Category Archives: Wild West Skirmish

Wild West Skirmish

While I have been doing no painting recently, have gotten a few games in here and there. Some pictures from a Western skirmish game. Six teams of four. Each group had their objectives. Won by the Pinkertons who defended the bank against Mexican bandidos. The other teams didn’t really achieve much apart from turning on each other. Rules used were The Rules with No Name.

See my other posts on this rule set including new cards and some of my other Wild West Miniatures.


More Wild West citizens

Some years ago I brought the excellent set of Tombstone Civilians by Blue Moon. I got mine from Old Glory, taking advantage of the 40% discount offered by their Army Card scheme. These guys include a whole bunch that would not have looked out of place on the streets of HBO’s Deadwood.

First up, the crippled floor cleaner at Al’s Saloon. Her name is Ruby.


When I play Wild West Skirmish games it is quite fun to have the NPC citizenry on the board for the players to interact with. To this end a lot of my NPCs have specific Event Cards that can be activated by Bystander Events. As an example, here is Ruby’s Character Card and a Specific Bystander Event that gets her shambling down the main street and getting in the way of things.

ImageImageNext up is Tom Nuttall, the owner of the No. 11 Saloon.


Here we have Bob Symes (R), a notorious gambler and ‘Gentleman’ Johnny Bowden (L), a pistolier of some note.

ImageA Specific Event Card for Bob Symes.


In this shot the two aforementioned villains are joined by their lawyer, the somewhat unpleasant Silas Taylor, Attorney at Law.


And a Silas Taylor Event Card.


The Hardware and General Merchandise store is run by Mr Peter Stapleton. A fine upright fellow. Talking to him is Stinky Dan, an Old Timer of uncertain bathing habits.

citizens 1

Last but not least, all those hitching rails need something to be hitched to them. These horses are by Knuckleduster Miniatures and can be found here.


28mm Pinkertons (Artizan Designs)

A popular faction in Wild West skirmish games is a gang of Pinkerton Detectives. Artizan Designs make two sets with six really nice figures. Set one has two rifleman and a pistolier and Set Two has two men armed with pistols and another man with a Winchester. All are wearing classic Duster coats over their suits and waistcoats. These are my attempt at doing these fine figures some justice.  The buildings are amongst the first ones I made and I got the door height a bit wrong in relation to figure and base size.








The Rules with No Name: Drunk Card Deck

When we play The Rules with No Name rather than use the rules as written in the rulebook for drunks – which are a lot of fun but can slow things down – we use this following deck of Drunk Cards. A drunk character in our games is defined either by the scenario (for instance if cowboys are in town on a spree) or by the miniature itself. 


When a drunk character takes a turn we consult a table and throw a d6. 

1 -2          Do what you were doing last turn or nothing (Can duck back voluntarily if already near/in cover)   

3-5           Draw a card from the Drunk Deck

6              Sober Up (Can act as normal for rest of game)

Here are the Drunk Deck Cards. Feel free to use as you will.







And of course, no card is complete without a back.


Family Gangs in my Old West Town, Pt 2: The Stones.

Another family who make regular appearances in my corner of the Old West. The Stone Family. Pa Stone is a hard man, and he brought up his three daughters to be tough as well. A deadly shot with both hands, Pa Stone taught all his daughters to fight with a gun in each hand – for those times when six bullets are just not enough..  There are precious few crinolines and bonnets in the wardrobes of the Stone girls.


Ellen, Eliza, Emma and Pa Stone.


Eliza and Emma Stone.

Eliza Stone is a Knuckleduster Miniature from the set “Women of the Gun“.  Emma Stone comes from Shadowforge (available from Eureka Minis in Australia) from the set “Wild West Women“.


Ellen Stone and Pa Stone

Both these two are Reaper Miniatures. Ellen Stone is a named figure from their Chronoscope range.  Likewise Pa Stone is from the licensed Savage Worlds range.

If you are looking for really nice character figures for Old West gaming you can’t go too wrong trawling through the Reaper website. There are some really nice models in the Chronoscope range in particular that are perfect for Wild West skirmish games.

The Rules with No Name: Bystander Event Deck

When using the Rules with No Name for Western Skirmish games, the addition of Bystander Events can add an, at times, comical and random element to the course of a game.  It also gives you the perfect opportunity to get all those ‘citizens’ and ‘ordinary folk’ that you brought and painted onto the board.

I have been asked to post my Bystander Event Deck, so here it is. I thought I had some more but seem to have misplaced the files.  Many are the generic ones from the Rules with No Name rule book, and some are specific to my Western Town – but can easily be altered in any graphics package to change names etc.  Feel free to use and abuse.

If you have any specific requests I would be happy to knock you up some ‘to order’ cards.








And finally, some card backs for this deck.


Ethnic Gangs in my Old West Town, Pt 2.

This time some Buffalo Soldiers. I have been slowly building up a force of soldiers and Plains Indians to oppose them. The first of these was this group of Buffalo Soldiers and their white captain.

ImageEven though they are officially commanded by Captain H.T. Davis, they are really led by their NCO, Sergeant John Shaft. He’s the cat who won’t cop out, when there’s danger all about.  Can you dig it?

