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Subject: Shootout on Low Ridge rss

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Ray Thomson
New Zealand
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Six gunslingers looked casually at each other across the clearing – four greenhorns and two grizzled veterans. After the gunmen’s rules of engagement were explained, trigger fingers started twitching.

The silence settled, then lengthened. The air became thick with the expectation of the carnage to come. Finally, Paul Regret pulled a gatling out of his trenchcoat. Everyone managed to dodge quickly apart from the Sheriff, who took one in the shoulder. After some cussing, and a few choice words about parental heritage, play resumed.

Vulture Sam, the Sheriff, was reluctant to take it lying down. Taking two cards, he evaluated his options. With a wicked glint, he grabbed his Volcanic, and proceeded to take out the closest player. Fortunately, the poor soul turned out to be an outlaw. The sheriff proceeded to frisk the corpse for belongings (not a particularly ethical chap…) and also claimed the reward!

The desperate Mexican pulled out a stick of dynamite and laughed maniacally. After a frantic game of pass the parcel, it fell to the Sheriff to fall on the explosive to save everyone else, leaving him with little life (and a damn sight uglier – think Picasso painting). It seemed that none of the other gunslingers were happy with the situation, so concentrated fire on the crazed Mexican finished him off in short order…

Bullets started flying from all corners, and when the dust settled, another outlaw had been taken out, leaving the sheriff, an outlaw, a renegade and the trusty deputy. A poorly played Cat Balou on the Sheriff (Cat did manage to slink away with the sheriff’s prized volcanic sidearm) soon left the outlaw revealed for the bluffing cheat that she was, and was finished off in short order. Again the lecherous Sheriff pillaged the unfortunate for more ammunition. This left the deputy, the Sheriff and the renegade. Black Jack, the renegade, had carefully manipulated the situation so as to leave the Sheriff confused as to who was loyal.

The Renegade finally threw off the façade of being loyal to the Sheriff, and began to shoot with extreme prejudice. The Deputy fell in a hail of bullets trying to protect the man he had come to respect, even with his slightly creepy tendencies. As a sign of respect, the Sheriff buried him with his firearm (actually I forgot to use it, as I was pretty happy that I knew for sure who the Renegade was).

Finally, it came down to the two grizzled veterans it started with – the Sheriff, and the Renegade wannabe. Each man measured the other and found a worthy opponent. Ten paces were counted out, the men turned, and fired… grievous wounds were taken by both men, leaving them with only a hair’s breadth of life left. Unwilling to be left defenceless, the Sheriff joined the Renegade in a toast (No beer cards left me with the undesirable choice of playing a Saloon card in order to have the all important two life points left). The Renegade challenged the Sheriff to a duel – a fitting end. The renegade was found wanting and went down to his last life point.

The Sheriff smiled, and signalled his secret weapon – Cat Balou came slinking out of the shadows and distracted the Renegade (Cat pulled the Renegade's last missed card). A cowardly bullet finished off the fearless Renegade. With a shrug, Sam justified: “They don’t call me the Vulture for nothing!”

Final Result – Sheriff and Deputy wins with a final shoot out between the Renegade and Sheriff. Great fun had by all, even the poor sap who was taken out the beginning of the second turn…
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