.

Turn 1: Something Rustling Ahead… (Drylands win Initiative)

Drylands: My opening moves were pretty simple, considering pretty much everyone was out of range. First off was to Activate Quidel, then Standard Move him forward, followed by a Run (additional half Movement), so he edged forward a total of 4″.
Hunters: Wanting to get to grips with my longer ranged foe meant a lot of advancing. Four Feather started by Running dead ahead, which put him squarely behind the next hill. Hopping cover to cover seemed to work so far.
Drylands: Four Feather had moved just a tiny bit too close and put him exactly at Trista’s long range of 21″, after she moved up another 4″. She fired and lucked out with a single Critical hit (counts as 2 hits), +4 base damage of her rifle. Four Feather was in Cover which reduced the damage slightly, but he still took a solid 5 damage, leaving him at 5/10 HP. Since this was over half his starting HP in a single attack he needed to make a Bravery Test, which he passed.
Hunters: Getting shot so early wasn’t exactly in my plan. Nothing for it but foot slogging in! Blood Claw went for the full 9″ run towards the central fences, hoping to keep himself and his riders in cover.
Drylands: Khulan crept forward to barely get Blood Claw inside his 16″ range, shooting and hitting Mary for 1 damage. The turn ended with my last Activation, which was to Run Trask forward to eventually get his pistol and club in range.

Turn 2: Let’s Get Crackin’ (Drylands win Initiative)

Drylands: Woot, Initiative again. I figured the closing Raptor and his mounted Neotechnoists were a bigger threat than the shotgun wielding Four Feather, so I changed targets with Trista. She opened up on Mary, hitting for another massive 5 damage. Luckily for me, Mary failed her Bravery Test and fled off Blood Claw! After this I edged Trista back down the hill, since the enemies were well within her range now. Khulan fired next, hitting Kirk for a mere 3 damage and then moving towards the big tall (2″ tall, in fact) hill in the center of the firebase.
Hunters: Really Mary? With the running away? I guess it suits her character to flee like that. Anyways I Activated her and performed the mandatory Standard Move directly away from the nearest enemy, aka 4″ backwards from where she needed to be. Still on Blood Claw, Kirk wheeled around and headed back 2″ and used his Active Trait “Get Up!” to heal Mary for 5 HP (which he can do once per encounter, as per Active Trait rules, but in this case it’s +5 HP to an Ally in 2″, thus why he had to move back). Looks like he was helping out his fiance. He continued his move by swinging back around and heading 4″ towards the front lines, putting him squarely in the fences. Trask was close enough for a long range attack, so Kirk went for it, hitting (including a Critical!) for 4 damage. Trask passed his Bravery Test though…apparently his life of banditry made him braver than soft Mary.
Drylands: Looks like the Hunters are starting to get in range of me. Trask was armed with a slightly weaker pistol than Kirk, but the range was the same, so he started his Activation by firing back at Kirk. Unfortunately he only hit 1 time, and the 80KW Six-Shooter gives no additional bonus, so his damage ended up being negated by Cover (which provides -1 Damage). Figuring I’d have better luck with the Club, I used his “Sprint” Active Trait (to get +3″ Movement once per encounter) and covered the open ground to get right behind the fence.
Hunters: Wow Trask really overextended, perhaps a turn too soon. I wanted to capitalize on this, so I edged Four Feather a little bit more eastward and a little bit more exposed than I would have liked. But it did put Trask inside the 9″ maximum range of his Double Barreled Shotgun. The shotgun only had 2 Attacks, but thankfully one of them hit so I could get the sick +5 Damage from the gun. The total of 6 damage took Trask out of action. First blood!
Drylands: Ouch, down a member. I guess I got a bit eager with the Club. Then again I could see a shady bandit like Trask not thinking his moves through too much…so maybe I can blame it on that. Anyways Quidel moved up the slope and into the trees, not wanting to make the same mistake of exposing his position that Trask did. I tried a long range pistol shot at Kirk, but missed horribly (I spent most of my Improvement Points on his Melee Miss Chance instead of Ranged, so he only had a slim chance to hit).

Turn 3: The Advance Continues (Drylands win Initiative)
Drylands: I really can’t complain with this continued streak of Initiative winning. Anyways Trista was my girl for reaping vengeance on Four Feather for taking Trask out. She moved back up the hill and fired at Four Feather, hitting him once for 5 damage, which cleanly took him out of action. The Hunters player had decided to risk not activating “Lucky” in his turn, which is too bad since it probably would have saved Four Feather’s life (basically it makes one enemy re-roll one entire set of attacks). Now the kill count is tied up.
Hunters: Time to slog Mary forward, although her 4″ Movement is so much more painful compared to Blood Claw’s 6. Anyways she did a full Run forward into the fencing.
Drylands: I was considering opening fire with Khulan, but decided to plan ahead a bit and spend his Action Phase Running up the steep hill. It was Difficult Terrain, and would require 4″ of Movement to get up. Unfortunately he only has 3″, so a Run it was. Hopefully I can use this position to stop Blood Claw from instantly charging him, since the slope will act in my favor in that case. Firing from a higher elevation certainly doesn’t hurt either (+1 Damage).
Hunters: Kirk and his mount continued forward, reaching the last fence before the final stretch to the Drylands hill. He opened fire on the exposed Khulan, hitting him for 3 damage (thanks Critical!). I immediately regretted the shot as I should have focus fired instead, but I was just too tempted by how exposed he was.
Drylands: My last Activation was Quidel, who was finally close enough to hit at medium range. This was really helpful as the long range penalty (+1 Ranged Miss Chance) was hurting his already lackluster abilities. Anyways I rolled really well, hitting 3 of 4 attacks (even at 8+), so Kirk took another 3 damage.

