Thursday, 26 January 2023

Fistful of Lead and a Handful of Painted Minis


I've taken an interest in Wiley Games' Fistful of Lead rules of late. I've found them flexible, playable, and entertaining. I used a mixed bag of the rules for the Christmas Adventure at the Hamilton Road Gaming Group's Holiday gathering. They cover skirmishes in all periods of history, the Wild West, Heroic fantasy, Sci-fi, both hard science and Flash Gordon-stuff, as well as Horror of many kinds. Space battles and giant Battle Suits games are covered as well, but I have no knowledge of those last two since they don't interest me. What can I say?

So we played two games of Wild West skirmish at the Games Group last week. I served as games master and Glenn, Bear, Rich, and Derrick all pushed lead. I was so wrapped up in the first game, I didn't take any photos! I caught a few of the second.

In the first game, each four-figure team had an identity, although it didn't really matter that they were "Settlers with a grudge", "the Posse", "the Outlaws", or "the Pinkertons." It was a basic shoot-'em-up to get used to the rules. Rich seems to be the guy who wins a lot, with Derrick getting wiped out early.

In the second game, Glenn took the role of a US Cavalry section guarding a pay chest. He had six figures while the other three had four figures each. It got wild and wooly and actually gruesome at times.

Glenn's troopers deploy to defend their pay.
The black bead on the sergeant's stand means he's "Out of ammo."

Further deployment

"It ain't jes' outlaws that'll kill ya, Slim. Mother Nature's nasty too!"
Sad to say, Jake the Snake did not score a hit.
Nobody needed the outhouse!

Fast and furious action? Low blood sugar? A response to Derrick's t-shirt?
Your guess is as good as mine.

Rich's desperados advance. The fellow with the raised pistol actually has one arm
and a pinned-up sleeve. One of his gang (not seen here) is the Man with No Name
and has a blank on the name block on his card!

Derrick's crew advances, but the troopers are ready!

"Ah'm waitin' fer them varmints! They's afta mah pay!"
The troopers all had carbines except the young lieutenant.
The rules cover pistols and rifles, but not carbines.
So we agreed to use bow-and-arrow ranges for cavalry carbines,
but they were out of ammo on a roll of 1 OR 2 rather than only a 1.
It actually worked well.

Bear's Southern Style mob takes cover in the arroyo.
It cost extra to enter or leave such a dry creek bed, but
a figure could move up or down the arroyo at full speed and still be in cover.
It was full cover to other figures watching on the normal level,
but partial cover the the sighting figure were on higher ground or 
on the second story of a building.

The Figure With No Name stuns and wounds a trooper,
but wisely doesn't mess with Jake the Snake.
Small ring means a wound.

Bear's mob moves to get a better angle for shooting.

Well, what do you know?
We wondered how Aces showed up so much in the draw.
Rich had added stickers to the deck as the rules recommend.
However, he mistakenly had a full set of extra Aces in the deck.
It was an honest mistake; no cheating suspected and
we pulled out the extras when we went to get the rope.

Rich's gang of desperados won the day. Glenn had one wounded trooper left and he deserted the cavalry and joined the desperados, telling them where the pay chest was hidden. (Glenn told me before the game began and I kept the pay chest under an outhouse for safe keeping. This outing was fast, nasty, and gruesome, as well as a tremendous amount of fun. I'd recommend these Fistful of Lead rules for just about any skirmish setting. I don't know how well they'd work for WWI, WWII, or Modern war, but Rich and I agreed that it might even work for a Silver Bayonet setting! I'm adapting the Galactic Heroes rules for Dune and I intend to play test that game at the Games Group soon.

I've been in a painting mood of late and here are a few things I finished.

20mm Late Roman Auxilia command from Newline Design
A personal project for me.
I have three units done and one to finish. This grouping will be the "brigade" command.

Ultra-modern/Sci-fi infantry in 15mm from RAFM
Camo is not easy in 15mm. I might be trying too hard.

From Old Glory I think.
A Czar painted as the Emperor for Traveller
Long live the Iridium throne!

A 3D printed figure from my friend Ralph.
A pastor or priest (He has a rosary on his belt)
I intend to use him in The Silver Bayonet and/or my Traveller RPG campaign


  1. You'll find the various incarnations of the rules mix and match perfectly. Easy to add horror to Horse and Musket to create Silver Bayonet settings. We use Fistful of Lead for everything, world wars included, especially Weird War 2,

  2. Nice to see figures fighting outside the loo!

    1. It is a bit different. Just be wary of Jake the Snake.