Battle Report: Across the Street

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Complete Turn Log
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Battle Report: Fight for the Cannon

Encounter Overview
I had a ton of fun playing this game because of the smaller table and central objective. I used a 35″ by 35″ section of my table with a 5″ deployment zone, so there wasn’t a “long” side like when I play 4x3ft. This made melee deadlier and also meant everyone could get stuck in early on. To add to the chaos I put a Cannon in the middle of the table as an objective. This report used v1.1 of the rules, so it was all the latest and greatest.
The two posses involved were Hope’s Wardens and Tribe of the Blood Pact. I originally created them for the v0.91 rules, so you can see some of the thought behind the posses in an earlier post. Both posses ended up with 3 members and 1 dinosaur even after the update to v1.1, and mostly just had better equipment with some of the extra money from recruiting the first Member for free.

Note on images, all of them are clickable and will open the image at the full 1280×960 size. Apologies for any blurriness, I think my old camera is having issues focusing.

The Cannon
The smallest objective and totally change the feel of a game session, and adding a Cannon into the middle of the map certainly proved this. The little metal Cannon figure is actually from San Juan off Puerto Rico, and I bought it at an old Spanish fort down there on my cruise holiday. Dinosaur Cowboys is always on my mind and it was the perfect size for the game, so I’m happy with how it looked in this game.
Bit of a tangent here, but plain “capture the flag” objectives can be tough in skirmish games. For one thing you don’t have a lot of troops to throw at the objective, and certainly can’t hope to spread thin and cover multiple objectives. And with a single objective and no turn limit the question comes up of “Why even go for the objective?” since it might be easier to hold back and kill the enemy.
To alleviate this concern I think that objectives should do something beneficial. In Guild Wars MMORPG capturing the flag gives you a +10% boost to stats, for example, so that’s a huge motivation to go for it.
In this game the Cannon could actually be controlled and fired if a human was close to it. Basically whoever had the most humans (dinosaurs don’t count) within 4″ of the Cannon could spend the Action Phase of any of those humans (max of 1 per Turn) to fire the Cannon. It has similar stats to a Field Gun, except the damage is less crazy since these were fresh Posses.

The Cannon: 1A-5D 2″ Explosion, range 1-6/7-15/16-21, no Reload

Posse: Hope’s Wardens: 3/110 IP, 10/1000 ND, 3/3 Traits
My posse representing a high tech Neotechnoist party that is new to the world outside The Wall. They were well equipped and had plenty of Armor to compensate for their low HP. Generally good shooting scores would help. The one limiting factor was range, as the furthest weapon as Limeskull with 16″ max on his Light Repeater. I figured Nedevan and Red Dove would advance together, then dismount and try to cause disarray by getting into melee with separate targets. Limeskull’s purpose was to grab cover up high (for the elevation bonus) and fire forever. Glowstar would be midrange support, probably moving a step or two behind Red Dove.

Limeskull (Neotechnoist Leader)
MV 5, AR 2, RMC 7, MMC 8, BRV 7, HP 10. Light Repeater, Padded Armor.

Red Dove (Bandit)
MV 4, AR 1, RMC 7, MMC 7, BRV 6, HP 9, Whirlwind. 100kW Six-Shooter, Motor Blade.

Glowstar (Neotechnoist)
MV 4, AR 2, RMC 6, MMC 8, BRV 6, HP 8, Neck Shot. Auto Shotgun, Padded Armor.

Nedevan (Trained Ducky Dinosaur)
MV 6, PMV D6, AR 0, MMC 7, DIS 4, HP 18, Bonus HP I.

Posse: Tribe of the Blood Pact: 0/110 IP, 0/1000 ND, 3/3 Traits
The idea of this posse was to get into melee and make things ugly for the enemy. Everyone had high Movement and a ton of Hitpoints which would facilitate them living long enough to reach close combat. The inexpensive melee weapons and low cost ranged options meant I could go for a higher priced Armored dinosaur, which is ridiculously terrific at low IP since it’s AR 4 is very tough for people to hit. Having a ton of HP meant The Crimson Terror could soak up a bunch of damage too. I figured he’d remain unmounted, although if anyone was going to ride the dinosaur it would be Sendar as she had the lowest MV. Otherwise the posse would stick together and advance using as much cover as possible, and most likely sacrifice shooting to Run each turn.

Bloodscar (Savage Leader)
MV 6, AR 2, RMC 9, MMC 7, BRV 7, HP 13, Retreat! I. Pickaxe, 100kW Six-Shooter, Quilted Armor.

