Last night we had another rollicking adventure with the Movie Cowboy Game. The scenario revolved around delivering justice to the Notorious Belle Starr. The story thus far…..
Belle Star is having a bad day that could end in a Pine Box. She was captured in a failed bank robbery when that dad-blamed Rooster Cogburn managed to knock her out with a pistol whip to the skull. Rooster killed two of her gang and the rest escaped. Jailed, tried, convicted, condemned, and almost hung. She talked Fighting Wolf, the son of renegade war chief Eagle Feather, to break her out once the sheriff let him out on bail. The escape was going well until Rooster caught her again. She hopes that someone will rescue her once more. But first, check out this War Wagon clip to get you in the mood….
1. US Marshalls – Deputy Marshall Cogburn is bringing in the notorious Belle Star via an Armored Stage Coach. She has been tried, escaped with the aid of Indian confederates, captured and now Rooster is bringing her to the gallows. That damned Texican has passed out while manning the gun and Little Sister ain’t here. Chin Lee can either drive or shoot, but not both in a given turn. Rooster gets paid once he delivers the prisoner to the hangman.
2. Renegade Indians – Chief Eagle Feather is mighty angry with the Territorial Government and Deputy Marshall Rooster Cogburn in particular. The Marshall stole his gal, Belle Star, and he intends to get her back.
3. Long Riders – Not that you really care too much for Belle Starr, but you are determined to break her loose for even a few minutes (2 turns) so that she can tell you where she hid the loot. If you can get her out of town that is even better since she is unlikely to talk to you during a gunfight. Of course, she may just kill you since the last thing she said was, “Boss, keep a look-out for Rooster”.
4. Long Arm of the Law – Sheriff Dapper Dan and Deputy Barn are determined to see Justice served, better today than never. You are patiently waiting for US Deputy Marshalls to deliver the prisoner to you for execution of the sentence. All must be by the book. To hang the prisoner: (1) the deputies move prisoner to the noose, (2) the prisoner says her last words, (3) the minister prays, (4) the Jury Foreman reads the sentence, (5) the hangman pulls the lever, (6)the miscreant hangs until dead – deal a wound card each turn, (7) the Undertaker retrieves the body, puts it in the pine box, transports it to the cemetery, and buries it. In that order and none other.
5. The People’s League for Temperance, Chastity, and Clean Living – Hangings are always good for business and set a proper example for the young folks. We intend to see justice served today.
6. Upper Crust – The Colonials are rather amusing lot, Aye! Wot? We seem to have run out of bears, buffalo, and pumas to shoot, maybe human varmints are in order. Let’s show these constables how to keep order the Victorian way.
7. Soiled Doves – Hangings are good for business in the World’s Oldest Profession; however, Belle Starr used to work in the Evening Dove back in the day. It sure would be good to help her out. Of course, how do we do that and stay in business?
8. Green Tea Tong – The Tong keeps it promises, especially to the likes of Belle Starr. This may be bad for business, but to do otherwise leads to dishonor. She must be rescued.
9. Comanche War Party – This renegade incursion into your territory cannot be tolerated. Death to the interlopers!
So here is how the game played out.
1st Turn – From the south, Rooster came charging down main-street on Old Blue just in front of the War-Wagon. Not far behind him the Long-riders come on the board from the southern badlands running as fast as they could. From the east, eight mounted Renegade Indians led by Chief Eagle Feather and his sons thundered up the side road towards the middle of town. The Comanche swarmed in from the north eastern badlands with sharpened knives and warpaint. In the center of town the Sheriff, Soiled Doves, Tong, Peoples League, and various civilians milled towards the scaffold. A pair of local toughs amused the crowd with a bout of fisticuffs while the undertaker preened over his hearse and the fine new pine box.
2nd Turn – First action of the evening was Deputy Crawford moving into the street and shooting Chief Eagle Feather between the eyes from maximum range with his trusty Hawken Rifle, fine shooting. Meanwhile the Long Riders managed to scramble into the back of a covered wagon that was rumbling slowly through town. A couple of Mexican toughs decided to stop the hijacking and shot into the wagon. This was just blind shooting, but one connected and Irish Red took a wound. The desperadoes returned fire and killed the good citizens. Since all the shooting was through the canvas cover at vague shadows – it was an amazing feat of pistol prowess. Two outlaws both ordered the scared driver to put his hands up when they boarded – so he did. As he dropped the reins, the wagon failed its control check and the horses crashed into a near-by Cantina. Not wearing seat-belts, the driver was hurled into a saloon post and broke his neck (a lesson for modern day drivers and the Zombieland Rule #3). The leader of the Long Riders, John “Boss” Bradford hit his head on the tent hoop and was knocked clean out. Be careful what you order NPCs to do.
