The Wild West (18+1) *

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"Form a line.  Draw sabres.  At the trot, yo!  At the gallop, yo!  Charge!   To the rear!  That's a lot more Indians than I was expecting."

"Whaddya mean there's no more whiskey in town, barkeep?!"  Being a reason for a scenario based upon a fine old movie, "Hallelujah Trail."  Or was it "Paint Your Wagon" that inspired the western madness?  Maybe.  Wait, was it "F Troop"?  Well, you get the idea - don't take it serious, make if fun.
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And THIS is the next period up after finishing the French and Indian War!  Not to say I won't dabble here and there in other periods along the way.  But this is ONE BIG collection of figures, mind boggling to most.  Just wait until it's done though.  I'll reinvent wild west gaming!

August 25, 2012

Much too early in the day.  Much.  But I was just over at the Lead Adventure Forum and I managed to decide on the names of my towns.  Going to 'cheat' and just do a copy and paste, so here goes:

"I traveled a different road for my primary wild west town's name and, yeah, I will probably have three towns.  One will be the outrider town along the rails far to the west, the other will be down amongst the cacti and the Apache along the still quite active stage trail.  Neither of those are named yet, though the latter will probably have 'wells' at the end.  The other like as not will involve some sort of tree in the name, just had this pop into my head and I like it: Cedar Creek.  We're talking back waters in both those cases, even if one is pretty dry.

Now, that main town, and its a pretty big place, gets its name because I have a rather eclectic collection of figures, both for the old west and 'bracketing' that time period.  The name?  It is: Anachronism.  And keep the "weird" out of my west, thank you very much.  (though enjoy it in yours if that's what floats your wagon)  But I can use that name as an excuse to get away with things that might be hard to justify otherwise.

Hmm, I think I'll go with Alkali Wells.  Hey, there."

Actually, I did a double copy and paste.  Seems copies from LAF bring along some unwanted baggage so I pasted into Pages and then copied that and pasted it here; works much better.  Time to sleep.

August 29, 2012

Done did and went and got me another name, from the same thread on the same source, no less: "The Pickens Mine, where the findings have been a might 'slim' of late.  Yeah, I like it.  Nice ring to it."  That would be a copper mine now in my very own Apacheria.

September 15, 2012
(April 5, 2013 some corrections and such)

Today I am going to start the process of listing what I have for my wild west gaming ambitions. And you'll understand why this is a "start" and how ambitious I'm being when the listing is complete.  Don't imagine I'll be adding more figures - unless someone comes out with something really irresistible.  But that would be one fantastic offering.

I think it's a good idea if you keep in mind that I'm more inspired by Hollywood than history - but I have a much "bigger" budget than almost any western ever made, maybe just plain any film ever had.  No, I ain't rich, just a relative situation - movies have small towns and small casts due to expense, not to reflect historical reality.

I'm going to start with the United States Army which means the cavalry for the most part, if I need infantry I'll just borrow from my ACW stuff:

                                              Mtd/Horse  Dismount/Horse   Dead Men/Dead Horse
High Command (brigade level)     3 / 3          3 / 1                  3 / 1
HQ Company (provost?)              12 / 12       12 / 4                 2 / 3
Native scouts unit                      12 / 12       12 / 4                 2 / 3
Native scouts unit                      12 / 12       12 / 4                 2 / 3

7th Cavalry Command                3 / 3          3 / 1                  3 / 1
7th Company A - w/command      12 / 12       12 / 1                 2 / 3
7th Company B - w/scout            12 / 12       12 / 1                 2 / 3
7th Company C                          12 / 12       12 / 1                 2 / 3
7th Company D                          12 / 12       12 / 1                 2 / 3
7th Company E - w/command       12 / 12       12 / 1                 2 / 3
7th Company F - w/scout             12 / 12       12 / 1                 2 / 3
7th Company G                          12 / 12       12 / 1                 2 / 3
7th Company H                          12 / 12       12 / 1                 2 / 3
7th Company J - w/command       12 / 12       12 / 1                 2 / 3
7th Company K - w/scout             12 / 12       12 / 1                 2 / 3
7th Company L                           12 / 12       12 / 1                 2 / 3
7th Company M                          12 / 12       12 / 1                 2 / 3

Provisional Regiment Command   3 / 3          3 / 1                  3 / 1
2nd Company A - w/command    12 / 12       12 / 1                 2 / 3
2nd Company B - w/scout          12 / 12       12 / 1                 2 / 3
2nd Company C                        12 / 12       12 / 1                 2 / 3
2nd Company D                        12 / 12       12 / 1                 2 / 3
5th Company E - w/command     12 / 12       12 / 1                 2 / 3
5th Company F - w/scout           12 / 12       12 / 1                 2 / 3
5th Company G                        12 / 12       12 / 1                 2 / 3
5th Company H                        12 / 12       12 / 1                 2 / 3
9th Company J - w/command     12 / 12       12 / 1                 2 / 3
9th Company K - w/scout          12 / 12       12 / 1                 2 / 3
9th Company L                        12 / 12       12 / 1                 2 / 3
9th Company M                       12 / 12       12 / 1                 2 / 3

