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Wanted Poster: Get Gutshot!

"Love and Bullets"

or

"Not with my daughter, you don't!"

GM: Mike Mitchell

Played 2 -5:30 p.m.,
July 26, 2003

Little Wars
10910 Old Katy Road
Suites #183-184
Houston, Texas

www.littlewars.net

Posted:Sept. 29, 2003

Come one, come all! -- Little Wars is one of the few "pure" game shops in Houston (no comics here, folks!). We dropped off this poster to lure folks into the fray!
View full-size poster >>

Little Wars Playtest & Demo
a Rousing Success!


GOING THE DISTANCE
Rick Haufe measures the range between his figure and his intended target. From right to left: Haufe, Kevin Ortiz, Jonathan Burton, Ian K. Tony Rocha, and Sean Smith.

July 26, 2003
Houston, Texas --
Once again, the Cattle Baron's daughter tried to elope with the handsome young cattle rustler, and once again the young lovers were thwarted as the team running Colonel's men gunned Billy down in the street in the Gutshot Adventure, "Love and Bullets," which was played at Little Wars game store in Northwest Houston.

The Saturday, July 26, 2003 game drew seven players, including four from the Midnight Riders campaign that was winding down at Midnight Comics & Games. Game Marshal Mike Mitchell -- and Gutshot co-creator -- was on hand to run the adventure that he had debuted at OwlCon back in February.

"I decided to run 'Love and Bullets' again because I'm very familiar with it, and because it's proven to be a fair game that can go either way, depending on how good the player's strategize," Mitchell said.

In this particular version of the game, the Black Hats won -- the Colonel's men managed to kill Billy, all of his gang, and capture his wayward daughter. The complete opposite of the previous game. When it ran at the Midnight Comics Mini-Con on Memorial Day weekend, Billy's gang slaughtered the Colonel's men.

"That's the great thing about this adventure," Mitchell said. "Every time you play it, it's completely different."

Rick Haufe, who has played this adventure three times (he also played it at OwlCon in February), agreed. "You never know how it's going to go," he said.

During this playtest, Mitchell tested a variation of the rules that are currently under consideration: Retaliation Fire. In this variation, the Character you shoot at gets to return fire instantly. This variation was developed with Paul Mauer, and may or may not make it into the final game.

"The Retaliation Fire was very rough today," Mitchell said. "I'm going to test it again on Tuesday at the Midnight Riders game before I can draw any conclusions about how well it works. Nevertheless, it's given me a lot to think about."

GAME REPORT

There were 12 primary Characters
No NPCs
The game lasted three Turns, taking almost 3.5 hours to play.

As noted above, we were testing a rules variation. Every time someone
fired a weapon, their target got an immediate Retaliation Shot.

Game Summary:
No. of Characters: 8-12
Game Type: Two teams
Game Difficulty: Intermediate
Game Marshall: Highly recommended
Estimated Duration: 1 - 4 hours
Restrictions: The Colonel's men man not shoot Missy. Even if anyone accidentally shoots her, the Colonel will offer $100 gold to the man who wounded his daughter.
Victory Conditions:
    White Hats: Billy and Missy must ride off the table, alive.
    Black Hats: They must stop Billy and Missy from escaping.

 

Our Story Thus Far:
Out in the West Texas town of Rattlesnake Bend, the man who calls the shots is Colonel Beauregard Jackson Picket III. He owns the “Bar J” ranch, the bank, the Gold Star Saloon… as well as the Sheriff and Mayor. In short, he owns the town and darned near everyone in it. He is not a man to be trifled with. A widower, his one weakness is his only child, Missy Picket. She is as spoiled as she is strong-headed. When she gets it into her mind to do something, the devil himself can’t stop her. Now, Billy Barnes was a handsome young cattle rustler trying to make off with a few head of her daddy’s herd. When they met, it was hate at first sight. As in all such stories, however, they wound up falling madly in love and have vowed to run off and get married. The Colonel has declared that “Not with my daughter you don’t!”

 

The Cast

The White Hats:
The Barnes-Dohr gang poses outside the Whitwash City Grand Hotel

  • Billy (played by Tony Rocha)
     Custom 2 - TN 8, Sure-shot: Pistol, Two-Gun Shootist
    Weapons: Two Pistols
  • Missy (played by Rick Haufe)
    Custom 3- TN 8, Brawler, Quick-Draw: Derringer, Sure-Shot: Derringer
    Weapons: Derringer, Pistol
  • Theodore: The Beaver (played by Sean Smith)
    Owlhoot - TN 8, Brawler, Tough As Nails
    Weapons: Pistol, Rifle
  • Wally: Mad Dog (played by John Z.)
    Custom 2- TN 8, Fanning the Gun, Quickload
    Weapons: Two Pistols
  • Alvin (played by John Z.)
    Custom 2 - TN 8, Speedy, Sure-shot: Rifle
    Weapons: Rifle, Shotgun
  • Simon (played by Rick Haufe)
    Outlaw - TN 7, Tough-as-nails
    Weapons: Pistol, Rifle

