Thursday 27 February 2014

TRWNN: The Shooting Contest


In today's game of The Rules with No Name, there's going to be a shooting competition.  Mr Henry Smythe (the proprietor of the town's biggest gun shop) has offered a brand new rifle of the latest model as a prize.  This exceptional weapon has quite a reputation and this has drawn in hopeful contestants from far and wide.  The sheriff and his deputies are keeping a close watch on things during the contest, but who knows what will happen when the victor leaves the town boundaries?

The Scenario

This game will be in 2 parts.  As a prologue there will be the competition itself, followed by the main opart of the game (in which the winner attempts to escape with his prize).


Each player is randomly allocated a main character who will take part in the competition.  These are all either shootist or legend classes, with a variety of skills.  Additionally, each player will have a sidekick of either gunman or citizen class.  These sidekicks won't play any part in the competition (apart from spectating) but will be used in the main game.

We had 5 players.  The groups were as follows (and yes, there were quite a lot of Mexican cowboys involved this time):
  • Santos and Jebediah
  • Emilio and Santiago
  • Jesse and Esteban
  • Black Bart and Kid Shelleen
  • Tuco and Old Pete

The Shooting Competition

For this part of the scenario, each contestant would take 4 shots at a target.  It is assumed that they were firing with rifles, lent to them for the duration of the competition and that the firing is deliberate (i.e. not aimed).  Each shot would be evaluated by throwing the number of dice for the range band plus appropriate modifiers for class and any personal attributes.
  • If the best dice is a '6' then the shooter has hit the bullseye (gold) and scores 4 points.
  • If it's a '5' then they hit the red (3 points)
  • If a '4' or a '3' then the blue or white is hit (2 or 1 points respectively).
  • If the best dice is a '1' or a '2' then they've missed the target altogether and much jeering will probably follow!
The first round of shooting will be at short range (i.e. 3 dice for range + personal bonuses).  After the initial round, if anyone is ahead by 3 or more points then they are the outright winner.  Otherwise the contestants who are more that 3 points away from the winner drop out, the targets are moved back to medium range (i.e. 2 dice for range + personal bonuses) and the remaining contestants take another 4 shots.  If necessary, this is repeated at long range as well, until there is a clear winner.

Leaving Town

Once the contest is over, the winner is given the prize rifle (this is such a good weapon that it gets +1 dice when fired) and retires to the saloon for a short celebration.  While he's doing this, the jealous other parties all plot their revenge!

Each of the other players is given 3 tokens.  2 are blank and 1 has a suitable mark on the back.  In turn, they place all of these tokens face-down behind cover between the town boundary and the stables (where the hero's horse is tied up).  A token is revealed when the hero or his sidekick can see it without any intervening cover, or when the owning player chooses to do so at the start of a turn.  If it's a blank then the token is simply removed.  Otherwise, the group associated with that token is placed on the board.


To win is very simple: you have to take the prize rifle into the barn at the end of the table.  It is then assumed that you find a horse and make your escape.  Note that all players share this victory condition: the only advantage (?!) that the winner of the shooting contest has is that he starts this segment with the prize.  Let's see how long he can keep it...

Our Game

1st round: Close range
In the first round of shooting, it was quickly obvious that Emilio and Tuco were a long way ahead of the rest.  The 2 of them progressed to a second round, whilst the rest retired, grumbling.

2nd round: Medium range
Emilio seemed to have some difficulty at the slightly longer range, or maybe the pressure was getting to him.  His shooting wasn't as consistent as it might have been, whereas Tuco's shots were still very well grouped.  With such a commanding performance, Tuco was declared the winner and was given the prize rifle.  Now all he had to do was retrieve his horse and gallop off into the sunset!

As the afternoon turned into evening, Tuco and his faithful friend Old Pete came out of the saloon where they had been celebrating their win.  The street was deserted; everyone else had left already.  "I have a bad feeling about this" mumbled Pete, as the pair set off for the barn where they had left their horses that morning.