Pack Train                              6 / 18          ----                  2 / --      
Gatlings - Limbered                 2+4 / 4        ----                  2 / --       2 limbers
(unlimbered)                                             10                   2 / --       2 wheeled gatlings
Supply Train                           4 drivers      12 horses           ----        3 wagons
Remount Herd                          -- / 36

Fort Staff                                1 / 1           1                      1 / 1
First Troop                               ----            12 / --               2 / --
Second Troop ("F" troop ?)          ----            12 / --              2 / --
Signals Detachment                                    12 / --              2 / --
Infantry Command                    3 / --                                 1 / --
Infantry Command                                      12 / --             2 / --
Infantry Command                                      12 / --             2 / --

I'll leave you to add all that up.  A few explanations are in order.  First, the provisional units can be other regiments than as listed, even the 9th could be the 10th depending on the needs of a scenario.  Those companies listed as having a command - that's battalion command so each regiment can break down into three battalions (or those can be companies if that's what works for a particular game).  And those listed as with a scout, that's the battalion native scout figure. The two scout units are white officered but otherwise all native.  And, yes, for the most part, there is one dismounted figure for every mounted figure; the exceptions are the pack train and other elements of the logistical elements like the gatling guns.  Every regimental company gets only one horse for the whole company to mark the point where the unit dismounted, all the other mounted combat troops get one horse per stand.  Lots and lots of casualties to 'decorate' the table.

In my wilder west, the cavalry will have a lot more to do than just keep the natives in line.  Of course, they will spend a lot of time attempting that.  So, here is a listing of the native figures I have.

Let's start with the mounted warriors:

12 men on 12 horses, 2 dead men x 5 for 60, 60, 10  lakota - hunkpapa
12 men on 12 horses, 2 dead men x 5 for 60, 60, 10  lakota - miniconjou
12 men on 12 horses, 2 dead men x 5 for 60, 60, 10  cheyenne
12 men on 12 horses, 2 dead men x 5 for 60, 60, 10  blackfoot
12 men on 12 horses, 2 dead men x 5 for 60, 60, 10  kiowa
12 men on 12 horses, 2 dead men x 5 for 60, 60, 10  apache

And on foot:
12 men, 2 dead x 4 for 48, 8  lakota - hunkpapa
12 men, 2 dead x 4 for 48, 8  lakota - miniconjou
12 men, 2 dead x 4 for 48, 8  cheyenne
12 men, 2 dead x 4 for 48, 8  blackfoot
12 men, 2 dead x 4 for 48, 8  kiowa
12 men, 2 dead x 4 for 48, 8  apache

I don't, normally, plan to use these as mounted and dismounted but as groups of mounted figures and warriors on foot.

For those of you who know the era well, you'll understand why so many villagers:

5 men, 1 woman, 3 boys, 3 girls, 0 infants - 1 dead
0 men, 10 women, 0 boys, 2 girls, 0 infants - 1 dead
0 men, 6 women, 1 boy, 4 girls, 1 infant - 1 dead        lakota
4 men, 3 women, 3 boys, 2 girls, 0 infants - 1 dead
0 men, 10 women, 0 boys, 2 girls, 0 infants - 1 dead
0 men, 6 women, 0 boys, 4 girls, 2 infants - 1 dead     lakota
5 men, 1 woman, 4 boys, 2 girls, 0 infants - 1 dead
0 men, 10 women, 0 boys, 2 girls, 0 infants - 1 dead
0 men, 6 women, 0 boys, 4 girls, 2 infants - 1 dead     cheyenne
5 men, 0 women, 4 boys, 3 girls, 0 infants - 1 dead
0 men, 10 women, 1 boy, 1 girl, 0 infants - 1 dead
0 men, 5 women, 0 boys, 4 girls, 1 infant - 1 dead      blackfoot
5 men, 0 women, 4 boys, 3 girls, 0 infants - 1 dead
0 men, 10 women, 0 boys, 2 girls, 0 infants - 1 dead
0 men, 5 women, 0 boys, 5 girls, 2 infants - 1 dead    kiowa
5 men, 0 women, 4 boys, 3 girls, 0 infants - 1 dead
0 men, 10 women, 0 boys, 2 girls, 0 infants - 1 dead
0 men, 6 women, 0 boys, 3 girls, 3 infants - 1 dead    apache

And since they move around regularly, I have villagers on the move as well:

1 man, 2 women, 3 boys, 1 girl, 0 infants, 7 horses, 2 travois - 2 dead   lakota
village items - animal on spit x 2, bearskins x 2, stretched skin, dog
1 man, 2 women, 3 boys, 1 girl, 0 infants, 7 horses, 2 travois - 2 dead   lakota
village items - animal on spit, bearskins x 2, stretched skin, 2 dogs
1 man, 2 women, 3 boys, 1 girl, 0 infants, 7 horses, 2 travois * - 2 dead cheyenne
village items - animal on spit, bearskin, stretched skin x 2, 2 dogs
1 man, 3 women, 2 boys, 1 girl, 0 infants,7 horses, 2 travois - 2 dead    blackfoot
village items - animal on spit, bearskins x 2, stretched skin, dog, pottery bowl
1 man, 3 women, 0 boys, 2 girls, 0 infnats, 7 horses, 2 travois - 2 dead  kiowa
village items - animal on spit x 2, bearskin, stretched skin, 2 dogs
2 men, 3 women, 1 boys, 1 girl, 1 infant, 7 horses, 2 travois - 2 dead     apache
village itesm - animal on spit x 2, stretched skin x 2, dog, pottery bowl

