Episode Three of Outlaws: Adventures in the Old West is almost done – just a couple of days playing with the final (I hope!) draft and the final components. The expansion brings to the game system Native Americans in the form of a fictions tribe called the Tuwa (modelled loosely on the Comanche).
This is the first scenario of the new expansion and the simplest.
Trouble between the Tuwa and the town of Deadrock had been brewing for months. When two young hot-heads from each side spied each other out on the prairie there was only ever going to be one outcome…
Game Boards – Prairie & Prairie 2
Game Length –until one character is dead.
Special Rules - None
Setup: Before placing characters, each player places two Prairie Clutter Counters on the board on which their opponent sets up. The Clutter Counters may not be adjacent to each other or any other printed object on the board.
Roll a dice to determine which player sets up their character’s first.
Options: Substitute Ahote and Bill for any other characters.
Solitaire: If using the solitaire rules allow the Auto Characters to begin with their rifle/bows held. The Auto Characters will begin in the squares halfway along their starting board edge. It is recommended that an additional character be added to the Auto side. Add either Kajika (Tuwa) or Dale, these characters have the same equipment as the other characters. If two Auto Characters are used then the player must kill both to win.
Starting Location: In any, square adjacent to the left edge of the map board. Ahote is mounted on a horse.
Items Held: None
Items Carried: 1x Bow, 12 arrows, Tomahawk. 1x S&W No.2. 1xHandgun reload.
Objective: Kill Bill
Starting Location: In any, square adjacent to the right edge of the map board. Bill is mounted on a horse.
Items Held: None
Items Carried: 1x Henry rifle. 1x Rifle reload, Knife, 1x S&W No.2. 1xHandgun reload.
Objective: Kill Ahote
This replay used the Outlaws solitaire system. I was controlling Bill and Ahote and Kajika were my adversaries.
Turn One. First out the cup was Bill. As Bill was facing two opponents I had to be careful not to be out-flanked. The solitaire system can be quite aggressive if you completely hide in cover and so Bill trotted forward and drew his Henry rifle (a new weapon in this expansion).
Ahote could now see Bill but his bow was out of range. Kajika was drawn next. Kajika could not see Bill and so rolled on the dark green Auto Dice and rolled a ‘wait’ so took no action. (The solitaire system uses three dice, one for characters who cannot see an enemy, one for those that can but are not in cover and one for those that can see an enemy and are in cover).
The last action counter drawn was Ahote. Ahote could see Bill, was not in any cover from him, and so rolled on the light green Auto Dice. The dice instructed Ahote to take his best shot at Bill, however the range was still too great for his bow and so this instruction became a move action. A second dice throw indicated that Ahote was to move away from Bill. The furthest square Ahote could get from Bill was in the top left hand corner of the board – to Bill it looked like Ahote was trying to outflank him!
Turn Two. Drawn first was Ahote. Ahote was instructed to Advance. He moved towards Bill but managed to stay out of his line of sight. Kajika was drawn next, he also was instructed to advance. Kajika only advanced as far as a large boulder in the centre of the board, then dismounted and using the boulder as cover peeked around the rock towards Bill.
The expansion has expanded solitaire rules for controlling the actions of a mounted character, here is an extract:
• Mounted - character moves towards target enemy by shortest route in Ride actions. The character will stop in the last square that they cannot see or be seen by any enemy character using a 360º FOV. Then if sufficient actions are available they will dismount and move towards the enemy into cover that will allow them to see, and be protected from, the enemy character – this includes using corners, leaning out of windows and doors. If character cannot move into cover they dismount and stop in their current square.
When Kajika peeked around the boulder he could see, and be seen by, Bill. Bill then had an option of taking a Snapshot but he declined. Both Tuwa characters had already taken their turn and he was feeling a little exposed – needed to get to cover.
Bill jumped down from his horse and leading it moved to the rocks on his left. It would have been quicker to move to his right but from there he could only have seen one of the Tuwa, and as I stated above, the solitaire system can be aggressive if you don’t keep an eye on your enemy. As Bill reappeared from behind the rock the Tuwa could attempt Snapshots. (Snapshot are permitted when a character appears (or reappears), or after a shot has been taken at you. There is one final option and that is if you have a handgun and another character is spending several actions on aiming at you.) The solitaire system controls the Tuwa Snapshots. Tuwa bows count as rifles for Snapshot attempts and both Tuwa characters were within range to attempt the shot. Both needed to roll less than their current available actions to be able to take the shot. Kajika failed but Ahote succeeded.
Ahote has the special Tuwa skill of horsemanship which means they can shoot from horseback without using up all his actions. Bill is to his front and so the weapon dice was halved but his Bow and Riding Skill were added to the roll. Ahote shoots an arrow but it misses. Ahote’s action track is marked with a Snapshot counter showing he has used three of his actions for the next turn (bows take three actions to shoot and four for an aimed shot).
