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Monday, 28 March 2016

Word is getting round (another nice review for BBB); and Dead Man's Hand

Obviously the BBB marketing department is very substantial. Apart from the AIs in the Cray supercomputers in the BBB superyacht, and the hardworking team of dedicated webmasters in our Beijing office tower, and our clickfarms in Kazakhstan, there's the occasional forum post by me. So we do find ways to spend almost all of our lavish marketing budget.

But possibly the most effective way by which BBB has been getting noticed since publication in October 2014 is via word of mouth from happy players who've found themselves enjoying the High Quality Gaming Experience (TM). Here's a recent example of a new player's first impressions. And regular players are posting more and more inspiring AARs such as Vincent Tsao's latest battle in his Franco-Prussian War campaign, Borny / Colombey; Steve J's Spicheren AAR from his FPW campaign with Dave Fielder; Alan "Shedman's" 1859 and Russo-Japanese games; and Richard "Doctor Phalanx" playing the official BBB Spicheren scenario. A wonderful quote from Vincent: "I never had such a good time losing." All this good buzz is producing a steady stream of recruits for the BBB Yahoo group which now has over 350 members.

So if you are interested in nineteenth-century battles and haven't tried BBB yet, let me invite you to join the Yahoo group and find out what all the excitement is about.

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Advertiser's note: other games are also available! One of which is "Dead Man's Hand" by Great Escape Games, a ruleset for 28mm Wild West skirmishes. Five of us had an excellent day playing DMH. Jean-Louis laid on a cracking scenario for us. He and I were the Apaches sneaking into town to cut the townspeople's throats in their sleep as revenge for some previous offence. Graham being a lawman by trade naturally played the sheriff's team; Didier the armed citizenry; and Pierre the cavalry riding to the rescue. Beautiful layout, including a train, and some of the nice MDF buildings you can get nowadays, but mostly buildings scratchbuilt by Didier including a magnificent hotel, and Pierre's fine water tower.

Apaches checking out a sentry's hairstyle.

All went well for the Apaches initially. Although a sentry spotted us and raised the alarm immediately, he was swiftly silenced. Several other isolated individuals met untimely ends before the townsfolk started to get organised. The Apache advance slowed down as resistance stiffened and casualties on both sides mounted. Pierre had waited for hours to get to join in the game, but when his cavalry finally arrived he got his share and more. Their deadly fire mowed down brave after brave as they galloped towards us. Jean-Louis's chief signalled a general retreat but failed to follow his own advice and was gunned down. My "Mad Dog" and two of my braves escaped, having scalped three palefaces for the loss of only one of our own. Just as well, as our tribe needs a new chief. When we totted up the points at the end, the Apaches' score of 16 was just beaten by the home team's 17.

Ruleswise I liked DMH a lot, even though it has the same limitation I whinged about last week, namely that only one player at a time can activate. In DMH other players' figures can react to the activated figure; and players can also play event cards of various kinds from their hands at any time. These make the game much more interactive, unpredictable, and characterful.

I did propose one rule modification which the boys highly approved of: each time a figure was killed, both the firing player and the target player had to drink a shot of bourbon. This added much jollity to the occasion but may have contributed to some imperfect tactical decisions later in the day.

An excellent day all round, marred only by the fact that it has dented my batting average. Total for 2016 is now:

Played: 11
Won: 7
Drawn: 2
Lost:2