Just a few more items related to the natives:

A herd of 114 buffalo (and they're actually painted!)
36 pronghorn antelpe
72 ponies for the native pony herds (12 for each of the 'nations')

And 2 men and 4 horses for buffalo hunters and 4 men, 4 women, 2 children, and six horses for two smoke signal teams.  Also have 36 teepees and a totem pole (anachronistic, I know, but its a game and its for fun and history is the point of inspiration not a stricture), and 60 cacti (actually more but that many metal castings).

By the way, those "nations" are flexible as to their assignments.

I'm going to stop there for now and list the special forces and the vast numbers of civilians at another time and also the wagons, carts, stagecoaches, buckboards and the like.  I will tell you that those wheeled vehicles add up to 42 plus 2 destroyed wagons (and that's not counting the limbers and gatlings - but does count the supply wagons listed above).

Can you tell I like variety?  Don't worry about my sanity, I gave up on it years and years ago.

September 19, 2012

And now for the rolling show - all the horse or oxen drawn wheeled conveyances.  And I've decided this should be the first group up in the painting line.  If I get the painting of all those draft beasts out of the way it will help progress on other fronts.

If you'll recall from above, there are the three wagons with drivers (one with two, the others with one each) and there horses.  There are also the two gatling guns on wheeled carriages to be pulled behind the two limbers (technically, the carriages aren't horse drawn but I'm going to let them into the total - just 'cause).  Add to those seven all the others and we get to a grand total of 48.  Well, I guess I'm cheating a bit because two of those are destroyed wagons (Peter Pig resin items - with a man, or his skeleton and a dead horse, or its skeleton).  And I can borrow other wagons and carts and limbers from my ACW and French and Indian War to build things up if I need to - think in terms of the libation train from Hallelujah Trail, the one with Frank Wallingham (sp?) and those Irish teamsters.  Included in those possible additions are some more destroyed wagons - from Freikorps (QRF these days).

So, here is the rest:

The ox drawn wagon train of immigrants is 6 wagons and 24 oxen with 14 men (8 riding the wagons), 9 women (1 infant in arm), and 1 child.

The horse drawn wagon train of immigrants is 6 wagons and 24 horses with 13 men (8 riders), 10 women (1 infant in arm), and 1 child.

I have 4 stagecoaches with 24 horses and, all riders - either drivers or passengers, 21 men and 3 women.

And then there is the group of 2 buckboards (Jordan offerings with 15 mm wheels and horse - thanks for the idea Richard) with 2 horses, a photographer's wagon with 2 horses, and a telegraph wagon with 4 horses and 12 men, some drivers, some not.

Then there is the freight group of 2 freight wagons with 8 horses and the hearse with 8 horses (one matched set of blacks for the bad guys funerals and one set of matched whites for the good guys!) with 7 men and 5 women.

Also the sheepherders have two carts with 3 horses, 8 men and 4 women.  (can't have proper range wars without some sheep getting into the mix - have a flock of 96 of those, at least, to be based either 3 or 6 to a base, probably the latter).

Might as well toss in the two chuck wagons (Peter Pig again) here with there 8 horses and two drivers.  And go ahead and mention the herd of 48 longhorn cattle which I can supplement with another 24 "zulu" cattle to expand the herd at need.  And a couple of other herds - 24 herefords, 24 angus, and a couple of smaller dairy herds, plus some out on the range cows.  Yeah, that's a lot of cattle.  (and leaves out my highland hairys, the brahmins for India, and the ancient Aurochs that don't fit the wild west, mostly). But there's going to be that large stockyard beside the tracks for those cattle to be driven towards - and that takes numbers.

Which brings us to my most recent additions - not part of the original plan but just had to toss into the mix - from Blue Moon's wild west and ACW offerings.  There are the 4 buggies with 4 horses and 4 drivers (which I've mixed up a bit for variety) plus another 7 men and 1 woman - will add one more man or woman to make my basing scheme work out (true with all of the Blue Moon added wheeled groups).  This will be the Doctors and Nurses groupings - moving the figures from the ACW four wheeled ambulance to this grouping.

That ambulance will be transformed into a snake oil salesman's wagon and the sutler's wagon will be a drummer's wagon - he who sells the latest fashions from Paris, the kind most ladies wear under their clothes.  And this group will include the forge and battery wagon as part of the blacksmith's setup.  The group consists of 10 men (2 riders) and 2 women.

Last, we have the 4 buckboards with the 4 horses (again with the drivers mixed up) and 9 men and 3 women.  These are just local yokels to populate the towns and trails in and around Anachronism.