Turn 4: Rip ‘Em to Shreds (Hunters win Initiative)
Hunters: Hooray, finally Initiative for once. Maybe the dice knew I was getting close to melee and favored me. Anyways Mary continued her march through the fence compound, getting into medium range with her Light Pistol. She fired at the exposed silhouette of Khulan, but missed horribly.
Drylands: Okay, time to pour fire into Blood Claw and hope he drops. My remaining three members all targetted the Raptor, who was close enough that they were at medium range. Khulan fired first, hitting for 4 damage. Trista was next, but rolled terribly and missed every shot. I used her “Try Again” Active Trait to get a single re-roll, and it was totally worth it as I hit for 6 damage! Finally Quidel shot, and unfortunately followed Trista’s example and missed with all the attacks. No fancy re-roll for him I’m afraid.
Hunters: Phew, weathered the storm. Time to charge! In hindsight I should have Dismounted Kirk before running Blood Claw forward, but after rushing across the map for 4 turns all I was seeing was red. Kill, kill, kill! Except I was 1 1/2 inches short of reaching Quidel with Blood Claw, so instead of an awesome Charge bonus I had to spend his Action Phase to Run, just to reach Quidel. Awkward. Stupid fence took a bit more than I expected to cross. Oh well, at least I’m finally in melee combat!

Turn 5: Raptor Time! (Hunters win Initiative)
Hunters: Hey look at that, Initiative again. Not that I have any thrilling strategies I need to hide. I do get to bite and claw and stomp with Blood Claw though. I hit Quidel with all my attacks, totalling 6 damage. Too bad he passed his Bravery Test, since I would have loved their leader to flee. Anyways that used up Kirk’s Action Phase as well since he was still mounted. Really feeling stupid for not Dismounting him at the fence a turn ago.
Drylands: I guess on the bright side the Raptor is in melee with my close combat character instead of a softy like Trista. To prove his mettle Quidel used his “Berserker” Active Trait (+2 Attacks) and hit Blood Claw with 4 of his 6 attacks, totalling 7 damage and taking Blood Claw down to 2 HP. Still not enough to force a Bravery Test, but that 9 HP threshold is tough to break. Anyways Khulan turned to face the Raptor from his elevated perch, and held the trigger and turned the dinosaur into a splattered mess. Seriously crazy rolls of 3 Critical hits! 7 total damage took Blood Claw out of the game, huzzah. Last up was Trista who edged forward to medium range on Mary and fired, hitting for 5 damage and taking Mary to 3 HP left. She passed her Bravery Test (this time at least, haha), and would have been dead if it wasn’t for Kirk’s earlier “Get Up!” usage.
Hunters: That was a lot of damage, but at least it was mostly on Blood Claw and not anyone else. My last Activation was having Mary fire back at Trista, hitting once for 4 damage. Trista’s their weakest character with only 7 HP to start (good old Neotechnoists), so this caused a Bravery Test. She passed it though, alas.

Turn 6: It’s All Over (Hunters win Initiative)
Hunters: Not liking my odds now that Blood Claw is down and everyone else is nearly dead. Totally kicking myself for some dumb moves and lack of focus firing. That and having to charge 4 guns, haha. Anyways Mary started my turn by shooting at Trista. I caught some luck and hit for 4 damage which took Trista out of action. Too bad Trista did a ton of damage in all the other turns.
Drylands: Khulan spun and opened up on Mary, furious that she had taken Trista down. He hit two times for 3 total damage which was enough to take Mary out. I bet he felt pretty pleased with that. Quidel was my last Activation, and he speared the hell out of Kirk. My rolling was awesome again with 2 Criticals and 1 normal hit, plus the Spear’s base damage for a whopping 8 total damage. Goodbye Kirk, hello victory!

After Action Report
Well the Drylands United Cattle Company won against Kirk Peterson’s Hunting Expedition. At least it will give Kirk a story to tell back in the safety of his villa. Quidel and Khulan were the only two who remained in the game, with 7 and 6 HP respectively. Some thoughts from the players below:

Drylands: Victory for meeeeeee. I can’t take too much credit as the Hunters really played to my strengths. Trista got to fire basically every turn, and the expensive cost of her 400KW rifle turned into a solid investment. Khulan also did well with his Assault Rifle and didn’t even need a reload. In fact no one needed to reload the whole game, which kept the rate of fire up for sure. Quidel earned his keep by holding the Raptor and Kirk. Trask was a bit of a waste, I guess I shouldn’t have gotten so eager with him. That Double Barrel Shotgun (2 attacks, 5 damage) is one tough customer, and voluntarily moving into it’s range was silly. Still, great game.

