Wednesday, March 21, 2012

My other hobby: Gutshot

I'm still reeling from the weekend and am not back on schedule. I am just too far behind schedule to do justice to the second half of my Blackmark review, so please forgive me while I take a detour to tell you a little something about myself and my hobby outside of comic books.  That hobby is historical miniatures gaming. Yeah, I play with little metal men... as though I wasn't geeky enough before.

Of course, I'm not just a geek. I'm an award-winning geek with a very minor level of celebrity (if Kathy Griffen is on the D-List, then I'm probably on the Z-List). You see, I don't just roll dice and play with tiny metal men, I also publish a rule book on the subject. And yes, it won an award. A big award, but I'll get into that more in a minute.

In 1999, my old buddy Mike Murphy approached me about joining him to develop a Wild West miniatures game called Gutshot.  For the next five years we worked on it, and in due course dragged in my friend Paul Mauer. Together we completed and published a historical miniatures game and released it on Feb. 4, 2005.

Here's the official description from our Website,
At its most basic level, Gutshot is a game where you put toy buildings on a table and move around little metal cowboys, pretending they are shooting at each other. It's a lot like playing "Cowboys and Indians" when you were a kid. Except now, of course, there are rules to govern how far figures move, how fast, what kind of guns they have, different kinds of horses, and all sortsa fun stuff like that. Rules are good. After all, it'd be pretty embarrassing if someone walked in on a group of grown men and women who were pointing their fingers at each other shouting, “Bang bang, you're dead!” “Am not!” “Are too!” The rules in this book will spare you from that fate, and open up for you a whole new world of Miniature Wargaming.
In more advanced (and fun!) terms, Gutshot is a fast-paced, easy-to-learn game that has you slappin' leather and blowin' away the bad guys in a matter of minutes. Using 25mm miniatures and some dice, this game is a simple system for running one-on-one and small-scale combat set in the American Wild West. By one-on-one, we mean that each miniature represents one person. There are no armies or mass combat here - everything stays up-close and personal.

I'm still not sure what Gutshot is, exactly...
Even after explaining the game to people, I'm still sometimes met by blank stares, or by people who ask if it's a computer game. At that point I have to explain that Gutshot is a book that has the rules. In addition to the book you will need paper, pencils, dice, miniatures and buildings/terrain. Most of this stuff you can buy almost anywhere, and the buildings and miniatures are readily available online (and we even sell some of them ourselves).

The book retails for $25 in our online store or you can buy it from one of the many stores that carry it. We also have a lot of free material online: Character Sheets, Horse Record Sheets, Game Marshal & Player Handouts, injury tokens and more:

Right now we are also running a contest for our readers/players to submit ideas for adventures for use with our game. We had about 50 submissions and we published 12 of them online as free PDF downloads. If you're interested in learning more about Gutshot, these would be a great place to start as they really demonstrate how our game is played (objectives, Characters, maps, etc.). Plus, if you vote in our online contest to help select the second-place winner, you could be eligible to win a prize.

Oh, and as for that aforementioned award... In 2006 Gutshot was won the Origins Award for "Historical Miniatures Game of the Year." This is the longest-running industry award and the most prestigious. In short, it's the Oscar of the gaming world. Murphy and I were very fortunate to be able to actually be at the Origins Convention in Columbus, Ohio to accept our win. It was the highlight of my gaming career.

So... that's what else I do
Gutshot takes a lot of my time, as does trying to promote it and develop new projects. It's also the reason I only blog here three times a week. Tuesdays and Thursdays are dedicated to working on the Hawgleg Blog. I hope that interests you enough to mosey on over to the Hawgleg site and poke around a bit. There's a lot of fun stuff there.

See ya in two days for the latest installment of Netflix Fridays!