Illit'taex (Savage)
MV 5, AR 1, RMC 9, MMC 7, BRV 5, HP 13, Bonus HP I. Pike, 80kW Six-Shooter.

Sendar (Duster)
MV 4, AR 0, RMC 8, MMC 7, BRV 6, HP 12. Staff, 80kW Six-Shooter, Small IRP.

The Crimson Terror (Feral Armored Dinosaur)
MV 4, PMV D4, AR 4, MMC 7, DIS 4, HP 28, Runner.

Deployment
In the roll off for table edge Hope’s Wardens got the west side (towards the kitchen) and Tribe of the Blood Pact got the east side. Hope’s Wardens had to setup first. Each posse could deploy up to 5″ from their respective table edge.

Hope: Setting up first is always rough as you don’t get to see what the enemy is planning. Looking at the terrain I tried to anticipate how Blood would deploy. I knew the tall terrain near the south would be tempting, so I positioned Limeskull opposite it near the high hill with a tree. This would give him a bit of cover but more importantly force melee combatants to waste Movement trying to climb the hill. It also left me at long range of the central Cannon, so I could provide supporting fire. Let’s just hope Blood doesn’t go for a denied flank and deploy way in the north out of my range.
I mounted Glowstar and Red Dove on Nedevan and plopped him in the middle. The fast MV 6 (9″ effective Run) would put him very close to the Cannon early on, so I could hopefully dominate any incoming groups.

Blood: I had a bunch of deadly warriors at my disposable, and enough terrain that I figured most of them could reach the combat alive. I knew they’d be faster on foot so I left The Crimson Terror unmounted and put him in the northern corner behind a hill. Even with the Runner trait he was ponderously slow (7″ effective Run), but he had a ton of HP and super high Armor so I hoped to hold the middle with him until the rest of my melee group could work their way through cover. Advancing directly across the open would mean his slow speed would balance with the faster humans who would be dodging hill to hill.
I put all my human members in a clump in the south. No one could get to the Cannon in the first Turn so I was safe keeping them clustered. I planned to flank one of them (probably Illit’taex) towards Limeskull on the hill. Bloodscar and Sendar would approach the middle and hopefully control the Cannon to bombard anything left alive, or at least contest it from Glowstar and Red Dove enough to prevent them firing.


Turn 1 – To the Cannon!
1a. Blood wins Activation
Blood: Since two of Hope’s members were mounted they technically only had 2 entities to Activate, so I outnumbered them 2:1 and needed to Activate two of my figures as a result. I decided The Crimson Terror would Run 7″ directly towards the Cannon, as planned. Bloodscar also Ran (9″) forward, but didn’t expose himself to Limeskull and stayed behind the tall hill. Blocking line of sight is such a lifesaver for a melee focused group such as mine.
Hope: I wanted to keep Limeskull in reserve until the rest of the enemy posse had moved, so I activated Nedevan and Ran him forward. His massive 9″ Run meant I would be a the Cannon next turn, which was great.
1b. Blood wins Activation
Blood: Time to Run some more. Illit’taex Ran in a straight line west, and would be in the cover of the hills approaching Limeskull soon. Sendar followed Bloodscar’s approach with a Run.
Hope: Limeskull was out of range and out of sight of everyone so he Ran up the tall hill he had deployed by, which gave him a commanding view of the field.


Turn 2 – Enemy Sighted
2a. Blood wins Activation (again!)
Blood: Time to keep on moving up. I Ran Illit’taex down the flank of Limeskull. Next turn he’d make the deadly approach across the open terrain, but hopefully I could distract Limeskull with more tempting targets until Illit’taex was closer. Sendar also Ran, but couldn’t quite make it out of line of sight. Unfortunately she was inside the long range of Limeskull, but maybe the modifiers would save her.
Hope: Tribe of the Blood Pact had made a bit of a mistake in leaving Sendar exposed, but I didn’t need to waste an early activation to take advantage of it. Instead I had Red Dove and Glowstar dismount Nedevan, which used all of their Action Phases. It left them all with a Movement Phase though, so both humans moved right up to the Cannon (close enough to fire it now!) while Ducky headed south towards Sendar, hoping to slow down her and Bloodscar before they reached the center.
2b. Hope wins Activation (for once)
Hope: Time to start the shootin’. Limeskull lined up on the distant Sendar who was basically at maximum range. She was in Cover (-1 Damage) but Limeskull was at a high Elevation (+1 Damage), so no mods from that. He managed to hit 4 times, one of which was a Critical. In total he did 6 damage and Sendar failed her Bravery Test and is Fleeing.
Blood: Sendar will have to waste some time Fleeing backwards and then moving right back in, so that’ll be annoying. I snapped off a shot with Bloodscar at the Ducky dinosaur, but I missed on 10+. Bloodscar moved forward and behind a tree, hoping to survive any early activations next turn. Finally The Crimson Terror moved closer to the Cannon and Glowstar and Red Dove. They were quite far away but I figured I might be able to reach them with a Charge. Unfortunately I failed the roll (needed 5+) so The Crimson Terror stayed where he was.


