This static page replicates the Triggernometry webpage I maintained (sporadically) on my old Circa Games website. As a number of Kind Souls have mentioned through the years that they’ve found it useful, I decided to rescue it from ætheric oblivion when I pulled the plug on my old site.
As I have simply cut and pasted, the entries on this page benefit from none of the bells and whistles of modern day blog organization — tags and categories and what-not. I’ll work my way through them, checking for dead links, and perhaps, Heaven forfend, even adding some current content. I’ll record my progress in blog entries, so everything here (that still works) will one day be categorized and searchable.
This website is an attempt to gather together some of the resources available for gaming the Old West. Here you’ll find annotated links to miniature manufacturers (both metal and cardstock), sources for western buildings and terrain and tips for constructing your own, rules for roleplaying and skirmishing, links to online resources, and finally, some inspirational cinema, fiction, and nonfiction.
Let me say right up front that Eric Hotz’s Whitewash City Links page is far and away the most complete resource for western gaming that one could ever wish to find.
Lead Miniatures— 25-30mm
Artizan Designs has an extensive range of Wild West figures, including gunfighters (The Good, the Bad, and even the Ugly), Alamo personalities, 7th Cavalry, Apaches, &c., &c. You can get ‘em from Brigade Games in the US.
Blue Moon Manufacturing has a line of all the usual suspects in their Slice of Americana – The Wild West line.
Britannia Miniatures (sold through Combined Arms Inc. in the US) has a line of Wild West,Plains Indians, Apache Indians, and Little Big Horn figures (there aren’t any pictures and the western figures don’t seem to be available online in Europe).
EM-4 Miniatures has a small (but growing) line of prepainted Old West Heroes.
Firing Line Miniatures is under the ægis of Bicorne Miniatures. From the website, it appears that the line comprises four figures, three of which have separate heads for customization (they in turn sell twelve different heads).
The Foundry features an expansive Americana line which includes various western personalities, plains wars, and Victorian bystanders.
Knuckleduster Publications now produces their own line of western civilian miniatures, including Beer Drinkers and Hell-Raisers, pool players, incapacitated gunfighters, and a “sharp dressed band” (you’ll understand when you see them). Forrest also sells Foundry gunfighters, all minis available painted or not (subject to availability, as they say in small print). Recent releases in Wild Bill Hickok and a feller wielding a LeMat.
Mirliton has a pack of ten Far West Gunfighters, which were apparently originally available years ago from Grenadier.
Monday Knight Productions has a line of gunfighters, mounted figures, banditos, and Apache Indians. Note that the scale varies within the lines: the Magnificent Seven and Man with No Name figures seem to be classic 25mm while Belle Star and Annie Oakley tower over them at 28mm.
Old Glory Miniatures has the extensive Warpaint line of figures, which includes Native American Indians (plains tribes and Apache), US Cavalry, lawmen and shootists, and a variety of conveyances: a conestoga wagon, stage coach, buckboard, and doctor’s buggy. Old Glory also sells Cowboy Wars figures by West Wind Productions.
RAFM has a small line of Plains Indian Wars figures that include mounted cavalry, indians, and one set of gunslingers. The RAFM website is currently being redesigned and few links seem to work. You have to go to the online store to see the listing of figures, but pictures did not load at the time of this writing.
Redoubt Enterprises specializes in British colonial figures, but also has a line of American Civil War figures which are appropriate for Old West gaming. They also sell a 25mm scale train which is beautiful.
Jeff Valent Studios produces miniatures for Deadlands and the Great Rail Wars. The line contains typical Old West types and the more fanciful denizens of the Deadlands milieu. Scroll down to the bottom of the page for some great steampunk vehicles, including an ornithopter, steam wagon, and auto-gyro.
Lead Miniatures — 15mm
There are (perhaps surprisingly) a variety of options for gaming the old west in 15mm. While this might seem a bit fiddly for thick fingers, think about the scenarios that become possible with the added table space: train and stagecoach chases will suddenly become exciting!
See also my Ingenious Engines & Clockwork Enigmas page [Coming Soon] for a more comprehensive listing of 15mm miniature suggestions for Victorian Science Fiction, which has occasional overlap with Western gaming. [Thanks to Greg Marker for reminding me to update this listing with Irregular, Freikorp, Hovels, and Stone Mountain!]
Freikorp 15s, now owned by LKM Direct, have the Yellow Ribbon Range which features indians, cavalry, settlers, buffalo, and a stagecoach to chase.
Irregular Miniatures has a line of American Indians figures, which includes US Cavalry troopers and an odd cowboy or settler or two. Also check the American Civil War and Colonials lines for interesting characters.