Why in the world so many wagons and carts and such?  Variety.  And lots of obstructions to hide behind - plus the delightful opportunities for animals to bolt wildly and cause confusion amongst the metal population and consternation in the heart of frustrated players.

With those other animals mentioned above, I'll take this chance to toss in that I have lots of other critters for the farmsteads and such.  Some horses for the corrals and the stage stations - and mustangs.  And pigs and goats, dogs and cats (need more!), chickens and geese.  Gunfighters do not live my lead alone!

Have you noticed a pattern of most groupings of people being at 12?  That's not an accident and the only reason to violate that is to keep the basing at 3 figures per.  Oh, and you might notice a difference in the way infants in arms are counted.  For the natives they always count as part of the 12, but not for other groups, generally.  Those who know the era should be able to puzzle out the why behind that bit of numerical chicanery.

Keep them doggies rollin', rawhide.  I expect the next installment will be the civilian groupings.  Yup, I'm holding out the best for the last.  Ornery old cuss, ain't I?

September 25, 2012

So, here come the civilians - and possession.  I must have been possessed by some sort of something or other to have acquired this many civilians, some armed, most not.  I just figure a town and its environs needs this many people to justify having enough money in the bank to entice robbers to actually want to rob it.  I mean, really, who wants to rob a bank and find out the entire depositor's holdings adds up to less than the cost of the saddle on your horse?

Then there is the extraordinary variety of scenarios that all those folks allow me to come up with.  Without further ado:

These here be the out of towners (I didn't say hicks, now did I?):
Trading post - 7 men, 5 women, 1 infant, no children
Stage station - 6 men, 6 women
Ranch one - 5 men, 3 women, 1 infant, 4 children
Ranch two - 5 men, 3 women, 1 infant, 4 children
Farm one - 5 men, 3 women, 4 children
Farm two - 5 men, 3 women, 4 children
Pioneers - 4 men, 5 women, 3 children
Squatters - 8 men, 4 women, 1 infant
Miners - 12 men
Prospectors - 12 men (6 pack mules)
...and twenty casualty figures (that's two for every group of 12 figures)

And then there are the "ethnics" which only means not European in this context:
Shaolin temple - 12 men
Chinese men - 12 men
Chinese women and children - 6 women, 3 infants, 6 children
Freed men - 12 men
Freed women - 12 women
Missionaries - 4 men, 5 women, 3 children (maybe some Euro-heritage here)
"Mexican" men - 12 men
"Mexican" women - 12 women
Town Indian men and boys - 10 men, 2 boys
Town Indian women and girls - 8 women, 2 infants, 4 children
...twenty casualty figures

The town's upper crust:
Governor's party - 12 men
Governor's ladies - 12 women
Indian Commission - 12 men
Town fathers - 12 men
Leading ladies - 12 women
Tophats and Undertakers - 6 men, 6 women, 1 infant
Armed men - 12 men
Armed women - 12 women
Women and girls - 10 women, 1 infant, 2 children
Children - 12 children
...twenty casualty figures

The middle class:
Shopkeepers - 8 men, 4 women
Shopping women - 12 women, 2 infants
Speculators - 12 men
Passengers - 10 men, 2 women
Travelers - 7 men, 5 women
Photographers - 11 men, 1 woman
Sadie's crew - 9 men, 3 women (no, not what you're thinking!  shame on you.)
Trainmen - 12 men
Yard crew - 12 men
Stevedores - 12 men
...twenty casualty figures

Working stiffs:
Blacksmith and more - 7 men, 2 women, 3 children
Workmen - 12 men
Hangtown (preacher) - 6 men, 5 women, 1 child
Town men - 12 men (1/2 armed)
More town men - 12 men (1/2 armed)
Working celebrants - 12 men
Lost expedition - 12 men
Militia - 12 men
Militant veterans - 12 men
Mormons - 4 men, 8 women, 1 infant (two push carts)
...twenty casualty figures

The seamy side of town (now you can think what you're thinking!)
Barmen (piano player) - 12 men
Gamblers - 12 men
Saloon 1 - 6 men, 6 women
Saloon 2 - 6 men, 6 women
Serving Wenches - 12 women
Drunks - 12 men
Card players 1 - 8 men, 4 women (10 chairs and 2 tables)
Card players 2 - 8 men, 4 women (1o chairs and 2 tables)
Dance hall girls - 12 women
Temperance marchers - 12 women
...twenty casualty figures (and more tables and chairs plus bottles and kegs, etc.)

And last, but not least:
Sister Veronica Voluptuous and her two mules (in habit and in somewhat less restrictive version of attire  -- and she is a copyrighted character so, no, you cannot use her without express written permission.  Not kidding.  Have plans for her as writer.)

Yes, that is a lot of figures, over 720 if you were counting - not including the casualty figures.  They will all be based three to a base to make it a little easier to move them around.  The infants don't 'count' in the groupings of twelve - but they sure count for the little lead ladies hanging onto them, no doubt.  Also, the town under construction will have over 100 buildings in it and that would look a bit funny with only thirty or forty people roaming around.

Wait, there is one set of figures I don't have I'd really like to find in 15 mm - a 19th century chain gang for the territorial prison a ways out of town.

