Thursday, 27 February 2014

Dead Man's Hand Game

Last week I had my first game at the Earlswood Wargamers, a (very) local wargaming group that meet just up the road from were I live, just south of Birmingham, England. 

I have to say I was somewhat apprehensive about joining a wargaming group- being something of a virgin when it comes to being part of a group. In my imagination, historical wargamers are stuffy, beardy war-anoraks who will cheerfully point out to you that your lovingly painted soldiers have the wrong colour bootlaces for the period they are meant to depict, or whatever. I also imagined they had would field rank upon rank of not particularly well painted troops, as they endlessly re-fought Waterloo.

As soon as I walked into the village hall where they meet (we meet?) I knew my preconceived ideas where dead wrong, as they were welcoming, friendly and interested in my many and varied collections. They did have huge armies, but rather than the paint-daubed Napoleonics I have seen at shows and on the internet, these were rank upon rank of beautifully executed paint jobs! And even more exciting for me- they like smaller skirmish games too- like Dead Man's Hand

The scenery and figures they were using just blew me away. The Dead Man's Hand board, the handy-work of David, was first class- featuring Lasercut MDF buildings from 4Ground and Sarrissa Precision that David had 'Pimped Up', and some scratch built additions- was easily as good as the best display boards I have seen at the wargaming shows like Salute (and better that many). His figures were simply stunning too. 

I played the game (using three of my own Mexican Banditos alongside David's). I played with David and his nephew James. Dead Man's Hand is a fun, fast paced small skirmish cowboy game, inspired by the Hollywood and Spaghetti Westerns. We had six men apiece and the board is just 2 foot square, so it really is small. Never the less, it was great fun, full of dramatic moments, cinematic scenes and laughs. 

David's dusty western town

A marshal takes down a wanted bandito

A Marshall with a Winchester takes up a good firing position

Low-life Billy Bob takes the fight to the law-men- killing a Deputy and a Marshal, before the Sheriff guns him down. 
All in all a great night (even if my banditos were all killed). The whole group made me feel welcome, especially David and James. They also had a big American War of Independence game on too- I took some pictures of that and will post them in a few days- look out for that because it looked just as good as this game.


WarRaptor said...

Glad you had such a good time in your new group. It HAS been my experience that historical wargamers are stuffy, beardy war-anoraks who will cheerfully point out to you that your lovingly painted soldiers have the wrong colour bootlaces for the period they are meant to depict, so it sounds like you got really lucky.....and, they are right up the street!!!!

Great pictures of the town and the miniatures too!

styx said...

Glad you found a group of friendly chaps! The scenery was amazing!

Rob Bresnen said...

Thanks guys. I guess I have been lucky.

The scenery is amazing- wait until you see the AWI stuff I will be posting in a few days- also very lovely.

Bob Kinnear said...

Really nice scenery and figures,just up the road as well. Looks like you've lucked out there.

Simon Quinton said...

Great looking table. Glad you had fun shall look forward to the AWI pics.