Minifigs has a new line called Best of the West. Lots of indians and pret’ near everyone is available both mounted and dismounted.
Lead Miniatures — 10mm
I’m just starting this category, so bear with me. I just had to mention the fabulous 10mm civilians from Thoroughbred Miniatures!
Thoroughbred Miniatures have a line of 10mm civilians to populate your N-scale cowtowns.
Sparks: Sunburned and Rusty from Cumberland Games and Diversions. Sparks are paper miniatures rendered as a font so that you can print them out at any size.
Vulture Gulch Western Denizens from Microtactix are cardstock figures available for immediate download from RPG Now ($5.00 US).
Buildings & Terrain — Metal, Resin, and Scratchbuilt
Arnica, Montana is a great new line of resin buildings.
Arrow Miniatures has a collection of resin buildings including a fort and log cabin.
Davestown is Dave Bezio’s primer on building a compact western gaming table on the cheap, hosted on Matakishi’s Tea House.
Frontline Wargaming (distributed by RLBPS) has a line of resin buildings and accoutrements. The website has pictures of some of the items (mostly furnishings, not the buildings themselves): homestead, saloon, store, Boot Hill, hotel lobby, hotel room, bunk house,sheriff’s office, potbelly stoves, miner’s campsite, church, train station, and mill.
Hovels, Ltd. makes a line of 28mm Wild West buildings in resin and they have buildings in the15mm Civil War line that might be of use. There are also some useful 15mm bits and bobs such as a well and gravestones.
Kilroy, Ind. produces a new line of Wild, Wild West buildings.
Miniature World Maker is an Australian company that offers a variety of resin buildings and terrain features, including 15mm Wild West Buildings.
Monday Knight Productions has a number of accessories, including cacti, tables and chairs, buffalo, and a Lost Lady Saloon set with table and chairs, gamblers, bartender, bar maid, and a piano and banjo playing duet.
Musket Miniatures produces an extensive line of 15mm resin old west buildings.
Old West Buildings: A Step by Step Building Guide by David Marshall of TM Terrain. Detailed instructions with accompanying pictures. You’ll have to draw your own plans, or use Vulture Gulch or Whitewash City as your starting point.
PMC Games sells a number of styrofoam terrain boards that you can use to recreate the Old West on the tabletop, including Terrain 2000 (300mm square boards), Hex 300 (300mm hex), and Total System Scenic (2 foot square blocks).
Stone Mountain Miniatures has a line of 15mm Civil War/ American War of Independence buildings that could be pressed into service.
Terrain [and Buildings] for The Deadlands Role Playing Game and The Great Rail Warsby Matt DeForrest — This beautiful site describes how to scratch build western buildings and terrain, including a nifty Boot Hill with popsicle stick tombstones!
Victorian Adventure Gaming: Wild West by Tim “Gisby” Peterson. Tim is a genius when it comes to scratchbuilding western buildings from candy boxes, Dollar Store toys, &c. Lots of instructions, inspiration, and links to other folks who make great buildings.
Wild West Scale Model Builders features laser cut wooden buildings in a variety of model railroading scales — HO works well for 15mm and I believe people use S with 25-30mm. A bit pricey, but stunningly beautiful and they include interior details.
Wild West Structures You Can Build by James Publications. A book of 21 plans for building a western town in HO or N scale. I imagine that the plans could be enlarged for 25-30mm figures. The sample pictures on the website are also inspirational.
Buildings & Terrain — Cardstock
Boomtowns from Pinnacle Entertainment Group. Intended for Deadlands, a set of 16 map tiles of western buildings scaled to Deadlands miniatures (30mm).
Shadowolf’s Western Buildings — A chap named Paul “Shadowolf” has posted a nice set of cardstock western buildings gratis! (Although, sadly, the website has been suspended.)
Vulture Gulch from Microtactix is a wonderful cardstock cowtown. In separate sets, you can get an expansive town (in black and white), a modular fort (so you can make it any size, also black and white), and a train which comes in color or b/w versions. The pdf files are not secured, so you can open the files with a paint program (with Photoshop, at least) and color them yourself. Or, there is always the low tech way with colored pencils.
Whitewash City from rpg illustrator Eric Hotz. Recently updated and enlarged to 30mm. This set is stunningly beautiful — each building comes in full color, prints nicely in grayscale, and includes detailed floorplans.
