Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Cowboys Guide to the Open Range (LOTOW Cowboys Guide)

A posse of Cowboys has a unique and diverse offering compared to other posse groups. They don’t suffer from the weaker choices like the Lawmen and the general lack of Shootin’ of the Outlaws. At a glance you have:

  • 1 hero and up to 3 henchmen with 4+ Shootin’
  • 1 henchmen option gives you a horse (factored into the cost) (up to 2)
  • The entire posse can access repeating rifles and lasso. Cannot take sawed off shotguns, heroes cannot take rifles and henchmen cannot have a heavy pistol.
  • The only posse that can access a lasso at the start.

A look at the Herd:

Trail Boss: He comes with 1/1 of FA/FT, 4+ for Shootin’, Grit and Fighting. Best weapon options are a repeating rifle or heavy pistol to take advantage of his good Shootin’ stats. For amusement you could include a lasso if you have the cash to spare.

Greenhorns: Average for the game, give them some six-guns and call it a day. As they develop then you can alter their gear. If after the first game you could invest in shotguns for them or if their Shootin’ stat increases you could consider a repeating rifle or heavy pistol instead.

Buckaroos: Up to three, 4+ Shootin’, which is crazy compared to a Greenhorn that is the right hand of the Trail boss. Repeating rifles are a choice item for these guys. You could go with a six-gun in a crunch or a standard rifle if you want to develop a sniper. A lasso again isn’t a bad option for them if you have the need and spare cash.

Cowpokes: Give them six-guns and use them as filler for the posse.

Wranglers: Most expensive model in the posse and you are allowed only 2. They hit on a 3+ with a lasso, which you must buy for $6 more and $5 for a pistol. Making their grand cost $33. For $ you can take a lasso and six-gun on a Buckaroo for $22. Your only saving a $1 on the horse (base cost $12).

The Hired Help:

After your first game you will want to add some more hands to the posse. This leaves you with adding some extra henchmen or taking on hired guns. Henchmen hands down is the better investment as they require no upkeep and always add more to your gang in the long term. Bulking up on Cowpokes can give you enough to survive longer in the gang to avoid taking pluck tests as well as gives a few extra gun.

If you looking for Hired Guns to join your posse then you should consider what elements that they can bring to the table to help build up your gang. The need for hired guns is slightly lower on the need basis than an Outlaw gang but a tad higher than a Lawmen posse. To me the supporting hired guns are where you will find your best allies.

The Explosives Expert or Scout can double as an extra sniper for your posse.

Using the Soiled Dove is a great distraction.

A Tejano Guide could help you find rare items and allow 3 models to make a bonus move before the game.

The Prospector or Prize Fighter could earn you a little extra cash between games.

Ready to Hit the Trail!

The two builds I have come up with is this:

1)     The Roundup!

Trail Boss: Heavy Pistol, Lasso $46
Greenhorns x2 with six-guns $40
Buckaroos x3 with lasso and six-guns: $72
Cowpokes x3 with six-guns: $42

Concept here is simple. Deploy, move 4 of your lasso armed models forward. Try to nail targets with a lasso in the movement phase, drag them forward, charge them with Greenhorns and Cowpokes or shoot the snot out of them. Beat the crap out of the target while entangled with a Fighting of 1 your target is easy prey with a few good dice rolls. If all else fails, you fan your six-guns and then do the lasso gag again. With 4 lasso users you should be able to hit with 50% on average. So, focus your plan on taking out two close to one another to support the posse as a whole. The key to the lasso gag is you can use them during the movement phase and thus cause your target if caught in the lasso to be unable to do anything.

2)     Guns of the Range

Trail Boss: repeating rifle. $40
Greenhorns x2 six-guns. $40
Buckaroos x3 with repeating rifle. $69
Cowpokes x3 with six-guns: $42
$9 to bank or spend as you like

With the leftover cash you can buy another Cowpoke a rifle or perhaps buy a hand weapon for the Trail Boss. The concept is to deploy your rifles to good spots or at least be ready to move to a prime spot early in the game. The rest of the posse bands together and engages close range to anything that gets near your shooters. Usually they will remain in cover or out of sight until something is in range.

Campaign Play

Early on try too round out your posse with extra members to bulk up your numbers to avoid taking Pluck tests. Arm up Cowpokes with six-shooters and as they and your Greenhorns get a boost to their Shootin’ stat they can be upgraded to a repeating rifle more than likely to give you the best range and firepower for your money, recycle the six-shooters back into your stash or keep them as a backup weapon in case something goes wrong.

Cowboys mostly have a demand for the hired hands that support the game in your weaker areas rather than the more combat oriented ones. Consider adding hired hands that will boost your posse’s performance in the game or help you between games.

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