Little Voice peered past the shady edge of the ramshackle hut. Across the yard, beyond the large house the white men fought. Plumes of smoke belched from their rifles followed fractionally latter by their report. The dangerous dance they were embroiled in had broken down into at close ranged affair around an unhitched wagon, the noon sun beating down on them. The Nichols man loosed a wild shot and dove past the rear wheel of the wagon. The ‘lawman’ followed up with an equally wayward shot, but Little Voice knew that all it would take is one lucky hit to finish this. They began exchanging fire from beneath the wagon, neither landing a clean shot. As much as Little Voice enjoyed the discord he had secretly sown amongst these interlopers, he knew it was time to show reveal his true self. The sycophantic ‘Indian’ facade he had played so well was easy to drop. The hatred had never been far below the surface. With his firearm in hand he moved into the sun, striding towards the unsighted Nichols, who stooped trying to draw a bead on the ‘lawman’. Little Voice levelled his gun and squeezed the trigger, letting it be his voice in these violent times. The shot hit his target squarely in the shoulder, wheeling Nichols around. The shock and betrayal on the white man’s face was a small satisfaction. Little Voice did not pause to enjoy it, instead sprinting to the back of the house before the other man could react. If he could take down the Thompson boy too, it would seriously weaken both factions.

A few more shots echoed through the midday air, but it was unclear if it was Thompson or Nichols doing the shooting. Silence fell again for a moment, but it was broken by a gurgled scream. The Nichols man maybe? It wasn’t preceded by a shot, so Little Voice assumed things had gotten more personal. Now he would act, while the combatants were distracted. Blade and pistol in hand he advanced around the house only to see Nichols being staggering from the veranda, blood streaming from the shanking blade in his side. The ‘lawman’ wasn’t as distracted as Little Voice had hoped and a shot whipped through his shirt, grazing his side. Little Voice swung his blade and tried to bludgeon with his pistol, but the boy was fast, landing some light blows with the butt of his rifle. Little Voice lunged again with the blade, but a deft sidestep dodged it. The butt of the rifle seemed to come from nowhere and Little Voice found himself stumbling backwards… his head swimming. His heal clipped the edge of the veranda and he hit the ground hard, his head taking the brunt of the fall. His hand found the back of his head and came back covered in his blood. Little Voice starred for a moment at the high sun. He could feel his consciousness fading, his eyes flickered closed and the afterimage of the sun dissolved away to blackness.

This was another excellent and cinematic fight. We each controlled just one character and it still made for a very good game. We’ve been having an ongoing discussion about one of the mechanics in the rules and we playtested a variant of it in this game. It’s flavoursome and can be fun, but it can also lead to a lot of downtime for players as it is resolved. We’ll need to think about it further.

So, what’s next… this was an interlude before the grand finale. With ‘Curly’ Little Voice and Swift Mickey Nichols captured, and no longer allies(!), the next game will centre around a rescue/gunfight in Stodge City. I’m very much looking forward to it.

Until next time,