About Me

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I'm a bit of a born-again wargamer! I played many of the Games Workshop games when I was in my teens and early twenties, but left the hobby behind when I went to University. Over the last few years I have gradually got back into it and am literally having a ball! I'll play pretty much anything now, ranging from ancient historical to the far future! I think that I get more out of the painting side of things than actually playing, but that might just be because I get more opportunity. Hence the title...this blog is all about the colour of war!!

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

TRWNN - Dead Man's Hand!

Tonight George and I played another iteration of the 3-way shootout scenario that we I blogged about late last year. This time we had different third player, Paul, who brought his gang of ranch hands who we designated as the 'mercenary' crew. George played the corrupt lawmen, which left me with the dastardly outlaws. Therefore, my gang was gunning for Paul's ranchers (as they are the richest crew), Paul was gunning for the lawmen (as they want to take control of the town) and the George was gunning for me (as the rampaging outlaws are bad for business). The objective this time was a meek lawyer who is hiding in the outhouse of the hotel in the middle of the table. He has the will of a recently deceased land owner and the deeds to his land which is rumoured to have gold in it. So, each faction is out to snaffle the documents for themselves so they can seize the land. In the end, the Barons (my outlaws) manage to get their hands on the documents and also managed to gun down most of the ranchers for a resounding victory!
The town is deathly quiet as the combatants approach!
The major change in this game, though, and the focus of this post, was the card play VP layer. I decided to tweak this a little to make it a bit easier to collect cards, but also more worth spending them. The aim was to make it possible to win by cards alone, but have the objective still important enough that it could swing the result and introduce a bit more of a poker feel to the whole game. I think that this version of the meta game worked exceptionally well, so I'll present it as rules here:

You will need a deck of ordinary playing cards. Cards are worth victory points as follows:

  • 2 to 6 = 1VP
  • 7 to 10 = 2VP
  • J to K = 3VP
  • Aces = 4VP
  • Jokers = 0VP, but are wild cards for making hands (see below)
Cards are awarded by wounding characters (for our 3 player game we played it you only get VPs from your 'hated' faction - so outlaws only get them from mercenaries, for example. This prevents ganging up.):
  • A flesh wound earns 1 card
  • A severe wound earns 2 cards
  • An outright kill earns 3 cards

Cards can also be played for advantages during the game as well. To play your cards you must make a proper poker hand from them using Texas Hold 'Em style rules:

  • At the start of the first turn shuffle the deck, including the jokers, and deal 2 VP cards face down to each player. 
  • Then deal 3 cards from the deck face up onto the table. 
  • At the start of each subsequent turn deal another card face up. 
  • A hand can be made up from the face up cards on the table and your VP cards. A hand must contain cards from your VP cards.
  • When playing a hand, the VP cards are immediately discarded into a discard pile. The cards on the table remain untouched.
  • When playing a hand for an advantage, any opponent player can play a better hand to negate that effect (by better I mean higher ranked or the same hand with higher values - a pair of eights beats a pair of fours).
  • The hands and their advantages are as follows:
    • One Pair - allows you to force a re-roll of a single die. This can be yours or an opponents.
    • Two Pair - allows two re-rolls or the prevention of an out of ammo/jam result.
    • Three of a Kind - allows you to add 3 dice to the shooting dice pool.
    • Straight - allows you to adjust either the location or effect of any hit against any character by 1.
    • Flush - allows you to remove 2 flesh wounds or 1 severe wound from a character.
    • Full House - allows you to automatically hit a target and adjust either the location or effect by 1.
    • Four of a Kind - allows you to gain an extra activation for one character and also pick one of the previous effects.
    • Straight Flush or Dead Man's Hand - you may bring a single dead character back to life!
  • A hand may be played for its listed advantage or any advantage from a lower ranked hand (so a flush could be played to gain the advantage of a straight).
An example from our game played as follows - my outlaw Scooter Baron ran out of cover and blazed away at one of Paul's ranch hands. I rolled my dice and came up with two sixes and three ones! So Scooter misses and is out of ammo! But in my VP cards I had a pair of fours and a nine with another nine face up on the table, so I played a hand of two pairs, discarding the fours and nine (3VP worth of cards) for two re-rolls. I re-rolled two of the ones and came up with two twos. So now I had two sixes and only one one, so Scooter hit his target and wasn't out of ammo. He caused a serious wound and I immediately got two cards back.

The thing I really like about this system is that you have to seriously consider the benefits of burning VPs for the advantage gained. Also, whether it's wise to cancel out a hand. Another play in the game saw me playing a single pair of eights for a re-roll. Paul could have beaten my pair with a pair of Jacks, but he would be burning 6 VPs to cancel a re-roll that cost me 4VPs. Both Paul and George thought this VP system brought quite a bit to the game and we all had a lot of fun. I certainly saw a lot more playing of cards than last time, as the players tended to have more cards in their VP pile to play with and the advantages are certainly worth the playing at critical points in the game. 

Feel free to try it out, anyway, and I'd love to hear from anyone if they have improvements or just what they think of the system.

Beauregard Baron moves into cover and blazes away at the ranch hands.
The Ranchers take position where they can see the outhouse!


  1. Interesting layer on to the game. TRWNN are a very tempting rule set.

    1. It's an easy but rewarding system. The fact that you can bolt on this kind of layer shows how easy it is to play.


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