Carefully, the pair made their way through the town's back alleys, trying to think how to cross the open ground on the outskirts.

They avoided the main road (well, dirt track) and had travelled perhaps 2/3 of the way towards the barn before seeing anyone else, when...

2 players decided that this had gone far enough and declared their positions.  Oddly enough, both Emilio & Santiago and Jesse & Esteban had decided to hide near a rocky outcrop on the far side of the road out of town.

Tuco wasted no time in using his new rifle.  He was lucky enough to be dealt a whole bunch of action cards and used these to aim and fire at both Emilio and Jesse.  Despite the range and the slightly-obscured targets, both men were sent scurrying for cover - Emilio clutching at a badly-bleeding shoulder.

Showing a considerable amount of bravery (or maybe foolishness!), Santiago ran back to his injured friend Emilio.  He picked up his boss's (ordinary) rifle and fired at TucoSantiago wasn't a very good shot, but he put enough lead in the air to cause Tuco to duck down behind a small cactus.  Meanwhile, Jesse used the distraction to start on a wide flanking manoeuvre.

At this point, a Bystander card was drawn.  Lola Vasquez, a "certain kind of lady", came out of one of the buildings, looking for mischief.  She would be controlled by whichever player drew the first character card of each turn, so the target of her fluttering eyelids could change from turn to turn.

At about the same time, another team declared their position.  Black Bart and Kid Shelleen appeared from inside the barn, where they had been hoping to stage an ambush.  They were tired of waiting and moved outside to see what was the result of all the recent gunfire.

Sadly for the newcomers, Tuco was once again gifted with a handful of action cards.  Again, he used the prize rifle to aim and fire at Black Bart and Santiago.  Both men were luck that the bullets hit the cover behind which they were sheltering, but the splinters and dust caused both of them to hit the dirt nevertheless.

Meanwhile, the wounded Emilio had drawn his pistol with his off hand and was approaching Tuco from the front (but sheltered from view by a small patch of scrub).  Similarly, Jesse was coming in from the side, hidden by a rock outcropping.

Jesse thought he had the drop on the distracted Tuco, so he stepped out from behind his rock and prepared to shoot.  However, Tuco was unbelievably fast; he spun round and fired before the big man - but missed.  Jesse's hasty return shot also went wide.

Not fancying his chances at gun play, Jesse decided to charge Tuco and wrestle with him.  This obviously caught the legend off guard; he didn't react as the tall stranger closed the distance.  Old Pete, Tuco's loyal sidekick, ran in to help his boss - though against the brawling specialist this looked like a forlorn hope.  (Jesse was typically rolling between 6 and 8 dice in melee, depending on his chosen attack or defence.  Old Pete usually rolled 2 dice...)

It looked as if the gambit had paid off for Jesse as he punched Tuco's lights out.  Now all he had to do was overcome the little old man and he'd be able to pick up the prize rifle from Tuco's unconscious body.

At this point, the final group entered play.  Santos and Jebediah came out of the tent on the far side of the road, close to where Santiago was dithering about what to do next.

In a strange decision, Emilio decided to give up trying to cross the fence (perhaps his injured arm made this just too difficult?) and run to the aid of his sidekick (Santiago) instead.  He charged full pelt straight towards the new arrivals but Jebediah, despite being only a lowly citizen, thumped Emilio so hard that he went down for good.

Santos now marched towards the fence, intending (I think) to cross and have it out with Tuco.  On the way, he was beset on all sides.  Both Kid Shelleen and Esteban blazed away at him, but although both of them emptied their pistols, neither came close to hitting.  Lola also tried to entice him away from his plan, but the man in black wasn't at all interested in her charms.

Even as Santos was rejoined by his sidekick (Jebediah), he tired of the 2 pests who had been firing at him.  Santos walked casually between them and shot down both his attackers.