 

The Black Hats:

  • Colonel Beauregard Jackson Picket III (played by Jonathan Burton)
     Villain - TN 6, Reputation, Contemplative
    Weapons: Pistol, Sabre
  • Stumpy (played by Ian K.)
    Custom 3- TN 8, Lucky, Spontaneous, True Grit
    Weapons: Pistol, Sawed-off Shotgun
  • Sheriff McRae (played by Kevin Ortiz)
    Sheriff - TN 7, True Grit
    Weapons: Two Pistols
  • Deputy Fry (played by Kevin Ortiz)
    Deputy - TN 8, Hard-to-Hit, Lucky
    Weapons: Two Pistols
  • John Walking Proud (played by Jonathan Burton)
    Bounty Hunter- TN 6, Tough-as-nails
    Weapons: Pistol, Rifle
  • The Nevada Kid (played by Ian K.)
    Custom 2- TN 8, Sure-shot: Pistol, Two-gun Shootist
    Weapons: Two pistols

 

Character Placement:
As the game starts, Missy, Billy and his gang are in the Golden Palace Hotel (they can be inside, but one man could be posted outside on the balcony); they are planning to hightail it out of town. The Colonel and his men are in the Sheriff’s Office. They know what the young lovers have planned, and aim to stop them.

Out in the West Texas town of Rattlesnake Bend
READY TO RUMBLE
As the game began, Missy, Billy, and his gang were in the Grand Hotel. The Colonel and his men were in the Sheriff's Office.

 

TURN ONE
The Barnes-Dohr gang was holed up in the Grand Hotel. The Colonel's men were in the Sheriff's Office. Missy's name was the first drawn from the hat, but she stayed put. Stumpy was pulled next, and he started to hobble down the street toward the Livery Stable. Most of the first Turn was spent in moving into position. Missy held back at the adobe building, and Alvin, the fastest Character, high-tailed it for the corral so he could grab two horses and get them to Billy and Missy.


THAT HAD TO HURT!
Ian K. (in the rear) can't contain his laughter as his teammate takes a bullet to the foot. Even Jonathan Burton, who was playing the Indian Bounty Hunter who almost blew off his own foot, saw the humor in the situation.

The first shot was Simon taking a shot at the Nevada Kid -- it was a miss. The very next Action, though, had John Walking Proud taking a rifle shot at Simon, and he drew SNAKE-EYES! The snake let loose a wicked hiss filled with laughter as the Indian Bounty Hunger shot himself in the foot for nine points of Damage! His movement was now decreased by 50%, and for the rest of the game he would be known as "John Limping Proud."

There was more scrambling and movement as each side sought to gain the advantage. The next lead to fly was from Mad Dog, aimed at the Nevada Kid. Mad Dog Fanned the Gun at the Bounty Hunter, but the range modifiers worked against him, and on his fourth shot, he rolled Snake-Eyes! Luck was a bit kinder to Mad Dog, though: his gun jammed, but that was as bad as it got.

This was probably the first time a Gutshot game had two Snake-Eyes rolled in a row!

Billy made a dash for Missy, who was still by the adobe Building, and Theodore and the Nevada Kid were the next to exchange, and miss, fire with each other.Mad Dog joined the fight, scoring a hit for 7 points on the Nevada Kid, who returned fire for 5 Damage. Simon (played by Rick Haufe) took a shot at Stumpy, thus earning the crusty fighter's animosity (he'd regret that later). Alvin finally got the horses ready to lead back to Billy and Missy. Stumpy was hobbling up closer, so Billy fired at him, missing.


I'M GONNA SHOOT STUMPY!
Rick Haufe (left) measures the distance between Simon and Stumpy. John Z. and Tony Rocha (in red) watch on.

[I think that's Sean Smith's dad watching in the background.]

The Nevada Kid was still getting into it with both Simon and Mad Dog. The Kid fired twice from his two pistols, each one hitting; Mad Dog took 12 points and failed to hit with his own Retaliation shots. Simon managed to score 1 point of Damage against the Kid, who returned fire and hit, but Simon's Tough-as-Nails Specialty erased that Damage.

 

TURN TWO  

THINGS START TO GET MESSY
Missy to the left, Alvin with horses in the foreground, and Billy faces the Colonel to the right.

Alvin finally got the horses out of the corral and to Billy and Missy, just as the Colonel runs up and opens fire on Billy: both fail to hit the other. Seeing that their leader is in danger, the Sheriff, Deputy, and other members of the Black Hat team rush to defend their boss (bearing in mind that, if he goes down, the battle will shift and they will all be at -2 for the rest of the game!).