Gaming Rules — Role Playing Games and Supplements
Boot Hill 3/e by Steve Winter (TSR, 1990, out of print, but available from various used games vendors, such as Noble Knight Games). Boot Hill is the granddaddy of them all — the first edition was by Gary Gygax in 1975. The book details stats for a plethora of historical, fictional, and cinematic gunfighters. The core rules include an 18×24 inch map of (fictional) Promise City with a large scale wilderness map on the reverse. There are several adventure starters but no complete adventure. The Boot Hill line comprised the following supplements:
Boot Hill Referee’s Screen and Mini-Module by Tom Moldvay. Includes trifold referee’s screen and information (maps and game statistics) for the James-Younger shootout in Northfield, MN
BH1: Mad Mesa by Jerry Epperson and Tom Moldvay. A solo adventure (with numbered paragraphs) and notes for using as a multi-player, refereed adventure.
BH2: Lost Conquistador Mine by David Cook and Tom Moldvay.
BH3: Ballots & Bullets by David James Ritchie. A campaign module in which PCs are encouraged to run for mayor in Promise City.
BH4: Burned Bush Wells by Jeff Grubb. Includes the detailed town of Burned Bush Wells.
BH5: Range War! by Philip Taterczynski. Extends the Promise City map from the core rules, set this time in Oregon. Concerns a range war between cowboys and shepherds.
Dust Devils by Matt Snyder (Chimera Creative, 2002, $5.95, pdf download or $14.95, print version). A slim volume of terrifying power, as they say in the funny papers. Thirty-six digest sized pages are primarily devoted to an original game mechanic which uses poker hands for action resolution and roleplaying your character’s Devil, “that ugly side you don’t want the preacher to know about.” Includes a brief adventure and stats for some original characters.
Gunslingers: Wild West Action! by Mark Arsenault, Rob Stone, Ann Dupuis, et al. (Gold Rush Games, 2004, $24.95, 168 page softcover). Uses the Action! system. Check the list of authors to see Grey Ghost Press’ own Ann Dupuis (author of GURPS Old West). You can download a free preview to get a taste.
GURPS Old West by Dupuis, Manning-Schwartz, Smith, and Tornabene (Steve Jackson Games, 1991 and 2000, $19.95, print). A great one-stop source for information about the Old West. Requires the GURPS Basic Set or the free GURPS Lite to play using GURPS rules.
Knuckleduster Firearms Shop by Forrest Harris (Knuckleduster Publications, 2000, $14.95, print). A compendium of firearms common in the Old West. Harris provides stats for each using the Fudge system.
Knuckleduster Cowtown Creator by Forrest Harris (Knuckleduster Publications, 2001, $19.95, print). Indispensable collection of information concerning what one might find in a western town. Includes a list of names, adventure ideas culled from the Police Gazette, floorplans, &c., &c.
Link:West by Rodney Brazeau and Lee McIlmoyle (LinkMedia, 2003, $19.95, 110 page softcover). A Guardians of Order Magnum Opus product using their d20 Silver Age Sentinels rules. Old Wets with a Deadlands type of twist. You can read a Ken Hite review to see what he thinks.
Outlaw (for Rolemaster) by Matt Forbeck (I.C.E., 1991, out of print). This and Western Hero (below) are the same book, repackaged for two different systems (Rolemaster and Hero).
Sidewinder by Burns, Masterson, Peck, and Spakes (Citizen Games, 2002, $24.95, print). Critically acclaimed western game using the d20 system. I find the formatting frustrating to the point of distraction — interminable quotations from Bat Masterson (who is listed as an author) are split over multiple pages and it seems that the last third of the Dodge City building descriptions are missing. Loads of adventure ideas and two complete adventures.
Sidewinder: Recoiled by Hindman, Spakes, Warner, Keesler, and Gregory (Green Ronin, 2004, $34.95, print) is the d20 version of Sidewinder, updated to the d20 Modern rules. The Dog House Rules website has samples of many of the chapters. It is slated to be brought out in paperback by Green Ronin as part of their Mythic Vistas line.
Western Hero (for the Hero System) by Matt Forbeck (I.C.E., 1991, out of print ). See Outlaw, above.
Gaming Rules — Skirmish Wargaming
Bite the Bullet by Tom Dye (Minifigs, 2003, free). Rules for the 15mm Best of the West line from Minifigs. Drop Tom Dye an email and he’ll set you up right.
Blaze of Glory by Tim Eagling (online, free). A nice online set of skirmish rules. The site also features a gallery of some impressive scratchbuilt scenery.
Gutshot by Michael Mitchell and Michael Murphy (Hawgleg Games, 2005, $24.95, print). This is the one I’m currently getting to know. Winner of the 2006 Origins Award for Historical Miniatures Game of the Year! The great guys at Hawgleg are currently running a year-long contest — Showdowns & Shootouts — and releasing all the adventures free.
Hey You in the Jail! by Martin Goddard (Brookhurst Hobbies, 1997, $10.00, print). 15mm skirmish rules designed for Peter Pig minis.