Turn 3 – Into the Barbwire
3a. Hope wins Activation
Hope: Hmm kind of a tough call who to activate first. On the one hand I could shoot with Limeskull at Sendar again before she Flees and maybe even kill her. But The Crimson Terror is going to get into melee range and it’d be great to shoot him before the -1 Melee modifier (plus he hasn’t Moved yet, so that’s another -1 avoided), since his AR 4 is enough of a problem already. In the end I decided to shoot at The Crimson Terror as it’s not like Sendar won’t be a target again in the future. To that end Glowstar aimed his Auto Shotgun at 9+, hitting 3 times for 8 damage, but unfortunately also rolling a 1 and requiring a Reload. A Panic token was added to The Crimson Terror from the damage, which should slow him down a bit. Glowstar then moved back outside the barbwire (which was counted as Difficult Terrain) but was sure to still be within 4″ of the Cannon.
Blood: Now that The Crimson Terror had Panic on him I wasn’t convinced of his ability to reach melee. Plus he could handle Red Dove’s firing if it came to that. So I left the dinosaur as is and instead moved Bloodscar into the barbwire cage. He Charged 4″ into melee with Red Dove, then savagely hit with both attacks with a double roll of 11 for a total of 8 damage. Red Dove is down to 1 HP and failed his Bravery Test and is Fleeing. Too bad I couldn’t finish the job!
3b. Blood wins Activation
Blood: Time to keep the hits rolling. I rolled for The Crimson Terror’s Panic Movement (D4 in his case) and unfortunately got a 1. So after moving and Running through the barbwire he was still 1″ short of melee with Red Dove, but at least close enough to deny a Charge. Glowstar having to Reload would mean The Crimson Terror would be a bit safer for another turn until he could get into combat.
Hope: I aimed to counter the increasing melee presence in the middle. Since Sendar was less of a threat I decided to swing Nedevan around and move into melee with Bloodscar. I hit 1 time for 3 damage. Not a ton, but Nedevan’s big pool of HP should keep the Savage Leader busy for a while.

3c. Hope wins Activation
Hope: When I look at the middle I see a giant clump of enemy just BEGGING for a cannonball. Red Dove was thankfully Fleeing which meant I could easily escape combat with Bloodscar. I fled him backwards, then fired the Cannon at Bloodscar! Yar! I hit him for 6 damage and the 2″ Explosion clipped The Crimson Terror for 5 damage, and unfortunately also Nedevan for the same. Like a true coward Bloodscar is Fleeing, and both dinosaurs have a Panic token added.
Blood: Well that was ugly, but at least Red Dove hit their Ducky dinosaur with some friendly fire. Bloodscar has seen better days though. Anyways I Fled Sendar away from the closest enemy (Nedevan), then she turned and shot at the dinosaur, hitting 3 times (with 2 Criticals!) for 5 damage, which added a Panic token to Ducky.
3d. Hope wins Activation (by one!)
Hope: Limeskull had no chance to hit The Crimson Terror at such long range, but Bloodscar was perfectly placed to get shot. I needed an 11+ to hit but managed to hit once (6A is so nice) for 3 damage (thanks Elevation!), which put Bloodscar down to 1 HP!
Blood: I finished the turn by moving Illit’taex along his hillside flank. After a big Run he was at the base of Limeskull’s hill. If he could weather downward fire for a turn I could get into melee with the Neotechnoist Leader.


Turn 4 – Roar of the Cannon
4a. Blood wins Activation
Blood: Bloodscar was in a tenuous position with 1 HP and enemy guns all around. There wasn’t any cover nearby, so I decided to make some! Bloodscar used his Retreat! Trait to move The Crimson Terror 4″ into melee with Red Dove (who only had 1 HP), but also angled the dinosaurs body to try to block line of sight to Limeskull. After that Bloodscar Fled away from Nedevan, then Ran back in behind the hill that was The Crimson Terror.