Next time around, finally, I'll get to the "above the line" talent.  For those who don't get the reference, that would be the stars of the show - or the villains.  Eat your heart out, Hollywood.  That's a heck of a lot of extras available to me whenever I want them - and whenever I get them all painted.  Until then...

September 26, 2012

Oops!  Forgot the most recent additions (hazards of late night postings, remembered them this morning) - two groups from buying a Blue Moon bag at the local hobby shop that said female gunfighters but only included two females and then the extras from Blue Moon's Texas War of Independence bags I bought to adapt and use as Mountain Men.  These will be my variation of The Denver Free Militia, as seen in the movie Hallelujah Trail (mentioned above):

Clayton Howell command group of 3 men    Oracle Jones group of 3 men (and a whiskey bottle!)

The Horseless - 12 men
The Remorseless - 12 men
The Backsliders - 12 men

September 27, 2012

And now what you've all been waiting for!  The heroic good guys and the villainous bad guys.  What's that, you say?  You want to run the bad guys?  Wait - you can't all run bad guys.
Seems to be the way of it.  Players aren't different than actors, love to bite their teeth into the unsavory side of life.

Each of the groups below has twelve mounted men and twelve matching (as close as possible in some cases) dismounted men and twelve matching (ditto) dead folk.  However, there is only one standing horse for each group of three (that's 216 horses being ridden and 72 standing to mark points of dismount, I think that's enough!).  Did someone say it's sacrilege to put three such figures on one stand?  Well, maybe, and I toy with the idea of individual basing for these on thin magnets that can be added to metal bases - but we'll see what I decide in the end.  For now, though, groupings of three like everything else above.  Makes for a simple system and I know I can make it work if I stick with that.

You'll note that the groups are divided into a "white hat" side and a "black hat" side and each of those is subdivided into three groups of three.  Yup, that means there are 18 groups.  Here goes:

White Hats
Town Marshall
County Sheriff
Territorial Rangers (they weren't just in texas)

Pinkertons
"White" Scouts (as in 'who are those guys?')
Reservation Police

Magnanimous Dozen (yes, inspired by the movie but plus five)
Cowpokes
Gunhands for hire (the ones with a moral compass)

Black Hats
Range Boss ('we don't take to free grazin' round these parts')
Hardluck Cowboys
Regulators (or gunhands without a moral compass)

Desperadoes (or train robbers, if you like)
Outlaws (or highway men, stage robbing sorts)
Robbers (as in emptiers of banks)

Comancheros
Rustlers
Mexicans (the kind with bad teeth and a penchant for sticks of dynamite)

Well, now, that completes the list of what I own.  Love to hear about someone making a nineteenth century chain gang in 15/18 mm.  Otherwise, hard to know what to add to all of that very long list.  And take note, a lot of the civilians that are not marked as such do, indeed, have some weapons.

The town will be built with almost all of the buildings hollow with removable roofs so that action can take place inside and out.  Also, most of the roofs - not all - will be flat for figure placement, especially on the false fronts.

I haven't done a careful summation of all of that but I do know it is well north of 4,000 pieces in the collection.  For me a piece is a person, an animal, or a wagon or cart or other piece of equipment.  I do know the people count is above 2,300 exclusive of dismounts and casualties.  It is a prosperous county - the name of which will be revealed after I build the courthouse which will be so adorned.

September 28, 2012

Here are a few shots - taken before I was sucked deep into the pirate waters from which I've now resurfaced and followed Horace Greeley's advice.

This is an overview of the wild west town I am scratch building with the train passenger station, freight station, and office for the wood yard closest to the camera.  Receding into the distance are the many false front buildings, some one story, some two story affairs.  Way off in the distance and at the left are what will be the river front buildings.

The shot below shows two things worthy of note.  One, you can just see a Minifigs stagecoach to the left of a row of buildings.  This helps give a sense of the scale of what's being built.
And in the center left is the roof of the courthouse building sitting on top of its walls laying flat.
And this last shot, for now anyway, reveals to the careful eye a bit of detailing on the building on the bottom right.  You can see the roof of this "blank", as I call it, is being transformed into three different buildings.  Very careful study of the front - I just didn't get a better photo, I'm afraid - reveals how I am varying the look of the buildings.
Those blanks, which are generally about four inches deep and six inches across, will each be transformed into a one, two, or three unit building in four or five variations (the two unit might be a 2/4 or 4/2 building - 2" and 4" front flipped to either side - or a 3/3).  And each of those variations applies to the single and double story to provide lots of variety for the town.  My real challenge is coming up with ways to vary the tops of the false fronts; I hope to have some with triangle style roofs, others with half circle protrusions.  Of course, some of the buildings will have pitched roofs as can be seen.  Those choclatey brown hills seen most clearly in the last photo are in the process of being turned into more presentable scenery.  This was all a dry run to help me make some decisions towards an enormous convention game in the early planning stages.  More of that some other time.  Just figured it was time to get a few more photos up.

December 4, 2012

If you've checked out my pirate page on this blog and its link to my pirate game blog, you'll know that was a big game.  Well, the wild west convention game alluded to in the above entry just might be bigger.  Seriously!