3rd Turn – “Gamblin’ Bill” Flynn, bodyguard and general pistolero at the Evening Dove bordello, then gunned down Deputy Crawford. This unexpected attack quickly led to a general melee between the Sheriff, the “People’s League for Temperance, Chastity, and Clean Living” vice the Tong and the soiled women of the Evening Dove. Rooster dashed up the street and dismounted immediately in front of the Jail cowering behind a parked buggy. The war wagon continued to make its way to the gallows. The Long Riders got the Covered Wagon moving again and managed to wake up “Boss” after a few slaps to the face and a bucket of water. They gunned down every civilian on the street around them. The Renegade Indians started shooting up the town and took out a few helpless civilians and a minor character or two. The Comanche moved up to intercept.
4th Turn – Melee ensued all round with highlights including the deaths of the Tong, the loss of Madame Orre, Rooster Cogburn being cold-cocked and laying in the dirt, etc. The War Wagon pulled to a stop, but the driver was too slow so Sheriff Dapper Dan shot the lock off the wagon and his deputies took Ms. Starr out in preparation for a short walk to a long drop. Just as it was looking like justice would be served, the Covered Wagon crashed into the midst of the Sheriff’s party and broke his shooting arm when he was run over. Much attention started to focus on the charging Renegade Indians from the outlying townsfolk. An attempt to stop the charge with a hail of lead was not having much impact. The ruckus motivated the Comancheros to leave the Cantina and wade into action looking for targets of opportunity. It was looking grim! Suddenly the Renegades and Comanche engaged each other. With cries of death to the interlopers, the renegades were overwhelmed with a sleet of bowfire and lost all but one man.
5th Turn – Melee continues. In the midst of this calm, Deputy Barn takes charge of Belle Starr and walks her to the gallows. There she stands, hands tied, and Barn says “Do you have any last words?” Her reply, is a fierce head butt (Brawl attack), which knocks out Barn clean off the gallows and unconscious to the ground. In the meantime, someone finally wakes up Rooster and he stands shaking his head with no actions for the rest of the turn. Chin Lee opens up with the Gatling Gun on the last Renegade Indian that threatened, but fails to close the door. He tries to eject one of the Long Riders with his Kung-Fu grip, but fails. This earns him a shot between the eyes. As the turn ends, the Comanche leave (the interlopers are dead) and Belle Star jumps from the gallows, trips, and takes a minor wound. She moves toward the board edge.
6th Turn & Finale – The Renegades are dead, the Tong is dead, most of the Soiled Doves are dead, but Belle is no longer on the gallows. Critical hand! She is dealt a pair of 9s, Rooster a pair of Jacks, and Dapper Dan, a pair of 10s. Rooster goes first dashing after Belle. He hits her with two bullets from his carbine, but she is not yet down. Dapper Dan moves to intercept, but fails to hit her using his weak left gun hand. Since Belle was hit, she lost her pair of 9s and cannot yet move. The Long Riders pile into the War Wagon, turn the Gatling gun on Rooster, and hit him with one shot (he is still up). As the game closes Belle runs off the board, “Boss” cries “Hi-yah!” and the War Wagon heads for a rendezvous with Ms. Starr.
Reviewing the game, I think all had fun even the poor miserable sons of guns that were filled with lead and arrows. The Tong kept its honor, but died. The Soiled Doves helped Belle Starr, but manage to stay in business short a few harlots when they get a new Madame. The Comanche killed the interloper Renegade Indians with few losses. The People’s League did not see justice served, but enjoyed a good fight and it will undoubtedly put Los Lobos on the map. Rooster delivered his prisoner, but will have to find a new cook. The Sheriff did not execute the sentence and discovered a level of civil unrest that will be hard to quell.
Look for the return of Belle Starr, “Boss” and his Long Riders, and the War Wagon as they seek revenge.