Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Dead Man’s Hand – a first test-game

I bought Dead Man’s Hand a while ago, have built some 4Ground buildings and stuff and painted a couple of wild west minis from Black Scorpion.
This Sunday we (me, Thomas and Laffe) did a test-game, to get a feeling for the rules. You will see some unpainted Black Scorpion figs on the table (shudder… apologies). The buildings are 4Ground, Paul Darnell and, as we were short on buildings, some Hovels adobe buildings had to be used. A bit of a mish-mash, but it had to do.
The rules
First off, you can have an excellent overview of the rules in Meeples & Minitures podcast number 114, where Neil interviews the rules writer Stuart McCorqaudale about the out and ins of the game.
I was to only one to have read the rules and over lunch I tried to give a short over-view . They are easy to learn, so that went moderately well. As usual when you start playing with new rules, we got some things wrong, but I think we got everything sorted out in the end.
You will see cards on the table in the pics, and those are  used for activation.
We played The Law vs Outlaws and the three scenes of The Good, The Lead And The Ugly.
Scene one, The Stranger, pits a lone good gun-hand vs three drunk outlaw dudes.
A fast game, where the single guy was surrounded and finally shot in the back. Not a good start for The Law, as they couldn’t use that figure in the next scene.
Scene two, This Town Ain’t Big Enough.
It’s pay-back time for the cowardly murder. The Outlaw boss is contemplating the outcome of his evil deeds, and is out of the game until one of his minions falls. One group of The Law is enjoying a breakfast of Whiskey. The other men are divided into groups spread over the town. 
Men falling off roofs, simultaneous shots (and kills).
Well, let’s just say it was the wrong day for payback. The Law loses with three men down.
Scene three: We Will Be Waiting.

This time it’s the final shoot-out. The Sheriff and the Marshal faces off with half the Outlaws in the middle of the town, and in the first round they waste two outlaws. It’s very much Open Range… 
With a hidden Law marksman on one of the roofs, it’s getting tough for the outlaws, and they are shot, one after the other. 

It’s a massacre.
This was fun. It was great fun. Actually, it was even better.
What a great game! Lots of cinematic moments. Lots of nail biting. Lots of laughter. It had it all.
We are so going to play more of Dead Man’s Hand.
I have all those unpainted figs, and a couple of un-built 4Ground houses. Also, I have to get a terrain-board, or maybe just a sand-coloured cloth. And more scenery; plants, fences etc. Guess there will be lots of Wild West here...
You might also see something on Laffe’s and Thomas’ blogs on this project.


  1. It was very fun! Especially when I delivered swift righteous justice upon the outlaws in the third scenario.

    I have reviewed what we will be getting in the Shadows of Brimstone kickstarter. Among them are four Banditos (or rather two Banditos and two Bandidos). So I will order a couple of mexicans from Black Scorpion soon to make a gang of Chilli-munching Sombrero-wearing Spanish-speaking bad-asses...

    I will also build the North American Store I bought recently!

    1. I thought it was two bandidos and one bandida...? Anyway, great if you get the Black Scorpion ones. You can never have too many bandidos/bandidas.

    2. Ah yes, you are correct. Only one Bandida. Is there a special Bandidos list in DMH or will they count as outlaws?

    3. At present there are Outlaws and Desperados. Desperados maybe?

  2. Oh! Looks fantastic
    I saw some guys in my club playing last Christmas... an object of desire... but I have too many projects on my table and financial restraints in my pocket :-)

    1. You can never have too many projects. trust me...

  3. Looks and sounds like a wonderful game. Something else I am going to have to look into now!

  4. One sign of a good rule set is that you can get your ass handed to you on a plate and still enjoy the game. DMH certainly does just that.