But that means some serious challenges to make it work.  In order to circumvent at least some of those challenges, I've come up with a concept of how to make it a much more workable game - or games.  

And the idea goes like this:  Arrive at the convention on Friday morning and set all of the terrain up, a gigantic U shaped arrangement with an 18' base and each leg up to 25' long with maybe an odd indent here or there.  Certainly a couple of points will have depressions for rivers or dry washes.  Which is besides the range of hills and 'mountains' and, hopefully, mesas that will prevent the table being a flat world - this ain't 'some shack on the prairie' game.  That base will be the main town and the left, or south, leg will represent Apacheria while the right, or north, leg stretches out into the Lakota Hills.

All well and good so far, you say, but where's this big idea?

Right here.  And, no, not something particularly original, so far as I know anyway, but more workable.  Through the course of the convention, run a series of loosely linked games (scenarios) using just one leg for each game - could have three games running at once even - with each game having its own game master.  What this does is allow smaller and friendlier games and less exhausted game masters (though still tired, game mastering is fatiguing - always).  It might even be possible to have a few "guest" game masters running events on the terrain.

Good ideas often come with snags and the possible hull ripper here is that I haven't yet run that idea by the convention staff which means the idea might end up being a non-starter; that's a heck of a lot of tables to lock up for most of the run of a convention.  But if they are well used and well attended over the course of the event, then maybe it will float.

March 14, 2013

Rereading and editing tonight and after reading the post immediately above I need to make some notes about a "better" idea.  While I loved putting together that giant pirate game and I'm thrilled at all the effort so many people put in to make it a reality, I really don't want to tackle such a monster again.  So, I'm thinking better to have just one table in the 5' by 25' range and run a different game on it over a three day period.  And limit the games to 12 people only.  A lot easier to run a game -- and easier to get that many players to commit.  Day one can be Apacheria, day two can be up in the Lakota Hills, and day three can be doing in Anachronism Town.  Can still have activities within each game that are linked to the other two games.  Or to the next outing of my wild west.

April 5, 2013

So, made a few modifications above (in blue) now that I've had some time to get back into this collection of figures.  The prime task was pulling out all the wheeled vehicles and have them ready for prepping prior to painting.  If you've studied the list above then you'll know there are 48 vehicles, six of which only have 2 wheels (the sheepherder's carts and the gatling limbers and carriages) but there are 196 wheels in the collection.  Why doesn't that add up right?  Because I have a variety of loose wheels, in good condition and bad, to decorate my wild west game -- the wheelwright's place, the stables, that sort of thing.

Speaking of decorating the town, once I got all those carts, wagons, and coaches sorted out, I decided to 'inventory' my various extra items I've been collecting to add 'atmosphere' to my old west.

The sources for these items are Peter Pig, 1/144th and other bits found in a local doll house store - to their credit, they've never been bothered by a guy roaming around looking for old west stuff, pretty friendly really - and Blue Moon (which I'll list by itself, at least the furnishings set), and a few items from an Atlantic old west set (same place I got some of the buffalo), and other stuff I just plain don't remember where it came from.

Here's the list:

11 outhouses, a totem pole, 13 barrels, 17 loose sacks plus a stack of five, 14 hitch rails, 9 water troughs (2 with hand pumps), an old gnarled tree (the old hanging tree?), 3 ornery mules with 2 packs, 2 fire rings, 2 coffee pots, an anvil, 8 water pails, a wood pile, a pot belly stove, 2 short ladders, 1 water tower (from Blue Moon), 3 black bears, 6 old style wash tubs (Chinese laundry?), 17 chairs, 8 rocking chairs, 8 rectangular tables, 3 round tables, 6 bicycles, hanging tree with hangee, 7 church windows and 2 doors, 6 windows and 2 doors, 4 coffins with occupants, 2 iron bathtubs on feet, 1 sofa, 1 nice table, 1 china  cabinet, 2 old fashioned ice boxes, 2 old wood burning kitchen stoves, 5 brick chimneys, 2 fire places, 2 beds, 1 small canopy bed and 1 small bed with 2 occupants (children sized), 5 beds and 5 mattresses, 5 chest of drawers, 4 upright pianos, 1 gallows (from Blue Moon and with a man about to hang and one just hung), 1 spindly signal tower, 1 forted watch tower (for the territorial prison?), 74 cacti (including the 60 listed above).  I also have a bunch of stuff for the ACW and some scratch built stuff like cotton bales and half barrels with fruit, even some coffins (without occupants).

Now, for the Blue Moon Old West Furnishings set:

In resin: bar back, bar counter, 9 different wall shelves (dry goods, druggist, etc.), 2 straight counters, 2 corner counters, 2 'cabinets' with rotating mirrors (?), 3 counter cabinets, 1 bank vault, 6 various wall cabinets, 1 bed, 1 wardrobe.

Cast metal: teller window sections (2 windows), fancy railing section, roll top desk, flat top desk, upright safe, 2 tables with dishes and food, 2 pot bellied stoves; 2 large crates, 2 smaller crates, 6 boxes, 2 barrels, 5 sacks.