 

Sheriff McRae fires at Billy, but misses and hits the Colonel! The Colonel takes 5 Damage from one of his own men! The Colonel got ticked off about this, and actually shot back at his own man, scoring 6 Damage against the Sheriff [I wonder if this had something to do with some lingering animosity between Jonathan and Kevin from their days together in the Midnight Riders -- Mike Mitchell].

Things began to get very ugly around the Adobe House.

The Nevada Kid arrived, dishing out 7 Damage on Billy. Simon missed at the Kid, who scored on him for 5 points. Theodore (The Beaver) and the Kid exchanged fire, each missing. The Colonel blasted Billy for 7 points. Stumpy actually missed Simon with both barrels of a Sawed-off Shotgun, but Simon scored 4 points against the one-legged henchman. As Stumpy reloaded, Simon blasted Stumpy for 7 points, but he just grinned and used his True Grit for the night, thus ignoring the Damage that would have killed him. Shaken, Simon fell back to the adobe house.

Theodore and Stumpy began exchanging fire: Theodore's name came out of the hat and each man missed the other. Then Stumpy's name was pulled, and the Stumpster blasted Theo... and missed. But he called in his Lucky Specialty for the game and actually hit this time, scoring 8 points against Theo. Theo returned fire, and missed by one point!

Alvin missed at the Colonel, who retaliated for 5 points. The Sheriff also made Alvin a target, scoring 9 Damage, leaving the outlaw hanging on by a single point.

 


A BLOODTHIRSTY GRIN
Sean and Tony look on as Ian's face took on its familiar, wicked smile as he moved Stumpy in for the kill.

The Deputy moved into the area as, Action by Action, "John Limping Proud" moved ever slowly closer to the scene of the battle.

Meanwhile, Missy mounted her horse as Billy fell back next to her, using the horses for partial cover. Deputy Fry blasted Alvin, killing him. But, as he fell, he retaliated with a lucky shot a point blank range, dishing out 8 points on the man who killed him. Now the Colonel closed in for the kill: he fired point blank at Billy. Suddenly, Missy jumped off her horse and threw herself in the line for fire! She chose to "Take a Bullet" for her lover! The Colonel looked on in horror as he shot his own daughter for 8 points!


LOVE IS BLIND, BUT BULLETS ARE BLINDER
As Alvin lay bleeding a few feet away, Missy throws herself between her father and her lover, taking the bullet that was meant for Billy.


BILLY WASN'T A HERO
Things had gone badly for the White Hats, but if Billy escaped, there was still a chance to pull victory from defeat. Alas, it wasn't to be.

Billy, knowing that they won't kill Missy, mounts his horse. His name was pulled from the hat again, and he spurred it into a Trot, away from the grief-stricken father and his angry posse.

The Nevada Kid moved and blasted with both pistols at the fleeing cattle rustler -- the 3 points he scored were enough to drop Billy Barnes, dead in the street.

Theodore, "The Beaver," trotted up to Stumpy and let him have it for 6 points. Unfortunately, this was not enough to finish the ornery coot.

 

TURN THREE
Missy was still trying to escape, forcing the Sheriff to brawl with her to keep her from mounting her horse and riding away (thus stealing complete victory from the Black Hats team). Simon fired at the Colonel and missed; the Colonel retaliated with 1 point of Damage. Deputy Fry missed at Simon, and was promptly gunned down with retaliation fire. Barely alive, the Nevada Kid turned tail and ran like a girly man. Simon fired at the Colonel, missing, and then the snake hissed again. The third Snake-Eyes of the afternoon was rolled as the Colonel's gun jammed (effectively making it useless for short remainder of the game).

Stumpy's famous shotgun was reloaded, and he emptied both barrels right into the The Beaver's belly! He went down with 9 points of "lead poisoning." Theodore's retaliation shot missed.

Simon and the Colonel wasted bullets at each other, Missy slugged the Sheriff for 8 points of Pain, and the game finally ended when the Sheriff turned and wasted Simon with 8 points of Damage.

Stumpy drops Simon. Both figures are from the Foundry line of 25mm miniatures.
MUD MADE OF BLOOD
Stumpy lets loose a mad cackle as the last outlaw goes down.

All the outlaws were dead, and Missy collapsed, sobbing in her father's arms. "But I loved him, Pa. I loved him..." The Colonel, still shaken from having shot his own daughter, dropped his gun in the dusty street, and cradled her in his arms, begging her forgiveness. The sun was setting in the West, and somewhere, in the distance, a coyote let loose a mournful cry.

 

Note: This Adventure, "Love and Bullets," will be available for free download from The Lone Star Saloon! This includes all Character descriptions, maps, and information you need to run this game for yourselves! If ya do, take some photos, write it up, and send it in! We'd love to find out how it turns out when you play it!

 

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