The Wild Wild West

Cowgirl

Welcome to the Wild West

Over the next few weeks I’ll be covering everything from rules systems to figures and scenery, with the odd tutorial thrown in for good measure.

I’m going to start the ball rolling this week with a brief Who, What and Where of the various publishers and manufacturers to wet your appetite (I was amazed how many companies there are covering Wild West gaming out there). These lists are not exhaustive and they only cover 28mm scale (but there are plenty of 15mm and 25mm out there if you Google), if you know of any manufacturers I’ve missed please let me know and I’ll update the relevant list. (I’ve put these lists into alphabetical order so as not to show any personal bias, of which I have loads of course :))

One thing I’ve found in compiling these lists is that whilst you can find everything out there you are probably going to have to shop around. Variety, price and quality will almost inevitably drive you to many different sources (no single manufacturer has all the buildings I’m want for instance) but it is all out there and I hope these lists will help you find what you are looking for and save you some time.

Rules Systems

Wild West rules have been around in one form or another for many years now, with many disappearing into the setting sun. In this list I’ve tried to cover as many as possible that I can find that are still available, starting with the most recent. I’ll be reviewing a couple over the next few weeks but for now here is the list.

(I haven’t mentioned either Wild West Exodus or Malifaux here as although both have a strong Western element to them they are not true Wild West games but have a strong Fantasy or Sci-Fi element to them)

Blackwater Gultch

  • Publisher: Gangfight Game Studio 
  • Link: http://www.blackwatergulch.com/
  • This is a traditional dice based skirmish game with a system that will be immediately familiar to most. Character types range from Prospectors to Gunslingers and are each described by a stat card. Potentially more Wild Wild West than Wild West

Dead Man’s Hand

  • Publisher: Great Escape Games 
  • Link: http://www.greatescapegames.co.uk/dead-mans-hand
  • This is the new kid on the block but seems to be generating a lot of interest amongst tabletop gamers from all periods. The system is both dice and card based and aims to recreate the Wild West as it appears in the movies rather than the often rather less exciting reality

Gutshot

  • Publisher: Hawgleg Publishing
  • Link: http://www.hawgleg.com/whatsGutshot.asp
  • This is a rather strange hybrid between a tabletop game and a Role Playing Game. In Gutshot you have a GM who controlls the action whilst the players seek to progress their characters through a campaign of Western scenarios. OK if you have a regular group of Western fans who are willing to comit to something over an extended period

Six Gun Sound

  • Publisher: 2 Hour Wargames 
  • Link: http://www.twohourwargames.com/western.html 
  • 2 Hour Wargames are known for producing fast paced games that can be played solo or cooperatively as well as traditional head-to-head. All 2HW’s rules use the same reaction system mechanic rather than a traditional I go you go style. If you are interested you can also download the rules in pdf from Wargames Vault

Figures

It’s rather fitting for the Wild West that there is so much lead around, it’s definitely something everyone seems to have a passion for. Now I know figures can be a very subjective thing, we all have our favorite styles, scales and even sculptors. But I hope this list will give you a starting point for choosing your western heroes, be they stoic lawmen or desperate bank robbers.

Be aware that scales differ wildly, even when quoted as being the same. Some 25mm figures are almost if not as big as other companies 28mm range.

1st Corp Trinity

Artizan Designs

Blackwater Gultch

Black Scorpion

Blue Moon Manufacturing

Brigade Games

Dead Man’s Hand

Disposable Heroes

Dixon Miniatures

eBob

Knuckleduster

Reaper Miniattures

Wargames Foundry

Scenery

No game table would be complete without appropriate scenery and the Wild West is no exception. Certainly judging by the movies even if you are in the arid bad lands there will always be some old church, graveyard or cactus to shelter behind when the bullets start to fly. So last but not least here is my list of stuff with which to clutter your table and take up storage space in your garage afterwards (lets face it gamers can never fit a car in their garage).

Buildings

4Ground

Aether Works

Blue Moon Manufacturing

Burn In Designs

Game Craft Miniatures

Knuckleduster

QRF Models

Sarissa Precission

Wargame Buildings & Accessories

Whitewash City

  • Scale: Any
  • Link: http://www.erichotz.com/whitewash.html
  • Whitewash City has been available for some years now and are a popular choice amongst many gamers. The range is a print and assemble range, so all you have to worry about is having enough paper and ink for your printer. Whilst these aren’t very durable they are an excellent choice when you are first starting out in Western gaming and need to cover a table relatively cheaply. You can download a free sample to try before you buy

World Works Games

Game Mats

Game mats are always a great solution for people who don’t have the room or inclination to make permanent game boards.

Eric Hotz

Woodland Scenics

World Works Games

Cacti

Unbelievably there are a few places out there where you can get ready made Cacti, which is great as they are difficult to make.

Cake Decorations

  • Scale: Any
  • Link: none
  • Strange though it may seem companies do make Western style cake decorations in various scales, including Cacti. You may have to hunt to find them but they are out there. They often look a bit plasticy so be prepared to put in some work with paint and flock to get them looking passable

Pegasus Hobbies

  • Scale:- 28mm
  • Link: Various, just Google search, eBay or Amazon
  • Pegasus make a variety of items useful to gamers including two sets of Cacti with nice scenic bases. They are a very reasonable price but be prepared to put some work in with the paint and brush to get the best out of them

Schleich

  • Scale: 28mm
  • Link: will have to hunt for these
  • Schleich make various action figures and railway model items including Cacti. These are probably the best you will find but they can be hard to find and are definitely not cheap

Other Scenery

There are a number of companies out there that supply items you might also find useful for dressing your Wild West board. Here you will find links to companies providing things as diverse as Barrels to Hitching posts.

Ainsty Castings

Blue Moon Manufacturing

Frontline Wargaming

Hirst Arts

Renedra Limited

Scotia Grendel

Next!

Next time I’ll be reviewing a Wild West building in more detail, and if you buy anything from any of the companies listed please mention where you heard about them :).

Until then Happy Gaming!

About Jarec

Long term Wargamer and dice hugger. My preferences tend towards Fantasy and Sci-Fi but I have a strong interest in the WWII and Vietnam gaming eras.
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6 Responses to The Wild Wild West

  1. PMMDJ says:

    Great list! Here’s some additions.

    A good link for the Blackwater Gulch figs – http://shop.gamesalute.com/collections/front-page-1/gangfight-game-studio/

    Blue Moon also does some buildings – http://www.bluemoonmanufacturing.com/index.php?cat_id=31
    and wagons – http://www.bluemoonmanufacturing.com/index.php?cat_id=27

  2. Don Lancaster says:

    Great Escape Games do Cacti, baggage, fences and a wagon

  3. Tony Nygren says:

    Hi! I do like your page, its nice to see someone devoted to wild west tabletop. I have been a fan since I was 6 years old, now I am 54. I started to build my own western town back in 1994, and it has been ongoing since with wooden buildings, my own cactus design, and a mexican pueblo, and a lot of painted figures from all over. I have started my own facebook page, called “Abachi Town tabletop western” please look it up, I would be glad to have you as a member. Or anybody else who is a fan of the old west. Here you csn see a lot of pictures, after action reports and historical fiction and facts, and ask any questions, or put in your own scenario ideas or facts.

    Cheers

    Tony

  4. Tony Nygren says:

    Hi! Glad to see you as a member, and thanks for the liking,
    I hope to inspire others devoted to western history, and figure gaming.

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