I actually bought two of those sets.  For the money, that set is perhaps the best deal in all of historical miniatures.

And, yes, I'm always on the look out for more items.  I'd really like to find some tools, shovels, rakes, brooms, lumber saws, mine cars and tracks.  These details just make the modeling more fun and games more interesting.  At least for me.  That's it for the moment.

April 12, 2013

Not quite a month ago I made an entry, March 14th, about down sizing my large wild west game.  And the entry made sense.  Well, it seems I didn't entirely convince myself.  Over the last few days I decided to start allocating how the figures would be allocated to players.  

And after a little rearrangement I find I can easily provide "commands" for 32 players.  Or even 38, without stretching things, through the simple expedient of two players for each of the six native commands.  I've also realized (decided?) that some of those commands are suited for a further split by allowing the controlling player to have a 'second'.  If that last bit flies then it would work thus: the controlling player has to be a responsible adult and his, or her - there are a number of commands well suited to women players, youthful associate, a child or guardian as second.  

I like the idea of game that can get a whole family involved and this just might do the trick as long as the young folk are "old enough" and their attendant adults understand some elements of the old west and my games in particular might have an occasional "mature" moment.

The other "fly in the ointment" here is that I realized I can make the game four 5'x25' tables, or something in that range.  Which is even harder to make fly from a table allocation stand point.  But does break down nicely into 8 Primary players per table (more if some of them have seconds).  So, the next step is to sort out assigning which 8 commands go to which table.

Not all is lost from that earlier, sensible post.  It might still work to do the above in four separate events.  It would be cool - and spectacular - to do it all at once, though.  Remember, I bill myself as "the Cecil B. DeMille of 15 mil".

April 27, 2013

Well, in the last couple of weeks I've been focusing on this part of my collection and more particularly to the actual scenario.  While I've communicated to a number of persons about what I have in mind, figures organized-wise, I've also decided to wade into the actual scenario for my giant wild west game.  And wade is the word, haven't even yet got into water up to the bottom of my ankles -- and it takes standing erect and breathing causing my nose to blow bubbles in the rising water to be close to finalizing a scenario.  However!  As I started sorting this out both in my head -- can you hear the rattle from where you read this? -- and on paper, it occurred to be that I needed to make a few minor adjustments.  To wit:

I've settled on having 24 active combatant commands and 12 "peaceable" commands, for a maximum of 36 players.  The commands, as recently revised, work in broad strokes as such: 8 U.S. Army players, 8 Native American players, and 8 Civilian Forces players.  These changes do mean I need to add another 24 mounted warriors but since I was already planning to buy some from Blue Moon for my Mountain Man work-up it doesn't mean I'm adding any unplanned figures.  This brings things back in a "saner" direction since I was dancing around having 40 players and that's really too far out there to be practical.  Just getting 24 might be a stretch.  But that is part of scenario design, ensuring you have a workable game no matter how many players show up for it.

On the other side of the equation is sorting out how the scenario works on the table, or tables, and just what is needed to make it all work.  Still formulating this but I'm pretty sure it will end up with around 300 square feet of playing surface.  And, as always, remember we are talking about 15 mm figures here.  Closest I can see right now is four tables, two at 5' x 18' and two at 5' by 12'.

On those tables will be the main town, Anachronism, the "easstern" metropolis that is the jumping off for points further west and the end of the line for cattle drives and railroad tracks - at least for the moment in time on our game table, the southwest town of Alkali Wells, and the town up on the norther plains, Cedar Creek.  Near Anachronism will be a large river with river boats plying up and down stream.  There will be a gold inspired boom camp somewhere, a lonely copper mine, a stage stop, a couple of ranches, a couple of farms, a territorial prison, at least one fort with maybe a detached post, various native villages including a trading post and reservation.

Included in the scenario will be bank robberies, train hold ups, road agents ambushing the stagecoaches, range wars, the whole kit and kaboodle.

Now, I'm going to post some photographs of a real gold mining town on the main page of this blog.

July 22, 2013

One of my greatest struggles in sorting out how to do the mega game that is out there on the horizon for my Wild West has been how many players to bring into the game.  Well, I've finally settled on something that works for me.  A big part of how to solve this was how to divide up all those so many civilian groupings and keep things "fair."  Well, while flipping around in my subject folder I keep for this period it just sort of hit me - more like a door jamb from not ducking than a whack over the head with a six shooter.  And a good thing, too, because with my hard head it wouldn't be good for the pistol!

Here it is: I'm going to have the eight players who will run the U.S. Army each get a contingent of civilians to run, seven 'sets' of which will be eight groups of 12 figures and the last group will be the wagon trains - all twelve wagons.  Of course, I'll have to give them some diverse objectives so they can't take over much advantage of having such a large force.  And there is the simple fact that most of the civilians aren't very powerful.  This accomplishes two things, it activates the civilians (and there will be nasty penalties for players who forget to keep their assigned troops involved in the game) and it keeps the rather powerful army forces from being too focused on their objectives.

