From the "Adventure Gaming" magazine issue Vol. II #2 twelve 1982, pages 27 & 28, and transcribed here:
By Leonard H. Kanterman, M.D.
Introduction: In 1981, Fantasy Games Unlimited published "Oregon Trail", a game of my design which combined elements of role-playing and boardgames to portray the journeys of wagon trains across the West, during the period 1840-1860. After moving to Kansas -- was less than an hour's drive from trail's end to Abilene -- I became interested in adapting the system to portray the cattle drives of the 1860-1880 period. This scenario is the final result.
All normal play rules for "Oregon Trail" apply except where specific changes are outlined in this scenario.
"Assembling the Party": The player assembles his party by assigning his initial 80 Resource points as follows.
"Livestock"-(cattle): 100 stock/Resource Point. At least 10, but no more than 26, points may be assigned to stock (so the herd will vary between 1000 and 26000 head).
"Trail Boss Attributes": The 'Trail Boss' is a character who represents the player. His attributes are referred to during the resolution of various encounters, much like the attributes of a character in a role-playing game. In this scenario, the 'Trail Boss' character has 4 attributes: "Nature Lore"; "Animal Lore" (replaces hunting); "Indian Lore"; and "Military Skill". The usual 5th attribute, "Popularity", is dropped; Section 6, "Party Morale", is completely ignored in this scenario.
The player must assign at least 7, but no more than 12 Resource Points to each skill. The final attribute score is obtained by rolling 1d6 for each rating and adding the result to the Resource Points allotted to each attribute. Thus, all attributes will range from 8 (7 points plus d.r.1) to 18 (12 points plus d.r. 6).
"Cowboys": 1 Resource Point
"Horses": 5/Resource Point. There must be at least 5 horses in the 'remuda' for each 'Cowboy' to be considered mounted.
The number of 'Cowboys' affects the 'Trail Boss' attribute scores as follows: There must be at least 1 'Cowboy'/200 stock. If the party has more 'Cowboys' than this ideal ration, 1 may be added to each of the "Animal Lore" and "Military" attributes for each 'Cowboy' above the ideal ratio.
'Cowboys' must be mounted (that is, at least 5 horses/'Cowboy') to be counted towards the "Animal Lore" bonus. If, due to loss of horses, 'Cowboys' must be dismounted, 1 for each 'Cowboy' dismounted must be deducted from "Animal Lore"; the "Military Skill" bonus remains unchanged. For this reason, it is recommended that the players allot more horses than the minimum needed to allow his 'Cowboys' to remain mounted should horse losses occur.
Example: A herd of 1800 head has 12 'Cowboys' and 70 horses. All 'Cowboys' are thus mounted, and the ideal ratio of 1 'Cowboy'/200 head accounts for 9 'Cowboys'. The player may add 3 to each of "Animal Lore" and "Military Skill" attributes for the 3 extra 'Cowboys'.
Unlike the standard "Oregon Trail" rules, there are no wagons and no rations. Section 7, "Supply and Rations", is completely ignored.
"Starting Point": The player(s) may start on any of the 5 easternmost hexes along the southern edge of the map (east of the "Pecos River"). One of the following destinations is chosen:
a) Pueblo, Colorado: 3 hexes south of Denver, on the "Arkansas River".
b) Dodge City, Kansas: site of Ft. Dodge.
c) Abilene, Kansas: 1 hex southwest of Ft. Riley, on "Smoky Hill River".
d) Ogallala, Nebraska: site of Ft. Sedgwick.
e) Cheyenne, Wyoming.
If two (2) are playing, it is suggested that each choose one town from the following pairs as a destination: Pueblo/Dodge City; Abilene/Ogallala.
"Movement": The following movement rates apply, regardless of herd size. These replace the "Oregon Trail" standard movement rates, although as in "Oregon Trail" the 'Trail Boss' must choose one of three (3) 'Travel Status' modes each turn. 'Travel Status' will affect encounters as well as movement rate.
"Cautious": 7 MP; "Normal": 9 MP; "Quick-March": 13 MP.
"Strays": Each turn, after the 'Travel Rate' has been chosen but before moving, the 'Trail Boss' must determine how many 'Strays' have been lost in the normal course of events (as opposed to the more dramatic encounters). The 'Trail Boss' rolls 1d20 and compares the roll to his "Animal Lore". If he rolls less than or equal to his score, he must roll once on the "Casualty Table"; if he rolls greater than his score, he must roll twice on the "Casualty Table". The losses from the "Casualty Table" are multiplied by 5 in both cases for the number of head actually lost.
The 'Trail Boss' may subtract 2 from his roll if moving "Cautiously"; he must add 4 to his rolls for "Quick-March". (Modifications apply to roll against "Animal Lore", not casualty rolls).