Hope: I guess Bloodscar didn’t learn his lesson that I have no problem using the Cannon on my own people if it benefits me…I guess that’s more of a Savage thing than a Neotechnoist, but I guess it could be a cold calculated call which might fit the technologically advanced people well. Regardless I fired the Cannon with Glowstar at The Crimson Terror at 10+ to hit. I was just within 12″ of Limeskull in case I needed the Yeehaw! re-roll, but thankfully the shot hit without aid. The Crimson Terror took 6 damage, and both Red Dove and Bloodscar took 5 damage from the 2″ Explosion, which killed them both! After their leader was slain Illit’taex and Sendar BOTH failed their Bravery Tests and were Fleeing, hah! Glowstar finished his epic turn by moving away from The Crimson Terror towards Nedevan.
4b. Hope wins Activation
Hope: Having Illit’taex Fleeing gives Limeskull a bit of breathing space, but I knew the persistent bugger would be back soon. So I moved Limeskull to the edge of the cliff and fired down at Illit’taex, hitting for 4 (one of which as a Critical) for 7 damage. He still has 6 HP left though, unfortunately.
Blood: The Crimson Terror still has two Panic tokens, so I had to roll for his PMV again. I lucked out and got a 4, so I was able to move and then Charge 2″ into melee with Glowstar. I rolled well and hit for 5 damage, but Glowstar managed to pass his Bravery Test. After recovering his wits the dinosaur still had 1 Panic token left.
4c. Blood wins Activation
Blood: Time to move my last two entities for the turn. Most of it would be Fleeing after Bloodscar’s untimely death. Illit’taex Fled back, almost to the table edge in fact, and then reversed and Ran towards Limeskull’s hill. If he managed to survive another turn I’d get into melee with the leader. Then Sendar also Fled away, but used her Action Phase to apply the Small IRP for +2 HP (could have been a better roll, alas).
Hope: By getting into melee with Glowstar it turned out The Crimson Terror was also in combat with Nedevan. The Ducky turned and tried to smash the dinosaur with it’s crest, but missed both attacks on a rather challenging 11+.


Turn 5 – Cleanup Crew
5a. Hope wins Activation
Hope: My ideal plan for this activation was to use Glowstar’s Neck Shot Trait on The Crimson Terror, which would have given +4 damage and meant I could possibly kill the dinosaur. But Glowstar still hadn’t had a chance to Reload from way back, so his Auto Shotgun was pretty much useless. I didn’t want to risk a Cannon shot directly into the crowd again since it’d hit Glowstar himself and the Ducky. So instead, with luck, I could get the bullet sink of Illit’taex out of the way. Limeskull aimed down the cliff again and fired, but only hit 3/6 times for 5 damage, which left Illit’taex with 1 HP! Plus he passed his Bravery Test, which meant he might be able to reach Limeskull and dish out some hurt with that Pike.
Blood: The Crimson Terror lived up to his name by stomping and goring Glowstar, who was unluckily stuck between two towering dinosaurs. I hit for 5 damage which killed the human. Also I got to remove my last Panic token…not that it mattered since it looked like a straight up brawl to the death between the dinosaurs.
5b. Blood wins Activation
Blood: Yeesh Illit’taex is really running on fumes. I moved him to the base of Limeskull’s cliff, but failed to Charge the measly 4″ needed to reach the Leader. So much for my awesome flank. Anyways after that failure I moved Sendar closer to the center and fired at Nedevan. She didn’t let me down with 2 hits (1 of which was a Critical) for 3 damage. I really wish she had something besides an 80kw Six-Shooter as 0D is painfully useless. Anyways Nedevan is down to 5 HP at least!
Hope: The titan brawl continued in the middle, but Nedevan again failed to do anything to the Armored enemy. Having a base MMC of 7 against AR 4 is really painful, especially with only 2 Attacks.


