4 August 2010

Blood on the streets of Thorncreek

Alright, alright, one last time for the latecomers and then I'm a-headin' for mah bed. Summa this Ah had to git from the Sheriff, 'cuz it happened after Ah got plugged in the shoulder here, but this is how it went when those darn cowpokes turned nasty....

The streets of Thorncreek were deserted after word had spread that some of the ranch-hands taken on by the Claytons were heading into town with mischief on their mind.

It wasn't long, however, before the Civic Patrol were out in force and ready to defend their town.

Sheriff Nathaniel Crawcrook and the Harris boys (Joshua and Daniel) headed North up Main Street, while Johan 'Jonah' Meier edged off round through the trees, and Deputy Jeremiah Ainsworthy led Patrick Flannegan and Charles Vickers over the fences and round to the West of the row of shops.

Up at the other end of Main Street, the cowboys were starting to throw their weight around, whoopin' and hollerin' and shootin' into the air.

Heading straight at them, and cursin' at them to mend their ways and clear out of town, the Sheriff and the Harris boys showed no fear.

Gunfire broke out along the side streets now, as it became clear that the trailboss and his nastier cronies were trying to outflank the Patrol. Yellin' and cursin', and then quiet told Sheriff Crawcrook that at least some men were down - he hoped they weren't his. "Joshua, Daniel; you boys go and see if Jonah's gone and got hisself killed. I'll be fine here with Ainsworthy over there" With that he calmly gunned down a cowboy with a fine piece of rifle-shootin'. He spat. "Lawbreakers. They sure do vex me somethin' dreadful."

Through the heat-haze of midday, and the lingering gunsmoke, the Sheriff could see his Deputy charge into two of the uninvited visitors and start layin' into them with his fists and the butt of his rifle. Crawcrook grunted in approval and then, cold as a mountian stream in spring, put a second cowboy out of the fight with a bullet in the gut that would prove fatal.

Round in the East, the Harris' had found Johan hurt but alive, and closed in on the culprit, gunning her down in a hail of lead.

They then headed over to Main Street, just as the rest of the cowboys did the same after dealing with Patrick and Charles. The Deputy was down in a crumpled heap and Sheriff Crawcrook was sluggin' it out with two ne'er-do-wells. As they rushed in to help him, the trailboss stepped out from behind the scrap and shot Joshua right between the eyes. Screaming in fury and loss, Daniel ran at him, but the man in the long pale coat calmly clubbed him to the floor and turned on the Sheriff.

Nathaniel did not have his reputation for nothin', however, and soon it was just him and Joshua's killer left standing. Toe-to-toe, and blow for blow they fought.

Neither giving way, battered and bruised, it was many minutes before the Sheriff finally toppled his foe with a blow that would have poleaxed a steer. Save fer burryin' the dead, it was over.

Post-game chatter
Phew! It came really close at the end with each of us (Me and Chris) gritting our teeth on every Head for the Hills check, but our posse's leaders were just too stubborn. In the end it came down to the Sheriff having a second attack that swung it, and it seemed fitting that it was the two bosses who faced off at the finale.

That was our first game of LotOW, despite it having been ages since I started on this project, but we'd both played GW's Lord of the Rings game in the past, and Chris has done a fair bit of Necromunda gaming, so the rules were familiar. I did nearly blow it early on by forgetting the Heroic Actions that could be called, and did lose two of the posse as a result on the left of the board.

We thoroughly enjoyed it, though, and I think the bad blood between the posse's after Daniel's death will add a certain frisson. Joshua was raised to Hero status for taking out two cowboys, and this seemed fitting. The Sheriff picked up two new skills (Trick Shooter and Pistolier), but we didn't get enough loot to replace the dead vigilante. Chris has his boss out for two games, and couldn't afford to retain his Gunslinger or replace his dead chap, so I reckon the Civic Patrol came out on top. Don't mess with Thorncreek!

I'm not going to mention the game of Elfball we had after lunch, except to say I was outplayed by Chris and destroyed by the dice. Yikes!