IntroductionHigh Noon". In this, Gary Cooper won an Oscar for his portrayal of an about-to-retire marshal who is forced to confront a gang of 4 gunmen on his own, the leader of whom has sworn to kill him.
So, can I create a scenario for The Rules with No Name which captures some of the tension and leads to an epic finale? Let's see...
The ForcesSo, the numbers on each side are easy enough: 1 marshal against 4 gunslingers. However, it's going to be tricky to balance this. Also note that I've had to alter the appearance and names of the characters, if only to fit the models I have in my collection:
- Marshal: This is straightforward. He's a legend and an upright citizen, so I'll use my Sheriff Roberts model. Indeed, the skills he has are just fine, too: Tough should make him harder to hurt and True Grit will stop him from running away. The only real difference is that I'll take away his shotgun. Just one pistol should be enough, right?
- Miller's Gang: Hmm, I don't really have the right models for this, I think. How about I use my other generic baddies (Banditos) instead? The leader is then Tuco, though he's possibly a bit too tough. Maybe he should be a Shootist instead of a Legend (i.e. level-3 rather than level-4)? I'll leave him as is for now.
The gang is simpler: it consists of 3 Gunmen (level-2). To keep them from being boringly identical, there's a rifleman, a bland pistol guy and a drunk. It's not quite the same as the movie, but the drunk might help to even the odds a little by handicapping his own side - you never know!
- Setup: The battle takes place in a town. The gang sets up on one edge of the table, then the marshal places his figure anywhere desired, as long as it isn't in line of sight of any of the other figures.
- Victory: When all the figures on one side are dead then the other side wins. Simple!
- Desperation: The marshal is heavily outnumbered and desperate. He may take a free action at any point in the game, just as if he had been dealt an Action Card for the turn. This free action may interrupt any other action; it will even trump the Legend Action Card. However, the marshal may only take this free action once in the entire game.
- Familiarity: The marshal knows the town very well but the gang are relative strangers to it. If the marshal is completely out of sight of all gang members then he may use a Move action to move to anywhere else on the board, so long as he doesn't come into sight of any opposing figure at any point during this extended move.
- Bystanders: If you wish to play with Bystanders then the Get Back Inside and Old Friend cards would be quite appropriate, I think.
|Tuco's gang approach the town - but where is their enemy?|
|The villain and his 3 henchmen|
The marshal was about 8" away from the bandit, so he rolled 3d6 for his charge move - and came up with 6". Oops! Santiago then took his shot at close range and killed the marshal with a single bullet. Game over!
The minions ran up the street looking for the marshal, while Tuco was a bit slower.
ConclusionIn hindsight, the marshal didn't really stand much of a chance in either game, I think.
The Familiarity special rule was fairly useless as there were too many lines of sight in my town. Even if the marshal had gone out of sight round a corner, the best he might have achieved with this rule would be to move 2 sides around a building. I was hoping that he'd be able to disengage completely and pop up somewhere else unexpected (thus forcing the killers to separate to search for him!).
The Desperate rule worked nicely, but didn't give the marshal enough of an edge on its own.
Perhaps the most obvious rebalancing change would be to alter the victory conditions, so that the marshal wins if Tuco is killed (rather than Tuco and all his gang). This would make the bandits exercise some caution with their most powerful character and might allow the marshal to even the odds a bit before the final confrontation. I think I'd also downgrade Tuco to shootist after all - and probably replace his Deadeye skill with something less combat-oriented.