Turn 6 – Last Man Standing
6a. Hope wins Activation
Hope: Illit’taex has snuck behind Limeskull enough that I had to waste my Movement Phase turning around to face him. I unleashed another salvo, expecting a kill, but terrible dice meant NOTHING hit and Illit’taex survived!
Blood: Illit’taex was able to survive with 1 HP against 6 point blank Attacks, probably by praying to some Savage pagan god. Eagerly he moved up the hill and stabbed at Limeskull, but after ALL that running and dodging and pain he only hit 1 time for 4 damage!
6b. Hope wins Activation (again)
Hope: Looks like that hill is bad luck for both of us or something. Anyways speaking of bad luck Nedevan failed to hit The Crimson Terror again (what is that, three times in a row?). Yep, short activation.
Blood: The Crimson Terror really was dawdling too long with that simple herbivore. Somehow I missed all attacks even though I only needed 7+ (rolled a terrible 6, 6, and 4). So it’s up to the humans to carry the team. Sendar moved in behind the hill and Charged 2″ into Ducky’s flank, hitting a solid 4 out of 4 times for 8 damage which totally killed Nedevan. That’s how it’s done.


Turn 7 – Desperate Cat and Mouse (Dino and Human?)
7a. Hope wins Activation. Only Limeskull remains against Illit’taex, Sendar, and The Crimson Terror
Hope: Eh could be a tough one. The good news is I rolled better than absolute GARBAGE (aka last turn) so Limeskull was able to easily kill Illit’taex. I was afraid that Sendar might hop on the uncontested Cannon and outrange my feeble Light Repeater, so I dropped Limeskull down out of line of sight behind the tall hill.
Blood: A dinosaur and villainous vixen against a wounded Neotechnoist Leader? I think I can win this one! I Ran both Sendar and The Crimson Terror towards Limeskull’s hiding place. He’d be out of options very soon.


Turn 8 – Gonna Take You With Me
8a. Hope wins Activation (by one)
Hope: Definitely hanging by a thread here. I moved Limeskull back down the hill and to medium range with Sendar. Too bad I shot terribly and only hit for 3 damage with him! Better than no hits I guess, but still I had kind of hoped he’d finish her off and then maybe survive the dinosaur somehow.
Blood: Sendar returned fire after moving to her medium range, but missed all the shots on a 10+. The Crimson Terror did what dinosaurs do best, and that is Ran forward towards his prey. The noose was closing.


Turn 9 – Bring Her Down
9a. Hope wins Activation (again!)
Hope: I think winning initiative has saved me so far, but The Crimson Terror can basically reach melee regardless of where I go. Ugh I should have stayed on the tall hill but I got so caught in thinking I could outrun the inevitable. Anyways since I was already trapped I just moved Limeskull into line of sight of Sendar and fired. Again I rolled badly and only did another 3 damage, which left her with 2 HP. That was actually the 2 HP the Small IRP had healed earlier, so there ya go.
Blood: Again Sendar returned fire, but this time hit with 1 Critical for 2 damage, but also rolled a 1 and needs to Reload! Good thing her Staff doesn’t need ammo…Oh and of course The Crimson Terror moved into melee with Limeskull.


Turn 10 – All Over
10a. Blood wins Activation
Blood: If dinosaurs could speak I’m sure The Crimson Terror would quip something like “Hey Limeskull, check this out!” before dealing 6 damage. I guess I’ll just have to settle for hitting 3 of 3 times and killing Limeskull, which wins me the game!

After Action Report
Hope: You know I honestly though I had this one in the bag. I guess I underestimated The Crimson Terror’s survivability, and also got a little over committed with Glowstar and Red Dove in the middle. Oh and my total inability to kill Sendar at the end was kind of annoying. But I also was able to deny Tribe of the Blood Pact access to the Cannon for basically the entire game, and ALMOST killed all their humans. I’d say I was a little overequipped, especially Red Dove who didn’t get to use much of anything the whole game. Having high AR helped as it meant more misses and less damage, although it’s a tough call whether high AR is better than high HP. But yeah, very close game and I just wish I had played the end a bit differently (like going back up the tall hill instead of taking to the ground). And I don’t want to be petty but the slightly smaller table really didn’t help matters, as it meant my turns of free shooting on the melee based posse was cut down by 12″ or so.

Blood: Ah the delicious taste of victory. It always feels extra satisfying to win with a bunch of Savages armed with polearms, especially against high tech Neotechnoists. My most valuable asset was definitely The Crimson Terror, his AR 4 is pretty tough to crack with 100 IP and the related RMCs. Bloodscar did pretty well in the middle, although he took a lot of firepower and died earlier than I would have liked. Sendar was terrible at the start but redeemed herself by only missing a single shot all game (with base RMC too!) and by finishing off Nedevan. Illit’taex was great in theory, but yeah, that was a loooooooong haul to Limeskull, and he sort of let me down when I got to grips by only hitting once. Oh well, I still won and plundered.