Then I'm going to divide the natives into eight groups also.  Every group will have four mounted groups, three foot groups and the first six will have three village groups and the last two will have three of the travois groups (villagers on the move).  Still have to shoehorn in the buffalo hunting indians and the smoke signals but that is a small matter.  To keep things in the spirit of the times being played, I'll have to insert varying goals to prevent the native players from acting the part of some well controlled military force.

For the more sanguine groups of lawmen and outlawmen, again there will be eight players with six getting three of the base groups of mounted/dismounted matchups; the last two groups will be what I call the Hard Edge and the Harder & Edgier, these groups being all on foot (one of which being a variation on Hallelujah Trail's Denver Free Militia).   Also under the charge of these eight players will be the following groupings: stagecoaches and telegraph wagon; freighters and buckboards with hearse; the cattledrive; buggies and drummers; buckboards and snake oil salesman; the deer and the antelope (wild animals); the buffalo herd; and the carnivorous wild animals (and omnivores).  I'll try and assign those where I can based on the temperament of the players main group.  I'll need to include mechanisms like above that force the player to keep his "side responsibilities" active.

What I like most about this is it lets me limit games to twenty-four players and still have just about everything on the table under "control" of the players.  You might be asking why the natives seem to get off a little light?  Well, they do come into the fray with a variety of disadvantages, the most important of which is simply requiring the players to run their figures in a historical manner which means the native players have very little cohesion, if any, and their figures are not going to be the easiest to control.

Those civilians are now more likely to be engaged in the game and it helps to remind the army players not to be overly brutal.  It is well to remember that the army was, generally, much more sympathetic to the cause of the Indians than just about any other group.

And by giving the most powerful forces, or at least the "strongest" in the survivability area (the white hat and black hat figures), some other distractions that they cannot afford to forget to keep in the game, like those wagons and, especially, the wild life, it limits some of the mayhem that will ensue.  Though one must be judicious about limiting mayhem in a wargame!

Now just toss in my goal to keep every game well spiced with humorous touches and plenty of surprises, the majority of which need to be unpleasant for someone and we ought to arrive at a very Wild West.  Now that's a goal worthy of pursuit.

July 27, 2013

Here, if I can download and display it properly, is the map for that game I'm planning:
THE WHOLE WILD WEST, ALL AT ONCE

I'm really envisioning this as five games run by five separate game masters but all working together in one gigantic linked event.  Two games on each leg, 5' wide by 14' long both, and the base of the "U" at 5' x 20'.  If the image displayed properly and you can read the writing that should give a sense of what is intended, sort of.  And, again, keep in mind this is for 15 mm figures.  

Whip that rawhide!

And anyone who even thinks of stealing my fort's name will be visited by a group of especially loathsome characters filled with unimaginably ill intent!  You got that, Pilgrim?

November 12, 2013

A few new photographs for your perusal.  The first one below of all those things on a round table?  Wagons roll!  Spread out for all to see are the 48 wagons, carts, stagecoaches, and destroyed wagons I've collected for the Wild West.  They've all been washed in preparation for getting them ready for assembly and eventual painting.  A good sign that I'm moving forward with this collection of figures.  I might sometimes move at a glacial pace but at least I move forward.  I've made this image extra large for those who want to get a better view of what is displayed.
 And these other photos are of the first of my Anachronism buildings - or is that three?  This is just an early attempt at detailing one of my 'blanks'.  See above.  This was done a while ago and I've only now photographed it.
 This is a Large image to allow a better view of the 'details'.  Still sorting out the end product.  Not trying to create works of art.  Just looking for functional buildings that will make the game fun.  Spectacle over detail   It's all about the illusion.

 Still trying to sort out how I will do the windows and doors.
Here is an interior shot - those two lines simply indicate dividing walls.  If I want a building with interior doors I can just lay them out it the same manner but with the gaps.

May 26, 2014

Why?  It's time (but not exactly 3:10).  For what?  An overall tally - almost.

So, I added up the groups: cavalry have 1,289 pieces, the natives have 1,834, the civilians 846, the wagons 309, and the Black and White hat guys have 762.  That all adds up to 5,040 pieces.  And then 'almost'?  Well, that total doesn't include most of the 'bits and pieces' such as the interior furnishings .  I guess if I added those up then that would tip the balance in this being my largest collection of figures and associated items, topping out above the ACW.  Of course, if I add in all the domestic farm animals, most of which are for this era though usable in many, then this is unquestionably my largest collection.

I'm reasonably confident I have the world's largest collection of Old West figures.  Though, who knows, there might be someone out there who thinks I'm a pauper with so few figures!

February 22, 2015

Now that I've my Old West town project more accessible, I took some time to take stock - and get a bit of a shock.  Seems I have 54 blanks set up for 108 false fronts and then another 70 buildings that will have peaked roofs for train structures, commercial buildings, the river district, etc..  And here I recollected it at only being about one hundred or so.  

March 30, 2017

Just a quick note that the main thrust of posting regarding this Old West collection is now over at the Whiskey Hills blog, an associated blog.  If you visit there you will see that progress has been made, it dribs and drabs perhaps, but progress nonetheless.  Life interferes and so does finishing up the FIW and getting going on the AWI and a wee bit of working on the colonials of various stripes.  Without further ado, here is the link to Whiskey Hills:  


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