Hunters: Alas, defeat. I feel that a couple of different decisions could have really changed things for me. I actually want to revisit my Posse from the ground up, as they are themed great but really feel lacking in terms of equipment. Blood Claw the Raptor was $400 (of my $1,000), and the mandatory two human members were a further $400 ($200 each), so that meant I only had $200 to spend on guns and armor, whereas the Drylands posse had $400 (since their human member was $200 cheaper than my Raptor). It was fun to field a dinosaur though, and that’s what counts. Anyways I really liked the Double Barrel Shotgun kill, and was impressed with how much of a difference a few inches of range makes (like Mary’s pistol compared to Kirk’s). I think using my Improvement Points to boost everyone’s Armor was a good choice, since Neotechnoists are naturally better shots to begin with so they don’t need a ton of improvement there. Definitely felt their low HP values. Good game though!

Complete Turn Log
Turn 1: Drylands win Initiative
– Quidel forward Run
– Four Feather forward Run
– Trista shoots long range vs Four Feather – crit hit, 2+4-1 (cover) = 5 damage. Passes BRV
– Blood Claw forward 9″ Run
– Khulan shoots at Blood Claw, 1 damage vs Mary
– Trask forward Run

Turn 2: Drylands win Initiative again
– Trista hits Mary for 5, fails BRV. Trista finishes by moving back down hill
– Khulan hit Kirk for 3, moves towards tall hill
– Mary flees off Blood Claw
– Kirk drops back 2″, uses “Get Up!” Active Trait to put Mary back to 8 HP, then forward 4″ and shoots Trask at long range. Hit and crit for 4 damage, Trask passes BRV
– Trask shoots long range against Kirk, 1 hit which Cover negates. Moves forward to fence with Sprint
– Four Feather moves up hill and barely in long range to hit Trask. Hits for 1+5, takes Trask out of action
– Quidel moves into trees, shoots long range at Kirk but misses

Turn 3: Drylands win Initiative again
– Trista moves up hill and shoots Four Feather, hits 1+4 and takes him out of action
– Mary runs forward after Blood Claw
– Khulan climbs hill using Run
– Kirk moves behind last fence and shoots Khulan, crit for a total of 3 damage
– Quidel shoots medium range vs Kirk, 3 hits at 8+

Turn 4: Hunters win Initiative for once
– Mary moves into fence compound, shoots medium range at Khulan but misses
– Khulan shoots Blood Claw, hits for 4 at medium range
– Trista shoots Blood Claw, misses all, but uses “Try Again” Active Trait, re-rolls for 2+4 damage
– Quidel shoots Blood Claw, misses all
– Blood Claw forward Run into melee with Quidel after Charge Move fell short

Turn 5: Hunters win Initiative again
– Blood Claw hits Quidel for 2+4 damage, passes BRV
– Quidel uses “Berserker” Active Trait, hits 4 of 6 attacks for 7 damage, Blood Claw down to 2 HP
– Khulan destroys Blood Claw with 3 Criticals, 7 damage total
– Trista moves to medium range, hits Mary for 2+3, passes BRV but at 3 HP
– Mary fires back, hits 1+3, passes BRV

Turn 6: Hunters win Initiative again
– Mary shoots Trista, hits for 4 which takes Trista out of action
– Khulan returns fire, hits 2+1 to kill Mary
– Quidel uses Spear in melee on Kirk for 8 damage, takes him out of action

Playtesting Results
This game was a ton of fun to play through. I learned a few new rule exceptions…funny how often those pop up once a person actually plays the game, even if the rules seem foolproof during writing. I made a few mistakes while playing, namely:

  • Forgot to factor in Movement modifier for shooting. This would have helped the Hunters survive the cross board trek.
  • Forgot to use either leader’s Leadership ability (grants one single re-roll). This might have helped turn a miss or two into a hit, but little else.
  • Made some tactical mistakes, mainly on the Hunters side. Failing to use Four Feather’s “Lucky” trait meant he died. Not Dismounting Kirk before charging Blood Claw in was also dumb. In fact charging Quidel at all, who had a Spear and wanted to get into close combat…I should have probably gone for Trista instead and torn her to pieces. That and a lack of focus firing, but that was on both sides.

Definitely want to give these Posses another go, since I think a few tactical changes could have really changed how it went down. Maybe I’ll level them up and try again soon.

Anyways I hope you enjoyed the report, it was a bit of a hassle to format into this blog. Taking pictures and recording an action-by-action log was interesting though and I think added to the detail and completeness of the battle report. If you like what you read and want to give the game a shot, feel free to download version 0.7 of the rules.