Complete Turn Log
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Preview of v0.91

NOTE: v1.0 was released on October 31st, 2011, so use that version instead.

Since I’ll be working hard on getting a final release out by October 10th I thought I’d show folks how the rulebook has been shaping up since v0.91.

There a bunch of minor changes and editing, but the biggest two changes are: Dinosaur rules have been hugely updated (Discipline, Breeds, new roster layout, etc.) and I tried putting in my historical sepia images. Here are some other highlights:

  • Added Dinosaur Discipline, Breed, and other rule changes and clarifications.
  • Added historical images throughout the rulebook for flavor.
  • Added fan made Overland Map thanks to Felix.
  • New headers and example box formatting and page numbering style.
  • Changed Stopped/Stunned to disallow the Movement/Action phase respectively.
  • Clarified Fleeing through an enemy entity is considered impossible so Stunned instead.
  • Added Fan the Hammer special ability to Six-Shooters.
  • Added Scattergun, 10-Pound Cannon, and Field Gun weapons.
  • Changed AR 4 armor to reduce MV by -1 (instead of 0), cascaded change down to AR 7.
  • Edited and updated the History section.
  • Capped Hitpoints at 50 instead of Unlimited.

Anyways I’d like some feedback on the image integration (does it look good, does it print well, how do you feel about the increased file size, etc.) and the new Dinosaur rules (does Discipline work over Bravery, is Panic Movement fun or tedious, etc.). If all the rules make sense and continue to playtest well this is probably what v1.0 will look like. I mean I’ll have some more eye-for-detail editing and dozens of re-reads to make sure everything makes sense and flows well, but yeah, getting close!

Download the Dinosaur Cowboys Rulebook v0.91 Preview and let me know what you think!

(Note: Scheduled vacation post. Back October 4th)

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
Laserbow

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:

Oviraptor
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!).

Deployment
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.

Due for a release…v0.9 is here!

As I was writing up the most recent battle report I realized all those little changes since v0.8 have added up, and v0.9 is different enough that I feel I should release it so people can base their opinions on the most modern version I have. So without further ado:


Download the Dinosaur Cowboys Rulebook v0.9 (PDF)


I still didn’t reach a satisfactory setup for pictures in the rulebook, so it’s still just plain text (aside from the logo). I might just do a “printable” version that has the pictures or something, but we’ll see. As with the last release the rules are looking and playing really solidly, so there won’t be any sweeping changes going forward. Just more small tweaks and fixes based on playtests and feedback (um, feedback, remember? Someone email me one of these days?).
Once I reach v1.0 (closer and closer!) I’ll put the game on RPGGeek and spread as much notice around the forums of the world as I can.

Changelog
Here’s how the Subversion log looks, and again this is the closest I have to a changelog:

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r1607 | svn | 2011-08-04 17:29:02 -0600 (Thu, 04 Aug 2011) | 1 line

Made Slowed also stop people from Charging, not just Run
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r1606 | svn | 2011-08-04 00:57:58 -0600 (Thu, 04 Aug 2011) | 1 line

Minor change to the maximums for some statistics
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r1605 | svn | 2011-07-19 12:46:47 -0600 (Tue, 19 Jul 2011) | 1 line

Formatting fix. The Modifiers Table keeps getting shifted
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r1604 | svn | 2011-07-18 15:10:37 -0600 (Mon, 18 Jul 2011) | 1 line

Another quick reference sheet minor fix
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r1603 | svn | 2011-07-18 15:07:45 -0600 (Mon, 18 Jul 2011) | 1 line

Fixed up quick reference sheet typo and formatting
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r1601 | svn | 2011-07-06 11:33:32 -0600 (Wed, 06 Jul 2011) | 1 line

Made Weather an optional rule
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r1600 | svn | 2011-07-06 11:25:11 -0600 (Wed, 06 Jul 2011) | 1 line

Made the Additional Ideas subheading under Variant Rules a bulleted list
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r1599 | svn | 2011-07-06 11:19:34 -0600 (Wed, 06 Jul 2011) | 1 line

Added Variant Rules section that fleshes out some alternative approaches for AR, Fumbles, Running, Melee, etc.
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r1598 | svn | 2011-07-06 11:15:29 -0600 (Wed, 06 Jul 2011) | 1 line

Added Variant Rules section with a few different ideas
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r1597 | svn | 2011-06-29 13:21:58 -0600 (Wed, 29 Jun 2011) | 1 line

