Saturday, November 7, 2009
Butch and Sundance's Last Stand -- or maybe not
On the 101st anniversary of the gun battle in Bolivia that ended the outlaw careers of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, my step son and I played the scenario depicting that event in Cowboys: The Way of the Gun -- Scenario 20 Butch and Sundance's Last Stand, Nov. 7, 1908.
As it looked to me that it would be a pretty tough scenario for Butch and Sundance, I took the two famous Outlaws, while he took the Bolivian townsfolk and the reinforcing cowboys (who presumably represent Bolivian soldiers.
The Bolivians started off a bit cautiously approaching the Yanqui Banditos, so Butch and Sundance were able to make a dash for the corral and the horse. A couple of long-range rifle shots from the Bolivian townsfolk missed, except for one shot that hit one of the horses. (We were not playing with any of the optional rules, so that first hit had no effect on the horse.)
Once Butch grabbed a rifle off the horse the two outlaws decides to blast away at the townsfolk to get them to back off and over the next few turns they managed to hit five of the townsfolk, while only taking one hit in return. This gave the outlaws quite a few bonus cards, but a couple of them were "Town Folk" cards which were not playable for the outlaws by special rule.
By now the first reinforcements were getting into range, but the Bolivians were cautious again, after having seen so many of their friends gunned down and they spent a lot of effort maneuvering into position while trying to stay out of the line of fire.
The outlaws mounted up, and after a brief feint towards the right and center they made a dash for the board edge along the west side of board A, aided by an adrenaline card, gunning down one more townsfolk. Butch was able to ride off scot free, but Sundance had a close run of it, taking several more hits and losing the wounded horse. A fortuitous Health card kept him alive and he ducked into the back door of the Saloon to get out of the line of fire of most of his pursuers. The Bolivians followed Butch into the Saloon and he made his escape by jumping through the window and off the board, although he took one last bullet on the way out.
The end result was a victory for the outlaws, with Sundance getting away clean and Butch escaping with one hit point left. None of the six reinforcing cowboys was injured (or even shot at) but the Bolivian Townsfolk took heavy loses, losing six out of the original starting eight, although they were reinforced with two more through the play of a Town Folk card.
It was a very near-run scenario and if it wasn't for drawing that Health card the outlaws would have lost. Overall I think it's a tough scenario for the Outlaws. Not only are they outnumbered, but they can't take any losses. The outlaws have the advantage in skill, being +2 for all shots, but they can't afford to stay and shoot it out. In our battle the number of hits ended up being pretty even. The outlaws hit and killed six townsfolk (6 hits) while the Bolivians also got six hits -- two on a horse and four on Sundance (one canceled by a Health card.)
Despite the fact the Outlaws won this time, I'd expect them to lose more often than not, especially if the Bolivians try to maximize their shots and don't worry overmuch about losses. The Bolivians should especially be bold with the reinforcing Cowboys. They take four hits to kill and if the Outlaws are busy shooting at them, they're not escaping.