"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.
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.
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.
(April 5, 2013 some corrections and such)
Signals Detachment 12 / -- 2 / --
Infantry Command 3 / -- 1 / --
Infantry Command 12 / -- 2 / --
Infantry Command 12 / -- 2 / --
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?
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
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.
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.
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.
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".