Turn Three. First drawn was Bill. Bill took a standard shot with his rifle at Ahote. A hit. A further dice roll determined that Ahote and not his horse was struck. The Henry rifle Bill was using was a relatively low velocity gun and only drew a single wound counter. Ahote took a Belly hit but remained in the saddle. Ahote now had a snapshot counter and a wound and so has no chance of passing a Snapshot check. Bill was using two hands to fire his rifle and so was not holding his horse who took exception to the gunfire and ran off-board. Bill still had two actions remaining and so took another shot at Ahote – this time it missed. Bill decided to drop back around the rock to be out of sight of both Tuwa. Bill was a little more confident doing this now as Kajika was dismounted and could not run him down in a single turn.
Ahote was drawn next but due to his earlier Snapshot and wound could not take any actions that turn. At the end of his turn the Snapshot counter was removed and his Belly wound counter was flipped over showing that the wound has become worse reducing his actions by another one ( the wound counter is then placed back in the pool and a marker is placed on Ahote action track to show his current status.
Last, to be drawn is Kajika. He could not see Bill and was instructed to advance. He moved cautiously forward.
Turn Four. First out was Kajika who advanced again to just the other side of the boulder that sheltered Bill.
I felt a little foolish as I had gambled on catching Kajika in the open but the draw had allowed Kajika to be almost upon me! At least Bill was drawn next. Bill dropped his rifle and drew his Smith & Wesson – Ahote was still armed with his Bow and so Bill could still react quicker. Bill sneaked to the corner of the boulders just a few feet away from Kajika. However, Kajika had his bow drawn and passing a Snapshot roll loosed an arrow at Bill. The arrow was on target and the close range meant that Kajika drew an extra wound counter. Kajika pulled three wound counters – only the rocks could prevent the arrow hitting Bill.
Thankfully, the cover of the rocks prevented the Serious Belly Hit. The Head graze was chosen and applied, causing bill to lose his last two actions this turn. The loss of Bill’s last two actions was a severe blow as he now had none left to shoot with. Bill had no choice but to fall back and drop prone (which costs no actions). At least Kajika had taken a snapshot, which reduced the amount he could do the next turn.
Last out was Ahote. Ahote advanced but was blocked by Kajika.
Things were looking tough for Bill – the solitaire system fights hard. Ahote was drawn first and instructed to advance, as he could not advance into Kajika’s square he remained where he was. Bill was drawn next but what to do? He now only had two actions due to his wound. It would cost him one to stand up and one to get to cover where he could see Kajika, leaving him without enough actions to let off a shot! Still he could not reach any other cover and so he stood up and hugged the rocks and peered round the corner at Kajika. Kajika had insufficient actions to take a Snapshot.
Kajika’s counter was drawn and the dice instructed him to shoot at Bill, but he did not have enough actions to do that. The second instruction was to drop prone on a roll of 1 or 2, which he did. This established a clear shot between Ahote and Bill for next turn. At the end of his turn Kajika removed his Snapshot counter putting him back up to four actions next turn.
Turn Five. A lot depended on which action counter was draw first this turn. Bill was drawn first! Bill let off a shot at Kajika but missed. Kajika succeeded in a Snapshot and loosed an arrow off at Bill. The arrow struck home, hitting Bill in the chest, and sending him unconscious – from which he would not live long enough to recover.
That was it – the game had beaten me again! The game took about 20 minutes to play and I am still failing to learn the lesson of not taking your eyes off the Auto Characters, they are just too aggressive if you do.
Why are all Indian Braves right-handed?
So they can all circle the wagons in the same direction when they shoot their bows.
Bows are even more restrictive than rifles when it comes to the direction they can shoot in. The ancient Parthians were infamous for being able to shoot to their rear - the Parthian (or Parting) Shot. It was not an easy task, most people could not do it without advanced saddles.
Left handed Braves, by the way, would often become Medicine Men.
Hi Wulf - it is true of the six new characters only one is left handed.
The Tuwa are loosely based on the Comanche. The riding prowess of the Comanche was exceptional. Children were given their own horses at age five or six and soon became expert riders. Unlike nearly all the other Native American tribes the Comanche fought from horseback – most like the Apaches dismounted to fight (only Hollywood depicts them fighting from horseback).
A quote from George Catlin, ‘Amongst their feats of riding there is one that has astonished me more than anything of the kind I have ever seen or expect to see, in my life – a stratagem of war, learned and practices by every young man in the tribe; by which they are able to drop his body on the side of the horse at the instant he is passing, effectively screened from his enemies’ weapons, as he lays in a horizontal position behind the body of his horse, with his heel hanging over the horse’s back… in this wonderful condition, he will hang whilst his horse is at fullest speed, carrying with him his bow and shield and also his long lance…
They use a short bow of about 1m in length and practiced regularly shooting from horseback - in the game they do suffer penalties when shooting form horseback.
Thanks for taking the time to comment.