Having grown up on an actual farm, I think the "costume cowboys" are rather entertaining. Putting on boots and a hat does not make one a cowboy, but it's all in good fun. On the other hand...the costume cowgirls are A-OK with me. Working downtown during Stampede does have some visual appeal to be sure.
Wait, I was going to talk about gaming wasn't I? Yes, yes, I do have some kind of point here.
Another gamer friend and I have fired up a few games of Blackwater Gulch to countdown to Stampede. If possible I think we'd like to build up a western town game board and run a day of gaming during Stampede at one of the local shops. In that vein we've played a few games to get the rules sorted out.
The first game used two gangs I wrote up from the free rules available from Gangfight Games. The downloaded book available now is different than the one I have, but it's still cool that the rules for the game are available for free! Both of these gangs clocked in somewhere around $385 in game money. That means they are both pretty powerful. We played the rescue scenario, so I started with one of my members being held hostage near the hangin' tree.
The Quick(ly) Dead.
Last man standing, Carlos Sangre, to the rescue.
Outgunned by Carlos, Deputy Henkel recovers his nerve.
Turncoat Kevin gets shot in the back by the Deputy. Carlos guns Henkel down and leaves the battlefield alone.
For our second game we decided to try out the free add-on campaign rules. After both reading through them we decided to bump up some things so that the gangs didn't start out as total schlubs. We played the "This Town Ain't Big Enough" scenario. The table looked great because Rick had tons of buildings and fences to work with. We even added in some basic scatter rules for the horses, so that they'd move around if there was any gunfire near them.
I didn't take as many photos for this game (I was too busy having fun).
The post-game results system was interesting, but a little disappointing that the loser doesn't really get anything. While workable I think the campaign system could end up taking a long time before your gangs really get anywhere; especially since your professionals and leader all start out with 1s, just like your henchmen. It's really likely that your good characters are going to die without judicious use of your leader's luck dice.
All in all however, I can't wait to play more games, and I've started building some laser-cut western buildings I've had in the hobby pile for quite some time. Stay tuned for more updates on those as I get things moving along!