The Midnight Riders 2004:
Campaign Two - Chapter One:
The Midnight Riders:
The Stagecoach Crew (all played by Mike Murphy):
NOTE: Game stats are still being updated!
MOVE 'EM UP, HEAD 'EM OUT -- Rick Haufe looks on as Kyle Nearhood lends a hand to Laura Potter as she measures how far Isabella can ride to take a shot at the stagecoach driver in "Last Stage to Pinto Flats!"
Jan. 13, 2004
HOUSTON, Texas -- The Infamous Villains known as “The Midnight Riders” have once again committed another dastardly deed, as bullets flew and the thirst for blood ran high in a recent Gutshot game held at Midnight Comics and Games.
“I thought I was going to make it, and get the stage out of there and to safety.” lamented Gutshot co-creator Michael Murphy, as he watched the stage careen out of control in a horrible streak of luck which left the two remaining defenders wounded and helpless before the marauding Midnight Riders.
When the smoke cleared – and the dice stopped rolling -- Gutshot co-creator Mike Mitchell chuckled as he surveyed the carnage on the board.
“It was a long and nasty fight,” Mitchell said after the game. “I was surprised that it went on for so long, and that the stage was so successful in holding the Midnight Riders off as well as they did. In the pre-game simulations, it never did this well. That just goes to show, you can’t tell how well a rule will work until the players get their hands on it.”
The Tuesday-night test game at Midnight Comics was a small reunion between the Midnight Riders and the Gutshot Posse. The Midnight Riders are a group of Playtesters who rode the outlaw trail during an intense playtesting campaign in the Summer of 2003 (read more about their infamous exploits here).
“Six of the summer’s Playtesters returned, on really short notice, to give us a hand with more playtesting,” Mitchell said. “That’s really great turnout for a five-days’ notice, and on a school night.”
HOOVES POUNDING LIKE THUNDER!
The stagecoach attempts a desperate, yet ultimately futile, bid to escape.
The evening’s game followed a familiar setup: the Midnight Riders played their characters from the summer games and Murphy ran their opposition. In this case, the opposition turned out to be a stagecoach (chock full of the mining town’s payroll) and two outriders. The game was designed specifically to test the horseback and stagecoach rules – and to work out any bugs in the scenario -- which will be featured at this years OwlCon!
“Considering this is the first major playtest of the horseback rules, I think things went very well. Some things worked better than I expected, others didn't,” Mitchell said as he wrote down the notes concerning game play. “Also, the Midnight Riders know the system pretty well, and were instantly able to spot some areas that could be exploited by a ‘rules lawyer’ during game play. We’ll be sure to plug those up, pronto!”
Although the game lasted only three turns, the action was fast and furious as the Stage Outriders drew first blood. Despite putting damage onto one of the Midnight Riders, it was the Riders and their cover fire that started things rolling downhill for the stage crew.
Within a few actions, the driver of the stage fell beneath a deadly hail of bullets from the Riders rifles. Old Pete, riding shotgun, grabbed the reins, but was sitting out there like a duck on a pond. Desperate to keep control of the stage, one of the guards climbed out the side of the stage and actually pulled himself into the shotgun seat and started firing back at the outlaws.
“It was like a scene out of a movie!” Murphy exclaimed. “Which is just the sort of action we’re trying to capture in this game.”
Despite the fact that eventually the stage was overturned, and the Riders claimed victory and the $65,000 payroll, it was not to be a one sided victory. Two of their outlaws, Rico Suarez, and “Deputy” Bill Fife (played by Justin Nemetti and Trevor Johnson) lay in the dusty wayside of Pinto Flats, as a grim reminder of the eventual fate that awaits all outlaws.
“I was surprised at how determined Mike ran the stagecoach to attempt to get away from the Riders. For awhile it seemed like he was going to make it.” Mitchell said after the game.
“It gave us some insights on some of the weaker rules that needed tweaking and weren’t passing our playability tests. I think the playtesters did very well, and I am very impressed for them showing up on such a short notice.” Murphy added.
Murphy also added that he was very pleased at how well one particular component of the game played in the evening’s battle.
“I’m pretty happy the way Mike ran the game tonight.” Murphy said after the dust had cleared and the last shots rang out across pinto flats. “Until now, I hadn’t had a chance to see the “Retaliation Fire” in action, and now I think that it adds a whole new dimension to the game.”
“(Gutshot Posse member) Paul Mauer and I spent hours literally banging ideas off each other, hammering at every idea and possibility in an effort to tweak game balance and improve play,” Mitchell said. “We finally came up with Retaliation Fire, and it has since turned out to be an exciting game dynamic that may very well be that ‘little something’ that puts Gutshot ahead of the other games in this genre.”
Both Mitchell and Murphy look forward to the Wild West mayhem that will be occurring at the Owlcon XXIII convention on Saturday, Feb. 7, 2004. See story below for details.
“This is going to be our final last year of playtesting at Owlcon.” Murphy said. “We’ve got the system running, and are now putting the final touches on it. We are looking at having it done and off to print in October, to be ready in time for December.”
Mitchell’s smile quickly turned to a mischievous grin.
“When Christmas rolls around this year, we hope you’ll mosey on up to the counter at your friendly neighborhood game store and tell ‘em that you want to get Gutshot! I sure they’ll be happy to oblige you,” he said.
There were 6White Hats against the 6 Black Hats (the Midnight
The game lasted three full Turns and two short Turns, taking about four hours to play.
Our Story Thus Far: Text
Game Type: Two teams. Midnight Riders are the Black Hats, Stumpy's Posse are the White Hats.
Text to come.
Victory Objectives, Black Hats: Rob the stagecoach and get out alive!
Victory Objectives, White Hats: Get the stagecoach through, no matter what the cost!
Victory Points Awarded: Text to come.
GM Instructions: Text to come.
In the stagecoach strongbox: $65,000 in greenbacks!
NPCs: see above
Text to come.
Full text to come.
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