"Encounters": The standard "Encounter Tables" based on 'Terrain' type are referred to.
a) Lost: resolved as in standard game.
b) Stream Crossing: resolved as in standard game except for losses. "S" and "W" losses are taken against stock, with losses multiplied by 10 after the casualty roll. "R" losses are taken against horses, and "P" losses against 'Cowboys', using the standard roll.
c) Rockslides: resolved as in standard game except for losses. The same formula given for Stream Crossing is used for losses.
d) Drought: resolved as in standard game, except there are no rations "set aside" to try to minimize losses. "S" losses are taken against stock, with the casualty roll multiplied by 20. "P" losses are taken against horses, with the usual casualty roll.
"Animal Encounters": The 'Bison' and 'Deer' encounters are deleted.
a) Stampede -- occurs when 'Bison' would. 'Trail Boss' must roll against "Animal Lore". If he rolls less than or equal to his score with 1d20, he loses 1d6 X 10 head; if he rolls greater than his score, he loses 1d6 X 20.
b) Rustlers -- occurs when "Deer" would. 'Trail Boss' must roll against his "Military Skill" score. If he rolls less than or equal to his score with 1d20, the 'Rustlers' have been driven off with no losses to the herd; if he rolls greater than his score, the 'Rustlers' have taken/driven off 1d6 X 20 head, and the party must suffer 1 roll on the "Casualty Table" against the 'Cowboys'.
c) Prairie Dog: resolved as in the standard game except for losses. "S" losses are taken against stock, casualty roll multiplied by 5; "W" losses are taken against horses, usual casualty roll.
d) Coyote: resolved as in standard game.
e) Wolf: resolved as in standard game.
f)Grizzly Bear: resolved as in standard game except for losses. "S" losses are taken against stock, "P" losses against 'Cowboys', "R" losses against horses, all with the usual casualty roll.
g) Mountain Lion: resolved as in standard game, except for losses. "S" losses taken against horses, "P" against 'Cowboys', usual casualty roll.
h) Snakes: resolved as 'Mountain Lion' above.
"Disease Encounters": "S" losses are taken against horses, with usual casualty roll; "P" against stock, with casualty roll losses multiplied by 10.
"Indian Encounters": There are significant changes to the 'Indian' encounters, as the activity and nature of interactions between whites and Indians had changed substantially by the time period of this scenario, largely due to the railroads and the settling of the West by whites.
a) Indian Area 2 -- ignore all 'Indian' encounters; treat as "None". (This area of eastern Kansas was largely settled by whites, with the Indians removed to "Reservations").
b) Indian Area 3 -- use the following table to determine which 'Tribe' is contacted. Note that a new "Tribe" is added -- "Reservation Indians" --as this area includes the entire 'Indian Territory' (later Oklahoma), where many eastern tribes had been resettled.
01-05: Comanche; 06-08: Kiowa; 09-18: Reservation; 19-20: Apache. "Reservation Indian" tribal option will be chosen as follows: 01-04: "Raid"; 05-20: "Parlay".
c) Indian Area 4 -- roll the die (1d6) when an Indian encounter is called for: on 1-3, the encounter is ignored; on 4-6, use the standard table for this area.
The "Attack" and "Ambush" options are treated as "Raids" instead in this scenario. The "Guide" option is treated as "Parlay".
"Raid": The 'Trail Boss' rolls against his "Military Skill" first. If his roll is less than or equal to his score, the "Raid" has been driven off without loss. If the roll is greater than his score, the "Raid Combat" table is referred to. "S" losses are taken against horses, "P" losses against 'Cowboys', and "R" losses against stock (stock loss casualty roll multiplied by 10).
"Parlay": The 'Trail Boss' must offer at least 10 stock as a "toll" to allow this "Parlay". Additional groups of 10 stock may be offered as "gifts", each "gift" allowing an additional roll against the "Indian Lore" for the "Parlay". If the 'Trail Boss' declines to offer the 10 stock "toll", or the "Parlay" fails, the party is considered as "Lost", as the Indians have refused the party 'Access Rights' to cross their country, and the party must find an alternate route; the usual procedure for "Lost" is followed. This takes the place of the usual re-roll for "Tribal Option" in case of a failed "Parlay".
"Victory": Victory is judged by the 'Trail Boss' profit for marketing his herd at trail's end. The profit is $22/head minus $1 for each turn the drive has been underway. (For a 10-turn drive, the profit would thus be $12 per head). The 'Trail Boss' must pay off all of his 'Cowboys' from his profit, at the rate of $6 each per turn.
The 'Trail Boss' with the highest profit is the winner. For solitaire games, a profit over $15,000 should be considered a success.
Great post GROGnads, and this is a fun variant for OT. When he was still visiting this site, I corresponded a bit with Dr. Kanterman and he was a very engaging man and proud of the game. He should be- OT is a great game if you have a little time and imagination, though definitely not easy!