Includes link to the quick reference sheet, handy for printing out!
These rules are very highly modified at this point from The Rules with No Name. They are designed so that many people can play. Now, many people can play any Old West game, but when you have a dozen players with a card driven system it can take forever for your turn to come up. That isn’t fun to me. I’ve been stuck in that situation many times. I believe multi-player games should be simultaneous to the degree possible. Everyone should be doing or reacting to something. It should be as orderly as possible. It should have some friction and chaos in it though.
When playing Old West games I started with Desperado. From the mid-1990’s until about 2005 I played that game to death. We had a lot of fun scenarios we invented culminating with The Great Train Robbery using a train my friend Rohn put together. It was magnificent. 1/48th scale, the figures could move on, over and within the cars. The only thing that suffered was the card driven system when we had too many players. Later I played Legends of the Old West by Games Workshop. That is one of the finest games for Old West that there is. It’s a remarkable game and well researched. It’s designed for one on one play where groups play campaigns and break up into individual fights between their warbands. If you can get a lot of people to play that way its a great system. It isn’t easily adapted to convention play without a complete rewrite. Honestly I like it as it is for what it is.
The Rules with No Name is a fairly complex game that tries to cover everything under one set of rules. The printed and bound version sold by Foundry is a cornerpiece of my rules collection because it is a beautiful book and I enjoy showing it to people interested in the Old West. At first it is what they think they want in a game – rules for every situation. After years of playing games I’ve moved much more towards rules that support a basic premise and then scenario specific rules to cover specific situations. I love the idea that you don’t need to know a thousand rules and play with only ten of them but instead to know 20 rules and play with them all.
I don’t have a name for this variant of the rules. I am tentatively calling them “Convention TRWNN” with the ultimate goal being that the basic game play information is on one sheet of card stock and the scenario information is on another. The write up of the rules will be online here. I see this being useful for any genre with modest changes. Something I’d like to do is put some Science fiction figures I have back on the table. There are other rules I like, such as Tomorrow’s War. However for something a bit more gritty and personal I need something else and this fits that bill.