Sunday, 5 May 2013

Dead Man's Hand First Impressions


The Chimichanga bothers - Pedro, Jesus, Mongo, Juan and Loco
My copy of Dead Man's Hand arrived yesterday along with the cards and a pack of cowboy figures. The set of markers that were supposed to be included in the parcel failed to materialise but a quick email to Great Escape Games resolved the problem and they'll be in the post on Tuesday. I'd definately purchase stuff from GEG again, despite this minor slip up.

The rulebook itself is very well presented and printed on glossy paper. It explains the turn mechanism and card play well, which should make it easy to pick up after a few turns. The emphasis is definately on gunfighting rather than more convoluted scenarios but the campaign system looks really good and provides for a linked, narrative style series of games which I think would be great for a club evening.

The gangs themselve are similar in composition to the posses in Legends of the West, although there is less flexibility in the armaments department, which means that my lawmen are a little inadequate in their current line up. This is nothing that a couple of figures wouldn't resolve, so they may well get to see some action once I've sorted out the extras.

The banditos are, on the other hand, pretty much ready to deploy as an eight figure strong, twenty one point gang of Desperadoes down Mexico way. I have a couple of figures that are half painted up as well, so could easily expand the Chimichanga brothers to a full on family reunion. The standard contingent is set at twenty one points, based on the Reputation total of the gang, so roughly eight to ten figures seems the norm.

On the whole, I think these rules will be a lot of fun and will re-vitalise the Old West gaming genre at my local club at least. A bit pricey for £20 but, as this includes the all important cards, I suppose it's not too bad and certainly in line with similar rules on the market. I'm thinking of putting together a new gang to add to the two that I already have, either cowboys or outlaws,  so this could end up as a half term mini-project.

Good stuff!

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