High Noon by Andy Watkins (free, html, 2002).
Legends of the Old West by Mark Latham (Games Workshop, 2004, $34.99, print).
The Wild West: New Rules for Western Gunfighters is Blue Moon Manufacturing’s (free) adaptation of their gothic horror skirmish rules Chaos in Carpathia to western gaming. You’ll still need to purchase CIC, but the character information would be useful with any of the fine rulesets mentioned here.
Showdowns & Shootouts — A free series of contest winning skirmish adventures from the friendly folks at Hawgleg. Written for Gutshot, but inventive folks could adapt to their favorite system, couldn’t they…
The Covered Wagon Western Games is a grab-bag of western gaming information.
The Deadlands Resource Center — An impressive collection of Deadlands material.
“Get Three Coffins Ready” — Walt O’Hara’s Old West site. Downloads include the Scary Monsters of the Golden West, a 35 page document for using classic movie monsters with the Rules With No Name, mission builder cards to help give some purpose to your skirmishing, an annotated list of western miniature manufacturers, and some good links.
The Jackson Gamers Western Page has some great images, loads of great descriptions of games, variant rules for Desperado (called Fill Yore Hands), variant rules for the Sword and the Flame (called the Tomahawk and the Flame — Larry Brom was once a member of the group).
The Mexican Adventure by Tim “Gisby” Peterson. Rules and suggestions for gaming in Mexico during the French Intervention
Tim “Gisby” Peterson’s Rules With No Name page — Has a link to an html version of TRWNN, lots of good resources for western buildings, scads of scenarios and loads of rules addenda and variants.
Walt O’Hara’s Rules With No Name page — This is the RWNN portion of Walt O’Hara’s Old West site (above). Have a look at these pages to see the Rules With No Name in action. Great pictures!
CL Western Town Studio and Backlot — Located near Calgary, Alberta, this backlot town was used in the recent movie Shanghai Knights, the Lonesome Dove television show, and a favorite of mine, Little Big Man (1970). Click the red numbers on the map to bring up an image of each building. Great for guidance on architecture in the Old West.
Desperado — Nothing to do with the skirmish game and please pardon the musical accompaniment.
The Gold Rush — Companion website to a PBS documentary.
Lenexa (KS) Historical Society Santa Fe Trail Page — Contains information and timelines concerning Kansas and the Santa Fe trail.
The Oregon Trail — Companion website to a PBS documentary.
Best West Webring — A large (100+) collection of websites concerning all aspects of the American West, past, present, and future. Recommended for adding spice to your gaming.
The Old West Gunfight Ring — This ring has a rather small circumference at this point (five sites at the time of this writing), but it links together some of the sites above listed.
The TV Cowboy Ring — Contains sites devoted to television cowboys.
The Weird West Express — Devoted to Deadlands.
Films are the predominant medium for creating the western myth. I can only list a few notable films here. The Internet Movie Database (IMDb) lists over 7000 westerns, so you should check it out for detailed information on your favorite movies.
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (Paul Newman, Robert Redford, 1969).
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly; A Fist Full of Dollars; For A Few Dollars More (Clint Eastwood, 1966, 1964, 1965).
Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas, 1957).
High Noon (Gary Cooper, 1952).
High Plains Drifter (Clint Eastwood, 1972).
Lonesome Dove (Robert Duvall, Tommy Lee Jones, 1989).
The Magnificent Seven (Brynner, Bronson, Coburn, McQueen, et al., 1960).
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence (James Stewart, John Wayne, 1962).
My Darling Clementine (Henry Fonda, 1946).
Once Upon a Time in the West (Henry Fonda, 1969).
The Outlaw Josey Wales (Clint Eastwood, 1976).
Pale Rider (Clint Eastwood, 1985).
Red River (John Wayne, Montgomery Clift, 1948).
The Searchers (John Wayne, 1956).
Shane (Alan Ladd, Jack Palance, 1943).
The Shootist (John Wayne, 1976).
Stagecoach (John Wayne, 1939).
Tombstone (Kurt Russell, 1993).
True Grit and Rooster Cogburn (John Wayne, 1969, 1975).
The Wild Bunch (William Holden, Ernest Borgnine, 1969)
Winchester ’73 (James Stewart, 1950).
Young Guns (Estevez, Sutherland, Phillips, Sheen, 1988).
Shane by Jack Shaefer.
The American West by Dee Brown (Touchstone [Simon & Schuster], 1995).
The Mammoth Book of the West by Jon Lewis (Carroll & Graf, 1996).
The West: An Illustrated History by Geoffry Ward (Little. Brown, 1996). Companion volume to a PBS series.