Much to the chagrin of the players, NPCs were responsible for most of the killing in the Desperado game, Showdown at Prairie Butte.
Almost two dozen desperate gunslingers were arrayed on the outskirts of town, armed with sixguns, rifles, scatterguns and a bloodthirsty desire to kill!
Gunslinger Bob Probst moves his desperadoes into the town of Prairie Butte, where hostile residents await them.
Each player controlled two desperadoes, who each gained a special bonus and a unique penalty. Players gained points by killing other gunslingers and collecting the bounty on their heads. However, the most deadly opposition came from the townspeople of Prairie Butte itself! I quickly formed an informal alliance with the player on my left, because one of his gunslingers had the ability to heal wounds or stop bleeding.
My bounty hunters are caught unawares by a bear as they explore a small shack on the outskirts of Prairie Butte.
And, my two killers were soon in need of his skills! As they were exploring a small shack on the outskirts of town, a mangy bear leapt from inside and attacked. I was able to kill the bear, but one of my shooters was severely mauled in the process.
My erstwhile ally sent his sawbones over to patch me up, but it wasn't long before he was mortally wounded. Seeing an opportunity to cash in, the sawbones put his patient out of his misery and turned on my remaining gunslinger, who was also plugged full of lead.
I sent in two reinforcements armed only with sixguns, and they were instantly gunned down at long range by a marksman armed with a rifle. My final group of shooters came in on the other side of town, but once again took rifle fire before they could get in range with their pistols.
Two gunslingers try to steal horses from the General Store.
Other players also ran into trouble on the opposite corner of town. A desperado sneaking around a farmhouse was bushwhacked by the owners. Undeterred, several other gunslingers soon fell victim to the farmer and his son, who was wielding a sixgun in each fist.
Another gunslinger angered an old lady armed with a shotgun, but was able to get the first shot off. The player took great pleasure in extracting his bloody revenge, having lost a desperado to the same well-armed spinster at Gen Con 2007!
But not all the interactions with residents of Prairie Butte ended in bloodshed - one family took pity on a gut-shot desperado, and helped care for his wounds.
A desperado faces off against a resident of Prairie Butte at close quarters.
Another team of killers exercised discretion when they entered the General Store, and paid the owner for several new rifles instead of robbing him.
Several other small gun battles erupted as gunslingers explored the town, searching for gold, equipment or bounties. Although several players were able to collect more than $1,000 USD in bounties, the biggest pay-off came when a daring team of cowboys teamed up with the locals to raid the Prairie Butte bank. The bank's crooked clerks had been swindling local farmers, and was well-guarded. However, the daring commandoes blasted open the vault with dynamite and claimed more than $5,000 USD cash!
This game was hosted by 19&One, a member of the Historical Gaming Miniatures Society-Great Lakes Chapter. Desperado is published by Monday Knight Productions, and the third edition ruleset is compatible with 25mm figures.