Television is rather a frightening business. But I get all the relaxation I want from my collection of model soldiers.
Peter Cushing

Saturday 19 March 2016

Prison Break - A Fistful of Lead AAR

Had our first game of Fistful of Lead in the town of Ratwater.

The scenario was as follows:

Al Swearingen has fallen foul of the law in the little town of Ratwater. The Marshall has locked him up wait the pleasure of Hizzonner Judge Roy Bean. But Al is not without friends, up in Dakota. And they’re comin’ to bust him out…

Al starts the game in the Marshall’s office in a cell chosen by the Lawman player. As far as possible, the Desperado player should not know which cell.

The sides were:

Rooster Cogburns men
Rooster and 3 lawmen. Rooster is a Gunslinger. All are armed with a pistol and rifle. One may be armed with a shotgun if preferred.
·         50 points if Al is still in custody when the Judge arrives
·         5 points for each Desperado killed.
·         10 points if Al is killed while trying to escape (i.e. outside the Marshall’s office)

The Deadwood Desperadoes
4 men – each with pistol and rifle. One may be armed with a shotgun if preferred. One of the them (probably Dan) is a Gunslinger. One has 1 stick of TNT – write down on the bottom of a rock which.
·         50 points if Al is off the table before the Judge arrives.
·         5 points for each lawman killed.
·         20 points if Rooster is killed.
If the TNT explodes next to the jail, the windows are blown out. At that point, Al becomes a character under the control of the Desperado player and can try to begin his escape.
Track turn numbers on a D12.

The Judge will arrive at the beginning of a random turn. The player controlling the Law will roll a d10 at the beginning of each turn (new deal) after the 2. On turn 3 he will arrive on a “1” or less. Turn 4, a “2” or less, etc. The game ends at the end of the turn when the Judge arrives. 

I set the town up and then my pardner - let's call him the Duke - picked sides. He decided to go for the role of the Lawmen. 
The sleepy down of Ratwater, unaware of the carnage that awaits...

I got to bring these cards out of retirement for the first time in years which was an added bonus!

The Mysterious Stranger who turned up to the help the law. The first couple of turns saw the Desperadoes head into town, shooting the deputy hiding on the roof of the Gem saloon. 

My desperados started sneaking round the side of the Marshall's office. This is the guy carrying the TNT. We're going to call him Joe Albatross. You'll see why in a bit. 

Marshall Rooster dodges across main street and takes down one of the desperadoes with a crack shot. 
Silas Adams  - the Desperado gunslinger - cracks off a shot through the window of the Marshall's office and knocks Wild Bill to the Floor.

The Stranger takes cover beside the general store and pins down the desperadoes behind the Marshall's. 

Joe Albatross is sneaking round the corner unaware that Wild Bill Hickok, recovered from the earlier shot, is lying in wait...

I just love this shot. It screams spaghetti western. 
Joe Albatross tosses the TNT  - which lands at his feet. He is knocked out by the blast - I'm assuming. He spent the rest of the game trying to recover from being Pinned, so it must've been a hell of a shock. Regardless, the cells are open and big Al makes a run for it - before being shot in the back by the Stranger.

Wild Bill then decides to shoot Al where he is lying on the floor. Luckily, Al survives. Wild Bill, we discovered, deserved to be shot in the back. He's useless. 
Meanwhile, Adams, not being the charitable sort, doesn't shrink from shooting Rooster in the back. 

Al runs for the edge but runs out of movement here.

Luckily the next round sees the King of Spades and Al escape. The Desperadoes win!

A sadder and Wiser marshall Rooster patrols the town

Where quite a few of these got sold. 

 Basically, a great time was had by all. We enjoyed it so much, in fact that we reset and played again immediately. This time, the Judge arrived on Turn 5 so the Law won. I thoroughly recommend A Fistful of Lead - it's cinematic, entertaining and really, really easy. Although I beleive Jaye the author is a Damyankee it is very Oldhammer in attitude and its joy in narrative play.

As a postscript we finished off the evening by playing Condottiere. It's small, cheap and incredibly good. Buy it.


  1. Great stuff! Lovely figs and buildings!

    1. Thanks Gordon. High praise indeed after seeing your gorgeous setups.

  2. Nice report and pics. Sounds like a fun game! I do like cinematic (and easy) rules.

    1. If you give these a try you won;t be disappointed.

  3. You couldn't be further from the truth. I am a DIII-rect descendant of one of Quantrail's Raiders and therefore not a Yankee.
    -J (the author)