Buffalo Soldier 7

On the horn is Bugler Clifford “Sweet Tone” Brown. He has them jumping when he blows eight to the bar.

Buffalo Soldier 8

Outside the Assay Office is Trooper George Washington Greene. A dab hand with pistol and carbine.

Buffalo Soldier 1

The other two members of the squad are Troopers Curtley Aimes and Richard Blackley.

Buffalo Soldier 9

I have a custom Bystander Event Card for these guys.

Buffalo Soldier Event Card

Family Gangs in my Old West Town Pt 1. The Wainwrights

Apart from the regular gangs of assorted thugs, lawmen, foreigners, cowboys, Pinkertons, Indians and so forth, there are a few family groups who appear in games in my Wild West town.

The first is a local ranching family. They live on a big spread out of town known  but seem to show up in town an awful lot. Known for their hospitality to strangers and for always being on the side of the good guys, I present “The Wainwrights“.

The Patriarch is Lorne Wainwright.  A widower three times over, he has not remarried a fourth time. Every time he meets a woman she either catches some deadly sickness, is killed by a bad guy or leaves to go back East.

wainwright 8

His eldest son is the educated and world-wise Pernell Wainwright. He is also a dab hand with a gun.  He is level headed and does not get flustered.

wainwright 9

 The middle son is the lovable and friendly Dan ‘Hoss’ Wainwright. He is slow to anger but when he does he often lets his fists do the talking.

wainwright 7

The youngest of the Wainwright boys is the hot-headed Michael ‘Little Mike’ Wainwright. A feisty and independent character he is always getting into trouble from which his Pa and older brothers have to extricate him.

wainwright 10

The menfolk of the ranch all together.

wainwright 1

Every dynasty needs some trusty family retainers. The Wainwrights have one in their Chinese cook, Vic Sing.

wainwright 3

In recent times, a new face has been seen at the Wainwright’s ranch. Bonnie Harper-Wainwright is Little Mike’s new wife. Given the fatality rate amongst Wainwright womenfolk how long she remains at the ranch is anybody’s guess.

wainwright 4

The whole clan together.

wainwright 5


Wainwrights are West Wind Cowboy Wars figures (Sets The Friendly Rancher#1 and #2). There are mounted versions of characters on foot but I have not got them painted as yet.

Little Mike’s wife Bonnie Harper-Wainwright is a Shadowforge Miniatures “Wild West Woman”.

Ethnic Gangs in my Old Western Town Pt 1

It is understandable when people with a shared cultural and linguistic heritage band together for mutual protection and to form a sense of community in an otherwise hostile environment.  Then there are these guys.

Meet the “Europeans”. These chaps are on the Grand Tour of the Old West. Taking in the local sights, perhaps engaging in a spot of buffalo hunting before they are all shot. Putting aside their difference, they are united in their sure knowledge that the Americans are all a bunch of savages.


Mad Jock McHooligan (aka The Tartan Terror), Maj. Baron von Klingerhof and Col. Philippe Dreyfus

They are sometimes joined in their depredations of local fauna by some colleagues from other European powers.


Count Alexi Orloff, Maj. Uri Potemkin and Capt. Charles Anderson

Finally a shot of the whole European Contingent as it currently stands.


From places closer to home, the town of Serenity also sees plenty of people from South of the Border. They are under the control of the mysterious Masked Bandido.  Some say he is a renegade American, others that he is a half Mexican, half Apache renegade. Either way, his gang is a constant threat to the good folk of the town.


The whole gang.


The three most dangerous members of the gang are El Montana, The evil Lobo Sanchez and Pedro, El Gordo.

Rumours of gold have brought people from far and wide to town. Proving that you need a criminal record to get of, and not just into Australia, this dangerous group of Aussies has made their way to the Wild West.

ImageBushrangers Ben Hall, Harry Powers, Mad Dog Morgan and Ned Kelly bring their own particular style of thuggery and mayhem.


The Europeans are a mixture of West Wind and Crusader.

The Mexicans are Blue Moon, Reaper and Knuckleduster

The Australians are Blaze Away Miniatures.

Time Life Old West Series

When I was at school in the late 70s my school library had this entire set – well at least what was published up to that point. Published by Time Life Books, the series consisted of twenty-seven volumes that were released between 1973 and 1980. Each book covered a specific topic relating to the history and settlement of the West – The Cowboys, The Great Chiefs, etc. They were covered in a faux-tooled leather binding that I thought really captured the period.  The entire series is listed here (from Wikipedia):

ImageI found this advert for this series on Youtube.

Jump forward thirty years and I had become interested in Wild West Skirmish gaming. I had seen the odd one or ten of these books in second hand bookshops over the years and the thought that it would be nice to have the whole set had crossed my mind. Well one day I was browsing an internet auction site and saw the whole set for sale. I probably paid too much, but bid on and won the auction. One delivery man with a hernia later, I was in possession of my own set.


These are not mine but an internet pic I found. Mine are in better nick.

I cannot recommend these books enough as a resource. Now I am pretty sure that you wont learn anything that you didn’t already know but just for pure reading pleasure they are a treat.  Reading The Townsmen gave me heaps of ideas for structures for my own burgeoning Wild West town. If you get a chance to read these – please do. You wont be disappointed.