Meanwhile, Old Pete was doing a very impressive job of fighting with Jesse.  Unbelievably, the big man just couldn't get past the old timer.  Tuco recovered consciousness, grabbed his prize rifle and ran hell for leather  towards the barn.  He slipped past the waiting Black Bart at the end of the fence line before the latter could react, but was hotly pursued by Santos.  And at this point we had to end the game and pack up.  Tuco was within 1 move of safety!


Well, that was anarchy!  Who won?  I have no idea!  Let's see:

  • Santos and Jebediah were both unhurt and had acquired considerable kudos from capturing and killing enemies.  Not the right ones, however.
  • Emilio was wounded, knocked out and tied up.  His sidekick Santiago started well, but then hung about uselessly in the background.
  • Jesse had a good plan, but was foiled by an old codger that he should have been able to push over.  Esteban didn't do much.
  • Black Bart was pretty useless as a "main" character: he stood around looking fierce but did nothing more.  Kid Shelleen tried hard, but was too junior to make much impression on his own.
  • Tuco won the competition and still held the prize rifle at the end of the game, though he hadn't yet escaped.  Old Pete was quite a hero, though not in a way I would have predicted at the start.
Who do you think was man (or woman!) of the match?


  1. That looks like so much fun! Where did you got the idea for the scenario? It's brilliant!
    All the extra effort you keep putting in the AARs is also very worth it.

    As for the woman of the match, it has to be Lola. Not that she was particularly useful, it's just she's apparently a lady (no matter the kind!) and I'm a born gentleman.

    1. The idea comes from an old movie. The scenario isn't a direct copy of that film, but it should be close enough for someone to guess, I think :-) .

      Well, Lola was "a certain kind of a lady", which is another way of saying that she's a loose woman. Not the sort of girl you'd want to take home to meet your mother!

    2. I know what kind of lady she is, I'm just saying she is still a lady :P. Perhaps not the kind my mother should meet, but I can't cheer for unwashed bandits, either! :D

  2. Nice game report. Quite a close game it has to be victory for Tuco!

    1. Tuco was doing very well for much of the game, but being punched out and then running like a rabbit takes the edge off it, I think :-) !

  3. I really enjoyed that game write -up. Very original. I will definitely be stealing some of your ideas. I have a gaming weekend coming up in late March - and at least one day will be TRWNN.

    1. Thanks. I'll be interested to hear about your own experiences along these lines in due course.

  4. Replies
    1. For an evil, unwashed bandit he seems to be very popular!

  5. There can be only one winner and that's Tuco. After all, he won the shooting contest and he does hold the prize at the end. Great batrep, High.

    1. Thanks, Bryan. You're right; Tuco was still holding the prize at the end.

  6. A great idea Hugh... I will be borrowing that one..

    Tuco wins! he's the man

    1. As before, I will look forward to hearing about your version in due course :-) .

  7. Winchester '73 starring Tuco with cameo appearance from Old Pete (Slim Pickins)

    Great read and obviously a lot of fun, Tuco stole the show from the competition onwards.

    1. Well done, that man! "Winchester 73" is indeed the film which inspired this scenario. Mind you, I expected no less, Joe - your knowledge of such things is impressive.

      I was thinking more of Gabby Hayes than Slim Pickens, though :-) ...

    2. Thanks for that C6, "your knowledge of such things is impressive" is just a polite way of saying I'm old right ?
      I do wish I'd thought of Gabby Hayes though too..

    3. Err, no - I just meant that you know a lot :-) .

  8. that AAR was a joy to read. You just have to love the anarchy of Wild west games. Too late to guess "Winchester 73" but I know the film. The winning shot goes through the metal "washer" like bead from the necklace they bought from the Indian.. I look forward to your next western gun-fight!

    1. You're quite right about both the name of the film and that detail from the competition scene, Clint. Give yourself a shiny :-) !