Removed border from the top fields on the editable PDF roster
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r1596 | svn | 2011-06-23 15:16:57 -0600 (Thu, 23 Jun 2011) | 1 line

Split the Posse Roster into a form and blank version. The form could eventually be filled automatically using the Java iText library
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r1595 | svn | 2011-06-22 22:06:10 -0600 (Wed, 22 Jun 2011) | 1 line

Made winning an encounter award 30ND instead of 20ND to match what a kill gives, so it’s basically like a free kill.
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r1594 | svn | 2011-06-22 01:33:20 -0600 (Wed, 22 Jun 2011) | 1 line

Modified the Dinosaur HP IP cost table to have a matching header to the rest of the statistics. Woa and it’s 2am, whoops
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r1593 | svn | 2011-06-21 15:54:24 -0600 (Tue, 21 Jun 2011) | 1 line

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r1592 | svn | 2011-06-21 14:11:07 -0600 (Tue, 21 Jun 2011) | 1 line

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r1591 | svn | 2011-06-21 13:56:41 -0600 (Tue, 21 Jun 2011) | 1 line

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r1590 | svn | 2011-06-21 13:54:15 -0600 (Tue, 21 Jun 2011) | 1 line

Clarified the character/posse creation section so that spending IP is under the Posse instead of under the character, so that creating a character is basically Name-Allegiance-DDefault Stats
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r1589 | svn | 2011-06-21 13:32:23 -0600 (Tue, 21 Jun 2011) | 1 line

Added an example of creating a character (Quidel) to clarify that process. Also put in an IP cost for 3 to 4 MV (10) in the case of Dusters
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r1588 | svn | 2011-06-20 10:50:39 -0600 (Mon, 20 Jun 2011) | 1 line

Some editing and formatting, very minor
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r1587 | svn | 2011-06-17 11:20:06 -0600 (Fri, 17 Jun 2011) | 1 line

Changed token removal to just mention Moved and Acted, since other tokens normally persist
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r1586 | svn | 2011-06-17 11:16:02 -0600 (Fri, 17 Jun 2011) | 1 line

Removed Roar ability for Dinosaurs to keep them as pure melee only. This also meant their default RMC could be removed.
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r1585 | svn | 2011-06-17 00:46:43 -0600 (Fri, 17 Jun 2011) | 1 line

Put the main rulebook under a non-commercial Creative Commons license, which is useful to stop people from selling the rules. Also a minor reformat to ensure the List of Traits fits on a single page (by using the Posse Roster page layout and margins)
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r1584 | svn | 2011-06-17 00:11:17 -0600 (Fri, 17 Jun 2011) | 1 line

Added a Derringer, Saber, and Cutlass. Also modified some of the prices and damages
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r1583 | svn | 2011-06-16 23:45:04 -0600 (Thu, 16 Jun 2011) | 1 line

Bunch of minor updates and changes based on the playtest tonight. A few clarifications or exceptions added.
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r1582 | svn | 2011-06-16 23:36:39 -0600 (Thu, 16 Jun 2011) | 1 line

Make Dinosaurs have a default 8 RMC (for Roar)
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r1581 | svn | 2011-06-16 20:31:28 -0600 (Thu, 16 Jun 2011) | 1 line

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r1580 | svn | 2011-06-16 19:49:50 -0600 (Thu, 16 Jun 2011) | 1 line

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r1579 | svn | 2011-06-16 19:47:44 -0600 (Thu, 16 Jun 2011) | 1 line

Increased Horned HP since they cost a ton already
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r1578 | svn | 2011-06-16 19:43:49 -0600 (Thu, 16 Jun 2011) | 1 line

Renamed Leadership to Yeehaw, for a bit more flavor
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r1577 | svn | 2011-06-16 19:37:46 -0600 (Thu, 16 Jun 2011) | 1 line

Include D6s as necessary items, for Charge
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r1576 | svn | 2011-06-16 19:36:16 -0600 (Thu, 16 Jun 2011) | 1 line

Minor change to ensure IP and dollar values per kill are even
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r1575 | svn | 2011-06-16 17:03:50 -0600 (Thu, 16 Jun 2011) | 1 line

Fixed wording of Pulled ability
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r1574 | svn | 2011-06-16 16:57:22 -0600 (Thu, 16 Jun 2011) | 1 line

Made ND less rare
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r1573 | svn | 2011-06-16 16:54:44 -0600 (Thu, 16 Jun 2011) | 1 line

Removed Levels. Instead Posses match on IP and ND. In addition killing an enemy gives +IP and +ND, as done winning an encounter, instead of going by Kills. I attempted to maintain the values of each, so that Posses should grow in strength at a similar rate to before. The Roster had to be updated to reflect the new fields.
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r1572 | svn | 2011-06-16 16:23:00 -0600 (Thu, 16 Jun 2011) | 1 line

Touched up some of the riles
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r1571 | svn | 2011-06-16 16:13:58 -0600 (Thu, 16 Jun 2011) | 1 line

Changed and clarified how Charge works. Now it’s an Action that you can do if an enemy is within 6 inches. It gives +D6 inches of movement (in a straight line) and they can make a free set of Melee attacks with the Charge bonus afterwards. Basically the best way to enter close combat.
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r1570 | svn | 2011-06-16 16:03:32 -0600 (Thu, 16 Jun 2011) | 1 line

Added Natural Weapons as an item section. This includes Brawl and Beast types, basically unarmed attacks for humans and dinosaurs.
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r1569 | svn | 2011-06-16 15:43:41 -0600 (Thu, 16 Jun 2011) | 1 line

Made the Charge move grant an extra D6 inches if the target is not adjacent but is within 6 inches (aka they just fell short of the charge). The attack bonus is the same still
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r1568 | svn | 2011-06-16 15:26:28 -0600 (Thu, 16 Jun 2011) | 1 line

Added a few more traits to make the total list 56 items. Wowy zowy
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r1567 | svn | 2011-06-16 15:13:28 -0600 (Thu, 16 Jun 2011) | 1 line

Added a bunch of new Traits (some were Guild Wars inspired), so the total list has nearly 50. Had to format the doc a bit differently to fit them on one page, which meant adding a West Test header
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r1566 | svn | 2011-06-16 14:23:22 -0600 (Thu, 16 Jun 2011) | 1 line

Made the Bola an alternative to the Stun Gun
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r1565 | svn | 2011-06-16 14:16:41 -0600 (Thu, 16 Jun 2011) | 1 line

Cleaned up the Items. Got rid of Blind, added Slowed and Pulled. Made some custom Lassos. Added a Stun Gun, made Whip have Slowed. Added note in rules about Minimum Range. Added a note about Falling damage. Made Knockback be like Explosion in that it’s X” Knockback instead of always 1D6 inches.
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r1564 | svn | 2011-06-15 16:47:43 -0600 (Wed, 15 Jun 2011) | 1 line

Made some of the long range weapons have no Short range, namely those with Minimum ranges. For example Lever-Action rifles now have no Short range, instead a 4-14 Medium range
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r1563 | svn | 2011-06-15 16:07:10 -0600 (Wed, 15 Jun 2011) | 1 line

Clarified that an attacker can target either the dinosaur or passenger, and cleaned up the Mounted Combat section in general
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r1562 | svn | 2011-06-15 15:42:20 -0600 (Wed, 15 Jun 2011) | 1 line

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r1561 | svn | 2011-06-15 15:14:54 -0600 (Wed, 15 Jun 2011) | 1 line

Minor font size tweak. Injected refonted Items list into main rulebook
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r1560 | svn | 2011-06-15 15:10:31 -0600 (Wed, 15 Jun 2011) | 1 line

Forced some Courier fonts to Courier New. Also made the Items headers West Test. I think that’s all.
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r1559 | svn | 2011-06-15 14:35:16 -0600 (Wed, 15 Jun 2011) | 1 line

Renamed Quick-Reference.odt to match its name of Quick-Reference-Sheet.odt
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r1558 | svn | 2011-06-15 14:33:54 -0600 (Wed, 15 Jun 2011) | 1 line

Forgot Charge mod on the Quick ref sheet, which then needed to be ported to the rules. Copy pasting 3 times for one change sucks.
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r1557 | svn | 2011-06-15 14:30:32 -0600 (Wed, 15 Jun 2011) | 1 line

Added a Quick Reference sheet, which basically has the modifiers, turn options, combat procedure, etc. Also added Charge the Modifier table to ensure everything is listed. Reworded the Modifier descriptive text to suit.
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r1554 | svn | 2011-06-14 16:46:27 -0600 (Tue, 14 Jun 2011) | 1 line

Let’s get started on v0.9, woot
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Alternative Formats
I’m trying to move away from some of the harder-to-support file formats, but if you want you can still get the rules as ODT or DOC.

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
Musket

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
Laserbow

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:

Bus
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.

Deployment
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.

Deployment
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: